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jokergreen Feb 14
 Karim Benzema has caused a storm ahead of Euro 2016 by claiming that his exclusion from the France squad was racially motivated. Art Harris Jersey . Under investigation over an alleged sex-tape blackmail case, Benzema told Spanish daily Marca that France coach Didier Deschamps had bowed to pressure from a racist French party in his selection process. His comments, however, have been met with indignation with politicians speaking out against the Real Madrid strikers accusations.French Sports Minister Patrick Kanner sympathised with Benzemas predicament, but rejected any attack on Deschamps just nine days ahead of the start of Euro 2016 in France.I can understand Mr Benzemas disappointment but under no circumstances are his statements acceptable regarding what he said about Mr Deschamps sporting decisions nor his personality, Kanner said.I call for calm, I would like us to concentrate on the competition and would ask everyone to get behind Les Bleus which is what the 23 squad members will be expecting of us. So lets stop this non-debate.Francois Fillon, who was Prime Minister for five years between 2007-2012 and who is hoping to run in the next presidential election, rejected Benzemas position out of hand. I cant stand for that, he said. Forever bringing the nations problems down to questions of race, religion and ethnic communities, its unhealthy. Didier Deschamps did not select Benzema for Frances Euro 2016 squad Benzemas remarks have re-ignited Frances racial tensions, and found some sympathy with Socialist Party parliamentarian Benoit Hamon.He told Frances Europe 1 radio station that Benzema was right to say we are in a country where racism is on the rise. But he insisted there was no evidence of Deschamps being a racist.Benzema was suspended from international duty in December over a legal investigation into an alleged attempt by one of his friends to blackmail France international Mathieu Valbuena over a sex tape.He faces up to five years in jail over accusations he encouraged Valbuena to pay the blackmailers. Benzema has denied all the blackmail accusations. Also See: Fans expect from Payet free-kicks Schneiderlin makes France squad Kante happy at Leicester Milner better than Bale and Pogba Fake Supersonics Jerseys .com) - The game was all punts and field goals before Kodi Whitfields catch. Michael Cage Jersey . "No difference at all," chirped U.S. roommate and linemate James van Riemsdyk. "Its still the same cranky Phil. https:///...sey-supersonics.html CHASKA, Minn. -- The Latest on the Ryder Cup (all times local):10 p.m.President Barack Obama congratulated the winning U.S. team in a tweet, referencing late golf great Arnold Palmer.What a win by the USA in (hash)RyderCup. Proud to see our guys bring the trophy back home. Arnie is smiling down, Obama said.Palmer died a week ago.---7:20 p.m.There were birdies flying far and wide across Hazeltine on Sunday, and Europes Justin Rose wasnt too happy about it.The Olympic champion blistered the course setup, calling it incredibly weak and unbecoming of the event it was hosting. Rose played at Hazeltine at the 2009 PGA Championship and said the course can be as tough as you want it to be.The pin on 17 is an absolute joke, Rose said. Its a 9-iron into the middle of the green and you stiff it. So with a match on the line, you kind of feel like you want a player to step up a little bit more than they have to.---5:30 p.m.Bubba Watson has two green jackets and is ranked No. 7 in the world. For him, none of that compares to winning the Ryder Cup on Sunday. And Watson didnt even play.This is the greatest thing Ive done in golf, the vice captain said after the U.S. beat Europe 17-11. Im so happy for this team. This team was amazing. They took me in their arms and let me be a part of it.Watsons graciousness came after he was surprisingly left off of the playing roster by captain Davis Love III. But Loves decision was validated when captains picks Rickie Fowler, J.B. Holmes, Ryan Moore and Matt Kuchar combined to go 7-6-0 at Hazeltine. The seven wins were the most by a set of captains picks in Ryder Cup history.After the initial disappointment, Watson accepted Loves invitation to be a vice captain.A guy like him, showing up here, putting his ego to the side and saying, `I want to be a part of this, Brandt Snedeker said. And hes the reason why I got around today. Hes the reason why I got my point today. He was in my ear all day.---5 p.m.As one of the most well-known vice captains in Ryder Cup history, Tiger Woods spent the week in Minnesota trying to help the Americans shake an ugly losing streak in the event while also trying to keep as low a profile as possible.Mission accomplished.Woods helped captain Davis Love III with several key decisions over the weekend, including keeping Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed together for the afternoon fourball play Saturday. It all added up to a victory on Sunday and Woods said he could not have been happier to be involved.We were a team. Whether I was playing or not, I was part of a team, Woods said. And our team won.---4:40 p.m.Victorious U.S. captain Davis Love III says he is proud of his team for handling all the pressure that was on it over the last two years.After the Americans wrapped up their first Ryder Cup victory since 2008, Love said the work and preparation that went in to assembling this team helped lay the groundwork for success that eluded them so many times before.Im just proud of these guys. They had a lot of pressure on them for the last two years, Love said. Every time we picked a guy, they had more and more pressure, more and more questions. Im just so proud of the way they played.It was a special redemption for Love, who captained the team at Medinah that gave up a 10-6 lead on the final day in 2012.---4:10 p.m.The United States has won the Ryder Cup for the first time since 2008.Ryan Moore two-putted on No. 18 for a 1-up victory over Lee Westwood, giving the Americans a 15-10 lead that sealed the win over Europe.The victory completed a two-year soul search for the Americans after they were routed in Gleneagles for a third straight defeat. They formed a task force to address the shortcomings and delivered an emphatic performance at Hazeltine.The Americans needed just five points in the 12 singles matches Sunday.The U.S. wins started with Patrick Reeds thrilling 1-up victory over Rory McIlroy. Rickie Fowler edged Justin Rose, Brandt Snedeker beat Andy Sullivan, Brooks Koepka routed Danny Willett and three matches were still being played.