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Ex Barca president Sandro Rosell, jailed without bail
A Spanish judge has ordered prison without bail for former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell, according to reports in Spain.

Rosell, his wife Marta Pineda and three other people were arrested in Spain on Tuesday as part of a money-laundering investigation known as “Operation Rimet” in reference to former FIFA president Jules Rimet.

Authorities said the operation used information from the FBI following the U.S. case against high-level FIFA officials in 2015.

Rosell has denied any wrongdoing and stood in front of magistrate Carmen Lamela on Thursday morning in Madrid where he offered testimony for two hours on charges of money laundering and belonging to a criminal organisation.

El Pais reported that the 53-year-old will remain in prison until he is to face trial as bail was not granted since Rosell is considered a potential flight-risk and to avoid any possible destruction of evidence.

Rosell, a former Nike executive in Brazil, is accused of having laundered €15 million in Andorra for audiovisual rights to Brazil matches, before he took over at Barcelona. Several years ago, Rosell was formally accused by Brazilian authorities of using one of his companies to illegally benefit from a friendly between Brazil and Portugal in 2008. Rosell was cleared of any wrongdoing at the time.

Rosell resigned as Barcelona president at the start of 2014 after four years in charge after being accused of misappropriation of funds from the €57m signing of Neymar from Brazilian club Santos.

Rosell and Bartomeu’s board had previously accused their predecessor at Barcelona, Joan Laporta and his board (16 members in total), of bankrupting Barcelona during their mandate.

On Thursday, Laporta was exonerated by the court.

“This board doesn’t deserve to continue because what they have done in during [the last] seven years to my board members has been a disgrace,” he said. “It’s been a huge lie and what’s more it was premeditated. They acted with ill intentions, they lied and they dedicated themselves to intoxicating and manipulating.”

Regarding the decision by the court to hold Rosell without bail, Laporta said; “I’m never happy when bad things happen to others, even if they’ve done damage to me. I feel bad when I think of their family and their children. And I also feel bad because it affects and tarnishes Barca’s image. It had been coming for a while.”

-ESPN

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Football News

Barcelona, Lionel Messi gives me Sleepless Nights – Antonio Conte

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Barcelona, Lionel Messi gives me Sleepless Nights - Antonio Conte

Barcelona, Lionel Messi gives me Sleepless Nights – Antonio Conte

Chelsea coach Antonio Conte has revealed that the thought of playing against Barcelona and Lionel Messi gives him sleepless nights.

The Italian’s men will host the Catalan giants in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday. According to him;

“In these days after the game in the FA Cup, I must be honest, it was a bit difficult to sleep well,” he said.

“When you have to play this type of game, you have to prepare. You have to prepare everything. You have to prepare big things, but the smaller details too.

“They can move a result a lot of the time. We have an idea. We have a plan in our heads. I think that, in this specific moment, it’s very important to pick the players who are at the top of their form and then try and do our best to win the game.”

Barcelona vs Chelsea meetings is best remembered by their semi-final meeting in this competition in 2012 when they surrendered a two-goal lead to crash out at the Nou Camp as Roberto Di Matteo’s side went on to lift the Champions League for the first time.

Lionel Messi will be hoping to score his first goal against Chelsea, having drawn a blank in his previous eight outings in this fixture.

Anthonio Conte however knows it will be difficult to keep Messi quiet. According to him,

“We are talking about the best player in the world,” he said when asked about a plan to cope with the Argentina ace.

“Messi has the capacity to solve the situation and create a chance when you are not seeing the chance to score.

“We are talking about a fantastic player. We have to pay great attention, but not only to Messi.

“We have to know that, during the game, we must be prepared to suffer. But, at the same time, we must have the idea to go and score at any moment.”

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Wigan Athletic Eliminates Manchester City from the FA Cup

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Wigan Athletic Eliminates Manchester City from the FA Cup

Wigan Athletic Eliminates Manchester City from the FA Cup

League 1 side Wigan Athletic stunned a 10-man Manchester City’s hopes of a quadruple with a shock 1-0 win in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Monday.

Will Grigg scored the winner for the underdogs in the 79th minute when he finished brilliantly from the edge of the box.

Manchester City dominated the match, having 29 shots and 83 per cent of the possession, despite Fabian Delph’s Red Card at the end of the first half for a high tackle on Max Power.

The defeat is City’s third of the season who had created enough good chances to win the game, especially in the first half, despite Wigan looking dangerous on the break.

 

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Romelu Lukaku Leads Manchester United into FA Cup quarter-finals

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Romelu Lukaku to appear in Los Angeles court today over July arrest

Romelu Lukaku Leads Manchester United into FA Cup quarter-finals

Manchester United has booked their place  in the FA Cup quarter-finals with a 2-0 win at Huddersfield on Saturday night.

It was more of a “Monkey working while the baboon eats” and a night of VAR controversy after Juan Mata’s goal was ruled out .

Romelu Lukaku found the back of the net  just three minutes after kick off and the second just after the break (55) – but it was Mata’s disallowed effort for which the game will be remembered for.

Romelu Lukaku Leads Manchester United into FA Cup quarter-finals

With VAR in use, Mata thought he had made it 2-0 just before half-time when breaking in behind and finishing past Jonas Lossl. However, after a big delay and confusion with the VAR pictures, Kevin Friend ruled out the goal as Mata’s knee was marginally offside despite the lines used by VAR not looking straight.

Huddersfield enjoyed plenty of possession and registered 19 shots on goal but United’s defence – marshalled by the excellent Chris Smalling – kept their eighth clean sheet from their last 10 matches.

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