Chelsea have sacked manager Jose Mourinho – just seven months after being crowned Premier League champions. The decision comes after the Blues fell to their ninth defeat of the season in the Premier League, losing 2-1 away at Leicester, who rose to the top of the table – 20 points ahead of the London side. Following the game, the Portuguese said he felt ‘betrayed’ by his players and conceded they would will not finish in the top four this season. The defeat leaves the Blues 16th in the table, having won only four of their opening 16 fixtures, amassing a measly 15 points along the way. Mourinho steadied the ship in his first season back in charge at Stamford Bridge in 2013/14, before bossing a title-winning side last term. It has, however, been a limp defence of their crown, and even a top-four finish seems a long shot at this stage. The Blues have made it to the last-16 in the Champions League, where they will play Paris Saint-Germain, but it has been the champions’ domestic form which has been the undoing of Mourinho.
Franck Ribery’s thigh injury is worse than first thought and the Bayern Munich star is set to miss the next eight weeks, according to German magazine Kicker. The 32-year-old tore his thigh muscle in Bayern’s Champions League game at Dinamo Zagreb last week, on just his second appearance after nearly nine months out with an ankle injury.
Two defendants charged in the FIFA corruption scandal have pleaded not guilty to new charges. Former Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) President Jose Maria Marin and US businessman Aaron Davidson entered the pleas at a court in New York. The pair are accused of wire fraud conspiracy and other charges. They were among 14 people named in a US indictment earlier this year accusing football officials of accepting bribes for lucrative marketing rights. In December, 16 more officials were charged in a new indictment, including Mr Marin’s successor as head of the CBF, Marco Polo Del Nero. He appeared before Brazilian senators on Wednesday, denying charges of corruption and money laundering and saying he had been “unjustly accused”. Top Brazilian football stars including Pele and Zico have called for his resignation. A former footballer, Mr Marin led the Brazilian confederation for three years until April 2015.
Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola says he will give “clarity” on his future at the Bundesliga champions next week. The 44-year-old Spaniard, who has been linked with Manchester City, has led Bayern to two titles since taking over in 2013 but is out of contract in June. He would not answer questions about his future on Tuesday, but indicated an announcement would soon follow. Spanish newspaper Marca reported on Wednesday that Guardiola has already told Bayern he will leave the club. The Madrid-based publication claims he believes both he and the club would benefit from a change of scenery because his intense work ethic can wear players down. Reports in Spain last month claimed the former Barcelona coach had agreed to leave Bayern at the end of the season to take over at Manchester City.
Sierra Leone has reinstated the Football Association executive board in the hope of avoiding a ban by FIFA for governmental interference. The decision was taken during a meeting on Wednesday which was convened by the Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma. Had Sierra Leone not done so by FIFA’s deadline of 16 December the country would have been suspended from all international football activity. The situation arose after National Sports Council (NSC) announced the dissolution of the SLFA executive committee last week.