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Nemanja Vidic discusses the time Chelsea legend Didier Drogba wanted to punch him

The two former players had a string of battles while playing against each other (Picture: Getty) Former Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic has spoken about the time he nearly came to blows with Didier Drogba in one of his many on-pitch battles with the ex-Chelsea frontman. The two sides dominated the Premier League over a period of seven years with Vidic arriving in 2006 – just after Jose Mourinhos second title-winning season at Stamford Bridge – from Spartak Moscow. The Serbs physical duels with Drogba were one of the hallmarks of the matches between the two teams, though Vidic admits things nearly spilled over in the Champions League final in Moscow in 2008. Vidic says Drogba wanted to punch him in Moscow, though he only got a little slap (Picture: Getty) Speaking to The Athletic, the former centre-back recalled: Drogba wanted to punch me during the game. At first I was thinking: “What is he doing?” Then I went towards him. I was stupid, so was he. He was sent off. Advert..

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Barty reclaims number one spot, Andreescu up to fifth

REUTERS: Australia's Ash Barty has reclaimed the number one spot in the WTA rankings less than a month after losing it while US Open champion Bianca Andreescu moved up to a career-high fifth after her maiden Grand Slam win in New York. Andreescu beat Serena Williams 6-3 7-5 in Saturday's final to maintain a 13-match unbeaten run, where she also won the Canadian Open, to break into the top 10 for the first time in her career. Advertisement Advertisement "I don't want to take anything for granted. These are the moments you live for and I'm just beyond blessed," Andreescu, who moved up 10 places, told Reuters. After taking the first set and leading 5-1 in the second, Andreescu was broken twice by 23-times Grand Slam winner Williams before eventually breaking back and winning the contest to become the first Canadian to win a major in the professional era. "It definitely wasn't easy in the final against Serena Williams," the 19-year-old added. "I think I'..

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IAAF bans former Diack lawyer Cisse for life

REUTERS: Habib Cisse, former legal adviser to disgraced IAAF ex-president Lamine Diack, has been banned for life for corruption and fined US$25,000, the IAAF Ethics Board said on Monday. The IAAF said its ethics panel had found Cisse guilty of helping to cover up doping violations by Lilya Shobukhova "and other Russian athletes". Advertisement Advertisement Cisse was accused by independent investigator Dick Pound in 2016 of being part of a clique run by Diack that covered up organised doping in the sport. Diack, who is to be tried in France on charges of corruption and money laundering, diverted the handling of Russian doping cases to Cisse, who was serving at the time as the Senegalese's personal lawyer. "The decision (to ban Cisse) enters into force on 9 September 2019, being the date on which the decision was communicated to the parties," the IAAF said in a statement on its website. The world governing body added that

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Haas F1 team parts company with title sponsor Rich Energy

MONZA, Italy: Haas F1 and title sponsor Rich Energy have parted company after 14 races together, the U.S.-owned Formula One team announced on Monday. A Haas spokesman said the cars would retain the black and gold livery for the rest of the season but without the energy drink company's branding. Advertisement Advertisement "Haas F1 Team and Rich Energy have amicably agreed to end their partnership together in the FIA Formula One world championship with immediate effect," the team said in a statement. It said Rich Energy needed a revised global strategy due to a 'corporate restructuring process' and a termination of the agreement was best for both parties. The title sponsorship had been in doubt for some time, with Rich Energy posting on Twitter in July that they had terminated the contract. Shareholders later said in a statement issued by the team that those comments were unauthorised and the 'rogue actions' of one individual. Advertisement Advertisemen..

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Great Eastern and ActiveSG launch personal accident protection plan

SINGAPORE – Life insurance firm Great Eastern and ActiveSG have partnered to launch Active Care, a personal accident protection plan, on Monday (Sept 9) to encourage people to lead healthy lives without worrying about accidents and injuries. The plan offers 24/7 coverage, which is not limited to sports, for those between three and 70 years old. Active Care is available exclusively to ActiveSG members for $9 annually and the scheme includes accidental death or permanent total disablement protection of up to $20,000 and medical expense reimbursements of up to $200. George Chan, whose son Gabriel is a participant in the ActiveSG Football Academy, said: "Active Care is a convenient initiative that offers parents like me an added peace of mind whenever we decide to participate in sporting activities ranging from a simple jog around our estate to group zumba workouts at the stadium." For every plan purchased, members earn a rebate of $2 that is directly credited to their ActiveSG Wallet...

