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Ballon d’Or set for changes after UEFA deal

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Starting next year, the prestigious individual football award, the Ballon d’Or, will be jointly organized by UEFA. This collaboration marks a new chapter in the award’s history, ending a seven-year gap since the previous partnership between the French organizers of the Ballon d’Or and FIFA came to an end.

From 2024 onward, the Ballon d’Or awards ceremony will be a joint effort between UEFA and Groupe Amaury, the publishers of France Football and L’Equipe. Between 2010 and 2016, the award was known as the FIFA Ballon d’Or, but in 2016, FIFA initiated its own Best Awards.

In this year’s Ballon d’Or event held in Paris, Lionel Messi clinched the men’s award for the eighth time, and Aitana Bonmatí received her first women’s award. According to a statement, UEFA will provide its football expertise, manage the global commercial rights, and oversee the annual awards ceremony.

Additionally, as part of this agreement, UEFA will discontinue its own player of the year awards, which have traditionally been presented in August.

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UCL: Calzona warns Osimhen, others on player selection

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Napoli coach Francesco Calzona has issued a stern warning to Victor Osimhen and his fellow players, emphasizing that he will base his selection for matches solely on performance, without considering their names or reputations.

Taking over from Walter Mazzarri on Monday, Calzona made significant substitutions during Napoli’s 1-1 draw with Barcelona on Wednesday night, including star forwards Osimhen and Kvicha Kvaratskhelia.

Despite the Serie A champions securing a draw in the first leg of the Round of 16 contest at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium, Osimhen was replaced immediately after scoring the equalizer in the 75th minute.

“I keep the players on the field who are performing well, I don’t take into account their names,” Calzona emphasized to Sky Sports Italia after the match.

Calzona further explained that he had not been tempted to keep Osimhen on the field longer after his goal. “No, in fact, I had been prepared to substitute him earlier, but due to tactical considerations, I kept him on for a few more minutes.”

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Ex-Chelsea boss, Thomas Tuchel confirms exit from Bayern Munich

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Thomas Tuchel has verified his exit from Bayern Munich. The club had previously announced that the German coach would depart at the conclusion of the ongoing season. The decision to part ways was mutual between the club and Tuchel. Confirming the conclusion of his tenure with Bayern, Tuchel informed reporters on Tuesday, “We have agreed to terminate our partnership after the conclusion of this season. Until then, my coaching staff and I will continue to strive for maximum success for FC Bayern.”

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2024 Olympic Qualifiers: 11 players arrive Super Falcons camp ahead Cameroon clash

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Ahead of the 2024 Olympic Games qualifiers against the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon, 11 players have reported to the Super Falcons’ camp in Abuja. The camp commenced on Tuesday morning. Among the early arrivals are goalkeepers Chiamaka Nnadozie, Tochukwu Oluehi, Linda Jiwaku, and Akudo Ogbonna. The remaining players include Rasheedat Ajibade, Michelle Alozie, Tosin Demehin, Rofiat Imuran, Abiodun Deborah, Ifeoma Onumonu, and Gift Monday. Ten more players are expected to join the camp soon. Additionally, Head Coach Randy Waldrum has also arrived from the United States of America.

The first leg of the encounter will be hosted by Cameroon at the Stade de la Reunification, Douala, on Friday. The reverse fixture is scheduled for next week Monday at the Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja.

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