Guus Hiddink has arrived in the UK and is currently at a London hotel holding discussions with the Chelsea hierarchy. He is yet to sign a contract, but is leaving that to his advisors while he talks about the technical aspects involved in helping Chelsea out of their perilous position. He will be the new manager on an interim basis.
Sepp Blatter claimed he “did not violate FIFA’s code of ethics” as the suspended president made his defence to the ethics committee of world football’s governing body on Thursday. The Swiss, 79, is under investigation on suspicion of criminal mismanagement and misappropriation of funds at FIFA, but denies any wrongdoing. He was suspended on 8 October from all football-related activity for 90 days. UEFA chief Michel Platini was banned too – his case will be heard on Friday. “President Blatter looks forward to a decision in his favour, because the evidence requires it,” Blatter’s lawyer Richard Cullen said in a statement. “The evidence demonstrates that President Blatter behaved properly and certainly did not violate FIFA’s code of ethics. This investigation should be closed and the suspension lifted.” The adjudicatory committee intends to announce its verdicts before Christmas, with announcements possible as early as Monday. FIFA is investigating allegations that a £1.35m payment was made in 2011 for work Platini did as Blatter’s adviser. There was no written contract for the payment for the consultation work, which Platini received nine years later. The pair could face seven-year bans from football if found guilty of corruption claims.
Chelsea’s players were not to blame for manager Jose Mourinho’s sacking, says technical director Michael Emenalo. The defending champions are one point above the relegation zone after losing nine of their first 16 Premier League matches this season. Emenalo said there was a “palpable discord between manager and players”. Asked about the role of the squad in Mourinho’s exit, he told Chelsea TV: “It’s very easy to make that inference but it is not one the club accepts.” Emenalo said the squad consisted of the same group of players who won the league and League Cup “in style” last season while “sweating tears and blood”. He added: “The players have a responsibility to go out and prove everybody wrong and show a commitment to the decision that has been made to try and get the club up the league table. “This club is in trouble and something needed to be done.”
The Zimbabwe Football Association has fired national team coach Kalisto Pasuwa and disbanded the team’s training camp a month before the African Nations Championship. The move came 12 days into the tenure of new ZIFA president Philip Chiyangwa. BBC Sport understands that Pasuwa was not willing to accept the appointment of Wellington Mpandare as team manager. Mpandare was campaign manager for Chiyangwa for the 5 December ZIFA elections. Pasuwa had been working without a contract and had gone unpaid for five months. He was unbeaten in six games with the senior men’s team, and also qualified the Under-23 team for this year’s African Games. “At an extraordinary meeting of the ZIFA National Executive Committee on 17 December at Harare, it was resolved that the entire technical team for the men’s national team headed by Mr Kalisto Pasuwa be relieved of its duties,” said ZIFA vice president Omega Sibanda in a statement.
Chelsea captain John Terry says Jose Mourinho’s exit as the Stamford Bridge club’s manager is a “sad, sad day”. Mourinho made Terry skipper aged 23 in 2004 in his first spell as Blues boss. Terry led Chelsea to all three Premier League titles under Mourinho, who was sacked on Thursday, in addition to an FA Cup and three League Cups. “Going to miss you boss. The very best I have ever worked with, unbelievable memories together. Thank you doesn’t seem enough,” Terry said on Instagram . Since coming through the ranks to make his debut in 1998, Terry has played under 13 managers at Chelsea including Guus Hiddink, Carlo Ancelotti and Rafael Benitez. He was one of Chelsea’s most consistent performers both in Mourinho’s previous reign at the club and then as they won last season’s league title.