Colorado St. sorry for ‘Russia’ chant at Ukrainian

Colorado State issued a public apology to Utah State and Ukrainian guard Max Shulga after some of its fans chanted “Russia” at Shulga during Saturday’s game.

Shulga — who is from Kyiv, Ukraine, where his family still resides — went to the free throw line late in the game, and the “Russia” chants could be heard from the Colorado State student section.

Colorado State said in a series of tweets that the chant came from a “small group of individuals.”

“On behalf of Colorado State, we apologize to the student-athlete and Utah State,” the school said. “This is a violation of our steadfast belief in the Mountain West Sportsmanship Policy and University Principles of Community.

“Every participant, student, and fan should feel welcomed in our venues, and for something like this to have occurred is unacceptable at Colorado State.”

Shulga was 3-for-4 from the free throw line in the final minute to help the Aggies to an 88-79 win.

Later this month will mark one year since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The invasion has led to the ban of Russian players from numerous sporting events, including Wimbledon last year, and an ongoing debate over whether to allow Russian athletes at next year’s Paris Olympics.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

David de Gea reveals Man Utd’s plan to cope without Casemiro & Christian Eriksen

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea has backed a deeper squad – including new loan signing Marcel Sabitzer – to step up and minimise the blows of losing Christian Eriksen and Casemiro.

After joining the Red Devils in the summer, Eriksen and Casemiro have become Erik ten Hag’s preferred midfield pairing.

However, the Dane has been ruled out until the end of April or start of May with an ankle injury, while the Brazilian has picked up a three-match domestic suspension after being sent off against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Speaking after that narrow 2-1 win at Old Trafford, De Gea admitted losing two key players is a blow, but has backed his teammates to step up and help United survive in their absence.

“It’s going to be tough for sure. We already lost Christian, now Casemiro: big players for us,” De Gea said.

“But we have a bigger squad, players are ready to play, everyone is really focused. Sabitzer showed already – he played 15 to 20 minutes and he did really well, made some good tackles, he is good with the ball. And, everyone is ready to play.”

“[Sabitzer is] an experienced guy – he played a lot of games in the Bundesliga, is a nice guy – it’s good for the dressing room. It’s not easy to come in a game when we’re one man less, he showed good spirit, he’s going to help the team a lot.”

Sabitzer moved to United on deadline day after the opportunity to leave Bayern Munich on loan emerged as an option.

Listen now as Scott Saunders hosts Graeme Bailey and Toby Cudworth to wrap up the January transfer window and discuss Enzo Fernandez, Moises Caicedo, Marcel Sabitzer, Hakim Ziyech’s failed PSG move and more!

If you can’t see this embed, click here to watch the episode!

Peking testar brasse under Spanien-lägret

IFK Norrköping är just nu på läger i Spanien. Under lördagen föll Glen Riddersholms manskap i ett träningsmöte med danska Silkeborg, och på onsdag väntar spel mot danska Viborg. Peking har med flera nyförvärv på lägret, och under lördagen bekräftade klubbens sportchef Tony Martinsson att förhoppningen är att ta in en mittback och en offensiv spelare inför den kommande säsongen.

Nu står det klart att Peking testar den brasilianske Miguel Henrique de Souza Silva, 19, som kommer att träna med laget under lägret. Mittbacken har ett förflutet i São Paulos och Corinthians ungdomsled.

– Han ansluter här och är här de här dagarna, och sedan får vi se hur det går. Han kommer att vara med på träningarna från och med i morgon, säger Pekings presskontakt Erik Johansson till Fotbollskanalen.

Peking är på läger fram till den 9 februari, då det blir hemresa till Sverige. Så här långt har Peking plockat in vänsterbacken Marcus Baggesen, 19, mittfältaren Elvis Lindkvist, 20, mittfältaren Vito Hammershøy-Mistrati, 30, mångsidige Isak Ssewankambo, 26, och forwarden Victor Lind, 19, på lån, samt mittbacken Kojo Peprah Oppeng, 18, och mittfältaren Stephen Bolma, 18, på lång sikt.

