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Premier League players condemn illegal wildlife trade

By Stephen Wood LONDON (Reuters) - Leading Premier League players, including Manchester City's Yaya Toure and Vincent Kompany, on Wednesday added their voices to a campaign to end the illegal trade in wildlife. "The world must unite... to not buy ivory," , City's Ivory Coast midfielder Toure and Victor Wanyama, the Kenya-born Southampton midfielder, said in a video message released by the English Premier League.

Football: Belgium line up friendlies ahead of World Cup

Belgium coach Marc Wilmots announced on Tuesday that the Red Devils will face Luxembourg, Sweden and Tunisia in friendlies ahead of the World Cup finals in Brazil. Wilmots unveiled his team's plans in the build-up to the finals on the Belgian football federation's website, with the team to meet on May 19 and spend a week training in Genk before meeting neighbours Luxembourg in the city on May 26.

Football: Belgium line up friendlies ahead of World Cup

Belgium coach Marc Wilmots announced on Tuesday that the Red Devils will face Luxembourg, Sweden and Tunisia in friendlies ahead of the World Cup finals in Brazil. Wilmots unveiled his team's plans in the build-up to the finals on the Belgian football federation's website, with the team to meet on May 19 and spend a week training in Genk before meeting neighbours Luxembourg in the city on May 26.

Football: Toure blunder keeps Liverpool grounded

A mistake by Kolo Toure prevented Liverpool from strengthening their grip on fourth place in the Premier League table as they drew 1-1 at West Bromwich Albion on Sunday. Liverpool were seeking to move four points clear of fifth-place Everton and they took the lead through Daniel Sturridge at The Hawthorns, only for Toure to gift West Brom a 67th-minute equaliser by passing the ball straight to Victor Anichebe.

Football: Toure blunder keeps Liverpool grounded

A mistake by Kolo Toure prevented Liverpool from strengthening their grip on fourth place in the Premier League table as they drew 1-1 at West Bromwich Albion on Sunday. Liverpool were seeking to move four points clear of fifth-place Everton and they took the lead through Daniel Sturridge at The Hawthorns, only for Toure to gift West Brom a 67th-minute equaliser by passing the ball straight to Victor Anichebe.

Football: Slick City sink Spurs to claim top spot

Manchester City fired a warning to their title rivals as they swept to the top of the Premier League with a ruthless 5-1 rout of 10-man Tottenham on Wednesday. Manuel Pellegrini's side took advantage of Arsenal's draw at Southampton 24 hours earlier to knock the Gunners out of first place and open up a one-point lead in the race for the title.

Football: Nigeria to train in Houston for World Cup

African champions Nigeria will train in Houston in the United States for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, a top official has announced. Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi had proposed the team train in either Miami or Houston for the World Cup, but top Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) official Chris Green said the country had settled on the Texas city. "Nigeria will train for the World Cup in Houston," said Green, chairman of the NFF technical committee. "We want to make a statement at our fifth World Cup and so we have to prepare adequately."

Football: Lukaku no fan of Anelka gesture - Martinez

Everton manager Roberto Martinez insisted Thursday that Romelu Lukaku was a fan of Nicolas Anelka but not the former France striker's controversial 'quenelle' gesture. Martinez was speaking after Belgium forward Lukaku said in an interview on Everton's website that there did not have to be "such a big deal" about the West Bromwich Albion's player's actions, viewed by some in France as anti-Semitic. Anelka performed the 'quenelle', putting one arm across his chest and straightening the other, in last month's 3-3 draw at West Ham.

Football: Lukaku says sorry after backing Anelka

Everton striker Romelu Lukaku has apologised for any offence caused after he expressed support for under-fire French star Nicolas Anelka. Lukaku, who is on loan at Everton from Chelsea, featured in a video interview posted on the Toffees' website in which he said there did not have to be "such a big deal" made about Anelka's controversial 'quenelle' goal celebration. The quenelle, a pose Anelka struck after scoring in a 3-3 draw at West Ham on December 28, has been labelled anti-Semitic and an inverted Nazi salute.

Football: Arsenal stay top, technology aids City surge

Arsenal preserved their lead in the Premier League by beating Fulham 2-0 on Saturday, while goal-line technology assisted Manchester City as they overcame Cardiff City. Arsenal knew that anything less than victory might allow City to gazump them, but it was not until Santi Cazorla claimed a quick-fire brace mid-way through the second half that they put paid to Fulham at the Emirates Stadium.
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