Haiti and Guatemala confirmed their progression from Group B of the CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship after playing out a 1-1 draw, at the San Cristobal Pan-American Stadium, in the Dominican Republic on Monday.

The Guatemalans took the lead in the 21st minute through Celsa Sandoval before Haiti got their equalizer on the stroke of halftime through Rose-Alya Marcellus. Both teams got one red card each with Lesly Hernandez being dismissed for the Guatemalans and Withmilla Alcide seeing red for the Haitians.

With three teams advancing from each group and one match left in group play, Haiti and Guatemala both have four points to be first and second, while Jamaica are third on three points. Cuba sits last in the Group without a point.

The young Reggae Girlz will now go into their last match with Haiti knowing that a win, draw or a Cuban loss to Guatemala will be enough to send them through to the round of 16 stage. Both matches will be played on Wednesday.

Suriname, The Cayman Islands, Curacao, and Bermuda all automatically advanced to the round of 16 through the qualifying tournament, while the other 12 teams to advance alongside them will be determined by group play.

 

Markus Gisdol has resigned as Lokomotiv Moscow head coach in protest at Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The 52-year-old German was only appointed by Lokomotiv in October and had taken charge of just 12 matches.

However, as a result of events unfolding in Ukraine, the Russian club announced on their official website on Tuesday that Gisdol has left his position.

Marvin Compper has been named interim head coach ahead of Thursday's Russian Cup clash with Yenisey Krasnoyarsk.

Explaining his reasons for stepping aside, Gisdol told German outlet Bild that he is "absolutely convinced" he made the right decision given the ongoing events.

"Football coaching is the best job in the world. But I can't pursue my calling in a country whose leader is responsible for a war of aggression in the middle of Europe," he said. 

"That is not in line with my values, which is why I have resigned from my position as coach of Lokomotiv Moscow with immediate effect. 

"I can't stand on the training ground in Moscow and demand professionalism when a few kilometres away orders are given that bring great suffering to an entire people. 

"That is my personal decision and I am absolutely convinced of it."

Gisdol had previously spent his whole playing and coaching career in Germany, most recently taking charge of Cologne for two years prior to his sacking last April.

The announcement from Gisdol comes a day after FIFA and UEFA confirmed Russian teams have been suspended from international and club competitions until further notice.

Lokomotiv had already been eliminated from the Europa League after finishing bottom of their group in December.

Cameroon have sacked Toni Conceicao and appointed Rigobert Song as their new head coach.

The change of manager was made on the orders of the country's president, Paul Biya, on the back of last month's Africa Cup of Nations disappointment.

The Indomitable Lions had been targeting continental glory on home soil, only to suffer a penalty shoot-out defeat to Egypt in the semi-finals en route to finishing third.

Conceicao was appointed in 2019 and also guided Cameroon to the 2022 World Cup qualifying play-offs, with a two-legged tie against Algeria coming up later this month.

However, the 60-year-old will not be in charge for that upcoming double-header, with the Cameroonian Football Federation confirming his departure on Monday.

Cameroon announced shortly after that Song, the nation's most capped player with 137 appearances, will succeed Conceicao with immediate effect.

A statement signed by Minister of Sports Narcisse Mouelle Kombi read: "On very high instructions from the President of the Republic, the coach of the men's national football team, Mr Antonio Conceicao, has been replaced by Rigobert Song.

"The Cameroonian Football Federation is invited to take the necessary measures for a rapid and harmonious implementation of these very high directives."

Song had spells with Liverpool and West Ham during his playing career and helped Cameroon to two Africa Cup of Nations crowns.  

The 45-year-old has more recently spent time coaching Cameroon's Under-23s side and had a short stint as caretaker boss of the senior side in 2018.

He will be assisted in the role by former Equatorial Guinea and Kenya boss Sebastien Migne.

Manchester United have to be "dreaming" of landing players like Erling Haaland says Dimitar Berbatov, who also defended Cristiano Ronaldo's recent performances for the Red Devils.

Interim boss Ralf Rangnick was recently filmed on a video clip posted to social media saying "Who? What are you dreaming at night?!" in response to a fan asking if United were going to sign Borussia Dortmund star Haaland.

