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Germany beat Slovakia for first win

It took a while for Germany to get out of the blocks at the Ice Hockey World Championships. But in their third game, the Germans booked an emphatic 5-1 victory over Slovakia. Germany coach Marco Sturm publicly criticized his underachieving team ahead of Tuesday's clash with the Slovaks in St. Petersburg. But he had to wait for his players to show a reaction. Peter Cehlaric put the Slovaks in front with a goal at 8:42 in the first period. But if anything the early deficit seemed to galvanize Germany. Four minutes into the second period, Patrick Hager equalized. That opened the floodgates. Four-and-a-half minutes later veteran Philipp Gogulla put the Germans in front for good, and German Ice Hockey League star Patrick Reimer added another goal five minutes from the end of the period on a power play. In the final period, the Slovaks seemed to resign themselves to their fate, and Germany were happy to inflate the score. Macek Brooks got his name on the scoresheet at 43:45. And five minutes before the end of the game, Dominik Kahun completed the 5-1 victory. The win gives Germany four points in Group B and keeps alive their hopes of qualifying for the knock-out stages. But Sturm and his men face a far sterner test in their next match against defending champions Canada on Thursday.

It took a while for Germany to get out of the blocks at the Ice Hockey World Championships. But in their third game, the Germans booked an emphatic 5-1 victory over Slovakia. Germany coach Marco Sturm publicly criticized his underachieving team ahead of Tuesday’s clash with the Slovaks in St. Petersburg. But he had to wait for his players to ... Read More »

Platini ‘to quit as UEFA president,’ as court of arbitration reduces ban

Michel Platini has announced he will resign as UEFA president despite his ban from all football activity being reduced from six years to four by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Monday. Michel Platini will quit as president of UEFA after his appeal against a FIFA-imposed six-year ban from all football activity failed. Depite the failure of the appeal, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) did reduce Platini's ban to four years. The former France international's lawyers say Platini will now resign as UEFA's president at the organization's next congress, currently scheduled for 2017. The three time Ballon d'Or winner said he won't give up the fight to clear his name. "I note today's decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport but I consider it a profound injustice," Platini said in a statement. "This decision inflicts a suspension for which the length stops me, de facto, and by luck, from being a candidate in the next FIFA presidential election," he added. "As agreed with the national associations, I resign as president of UEFA to pursue my fight before the Swiss courts to prove my probity in this case. "Life has always kept beautiful surprises for me, now I am free to live them." Panel left unconvinced The CAS panel ruled it was "not convinced by the legitimacy" of the 2 million Swiss francs payment "which was only recognized by Mr Platini and Mr Blatter, and which occurred more than eight years after the end of his work relations." The payment was "not based on any document established at the time of the contractual relations and did not correlate with the alleged unpaid part of his salary," read the CAS statement. The panel did, however, state it had considered that the suspension handed to Platini was "too severe" and therefore decided to reduce it to four years which "corresponds to the duration of a presidential term." The suspension was initially set at eight years before a reduction to six in February. The UEFA executive committee is now expected to hold an extraordinary meeting on May 18 to discuss potential presedential candidates.

Michel Platini has announced he will resign as UEFA president despite his ban from all football activity being reduced from six years to four by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Monday. Michel Platini will quit as president of UEFA after his appeal against a FIFA-imposed six-year ban from all football activity failed. Depite the failure of the appeal, ... Read More »

