FIFA thrown into fresh controversy as senior figure is ‘put on leave’

first_img1 Jerome Valcke FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke, Sepp Blatter’s right-hand man, has been suspended by the organisation pending an investigation into allegations he was implicated in a World Cup tickets scheme.Emails and documents seen by the Press Association Sport suggest Valcke was aware that a Swiss marketing company were selling off World Cup and Confederation Cup tickets for almost five times their face value.FIFA said in a statement: “FIFA today announced that its secretary general Jerome Valcke has been put on leave and released from his duties effective immediately until further notice. Further, FIFA has been made aware of a series of allegations involving the secretary general and has requested a formal investigation by the FIFA Ethics Committee.”The emails and documents show Valcke signed off contracts with Swiss firm JB Sports Marketing AG for category one tickets for a number of matches.In April 2013, JB’s consultant Benny Alon said in an email to Valcke’s personal email address that some tickets had been sold for up to five times the face value. But it was not until months later, in December of that year, that the contract was terminated.Alon claims he sent an email to Valcke in April 2013 detailing how much was being made on each ticket – the biggest mark-up being 50 tickets for a second-round match in Sao Paulo with a face value of 230 US dollars being sold for 1,300 US dollars each.Alon says in the email: “we made US$114,000 each on Germany”.It is understood Valcke strenuously denies asking for or receiving any money for the deal with JB. It is also understood that Valcke insists FIFA terminated the agreement with JB once they realised Alon was selling tickets for the 2014 World Cup above face value. There is no explanation however at the delay in any action taking place.Alon has claimed that his company sold the tickets on the open market not the black market, with transportation to the venue or a pre-match meal being used to justify the extra cost.That practice however clashed with FIFA’s official hospitality partners MATCH and contravened Brazilian law, and Valcke told JB the contract had to be signed with MATCH instead. An email from Valcke warns that otherwise they may be committing a criminal offence.The email to Alon in December 2013: “You, we, have no choice. Otherwise the deal will be canceled by Fifa or we all face as individuals criminal offense. It is not a joke. It is very serious.“So avoid too many advice. Just do it if I may say using a slogan from one company involved. All is clear and has to be finalized now. Thanks. Jerome.”Alon also told Press Association Sport he sold tickets to the 2010 World Cup final in Johannesburg – the higher price there being justified by having a golf match included as part of the deal.Valcke has been FIFA’s secretary general, and outgoing president Sepp Blatter’s right-hand man, since 2007. Before that he had a spell at FIFA’s marketing director between 2003 and 2006, but left the organisation following a sponsorship negotiations with Visa and Mastercard that ended up in the US Courts – only to return to FIFA eight months later.last_img read more

Anthony Martial came close to Everton move, confirms Roberto Martinez

first_imgManchester United sensation Anthony Martial could have been wearing the blue of Everton, Roberto Martinez has confirmed to talkSPORT.The Frenchman became the world’s most expensive teenager when he moved to Old Trafford from Monaco in the summer for a fee which could rise to £58m.He has been a revelation for United, scoring three goals in his first four Premier League outings, and will look to continue his impressive form against Everton on Saturday.But he could have become a Goodison hero had Martinez had his way, with the Toffees boss revealing on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast: “We followed Martial when he moved to Monaco and at that time he couldn’t get any playing time. We saw him play with the Under-21s for France.“I must admit we never had that profile of a number nine. He was always a wide player and that was the player we were trying to get on loan.“We had a little bit of an opportunity but it never materialised.”last_img read more

Championship leaders Hull City suffer major injury blow

first_img Michael Dawson Hull captain Michael Dawson has been ruled out for up to a month with a hamstring injury.The former Tottenham star was forced off in the first half of Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Bristol City and is expected to be sidelined until the end of December.The loss of Dawson will come as a big blow to Steve Bruce, whose side are sitting top of the Championship following an impressive 11-match unbeaten run.Much of that success has been down to City’s sturdy defence – the best in the league having conceded just nine goals in 17 games.“Scans have confirmed that Michael Dawson sustained a grade two hamstring injury during Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Bristol City,” a statement on the club’s official website read.“The injury is expected to keep Dawson out of action for three to four weeks.”Dawson was already due to miss Friday’s match against Derby through suspension, which will keep out left-back Andrew Robertson.David Meyler faces eight weeks out due to a knee injury, while Adama Diomande and Robert Snodgrass have yet to feature this season. 1last_img read more