The Norway striker certainly has no shortage of suitors with the likes of Manchester City, Real Madrid and Barcelona all heavily linked with the superstar forward.

With United way off the pace in the Premier League and firmly remaining outsiders in the hunt for the Champions League, Rangnick was perhaps not too far wide of the mark when suggesting Haaland is out of reach for now.

But former United striker Berbatov believes Haaland is the kind of player United have to once again think about signing to restore their standing among the elite clubs in Europe.

"I saw the video going around social media of Ralf Rangnick laughing off Erling Haaland signing for United," Berbatov told Betfair, in quotes reported by several British newspapers.

"He told a fan that they 'must be dreaming' about signing him, maybe that's a sign that they can't afford him or it's not possible for him to move to the club at this moment in time when they aren't producing good enough football to get his interest, maybe that's what he meant.

"For me they need to go back to those high standards of performance that they used to set, so that they can attract big players.

"Everybody wants him in summer and maybe Rangnick was being realistic. It's not a great look, though, and in this day and age you have to be careful because you can end up in a moment where you need to explain yourself.

"You must be mad to not want a player like Haaland in your team, so maybe Ralf Rangnick should start dreaming."

One superstar whose future at United remains a little unclear is veteran forward Ronaldo, who made a sensational return to Old Trafford in August.

Ronaldo is United's top scorer this season but he has netted only once in 2022, while his comeback has coincided with a campaign that saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sacked and persistent rumours of dressing room unrest among the squad.

Berbatov, though, suggested the 37-year-old is allowed to have bad games and said the onus is on his team-mates to produce the goods when he is not playing at his best.

"When teams have a bad result the star players always end up with the blame, and at the minute with Manchester United, that's Cristiano Ronaldo," said Berbatov, who played alongside Ronaldo during his four years at Old Trafford.

"At the moment he's got just one goal in 10 games and that seems problematic for everybody, but not for me.

"There are eleven players on the pitch and the blame should be shared. Ronaldo is an icon in the world of football and people need to remember that he's 37.

"So, from time to time he is allowed to have a couple of bad games. But I don't think that is the problem here.

"People need to be realistic with him and they need to know that it's totally different when you're 37 to being 27.

"He is going to have moments when he needs his team-mates to produce more for him, that's normal in football. Ronaldo is a total professional and he will speak to the manager and he will want to produce more.

"Everybody in the United team needs to produce more, the standards should be a lot higher than they are.

"Ronaldo is also a realistic guy, he will know that his performances aren't where he wants them to be, even though he's older and his game is totally different, he sets very high standards. I don't think that needs explaining to him."

Antonio Conte insists his outburst following Tottenham's recent loss to Burnley was "strategic" rather than emotional as he reiterated his commitment to the Premier League side.

The 52-year-old appeared to question his own future after last week's 1-0 defeat at Turf Moor when stating he was "not good enough" to fix Spurs' problems.

Conte, who signed an 18-month contract with Tottenham in November, later took aim at his squad on the back of a fourth defeat in five league matches.

That led to reports that the Italian could be heading for an early exit from Spurs, but he backtracked on those comments ahead of Saturday's 4-0 win at Leeds United.

Conte has now further explained his remarks, admitting there is a specific intention behind what he says in news conferences.

"I think that you have to understand when there is a strategy or not and not only an emotional moment," he said.

"It is not right to stay here and explain why I talk in a way and after three days I spoke in another way. 

"Maybe I can explain to you, every time we have a press conference there is a strategy behind it, not an emotional moment.

"I understood that was the right moment, after four defeats in five games and winning the game against Manchester City three days ago, to send the right message, a clear message to myself, the club and also the players.

"We have to know we are here to enjoy football, at the same time to improve ourselves, to ask to ourselves for 100 per cent commitment and desire and also to underline that a team like Tottenham does not exist to lose four games in five.

"If someone understood that my words were from an emotional moment, no. In that moment I sent a specific message to the whole environment and it has happened in the past, when I want to push the situation and the environment in the same direction, because I am seeing we can do better, it is not because it is an emotional moment, it is because there is a strategy behind it.

