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  • Saudi Arabia boycott Qatari entities

    Tensions in the Gulf region have seen countries such as Saudi Arabia boycott Qatari entities - and their measures could impact football fans who wish to wear Neymar and Lionel Messi replica shirts. Qatar's Arab neighbours have blacklisted entities such as Qatar Airways over their alleged extremist connection, with Barca shirts sporting the airline's logo said to be outlawed. Qatar have rejected the claims. According to Sky Italy, supporters caught donning shirts with the Qatar Airways logo now face €135,000 fines (around £120,000) and up to 15 years in jail. The ban comes amid a diplomatic row as Saudi Arabia blacklisted entities and individuals that they perceive as connecting Qatar to extremist groups, with the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Yemen and Bahrain included. Barcelona have been sponsored by Qatar Airways for the past four seasons, but they have agreed a new four-year deal with Japanese online retailer Rakuten from the start of the 2017-18 campaign. Last summer, Barca's own fan base called for the club to cut ties with Gulf state Qatar, which included a petition signed by over 60,000 people. Read more »
  • Why Manchester United star Henrikh Mkhitaryan trained alone at Carrington

     

    Henrikh Mkhitaryan trained on his own at Carrington on Sunday out of choice after he was not involved in Manchester United's draw against Burnley.

    United players were given Sunday off by Jose Mourinho but Mkhitaryan chose to enhance his fitness at the club's training complex, contrary to reports claiming he was made to train alone.

    M.E.N. Sport understands Mkhitaryan has always done additional training sessions dating back to his stint at Shakhtar Donetsk and a source described him as a 'perfectionist and a hard worker'.

    The 27-year-old was not included in the fifth matchday squad in succession against Burnley on Saturday and has not played since he was substituted on his full debut against City on September 10.

    It is understood the 27-year-old is hopeful of resolving his situation as soon as possible and is eager to cement himself as the playmaker in Mourinho's side in a similar role to the way Thomas Tuchel played him at Borussia Dortmund last season, when Mkhitaryan scored 23 goals and provided 24 assists.

    Mkhitaryan has been described as a 'strong character and real fighter who doesn't show his emotions' and he is training intensively in an attempt to return to the first-team.

    M.E.N. Sport has also been told claims Mkhitaryan could be sold in the new year are 'completely false' and he is focused on his Old Trafford career.

    Read more »
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