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Emmanuel Adebayor[@E_Adebayor] bears no grudge against Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino

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Emmanuel Adebayor has said he bears no grudge against Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino and described his relationship with him as “beautiful.”

Adebayor, now at Crystal Palace, was released by Spurs in September after being frozen out by Pochettino, who stripped the Togo forward of his squad number and sent him to train with the club’s under-21s.

The striker was named Spurs vice-captain in September 2014 but was dropped following a defeat to Stoke in mid-November and did not start another league game.

Adebayor, 32, returns to his former club — who are still paying a percentage of his wages — in the FA Cup fifth round on Sunday.

And he told The Sun: “Our relationship was beautiful. I think we have a very good relationship, man to man. We always talked and he told me: ‘Manny I don’t count on you any more,’ which I understand.

“I realised my time was over at Tottenham and that I had to move on.”

However, Adebayor was less positive about his relationship with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, saying: “Obviously with the club itself I didn’t have a good relationship and with the chairman because — and you know Daniel Levy better than I do — he makes everything complicated.

“But at the end of the day I know where I am from and when you want something you have to stand strong for it. And I stand strong for what I think is my decision.

“Obviously people will judge you, but at the end of the day I know what I have been through in my life and I know what I have to stand for. So I stand for it.”

Adebayor is likely to get a mixed reception from Spurs fans on Sunday, but said: “Tottenham are happy — they are playing quite well. I am happy — I am playing for Crystal Palace.

“We both move on as a club and as a player but I cannot say I am the winner. There is no winner in this battle.”

-ESPN

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‘Howard Webb To Become Premier League Referees’ Chief’

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Mike Riley, the head of Premier League referees, will step down from his role next season, with Howard Webb set to replace him.

It was previously reported that a host of Premier League sides were pushing for a change in command, as they believed too many mistakes were made during games in the 2021-22 season.

In a statement from the Professional Game Match Officials Board, it has now been confirmed that Riley will leave his role next season – one which he had held since 2009 when he replaced Keith Hackett.

Riley’s role is set to be split after his departure with PGMOL, aiming to appoint a chief refereeing officer, in charge of developing match officials, and a chief operating officer, who will manage the organisation. 

Speaking after his departure was confirmed, Riley said: ‘I am proud of the contribution our match officials have made to the professional game and have enjoyed working with such a dedicated, professional and high-quality group at all of the levels that PGMOL manages.

‘As the Elite Referee Development Plan begins to take shape, now is the right time to plan for the future and allow the new leadership team to build on the strong foundations that we have in place. 

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Nike Announces Full Exit From Russia

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Fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, as another major brand is pulling its business from the country.

Nike has announced that it’s making a full exit from Russia, confirming the move in a statement issued to Reuters on Thursday.

“Nike has made the decision to leave the Russian marketplace. Our priority is to ensure we are fully supporting our employees while we responsibly scale down our operations over the coming months.”

The move comes after Nike announced that it was suspending online and physical retail business in Russia this past March.

In May, it was reported that Nike had not renewed agreements with Inventive Retail Group (IRG), which operated 37 Nike-branded stories in Russia through its Up and Run subsidiary.

This continues a trend of Western brands rolling back business in Russia, including Nike’s rival Adidas, which has indefinitely suspended all of its Russian business.

While leaving Russia is significant, Nike’s bottom line likely won’t be drastically impacted.

The company recently revealed that it gets less than 1% of its revenue from Ukraine and Russia combined.

The decision, however, does add to Russia’s increasingly growing economic isolation.

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Here Are All The Performers & Presenters For The 2022 BET Awards

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Lil Wayne will perform on the 2022 BET Awards, the network announced Thursday (June 23). Lil Wayne is an 11-time winner at the BET Awards, including five awards in the viewer’s choice category. He is also a five-time Grammy winner.

The show, hosted by Taraji P. Henson for the second year in a row, will air live on BET on Sunday, June 26, at 8 p.m. ET/PT from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Sean “Diddy” Combs is this year’s lifetime achievement award recipient. Combs will take the stage for a star-studded tribute performance, which will feature Mary J. Blige, Jodeci, Nas, Lil’ Kim, Busta Rhymes, The Lox, Bryson Tiller, Faith Evans and The Maverick City Choir. The performance will be a retrospective of Diddy’s musical legacy as a producer and artist.

Several of this year’s performers have won BET Awards in recent years, including Lizzo, who won best female R&B/pop artist two years ago; Givēon, who won best new artist last year; Roddy Ricch, who won best new artist and album of the year two years ago; Chance the Rapper, who won best new artist five years ago; and Kirk Franklin, who is a five-time winner (including the last two years) for best gospel/inspirational artist.