"Maybe I can explain to you, every time we have a press conference there is a strategy behind it, not an emotional moment."

Tottenham moved back up to seventh with their morale-boosting victory at Elland Road, five points off fourth-placed Manchester United with two games in hand.

Spurs switch focus to the FA Cup on Tuesday with a fifth-round tie away at second-tier side Middlesbrough, who eliminated United on penalties in the previous round.

The north London side have not reached the quarter-finals of the competition since 2017-18 and have not won any silverware since lifting the EFL Cup in 2008.

Conte has made clear that he intends to win at least one trophy during his time with Spurs, but he accepts he has a big task on his hands with Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool still involved.

"For sure it's a big challenge for me, for my players because maybe you start this tournament as underdog," said Conte, who has lost only one of his 11 domestic cup matches against sides from a lower division (W8 D2).

"But at the same time you know when you arrive to play this game and you know that there are only four games to reach the final and you start to feel the possibility to see the target, to see the goal close to you and then for this reason we have to try to push ourselves to go ahead in this competition and to try to create problems for the team that usually at this moment they are favourites to win this trophy."

Including replays, Tottenham have never lost to Middlesbrough in the FA Cup (W4 D2), though those two draws have come as the away side in February 1905 and January 2020.

Kylian Mbappe is widely expected to join Real Madrid at the end of this season.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward is out of contract and has not renewed with the French giants.

Madrid have long admired Mbappe and attempted an audacious bid to sign him in August.

TOP STORY – PSG STEP UP MBAPPE RENEWAL BID

Paris Saint-Germain are ramping up their efforts to convince Mbappe to renew with the club, reports Marca.

Mbappe has previously hinted he will join Madrid at the end of this season when his PSG contract expires.

PSG are pulling out all the stops to persuade Mbappe, who has been with the club since 2017.

 

ROUND-UP

- MLS club LA Galaxy have enquired about PSG defender Sergio Ramos according to Footmercato. Ramos has made five appearances for PSG since his off-season move and may be available on a free transfer.

- Manchester United are not willing to match Napoli's eye-watering £100m price tag for Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen reports the Daily Star.

- Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Juventus are hopeful that they can retain Spanish forward Alvaro Morata, who is on loan from Atletico Madrid.

- Juventus are also in front in the race to sign Roma winger Nicolo Zaniolo, who is yet to recommit to the Giallorossi, claims Gazzetta dello Sport.

- Fulham want to sign ex-Manchester City and Liverpool forward Mario Balotelli if they win promotion back to the Premier League, claims Turkish outfit Star. Balotelli currently plays his football in Turkey with Adana Demirspor, with good form prompting an Italy recall.

Goals from Kameron Simmonds and Christina Salmon led Jamaica to a 3-0 victory over Cuba at the Concacaf U20 Women Championships in the Dominican Republic on Monday.

The Russian Football Union (RFU) has responded to the ban of Russian teams by FIFA and UEFA, saying it "categorically disagrees with" and could yet challenge the decision.

The two governing bodies have suspended Russian teams from club and international competitions until further notice, denying them entry to the 2022 World Cup and Women's Euro 2022.

Spartak Moscow will be removed from the Europa League, where they had been set to face RB Leipzig in the last 16.

The sanctions were imposed on Russia on Monday following Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine last week.

A subsequent statement from the RFU suggested it could investigate avenues for an appeal "in accordance with international sports law".

It read: "The Russian Football Union categorically disagrees with the decision of FIFA and UEFA to suspend all Russian teams from participating in international matches for an indefinite period.

"We believe that this decision is contrary to the norms and principles of international competitions, as well as to the sporting spirit.

"It is obviously discriminatory in nature and harms a huge number of athletes, coaches, employees of clubs and national teams, and most importantly, millions of Russian and foreign fans, whose interests international sports organisations should primarily protect.

"Such actions divide the world sports community, which has always adhered to the principles of equality, mutual respect and independence from politics.

"We reserve the right to challenge the decision of FIFA and UEFA in accordance with international sports law."