Chelsea want Bayern ace to replace Costa, Man United star Herrera to quit? Paper review

first_imgHere’s the top transfer-related stories in Tuesday’s newspapers…Chelsea are ready to rival Manchester United for Bayern Munich striker Thomas Muller. The champions are going to let Diego Costa escape scot-free for his petulant bib-throwing at boss Jose Mourinho during the draw with Spurs on Sunday. But the 27-year-old could find himself replaced next summer by the Germany superstar, who has already been targeted by Old Trafford chief Louis van Gaal. (Daily Mirror)Ander Herrera wants showdown talks with Louis van Gaal after becoming disillusioned at Manchester United. The Spanish ace reckons his career has stalled under Van Gaal this season and is planning to discuss his future with the Dutchman. (Daily Star)Cristiano Ronaldo’s mum, Dolores Aveiro, wants the Portuguese superstar to return to Manchester United if he does leave Spanish giants Real Madrid next summer. Paris Saint-Germain are also chasing Ronaldo and are prepared to pay him a staggering £250,000-a-week AFTER tax to make him Zlatan Ibrahimovich’s successor. But Aveiro would prefer a move back to Manchester because she feels it would be safer for her son and five-year-old grandson, Cristiano Junior. (Daily Mirror)Arsenal are lining up a £22million January raid for Porto defensive midfield starlet Ruben Neves. Arsene Wenger wants cover for the injured Francis Coquelin and is targeting the 18-year-old to help reignite the Gunners’ faltering title charge. (Daily Mirror)Tottenham outcast Andros Townsend has edged closer to the exit door after being demoted to the Under-21 side. Swansea, Aston Villa, West Brom, Leicester and Newcastle are among the Premier League clubs vying to rescue the 10-times capped flier. Townsend wants out in January in a bid to win back his international spot for next summer’s Euro 2016 finals. (Daily Mirror)Southampton are ready to raid south-coast neighbours Brighton for £7.5m-rated wonderkid Solly March. The England Under-21 ace was wanted by Saints boss Ronald Koeman 18 months ago, but he ended up passing on the winger due to his inexperience. However, the Dutchman has reignited his interest in the wideman. (Daily Mirror)Stoke boss Mark Hughes has slapped down talk of a big money move for star goalkeeper Jack Butland. Hughes laughed off suggestions of £20m January bids for Butland insisting that he’s not for sale at any price. (Daily Star)And here’s the latest headlines…Reports – Real Madrid plotting bold bid for rival Barcelona forward NeymarArsenal unlikely to land £21m-rated Morata as Juventus striker looks set for Real Madrid returnManchester United target Gianluigi Donnarumma ‘worth €170m’, according to wonderkid goalkeeper’s agentTorino defender ready to reject interest from Manchester United and sign new dealTransfer report: Manchester City plotting move for another Argentina star next summerPalermo chief insists Franco Vazquez will NOT be sold in January amid interest from Southampton and Tottenhamlast_img read more

SAKHO’S BACK! Klopp reveals Liverpool defender has returned to training

first_img Mamadou Sakho with Jurgen Klopp 1 Jurgen Klopp has revealed Mamadou Sakho is in line to return for Liverpool against Watford next weekend.The defender has been sidelined since a suffering knee injury during the 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace at Anfield on November 8.It was initially feared Sakho, who has been among the Reds’ most impressive performers this season, would be out until the New Year.But the injury was not as serious as first thought and the 25-year-old returned to training on Friday.The Frenchman will not be considered for selection against West Brom on Sunday but is expected to be available for the trip to Watford on December 20.Klopp, speaking at a press conference ahead of the Baggies’ visit to Anfield, said: “Mama has trained now. He had his first session with the team yesterday and if nothing happens, he has to go on and carry on with training. That’s what he needs now.“There are no more issues with the knee and everything is okay, now he has to work to be a real option for us. Next week for sure, he will be available if nothing more happens.”last_img read more

