What’s next for Neymar?

first_imgCBF vice president Francisco Noveletto was quoted by Brazilian media on Tuesday as saying he was willing to “bet” that Neymar would quit.“He doesn’t have the psychological condition to face the Copa America and journalists,” Noveletto said.That prompted CBF president Rogerio Caboclo to insist Wednesday — for the second time this week — that Neymar would play in the tournament despite the rape accusations.While some social media users looked to conspiracy theories to explain Neymar’s injury, most put the incident down to fate.“Fate has brought a solution to a problem that neither (coach) Tite nor the CBF or Neymar himself had the courage to solve for the sake of the Brazilian team and especially the player — to remove him from the eye of the storm,” wrote a Twitter user.– Sidelined –Neymar is scheduled to return to the football field with PSG on August 3 for the Champions Trophy game against Rennes in Shenzhen, China.But it is not clear if he will have physically recovered by then. It took Real Madrid youngster Vinicius Junior, who suffered a ruptured ankle ligament in March, two months to return to the game.And there is also the chance Neymar could miss the match for a non-sporting reason as he faces police investigations stemming from the alleged rape.“I ask myself why he has had so many physical hic-cups in recent years when he was injured very little early in his career,” Coelho said, referring to the foot injuries that sidelined Neymar for several months this year and last season.Rumors have circulated in recent weeks that Neymar could return to FC Barcelona, but his recurring injuries and tarnished image could put off the Catalan club where Neymar played from 2013 to 2017 before his record 222 million euro transfer to PSG.Brazil’s national coach Tite, who has described Neymar as “indispensable” to the national team, but also not “irreplaceable”, is looking for a substitute.Vinicius Junior or Lucas could be called up. Another alternative is Ajax Amsterdam’s David Neres.Share on: WhatsApp FILE PHOTO: NeymarRio de Janeiro, Brazil | AFP | Forced out of the Copa America by injury, star striker Neymar faces an uncertain playing future in Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil where he is engulfed in an alleged rape scandal.Neymar vehemently denies the accusation, which has dominated headlines and dogged Brazil’s preparations for the Latin American tournament starting June 14.Here’s what could happen next for the world’s most expensive footballer.– Image tarnished –Beyond the potential sporting consequences of missing Copa America, Neymar’s image has taken a serious blow.Shortly before the 27-year-old player was injured in the Brazil-Qatar friendly in Brasilia on Wednesday, his accuser told a Brazilian broadcaster that she had been the victim of “aggression together with rape.”Hours later a video circulated on social media showing the young woman hitting Neymar in a hotel room and accusing him of assaulting her the day before.Sponsors are clearly worried. Mastercard has cancelled an advertising campaign starring Neymar that was to be broadcast during the Copa America, Spanish media reported. Nike expressed its “deep concern” on Monday.“Only football can save him,” Fox Sports commentator Paulo Vinicius Coelho told AFP.“It’s enough that he focuses on his game. He showed this season with PSG that he is still capable of playing great matches.”– Fake or fate? –Few Brazilian football fans or commentators appear to believe Neymar faked his injury so he could pull out of the Copa America due to the rape allegation.“I don’t believe in a fake injury, for me the image clearly evokes a ruptured ankle ligament,” Coelho said.But the timing raised eyebrows, coming shortly after a senior Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) official had publicly suggested Neymar would pull out of the tournament.last_img read more

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Lancashire offer to stage Test cricket during crisis as they post strong earnings

first_imgAustralia and Pakistan are also scheduled to tour England in the coming months.Old Trafford was originally due to host the second Test against Pakistan, which was scheduled to start on August 7.Should the current lockdown be relaxed sufficiently to allow cricket to go ahead, Tests could be played behind closed doors at “bio-secure” grounds with on-site accommodation such as Old Trafford.That would allow players and officials to be monitored while restricting their access to the outside world.“We have made a formal expression of interest to the ECB,” said Gidney. “We believe we have the capability, the experience and facilities on site in supporting them put on a bio-secure event.”Lancashire are also thinking big for when cricket can return in earnest — including plans to promote themselves in the game’s biggest market.“David’s legacy is to complete the ground redevelopment, a new stand, another hotel and work with the local authority on a leisure centre,” said Gidney.“We also decided after last year’s World Cup match between India and Pakistan to look east and an Indian growth strategy — to make Lancashire the second Indian team so if the fan say supports Mumbai Indians then their English team is us.“We are looking at both building the fanbase and players playing for Lancashire.“The objective is definitely getting more Asian voices involved in English cricket — it can only be a good thing for the game.” Fans watch a match between England and Afghanistan at Old Trafford during the 2019 Cricket World CupLondon, United Kingdom | AFP |  The coronavirus has left the English cricket season in limbo but Lancashire were dealt a devastating personal blow when they lost their chairman, David Hodgkiss.Just weeks later the Manchester-based county have returned record financial results — a fitting legacy for Hodgkiss, who died in late March at the age of 71 after contracting the virus.And they have put themselves in the frame to host Tests during the English summer.Lancashire, who chose not to follow other counties in furloughing players during the COVID-19 crisis, have announced their highest-ever annual turnover of £34 million ($41 million).EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization) for the Red Rose county in 2019 were £7.6 million, a 10-fold increase since 2015 and a record for a first-class county.“Excluding minority interests and one-off legacies it is absolutely a record,” CEO Daniel Gidney told AFP. “It’s a very proud day for the club.“A hundred percent it is David’s legacy. He was a mentor, a friend as well as a boss. With his construction background, without him the £60 million redevelopment (of the ground) would not have happened.“The board was the driving force but he was the centre of that.“For me a business problem to solve is like any other problem such as a recession but when you lose a friend it is an emotional kick in the gut.”– Test hosts? –Gidney said Lancashire, with a Hilton hotel on the site of their Old Trafford ground, were still in a position to host Tests this year.The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) hope they can kickstart a season delayed by coronavirus by rescheduling the three-Test series between England and the West Indies that was meant to take place in June, in July. Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

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