This will be the third year in a row that Ricch has performed on the show; the second year in a row that Franklin has performed.

Chlöe, a three-time nominee this year, is also set to perform. Other performers include LattoJack HarlowBabyfaceDoechiiElla MaiFireboy DMLJoey Bada$$Maverick City Music, and Muni Long.

In addition to performing on the show, Harlow is a nominee for best male hip-hop artist. Lil Nas X, Harlow’s partner on the smash hit “Industry Baby,” wasn’t nominated in that category (or any other). LNX loudly protested the snub, which many observers with no self-interest also found hard to understand.

Up-and-coming artists GoGo Marrow and OGI will perform on the BET Amplified Stage. Last year, Tone Stith and Mereba performed on that stage, which BET sees as a launching pad.

Idris Elba, a two-time BET winner for best actor, will serve as a presenter. So will Daniel Kaluuya, who won an Oscar for best supporting actor two years ago for playing Fred Hampton in Judas and the Black Messiah.

MC Lyte returns as the ceremony’s announcer. DJ Diamond Kuts returns as the house DJ.

BET will kick off the celebration with BET Awards ’22: Red Carpet Live! on Sunday starting at 6 p.m. ET/PT. Hosted by Terrence J, the pre-show will include performances by Capella Grey, Fast Life Yungstaz, Juvenile, Pheelz, Saucy Santana, and Victoria Monet. The pre-show will feature red carpet correspondent Pretty Vee, DJ Jae Murphy, and more. Affion Crockett will host the BET Awards red carpet Twitter live stream show.

Of the 14 artists who received three or more BET Awards nominations this year, Chlöe is the only one who has been announced as a performer.

Doja Cat is this year’s top nominee with six nods. Doja is this year’s only artist, male or female, to be nominated in both R&B/pop and hip-hop categories, a sign of her broad-based appeal. Ari Lennox and Drake are runners-up, with four nods each.

Baby KeemSilk Sonic, Chlöe, FutureH.E.R.Jazmine SullivanYe (formerly Kanye West), Kendrick LamarLil BabyMary J. Blige and Tems each received three nominations.

The BET Awards is among the most-watched awards shows on cable television. BET calls the awards, now in their 22nd year, “the ultimate platform to showcase the best, brightest, and most beautiful aspects of the Black experience – celebrating Black music’s present and future, and elevating the culture and being a driving force for social change.”

Connie Orlando, BET’s executive vice president, specials, music programming, music strategy, and news will oversee the annual show, along with Jamal Noisette, VP, specials, music programming & music strategy, who will serve as co-executive producer for BET. Jesse Collins Entertainment is the production company for the show with Collins, Dionne Harmon, and Jeannae Rouzan-Clay serving as executive producers.

The BET Awards 2022 will simulcast on BET, BET Her, Comedy Central, Logo, MTV, MTV2, Pop, TV Land, and VH1. Internationally, the show will simulcast on BET Africa, BET France and will be available to watch on My5 and Sky On-Demand in the UK, as well as BET Pluto in the UK and Brazil.

For the latest BET Awards 2022 news and updates, including details on audience selection and eligibility, visit BET.com/bet-awards.

Here are all the main-stage performers:

  • Babyface
  • Chance the Rapper
  • Chlöe
  • Doechii
  • Ella Mai
  • Fireboy DML
  • GIVĒON
  • Jack Harlow
  • Joey Bada$$
  • Maverick City Music x Kirk Franklin
  • Latto
  • Lil Wayne
  • Lizzo
  • Muni Long
  • Roddy Ricch

Here are all the performers for the Sean “Diddy” Combs tribute:

  • Mary J. Blige
  • Sean “Diddy” Combs
  • Jodeci
  • Nas
  • Lil’ Kim
  • Busta Rhymes
  • The Lox
  • Bryson Tiller
  • Faith Evans
  • The Maverick City Choir

Here are the BET Amplified Stage performers (for newer artists):

  • GoGo Morrow
  • OGI

Here are all the presenters:

  • Big Freedia
  • Bleu
  • Carl Anthony Payne II
  • Crystal Hayslett
  • Daniel Kaluuya
  • Ebony Obsidian
  • Eva Marcille
  • Idris Elba
  • Irv Gotti
  • Janelle Monáe
  • Keke Palmer
  • KJ Smith
  • Luke James
  • Marsai Martin
  • Mignon
  • Nene Leakes
  • Ne-Yo
  • Novi Brown
  • Ray J
  • Sanaa Lathan
  • Serayah
  • Tamar Braxton
  • Terrence J
  • Tisha Campbell
  • Will Packer

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