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in News 16.07.2018 05:56
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PARIS - Bordeaux coach Willy Sagnol has apologized for making disparaging comments about African players in football, although he still maintains they were misinterpreted against a backlash of widespread criticism.Sagnol, capped 58 times by France and a member of the team which lost the 2006 World Cup final, gave a question and answer session Tuesday to readers of Sud Ouest regional newspaper when the subject of African players was raised.The advantage of what I would call the typical African player is that he isnt expensive when you sign him, (he is) a player who is ready for combat, but football isnt just about that, Sagnol said.Explaining himself, he continued: Football is also (about) technique, intelligence. You need a bit of everything. You need Nordics too, Nordics are good.Speaking Thursday at a pre-match news conference ahead of Saturdays game with Lens, Sagnol tried to explain his comments.If by my lack of clarity, or my imperfect semantics, I may have shocked, humiliated or hurt people then I am sorry, Sagnol said. The interpretation that these people may have made does not reflect my way of thinking in any way or my humanist convictions.However, he said the comments made sense in a sporting context.When I spoke about the African (player) who is cheaper and ready for combat, I simply meant to talk about the young African player arriving in Europe with all of his will to win and often to escape from a precarious situation, Sagnol continued as he read from pre-prepared notes. Then, since we were in a debate about football, the intelligence I spoke of was obviously related to tactical intelligence. The forming of young players in Africa, probably because of a lack of financial means, or (lack) of infrastructure, isnt always as complete as whats available in Europe.Sagnol distanced himself from accusations that his viewpoint was offensive.In no way did I mean to talk about an individuals intelligence in the proper sense of the term. Regarding certain accusations of racism, Im 37 (and) Ive spent 32 of them in a football dressing room. Ive never had a problem with anyone, the former Bayern Munich player said.But Lens coach Antoine Kombouare, who was born in New Caledonia, is among those who felt offended by Sagnol.Lets make things clear: this is not a case of him being clumsy. Hes really messed up, Kombouare said. What he said is serious. Its unacceptable. Explaining that an African player is cheaper ... I felt humiliated and hurt.The International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism (LICRA) strongly condemned Sagnol, as did former Marseille president Pape Diouf, who called for African players to boycott one round of French league games in protest.French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet, who formerly employed Sagnol as coach of Frances Under-21 side, defended him, while former teammate Lilian Thuram — an active anti-racism campaigner — was more measured.I played alongside Willy, hes somebody I respect. I know him very well, Thuram told Sud Ouest. I dont think you should put Willy Sagnol on trial, but you should put prejudice on trial. Each one of us harbours some prejudice, which is why people working in football, who have a certain exposure to the media, should be educated on this subject.Sagnols captain at Bordeaux is Senegal international Lamine Sane, who called Sagnols comments clumsy before defending him, as did club president Jean-Louis Triaud.He doesnt have any twisted ideas. He believes in all the black players in the team, Sane told French radio. We believe in him and we hope to go very far with him.Bordeaux forward Henri Saivet, who is black, told RMC radio that Sagnol apologized.We all now pertinently well that the coach is not a racist, Saivet said. Its true that, at first, we asked ourselves a few questions. But he explained how it happened. He apologized to the players. That was very important. Chidobe Awuzie Cowboys Jersey . 