RelatedPosts Mane double eases Liverpool to win over 10-man Chelsea EPL: Chelsea, Liverpool in cagey duel Super Eagles soar on FIFA ranking The Football Association will battle FIFA in court next month over its punishment in relation to Chelsea’s transfer ban.The FA are challenging the disciplinary process and the accusation that there was mismanagement in the registration of minors. The case will be heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on June 26.“The FA has cooperated fully with FIFA’s investigation. As this is an ongoing legal process it would not be appropriate to comment further at this time,” an FA spokesperson told ESPN.In February 2019, Chelsea were sanctioned for breaching 150 regulations regarding the transfer and registration of 69 players under the age of 18 over several seasons.The FA were also found guilty of breaking rules regarding the registration of those players and at the time, was “given a period of six months to address the situation concerning the international transfer and first registration of minors in football”.Both parties were also fined with Chelsea banned for signing players in the subsequent two transfer windows. The Blues had that sanction reduced to one window on appeal in December, when their original £460,000 fine was halved to £230,000.The FA also had their fine reduced from £421,000 to £290,000 on an initial appeal and which they are now seeking to appeal further.At the time, the FA said it would “continue to work with FIFA and Chelsea in a constructive manner to address the issues which were raised by this ”.Sources have told ESPN that Chelsea and the FA have argued a lack of clarity in FIFA’s guidelines contributed to inadvertent rule breaches.Tags: ChelseaFIFAFootball AssociationTransfer ban
RelatedPosts Ighalo: My best moment as ‘Red Devil’ EPL: Crystal Palace stun sloppy Man U EPL: Red Devils attack Palace Manchester United needed extra-time to edge past brave FC Copenhagen 1-0 to reach the semi-finals of the Europa League.After 90 minutes, where the two teams couldn’t be separated in hot and humid conditions, Anthony Martial won United’s 21st penalty across all competitions this season and Bruno Fernandes fired it home. It broke a brave resistance from the Danish champions, who had defended brilliantly but did ride their luck slightly as Mason Greenwood and Fernandes both had struck the post in normal time and Greenwood had a goal ruled out by VAR in the first half for offside.Copenhagen also had their goalkeeper Karl-Johan Johnsson to thank as he made 13 saves, the joint-most by a goalkeeper in a single Europa League game since the competition’s re-branding in 2009-10.United will face the winners of Tuesday’s Europa League quarter-final between Wolves and Sevilla for a place in the Europa League final on August 21.Tags: ANthony MartialBruno FernandesEuropa LeagueFC CopenhagenManchester United
RelatedPosts Minister gives condition for resumption of contact sports Minister pledges support for development of AI, robotics in Nigeria NSF 2020: Sports minister raises fresh hope The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, says that professionalising Nigerian football development as being promoted by current reforms in the nation’s football will make Nigerian leagues better to compete with others around the world.Dare, who made the assertion on Wednesday in Lagos, said his desire was to see the Nigerian leagues grow beyond the current state with rapid transformation through proper licensing and financial control unwavering. “The step is critical for building stakeholder’s confidence following the reclassification of sports from recreation to business as part of President Buhari’s commitment to make sports business.“Other necessary steps involve running the leagues as businesses and not as recreation,” he said in a statement by his media officer, Kola Daniel.“We have a clear plan and vision. We are dogged in working to fulfil them leveraging on public and private financing to achieve our goal. We are committed to make changes that would position our league for the best,” he said.Dare said the leagues would not resume until basic conditions on club licensing control are enforced.“As a ministry, infrastructure renewal is our ultimate goal to ensure television-friendly output that will encourage investors to put their money in a product that is quite attractive. “This boils down to professionalism of all stakeholders, administrators, coaches, players and fans of the round leather game.“This is the only way we can attract sponsors and fans returning in large crowds to the stadium when all facilities are put in better shape ahead of the new season,” he said.The minister said that he was looking up to the licensing, infrastructure, incentives and better organised leagues when the season commences.Dare expressed confidence that Nigeria will get it right and return to apex position in African football.Tags: Minister of Youth and Sports DevelopmentNigerian football developmentSunday Dare