Premier League round-up: Newcastle score late to hold Man United in thriller and Aston Villa finally win

first_img 3 Paul Dummett scored an 89th-minute thunderbolt 3 United doubled their lead eight minutes before the break when Rooney was sent clear, before playing in Lingard with a delicious reverse pass and the 23-year-old made no mistake, slotting through the legs of Rob Elliot.However, the two-goal advantage only lasted four minutes as Mitrovic beat Fellaini in the air to head the ball into the path of Wijnaldum, who finished neatly first time.Lingard should have settled the game in the second half when the ball reached him at the back post but he inexplicably curled the ball well over from six yards.And he was made to pay for that miss when referee Dean, again controversially, pointed to the spot after Chris Smalling and Mitrovic wrestled each other to the ground in the United box.Mitrovic picked himself up and scored the resulting penalty to level the scores.The game was not over there as Rooney rolled back the years with a hammer of a goal into the top corner with only ten minutes remaining which managed to get even Louis van Gaal out of his seat.And yet there was still time for Newcastle to spoil Rooney’s party when the ball fell to Dummett on the edge of the area and he fired an unstoppable shot passed the helpless David De Gea.Aston Villa 1-0 Crystal PalaceAston Villa claimed their first win since the opening day of the season and their first under Remi Garde as Joleon Lescott scored to down Crystal Palace at Villa Park.It was almost a nightmare start for the Premier League’s bottom side when, after only 20 seconds, Wilfried Zaha linked well with Jason Puncheon before stroking the ball against the base of Brad Guzan’s post.Aston Villa took the lead just over ten minutes into the second half when Lescott’s header was fumbled by Wayne Hennessey – the ball going first through his arms and then his legs – before crossing the line, with the aid of goal-line technology.It is a priceless three points for Villa in a season which still looks doomed to end in relegation. 3 Newcastle 3-3 Manchester UnitedPaul Dummett scored a last minute thunderbolt to settle a thrilling game with Manchester United at St James’ Park.Wayne Rooney scored twice, including an 80th-minute stunner which looked like it had handed United all three points.Jesse Lingard got the other for the Red Devils, while Georginio Wijnaldum and Aleksandar Mitrovic responded for Newcastle.United took the lead in controversial fashion when referee Mike Dean awarded the visitors a penalty after Marouane Fellaini’s knockdown header ricocheted against the arm of Chancel Mbemba.Rooney made no mistake from the spot to give the Red Devils the lead after only eight minutes. Bournemouth 1-3 West HamDimitri Payet and Enner Valencia put on a late show to inspire West Ham to a comeback victory over Bournemouth at Dean Court.Harry Arter opened the scoring with his first Premier League goal after 17 minutes with a long range effort which Hammers goalkeeper Adrian should have done better to save as the ball skimmed off his outstretched arm and into the net.The visitors managed to draw level with over 20 minutes remaining when Payet, back after injury, showed how much he was missed as he scored a superb free kick, which hit the underside of the bar on its way in.And Payet emphasised his value minutes later when he wriggled through two challenges before squaring to Valencia to smack the ball into the net.Valencia scored his second with a free kick, similar to the one Payet scored earlier in the night, to take West Ham ahead of Manchester United and to within a point of fourth place.last_img read more