IFK Norrköping hade i fjol en tuff säsong och slutade på tolfte plats i allsvenskan.

South Carolina-UConn predictions: Who wins the NCAA title game rematch?

Ten months ago, South Carolina and UConn met in the national championship game. The Gamecocks won the title and haven’t lost since.

They face off again Sunday in the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut.

The Gamecocks are 22-0 and projected as the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament. The Huskies have lost twice this season — to Notre Dame and Maryland in the first two weeks of December — and have dealt with a plethora of injuries. But they are still the No. 5 team in the country and are also projected as a No. 1 seed in ESPN’s latest Bracketology.

Sunday’s game marks the 13th meeting between the programs. The series wasn’t much of a rivalry until 2020, when South Carolina beat UConn for the first time after eight losses. The Gamecocks are since 3-1 in the series.

What can we expect from both teams in the last high-profile nonconference matchup of the regular season? ESPN’s Charlie Creme, Alexa Philippou and M.A. Voepel break down the game and what’s at stake.

How will South Carolina’s depth and UConn’s lack of available players impact the matchup?

Charlie Creme: Depth, along with defense (no team allows fewer points per game), has been South Carolina’s calling card this season. On Sunday against Alabama, the bench outscored the starters. The Gamecocks have 11 players in the regular rotation who are averaging double-figure minutes per game.

The Huskies, who will be playing their sixth game in just over two weeks, only used six players in their game last Sunday against Villanova, with Nika Muhl, Aaliyah Edwards and Dorka Juhász playing all 40 minutes. Despite showing great resolve to win the game, the weariness showed. The fatigue was even more evident in Thursday’s sluggish win over Providence. Geno Auriemma and Muhl admitted after the game that the team was tired.

No team in the country is better at wearing down an opponent than South Carolina. UConn might be talented enough to overcome its lack of depth against anyone except the Gamecocks.

M.A. Voepel: Sometimes depth is an overrated thing in basketball, but in this case the contrast between the teams is stark. South Carolina brings Kamilla Cardoso, Laeticia Amihere, Raven Johnson, Bree Hall and Ashlyn Watkins all off the bench. That’s how much talent (and actually, there is even more) coach Dawn Staley has, and the players have bought into her system, where no one averages more than 25 minutes per game.

The Huskies can’t afford two players having “off” games without it seriously affecting them. South Carolina can withstand that and more. The Gamecocks wouldn’t want one of those players to be superstar Aliyah Boston, but you could see them beating a top-five foe even if she wasn’t at her best. To UConn’s credit, the Huskies have stood up to all their depth challenges. As Charlie said, the toughest team in the country to do that against is South Carolina.

Alexa Philippou: The shorthanded Huskies put up an admirable effort against Tennessee in a hostile environment, but each game since we’ve seen the effects of both mental and physical fatigue weighing on their starters. Yes, UConn has eight available players, but its three reserves would be the last ones off the bench if the team were healthy. Against Providence, that trio played a combined 27 minutes and finished with one point, one assist and zero rebounds. And while it appears Caroline Ducharme (concussion) is nearing a potential return, it’s not likely she’ll be ready by Sunday.

The lack of depth didn’t end up hurting UConn against Tennessee, but the Gamecocks are too good and too deep to not capitalize off their plethora of options. Auriemma will have his group prepared and ready to grind it out no matter the ultimate result, but Staley just has too many options and fresh legs at her disposal.

Aliyah Boston and Aaliyah Edwards are two of the best players in the nation this season. How will they match up?

Voepel: This game is much-anticipated not just because it is a rematch of the 2022 national championship game, but because we get to see how an improved Edwards fares against Boston, who is the measuring stick for college post players.

