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‘Salah isn’t world class’

Egypt and Africa’s celebrated football star, Mohamed Salah, may have impressed many but not a Russian whose son is billed to line up against Egypt in the on-going mundial

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Egypt and Africa’s celebrated football star, Mohamed Salah, may have impressed many but not a Russian whose son is billed to line up against Egypt in the on-going mundial.

He is “an exceptional player but not a world-class football star”, says Dmitri Cheryshev, as his son prepares to meet the Liverpool forward in Egypt’s clash with Russia at World Cup 2018.

The 25-year-old forward took the Premier League by storm in 2017-18, sweeping to the Golden Boot as a 44-goal haul also helped the Reds to the Champions League final.

An unfortunate injury suffered in that fixture prevented Salah from making his mark in Egypt’s World Cup opening-game defeat to Uruguay, but he has been declared fit to lead his country against the hosts on Tuesday.

He will be the man the Pharaohs look to for inspiration, but former Russia international Cheryshev doubts that a man sparking Ballon d’Or talk will be the same player for his country as he is at club level.

Cheryshev said in KingFut: “He is an exceptional player, but [he is] not a world-class football star who can compete for the [World Cup] Golden Boot.

“Right now [the contenders for the award] are Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar and maybe [Harry] Kane.

“Liverpool uses Salah properly, here, in the Egyptian national team, things will be different.”

Cheryshev’s son, former Real Madrid midfielder Denis, will be hoping to line up against Salah in midweek after stepping off the bench to bag a brace in a 5-0 mauling of Saudi Arabia.

He will be in confident mood if called upon, with Russia having defied expectations in their opening outing to lift the spirits of a nation desperate for home success.

Cheryshev added: “The team is getting ready for Egypt.

“I played against [Egypt head coach Hector] Cuper’s teams before, he is the most tactical coach, you never know how to approach his teams. Any chance we might have we should use [in that match].”

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Female Kenyan world marathon champion banned for five years over doping

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A female Kenyan marathon world champion, Betty Wilson Lempus, has been handed a five year ban after she was found to have violated the World Athletics anti-doping rules on two occasions.

Lempus, 31, who came to international limelight after she smashed the Paris Women’s ’s half-marathon record in 2021, was initially placed under observation after she tested positive for the banned metabolite, Triamcinolone Acetonide.

She was to later falsify medical documents to explain the presence of the metabolite in her system, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), said in a report.

As a result, she has been disqualified from the Paris half-marathon and all races since the discovery, the AIU said.

Lempus’ punishment covers two years for the doping violation and four for the attempt to cover it up, but a year was subtracted from the ban owing to her admitting to both offenses.

The AIU, in its report, said Lempus had claimed that she had been injected with Triamcinolone Acetonide at a Kenyan hospital 16 days before the Paris race.

“But in June 2022, the Medical Superintendent from the hospital in question stated that though Lempus had been present that day, she had not received an intramuscular injection of Triamcinolone Acetonide at the hospital on this date,” the anti-doping body said.

“The official also cited other discrepancies, including false hospital documents, including address and phone number, and that the doctor, whom Lempus claimed attended to her, is not employed at the hospital.

“Confronted by the AIU with this evidence in October 2022, Lempus admitted to Tampering.”

“We are pleased to conclude this case, especially because this athlete almost got away with her attempt to dupe the authorities and to cheat other runners out of their rightful rewards,” said AIU Head Brett Clothier.

“This is the right and fair outcome, and it’s a signal to all that the AIU takes its mission extremely seriously and will pursue every angle in seeking to reach the truth,” he added.

The anti-doping agency of Kenya which worked alongside the AIU to conclude the case, said it was happy with the outcome about battles to stamp out doping in the eastern African country’s athletics.

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Wigan Athletic sack Ivorian coach, Kolo Toure, two months after appointment

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Former Ivory Coast defender turned coach, Kolo Toure, has been sacked by Wigan Athletic football club two months after his appointment after he failed to win any of his nine games in charge.

The former Arsenal and Manchester City defender made history as the first black manager to be appointed by the club after the sacking of previous manager, Leam Richardson, in November 2022.

However, his appointment did not change the fortunes of the club as he was only able to garner just two points from his seven Championship matches, with the club bottom of the Sky Bet Championship on 25 points, table, just four points from relegation.

Kolo Toure was signed by Wigan on a three-and-a-half-year deal in late November, but a run of nine games without a victory in all competitions has brought an abrupt end to his spell as manager at the DW Stadium – after just 59 days.

The Wigan board, in a statement on Friday by chief executive, Malachy Brannigan, said:

“Firstly, I’d like to thank Kolo, along with Kevin and Ash, for their efforts during their time at the football club.

“Unfortunately, the results on the field have not been as we would have liked and as tough a decision as this was, the board felt it necessary to give us the best possible chance of remaining a Championship club next season.

“We know that this time of year is a key period for any football club, ourselves included.

“Therefore, we will now work swiftly and effectively to ensure the right person is appointed as the next permanent manager of Wigan Athletic, with the immediate objective of remaining in the second tier for next season.”

The 41-year-old Ivorian, had worked as first-team coach at Leicester since February 2019, but his first move into management has not proven to be a success.

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