Barcelona, Real Madrid to battle for La Liga

The race for the Spanish championship will go right to the last weekend with Barcelona and Real Madrid duking it out. Atletico Madrid won't be in contention after going down 2-1 at relegated Levante. Just a single point separates Barcelona and Real Madrid ahead of the last weekend in La Liga. Spain's dominant duo will go head-to-head for the Spanish championship next weekend with the Catalans in the driving seat. That was after a 5-0 win over city rivals Espanyol. Lionel Messi opened the scoring, before Luis Suarez bagged a brace, taking his league tally for the season to 37. Rafinha and Neymar added shine to the win as Barca seek to capture their second successive title. Real Madrid were in a much-publicized crisis just a few months ago when Zinedine Zidane took over from Rafael Benitez. But Los Blancos can still win their first championship since 2012 after holding firm against Valencia 3-2. Karim Benzema scored for Real, while Cristiano Ronaldo popped in two goals to run his league tally to 33. Zidane's men reached the Champions League final this week, beating Manchester City and booking a date with hated city rivals Atletico on May 28 in Milan. The league title comes down to next weekend. Barcelona will face Granada. Real Madrid are at Deportivo La Coruna and need to win and hope Barca don't, if they are to claim their record 33rd league championship. European hangover Champions League finalists Atletico Madrid have no realistic chance at the title after losing 2-1 at relegated Levante. Diego Simeone's side were level on points with Barca before kickoff and led when Fernando Torres scored an opener after two minutes. But despite having nothing to play for, Levante leveled after half an hour. They then punished Atletico's commitment to attack with Giuseppe Rossi scoring on the break in the 89th minute. Atletico could still finish second in the league if Real lose at Granada and Atletico defeat Celta Vigo at home.

The race for the Spanish championship will go right to the last weekend with Barcelona and Real Madrid duking it out. Atletico Madrid won’t be in contention after going down 2-1 at relegated Levante. Just a single point separates Barcelona and Real Madrid ahead of the last weekend in La Liga. Spain’s dominant duo will go head-to-head for the Spanish ... Read More »

RB Leipzig seal promotion to first division

Leipzig, the club affiliated with soft-drinks giant Red Bull, will be joining the Bundesliga next season. The team that traditionalists love to hate beat Karlsruhe 2-0, capping an inexorable march to the top. RasenBallsport Leipzig have played better games this season, but the result and not how it was achieved was the main thing in the eastern Germans' home match against Karlsruhe. The Red Bulls dominated possession in the first half but lacked the incisiveness needed to break the ice. Then, in minute 52, midfielder Stefan Ilsanker picked out Emil Forsberg. The Swedish striker put Leipzig in front with his eighth season goal. Thereafter it was a matter of holding the result against an overmatched Karlsruhe side, which had trouble creating any pressure whatsoever on goal. And four minutes from time, Marcel Halstenberg put the match beyond any doubt - with some help from Karlsruhe keeper René Vollath. Vollath let Halstenberg's free kick slip through his hands, causing pandemonium in Red Bull Arena. Leipzig ended the day on 67 points, five more than third-placed Nuremberg with only one round of play left. In a somewhat comical footnote, Leipzig coach Ralf Rangnick slightly injured himself running away from the customary shower of beer. "The coach doesn't seem to be in very good shape," Leipzig forward Davie Selke joked. "He should have prepared better. But we're not letting him off the hook. He did a great job." The 2-0 win completed a seven-year run that saw the team, which was only founded in 2009, move from the fifth division all the way up to the top flight. Freiburg already secured promotion the previous round. Meanwhile, Nuremberg have wrapped up third place in the second division and will play the third-from-bottom team from the first division in the end-of-season playoff. Possible opponents include Bremen, Frankfurt and Stuttgart.

Leipzig, the club affiliated with soft-drinks giant Red Bull, will be joining the Bundesliga next season. The team that traditionalists love to hate beat Karlsruhe 2-0, capping an inexorable march to the top. RasenBallsport Leipzig have played better games this season, but the result and not how it was achieved was the main thing in the eastern Germans’ home match ... Read More »