It’s been fun to see how Edwards’ game has grown this season and how well she has embraced having so much weight on her shoulders. As a junior, she has blossomed into what we think of as the classic UConn post player: She creates a big target, she is relentless on the boards, she passes well, she doesn’t get rattled.

Boston was a pro-ready player even last season, and she has had no drop-off in ability even if her stats are lower. The combination of South Carolina’s depth and the Gamecocks’ domination of many of their opponents explain why Boston’s numbers are down even though she’s playing just as well.

Creme: Not only is Boston a unique talent, but her presence within the South Carolina system is unique. She doesn’t have to be statistically dominant for the Gamecocks to win. A 13-point, eight-rebound game for Boston could produce the same result as a 22 and 15 output. These days, Edwards is not afforded that luxury.

She has to play substantial minutes and produce big numbers for UConn to win nearly any game, let alone one against the best team in the country. When the two are matched up one-on-one, how effective Edwards is making those 15-foot jump shots on which she has improved so much will be important, especially early in the game. That should draw Boston away from the basket, freeing up Juhász to operate in the low post and create more driving room for Aubrey Griffin. The more Edwards’ athleticism and Juhász’s deep shooting talents are able to move Boston around, UConn will have more chance at success.

Philippou I don’t expect UConn’s posts to combine for 12 points and four rebounds like they did against South Carolina in the 2022 national title game. An improved Edwards and healthy Juhász have made this year’s Huskies frontcourt much more potent than last year’s, and they’ve been further bolstered by Griffin’s return. That said, UConn allowed Tennessee to dominate the offensive glass, so that’s one area the Huskies need to improve if they want to keep Sunday’s game competitive. While Boston singlehandedly doesn’t need to do as much for South Carolina for the Gamecocks to win, a UConn upset seems improbable without, likely, both Edwards and Juhász having great games.

I still give the edge to South Carolina here. Not only do the Gamecocks have Boston, they have Cardoso and several athletic forwards at their disposal, which could be even more important if foul trouble becomes a factor.

Which team has the edge in the backcourt?

play

0:23

Nika Muhl drops a no-look dime to give UConn the lead

Nika Muhl makes a nice pass in transition to Aubrey Griffin for the easy layup.

Philippou: Much focus will be on the Boston-Edwards showdown, but don’t sleep on the battle in the backcourt. Lou Lopez Sénéchal has been a revelation for the Huskies, though she’s looked fatigued this week, going 1-for-8 on 3-pointers across the past two games. Zia Cooke, meanwhile, has posted a career-best 2-point efficiency (42.0%) and has improved her 3-point clip from last year (28.7% to 38.0%).

As Charlie points out below, UConn’s lack of ball handlers could really hurt the Huskies against such a defensive-minded team as South Carolina — it’s one of the reasons they’ve been so turnover-prone even though they’ve managed to keep winning for the most part. At the end of the day, this game is where they’ll most miss injured Azzi Fudd‘s ballhandling, shot-creating and shooting.

Creme: The Huskies are the most efficient offense in the country, largely because of the play of Muhl, Lopez Sénéchal and Griffin. If UConn has an advantage in this game, this is it. South Carolina’s guards don’t play with the same offensive crispness or shot-making ability as UConn’s.

South Carolina can run waves of athletic guards at UConn’s band of three. Because foul trouble, with the possible exception of leading scorer Cooke, is not something Dawn Staley has to worry about, the likes of Beal, Amihere, Johnson, Hall and Kierra Fletcher can play as physically as they want. Over 40 minutes that could take a toll, especially on Muhl and Lopez Sénéchal, who are UConn’s predominant ball handlers.

Voepel: Muhl is an old-school point guard: Her primary role is as a facilitator and she’s great at it, leading Division I women with 8.8 assists per game. Where would UConn be without Lopez Sénéchal? The Fairfield Stags transfer looks as if she’s been with the Huskies for years. These two have been so impressive, especially considering how much and how well they have played with Fudd and Ducharme out with injuries and Paige Bueckers missing the season.

