Rwanda disqualified from African Cup of Nations over player with 2 identities, will appeal

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The Rwandan National Team is appealing a decision by the CAF to disqualify the country based on the identity of a player they used in the team’s qualifying matches against Libya and Republic of Congo.

The decision temporarily means the Republic of Congo will take Rwanda’s place in the group stage, pending the appeal.

Rwandan striker Dady Birori was deemed to have an alternate identity – Tady Etekiama (or Etekiama Agiti Tady) – under a Congolese passport and stating a different date of birth, used for play with his club team AS Vita of the Republic of Congo.

“[We] established that the two identities only referred to a single person,” said the CAF in a release.

The player in question scored a hat-trick in Rwanda’s first-round victory over Libya as Rwanda went through 3-0 on aggregate. He played but did not score in leg one of their second round match against Congo, which Rwanda lost 2-0. They won the second leg 2-0 and won the matchup on a penalty shootout.  He did not feature in the second leg.

According to the BBC, Rwanda claims they were not aware of his multiple identities, but investigators have countered with the recall summons the player received from the national team, which uses his club identity.

Biori has been suspended indefinitely, and the CAF says they will make a decision on how long his ban will be next month. They said they reserve the right to “impose additional sanctions if necessary.”

The 2015 African Cup of Nations will be held in Morocco and will take place in January and February. Players often leave their club teams during this time to join in the tournament.

Soccer world reacts to the Manchester attacks

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NBC News is reporting that at least 19 people have been killed and another 50 are injured following a possible suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

Multiple senior U.S. intelligence officials who are monitoring British authorities told NBC News that preliminary reports indicate that a single explosion took place outside the arena on the southwest side opposite the train station. The explosion occurred as the concert ended, catching people as they exited.

Soccer personalities around the world are reacting to the horrible event.

Juventus purchases Cuadrado from Chelsea

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If you didn’t realize Juan Cuadrado still belonged to Chelsea, you’re forgiven.

The Colombian attacker will complete his second season at Juventus after the UEFA Champions League Final against Real Madrid, and won’t be headed back to Chelsea afterwards.

Juve has purchased Cuadrado, and the fee is $22 million, and Juve will pay it over three seasons. Cuadrado, 28, is now signed through 2020 with The Old Lady.

Cuadrado first went on loan to Juve in Aug. 2015, and has eight goals and 18 assists in 83 career appearances with the club.

Chelsea bought Cuadrado from Fiorentina for around $32 million in the January 2015 transfer window, but made just 14 appearances with the club.

Report: Jermain Defoe meeting with Bournemouth

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Sky Sports is reporting that Jermain Defoe may head back to the south of England following Sunderland’s relegation.

Defoe, 34, spent two seasons with Portsmouth between 2008-09, scoring 15 goals in 31 appearances.

[ MORE: ‘The Moment’ of each PL club’s season ]

The 56-times capped England striker had a clause in his Sunderland contract allowing him to leave the Stadium of Light were the Black Cats to be relegated, as they were this season. He’d have little interest in dropping into the Championship given his desire to stay a part of the England squad ahead of the 2018 World Cup.

Bournemouth’s strike corps includes Joshua King, who scored the most goals of any player not on a Top Seven side this season. King’s 16 goals were one more than Defoe’s 15, though the latter scored just one goal following a brace against Crystal Palace on Feb. 4.

Chelsea’s Conte wins pair of top managerial honors

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Antonio Conte took league and national honors from the League Managers Association on Monday night.

The Chelsea boss was named Premier League Manager of the Year and Manager of the Year after leading the Blues to the PL title and an FA Cup Final in his first year on the job.

Brighton and Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton nabbed another Championship boss of the year award after leading the Gulls to the Premier League. He also won the honor with Newcastle United in 2010.

The League One winner is Chris Wilder of Sheffield United. Wilder won the honor with Northampton Town last season.

In League Two, Paul Cook of Portsmouth was named the winner.