Red Bull relegate Daniil Kvyat, promote teenager Max Verstappen

Teenager Max Verstappen will take Daniil Kvyat's place at Red Bull, with the Russian bounced back to junior team Toro Rosso. This follows two high-profile Kvyat incidents involving Sebastian Vettel. Red Bull announced on Thursday they had promoted 18-year-old Max Verstappen from their junior Formula One team Toro Rosso with immediate effect. He is taking the place of Daniil Kvyat, who Red Bull has dropped back to the junior outfit. "Max has proven to be an outstanding young talent," Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said as part of the announcement. "His performance at Toro Rosso has been impressive so far and we are pleased to give him the opportunity to drive for Red Bull Racing." Verstappen became the youngest drivier in Formula One history last season when he made his debut at the 2015 Australian Grand Prix. He has already drawn interest from racing giants Ferrari and Mercedes, a factor that may have influenced Red Bull's decision to promote him - hoping to keep the Belgian hotshot from jumping ship to a rival at the end of the season. Vettel crashes not the reason, says Helmut Marko Kvyat's demotion comes after he crashed into Sebastian Vettel twice on the first lap of Sunday's Russian Grand Prix. The two impacts forced Vettel to retire; the former Red Bull ace launched an expletive-ridden tirade over in-car radio when stricken at the side of the track. In China, also, Vettel had taken Kvyat to task at the podium ceremony, accusing the Russian of forcing him into a collision with his Ferrari teammate Kimi Räikkönen. However, Vettel later conceded, having watched the replay footage, that he had overreacted to a legitimate overtake by Kvyat - who made no contact with Vettel. Red Bull's driver development program head, Helmut Marko - seen as a driving force in the two team's hiring and firing policies - told specialist website motorsport-total.com that the decision was not based on Kvyat's recent misadventures. "Primarily, this was a bid to take some pressure off Daniil," Marko said. "He has fallen well short of his performances last year. On average, he's been three to five tenths of a second slower than [teammate Daniel] Ricciardo. Last year, they were neck and neck." Red Bull promoted Kvyat at the beginning of the 2015 season after Vettel made his move to Ferrari. The 22-year-old Russian driver had bested his teammate Daniel Ricciardo last season, but he has been second best to the Australian so far this season. "But what was even more difficult was that he was very incosistent, had lots of ups and downs," Marko said of the relegated Russian. "Sometimes things were working, as we saw in China, but he had put himself under such pressure that these form swings became automatic. The crash in Sochi was a response of the internal pressure he'd put on himself. It did not come from us." Kvyat now returns to Toro Rosso, where he made his F1 debut, after two podium finishes with Red Bull. "Dany will be able to continue his development at Toro Rosso, in a team that he is already familiar with, giving him the chance to regain his form and show his potential," said Horner.

Teenager Max Verstappen will take Daniil Kvyat’s place at Red Bull, with the Russian bounced back to junior team Toro Rosso. This follows two high-profile Kvyat incidents involving Sebastian Vettel. Red Bull announced on Thursday they had promoted 18-year-old Max Verstappen from their junior Formula One team Toro Rosso with immediate effect. He is taking the place of Daniil Kvyat, ... Read More »

Leicester City clinch Premier League title following Tottenham’s draw

Leicester City have clinched their first-ever Premier League title in one of the biggest surprises in the sport. They were crowned champions thanks to Tottenham's draw with Chelsea on Monday evening. After a season of unprecedented success, Leicester City have finally wrapped up the Premier League title. After their 1-1 draw away to Manchester United on Sunday, the Foxes' fate rested in the hands of Chelsea and Tottenham. Spurs had to beat Chelsea to keep their slim title hopes alive, but were unable to get a win at Stamford Bridge. Tottenham took a 2-0 lead in the first half through goals from Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min. But goals from Gary Cahill in the 58th minute and Eden Hazard in the 83rd minute pulled Chelsea level. The result gives Leicester an unassailable seven-point lead atop the table with just two games to play for Spurs. Against all odds Leicester narrowly avoided relegation last season, and were rank outsiders to win the league. Bookmakers put their odds of lifting the title at 5000/1 ahead of the season. The club's previous best finish in the top flight was second in 1929. Many of Leicester's players had reportedly gathered at the home of star striker Jamie Vardy to watch the match. Manager Claudio Ranieri was returning from Italy, where he had been visiting his 96-year-old mother. Ranieri, who was sacked by Chelsea in 2004, had never won a league title. But during the match against Tottenham Monday, many Chelsea fans could be heard singing "There's only one Ranieri!" as the final whistle blew. The 64-year-old will return to Chelsea's ground with Leicester to round out their final game of the season.

