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Football: French and Belgians in place for the 2018 revenge



In football tournaments, this match would be called a consoling one. In other words, a meeting for butter organized so that everyone goes home happy with a lot. This semi-final of the League of Nations between France and Belgium, Thursday, October 7, looks like a stopgap for two major nations of European football, disappointed by their journey during the last Euro. France, the reigning world champion, was taken out of this tournament in the round of 16 by Switzerland. Belgium, third in the 2018 Russian World Cup, only made one more lap, eliminated in the quarter by the future Italian winner.

→ READ. Euro 2021: the Blues fall from the top

Created in 2018 to replace the tunnels of friendly matches without sporting stakes or big interest for televisions and sponsors, this second edition of the League of Nations is the perfect opportunity for Didier Deschamps’ men to redeem themselves. “We must not minimize this competition (…). This will not erase what happened, the Euro is behind us (…) there is a title at stake, we have a semi-final to play against one of the best teams in the world ”, he explained Monday 4 at a press conference.

Worrying performances after the Euro

Since this disastrous last quarter of an hour of the Euro against Switzerland, when the Blues were caught in the score before losing on penalties in overtime, the group had lost ground. The worrying draws against Bosnia and Ukraine in early September in qualifying matches for the 2022 World Cup had hit the nail on the head. Fortunately, the Benzema-Griezmann festival, a few days later against Finland (2-0), had put things in place and incidentally, almost qualified the Blues for Qatar. While bringing to light the puzzle of the attack.

Two, without Kylian Mbappé (injured), the Blues had found their way to the goal thanks to an Antoine Griezmann flourished in a role of leader. What will happen to three with Mbappé, against Belgium, in the ineffective configuration of the Euro? If Benzema and Griezmann seem indisputable in the device of the boss of the Blues, he sent the young Parisian a clear message during the show Telefoot, Sunday October 3. “The altruistic and collective Mbappé against Manchester City is the one I want to see”, he asserted. In other words, that his star player finds the spirit that allowed Paris SG to overthrow the champion of England in the Champions League, everything will be fine. If he plays personal and gets annoyed with his teammates like lately in a club, beware …

→ CHRONICLE. Euro 2021, the lost illusions

Station also behind, because the offensive festival against Finland (2-0) should not forget that the French deficiencies during the Euro were initially defensive. Until the Finnish good fortune, the Blues had taken the bad habit for months to concede the first goal of each game. During this last match, the boss had innovated by composing a defense to three, instead of the usual quartet. Which had worked pretty well.

A rivalry that sometimes got out of hand

Crucial for the blue crew of Captain Lloris, this meeting is also important for the Red Devils, who have revenge to take. Number one in the ranking of nations by virtue of great consistency in recent years (France is fourth), the band of Eden Hazard dreamed big until their missed European quarter-final against Italy. And still has not digested the semi-final lost in Russia against France, which had left the Belgians a bitter taste. “We lose against a team that is not better than us”, lamented goalkeeper Thibault Courtois. “I would rather lose with this Belgium than win with this France”, had assured Eden Hazard.

These words had sharpened the traditional rivalry between the two neighbors. If the Belgians have regularly won in recent years in a friendly match, they have lost the major official matches (5-0 at the 1984 euro, and 4-2 in the small final for the 3e place at the 1986 World Cup). “The rivalry has always been there, but it is healthy and sporty, tempers Didier Deschamps, but there is everything that happened outside, in the comments, there must have been excesses on both sides, because we are in the interpretations of hot words which have certainly taken on too much importance. “

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Football: PSG snatched in the last four of the Champions League



And PSG reaches the last four of the Champions League. For the third time in its history (after 1995 and 2020), at the end of a return match lost despite common sense (0-1), this Tuesday, April 13, after a first leg won against all logic (3-2 ). Go figure it out. This is how football is made, which can be unpredictable, overwhelming, overwhelming.

→ READ. Football: PSG brings down the invincible Bayern Munich

The opponent of the evening does not have to grasp everything either. Bayern Munich had colossally dominated the first duel in Bavaria, bombarding the goal of the Parisians (31 shots), but mostly stumbling against the imperial goalkeeper Keylor Navas. German superiority was frightening even if poorly rewarded, and gave rise to fear of a PSG passed through the rolling mill as a revenge at the Parc des Princes. The specialists promised the worst suffering to PSG, did not want to know anything about the statistics guaranteeing it a 95% chance of qualifying, betting big on a Bayern for two years considered the best team in the world.

