Archive | June 4, 2015

AC Milan to sack Inzaghi….

Filippo Inzaghi

AC Milan manager Filippo Inzaghi will be sacked this week after just a year in charge. The Serie A side told BBC Sport that Inzaghi, 41, will “not be in charge of the team next season”. The Rossoneri finished 10th in the league this season as they failed to qualify for the Champions League. Carlo Ancelotti has turned down the chance to return to his former club while ex-Sampdoria boss Sinisa Mihajlovic is favourite for the job. Milan said they were still “looking to find a new coach” and an official announcement is expected on Friday. Mihajlovic, 46, said on Monday that he was leaving Sampdoria after guiding the Genoa club to seventh, with former goalkeeper Walter Zenga reported to be in talks to take over. Ancelotti, 55, who was sacked by Real Madrid, had held talks with Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani but said he needed a “rest” after two seasons in charge at the Bernabeu. Under former Italy striker Inzaghi, Milan had their worst league finish in 17 years.

De Marchi treks for Juventus….

Nicolo De Marchi

Did he copy form our Naija trekkers? Well, Nicolo De Marchi made a promise to Juve on Twitter that he would walk from Turin to Berlin should the Old Lay beat Real Madrid in the semi-final. They did – and he’s doing it. The Oyibo trekker will cover about 683 miles. #oyibotrekstoo.

Juventus will face Barcelona in the Champions League final in Berlin on Saturday.

FIFA allegedly bribed Ireland over Henry handball….

Thierry Henry handball

FIFA paid the Football Association of Ireland 5m euros (£3.6m) to stop legal action after France controversially beat Ireland in a World Cup play-off, BBC reports. FAI chief executive John Delaney said he believed they had a case against FIFA after French striker Thierry Henry’s handball in the 2009 match. Delaney said a “legitimate agreement” was made to drop the claim after Ireland missed the 2010 World Cup. FIFA president Sepp Blatter is quitting with the organisation in crisis. Delaney’s claim comes after a turbulent nine days for football’s world governing body amid claims of “systemic and deep-rooted” corruption. FIFA is facing two criminal investigations by both the US for widespread bribery allegations and Swiss authorities over the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding processes. The Republic of Ireland were 16 minutes away from a penalty shootout for a place in the 2010 finals in South Africa before Henry handled in the build-up to William Gallas’s extra-time equaliser in the second leg of the play-off in Paris. The 2-1 aggregate win sent France to the 2010 tournament, where they were knocked out of the group stages amid a player strike.

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Safarova reaches first French Open final….

Lucie Safarova

Lucie Safarova describes reaching her first Rolland Garros final as a “dream come true” after defeating Ana Ivanovic 7-5 7-5. The Czech 28-year-old adds: “I still can’t believe it. “I started a little slowly but I tried to keep up the level and started to play really aggressive because that was only the way to win. It’s unbelievable.” Safarova will face Serena Williams in the final on Saturday. Williams defeated Timea Bacsinszky 4-6 6-3 6-0 to reach French Open final.

Chiellini out of Champions League final….

Chiellini

Juventus will be without experienced defender Giorgio Chiellini for Saturday’s Champions League final against Barcelona. The Italy international has torn a calf muscle in training and will not feature in Berlin. It means Chiellini will not come up against Luis Suarez – you may remember there was a little incident between the pair at the World Cup.

Figo stopped from appearing in Barcelona-Juventus team….

