Southampton have signed QPR striker Charlie Austin for a fee reported to be about £4m. The 26-year-old has joined the Saints on a four-and-a-half-year contract after passing a medical. Austin scored 18 Premier League goals as QPR were relegated last season, and was rewarded with an England call-up. The former Burnley player, whose contract at Loftus Road was due to expire in the summer, has scored 10 goals in 16 appearances this season. He has not featured for Rangers, who are 17th in the Championship, since mid-December because of injury. QPR director of football Les Ferdinand said the decision to sell Austin was “made in the best financial interests of the club” as he could leave on a free transfer at the end of the season. Austin joins a Southampton side 12th in the Premier League.
FIFA presidential candidate Prince Ali of Jordan says a co-operation agreement between the African and Asian football confederations is a “blatant attempt to engineer a bloc vote” in the election. Prince Ali, 40, has asked the game’s world governing body to investigate whether the pact breaks its rules. The two confederations account for 100 of the 209 votes to be cast in the presidential election on 26 February. “I have always promoted cross-regional understanding, however the timing of this Memorandum of Understanding looks like a blatant attempt to engineer a bloc vote,” said Prince Ali in a statement. “Questions must be asked: was this deal approved by the members of the executive committees of both the AFC and CAF and is the timing of the announcement, prior to a presidential election, acceptable?”