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Neymar hit with three-match ban for punching Rennes fan

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Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar has been handed a three-match suspension after punching a Rennes supporter in the aftermath of his side’s Coupe de France final defeat.

The Ligue 1 champions – who had Kylian Mbappe sent off late in the game – were beaten 9-8 on penalties following a 2-2 draw at Stade de France as their hopes of a domestic double were dashed.

Neymar was then videoed attacking a fan on his way to collect his runners-up medal as the PSG team were ridiculed by the jubilant Rennes support.

The French Football Federation have now announced that the world’s most expensive player will be forced to miss three domestic matches, with a further two matches suspended.

That means he will sit out Saturday’s Ligue 1 clash with Angers as well as Thomas Tuchel’s side’s final two games of the season against Dijon and Reims.

It brings to an end a disappointing campaign for the Brazil international, who had hoped to kick-on after injury saw him miss the second half of his first season in the French capital.

But despite an encouraging first few months under Tuchel’s stewardship, a foot injury picked up against Strasbourg in January saw his season grind to a halt at a far from ideal time.

For the second successive season he could only watch on as his team-mates crashed out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage, this time beaten by Manchester United.

Despite holding a 2-0 lead from the first leg at Old Trafford, the Parc des Princes outfit were beaten 3-1 in the return fixture after a controversial penalty – awarded for handball by Presnel Kimpembe – was converted by Marcus Rashford in injury-time.

An angry Neymar posted an expletive-laden message on Instagram in protest at the performance of the officials; an action that recently saw him pick up a separate three-match European suspension that will see him miss PSG’s opening group games in next season’s Champions League.

In their star turn’s absence, PSG did go on to seal the Ligue 1 title, though they stumbled over the line somewhat with Tuchel’s side currently on a run of one win in seven matches across all competitions.

That sequence included a 5-1 humbling at second-placed Lille as well as the cup final defeat to Rennes which meant they failed to win either of the domestic cup competitions in France for the first time since the 2012-13 season.

Neymar will now turn his attention towards the summer and winning the Copa America on home soil with Brazil, with the Selecao getting their tournament under way against Bolivia on June 14.

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Monaco Scrape to Ligue 1 Survival

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Monaco have secured Ligue 1 survival despite failing to get the point they needed to guarantee safety on the final day, instead ending a dreadful season with a 2-0 defeat in Nice.

Leonardo Jardim’s men knew only an improbable set of results – defeat at Nice, victory for Caen and an eight-goal swing – could send them into a relegation play-off after last week’s vital home win over fellow strugglers Amiens.

Jardim had urged his side to keep their fate in their own hands, and Cesc Fàbregas hit the crossbar after 12 minutes – but Benoît Badiashile’s own goal left them relying on Bordeaux to put in a performance against Caen.

Mickaël Le Bihan doubled Nice’s lead after 67 minutes from the penalty spot, but Younousse Sankharé’s opener for Bordeaux proved enough to save last season’s runners-up and relegate Caen outright, along with Guingamp.

Dijon climbed above the Normandy side into 18th place after coming from behind to beat Toulouse, and will now face Ligue 2 side Lens in a two-legged promotion play-off.

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Asante Kotoko to play Hearts of Oak in the semis of the #NC Special competition at Accra Sports Stadium.

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Accra hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko have booked their places in the semi finals of the GFA Special competition, and ready for a match fit for the gods.

Asante Kotoko placed second in group A tier 1 after AshantiGold SC defeated Techiman Eleven Wonders 3-0 in the rescheduled fixture after it was rained off in Nkoranza.

Hearts of Oak will host the porcupine Warriors in Accra in a blockbuster game on a yet to be announced date.

Hearts of Oak tops group B with 28 points going into the final round of matches to be played over the weekend to determine with other team joins them for the semi Finals.

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Andre Ayew confirmed as Ghana’s new captain, Kwadwo Asamoah deputy

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Ghana coach Kwasi Appiah has confirmed André Ayew will skipper the Black Stars at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations with Kwadwo Asamoah has his deputy.

The country’s all-time leading scorer Asamoah Gyan who was striped of the armband has been re-assisgned as General Captain.

A statement on the Ghana FA website read: ”This follows a meeting with the top brass of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) Normalization Committee (NC) after which approval and full backing was granted to the plans of the coach.

”Ayew replaces Asamoah Gyan, as captain of the Black Stars.

”Gyan, who has captained the Black Stars for a record seven years has been elevated to the position of “General Captain”.

”Subsequently, Kwadwo Asamoah has been named the deputy captain.

”President of the GFA-NC Dr Kofi Amoah has called on all stakeholders and citizens to support the transition whilst the Black Stars prepare their assault and conquest of Africa at AFCON 2019.”

Ghana will play Benin, Guinea Bissau and Cameroon at the tournament in Egypt.

The Black Stars are scheduled to start camping on 1 June, 2019 in Dubai where the provisional 29-man squad would be trimmed to 23 for the showpiece.

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