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Melbourne City have bounced back in a big way defeating Melbourne Victory in a highly entertaining 3-2 win at Epping Stadium.

A week after a 6-0 drubbing at the hands of their opponents, Harriet Withers slotted the ball home in the dying moments to seal a much-needed W-League win for City.

It was a tale of two halves as Melbourne City dominated the first half and had a 2-0 lead at the break thanks to goals from new signing Alex Chidiac and an own-goal from Claudia Bunge.

Fans throw glass bottle at keeper

Fans throw glass bottle at keeper

1:38

Alexandra Chidiac of Melbourne City celebrates her goal with her teammates.
Alexandra Chidiac of Melbourne City celebrates her goal with her teammates.Source: Getty Images



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Josep Maria Bartomeu, Barcagate, defamation, arrest, jail, scandal, elections,

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Former Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu was conditionally released on Tuesday after appearing before a judge looking into last year’s “Barcagate” scandal, just days before the club holds presidential elections.

Bartomeu and his former advisor Jaume Masferrer exercised their right not to speak when they were questioned by the judge following a night in jail, the Barcelona court said in a statement.

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Former Barcelona President arrested | 00:39

Police arrested the pair along with two other club officials, and searched Barcelona’s stadium, on Monday as part of a probe into allegations the club carried out a defamation campaign against current and former players who were critical of Bartomeu.

Spanish radio station Cadena Ser claimed in February 2020 that Barca covered up inflated payments to a company called I3 Ventures which it had hired to boost the image of the club on social media.

Part of the social media campaign included criticising current and former players like Lionel Messi and Xavi Hernandez, and iconic coach Pep Guardiola.

Messi described the controversy as “strange” in an interview with Catalan newspaper Mundo Deportivo.

Cadena Ser claimed Barca made its payments to I3 Ventures in smaller, separate amounts to avoid the club’s financial controls.

Emili Rousaud, who resigned as Barcelona vice-president in March last year, said in an interview with RAC1 at the time: “If the auditors tell us the cost of these services is 100,000 euros and we have paid one million, it means someone has had their hand in the till.” The club took legal action against him. He was among six Barca executives to leave their posts last year, with a joint letter citing the scandal as a key issue needing to be resolved.

Madrid struggle to draw with Sociedad | 00:53

– ‘Juggling everything’ –

The Barcelona court said Tuesday that the investigating judge wanted to question Bartomeu and Masferrer as part of an investigation opened in May 2020 into the suspected crimes of false administration and business corruption.

Bartomeu has said I3 Ventures had been hired only to monitor posts on social media.

“Let one thing be clear,” he said. “To the question: Have we commissioned the monitoring of social networks? The answer is yes.

“To the question: Have we commissioned to discredit people or institutions through social networks? The answer is no and we will take action against all those who accuse us of that.” Bartomeu also announced an internal audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers, which cleared the club of financial corruption in July but found that “internal approval protocols were not respected” when the contract was awarded to I3 Ventures.

Bartomeu resigned in October, avoiding a vote of no confidence triggered after more than 20,000 club members signed a petition against him.

His departure came in the same month Barcelona announced losses of 97 million euros ($114 million USD) for last season and debts that had more than doubled to 488 million euros.

As well as a series of political blunders, Bartomeu had also overseen a dramatic decline in performances on the pitch and a personal falling-out with Messi, who tried to leave for free last summer.

Messi accused the club of “always juggling everything and plugging gaps” under Bartomeu’s leadership.

World Cup qualifying gets centralised | 00:33

– Reputation hit –

Bartomeu’s successor is due to be elected on Sunday, when club members will choose between the final three candidates, Joan Laporta, Toni Freixa and Victor Font.

Laporta, a former Barcelona president who is the front-runner in the race, said the arrests “diminish the reputation of the club”.

Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman said Tuesday the arrests were “not good” for the image of the 26-time Spanish champions.

“We have to wait to see what happens,” Koeman said. “I feel bad for them, Bartomeu for me has always been an exceptional person,” he added.

Asked if the he felt that affair would hurt the Spanish league’s brand abroad, La Liga president Javier Tebas said: “I don’t think so, the brand La Liga has built in recent years is very strong and it won’t affect it.” “But it is not good for the reputation of La Liga what happened yesterday, even if it does not affect it,” he added.

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Swedish football star doubles down on criticism, NBA, latest news

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Less than a week after Zlatan Ibrahimovic said LeBron James should “do what you’re good at” and stay out of politics, the Swedish soccer player doubled down on and continued to push the notion that athletes should just be athletes.

“Athletes unite the world, politics divide it,” Ibrahimovic said at a news conference, per ESPN. “Our role is to unite the world by doing what we do best. Athletes should be athletes and politicians should do politics.”

During an interview for Discovery+ in Sweden, Ibrahimovic said he didn’t like that James was using his celebrity to “go and do politics at the same time.”

“Do what you’re good at. Do the category you do,” he said. “I play football because I’m the best at playing football. I don’t do politics. If I would be a political politician, I would do politics.

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Simmons drops 18 points on Pacers | 01:35

“That is the big first mistake people do when they become famous and they become in a certain status. Stay out of it. Just do what you do best because it doesn’t look good.”

James has been a prominent advocate for racial justice throughout his 18-year NBA career. He was an outspoken critic of former President Donald Trump and has never shied away from expressing his political opinions.

Additionally, the four-time NBA champion has focused on police brutality. After Jacob Blake was shot by police in Wisconsin last summer, James sought advice from former President Barack Obama.

Following the Lakers’ win over the Trail Blazers at the end of February, James addressed Ibrahimovic’s comments, saying he wouldn’t take the unsolicited advice and mentioned that he had a responsibility to “preach about equality.”

“I preach about my people, and I preach about equality,” James told reporters. “Social injustice. Racism. Systematic voter suppression. Things that go on in our community.

“Because I was a part of my community at one point and saw the things that was going on, and I know what’s going on still because I have a group of 300-plus kids at my school that are going through the same thing, and they need a voice. And I’m their voice. I’m their voice, and I use my platform to continue to shed light on everything that may be going on, not only in my community, but around this country and around the world.”

This story originally appeared on New York Post

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Socceroos no longer travelling to Kathmandu

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The Socceroos’ March 30 World Cup qualifier against Nepal in Kathmandu has been postponed.

Due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on travel, the game – as well as Australia’s other three remaining matches in the current round of qualifiers against Kuwait, Chinese Taipei and Jordan – will now be played between May 31 and June 15 as part of a centralised format.

Australia had been due to host Kuwait, Chinese Taipei and Jordan.

Where the centralised format for the remaining Group B matches will be held is yet to be determined.

Socceroos withdraw from Copa America | 01:10

“With FIFA having expanded the June window to allow for international matches from 31 May to 15 June, we will need to utilise that period to complete our remaining Group B fixtures prior to the June 15 deadline,” Football Australia CEO James Johnson said.

“We remain committed to the restart of national team football in a COVID-safe manner as soon as possible, and will work with AFC and FIFA, as well as the football associations of Nepal, Jordan, Kuwait, and Chinese Taipei, to play out our remaining qualifiers in a suitable location.”

The Socceroos – who lead Group B by two points and have a perfect record from four matches – last week withdrew from this year’s Copa America due to the backlog of World Cup qualifiers in June.

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