Pulisic and Azpilicueta to miss Bayern Munich tie

By Sports Desk August 01, 2020

Christian Pulisic and Cesar Azpilicueta will miss Chelsea's Champions League clash with Bayern Munich after limping off in Saturday's 2-1 FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal.

Captain Azpilicueta pulled up with a hamstring injury five minutes after giving away a penalty that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang converted to kickstart Arsenal's comeback.

And Pulisic, the scorer of Chelsea's early opener at Wembley, also made way four minutes into the second half with an identical issue sustained as he was charging through on goal.

Pedro then suffered a suspected dislocated shoulder late on and Frank Lampard has ruled the trio out of next Saturday's last-16 second leg with Bayern, which Chelsea will start trailing 3-0 on aggregate.

"I don't know the full extent of the injuries, but I know its the hamstrings with Azpi and Christian," he said at his post-match news conference.

"They have to be scanned and assessed over the next few days. They clearly won't be fit for next week."

Pedro, who was given oxygen as he was stretchered off the field, is expected to join Roma on a free transfer when his Chelsea contract expires later this month.

"I believe it could be a dislocated shoulder but don't go too soon on that," Lampard said when asked for an update on the forward's condition.

"I've not seen him yet as he was whisked away so it's a disappointing end as that's probably going to be his last game for Chelsea.

"He's been an incredible servant and I'm disappointed for him."

Chelsea got off to a flyer through Pulisic's fifth-minute strike but Aubameyang added to his penalty with an impressive second to take Arsenal's record tally of triumphs in the competition to 14.

The Blues' hopes of scoring an equaliser were dented by a controversial second yellow card shown to Mateo Kovacic for a challenge on Granit Xhaka.

Replays showed Kovacic barely made contact with his opponent and Lampard questioned referee Anthony Taylor's decision to reach into his back pocket.

"The penalty was rightly awarded, but it wasn't a sending off, that was pretty clear," he said.

And Lampard insisted on another day the outcome could have been different for Chelsea, who finished fourth in the Premier League in the club legend's first season in charge.

"Today was not about not showing up. We made a great start and had control of the game," he said.

"Then we got sloppy and got slower in our game and that changes the tone of it. 

"If Christian goes through and scores instead of pulling his hamstring then things are different, although we didn't play well enough.

"I can't criticise the players and their approach in their desire to win this game. We can't be stuck on today - we have to look at the season."

Aubameyang ultimately proved the difference in the all-London final and Lampard admitted his side's defending could have been better on the day.

"He's scored two goals, one of those being a penalty which he earns," he said.

"I was clear with the players about the threat of Arsenal's long balls behind them. We allowed him in easily.

"Aubameyang's a top-class player. His second goal showed his ability. In moments like that Aubameyang can finish you off."

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    United, though, are not giving up hope as they reportedly make one last attempt to sign the 20-year-old.

     

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    Manchester United will make a take-it-or-leave-it offer for Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, according to the Daily Star and the Mirror.

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  • FIFA’s bad boys – T&T joins long list of countries falling afoul of football federation laws FIFA’s bad boys – T&T joins long list of countries falling afoul of football federation laws

    The standoff between FIFA and the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association  (TTFA) ended with the Caribbean country joining a long list of others suspended after various disputes with their parent association.

    Oftentimes, the reasons nations find themselves blacklisted by the sport’s global governing body are many and varied, but the outcome is often the same.

    The twin-island republic becomes the second Caribbean nation suspended by FIFA, following in the footsteps of Antigua and Barbuda who were banned in 2003 for one year, after infighting broke out within the association.

    In each case, the length of suspension dished out to the associations varies widely, with the ball often in the member association court as to how long it takes to rectify the affair that has caused them to fall afoul of FIFA’s statues in the first place.  The list below features 24 countries that have been suspended in the last 17 years and some of the reasons provided.

     

    List of country’s suspended

     

    Country - Azerbaijan

    Date - 15 April 2003 - 23 May 2003

    Reason - External pressure, violations of

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    Outcome - Parties agreed to respect a FIFA

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    Country - Antigua and

    Barbuda

    Date - 20 May 2003 - 29 June 2005

    Reason - Non-specified

    Outcome- Suspension lifted after situation

    had improved

     

    Country - Guatemala

    Date - 9 Jan. 2004 - 17 May 2004

    Reason - Governmental interference: FA and

    elected FA officials replaced

    Outcome - Re-installment of elected FA

    leadership, recognition of FAs’