Leicester City have clinched their first-ever Premier League title in one of the biggest surprises in the sport. They were crowned champions thanks to Tottenham’s draw with Chelsea on Monday evening. After a season of unprecedented success, Leicester City have finally wrapped up the Premier League title. After their 1-1 draw away to Manchester United on Sunday, the Foxes’ fate ... Read More »

Formula One: Rosberg’s winning streak continues in Russia

A ruthless drive from Nico Rosberg saw the German extend his Formula One championship lead to 43 points over Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, who fought his way up from tenth on the grid. Nico Rosberg clinched his seventh straight Formula One victory - his fourth of the season - with a dominant pole-to-flag display in the Russian Grand Prix, finishing 12 seconds ahead of his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton. Rosberg now has a commanding 43-point lead ahead Hamilton, who had fought his way onto the podium after a power unit failure in qualifying forced him down to tenth on the grid. Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonnen finished third, just ahead of Williams pair Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa, with Sebastian Vettel dumped out of the race by Red Bull’s Daniil Kyvat, who also collided with Vettel on the opening lap of the Chinese Grand Prix. There was no disguising the German's anger as he delivered an expletive-strewn tirade over the Ferrari team radio while around him cars slithered and crashed amid flying debris. After he had cooled down he said when asked about Kvyat. "I don't dislike him. I think he did a mistake two weeks ago and I think he did a mistake today... but it should not be like this. Will I speak to him? No, that is for someone else to do..." Rosberg becomes only of only four men to have reeled off seven straight wins, joining Italian Alberto Ascari and Germans Michael Schumacher and Vettel. Hamilton avoided the carnage of the first lap multiple collision that eliminated the luckless Vettel to sear through the field and, briefly, threaten a challenge for the lead. Hamilton's race, however, was stymied by further mechanical problems. He had suffered an engine failure in qualifying on Saturday and he was forced to nurse his Mercedes home 25 seconds behind the rampant Rosberg. Fernando Alonso came home a much-improved sixth for McLaren ahead of Kevin Magnussen of Renault, Romain Grosjean for Haas, Sergio Perez of Force India and 2009 champion Jenson Button who was 10th in the second McLaren.

A ruthless drive from Nico Rosberg saw the German extend his Formula One championship lead to 43 points over Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, who fought his way up from tenth on the grid. Nico Rosberg clinched his seventh straight Formula One victory – his fourth of the season – with a dominant pole-to-flag display in the Russian Grand Prix, finishing ... Read More »