He went on: “In football, it is finished when it is finished, the last minute of the last game. If we arrive at four games to go with United 12 points ahead, it is finished but I think our job is to continue to work.” Having been outplayed for the first half, Chelsea could have gone ahead in the 51st minute after Joe Hart brought down Demba Ba. Lampard had scored his previous 10 spot-kicks but Hart redeemed himself to save superbly and deny his England colleague his 200th Chelsea goal. Mancini, who criticised Hart this week in light of recent mistakes, said: “I say to him everything when he did a fault. I think we can’t concede a penalty like this with a kick (long ball) from 45 metres – he and Kolo (Toure) both did a mistake. “But after, it was fantastic. I think it was important. Maybe the game could have changed, but also if they scored, we would have had another 40 minutes. We were playing really well and we could have a chance to score other goals.” Chelsea’s loss saw the pressure increase on interim manager Rafael Benitez, who was once again the target for abuse from supporters. The Blues now trail City by seven points and Benitez accepted it was a damaging result. He said: “Always when you lose, you have to be disappointed. This game was important for us, so I am more disappointed. We could have been closer (to City). We have to carry on to try to win our games and fight for the top four. “I haven’t seen the replay (of the penalty), but at least yellow card. You can argue he is going in this direction but it is still a clear chance. I think it was a turning point. We didn’t do well in the first half but we went to half-time at 0-0. We were talking about keeping the ball, doing better and showing more character. Then we had the penalty. It was a crucial moment in the game.” Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini told his players to ignore the table after beating Chelsea to keep their faint Barclays Premier League title hopes alive. Press Association City took advantage of a rare missed penalty from Frank Lampard to claim a 2-0 win at the Etihad Stadium and reduce Manchester United’s lead at the top to 12 points. Superb goals from Yaya Toure and substitute Carlos Tevez in the last half-hour also strengthened City’s grip on second place ahead of the third-placed Londoners. Mancini said: “I think for us now it is not important to look at the table. Only to continue to work like today, to play well, to improve and to look at the table in one month, 40 days.”
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is convinced Andy Carroll can again become a goal machine, just not necessarily at Anfield. “Through no fault of his own he arrived on the back of an incredible price tag for someone so young and inexperienced, and the early stages were difficult for him. “But there’s no doubt Andy has great qualities. Look at one of his two goals last week for West Ham from the corner (in a 3-1 win over Wigan). There are not too many better sights in football when you’ve the big guy going and heading the ball like that. Three of his five goals this season have come from set plays, one from a cross and the other a penalty. “As to his future, there are other things involved, it’s not as simple as him being here. There are other things we need to consider in it all. But do I think he can be a top player? Is he a top player? He certainly has that potential. If he gets that opportunity of playing in a team that suits his style, then there’s always a chance.” The last comment is arguably the most telling because the way Liverpool and Rodgers like to play, with the ball on the ground, is undoubtedly not to Carroll’s style. With his Anfield days seemingly numbered, and with Liverpool understood to be happy to cut their losses if a club offers £17million, speculation is rife as to a likely destination. A return to Newcastle and a potential swap deal with Hatem Ben Arfa has been rumoured, although Rodgers has refused to bite. “That’s normal, that’s the football world. There’s always gossip and speculation,” said Rodgers. “The important thing is Andy is at a very good club with a very good manager. As I’ve said, it’s one where we will see it through to the end of the season and we’ll take it from there.” Rodgers will at least not have to cope with Carroll on Sunday as the striker is not allowed to play against his parent club. Going into the game, Rodgers’ only doubt is forward Raheem Sterling, who is struggling with a thigh injury. Press Association Rodgers believes that at the age of 22, the £35million price tag hung heavy around Carroll’s neck when he joined from Newcastle in January 2011. Upon Rodgers’ arrival last summer, Carroll was farmed out on loan to Sunday’s visitors to Anfield, West Ham, with whom he has scored five goals in 17 appearances during an injury-hit campaign. Rodgers has this week made it clear he will not make a firm decision on whether Carroll stays or goes until the end of the season, but is convinced the 24-year-old still has a big future in the game. “It was very unfortunate for Andy when he joined this club because he had limited experience of the Premier League,” said Rodgers.