Bayern under the snuffer

Result? Quite the reverse. The German ogre had to eat everything, but throughout the first half was eaten on the lawn. The Parisians lined up the chances, Neymar hitting three times on the amounts of the German goal in less than ten minutes. And yet, at the break, it was Bayern who led in the score, on a goal from the former Parisian Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting. As if the actors had exchanged the costumes of the first leg.

The second half would she finally prove to be in line with forecasts, with PSG forced to contain the incessant German assaults? Not quite yet. Bayern proved less oppressive than a week earlier, and the Parisians came close to placing a few fatal banderillas. In this second duel, their defeat is unfair, their qualification justified. Mastery was finally on their side, to everyone’s surprise. But this is perhaps the flagship asset of this PSG: illegible, spinning for his opponents. Bayern can bite their fingers. As well as it is, the machine has proved incapable of solving the Parisian enigma.

A message for Neymar and Mbappé

PSG sign for once a real feat. “We are also a great team, and we showed it this evening”, plastered a Neymar all smiles after the meeting. In fact, we do not erase Barcelona and Bayern in quick succession by taking advantage of a happy coincidence. The European campaign this year may silence the skeptics who were further undermining the club’s performance due to a run made last year under special circumstances.

Access to the last continental square above all preserves the future. The bright future at PSG also depends on the current negotiations on the extension of the contracts of Neymar and Kylian Mbappé, which expire in June 2022. If with the Brazilian playing master the affair seems rather well underway, the suspense remains whole concerning the. tricolor striker. Then the president of the club Nasser Al-Khelaïfi hurried to answer a question on the subject Tuesday evening: ” They have no excuses to leave, because we have everything to win the Champions League here now ”. The message got through. There are still two games left to give it its full weight.

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Rugby: Bernard Laporte placed in custody in the Altrad case



Ten days away from running for the head of the French rugby federation (FFR) Bernard Laporte was taken into custody Tuesday, September 22 in Paris, in the investigation into his links with the president of the Montpellier club, Mohed Altrad. His lawyer denounces a “Interference” in the campaign for the presidency of the FFR while Bernard Laporte castigates a “Destabilization” and one “Calendar unworthy of a democracy” in a letter to French clubs, distributed during his custody.

Preliminary investigation opened in 2017

Heard by the Economic Crime Repression Brigade (BRDE), Bernard Laporte is the subject of a preliminary investigation opened in 2017 by the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office, then recipient of a report from the inspectors general of the sports ministry. He would have exerted pressure on the federation’s appeal committee to reduce in June 2017 the sanctions pronounced against Montpellier Hérault Rugby (MHR), the club owned by the Altrad group, also sponsor of the France team.

August 13, 2017 Sunday Newspaper had also revealed the existence of a contract for 150,000 € of image services between BL Communication, a company managed by Laporte, and Altrad Investment Authority, a contract which the boss of French rugby had finally given up.

→ TO RE (READ). Rugby, what do we blame Bernard Laporte for?

“Interference with the judicial process”

Lawyer for Bernard Laporte, Me Jean-Pierre Versini-Campinchi deplored that the hearing takes place ten days before the elections for the presidency of the rugby federation, where the former Secretary of State for Sports (2007-2009) is seeking a second term, facing its main opponent Florian Grill.

“Searches were carried out (at the headquarters of the FFR) in February 2018, one could imagine that he would be heard in September 2018, this would have left investigators seven months to analyze the documents. However, he was summoned two years later, in the middle of the campaign, while the prosecutor knew the electoral calendar of the federation since August 2019 ”, said the advice of Bernard Laporte.

“It is the blatant interference of a judicial process in an electoral process”, he added, claiming that “The prosecutor refused, without reason, to change the date”. A previous hearing, set earlier in the year, had been postponed “Because of the health restrictions of the Covid-19, otherwise he would have gone there”, added Me Versini-Campinchi. As part of the investigation, the three members of the federal appeal commission have already been heard in 2019.

The boss of the group, Mohed Altrad, owner of the Montpellier club and sponsor of the Blues, was also taken into custody by the financial police, just like the boss of the 2023 World Cup Claude Atcher, and two senior officials of the Federation, Serge Simon and Nicolas Hourquet.

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