UEFA begins proceedings against Manchester United

EUROPEAN football governing body, UEFA, has begun disciplinary proceedings against Manchester United following its Champions League defeat by Real Madrid on Tuesday.

The body is taking action over Nani’s red card and the “non-fulfilment of post-match media obligations” at Old Trafford.

Nani was sent off by Turkish Referee, Cuneyt Cakir in the 56th minute for a high challenge on Alvaro Arbeloa. The English champions went on to lose the tie 3-2 on aggregate.

Nani’s red card is subject to a disciplinary review, which will decide whether the automatic one-match ban should be extended.

Manchester United Manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, reacted angrily to the sending off and did not appear for the post-match interviews, with assistant Mike Phelan taking his place.

Phelan explained that Ferguson was not in the right frame of mind to speak publicly so soon after the match, saying, “it’s a distraught dressing room and a distraught manager. That’s why I am sitting here now.”

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WWE announces Undertaker’s manager Paul Bearer dead at 58

Paul Bearer

Famous WWE manager Paul Bearer, the ‘scary’ man who for many years helped introduce The Undertaker died on Tuesday, March 5, 2012.

The World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) released a statement saying:

WWE is saddened to learn of the passing of William Moody, aka Paul Bearer.

Moody made his WWE debut in 1991 as the manager of The Undertaker and went on to become a memorable part of WWE over the course of the next 20 years. Our deepest condolences go out to Moody’s family, friends and fans’

Bearer who real name is Bill Moody joined the WWE in 1990. He played the role of a funeral director and managed famous wrestlers including The Undertaker, Kane, Rick Rude, Vader and Mankind.

 

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The WWE partly molded Moody’s character off his real-life job in the mortuary business.

After stints in minor-league wrestling promotions, Moody joined the WWE in 1990 and quickly became associated with The Undertaker, a character who claimed he was undead and impervious to pain.

In the WWE plotline, Paul Bearer later managed Undertaker’s on-screen half brother Kane.

He was a fixture on WWE programming for more than a decade. His shrill catchphrase, “Ooohhh yeeesss!” and contorted facial expressions made him one of the sports-entertainment company’s more popular personalities.

 

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Paul Bearer With His Partner Undertaker.

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Ethiopia v Nigeria preview

Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi feels this year’s African Nations Cup is wide open as the perceived gap between the bigger and smaller teams continues to narrow.

The Super Eagles must beat Ethiopia at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium to ensure their progression from Group C, with previously unfancied Burkina Faso and reigning champions Zambia occupying the top spots going into the third round of group games.

Nigeria were held to draws by both nations and Keshi remains wary of Ethiopia’s potential to spring a surprise, especially considering Cape Verde’s shock win over Angola last night.

He told Nigerian newspaper Vanguard: “I am very impressed with what I have seen so far. You can no longer differentiate so much between which teams are better.

“In the old days you could predict how many goals one team was going to score against the other but now you don’t know what is going to happen.

“You might think one side will win but you don’t know. I think this is wonderful for African football.

“The competition is so tight, you look at the likes of Ethiopia and Cape Verde and some of the other countries.

“I am very impressed with their performances and the standard they are reaching.”

Ethiopia returned to the showpiece tournament for the first time since 1982 and gave themselves a slim chance of a quarter-final place by claiming a 1-1 draw with Zambia.

A 4-0 defeat to Burkina Faso followed, though, and coach Sewnet Bishaw knows the goals have to flow against Nigeria if the Antelopes are to turn the mathematics in their favour.

He told Vanguard: “We hoped that we would play again like the first game and take a point against Burkina Faso.

“We’re not going on to the field to defend, because defending will only give you one point. Now we must try to play against Nigeria to score goals and get three points.

“If we get three points, in total we’ll have four, and may qualify for the next stage.

“Not only will we just score one or two goals, we need to score lots of goals, otherwise it is a matter of dignity for our boys.”

Mikel loses penalty as Nigeria draw with Zambia

Super Eagles

Zambia goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene, a noted penalty saving and taking specialist, scored from the spot to salvage a 1-1 draw against Nigeria at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Friday.

Mweene’s late heroics in this Africa Cup of Nations Group C clash cancelled out Emmanuel Emenike’s goal with Nigeria’s John Obi Mikel failing to convert a first-half penalty.

The stalemate left defending champions Zambia and Nigeria tied at the top of the mini-league, with Burkina Faso and Ethiopia playing later.

Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi made three changes.

In came Chelsea winger Victor Moses, making his Cup debut after missing the 1-1 draw with Burkina Faso with a hamstring injury.

Joining Moses were Lazio midfielder Ogenyi Onazi and Fegor Ogude.

Fenerbahce defender Joseph Yobo dropped to the bench after a late ankle injury, with goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama taking over his captain’s armband, Dynamo Kyiv striker Brown Ideye was also out, while Celtic defender Efe Ambrose was suspended.

For Zambia, defender Emmanuel Mbola and Southampton striker Emmanuel Mayuka were called up for Hichani Himonde and Collins Mbesuma, the scorer in the 1-1 stalemate with Ethiopia.

Chisamba Lungu, who suffered an ankle injury when floored by Ethiopian goalkeeper Jemal Tassew, won his battle to be fit for this sixth Nations Cup meeting between the two sides.

For the Zambians this clash on the threadbare Mbombela Stadium pitch represented the chance to avenge defeats to Nigeria in Angola in 2010 and in the 1994 final, the last of Nigeria’s two titles.

Herve Renard’s men started ambitiously, but Nigeria’s defence held firm as the title-holders struggled to capitalise on all their possession.

On 25 minutes, Zambia had a lucky escape when defender Davies Nkausu felled Ahmed Musa in the box, with Egyptian referee Grisha Ghead pointing to the spot.

Mikel stepped up, but his far-from-vintage low effort went the wrong side of Mweene’s right post.

Zambia ended the first half as they’d begun it, on the attack, yet unable to land a sucker punch.

A more assured Nigeria emerged after the restart, and deservedly took a 57th-minute lead when Emenike raced on to Mikel’s neat through pass. He controlled the ball well before shooting low into the left hand corner of Mweene’s net.

The Spartak Moscow striker was doubling his tally in South Africa, having scored in Nigeria’s first game.

That sparked Renard to alter his line-up, Mbesuma and Mulenga Mukuka coming on for captain Christopher Katongo and Lungu. Soon after, Isaac Chansa came off for Jonas Sakuwaha as Renard strengthened his attack.

Mweene then saved Zambia’s day.

The ‘keeper, who regularly takes penalties for South Africa Premier League club Free State Stars and converted his effort in last year’s Nations Cup final shoot-out, coolly stepped up to slot home a spot kick awarded harshly when Onazi tangled with Mayuka in the box.

By Osagie Alonge