La Liga president Javier Tebas says both Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo are not as important to the league as Lionel Messi, though he added that would like to see the Paris Saint-Germain star return to Spain.Neymar has been linked with a move back to the Spanish top tier all summer, having now missed all of PSG’s first three games of the Ligue 1 campaign.A return to Barcelona was widely seen as a possibility, especially with the division champions offloading Philippe Coutinho, while Real Madrid have also been linked with their former rival. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? The Brazilian star’s future remains up in the air, with Thomas Tuchel stating on Sunday that he was unsure what will happen with Neymar before the window shuts next week.And Tebas admitted that he would like to have Neymar back in Spain, wherever he ends up, but the presence of the Brazilian would not be as vital as that of former team-mate Messi when it comes to growing the league’s popularity overseas.”Yes, of course [I’d like Neymar to return]. With his qualities he’s in the top three players in the world. It would be very important for La Liga if he came again, although it wouldn’t be defining for the Spanish league,” Tebas told Marca .”The defining thing is that we play 10 months a year, with 20 clubs each playing each other and generating passion and joy each weekend for fans in Spain and across the world.”A player like Neymar gives you a following in countries that look out for him, but he’s not an essential element, not even Cristiano Ronaldo was. Lionel Messi, on the other hand, is an essential element because he’s the heritage of La Liga.”One of the issues facing any team making a move for Neymar would be Financial Fair Play, as the midfielder signed for the French club for a record-breaking €222 million (£200m/$249m) fee just two summers ago.Barcelona have already brought in the likes of Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong, while Real Madrid’s summer spending spree has included acquisitions in the form of Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic, Ferland Mendy, Eder Militao and Rodrygo.Still, Tebas says that he believes those two clubs could afford a move for Neymar and can find a way to make the signing work.”If they are interested in signing [Neymar] it’s because they can [afford] it,” he said.”I’m not going to go there because there are many factors that we don’t know about at the moment.”
Red Bull Salzburg forward Erling Braut Haaland matched Wayne Rooney on Tuesday with a spectacular first-half hat-trick on his Champions League debut.The 19-year-old Norwegian fired three of Salzburg’s five goals in the first half of their group stage opener against Belgian champions Genk.His first came just two minutes into the match, giving the Austrian side the early advantage at home. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career Haaland added another in the 34th minute before Hwang Hee-chan adding Salzburg’s third just two minutes later.The hat-trick was then completed in the 45th minute, with Dominik Sazoboszlai adding another in stoppage time of the opening half.With the hat-trick, Haaland is the first teenager to score more than once on his Champions League debut since Wayne Rooney netted a hat-trick for Manchester United in a 6-2 triumph over Fenerbahce all the way back in September 2004.19y 58d – Erling Haaland, aged 19 years and 58 days, is the third youngest player to score a Champions League hat-trick, behind Raúl (18y 113d in 1995) and Wayne Rooney (18y 340d in 2004). Welcome. pic.twitter.com/24DNlzXdza— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 17, 2019Haaland, at 19 years and 58 days, is additionally the third-youngest player to score a Champions League hat-trick, behind only Real Madrid legend Raul (18y 113d in 1995) and Rooney (18y 340d in 2004).The only other teenager to net a Champions League hat-trick is Yakubu, who scored a hat-trick for Maccabi Haifa in a win over Olympiacos in 2002.However, Haaland is the first teenager to ever score a first-half hat-trick on his debut as he also became the eighth player ever to score three in his first Champions League match.The goals were only the latest in the 19-year-old’s breakout campaign, having already lit up his domestic league during Salzburg’s perfect start to the season.Salzburg have won each of their first seven league matches, with Haaland scoring 11 goals.In addition, the forward netted a hat-trick in a 7-1 victory over SC-ESV Parndorf 1919 in the Austrian Cup.Haaland, who played under current Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Molde, made headlines over the summer when he scored nine goals in Norway’s 12–0 win against Honduras at the Under-20 World Cup. He has since earned two caps for the senior team.
According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), nearly two million people fled their homes to escape Boko Haram violence in northeast Nigeria. More than half of the displaced are children and 133,000 infants. “We’ve seen the suffering of the people. We’ve seen their resilience. We’ve seen their courage. We’ve seen their patience,” said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing during his visit to the area from 28 July to 30 July.This crisis is competing with about eight others, including that of Syria, Yemen and South Sudan, for the world’s attention “This crisis is competing with about eight others, including that of Syria, Yemen and South Sudan, for the world’s attention,” he added. IOM’s emergency response is based in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno and the birthplace of Boko Haram. Mr. Swing’s visited Maiduguri and other main cities that have been devastated by the whole Boko Haram conflict, and the first camp for the internally displaced in the region. Mr. Swing met with the deputy governor of Borno state and discussed IOM’s increasing focus on livelihood interventions for displaced Nigerians, such as sewing, knitting and barbershop work. IOM has built tarpaulin shelters for nearly 11,000 families, about 102,000 people in Borno state. A few hundred other households were given shelter kits to expand or repair their spaces in Adamawa, the other state devastated by the conflict. IOM Director General William Lacy Swing listens to a focus group discussion at a displacement camp in Gwoza town in Borno state in Nigeria. Photo: Julia Burpee/IOM Mr. Swing also met with Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, in Abuja to discuss ways to prevent irregular migration. According to IOM, about 37,000 Nigerians arrived in Italy by sea last year and more than 9,000 so far this year. Most travel to find work in Europe. But more than 2,000 migrants have died on the precarious Central Mediterranean route they follow from Libya to Italy in 2017. “The idea is not to stop migrants. It’s about trying to save lives by counselling them about the risks of putting their lives in the hands of a smuggler,” Mr. Swing said, explaining that IOM opened a migrant information office in Agadez, Niger, last year to try to engage migrants heading north from Nigeria to Libya and the Mediterranean Sea on the dangers many face. IOM has helped more than 1,800 Nigerians return home safely from Libya this year through the organization’s Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration programme.$10.5 million in relief aid allocated from new fund Meanwhile, the Nigeria Humanitarian Fund (NHF) managed by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has allocated $10.5 million to life-saving assistance to the most vulnerable, including those in the hard-to-reach and newly accessible areas. It will fund about 15 different projects, including the provision of safe drinking water, emergency shelter and health services. Some 8.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in the three worst-affected Nigerian states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe; of them, 6.9 million people are targeted for humanitarian assistance.