Arsenal v Barcelona: This is exactly what will happen tonight at the Emirates

first_img4 Arsenal face the unenviable task of stopping Lionel Messi and co. in the Champions League on Tuesday as Barcelona travel to north London.While there are many pundits predicting a goal-fest for the Catalan giants, here is a more light-hearted prediction of what could unfold at the Emirates…Francis Coquelin begins the night by scything down Messi in the opening minutes and somehow escapes a red card. However, Arsene Wenger claims he “did not see it” as he was too busy trying to zip up his coat.via GIPHYArsenal start well, as Theo Walcott and Alexis Sanchez go close and belief engulfs the home fans.The Gunners duly take the lead, as Olivier Giroud’s freshly-styled quiff gets enough on the ball to guide Sanchez’s cross into the bottom corner.  via GIPHYSatisfied with their opening few minutes work, Arsenal sit back and find themselves 3-1 down 15 minutes later, with Neymar bagging a brace and Luis Suarez getting the third.The camera cuts to Thierry Henry celebrating in the stands with an Arsenal-Barcelona ‘half and half’ scarf. Jack Wilshere challenges Lionel Messi in 2011 Per Mertesacker – left in a daze after fast moving objects by the names of Neymar and Suarez flash past him – is withdrawn at half time at the request of Hollywood director Peter Jackson, who wants the German to star as an Ent tree-like being in his next adaptation of a J.R.R Tolkien book.via GIPHYAn interactive poll for who should replace Mertesacker takes place during the break and is won by Gunnersaurus, who immediately lines up next to Laurent Koscielny at the back.Twitter then erupts and celebrity fan Piers Morgan makes a witty comment about Gunnersaurus being only the second footballing dinosaur on display, after Wenger. Barcelona dominate possession in the second half, which begins to frustrate Mesut Ozil, who is so concerned about his assist-to-game ratio he begins to play killer balls through to ‘MSN’, and is applauded by Gunners for his imagination and ‘out-of-the-box thinking’.via GIPHYOne of Ozil’s passes finds Lionel Messi, who has had a stinker of a game due to his complete inability to score against Petr Cech (a run which now stretches to eight games), but the Argentine is brought down in the area after a clumsy foul from Gunnersaurus.Messi, totally psyched out by Cech, slips as he steps up to strike the ball, but the ball rolls two yards into the path of Suarez, who taps in. The commentators hail Messi’s genius, while the watching Thierry Henry and Robert Pires get their coats.Meanwhile, Wenger throws a pound coin in the direction of Suarez and whispers “there’s 40 million more where that came from”.Despite losing 4-1, Arsenal win a Twitter poll to decide the most likely Champions League winners and the home side take a celebratory selfie…center_img 4 4 4last_img read more

LAPD deserves better than recent tirade

first_imgWITH its editorial titled “LAPD’s numbers game” (Oct. 4) we have yet another example of the willingness of the Daily News editorial page to callously throw out insulting allegations of fraud and misrepresentation against public servants. In this most recent incident, the editorial board asserted the Los Angeles Police Department is “cooking the books” in its report on deployment in the San Fernando Valley. The underlying purpose of their destructive and mean-spirited rant? Apparently to reassert the never-ending mantra that more officers are needed in the San Fernando Valley. As a point of information, the department’s report on the efforts to add additional patrols in the Valley was 15 pages of information, plus attachments detailing citywide deployment numbers, response times, citation productivity and revenues generated, and efforts to reduce gang violence. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityHistorical data stretching back five years were provided to more accurately depict performance measures over the course of several years, especially in comparison to other parts of the city. Recognizing that the Daily News has a pretty dim view of just about everything public servants do in regards to providing services to the Valley, the editorial board chose to single out one calculation. Particularly disingenuous was their decision to reference in the editorial a specific LAPD claim of a 30 percent reduction in response time to emergency calls for service. Let me be clear: The report detailed response times for emergency, urgent and routine calls for service depicted in chart and graph form for each year from 2003-2007. The only summary our report made on the subject was that overall citywide response times have improved since 2003. Our report also stated that the department seeks to balance the attainment of specific service goals (response times) with specific deployment strategies that result in the reduction of serious violent and property crime. Our performance measures are what they are. We were factual and accurate in their depiction. Additionally, I defend the outstanding job the men and women of the LAPD are doing on a variety of fronts in service to the people of the Valley, as well as the city as a whole. Simply stated, our numbers are too few in every neighborhood and community of this city. However, these same communities are made safer today by the dedication of our men and women who work in partnership with those they are sworn to protect. And while we are continually striving to improve our performance, we will not purposely mislead or violate the public’s trust for a speaking point or statistical quote. As the saying goes, there are lies, damn lies, and statistics. We have presented the facts and merely ask for fairness in the evaluation and conclusions reached. In closing, a well-informed public is essential to the existence of a democratic nation. As a department, we seek to foster a cooperative climate with the media built on mutual respect. The LAPD deserves better than this most recent tirade. Michel R. Moore is deputy chief, Operations-Valley Bureau of the Los Angeles Police Department160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