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Custom Cowboys Jerseys .J. -- Kyle Palmieri thrilled his personal rooting section with an overtime winner that sent the Anaheim Ducks to their seventh straight win.SAN ANTONIO - Damian Lillard scored a career-high 43 points, including 16 after regulation, and the Portland Trail Blazers handed the San Antonio Spurs their second straight defeat in triple overtime by rallying for a 129-119 victory Friday night.LaMarcus Aldridge had 32 points and 16 rebounds, and Wesley Matthews added 16 points as Portland (21-6) extended its winning streak to four games. Lillard scored the first nine points in the third overtime.Tim Duncan had 32 points and 10 rebounds, and Danny Green added 27 points for San Antonio.The Spurs dropped their two previous home games by a combined three points, including a 117-116 loss in triple overtime to Memphis on Wednesday.It was the first time a team has played consecutive triple-overtime games since the Baltimore Bullets did so in December 1951.CAVALIERS 95, NETS 91CLEVELAND (AP) — LeBron James scored 22 points and Mike Miller, making his first start of the season, added 21 on seven 3-pointers to lead Cleveland over Brooklyn.James, who moved into 23rd place on the career scoring list, scored eight points in the fourth quarter as the Cavaliers bounced back from their biggest loss of the season Wednesday against Atlanta.Joe Johnson led the Nets with 26 points. Brooklyn guard Deron Williams limped off the court in the second quarter with a strained right calf and didnt return.Brooklyn cut an eight-point lead to 94-91 on Johnsons 3-pointer with 41 seconds remaining. The Cavaliers committed a turnover, but Kevin Garnett missed a contested 3-pointer and James split two free throws with 1.3 seconds left.BULLS 103, GRIZZLIES 97MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Jimmy Butler scored 31 points, Nikola Mirotic added a season-best 27 and Chicago snapped Memphis six-game winning streak.Butler went 11 of 21 from the field and Mirotic connected on all six of his shots beyond the arc, setting a season standard for 3-pointers. Aaron Brooks scored 17 points and Joakim Noah finished with 10 points and 13 rebounds. Butler also had 10 rebounds as the Bulls outrebounded the Grizzlies 51-45.Mike Conley led Memphis with 21 points. 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Bryant had nine points on 3-of-15 shooting, but added eight rebounds and eight assists.Reggie Jackson scored 25 points and hit the go-ahead free throws with 1:05 left for the Thunder, who persevered down the stretch for their eighth victory in nine games.Durant sat out after spraining his right ankle in the first half of the Thunders loss at Golden State on Thursday night.Ed Davis had a season-high 18 points and nine rebounds for the Lakers.NUGGETS 109, CLIPPERS 106DENVER (AP) — Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari hit successive 3-pointers late in the fourth quarter, and Denver regrouped after blowing a 16-point halftime lead to beat Los Angeles.Nate Robinson scored 20 points off the bench to lead the Nuggets, who snapped a three-game losing streak.Blake Griffin had his second 30-point performance in a row, finishing with 32 for the Clippers, who have dropped their last threee games on the road.ddddddddddddJamal Crawford added 20 points and Chris Paul had 17 points and 15 assists.Chandler and Gallinari hit back-to-back 3s for a 105-98 lead with 2:02 left.Los Angeles got off three desperate shots from 3-point range in the final seconds, but they all missed.WIZARDS 105, HEAT 103MIAMI (AP) — John Wall had 20 points and 10 assists, Nene scored 20 off the bench and Washington rallied to beat Miami.Bradley Beal had 16 points and Paul Pierce added 14 for the Wizards, who won their sixth straight.Dwyane Wade finished with 28 points for Miami, which dropped its fifth consecutive home game and is 4-9 on its own floor this season. 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They stayed ahead by at least 12 the rest of the way.Minnesota was led by Shabazz Muhammad with 26 points and Chase Budinger with 19.Jeff Green added 18 points for Boston. Jared Sullinger had 14 points and 10 rebounds.HORNETS 109, 76ERS 91PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Kemba Walker scored a season-high 30 points, Al Jefferson added 20 points and 12 rebounds, and Charlotte snapped a four-game losing streak with a victory over Philadelphia.Tony Wroten and Robert Covington scored 19 apiece for the Sixers, who dropped to 0-14 at home this season. Theyre closing in on the NBA record for the most home losses to start a season, which is held by the 1993-94 Dallas Mavericks at 19.The Hornets (7-19) had dropped 14 of 16 coming in but dominated the rebuilding Sixers (2-23), who committed 24 turnovers that led to 35 Charlotte points.Charlotte played without starting guard Lance Stephenson (pelvic sprain), who missed his first game of the season.JAZZ 101, MAGIC 94ORLANDO, Fla. 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