But South Carolina’s guard corps brings size, length and quickness. Cooke is leading the Gamecocks in scoring (15.4) and is their best 3-point shooter. When she leaves the court, South Carolina has replacements who might not be Cooke’s offensive equal but excel defensively.

What’s at stake for the projected No. 1 seeds?

Creme: From a Bracketology perspective, South Carolina has nothing to lose, or gain, for that matter. The Gamecocks are entrenched as a No. 1 seed. A loss doesn’t change that. In fact, a loss isn’t even nearly enough to cost them the No. 1 overall spot. A win would all but lock that down.

The game has more meaning for the Huskies. A loss, especially a close one, wouldn’t immediately cost them a No. 1 seed. But if UConn pulls the upset without Fudd and Ducharme, it would take something considerable over the next month to knock the Huskies out of a top seed.

Where it gets interesting is if UConn gets blown out on Sunday and a week later LSU beats South Carolina — or at minimum makes it a competitive game. That could be the best case the Tigers — currently a No. 2 seed — would have of moving past the Huskies to a No. 1 seed.

Which team wins Sunday?

Voepel: The way the Gamecocks have looked, how do you pick against them? South Carolina gets the nod, for sure. But it’s unlikely the Huskies won’t play up to expectations, too, because that’s what the program does. And the XL Center crowd, having so few times when they can rally behind a UConn team considered the underdog, should be very energetic. The game could be close in the first half, and UConn might even lead at the break. But it’s hard to see the Gamecocks not wearing down the Huskies, taking control and closing them out.

Creme: UConn is the most accurate field goal shooting team in the country. No one holds their opponents to a lower percentage than the Gamecocks. It’s the ultimate strength vs. strength matchup. But this game is coming at the wrong time for the Huskies. They look worn down after two months of overcoming injuries and illness. To beat South Carolina, even UConn would need to be at its peak powers. Even on the road, this is the Gamecocks’ game to lose — and they won’t. The Huskies will find a way to stay close as long as they can. But 40 minutes is a long time, and South Carolina wins going away.

Philippou: South Carolina wins this one behind its superior depth, but if these two teams meet again in March or April — and UConn has Ducharme and Fudd back into the fold and playing at a high level — the result could be much different.

Svenska herrsuccén – tog första pallplatsen på sex år

Söndagen började med diskningsdramat kring damernas stafett – som slutade i en andraplats för lag ett efter att Tyskland blivit diskade

Efter lunch var det dags för herrarnas stafett, med Calle Halfvarsson i spetsen. 

Erik Rosjö inledde för Sverige och såg till att Sverige följde efter Norge i täten.

– Det gick rätt lugnt. Men är lite besviken att jag inte var med när Erik Valnes ryckte, säger han.

Din tränare Lars Ljung beskrev din insats som ”världsklass”.

– Det var nog lite överdrivet, va, säger Rosjö om sin tränares omdöme.

Rosjös insats var stark – men den skulle snabbt överträffas. 

Men Calle Halfvarsson gjorde två riktigt starka varv och gav Sverige ledningen. 

– Det var bingo för mig som inte är i toppform direkt, säger Halfvarsson.

Tränaren hyllade honom efter loppet.

– Han såg ut som en rund miljon, säger tränaren Lars Ljung efter loppet.

Trots att Sverige tappade något i den tredje, och låg på en femte plats vid sista växlingen, var Johan Häggström också snabb under dagens lopp.

– Det gick väldigt bra tycker jag, säger Johan Häggström i Viaplay.

Sverige utmanade hela vägen – slutade i andraplatsen

Vid tredje växlingen låg Sverige och Edvin Anger femma, men var en del av en toppklunga där bara Norge hade en lucka. Harald Östberg Amundsens försprång ökade med tiden och det såg länge ut att bli en bekväm seger för Norge.

Men Edvin Anger gjorde en ruggig uppåkning och lyckades skapa spänning inför sista varvet.
Han blåste först förbi italienaren Federico Pellegrino, innan fransmannen Richard Jouve fick lämna plats.