Bundesliga: Bayern stumble in title race against Gladbach, Dortmund rampant

With no games on Sunday, Matchday 32 in the Bundesliga was a full day of top-flight action in Germany. Bayern Munich have to wait just a little bit longer for their title, while Eintracht Frankfurt are still alive. Bayern Munich 1-1 Borussia Mönchengladbach (Müller 5' - Hahn 71') On a sunny afternoon in Munich, Bayern were strolling towards the win they needed to seal a record fourth consecutive Bundesliga title (their third under Pep Guardiola). That was until Andre Hahn postponed the home side's title party with a strong strike, adding to Gladbach's fine record against the Bavarians. Thomas Müller took his Bundesliga tally to 20 for the season, despite Serdar Tasci's best effort to claim the goal for himself as Bayern appeared to be strolling towards the title. But having been denied last weekend by Dortmund's win, Bayern undid themselves this weekend and are left with the unwanted distraction of having not won the title before Tuesday's Champions League second leg against Atletico Madrid. Borussia Dortmund 5-1 Wolfsburg (Kagawa 7', Ramos 9', Reus 60', Aubameyang 76', 77' - Schürrle 86') After Mats Hummels' announcement this week, there was no surprise to hear a mixed response from Dortmund's fans. Whatever the mood in the stands was though, Dortmund's players showed no signs of being distracted as they dismantled the side they lost to in last season's German Cup final. Henrikh Mkhitaryan's volley was so poorly hit that it assisted Shinji Kagawa for Dortmund's opener and a blink of an eye later, BVB were two goals to the good. A long ball by Sven Bender left Wolfsburg's defense floundering, and Kagawa's neat touch put in Adrian Ramos who smashed home with his newly-found confidence. Daniel Caligiuri hit the bar, but otherwise Wolfsburg's woeful Bundesliga form continued. Marco Reus tucked away a third in the second half, before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang returned to action and scored two headers in the space of a minute. Dortmund not only sent a timely reminder of their quality, but also showed just how close their current group is. Hannover 1-3 Schalke (Sobiech 19' - Choupo-Moting 12', Huntelaar 44', Schöpf 80') Head coach Andre Breitenreiter said last weekend that losing to Leverkusen wasn't the end of the world, and three points against Hannover certainly proves that Schalke's European ambitions are still alive. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting scored a neat opener after a superb assist by Leon Goretzka, but Schalke wouldn't have been themselves without a wobble. Hannover's Iver Fossum started a swift counterattack that Artur Sobiech finished off and suddenly Schalke were dropping points against a side that had already been relegated. Thankfully, Leroy Sane decided otherwise and his great piece of skill and pass set up Klaas-Jan Huntelaar for an easy tap-in. Although Hannover hit the post, Schalke held on and added a third to stay within one point of fourth-placed Gladbach. Hoffenheim 2-1 Ingolstadt (Uth 37', Amiri 84' - Lex 16') Julian Nagelsmann's team loves playing at home, even in the face of a ferocious relegation battle. The home side's defense was left looking silly early on though, and Stefan Lex took advantage with a smart touch and finish into the far corner. Mark Uth's seventh of the season - a neatly curled finish - hauled the home side level before the break. Andrej Kramaric missed a chance from the spot to put Hoffenheim ahead - Örjan Nyland made a good save diving to his left - as the home side's chance appeared to have gone. Moritz Hartmann curled wide as the full-blooded affair, but with the result looking like a draw, Nadiem Amiri came off the bench to secure three points that put Hoffenheim four clear of relegation. Darmstadt 1-2 Eintracht Frankfurt (Vrancic 12' - Hasebe 57', Aigner 83') If Frankfurt's win last weekend was ugly, this one was gritty. Some uncharacteristically gorgeous wing play for the home side was finished off in familiar fashion when Mario Vrancic bundled home Marcel Heller's low cross with his shin. Darmstadt appeared to be heading towards three points that would have all but kept them in the Bundesliga, but Sandro Wagner spoiled the party when he failed to convert his poorly-struck penalty. Frankfurt missed their chance to equalize when Haris Seferovic couldn't score at the back post, but Makoto Hasebe's deflected strike made up for it shortly before the hour mark. With the game heading into the final ten minutes, Stefan Aigner scrambled in at the back post to push Werder Bremen into a relegation spot and leave their opponents on the day just two points from safety. Mainz 0-0 Hamburg Both sides are stumbling towards the end of their respective seasons, although Hamburg might have won this one had it not been for Loris Karius' outstanding second-half save that denied Sven Schipplock.

With no games on Sunday, Matchday 32 in the Bundesliga was a full day of top-flight action in Germany. Bayern Munich have to wait just a little bit longer for their title, while Eintracht Frankfurt are still alive. Bayern Munich 1-1 Borussia Mönchengladbach (Müller 5′ – Hahn 71′) On a sunny afternoon in Munich, Bayern were strolling towards the win ... Read More »

