Former Wigan and Cote d’Ivoire defender Steve Gohouri is still missing, 11 days after he was last seen. A spokesman for fourth-tier TSV Steinbach said that they have not heard from the 34-year-old since he attended his German club’s Christmas party on 11 December after which he was due to head to see his family in Paris. The club said the Ivory Coast embassy in Germany has been in touch as well to ask for updates. Steinbach are currently on their winter break and so Gohouri has not missed any training or matches with the squad due back on 6 January.
The ITF announced that Serena Williams of the United States and Novak Djokovic of Serbia are the 2015 ITF World Champions. Williams is named Women’s World Champion for the sixth time, while this is the fifth occasion that Djokovic has received the honour. Serena Williams came within two matches of achieving the Grand Slam in 2015, winning the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon, and held all four Slams at the same time for the second time in her career. She won five titles overall, and finished No. 1 in the year-end rankings for the fifth time on the back of a 53-3 win-loss record. Williams said: “It means a lot to me to be named the ITF World Champion for the sixth time. I am proud to have achieved my second Serena Slam, in what has been an amazing year for me. Thank you for this recognition and for the undying support of the tennis community.” Novak Djokovic won a career-best 11 titles in 2015, ending at No. 1 in the year-end rankings for the fourth time. He won three major titles at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open, and was runner-up at Roland Garros. He was in commanding form on all surfaces, boasting a career-best 82-6 win-loss record during the year. Djokovic said: “It is an honour to be named ITF World Champion for the fifth time. My season was the best of my career with many highlights. It inspires me even more to keep on going, and I hope to continue to play at this level in 2016.”
West Brom forwards James McClean and Salomon Rondon have been suspended for three matches by the Football Association. The pair were sent off during Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat by Bournemouth in the Premier League, Irish international McClean for serious foul play and Venezuelan Rondon for violent conduct. McClean and Rondon will miss Saturday’s match at Swansea City, the home game with Newcastle United on Monday and a visit from Stoke City on 2 January.
Embattled FIFA president Sepp Blatter has been stripped of the honorary degree he received from Leicester’s De Montfort University. The Swiss received the honour 10 years ago, but the British higher education establishment revealed that it took the step of removing his title two months ago. A spokesperson for De Montfort University said: “The university has long been concerned by the nature of the allegations, had been closely monitoring events at FIFA, and in October formally withdrew the honorary doctorate in Arts and Humanities awarded to Mr Blatter in 2005.”
Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois says new manager Guus Hiddink can get the Blues back up the table. Chelsea lie 15th and sacked manager Jose Mourinho last week. But Courtois told the club’s website: “Hiddink was here before, he did very well and I think he’s a very good manager. “Hopefully together we can climb back up the table and we’re looking forward to starting working with him. “We know we have to react, we’ve started well and have to move forward. Whatever has happened stays in the past and now we want to work hard with the new manager to get a good result against Watford.”
Spain coach Vicente del Bosque plans to retire after next summer’s Euro 2016 finals in France. Former Real Madrid manager Del Bosque, 64, guided Spain to victory at both the 2010 World Cup and the Euro 2012 finals. “My retirement is close. If everything goes according to plan it [Euro 2016] will be the end,” he said. “I am a man of the Federation and I have to speak to them before taking a final decision.” Spain are two-time defending champions having also won Euro 2008 under the late Luis Aragones, Del Bosque’s predecessor. They could become the most successful side in European Championship history if they can win the title for a third consecutive time, and fourth overall, in France next year.
FIFA presidential candidate Tokyo Sexwale has appeared before a US grand jury in New York as part of an on-going investigation into World Cup bribes. He was questioned in relation to an alleged $10m corrupt payment from South Africa to ex-FIFA vice president Jack Warner. Sexwale appeared as a potential witness at the FBI’s request on December 17. He was a member of the bid board that successfully campaigned for his home country to host the 2010 World Cup. A US criminal indictment claims the money was paid to Warner via a FIFA account, disguised as football development cash, in order to secure votes for South Africa’s bid. A grand jury is empowered under US law to investigate potential criminal conduct and determines whether criminal charges should be brought. Sexwale is one of five candidates in the running for the Fifa presidency, with the election taking place on 26 February.