Barcelona president Joan Laporta hopes Ousmane Dembele changes his stance and reconsiders the contract offer from the Catalan club.

Dembele has failed to agree an extension to his current contract, which is due to expire at the end of this season, leading to a spell on the sidelines in January as the winger became an unpopular figure with fans at Camp Nou.

The 24-year-old did not secure a move away from Barca last month, and head coach Xavi has slowly reintroduced him.

Dembele delivered a masterful attacking show in a 23-minute cameo against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday, scoring one and assisting two more as Barca cruised to a 4-0 victory.

That made him the first Blaugrana substitute to play a part in three goals in a single LaLiga game this century, and Laporta expressed his hopes the former Borussia Dortmund could yet stay.

"Dembele knows our offer and that we have always wanted him to stay. We hope that at the end of the season he will reconsider it," Laporta said on Monday, as quoted by Cadena SERe.

While Dembele shone against Athletic, Xavi also reserved special praise after the game for Pedri, who he compared to former team-mate Andres Iniesta.

The Spain midfielder attempted (92) and completed (86) more passes on Sunday than in any prior LaLiga match for Barca, also setting a new high for touches (107).

Laporta followed Xavi's plaudits as he hailed the former Las Palmas man's recent outings.

"[Pedri] is destined to be one of the best players in the world, if not the best, but he knows that he has to work hard," Laporta said.

Andre Onana acknowledged his "time is over in Ajax" as he seems set to move to Inter but insisted he would step in for Erik ten Hag's men this season if needed.

Onana, 25, is expected to join reigning Serie A champions Inter next season, with his current contract set to expire at the end of the current campaign.

Reports in Italy suggested the Cameroon goalkeeper underwent a medical at Simone Inzaghi's side in January ahead of a potential move.

Onana has come under scrutiny for his decision to turn down new terms with Eredivisie champions Ajax, who he joined from Barcelona in 2015.

"I did my best for this club, so I think it's important for me to look for a new challenge," he told Dutch broadcaster NOS. "I believe it is my right to sign or not to sign a new contract.

"In the end, life revolves around making choices. I believe I have done a great job for this club for many years, and now I think my time at Ajax is over."

Onana returned to the team for Sunday's 2-1 defeat to Go Ahead Eagles after Remko Pasveer sustained a finger injury that could keep him out for eight weeks.

Jay Gorter, another of Ten Hag's options in goal, is also out for two weeks as Ajax prepare to face AZ in the semi-final of the KNVB Beker on Thursday.

Onana's appearance against Go Ahead Eagles was his first league outing since January 2021, but he assured he will be available whenever required for his current side.

"I'm used to playing big games; for me, it's nothing new," he added. "If I have to play, I will play; if I don't have to play, I will support the team as I always do. 

"I'm just here to help the team, and if the team needs me, I will be available – because at the end of the day, I still have a contract with Ajax."

FIFA and UEFA have banned Russian teams from club and international competitions, denying them entry to the 2022 World Cup and Women's Euro 2022.

The decision means Spartak Moscow will be removed from the Europa League last 16, where they were due to face RB Leipzig.

UEFA has also ended its relationship with Gazprom, the Russian state-owned energy giant that was a major sponsor of the Champions League.

A joint statement from FIFA and UEFA read: "Football is fully united here and in full solidarity with all the people affected in Ukraine.

"Both presidents [Gianni Infantino and Aleksander Ceferin] hope that the situation in Ukraine will improve significantly and rapidly so that football can again be a vector for unity and peace amongst people."

The sporting world has called for sanctions to be imposed on Russia following Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine last week.

Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic – Russia's World Cup play-off opponents – all announced an intention to boycott their fixtures, although FIFA's initial sanctions allowed the Russian Football Union to put forward a team playing under a different name and flag in a neutral location.

But this FIFA decision was widely criticised, including by players' union FIFPro, which wanted more than "the lightest of sanctions" and said Russia's continued involvement in international competition was "not a possibility".

That was a view shared on Monday by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which said Russian and Belarusian athletes should be excluded from sporting events to "protect the integrity of global sports competitions".

