Former NFL footballer Aaron Hernandez was found dead in his cell in Massachusetts, after hanging himself at the Souza Baranowski
Ancelotti: Referee ‘not up to task’
Bayern Munich manager Carlo Ancelotti said referee Viktor Kassai “wasn’t up to the task” of a Champions League quarterfinal and called for video technology “as soon as possible”.
Bayern midfielder Arturo Vidal was sent off for two bookable offenses, while Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo scored in extra time from an offside position as the Spanish holder won 6-3 on aggregate on Tuesday, BBC reported.
“We had thought of everything going into this game – except the referee,” Ancelotti said.
“You can’t decide a semifinal spot like this. It shouldn’t happen at this level.”
Ancelotti said Real manager Zinedine Zidane agreed with his assessment of Hungarian referee Kassai’s “negative” performance at the Bernabeu.
“The referee probably wasn’t up to the task,” said the Italian, a former Real boss.
“I don’t think Real Madrid have any influence on referees. The officials simply got it wrong. I had never been in favor of video technology, but I must admit it’s necessary now.”
Goalline technology – to determine whether the ball has crossed the line – was brought into the Premier League for the start of the 2013-14 season and the Bundesliga from 2015-16.
Video assistant referees (VARs) are being trialed worldwide, with FIFA president Gianni Infantino keen to employ the system at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
VARs – which rule on key incidents concerning goals, red cards, mistaken identities and penalties – could be used in English football as early as August, with the EFL Cup first round touted as a possible initial testing bed for the technology.
Video has already been used at international level, with two wrong decisions corrected by VARs as Spain beat France in a friendly in Paris on March 29.
UEFA has not committed to the trials but in a statement said it was “constantly looking at ways in which it can improve the matches taking place in its competitions”.
It added, “Regarding video assistant referees, there are currently trials taking place, so let’s see the results and if or how the system can work while preserving the flow of the game.”
‘The referee killed it’ – reaction
BBC 5 live pundit Pat Nevin said, “I don’t want the referee to have spoiled the entirety of this game because it was a fantastic tie over two legs – but the referee killed it with the sending off.
“It was terrible, and then he gets the decision wrong for Ronaldo’s goal.
“The referee will probably get as much chat as anyone else.”
Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said, “It was an extremely emotional spectacle, you can only compliment both teams. Our team has given everything, we must not forget that.
“It was great football, but unfortunately the referee gave some extreme decisions at our expense. The referee was of course the killer.”
Zidane was a happy in the press conference after the game against Bayern Munich. His team went through the semifinals of the Champions League again mostly thanks to Ronaldo’s hat trick.
Praising Ronaldo’s performance he said, “He’s unique. We are happy with him and also Bernabéu’s supporters.”
Just few minutes before, Ronaldo said that he does not like to be booed by his own supporters.
Defending his side’s striker, Zidane said, “Perhaps he is not booed anymore, but this is Bernabéu stadium and it can happen from time to time, he knows it. He shows in the pitch what he has inside. There are few players who are there in the key moments and the supporters will thank Cristiano Ronaldo for everything he’s done here.”
The French manager also spoke about the game, highlighting Bayern Munich’s great performance: “It was very level, but at the end we achieved a good and deserved result. We can say we played against the best team. Today’s game was the hardest one, but our victory was well-deserved. We scored six goals and I am happy and proud of the great effort of my players. We had a cold mind, a lot of chances without scoring, so it’s normal to suffer in these kinds of games”.
Commenting on Ancelotti’s criticism leveled at the referee, Zidane sid, “Referees’ job is difficult, I never talk about them. Their second goal was also in offside […] After scoring six goals, I think we deserved to qualify. With effort, but we deserve it. There is no luck in football, you have to win and we’ve done it.”
On Sunday’s to El Clásico against Barcelona and the probability of Toni Kroos and Marcelo suffering minor injuries during his side’s quarterfinal fixture, Zidane said, “It’s normal that they have problems. But we have five days to recover. We are happy with the victory and are going to recover very quickly. The effort was huge and we are going to rest. This is while some players may have problems.”
Neuer crowns it all
Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer fractured his left foot during the match.
Neuer, 31, sustained the injury during Ronaldo’s third goal in extra time.
The Germany keeper could be set to miss the rest of the season.
“Neuer will undergo a thorough examination on arrival in Munich prior to a decision on the appropriate treatment,” said a club statement.
Iranian cueist snatches bronze in Lebanese tournament
Iranian billiard player Mohammad Ali Pordel exhibited commendable skills at Lebanon 9 Ball International Open Championship and snatched bronze at the end of the tournament.
On Tuesday evening, Pordel suffered a close 10-11 defeat in his individual contest against a contestant from the host nation in a semifinal match played in the Lebanese capital city of Beirut to finish in the third place, Press TV reported.
Pordel had earlier overcome representatives from Lebanon, Egypt and the UK to secure a place among the top four billiard players.
The Lebanese tourney started on April 13 and finished on April 18.
The meet brought together a total of 125 cueists from Egypt, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, the UK and Venezuela.