“I don’t know the ins and outs of the deal but the way he’s been playing in the last couple of weeks you can understand why Liverpool paid £35m for him a couple of years ago. I think all the boys want him to stay at West Ham. He’s (his own) man, though, and he has his own agenda. “I don’t know what Liverpool are thinking and I’m sure there will be be other clubs in for him. West Ham would like to keep him, he’s our top scorer. He’s got to do what’s right for him, though.” It remains to be seen if a permanent deal can be thrashed out between the two clubs and if Carroll would be interested in a full-time switch to east London. Allardyce has been non-committal about securing Carroll’s services beyond the end of the current campaign but Hammers’ assistant manager Neil McDonald revealed the 24-year-old is happy at the club. “Andy Carroll is enjoying his time in London, is enjoying playing for West Ham and is enjoying being on the training field and trying to contribute for the team,” he told the club’s official website. “He’s scoring goals and making goals for other people.” Carroll currently sits top of the West Ham scoring charts, level on seven goals with captain Kevin Nolan, despite missing parts of the season with hamstring and knee injuries. Carroll, whose season-long loan from Liverpool is due to expire shortly, has been in good form recently and is a key part of Sam Allardyce’s side. Cole, who rejoined West Ham from Liverpool in January, is working his way back to fitness and wants England forward Carroll to sign up in the summer. “West Ham definitely want to keep Andy Carroll,” Cole told talkSport. Midfielder Joe Cole believes everyone at West Ham would like to see on-loan striker Andy Carroll extend his stay at Upton Park. Press Association
Although Ferdinand has been linked with a lucrative move abroad, it has been obvious for some time that his future lay at Old Trafford. He has spoken openly about his future hopes for the club and last week called time on his England career in a clear attempt to extend his availability for United. And despite the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, Ferdinand had no hesitation in signing another deal for next term, when he hopes to land a seventh Premier League title. “Who wouldn’t want to play in this fantastic team in front of 75,000 fans every week?” said the 34-year-old defender. “It has been an incredible journey and I am glad it will continue.” Ferdinand added: “I can now fully concentrate on my club career, which has worked well for me over the past few years. This is a great team to be part of and we are now moving into a new era, which is very exciting. “I have met with David Moyes and I am really looking forward to working with him and winning many more trophies with this great club.” Although there has been no official confirmation, it is anticipated there will be a testimonial for Ferdinand at some stage during the summer, although an opponent is yet to be agreed. Whilst the deal itself is hardly a surprise, it is significant in that it was agreed with Ed Woodward, who will take over as chief executive from David Gill in the summer, and had to be ratified by Moyes before finally being completed. It underlines the vast change taking place at Old Trafford, with both men amongst the rookies in United’s tour party when it leaves for Australia and the Far East in July. Only Javier Hernandez will miss the trip as he is required for Confederations Cup duty with Mexico in the summer. Shinji Kagawa will also be involved for Japan, although as United are due to play two tour games in the midfielder’s homeland it would be a major surprise if he did not make some sort of appearance. “It is clear for everyone to see that Rio has had one of his best seasons with the club,” said Moyes. “Even from the outside you can see what a big character Rio is around the dressing room. I am delighted he has signed a new contract and I am looking forward to working with him.” Rio Ferdinand has set his sights on winning more silverware under David Moyes after signing a one-year contract extension with Manchester United. Press Association
That, along with fellow striker Daniel Sturridge’s blistering form of eight goals in nine league games, has propelled Liverpool to third in the table, just two points behind Saturday’s opponents Arsenal. And while it may be a position some feel is unlikely to be sustained, Rodgers insists Suarez should have no reason to want to leave as he can play Champions League football with his current side. “I understand why Arsenal would want to buy a player of Luis’ quality because he is one of the leading strikers in the world but it was something that was never going to happen,” said the Reds boss. “For us and the institution we are we certainly weren’t going to sell to a rival, a competitor, and that was something which was very strong from the off. “There was all sorts of gossip in the summer but we were very firm in our leadership, from the top right the way through, that this was something we didn’t want to do. “You have to give credit to the players themselves. It certainly wasn’t an easy situation. “It was also a great credit to the owners and the leadership of the club that they stood by what my thoughts were as a manager and they backed it all the way. “This was the place for Luis to showcase his talents. He is a player, like some of our other players, who deserves to be playing at the highest level of European football but we believe he can do that at Liverpool. Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes a more mature Luis Suarez can fulfil his Champions League ambitions at Anfield and no longer needs to cast admiring glances at the likes of Arsenal. “There is no greater stage for him than a club like this and once the window was shut, like we thought, there was never going to be an issue. “It is a player we were really happy to keep who is surrounded by other good players as well. “He is one of the hardest-working players that is in love with football I’ve seen and once the window shut he has been brilliant. “He is maturing as a man. He is 26, father of two now, and I think the maturity in his game and personal life is there to see. “Everyone talks about his goals and work-rate but I’ve seen an improvement in his football ability and his maturity. “That really bodes well for us. We won’t get carried away, we have to keep our concentration and continue to work very hard.” The Uruguay international was so keen to take up the Gunners’ offer of an escape route in the summer after they bid £40,000,001 he accused the Reds of reneging on a deal which he claimed allowed him to leave for a side playing in Europe’s elite competition. Liverpool owner John Henry was unequivocally opposed to selling to a rival and that stance appears to have been rewarded with the South American scoring six goals in four league matches since returning from suspension this season. Press Association
Press Association Hooper scored the opener in the 13th minute, smashing an unstoppable drive into the top corner, before Fer finished off a sharp counter late on to seal a 2-0 victory. West Brom had countless chances to take at least a point from this game with Stephane Sessegnon twice failing to convert great opportunities and Shane Long also guilty of being profligate in front of goal. It is now one win in nine games for the Baggies, and Steve Clarke’s side were booed off at full-time. The midweek hiding against a Luis Suarez-inspired Liverpool had put Canaries boss Chris Hughton’s position under further scrutiny, but he would have been delighted with the way his side responded here to secure an away win for just the second time this season. After starting brightly they took the lead with a wonderful strike from Hooper. Nathan Redmond fed Fer, who picked out the striker’s run with the aid of a deflection off Diego Lugano’s heel. The angle of the pass was taking Hooper away from goal but he fizzed a superb strike beyond Boaz Myhill. Albion sought a quick response with Youssouf Mulumbu, back from suspension, firing straight at John Ruddy after nice link play with Morgan Amalfitano. The Frenchman’s teasing cross from the right then saw Victor Anichebe get in a header which Ruddy gratefully grasped. Norwich were being penned in their own half but Johan Elmander should have done better from a quick break. The Swede’s flick on found Hooper, who quickly returned him the ball. However, Elmander then ignored his better placed strike partner as he drove forward and saw his shot blocked. The hosts were soon back on the offensive, with Ruddy tipping a fierce Anichebe shot wide of goal, before Sessegnon contrived to fail to make any contact with a Chris Brunt corner which found him unmarked. It summed up West Brom’s first half and Clarke made two changes at the break, bringing on Long and Saido Berahino for Liam Ridgewell and, surprisingly, Amalfitano. They helped spark Albion into a very strong start to the second half and they could have had a penalty when a Sessegnon shot, after a goalmouth scramble, struck Martin Olsson on the arm as he made the block. They should have been level in the 52nd minute when Sessegnon surged past two Norwich defenders into the box, but the Frenchman rolled his shot wide of the post having beaten the advancing Ruddy. At the other end Redmond’s pace proved too much to handle for Uruguay defender Lugano, whose vulnerability will doubtless be noted by England manager Roy Hodgson, but the winger’s pull-back could not find Hooper. Sessegnon then spurned another chance after Olsson had gifted the ball to him six yards out, with Ruddy making the save. Long became the latest man to miss for West Brom a few moments later. Mulumbu’s deflected shot fell to him in the area, but his shot was too tame to beat Ruddy. Mulumbu fizzed an effort wide but all the home side’s pressure came to nothing and they were punished as Redmond found Fer for the midfielder to cut inside and fire low beyond a flat-footed Myhill with a minute remaining. Norwich bounced back from their Anfield nightmare as goals from Gary Hooper and Leroy Fer earned them a valuable win over West Brom at The Hawthorns.