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Football: Belgium boss Roberto Martinez backs ‘focused’ Romelu Lukaku to fire for new club and country

(REUTERS) – Leaving Manchester United for Inter Milan has reinvigorated Romelu Lukaku and the striker is happy and hungry as he enters an important phase of his playing career, Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has said. The Belgium international joined Inter last month, ending a two-year spell at United, which began well, but ended with him battling for a place in the team. The 26-year-old has scored two league goals in as many games in Italy and Martinez is confident Lukaku's bright start to life in Serie A can translate into success for the national team. "This is the first time I've seen him free and happy. Going back to many camps, I've not seen Rom so focused, so happy, so refreshed by the new challenge," Martinez, who previously coached Lukaku at English Premier League club Everton, told reporters ahead of Monday's (Sept 9) Euro 2020 qualifier in Scotland. "I think he's now ready to face one of the biggest chapters in his career with the Inter move. H..

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Football: Iranians should be safe for World Cup qualifier despite protests, says Hong Kong coach

HONG KONG (REUTERS) – Iran's footballers have nothing to fear from anti-government protests in Hong Kong, said the head coach of the city's representative team, despite an unsuccessful bid by the visitors to play Tuesday's (Sept 10) World Cup qualifier at a neutral venue. Last week, Fifa and the Asian Football Confederation turned down a request from the Football Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran to move the game outside Hong Kong owing to the protests that have hit the city over the past three months. But Hong Kong coach Mixu Paatelainen stressed that the visitors should not be affected during their stay in the Asian financial hub. "One thing I know is that Hong Kong is a safe place for any team to come and play," said the former Dundee United and Bolton Wanderers striker. "Protesters don't come to protest against these teams who come here to play sport. There's no problem at all. "I know that the Iran team will be safe and they can prepare here ..

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Gareth Southgate casts doubt over Marcus Rashfords ability to play as a No.9 for England

Marcus Rashford played the full 90 minutes as England thrashed Bulgaria 4-0 on Saturday (Picture: Getty) Gareth Southgate has admitted that he is uncertain about Marcus Rashfords suitability to play as a central striker, claiming the Manchester United forward does his best work out wide. The 21-year-old was tipped to lead the line for United this season following the departures of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez but he has tended to play from the left with Anthony Martial preferred through the middle. Rashford scored twice during Uniteds 4-0 win over Chelsea on the opening day of the season, but he has failed to find the target in four matches since for both club and country. Southgate stated that Rashfords hold-up play isnt as effective as his strike partner Harry Kane and instead considers him as more of a wide raider who can cause damage when floating in off the flank. Gareth Southgate believes Rashford is better suited to a wide role (Picture: Getty) When asked whether Rashfo..

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Samuel Umtiti discusses Arsenal rumours and bursts out laughing at Alexandre Lacazettes transfer plea

The centre-back found his old Lyon teammates plea for a reunion very amusing (Picture: Canal+) Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti has laughed off reports that Arsenal tried to sign him over the summer despite Alexandre Lacazette making a plea for the centre-back to join. Gunners boss Unai Emery was eager to strengthen his defence during the transfer window and eventually brought in David Luiz from Chelsea in an £8million deal on deadline day. Arsenal had been linked with a move for Umtiti – among a number of other top centre-backs – but the France international says, to his knowledge, there was never anything of substance to the rumours. Umtiti lost his starting place last season and was linked with a transfer away (Picture: Getty) In a sit-down interview with Canal Football Club on Sunday, Umtiti was shown a clip of old Lyon teammate Lacazette trying to set up a reunion at Arsenal, but only burst out laughing. Advertisement Advertisement Honestly, I dont know where this rumou..

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Eddie Hearn explains why he believes Deontay Wilder v Tyson Fury rematch might not happen

The promoter is sceptical about the two heavyweights actually facing off again next year (Picture: Getty) Eddie Hearn has questioned whether a rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury will actually go ahead and has mocked the lack of hype surrounding the Gypsy Kings next bout. Fury takes on Otto Wallin in Las Vegas next weekend, which is expected to be his final outing before a long-awaited rematch with WBC heavyweight champion Wilder in February 2020. But the Bronze Bomber has said recently that he would want Fury to step aside so he can unify the division against the winner of Andy Ruiz v Anthony Joshua, and AJs promoter isnt sure the fight will go ahead. Hearn made similar claims before Fury and Wilders first fight last December (Picture: Getty) Speaking about the much-anticipated rematch between Fury and Wilder, Hearn told IFL TV: God knows if that will even happen. Advertisement Advertisement One, he [Wilder] hasnt announced his Luis Ortiz fight yet. I understand t..

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