FIFA subsequently changed its stance in a joint-announcement with UEFA, ruling Russia – hosts of the 2018 World Cup – out of tournaments including this year's two showpiece events in Qatar and England.

Russia were set to face Poland and then either Sweden or the Czech Republic in World Cup qualifying, while they had already reached the Women's Euros, drawn into a group with Sweden, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

The United States on Monday joined the growing number of nations to refuse to line up against Russia at any level of football.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine last Thursday has led to widespread condemnation across the globe, and the world of sport has also responded strongly.

In football, UEFA stripped St Petersburg of this season's Champions League final and ordered any Russian teams featuring in their club competitions to play their home matches at neutral venues.

Over the weekend, the football associations of Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic – who were drawn in the same play-off pathway as Russia in next month's World Cup qualifiers – insisted they would not play against the Russian team, while the English FA also stated they would boycott any upcoming matches against Russia at any level.

On Sunday, FIFA announced Russia would have to play all matches under a neutral banner, at neutral venues behind closed doors, without their flag being displayed or their anthem played, although the decision was criticised as it stopped short of a ban on the national team.

The pressure on FIFA to hand out stricter punishment grew further on Monday, as the United States Soccer Federation confirmed it would not play against Russia in a strong statement.

"The U.S. Soccer Federation stands united with the people of Ukraine and is unequivocal in our denunciation of the heinous and inhumane invasion by Russia," the statement read. 

"We will neither tarnish our global name, or dishonour Ukraine, by taking the same field as Russia, no matter the level of competition or circumstance, until freedom and peace have been restored."

Earlier on Monday, the International Olympic Committee said athletes and officials from Russia and Belarus, whose government has abetted the Ukraine invasion through military access, should not be allowed to take part in any international sporting competition.

Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte claimed winning trophies in Europe is easier than succeeding in England ahead of an FA Cup clash with Middlesbrough.

Spurs sit seventh in the Premier League after a 4-0 demolition of Leeds United, five points behind fourth-placed Manchester United, who have played a game more.

Conte's side are still in contention for the FA Cup as well, in which they face Chris Wilder's Middlesbrough on Tuesday, while the north London club were knocked out in the EFL Cup semi-final by Chelsea, who lost the final to Liverpool on Sunday.

Conte insisted it will be a difficult challenge to lift a domestic trophy at the end of the season, given the quality of competition in England.

"To win trophies in England, as I said before, is very difficult," he told reporters at Monday's pre-match news conference. "At the moment it's easier to win in Europe than England. 

"When you start to play the quarter-final, semi-final, final, you have to fight against a top, top team that probably could play the final of the Champions League. It's important to continue to go through in this trophy.

"This happened in the EFL Cup, don't underestimate the semi-final Tottenham reached, because the final was Chelsea versus Liverpool, so to reach the semi-final was a good result for Tottenham. 

"This has to be a boost to push us to improve the level, to be competitive, to try to meet a trophy as soon as possible, because if I speak about the future, you don't understand the time that we need.

"It'll be important to improve the level and fight to win a trophy. But I repeat, to win a trophy now is very difficult."

Conte reached successive FA Cup finals during his two-season stint at Chelsea, overcoming Manchester United in the latter in 2018.

The Italian is hoping to reach Wembley Stadium for a third time this campaign, but implored his side to show greater consistency if they are to end the club's wait for silverware.

"I'm not desperate but you know very well I want to win," he added.

"But I'm not desperate or it would be very hard to continue. For sure it's a great competition and previously I was lucky to reach the [FA Cup] final two years in a row. 

"I'd like to continue this tradition for Tottenham, especially for my players, especially the fans and the club, not only for me.

"But you know this trophy is not simple or easy, and tomorrow we have to face Middlesbrough, a tough game. Middlesbrough eliminated Manchester United from this competition. 

"I want to see continuity in the performance and result of my players. We need continuity to show that in defeat we are learning something more.

"Also I want to celebrate the game between Chelsea and Liverpool yesterday, it was a great, exciting game to watch. 

"This also underlines how difficult it is to win trophies in this country. It was amazing for me and all the people in other countries to watch this game. 

