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Women’s soccer in England secures record sponsorship deal

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LONDON (AP) Women’s soccer in England will receive record levels of investment after its top league secured a sponsorship deal reportedly worth more than 10 million pounds ($13.2 million) over the next three seasons.

Barclays will become the first sponsor of the Women’s Super League in what the English Football Association is saying is the biggest ever investment in British women’s sports by a brand.

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The deal, which was announced on Wednesday, runs from the start of the 2019-20 season through July 2022. Barclays was the title sponsor of the Premier League in men’s soccer from 2004-16 and still has links with the league.

Kelly Simmons, the FA’s Director of Women’s Professional Game, says the “record, multimillion-pound commitment will impact all levels of the game.”

The Super League, which is Europe’s only fully professional domestic female soccer league, will now have prize money for the first time. A total of 500,000 pounds ($660,000) will be distributed to clubs based on their final league positions.

In another boost for the women’s game, FIFA says French telecommunications giant Orange has become the sixth sponsor of this year’s Women’s World Cup in France.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Pochettino charged by FA for Dean confrontation

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It isn’t much of a surprise that Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has been charged by the English Football Association after tearing into referee Mike Dean at the conclusion of Spurs’ 2-1 loss to Burnley on Saturday.

Pochettino later apologized for his actions, clearly heated after Spurs wasted a chance to make up ground on Liverpool in the Premier League title race.

[ PL PREVIEW: Newcastle v. Burnley ]

Now he has until Thursday to respond to charges. Here’s the FA release, via the BBC:

“Mauricio Pochettino has been charged with two breaches of FA Rule E3 following the game against Burnley on Saturday [23 February 2019]. It is alleged the Tottenham Hotspur manager’s language and/or behaviour at the end of the fixture – both on the pitch and in or around the tunnel area – amounted to improper conduct.”

West Ham has top two coaches charged by FA

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The next step toward a suspension for West Ham’s top two dugout men happened Monday, as both manager Slaven Bilic and assistant Nikola Jurcevic were charged by the FA.

Jurcevic found himself sent to the stands after leaving the technical area and charging down the touchline to argue with officials who disallowed a West Ham goal.

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West Brom tied late, and Bilic lost his mind. The West Ham manager picked up a fuzzy boom mic and threw it to the field.

If both are suspended, West Ham could turn to first team coach Edin Terzic or goalkeeper coach Chris Woods against Watford on Feb. 25.

Terzic, 33, was with Borussia Dortmund’s Academy before moving to Besiktas to join Bilic’s staff. Woods was with Everton from 1998 until 2013, when he joined David Moyes at Manchester United.

Manchester City charged by FA over anti-doping violation

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The English Football Association has charged Manchester City with a violation of the country’s anti-doping policy.

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City has until Jan. 19 to respond to the charge, which has to do with keeping proper addresses, contact information, and training schedules for their players:

It is alleged the club failed to ensure that their ‘Club Whereabouts’ information was accurate, contrary to Regulation 14(d).

That’s all for now. More details as they emerge.

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Dele Alli charged for Claudio Yacob punch; Second place in play?

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By now, you’ve likely seen the footage of Spurs midfielder Dele Alli slugging West Brom defender Claudio Yacob (Watch here).

So has the FA.

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Alli, 20, could be done for the season due to the incident, as he is facing a charge from the English Football Association that could lead to a three-match ban.

Off the ball incidents which are not seen at the time by the match officials are referred to a panel of three former elite referees.

Each referee panel member will review the video footage independently of one another to determine whether they consider it a sending-off offence. For retrospective action to be taken, and an FA charge to follow, the decision of the panel must be unanimous.

Spurs’ title hopes have only been on the thinnest thread for weeks, and this likely clips it. Alli should be banned, something that will very much please Chelsea, Southampton and Newcastle.

Does this open up the race for second place? Man City and Arsenal are both five points back of Spurs, who face a brutal run-in.