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Police Officer Charged Over Murder Of Footballer

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A police officer has been charged with the murder of retired footballer Dalian Atkinson who died after being Tasered.

The ex-Aston Villa striker, 48, was restrained by police officers at his father’s house in Telford, Shropshire, on 15 August 2016.

A second police officer, also from the West Mercia Police force, has been charged with assault causing actual bodily harm. Both have appeared at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court.

The Crown Prosecution Services (CPS) has not named the officers because it believes their defence will apply for them to remain anonymous.

An alternative charge of unlawful act manslaughter has also been put forward by the CPS for the officer charged with murder, known as “Officer A”.

He was remanded in custody after appearing before magistrates.

The second officer, “Officer B”, indicated she would plead not guilty and was bailed ahead of their next appearance at Birmingham Crown Court later.

The CPS made the decision to press charges following an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

Mr Atkinson’s family has been informed, a spokesperson said and issued a statement welcoming the decision but they “regret that already more than three years have passed since Dalian died”.

Police officers attended Meadow Close in Trench, Telford, where Mr Atkinson was detained outside an address at about 01:30 BST.

He was taken by ambulance to the Princess Royal Hospital where he later died.

It’s rare for a police officer to be charged with murder following the death of someone they were in contact with on duty.

The last time this happened in the UK was five years ago, when Anthony Long, a retired Metropolitan Police firearms officer, was charged with the murder of robbery suspect Azelle Rodney.

He was shot dead in north-west London in 2005, but 10 years later Mr Long was acquitted.

The exact circumstances of Dalian Atkinson’s death haven’t been revealed and it is not known whether the Taser contributed to, or caused his death.

However, this is believed to be the first time an officer has been charged with murder after a person has been Tasered by police.

Relatives said the former footballer was suffering from a number of health issues and had a weak heart when the Taser was deployed.

Mr Atkinson started his career at Ipswich Town before moving to Sheffield Wednesday, Real Sociedad, Aston Villa and Fenerbahçe in Turkey.

He is best remembered for scoring the Match of the Day goal of the season in 1992-93 when he dribbled the ball from inside his own half before chipping the Wimbledon keeper from the edge of the penalty area.

In a statement, West Mercia Police said: “Our thoughts continue to remain with the family and friends of Dalian Atkinson at this difficult time.”

Chief Constable Anthony Bangham said it would not be appropriate to comment on the circumstances around Mr Atkinson’s death, but added he would ensure the officers in question “have the appropriate support throughout the forthcoming criminal justice process”.

The IOPC said it appreciates the “patience” shown during their investigation, which concluded in October 2018.

Actions of a third police officer, who was also investigated over Mr Atkinson’s death, were not referred to the CPS, the watchdog added.

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EPL: Four Key Players To Miss Man City Clash Against Chelsea

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Manchester City will be without four key players: Bernado Silva, Leroy Sane, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Aymeric Laporte when they face a high flying Chelsea side after the international break.

Manchester City’s first game following the November international break is a big one against Frank Lampard’s side.

The reigning Premier League champions Manchester City face the Blues at the Eithad Stadium and Chelsea can move four points clear of Pep Guardiola’s side with victory in the day’s late kick-off.

City boss, Pep Guardiola has somewhat of a selection dilemma on his hands ahead of the game.

Silva is to serve a one-game suspension in relation to social media message about teammate Benjamin Mendy.

Silva was charged by the Football Association last month after he compared Mendy to the character on a packet of Conguitos – a sweet brand available in Spain and Portugal.

He has also been fined £50,000 for the tweet and will only sit out the clash against Lampard’s side.

A statement via the FA’s official website reads, “Bernardo Silva has been suspended for one first team competitive fixture, fined £50,000 and must complete face-to-face education after admitting a breach of FA Rule E3.

“The Manchester City midfielder’s social media activity on 22 September 2019 breached FA Rule E3(1), as it was insulting and/or improper and/or brought the game into disrepute, and constituted an “Aggravated Breach”, which is defined in FA Rule E3(2), as it included reference, whether expressed or implied, to race and/or colour and/or ethnic origin.”

Sane suffered a serious knee injury in the Community Shield win over Liverpool back in August and is not expected to play again this year.

The same goes for defender Laporte while Zinchenko could return later in the year.

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U23 Eagles out Of 2020 Olympic Games

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NIGERIA will not be one of Africa’s representatives at the 2020 Olympic Games after crashing out of the ongoing U23 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

The Dream Team VII and South Africa played out a goalless draw in their final group game of the tournament at the Al Salam Stadium yesterday, a result that saw Coach Imama Amapakabo’s side finish third behind Ivory Coast and Amaglug-glug. The Ivorians defeated Zabia 1-0 to finish second .

Nigeria U23 coach Amapakabo sent out the same starting XI that secured the win over Zambia last time out in Cairo.

Chances were few and far between in the opening exchanges as the Rainbow Nation dropped back to draw the Nigerian press, and after Anthony Izuchukwu had failed to keep his header down from Kelechi Nwakali’s corner, it was Ndifreke Effiong who forced Darren Johnson into parrying for a corner.

Ibrahim Sunusi could have put the Olympic Eagles ahead in the 25th minute but his tame effort missed target to the left side of goal.

Nigeria goaltender Adamu Abubakar was called into action at the other end when he smothered Kamohelo Mahlatsi effort aimed at the top corner of his goal.

Nigeria rode their luck a couple of occasions in the game, with the likes of Siyabonga Ngezana, Mahlatsi and Katlego Mohamme looking dangerous deep into the second half.

Second half substitute Sunday Faleye could have won it for Nigeria deep into stoppage time but he could only send his header wide from the centre of the box after Taiwo Awoniyi had set him up with a good cross.

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Saha Calls Cristiano Ronaldo ‘Animal, Not Normal’

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Former Manchester United striker, Louis Saha hailed Juventus superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo as an ‘animal’ in football.

Saha, a former teammate with Ronaldo during their time at Man United also said that the Portugal captain was ‘not normal’ because he works harder than all of his teammates in training.

Ronaldo, a five-time Ballon D’ Or winner, has been impressive for both club and country so far this season.

The 34-year-old is among the 30-man shortlist for this year’s Europe top individual prize alongside Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk.

The former Real Madrid star scored a hat-trick in Portugal’s 6-0 victory over Lithuania in a 2020 Euro qualifier encounter on Thursday night but Saha now believes that Ronaldo is more than talent.

“Cristiano was just an animal. I don’t know if you can say that he was a human! You could see from when he was 18 or 19 that this guy was not normal.

“These players who have all the ability recognise that it’s also about working harder than anyone – not just talent. The top seeds in tennis don’t hit the ball better or have better technique; no, they work harder than anyone, and Cristiano did that,” Saha told FourFourTwo.

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