"Great congratulations from me to Chelsea and Liverpool, the players, the coach, for the fans, for the total environment it was a fantastic advert for football. I think that England has to be proud about this."

Athletes and officials from Russia and Belarus should be prevented from taking part in all international sporting competitions, the International Olympic Committee said.

In a statement issued on Monday, the IOC's executive board accused the governments of Russia and Belarus of a "breach of the Olympic Truce" following the attack on Ukraine.

Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine last Thursday, with neighbouring Belarus effectively used as a staging post for Russian military.

The IOC accepted athletes from both countries did not deserve to be punished simply for the actions of their governments. However, because the war in Ukraine prevents many Ukrainians from taking part in sporting events, the IOC said they were left with "a dilemma which cannot be solved".

It added: "The IOC EB has therefore today carefully considered the situation and, with a heavy heart, issued the following resolution:

"In order to protect the integrity of global sports competitions and for the safety of all the participants, the IOC EB recommends that International Sports Federations and sports event organisers not invite or allow the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials in international competitions.

"Wherever this is not possible on short notice for organisational or legal reasons, the IOC EB strongly urges International Sports Federations and organisers of sports events worldwide to do everything in their power to ensure that no athlete or sports official from Russia or Belarus be allowed to take part under the name of Russia or Belarus. Russian or Belarusian nationals, be it as individuals or teams, should be accepted only as neutral athletes or neutral teams. No national symbols, colours, flags or anthems should be displayed."

The IOC's announcement is expected to hasten a decision from FIFA over whether Russia will be allowed to compete in the World Cup play-offs in March.

Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic all declared they would not play against Russia due to the Ukraine conflict, but world football's governing body initially chose only to ban the country's anthem and flag from matches and order them to play as the Football Union of Russia (RFU).

Russian tennis player Daniil Medvedev was confirmed as the new leader of the ATP world rankings on Monday, becoming the first man since Andy Roddick in 2004 to become world number one other than Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Andy Murray.

Pep Guardiola admitted Everton should have had a penalty for handball against Rodri in Manchester City's win at Goodison Park on Saturday.

Phil Foden struck eight minutes from time to seal a 1-0 victory for the leaders that moved them six points clear at the top of the Premier League.

Everton were denied the chance for a late equaliser from the penalty spot when neither referee Paul Tierney nor VAR felt Rodri should be punished for the ball striking his arm in the City box.

After the match, Guardiola felt the decision likely went in his side's favour due to offside in the build-up, but the Premier League clarified that the penalty was not awarded simply because there was insufficient evidence to show the ball struck Rodri below the level of his armpit, which is used as a cut-off point for handball.

Everton reportedly lodged a complaint with the league over recent refereeing decisions after boss Frank Lampard was left furious following the City defeat.

While Guardiola dismissed the idea that the decision could have lasting consequences for the season, he accepted Everton were unfortunate.

Speaking ahead of City's FA Cup clash with Championship side Peterborough United, Guardiola said: "Can this episode affect a whole season? I will review a lot of incidents. It looks offside for Richarlison; if it's not offside, it's a penalty."

Guardiola's men meet Peterborough on Tuesday aiming to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup for the fifth time since he took over as manager in 2016.

Goalkeeper Zack Steffen will miss out through injury, but Oleksandr Zinchenko is set to play after being an unused substitute against Everton.

Guardiola said it would be a good chance for the Ukraine international to "show the reason why he is here", adding he was a "magnificent player" who has remained committed amid the crisis in his homeland following Russia's invasion.

The City manager also paid tribute to Marcelo Bielsa, who left as Leeds United boss on Sunday following a dreadful run of results that culminated in a 4-0 home defeat to Tottenham.

"I'm so sorry for him," he said. "His legacy is there in the Leeds city, the club, the players. His influence is massive.

"Unfortunately, the manager goes by results and, lately, it was not good. The game he has played for three, four seasons in Leeds was spectacular to watch and of course, I wish him all the best.

"It will be a loss to Leeds and his players. As a person, he's not different to anyone. Results dictate our future."

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