Luis Figo

Ex-Portugal winger Luis Figo, 42, has been blocked by the club from playing in a combined Juventus and Barcelona legends team to face a World XI on Friday. Figo’s inclusion prompted anger from fans of the club, still unforgiving of his move to Real Madrid in 2000. Barcelona took the issue to UEFA, who agreed to withdraw Figo from the team. Barca have not fully explained the reasoning for the move to stop Figo from taking part in the fixture, which takes place 24 hours before the club meet Juventus in the Champions League final in Berlin. Edwin van der Sar, Alessandro Del Piero and Fabio Cannavaro are just three of the names who will feature for the combination team,  which will be managed by Brazil legend Zico. Figo, who joined Barcelona in 1995, won two La Liga titles with the club but joined Real for £37m in July of 2000, winning Fifa’s Ballon d’Or award four months later as a result of much of his performances for Barca over the year. On his return to the Nou Camp, banners were in place to taunt him and objects were thrown in his direction including a pig’s head. Former Real full-back Michel Salgado famously said: “By the second or third corner I turned to Luis Figo and said ‘Forget it, mate. You’re on your own’. I used to offer Luis the chance to take the short corner, drawing up close to him near the touchline, but not this time. Missiles were raining down from the stands.”

Dybala joins Juve….

Paulo Dybala

Juventus have confirmed the signing of Palermo striker Paulo Dybala in a €32m (£23m) deal that could rise to €40m (£29m). The 21-year-old Argentine has signed a five-year contract.

Advocaat reconsiders Sunderland job….

Dick Advocaat

Dick Advocaat has performed a U-turn and will stay as Sunderland head coach after accepting a new one-year deal. The 67-year-old Dutchman said in May he no longer wished to continue a career in club management, having led the Black Cats to Premier League safety. Advocaat joined the club in March until the end of the season, replacing the sacked Gus Poyet, with the side one point above the relegation zone. He told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf:  “The club kept calling.” Advocaat was offered a new deal at the end of the 2014-15 season, but had told the club “it is better to stop now”, before being persuaded to change his mind. The former Netherlands boss, who managed Scottish club Rangers between 1998 and 2002, lost his first Premier League game in charge of Sunderland at West Ham. But they went on to record three wins and three draws in the remaining eight games to pull clear of relegation, including a 1-0 win over North East rivals Newcastle. Prior to joining Sunderland, Advocaat won the league title and cup double twice at Ibrox, and league titles in his homeland with PSV Eindhoven and in Russia with Zenit St Petersburg. He also led Zenit to victory over Rangers in the 2008 Uefa Cup final and Manchester United in the Uefa Super Cup later that year.

Liverpool agree deal to sign James Milner….

James Milner

Liverpool have announced that a deal has been agreed to sign midfielder James Milner from Manchester City, subject to a medical. The Reds have agreed personal terms with the England international, who will officially complete his move to Anfield when his City contract expires on 1 July. Milner will arrive at Anfield having lifted two Barclays Premier League titles, an FA Cup and a League Cup during his five-year spell with City. The 29-year-old is also firmly established as a regular for England and has notched 53 caps to date. Having also represented Leeds United, Newcastle United and Aston Villa, Milner has lined up against Liverpool 24 times in total during the course of his career.

Sanchez ‘saves’ fan….

Arsenal’s star man Alexis Sanchez has proved he is not just a hero on the pitch, he is one off it too. Here is the forward coming to the aid of an emotional fan as he arrived back in Chile this week. The supporter was held by police officers as she tried to cross the road to get near to the striker. Noticing this, Sanchez calmly turned back, spoke to the police and gave the fan what she wanted – a nice picture. The 26-year-old is over in Chile ahead of the Copa America, which starts on 11 June in his native country.

Blazer admits taking bribe….

 

 

Chuck Blazer, 2005

Former top FIFA official Chuck Blazer has admitted that he and others on the executive committee agreed to accept bribes in conjunction with the choice of South Africa as 2010 World Cup host. The American said he also helped to arrange bribes over the 1998 event. The admissions come in a newly released transcript from a 2013 US hearing in which he pleads guilty to 10 charges. The US has launched a wide-ranging criminal case that engulfed FIFA and led President Sepp Blatter to resign. The US prosecutors last week indicted 14 people on charges of bribery, racketeering and money laundering. Four others had already been charged, including Mr Blazer. The US justice department alleges they accepted bribes and kickbacks estimated at more than $150m (£97m) over a 24-year period.

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