Billiard players Mohammad Pordel and Ali-Reza Vahab represented Iran in the championship.
Iran to participate at Islamic Solidarity Games with 300 athletes
President of the National Olympic Committee of the Islamic Republic of Iran Shahrokh Shahnazi said Iran will participate at the Baku 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games with 300 athletes.
Shahnazi added Iranian athletes will compete in 16 sports events, Tasnim News Agency reported.
The meet is an exciting multi-sport event uniting the Islamic world, which is scheduled to take place in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku during May 8-22.
Athletes from Islamic countries around the world will represent their nations over the 10-days competitions.
A total of 24 disciplines from 20 sports will be contested in the fourth edition of the games including diving, swimming, water polo (all aquatics), athletics, basketball, boxing, football, artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics (gymnastics), handball, judo, Karate, shooting, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, volleyball, weightlifting, wrestling, wushu, zurkhaneh.
The Islamic Republic of Iran Boxing Federation (IRIBF) announced the names on the final roster of the squad to take part in the boxing bouts of the games in Baku.
The IRIBF picked Omid Ahmadisafa as Iran’s representative in the men’s 49kg bouts.
Shahin Mousavi, Salar Gholami and Reza Moradkhani will take on their rivals at the men’s 75kg, 91kg and 91kg weight divisions, respectively.
Alireza Estaki and Asghar Ashrafi will be members of the technical team.
The Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation (ISSF) is responsible for the direction and control of the multi-sport event.
Shakespeare: Leicester players want more Champions League football
Manager Craig Shakespeare challenged his Leicester team to reach the Champions League again after its quarterfinal loss to Atletico Madrid.
The Premier League champion was the last surviving English team in this season’s competition, BBC reported.
But, despite a spirited second-leg display, a 1-1 draw meant Atletico progressed via a 2-1 aggregate win.
“The whole club, from the supporters to the players to the owners can be immensely proud,” said Shakespeare.
“We had them rattled with the effort and commitment we showed. It’s no discredit to lose to a team of that caliber.
“I’ve just said to the players that they should want more of this and they’ve agreed that that’s what they want.
“All players want to play at the highest level and the Champions League is the highest level but we have to get back to winning ways in the Premier League now.”
Seeking to overturn a 1-0 first-leg deficit, Leicester fell further behind to Saul Niguez’s header in the first half on Tuesday, meaning it required three goals to progress.
The Foxes dominated the second half and gave themselves hope when Jamie Vardy finished from close range on the hour mark.
But, despite sending on Leonardo Ulloa for Shinji Okazaki at halftime and leading the shot count 17-2 after the break, they were unable to breach a resolute Atletico defense for a second time.
“In the first half, we played really well but the goal changes the game plan – we knew we had to score three – so I had to make the change,” Shakespeare told BT Sport.
“In terms of effort, commitment, application – as a group we were tremendous.
“The momentum was with us when Jamie scored but it just wasn’t to be.”
‘We’ll sit down at the end of season’
Shakespeare was appointed Leicester manager until the end of the season following the sacking of Claudio Ranieri in February.
The 53-year-old, previously Ranieri’s assistant, oversaw six wins in his first six games to steer the Foxes away from the relegation zone.
When asked about his future, he replied, “It’s not in my hands. It’s in the club’s hands. I’ve said we’d sit down at the end of the season. I’m more than happy to do that before if it arises but the contract says until the end of the season.
“I’ve enjoyed it, pitting your wits against one of the best managers in the world, one of the best sides in the world.
“Now is a time to reflect and I’m sure at the end of the season I’ll be able to reflect on my own performance as well as the club’s.”
Murray makes winning return to start clay campaign in Monte Carlo
Andy Murray returned from over a month out with an elbow injury to launch his clay-court season with a grueling 7-5, 7-5 defeat of Gilles Muller at the Monte Carlo Masters on Wednesday.
The world number one and top seed waited until late in both sets to make his move, finally putting Muller away in just under two hours to reach the third round, AFP wrote.
But the 29-year-old Scot was poor on his serve with eight double faults while breaking Luxembourg’s Muller four times.
And Murray was on the back foot in the opening set as he lost the first game and only caught up late.
In the second he was also far from his fluent best, before grinding out victory.
It was the first time back on the ATP since an elbow injury – his last match was a second-round loss to Vasek Pospisil at Indian Wells on March 12.
The three-time Monte Carlo semifinalist, who has had a sticky start to 2017 with form and injury, now stands 13-3 on the season and has one title from Dubai in his pocket.
Murray was joined in round three by Swiss third seed Stan Wawrinka, who saw off Czech Jiri Vesely 6-2, 4-6, 6-2.
Three-time Grand Slam winner Wawrinka won Monte Carlo three years ago over compatriot and friend Roger Federer.
Austrian Dominic Thiem, seeded sixth, advanced over Dutchman Robin Haase 6-3, 6-2 while Czech ninth seed Tomas Berdych put an end to the run of 39-year-old Tommy Haas 3-6, 6-1, 6-4. Pablo Carreno Busta, Alexander Zverev and Albert Ramos-Vinolas all advanced.