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NEC without suspended Akman against Ajax and FC Utrecht
10.43 am: NEC has to do without attacker Ali Akman in the next two competition matches, against Ajax and FC Utrecht. The 19-year-old Turk has been suspended for three matches, one of which is conditional, after his red card against FC Twente on Saturday.
Akman was sent off after almost an hour of play after putting his foot on Michal Sadílek’s ankle. The ten NEC players then went down: 0-2.
Akman has scored six goals in the Eredivisie this season. Together with Jonathan Okita, he is the club’s top scorer. NEC receives leader Ajax on April 23 and plays against FC Utrecht six days later in De Galgenwaard. The team of trainer Rogier Meijer is in tenth place in the competition.
Former cyclist Martin gets auctioned Olympic medal back
9.33 am: Former German cyclist Tony Martin has auctioned his 2012 Olympic silver medal for 35,000 euros. The proceeds go to the United Charity organization, which provides aid to children in need and now specifically in Ukraine. The buyer of the silver medal, the German company Fitline, decided to immediately return the medal to Martin.
“We have the utmost respect for Tony’s commitment to the children in Ukraine,” Fitline manager Torsten Weber told picture† “It was obvious to us that we would return the medal, because it belongs to him.” The company won the auction with a bid of 31,100 euros and decided to round that amount up.
Martin, four-time world time trial champion, won Olympic silver in the time trial at the London Games behind Briton Bradley Wiggins. He decided two weeks ago to auction that original medal, to raise money for the victims of the war in Ukraine. “We will ensure that this donation reaches the children who need our help,” said Martin, who decided to end his cycling career last year despite a continuous contract with Jumbo-Visma. The German no longer wanted to continue, because he was concerned about safety in the sport because of the many falls.
Martin works at a private school in Switzerland as a tutor and has taken in 43 refugees from Ukraine there.
Baseball player Gregorius beats Phillies to win after trailing 4-0
08.16 am: Baseball player Mariekson ‘Didi’ Gregorius has beaten the Philadelphia Phillies to a hard-fought victory in the Major League. The Phillies trailed 4-0 against the New York Mets after seven innings. In the eighth inning, the home side turned that into a 5-4 lead, which the Phillies held onto in the last inning.
The 32-year-old Gregorius made the decision. The native of Amsterdam, international of Orange, produced a double at 4-4. His teammate Rhys Hoskins was therefore able to reach home plate. Moments before, JT Realmuto had brought the tension back to the game with a homerun.
The new season in the MLB started at the end of last week. The Phillies have won three of their first four games.
Gregorius won the world title with the Orange in Panama in 2011.
LeBron James calls for LA Lakers reinforcements after missing play-offs
08.10 am: LeBron James pleads for reinforcements for Los Angeles Lakers after missing NBA playoffs. The 37-year-old American led the Lakers to the championship in 2020, but now the seventeen-time NBA champion is even missing from the playoffs.
“We need a squad that can provide more wins next season,” James said on the day head coach Frank Vogel was fired. The Lakers have only won 33 games and lost 49 times. With that, they finished in eleventh place in the west, just outside the positions that mean a continuation of the season. This week the numbers 7 to 10 in both the west and east will play in a so-called play-in to participate in the play-offs.
James still has a one-year contract in LA. The superstar, who has played in the NBA since 2003 and became a champion four times, is not thinking about stopping for the time being. James recently said that he would like to finish his career in the NBA with a team with his son Bronny. The 17-year-old Bronny could be picked up by an NBA club in the annual draft in 2024.
“I can still play at a top level, I have shown that this season,” said James, who averaged 30.3 points per game. “I came to LA to be a champion and win even more. The club management must now decide what we are going to do in terms of players. They can ask my opinion on that, but it’s their decision. They have to decide what is best for this club.”