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Liverpool plays Chelsea in FA Cup final – The Zimbabwe Mail

Chelsea’s goalkeeper Edouard Mendy dives for a save during the English League Cup final soccer match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Wembley stadium in London, Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)


A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Saturday:

ENGLAND

The next step in Liverpool’s quest for an unlikely quadruple of trophies is the FA Cup final against Chelsea. Jürgen Klopp’s side is looking to repeat the League Cup final triumph over the same London club in February. Winning world football’s oldest competition would complete the set of major trophies for Klopp since taking charge of Liverpool in 2015.


There’s still a Champions League final to come against Real Madrid on May 28 after the end of the Premier League, where Liverpool is three points behind Manchester City with two games remaining. Chelsea is almost certain to qualify for the Champions League by finishing third, so winning the FA Cup — after Thomas Tuchel’s side was beaten in last season’s final by Leicester — would provide a welcome lift.

Chelsea has endured weeks of off-field turmoil thanks to its forced sale. An investment group led by Todd Boehly looks to complete the takeover from sanctioned owner Roman Abramovich. Tuchel has reached every major final since being hired by Chelsea at the start of 2021, winning the Champions League last season and the Club World Cup in February.

The FA Cup final is celebrating 150 years since the start of the competition.


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Madrid tries to forget Mbappé, focus on Champions League – The Zimbabwe Mail

Real Madrid’s goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, 2nd left trains during a Media Opining day training session in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday, May 24, 2022. Real Madrid will play Liverpool in Saturday’s Champions League soccer final in Paris. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)


MADRID (AP) — Real Madrid wants to quickly forget about Kylian Mbappé and turn its focus back on the Champions League final against Liverpool.

Four days before the final in suburban Paris, Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti and his players tried their best to avoid talking about the France forward and his decision to stay with Paris Saint-Germain.

Mbappé made the surprising announcement on Saturday, dealing a major blow to Madrid and its fans, who were certain he would be playing in the Spanish capital next season.

“It’s very clear for us that we have to think about our own things,” Ancelotti said Tuesday. “We’ve never talked about players from other squads. We respect everyone, every decision, every club. We have to do our own job. It’s very clear and obvious what we have to think about, which is to prepare for the final.”

Madrid as a club had not made any comments about Mbappé’s decision, although some players were quick to post messages praising the club and saying it was a honor to wear its jersey.

Mbappé had said last year he wanted to join Madrid but PSG turned down offers of nearly 200 million euros ($214 million) for the player. The France forward was widely expected to complete a move to Madrid after becoming a free agent at the end of this season, but instead opted to sign a three-year contract with PSG.

“I’ve never talked about players who are not playing for Real Madrid, and I will never talk about players who are not playing for Real Madrid,” Ancelotti said.

Mbappé’s decision to reject Madrid was the most talked-about subject in Spain in recent days, leaving the Champions League final to the side.


Madrid will be trying to win a record-extending 14th European title on Saturday at Stade de France in its fifth Champions League final in eight seasons.

Madrid won its 10th European Cup eight years ago with Ancelotti as coach, then clinched three straight titles from 2016-18 with Zinedine Zidane at the helm. Madrid defeated Liverpool in the 2018 final in Kyiv.

“There was a lot more pressure then (in 2014). It had been several years since Madrid had won the Champions League. It was almost an obsession for everyone,” Ancelotti said. “Now Madrid fans are motivated, but not so much obsessed about it, and I think that can give us an advantage.”

Ancelotti, who can become the first coach to win four Champions League titles, will have Madrid at full strength on Saturday. He said veteran left back Marcelo has a small issue but should recover in time for the final. Central defender David Alaba, who missed several matches because of a muscle injury, is ready to play in the final.

“The starting lineup is not really a problem, to be honest,” Ancelotti said. “It’s not a match for only 11 players. And those who have entered off the bench have done well to help us so far. Everything has gone well for us so far.”

Madrid reached the final after comebacks against PSG in the round of 16, Chelsea in the quarterfinals and Manchester City in the semifinals.

“I hope this time it’s Liverpool trying to rally against us,” Ancelotti said. “It will be an entertaining final, very even.”

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4-H Zimbabwe Launches Sports For Peace Initiative – 263chat.com

A local organization, 4-H Zimbabwe Foundation , will tomorrow host a multi-party youth sport event aimed at promoting  peace , tolerance and social cohesion amongst youth from different political and social affiliations.

The event which will be held at Belvedere Teacher’s College, will draw participants from political parties such as NCA, FEEZ, CCC , ZANU PF , MDC-T, LEAD and youth civil society organizations.

4-H Zimbabwe National Director, John Muchenje said they are seeking to use sport as a tool to promote peace and tolerance amongst youths from different political parties in the country.

“What we want to achieve is to contribute and promote inter cultural dialogue , to ensure a peaceful environment pre, during and post elections,”Muchenje said

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The organization has been on a deliberate drive to promote a peaceful electoral environment through training youth as embassadors for peace and multi political peace dialogues among other nation building initiatives.

“We also want to identify best practices and lessons learnt through sport and how it builds bridges between individuals across communities and how it helps to attain development and peace objectives,” Muchenje added.

He noted that youth are the embodiment of national unity hence they need to work together and shun all forms violence, especially politically motivated, which is rife towards elections.

Zimbabwe will go for the general elections next year but under a heavy cloud as political violence reigned supreme during the March 26 by-elections.

Muchenje said it is such unfortunate events that they have resorted to target young people, who in most cases, are used to perpetuate violence on behalf of politicians.

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Crocker, 4 Canadians and amateur qualify for U.S. Open – North Shore News

DALLAS (AP) — Sean Crocker found form at just the right time and qualified for his first U.S. Open, among 13 players in Dallas and three in Japan who earned spots at The Country Club next month.

The 36-hole qualifiers were the first of 11 that will fill the field for the U.S. Open, to be played June 16-19 outside Boston.

Crocker, born in Zimbabwe and raised in California through his college years at USC, had gone nine straight tournaments on the European tour without making a cut until a tie for seventh in Belgium last week. He flew to Texas and delivered rounds of 64 at Royal Oaks and 67 at Lakewood Country Club.

He was joined at 11-under par by Kurt Kitayama, Matthew NeSmith and Jinchiro Kozuma, who missed the cut at the PGA Championship and stayed in the region for the U.S. Open qualifier.

Mackenzie Hughes was among four Canadians who qualified in Dallas. Travis Vick, who plays at Texas and reached the semifinals of the U.S. Amateur last summer, was the lone amateur to qualify. Dallas was one of the larger fields because of the PGA Tour event at Colonial this week.

Graeme McDowell, who won the Open in 2010 at Pebble Beach, missed the 6-for-2 playoff in Dallas by one shot. Matt Kuchar also failed to qualify and is likely to miss the U.S. Open for the first time in 15 years.

Tomoyasu Sugiyama, Daijiro Izumida and Todd Sinnott of Australia were the three who qualified in Japan.

The other nine qualifiers will be June 6, the Monday before U.S. Open week.

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More AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

The Associated Press

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