Unknown German talent drafted into NFL by Minnesota Vikings

Despite having never played American football in college, Germany's Moritz Böhringer has joined an NFL team after being selected 180th in the 2016 NFL draft. The news caps a remarkable five years for the 22-year-old. Moritz Böhringer became the first ever international player to be drafted by an National Football League (NFL) team after the 22-year-old was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL draft. Böhringer becomes the fifth German currently in the NFL in the process, but is the first to be drafted directly out of the German Football League (GFL). "I don't need a chair right now," said Böhringer on the set of NFL Network after being drafted. "It's overwhelming." The Stuttgart-born Böhringer got his chance to play in the NFL after Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer, on advice from NFL Network Analyst Mike Mayock, took a gamble on the German player who has never played a down of college football. "I followed the Vikings because of Adrian [Peterson]. The first time I watched football was a highlight video on YouTube. He brought me to football," said Böhringer a few hours before he got drafted. The wide receiver added the Vikings were the one team who had been paying the most attention to him throughout the draft. With Böhringer now a Viking player there's no denying a whole host of German NFL fans will now be paying more attention to the American Football team from Minnesota. After just one year of GFL action, Böhringer was named Rookie of the Year. A friend took his highlights and put a video on YouTube, which was seen by Aden Durde who was involved in bringing more Europeans to the USA. Durde sent Böhringer a message on Facebook asking whether he wanted to attend a training day in Florida. "I ignored it at first and didn't take it seriously. I thought it was a hoax," said Böhringer, nicknamed "Silence" by his teammates because he's a man of few words. At the end of February, Böhringer attended the Florida Atlantic Pro Day in front of 25 NFL scouts and impressed with his strength and speed. Böhringer's numbers would have put him in the top five of all wide receivers, had he attended the NFL Scouting Combine (where all college players showcase their talents ahead of the draft). Considering his size and weight - Böhringer is 6'4" and 104 kilograms - these numbers are even more impressive. While Böhringer's chances of reaching the 53-man Vikings roster that will go into the 2016/17 season remain slim, his achievement already caps a remarkable five years for the 22-year-old. From mechanical engineering student to an NFL player - Böhringer's story will undoubtedly have inspired thousands of youngsters around the world to play in the NFL, and done wonders for the already popular sport of American Football in his home country.

Despite having never played American football in college, Germany’s Moritz Böhringer has joined an NFL team after being selected 180th in the 2016 NFL draft. The news caps a remarkable five years for the 22-year-old. Moritz Böhringer became the first ever international player to be drafted by an National Football League (NFL) team after the 22-year-old was selected by the ... Read More »

Liverpool’s Mamadou Sakho faces ban for failed drug test after Europa League tie

Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho faces a ban of up to four years after he effectively admitted taking a banned substance. He has been given a 30 day provisional ban before a UEFA hearing and is likely to miss Euro 2016. Liverpool’s French international defender Mamadou Sakho has been provisionally suspended for 30 days and could be banned for up to four years for failing an anti-doping test, according to European soccer's governing body UEFA. The organization said Sakho, 26, failed the test after his team’s Europe League last 16 clash with rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford last month. The match finished 1-1 and Liverpool progressed to the quarterfinals where they defeated Borussia Dortmund. Liverpool play Villarreal CF in the semifinals of the same competition on Thursday. “(Sakho) did not request the analysis of the B sample. UEFA has now suspended the player provisionally for 30 days until a final decision is taken by the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body," UEFA said. The decision not to request the B sample is effectively an acceptance that Sakho admits to the presence of a prohibited substance in his system. The governing body’s statement went on to explain that a disciplinary hearing will be announced “at a later stage.” French broadcasters BFM TV reported last week that Sakho took a fat burner called ephedrine, which is legal in the United States but illegal in the United Kingdom. His Liverpool team mate and fellow central defender Kolo Toure tested positive for a different weight loss drug, endroflumethiazide, while at Manchester City in 2011 and was banned for six months. The maximum ban for Sakho’s offence is four years. The player had already been ruled out by his club and is almost certain to miss the rest of Liverpool’s season. He is also expected to miss Euro 2016 in his home country this summer. Liverpool have yet to comment on the case. The club itself are unlikely to face sanctions from UEFA, due to anti-doping rules stating that a squad can only be disciplined if two or more members are found to be taking illegal substances.

Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho faces a ban of up to four years after he effectively admitted taking a banned substance. He has been given a 30 day provisional ban before a UEFA hearing and is likely to miss Euro 2016. Liverpool’s French international defender Mamadou Sakho has been provisionally suspended for 30 days and could be banned for up to ... Read More »

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