Under sista varvet gick Pellegrino förbi igen och blev vinnare, vilket innebär italiensk vinst i herrstafetten. 

”Såg ut som han aldrig gjort något annat”

Edvin Anger, 20, stod för en hjälteinsats och gav Sverige en rejäl chans till en seger, men missade förstaplatsen med 0.7 sekunders marginal.

Tränaren Lars Ljung var lyrisk efter loppet och lät hälsa att han hoppas att de skulle hinna fira dagens insats.

– Edvin såg ut som han aldrig hade gjort något annat, säger han och fortsätter.

– Han ville åka det sista loppet och det var en bra ansökan inför VM.

‘We’re wired to go after it every year’: Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs are built to last

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The Kansas City Chiefs and general manager Brett Veach expected skepticism about their plan for the 2022 season after they traded a premier wide receiver in Tyreek Hill and assembled a post-draft depth chart that included six defensive rookies in significant positions.

But they were puzzled by suggestions that after four straight AFC Championship Game appearances and a Super Bowl title they were in something of a rebuild and would take a step back and relinquish their spot at or near the top of the conference.

They were planning all along to make another strong championship run and perhaps return to the Super Bowl for the third time in four seasons.

“When you have Pat Mahomes, we’re wired to go after it every year,” Veach said.

But only one team has Patrick Mahomes at quarterback, and that team has been able to sustain success in a way most others haven’t.

Since the Chiefs won the Super Bowl following the 2019 season, staying near the top of the league has been a slippery slope for championship teams. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Chiefs in Super Bowl LV to close out the 2021 season, but lost in the divisional round of the playoffs last year.

The Los Angeles Rams went all in to win a Super Bowl by trading their recent first-round draft picks for veterans like cornerback Jalen Ramsey and quarterback Matthew Stafford. They succeeded last year by winning the Super Bowl but a lack of depth this season caused the Rams to collapse. They finished 5-12. They became the first defending champions since 2016 to miss the postseason the following year. Their 12 losses is the worst title defense in NFL history, with the 1999 Denver Broncos as the only other team to lose 10 games the next year.

The Bengals haven’t won a championship but suffered a narrow loss to the Rams in last season’s Super Bowl. They’ve also been a nemesis for the Chiefs, beating them three times over the past two seasons before losing the AFC Championship Game on a Harrison Butker field goal with three seconds left.

But their window as a contender could be closing soon as quarterback Joe Burrow, playing on the contract he signed as a rookie in 2020, is due for a massive extension this offseason. The Bengals will surely have decisions to make with their cap space.

The Chiefs, meanwhile, for the third time in four seasons are headed to the Super Bowl, where they will face the Philadelphia Eagles. Mahomes, 27, will likely win his second MVP. In their first season without their All-Pro receiver, their rookies stepped up on both sides of the ball, their free agent signings have paid off and tight end Travis Kelce had the best season of his career. They appear to not only have lengthened but also strengthened their window to win championships with Mahomes as their quarterback.

THE CHIEFS BEGAN the 2022 offseason with two major goals. One was to fortify a defense that was aging and slow in spots, particularly the secondary. Another was to extend Hill’s contract.

Then Christian Kirk, who had not topped 80 catches in any of his first four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, signed a four-year $72 million deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars, setting the market for huge wide receivers contracts.

“It became obvious as free agency started given the way wide receiver contracts were going up that it was going to be tough to do both,” Veach told ESPN.

So the Chiefs had a decision to make about which way to proceed. It’s silly to suggest the Chiefs wouldn’t be in the Super Bowl now if they decided to re-sign Hill. He had career highs this season for the Dolphins with 119 catches and 1,710 yards.

But signing Hill to the lucrative contract extension would have come at a cost for the Chiefs. The cap number for Mahomes jumped this season to more than $35 million, up from less than $8 million in 2021. It will rise another $11 million in 2023. Defensive linemen Chris Jones and Frank Clark are scheduled to cost the Chiefs almost $57 million against the cap next season.

