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By Timothy Akintola

Updates on Gallagher, Raphaël Varane, NBA awards, Kepa and Manchester United.

Chelsea issues statement concerning viral Conor Gallagher video.

In a now viral video, Conor Gallagher, ahead of the Burnley clash, appeared to ignore a young mascot who was extending his hand to the player for a handshake, rather wrapping his hands around another mascot. While the Chelsea midfielder has received huge backlash since this video surfaced, with many social media users labelling him a racist, some believe it is a compromising situation with Gallagher not seeing the black Mascot. Chelsea has now released an official statement, condemning these abuses, while also highlighting the club’s commitment to inclusivity and diversity.

Raphaël Varane opens up on the damages from heading the ball.

Manchester United defender, Raphaël Varane has been very vocal about the health of football players and has in a new interview with French media, L’Equipe, opened up on suffering recurrent concussions due to heading the ball. Varane disclosed that he suffered multiple concussions against Nigeria in the 2014 World Cup last 16 and also against Manchester City in the Champions League semi final clash with Real Madrid. According to the defender, explained the lack of understanding of head injuries among many professional footballers, stating that even if it does not cause immediate trauma, long term effects like repeated shocks are bound to occur. As such, advocated for a limited use of ball headings during training sessions.

The NBA releases shortlist for the 2023/2024 Sportsmanship Award.

With the regular season wrapping up, shortlists for some of the NBA regular season awards are being released, one of which is the sportsmanship award. This award recognizes players that represent the highest sportsmanship qualities on the basketball court from each of the six NBA divisions and the six man list for this year’s award include Philadelphia Sixers’ Tyrese Maxey, Cleveland Cavaliers’ center, Jarrett Allen, Miami Heats’ Kevin Love, Oklahoma City Thunders’ point guard, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Harrison Barnes of the Sacramento Kings and San Antonio Spurs’ Tre Jones.

Kepa Arrizabalaga set to return to Chelsea after loan spell with Real Madrid.

Spain goalkeeper, Kepa Arrizabalaga secured a loan move to Real Madrid with dreams of making it permanent after Courtois’ sustained a critical ACL tear last year. Despite a remarkable start, the 28 year-old has failed to seal his starting position in the team, with third keeper, Lunin being valued greater by Carlo Ancelotti. The La Liga giant has now decided against making a permanent bid contract and Kepa will now return to Chelsea at the end of the season.

Lisandro Martinez and Victor Lindelof out for at least a month.

Manchester United’s injury woes continue as center-back pair, Lisandro Martinez and Victor Lindelof are set to be out for at least a month due to injuries. Lisandro Martinez returned for the first time since February as a substitute for Lindelof who suffered a hamstring injury in the 1-1 draw against Brentford last weekend. The club has now confirmed that the Argentine defender also picked up a new injury in training and the pair will now miss at least a couple of games. Erik ten Hag has had issues with his defensive pairing all season, with most defenders sustaining injuries and this will be another dicey situation for the club as they fight to book a spot for next season’s European football.

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