“I’m not thinking about Benfica yet,” he said. “I’m thinking about Cardiff and Chelsea, then Benfica. Right now, my head is on Cardiff on Sunday. “We are playing well and playing for a place in the Champions League, Cardiff are playing to survive. They will be up for it and we have to want it more.” An unexpected defeat at Norwich last weekend means Sherwood’s side are now six points adrift of Liverpool in the final Champions League position. Midfielder Mousa Dembele is hoping the feel-good factor of securing safe passage in Europe can help get Spurs back on track in their hunt for the top four. “It is a very important game,” he said. “It is the right time for us to get them (Cardiff) at home after our recent results at White Hart Lane and I think everybody is very happy and maybe a bit more confident after the Dnipro win. “We hope now that we can see off Cardiff correctly and professionally. It was an important thing for us to beat Dnipro. “Some people say that for English teams the Europa League is not so important. But for us I think it’s very important. The 30-year-old is enjoying a new lease of life at White Hart Lane under head coach Tim Sherwood, netting five goals in his last four appearances including a crucial brace in Tottenham’s Europa League victory over Dnipro on Thursday. That 3-2 aggregate success has secured a clash with Portuguese giants Benfica but, for Adebayor, it is a case of getting back to domestic business when Spurs welcome Premier League strugglers Cardiff to north London on Sunday. “We want to achieve something this year and making progress in Europe is a big help.” Sherwood has no fresh injury concerns heading into the clash with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Bluebirds, with England defender Kyle Walker in contention to make his return from a hip problem. Sandro could make his first Premier League start under Sherwood having recovered from a calf injury which had sidelined him since December – the Brazil midfielder played 75 minutes of the Dnipro win and is likely to retain his place. Craig Bellamy believes keeping Cardiff in the Premier League would provide the perfect swansong to his career. Bellamy returns to the side for Sunday’s trip to Tottenham after serving a three-match suspension, handed out retrospectively by the Football Association. That arose after Bellamy accepted a charge of violent conduct for striking Swansea midfielder Jonathan de Guzman with his arm during Cardiff’s south Wales derby defeat on February 8. In his absence, Cardiff have been knocked out of the FA Cup by Wigan, held to a goalless draw by Aston Villa, and embarrassingly hammered 4-0 by Hull. City are now one place off the foot of the table and three points shy of safety, and with a far inferior goal difference to the sides above them. Bellamy, though, has the bit between his teeth and is relishing the prospect of the scrap to keep City in the top flight that lies ahead. “This is quite a good challenge. If I’m really honest, it really is,” said 34-year-old Bellamy, who is approaching the 17th anniversary of his debut he made for Norwich in 1997. “It’s very easy to play well when you’re winning games, morale is high and everything looks good. “But when you’re up against it then you see who your good players are, who can really play, and when the pressure is on, who wants the ball and wants to do something with it. “When things aren’t going well you find out who the real people are in the club, and that for me is the challenge. “So what a great achievement it would be to get out of this, and I’m really motivated. “Who knows where my career will go at the end of the season, so for me, what a nice way to end – if it is the finish – by keeping this club up in the Premier League. “That would be a fitting end, a great achievement like last year (when the club won promotion) that I’ve left the club in a real healthy state.” Bellamy is also fired up following his ban, although it is a sign of his maturity these days he first spoke to De Guzman before deciding of his own volition to accept the punishment. “I was disappointed with the suspension. The club wanted to appeal, but it was me who chose not to,” Bellamy added. “I didn’t want my name dragged through anything, or to accuse anyone of anything. I spoke to De Guzman, had a good conversation with him. “For me personally, it (the incident) wasn’t the cleverest thing I’ve done, but it wasn’t the worst either. “So it was a case of get on with it, take the ban and look forward to the games coming up. Unfortunately the three games I have missed were difficult games to watch. “Hopefully I’ve an opportunity to make up for it from now until the end of the season.” Bellamy feels the loss to Hull has galvanised the players over the past few days, and made them realise what is at stake. “The reaction has been positive, as you would want it to be,” he said. “It was obviously a difficult result, but we got what we deserved. Hull were worthy winners. “In a lot of games we’ve been competitive this season, but that was one in which we weren’t, so that left us really disappointed. “But the best thing about football is there’s always another opportunity the next week. “We just have to go there (to Tottenham) with high energy and in a positive frame of mind, which is what we were lacking against Hull.” Along with Bellamy, manager Solskjaer should have Jordon Mutch available after his recovery from a hamstring problem, while fellow midfielder Gary Medel could figure as he is back in training following a lay-off with a thigh injury. Press Association Emmanuel Adebayor is refusing to let his mind wander towards the mouth-watering last-16 Europa League tie with Benfica as the striker looks to fire Tottenham into the Barclays Premier League’s top four.