Hill’s contract with the Dolphins will cost them more than $31 million against their cap next season. The Chiefs projected their salary cap for years with a potential Hill extension and didn’t like what they saw.

“Everyone knew what the next two or three years would look like and how many players we’d have to potentially cut and how difficult things would be,” Veach said. “We would have had a lot of expensive players.

“It’s hard to be successful in this league year after year. It’s hard to win games year after year. There are going to be moments where we have to step out there and do something uncomfortable. No one wanted to lose Tyreek. He’s a great player. But if you’re going to do something, trust the process and trust how you do things and don’t be afraid to commit to change a year sooner when you have more ability to potentially make those changes work better.”

The Chiefs gained some salary-cap flexibility by dealing Hill. In the free agent market they signed two receivers who would become starters, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling.

The two combined during the regular season for 120 catches and 1,620 yards, numbers similar to those that Hill gave the Dolphins. The combined salary-cap cost for the two was less than $8 million.

Valdes-Scantling had a Hill-like performance in the AFC Championship Game win over the Cincinnati Bengals with six catches, 116 yards and a touchdown.

The picks provided to the Chiefs in the Hill trade allowed them to draft Trent McDuffie, a starting cornerback, and Skyy Moore, a reserve wide receiver. They have two additional picks from the trade to use in this year’s draft.

Mahomes wasn’t a fan of the Hill trade initially but the Chiefs convinced him it would work in the short and long terms.

“I wanted to keep him, for sure,” Mahomes said. “They had a plan for it, though. They told me the plan and we were going to get these draft picks. We were going to go out there and bring in some free agent receivers, and I think they executed on that.

“We know that to keep having success in this league we have to keep evolving, keep getting better. I always want to be successful this year, but at the same time, I’m here for the long haul. If we’re going to have a long time here, I want to have a chance to win Super Bowls every single year.”

The Chiefs’ other offensive star, Kelce, said he had concerns after the Hill trade, including how effective the Chiefs might be on offense and what it all might mean for him.

He said those doubts disappeared quickly.

“Yes, that was a question,” Kelce said. “But once I saw how hard guys were working, paying attention to details, how Pat keeps progressing as a quarterback … Right now, we’re in a good routine that we just keep getting better. You could feel that from the day we started from May until now.”

The Chiefs led the NFL in yards and scoring during the regular season.

THERE WAS A decidedly youthful flavor to the Chiefs this season. They were fourth in the NFL in the regular season in snaps played on offense, defense and special teams by rookies, a remarkable stat for a team that was one of two with the NFL’s best record at 14-3 and wound up in the Super Bowl. Seventh-round draft pick Isiah Pacheco led the Chiefs in rushing with 830 yards, the most they’ve had from any one player since Kareem Hunt led the NFL in 2017.

The real impact came on defense, where the Chiefs were third in snaps played by rookies. Six rookies made significant contributions on defense this season, most notably defensive end George Karlaftis, who was third among rookies in sacks with six, and fifth in pass rush win rate at 8.1%.

Cornerback Jaylen Watson, a seventh-round pick, gave the Chiefs one of their biggest plays of the season when he returned an interception 99 yards for a touchdown in a Week 2 game against the Los Angeles Chargers. Watson was one of four rookie defensive backs to play significant time for the Chiefs. McDuffie, cornerback Josh Williams and safety Bryan Cook were the others.

“There’s a little bit of growing pain still there, but there’s a lot of downs there, where those guys are doing a really good job and they go unnoticed because the ball isn’t getting thrown there,” defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said. “There’s been a lot of downs where they’ve done a nice job with that.”

The growing pains Spagnuolo referred to include the inevitable rookie mistakes. Moore fumbled three punt returns, one being a key play in a three-point loss to the Indianapolis Colts in Week 3. The Chiefs led the league in pass interference penalties with 17 in part because of so much youth in the secondary.