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    Country - Kenya

    Date - 2 June 2004 - 6 Aug. 2004

    Reason - Governmental interference: FA

    officials replaced due to

    mismanagement and fraud

    Outcome - Installment of a normalization

    committee to improve

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    Country – Macau

    Date - 15 Feb. 2005 - 6 March 2005

    Reason - Governmental interference:

    Non-specified

    Outcome - Suspension lifted after

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    Country -Yemen

    Date -12 Aug. 2005 - 9 Nov. 2005

    Reason - Governmental interference:

    Non-specified

    Outcome - Suspension lifted after concessions

    by the government

     

    Country - Greece

    Date - 3 July 2006 - 12 July 2006

    Reason - Governmental interference: National

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    Outcome - Legislation amended according to

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    Country - Kenya

    Date - 25 Oct. 2006 - 9 March 2007

    Reason - Governmental interference:

    Non-implementation of

    agreements, escalation of

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    Outcome - Government agrees to abstain

    from further intervention, legal

    proceedings are withdrawn,

    reinstallation of elected officials

     

    Country – Iran

    Date- 23 Nov. 2006 - 20 Dec. 2006

    Reason - Governmental interference:

    Non-independence of

    decision-making and election

    processes

    Outcome - Implementation of FIFA’s

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    Country - Kuwait

    Date - 29 Oct. 2007 - 20 Dec. 2008

    Reason - Governmental interference: FA

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    Outcome - Suspension provisionally lifted

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    Country - Albania

    Date -14 March 2008 - 26 April 2008

    Reason - Governmental interference:

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    Outcome - Legal proceedings stopped,

    creation of a working-group

     

    Country - Madagascar

    Date - 19 March 2008 - 19 May 2008 Governmental interference:

    Ministerial decree dissolved FA

    Outcome - Madagascan Supreme Court

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    Country - Chad

    Date - 28 March 2008 - 7 May 2008

    Reason - Governmental interference:

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    new elections

    Outcome - Decree revoked, reinstallation of

    elected FA officials

     

    Country - Iraq

    Date - 26 May 2008 - 29 May 2008

    Reason - Governmental interference:

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    Outcome - Exclusion of FA from dissolution

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    Country – Ethiopia

    Date - 29 July 2008 – July 22 2009

    Reason - Governmental interference:

    Dismissal of elected officials,

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    Outcome - New leaders elected for the country's soccer federation.

     

    Country – Samoa

    Date - 24 Oct. 2008 - 20 Dec. 2008

    Reason -Repeated management problems

    Outcome - Resolved

     

    Country - Peru

    Date - 25 Nov. 2008 - 20 Dec. 2008

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    Outcome- Resolved

     

    Country - Brunei Darussalam

    Date -29 Sept. 2009 - 1 June 2011 Governmental interference:

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    Outcome - FIFA’s conditions fulfilled and

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    Country - Iraq

    Date - 20 Nov. 2009 - 19 March 2010

    Reason - Governmental interference: Government

    controlled NOC dissolved FA

    Outcome - Dissolution of FA withdrawn

     

    Country - El Salvador

    Date - 11 May 2010 - 27 May 2010

    Reason - Governmental interference: Government

    did not accept FIFA’s normalization

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    Outcome - Legitimacy of normalization

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    recognized

     

    Country – Nigeria

    Date - 4 Oct. 2010 - 8 Oct. 2010

    Reason - Governmental interference: Court actions

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    Country – Bosnia

    Date -1 April 2011 1 - Jun 2011

     Reason - Mismanagement due to ethnic

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    Country - Belize

    17 June 2011 7- July 2011

    Reason - Failure of government to provide

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    Country – Cameroon

    Date - 4 July 2013 - 22 July 2013

    Reason - Governmental interference: Government refused to accept results of FA

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    Outcome - New elections organized, finally

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    Country – Nigeria  

    Jul 9, 2014 - Jul 18, 2014

    Reason – Government interference:

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    Outcome – Orders rescinded

     

    Country – Kuwait

    Date - Oct 16, 2015 - Dec 6, 2017

    Reason – Government interference

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    Country - Guatemala

    Date – Oct 28, 2016 - May 31, 2018

    Reason – Government interference: Local authorities had intervened with Normalisation Committee

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    Country - Sierra Leone

    Date - Oct 5, 2018 - Jun 3, 2019

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    Outcome – Resolved

     

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    An 8-2 humiliation against Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals capped a forgettable and trophy-less 2019-20 campaign for Barca.

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    "It was a strange season for everyone, with the coronavirus: we were unemployed for several months, then we had to start almost suddenly, with a strange calendar and no fans at the grounds."

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