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Atletico Madrid sign Moussa Dembele from Lyon on loan | Football News

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MADRID: Atletico Madrid announced the loan signing of French striker Moussa Dembele from Lyon on Wednesday.
Dembele will join Atletico until the end of the season when the club will have the option to buy him permanently for around 35 million euros.
Atletico have paid an initial fee of 1.5 million euros after Dembele passed his medical on Wednesday morning in Madrid.
In a statement the La Liga club described him as a “powerful striker” with “a knack for goal”.
The 24-year-old’s arrival follows Diego Costa’s contract being terminated at the end of December.
Dembele will compete with Luis Suarez, Joao Felix and Angel Correa for a place up front as he looks to boost Atletico’s hopes of winning La Liga this season and earn a place in the France squad at the European Championships this summer.
Atletico sit four points clear at the top of the table with two games in hand over second-placed Real Madrid.
Dembele is expected to be available in early February after undgoing an operation on a broken arm, meaning he could feature in Atletico’s first leg against Chelsea in the Champions League last 16 on February 23.
After impressive spells at Fulham and Celtic, Dembele joined Lyon in 2018.
But despite a decent first season that saw him score 16 goals in Ligue 1, he had fallen out favour this term and managed just one goal in 12 appearances.
“With Dembele’s arrival, we add a young yet experienced footballer who’s strong both physically and as a finisher,” Atletico said in a statement.
“His height also makes him a threat in the air and his speed allows him to run past the opposition’s defenders.”
Dembele has been replaced at Lyon by Algeria international Islam Slimani, who arrives on a free transfer from Premier League club Leicester City.
Slimani, 32, spent last season on loan at fellow Ligue 1 outfit Monaco, where he scored nine goals in 18 league appearances.
Lyon hold a one-point lead over reigning champions Paris Saint-Germain in the French top flight.


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Olympics would be ‘extremely difficult’ for unvaccinated athletes: France | Tokyo Olympics News

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PARIS: Athletes who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19 would face “extremely difficult” conditions at the Tokyo Games this summer, the president of the French National Olympic Committee (CNOSF) said on Monday.
Unvaccinated athletes who go to the Games in Japan face “quarantine of a fortnight” and “will have to undergo tests in the mornings and evenings,” Denis Masseglia warned.
The issue of vaccination of athletes for the Tokyo Olympics, postponed last year because of the pandemic, is to be discussed Wednesday at a meeting of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Committee.
The IOC officially encourages the vaccination of athletes but says it cannot impose it.
Masseglia said there was no choice. In a video press conference, he said that “holding the Games is at stake”.
“We are not alone,” he said. “For our Japanese friends to receive athletes and accredited people from all over the world requires some precautions.”
He said that the difficulties they would face could have “a dissuasive effect” for athletes who did not want to be vaccinated.
Masseglia said he spoke to IOC president Thomas Bach last week.
In France, nearly a million priority people have been vaccinated, but the pace of vaccination is extremely varied around the world. Some countries, including Japan, have not started yet.
The issue of vaccination of athletes also raises an ethical problem.
“It’s out of the question that athletes should be given priority over other categories of population, but between now and the Games we can assume that it is possible to have them vaccinated without penalising other people,” Masseglia said.
“I have taken a position in favour of vaccination, I hope that all French athletes will share this perspective,” he added.


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AFC cancels, postpones tournaments; India’s schedule also affected | Football News

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KUALA LUMPUR: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on Monday decided to either cancel or postpone a number of its competitions, also featuring India, keeping in mind the safety of all stakeholders amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Indian team was to take part in the next AFC U-16 Championships, which was slated to be held in 2021 after being rescheduled twice last year. A total of 16 teams were to play in the tournament.
“In line with FIFA’s decision to cancel the FIFA U-17 and U-20 World Cups in 2021 and taking into consideration the safety and health of Asia’s youth players, the AFC has reluctantly decided to cancel the AFC U-16 Championship Bahrain 2020 and the AFC U-19 Championship Uzbekistan 2020,” the continental football body said in a release.
The AFC said the next editions of both the competitions will be allocated to the same hosts in 2023.
The U-16 tournament was originally scheduled between September 16 and October 3, 2020, and then rescheduled between November 25 and December 12, 2020. It was later announced that the tournament would be postponed to early 2021 due to the pandemic.
AFC general secretary Dato’ Windsor John said: “We are grateful for the support of the hosts for these competitions who agreed with the AFC the need to safeguard the interests of all stakeholders during this time of uncertainty and taking into consideration the risks of the current pandemic.”
The AFC also cancelled its Futsal Championship Kuwait 2020 and the AFC Beach Soccer Asian Cup Thailand 2021.
Both the Kuwait Football Association and the Football Association of Thailand will host the next editions. Kuwait will stage the AFC Futsal Asian Cup 2022 and Thailand, the AFC Beach Soccer Asian Cup 2023.
The AFC has also decided to reschedule the qualifying rounds for the U20 Women’s Asian Cup 2022 and U-17 Women’s Asian Cup 2022.


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Hopefully Motera becomes an IPL venue soon: Dinesh Karthik | Cricket News

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AHMEDABAD: Ahead of the quarter-finals of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Tamil Nadu skipper Dinesh Karthik on Monday said that the new Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad looks amazing and added that he wishes the stadium becomes an IPL venue soon.
“The new stadium looks awesome! Well done, @bcci and @GCAMotera. I’m sure the International matches played here are gonna be fun and hopefully it becomes an IPL venue soon. Excited to play here tomorrow,” tweeted Karthik.

Motera Stadium will be hosting quarterfinals, semifinals and the final of the Syed Mushtaq Trophy this week. The newly built stadium will then host two Tests and five T20Is between India and England in February-March this year.
With a seating capacity of more than 1,10,000, the Motera Stadium will dislodge Australia’s Melbourne Cricket Ground as the world’s largest stadium.
Located in Ahmedabad, the Motera Stadium was made in 1982 with a seating capacity of 49,000 at the time of construction, which has now been increased.
Motera will also beat Eden Gardens in Kolkata as India’s largest cricket stadium, which has a seating capacity of 66,000 spectators.
On Tuesday, Karnataka and Punjab will start the quarter-finals of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, and later in the day, Tamil Nadu will clash against Himachal Pradesh.
The remaining two quarter-finals between Haryana-Baroda and Bihari-Rajasthan will take place on Wednesday.



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