“Obviously there was a concern, but there was an optimism that it can be done,” coach Andy Reid said of playing so many rookies. “Young guys. Who would have thought this at the beginning of the year, right? We had a lot of new faces, and for everybody to come together like that, that’s satisfying as a coach.”

The rookies came through in the AFC Championship Game. Watson and Williams each had an interception, one on a pass deflected by Cook. Moore’s 29-yard punt return set up Butker’s game-winning field goal. Karlaftis had a sack. McDuffie broke up two passes.

“The whole crew stepped up,” Veach said. “That’s what you need to do to win these types of games. It’s a long season. You have to have tremendous depth.

“It was pretty clear early on that this would be a special group and they were certainly a big part of this journey here.”

The Chiefs will face some uncertainty heading into the offseason. Smith-Schuster, wide receiver Mecole Hardman and offensive tackle Orlando Brown are among those who are potential unrestricted free agents. Jones, a Defensive Player of the Year candidate, is heading into the final season of his contract and might want an extension.

But the Chiefs will have available cap space (about $14 million according to overthecap.com), as many as 12 draft picks once the compensatory picks are distributed, and as always, a plan in place.

“Even though you may make moves and you may lose really good players, it doesn’t mean there won’t be a counterpunch and that we won’t try to be aggressive in another way,” Veach said. “What’s needed to do that is draft resources and cap space. We’re just going to find a new set of resources and try to be aggressive.”

Bekräftat: Gojani till Kalmar FF

Robert Gojani saknades på Silkeborgs träningsläger i Spanien och det på grund av att han undersökte möjligheterna till ett klubbyte, Midtjyllands Avis.

Nu har klubbytet blivit bekräftat och den tidigare Elfsborg-mittfältaren återvänder till allsvenskan. Han har skrivit på ett treårskontrakt med Kalmar FF.

– Det känns väldigt skönt att det är klart och jag ser fram emot att få representera Kalmar FF i Allsvenskan. De visade tidigt att de ville ha över mig och det är klart att det betyder mycket. Jag hade ett snack med Henrik Jensen (ny tränare i KFF, reds. anm) för några dagar sen där jag fick ett väldigt gott intryck. Det har varit en bra tid i Silkeborg med en tredje plats i fjol där vi spelade en väldigt underhållande fotboll. Jag ser stora likheter i det spelsystemet som Henrik vill etablera med Kalmar FF och det ska bli kul att få vara med på den resan, säger Gojani i ett uttalande på KFF:s hemsida.

Gojani ansluter från Silkeborg som han spelade i från sommaren 2021. KFF:s sportchef Jörgen Peterson gläds åt förstärkningen.

– Vi får in en erfaren spelare med över 300 matcher på elitnivå i Sverige och Danmark. Vi har sökt en spelare med egenskaper för att spela i en roll som 8:a och/eller 6:a, roller som Gojani behärskar och är van vid från Elfsborg, Jönköpings Södra och Silkeborg. Vi ser därmed en fördel i möjligheten till en snabb anpassning, vilket är positivt för både spelaren och för Kalmar FF. Därför är det glädjande att vi får hit en spelare som varit i Allsvenskan, vet vilka vi är, samt har erfarenhet från danska ligan och europeiska cuper. När möjligheten dök upp att få hit Robert agerade vi snabbt. Det har varit en bra och konstruktiv dialog med Silkeborg IF för att kunna lösa den här övergången på ett snabbt och smidigt sätt, säger han i ett uttalande på KFF:s hemsida.

 I Sverige har 30-åringen tidigare representerat Elfsborg och Jönköpings Södra. På meritlistan finns en landskamp för Sverige.

Young stars making a statement at Pro Bowl Games

LAS VEGAS — The Pro Bowl is an annual celebration of the NFL’s finest players, most of them well-established veterans with many years of pro experience.

And then there is Sauce Gardner.

