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Ozil sends message to Bukayo Saka

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Former Arsenal star Mesut Ozil said Bukayo Saka deserves respect for stepping up in England’s Euro 2020 final penalty shoot-out defeat to Italy and has urged the teenager to stay strong in the face of racism.

Saka missed the decisive penalty and was subjected to racist abuse on social media following the game along with team-mates Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho, who were also unable to convert from the spot.

Former Arsenal playmaker Ozil empathised with Saka over his penalty shoot-out heartbreak and offered his support to the 19-year-old in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports News.

“I felt very much for Bukayo,” said Ozil. “I know from my own experience how it feels to miss a penalty.

“In a final, as the last one, to take on the responsibility of an entire nation as a young player – respect. Not many players would dare to do that.”

Ozil, who played for Germany between 2009 and 2018, retired from international football citing racist abuse.

At the time he tweeted: “I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose,” – a message that was echoed by many in response to the racist abuse aimed at England’s young black players.

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SPORTS

Tokyo Olympics: All Nigeria’s table tennis reps knocked out

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Africa’s highest-ranked player Quadri Aruna on Tuesday crashed out of the men’s singles event of the table tennis competition at the ongoing Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Aruna who reached the quarter-finals of the event at the Rio Games in 2016 could not go far this time around as he lost 2-4 in the third round.

He lost to Brazil’s Gustavo Tsuboi at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium 15-13 9-11 6-11 11-7 7-11 6-11.

His exit has brought a sad end to Team Nigeria’s campaign in the sport at this Games.

His three teammates in the sport —— Funke Oshonaike, Offiong Edem, Olajide Omotayo —- have all been eliminated.

Nigeria did not qualify for the doubles events.

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John Terry leaves Aston Villa, reveals next plan

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Aston Villa assistant coach, John Terry, has announced his departure from the club.

Terry, in a statement via Aston Villa’s official website on Monday, also revealed his next plan.

The Chelsea legend had since been linked with vacancies at Bristol City and West Brom United.

Terry’s statement read in part, “It has been a tremendous honour and privilege to have spent these last three years at Aston Villa, but I feel now is the right time to make the extremely difficult decision to move on.

“My immediate plan is to spend some quality time with my family and, thereafter, hopefully, take up some invitations to visit clubs and managers around Europe to develop my aim and objective of becoming a manager.

“I’ll forever be indebted to the gaffer for giving me the opportunity to start my coaching career at such a wonderful club.

“Finally, I would also like to thank all the players and staff and wish them all the very best for the season ahead and say a huge thank you to the wonderful Aston Villa fans for their support.”

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Solskjaer opens up on Pogba rejecting new Man United contract to join PSG

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Manchester United boss, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has opened up on midfielder, Paul Pogba rejecting a new contract at the club in a bid to join Paris Saint-Germain.

Solskjaer also expressed confidence that Pogba will be part of his Man United squad next season.

He said this while reacting to reports that the France international has rejected a new deal at the club because he wants to join PSG.

Pogba, whose current deal with Man United will expire next summer, has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford to join PSG.

But Solskjaer has now described the report as ‘speculations’.

Asked if Pogba has rejected a contract and whether Man United will need to sell him, Solskjaer told reporters following the Red Devils’ pre-season 4-2 defeat against QPR on Saturday: “There are always speculations about Paul.

“The talks between the club and Paul’s representatives, I am not in the detail of every single one of them, so I have got nothing to say really about that.

Asked further on PSG’s interest in Pogba, Solskjaer continued: “There’s always speculation about Paul and there’s always clubs being interested.

“Of course, we have seen Paul at his best and Paul knows what we feel about it. And of course, I have enjoyed my time working with him and hopefully, we can work together. Let’s see what happens.”

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