---3:50 p.m.The Americans are closing in on their first Ryder Cup victory since 2008.Rickie Fowler closed out Olympic champion Justin Rose, 1 up, when Rose missed a short birdie putt on No. 18 and Brooks Koepka finished an easy 5-and-4 victory over Danny Willett to give the U.S. a 12+ to 9+ lead.Rose missed a short birdie putt that would have halved the match, and Fowler celebrated with a handshake from Michael Jordan.The Americans are two points away from clinching the cup and hold the lead in four of the six remaining matches on the course.---3:15 p.m.Patrick Reed hit the tape ahead of Rory McIlroy for a 1-up win in the first -- and arguably most contested -- match of the day. The win gave the U.S. side its first point and moved the Americans within four of the match.Reed and McIlroy threw birdies -- including the final hole -- and chip-ins at each other, stoking the crowd and in one instance, forcing McIlroy to back off a shot. But in one of the classier gestures of the day, the two exchanged fist bumps on the eighth tee.Were playing the Europeans, but at the same time we play golf with these guys every single week, Reed said. `We want to beat them at their best, they want to beat us at our best.---3 p.m.Henrik Stenson was already 2-up and Jordan Spieth was looking at a shot out of the pond alongside No. 17 when he conceded the match and gave Europe the first point of the day to pull within 9+-7+.Stensons 3 and 2 win puts a bow on a great year for the Swede. He won the British Open and a silver medal at the Rio Olympics and now has kick-started Europes campaign to come back from a big deficit in singles. He made seven birdies andd was credited with an eagle on the final hole after the concession. Jim Fox Jersey. ---2:45 p.m.The first match of the day has turned out as good as advertised as Patrick Reed moved to 2-up against Rory McIlroy with two holes to play. Throwing birdies at each other, neither player led by more than one through the first 15 holes.But McIlroy put himself in trouble at the par-5 16th with a tee shot in the right rough, and had to punch out. Then a heckler caused McIlroy to back off his third shot, a wedge that eventually wound up well short. Reed, who was in a greenside bunker in two, took advantage with an explosion to set up a short birdie.---2:05 p.m.The first six pairings are through the front nine and Europe is clinging to hope that captain Darren Clarkes strategy will start to pay dividends.Clarke front-loaded his team for singles play on Sunday, hoping that some strong play early would rattle the Americans and embolden the younger charges set to tee off for Europe later in the day.Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Thomas Pieters and Justin Rose led off for the Europeans, with Spaniards Rafa Cabrera Bello and Sergio Garcia rounding out the top six. The Europeans started the day trailing by three points, with the United States needing only five to clinch its first cup since 2008.So far, the U.S. leads in two of the first six pairings, but it is up in four of the final six. That means Clarke needs strong finishes from McIlroy and his top guns to give Europe a chance at the comeback.---1:20 p.m.The golfers on both sides have brought their A games to the final day of the Ryder Cup.The Americans and Europeans are raining birdies all over Hazeltine, a remarkable level of golf being played under perfect weather conditions.There were 46 birdies and one eagle through the first 118 holes played on Sunday. Thats a birdie rate of 39 percent. Among the highlights is a run of four straight birdies from American Phil Mickelson.With all 12 matches now in play, the Europeans lead in six and the Americans are up in two, with four all square.---12:39 p.m.European captain Darren Clarke called the leadoff matchup in singles on Sunday between Rory McIlroy and American Patrick Reed mouth-watering. Its been all that and more through eight holes.The two fiery competitors have traded jacked-up celebrations on the front nine, whipping themselves and the crowd into a frenzy.McIlroy took a 1-up lead after four, pumping his fists and staring down the gallery with each big shot. He also shushed the crowd after a birdie putt on No. 7. When he rolled a long birdie putt into the hole on No. 8, he yelled to the gallery I cant hear you!Reed has been every bit as demonstrative. He rolled a 20-footer in to match McIlroys birdie on No. 8 and waved his finger right in McIlroys face.Earlier, after McIlroy rolled in a birdie putt on No. 6, Reed responded with one of his own, taking a bow as the ball dropped into the hole.It was a sarcastic bite at McIlroy, who bowed after a match-winning eagle putt on Friday evening.---NoonAmerican captain Davis Love III says he and his vice captains will be vigilant in identifying unruly fans in the galleries at the Ryder Cup.Love says they will be watching and listening for heckling that goes out of bounds and will not hesitate to help security officials throw fans out.Love says 97 percent of the fans at Hazeltine have been great, but its the 3 percent were hearing out there. Love says he has even dispatched his son on a cart to monitor the situation over the last two days, particularly during Rory McIlroys rounds.Love says his son identified several fans that crossed the line on Saturday and had security officials eject them from the course.Hes a Rory fan and he was throwing people out that were ugly to Rory, Love said in a television interview.---11:40 a.m.Henrik Stensons opening tee shot in his match against Jordan Spieth wound up behind a stand of port-a-potties on the left side of the first fairway.Undaunted, the Swede took a free drop two club-lengths to his right, because the stand is considered an immovable obstruction not normally part of the course, then knocked his approach on the green.The recovery, though, did him little good, since Spieth chipped in from the fringe just behind the flag to take a 1-up lead.---11:05 a.m.Hearing chants of Welcome Rory! Welcome Rory! European star Rory McIlroy got the
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