The New York Jets rookie cornerback stormed onto the scene this season, announcing his entry into the league with his dominant brand of coverage and elite playmaking ability.

And he’s not alone. As the AFC and NFC teams gathered at Allegiant Stadium on Saturday for a walkthrough ahead of the Sunday conclusion of the Pro Bowl Games (3 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN/ESPN+), it was impossible to ignore all the young blood. Fourteen players on this year’s Pro Bowl squads have three or fewer years of NFL experience.

It’s a vivid reminder that at a time when the last generation’s icons are reaching retirement, the future of the game looks bright.

“[Tom] Brady retired, and that’s decades of greatness right there,” second-year Dallas Cowboys edge rusher Micah Parsons said. “J.J. Watt retired. Von Miller is still going but I don’t know how many years we have left to enjoy him. I hope he plays forever.

“So, it’s cool to be a part of this new generation and to carry on what those guys did and hopefully get those gold [Hall of Fame] jackets like they got.”

Some of the brightest stars in the Sunday events are going to also be some of the youngest players in attendance. There’s no better example than Minnesota Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson, who is in his third season but already is marking his third Pro Bowl selection. He also was a unanimous All-Pro selection.

“There’s so many good young players right now,” Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence said before being interrupted mid-sentence for a fist bump with Gardner. “See, speaking of good young players. It’s really cool for the game.”

Gardner, who led the NFL with 20 passes defensed, became the first rookie cornerback selected first-team All-Pro in 41 years.

“You have a lot of young guys who watched the older guys and the foundation that they set,” Gardner said. “So, the mentality we have is that you don’t have to be an older guy to be able to dominate in this league. You’ve got to have heart and you’ve got to have a lot of confidence. I feel like all of these young guys around the league, I feel like that’s what we have a lot of.”

That might sound a bit bold for someone who is still 22 years old, but Gardner also understands the wisdom of those who came before him. He latched on to the words of Hall of Famers Peyton Manning and Ray Lewis this past week, as the two greats are serving as AFC coaches.

“They told me stuff that’s going to stick with me forever,” Gardner said. “We want to be where our idols are. … We want to be like the guys who motivated us and inspired us.”

Not all of the young and emerging stars are household names just yet. Detroit Lions second-year receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown is here after making 106 receptions for a surprisingly high-octane offense.

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Tariq Woolen went from the fifth round of the NFL draft to the Pro Bowl in one season after leading the league with six interceptions. He’s one of three rookies in this Pro Bowl, joining Gardner and Dallas Cowboys return specialist KaVontae Turpin.

As the teams wrap up their skills competitions and play the new series of flag football games Sunday, they might provide a small window into what the future of the league will look like.

“It’s exciting,” Lawrence said, “because every year guys are going to continue to get better and better.”

PSG provide update on Lionel Messi contract talks

Paris Saint-Germain sporting advisor Luis Campos has provided an update on the club’s contract talks with Lionel Messi.

The Argentina’s current deal expires in the summer and while he has long been expected to renew his contract in the French capital, the two parties are still yet to reach an agreement.

Messi has perennially been linked with a return to Barcelona while moves to MLS and Saudi Arabia have also been floated over the last few months.

But Campos insists that PSG are working to tie Messi down to a new contract and talks are ongoing.

“At the moment, we are in discussions with Messi for his extension. I would like to keep him in this project, I can’t hide it,” Campos told Telefoot.

“We are talking at the moment to achieve this goal, and continue to have him with us.”

After a slow first season at PSG, Messi has returned to top form this campaign either side of a glorious World Cup-winning campaign with Argentina.

Across 24 games in all competitions, Messi has registered 15 goals and 14 assists for the French champions.

Listen now as Scott Saunders hosts Graeme Bailey and Toby Cudworth to wrap up the January transfer window and discuss Enzo Fernandez, Moises Caicedo, Marcel Sabitzer, Hakim Ziyech’s failed PSG move and more!

If you can’t see this embed, click here to watch the episode!