South Bay forces answer the call for aid

first_imgTen other Harbor Area LAFD firefighters remained on standby Monday afternoon, waiting to be deployed if conditions worsened, Davies said. Eight firefighters from the Torrance Fire Department were sent Sunday to help fight the fire in Malibu, and another four were called up Monday to assist with the Ranch Fire, which broke out Saturday night near Castaic, said fire Capt. Steve Deuel. “We’ll do anything we can,” Deuel said. “In the meantime, we’ll keep our fingers crossed and hope that none of that comes our way.” Four firefighters from the Redondo Beach Fire Department were sent to Malibu, while another four were sent to the Buckweed Fire, which started Sunday afternoon in Aqua Dulce, said Fire Chief Dan Madrigal. “They are actually engaged in structural protection, so they’re getting a lot of action,” Madrigal said. Four firefighters from the El Segundo Fire Department were sent to Malibu, while another four were sent to Aqua Dulce, firefighter Brian Santagata said. Two Manhattan Beach firefighters helped battle the Castaic blaze, while another four firefighters and two battalion chiefs were sent to Malibu, Battalion Chief Chuck Wilson said. Additionally, four Hermosa Beach firefighters fought flames in Malibu, according to department officials. Smoke from the fires made for unusually poor air quality throughout Southern California on Monday, prompting county health officials to issue an alert. Jonathan Fielding, director of the county Department of Public Health, warned schools to keep students from participating in physical education and after-school sports activities until conditions improve. Those with heart and lung problems were also warned to stay indoors. “The air quality has rapidly deteriorated over the past few hours and we are taking this action to protect the health of all residents,” Fielding said in a statement. The South Coast Air Quality Management District agreed with Fielding’s findings and warned that high levels of particulate matter had reached unhealthy levels Monday. AQMD officials alerted Los Angeles Unified School District officials to keep students away from playground and practice fields, said Myrna Brutti, LAUSD’s operations coordinator for the Harbor Area, Carson and Gardena. “They’re asking us to keep them indoors as much as possible and away from breathing the air,” Brutti said. “The schools have been notified and everybody should be doing it.” At San Pedro High School, however, head football coach Mike Walsh dismissed the warning and ran practice at a “lower speed” for his young players Monday afternoon. The football team did not run its full complement of plays, Walsh said. “We’ll have to walk through” the plays, Walsh said. Despite the health warning, physical education classes continued at Carnegie Middle School in Carson, Principal Patrick Donahoe said. But rigorous activities were canceled, including a 1-mile run scheduled for the eighth-graders. Instead, students played a light game of basketball that didn’t require them to run up and down the courts, Donahoe said. “We’re surrounded by fires, so the air quality is a concern,” Donahoe said. “We’re going to be more cognizant of that tomorrow and probably keep the kids inside.” The fire-fueling Santa Ana winds managed to cause more damage by knocking down several power lines Sunday, cutting electricity to more than 11,000 Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers in San Pedro, Harbor Gateway and the San Fernando Valley, according to agency officials. About 1,300 DWP customers in Harbor Gateway lost power Monday afternoon, agency officials said. In other areas, wildfires and winds were blamed for power outages affecting 350,600 Southern California Edison customers. Edison’s customers in the South Bay and Long Beach were not affected, officials said. [email protected] Staff writers Paul Clinton and Kristin S. Agostoni contributed to this article.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! By Art Marroquin STAFF WRITER At least 80 firefighters from the South Bay helped battle several wildfires that continued to burn throughout Southern California on Monday, while thick smoke blanketing the region prompted Los Angeles County officials to issue a health alert that called for a halt to outdoor activities. While no fires broke out in the South Bay on Monday, local firefighters and law enforcement took precautions to safeguard the region while helping to extinguish infernos that raged in Malibu, Castaic and the Santa Clarita Valley. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.The Sheriff’s Department nearly doubled the number of deputies patrolling the Palos Verdes Peninsula, where a fire charred more than 200 acres of canyon brush two years ago. Deputies are working 12-hour shifts until fire conditions improve, while others were sent to assist their colleagues in Malibu and Canyon Country, according to Lt. Greg Ahn of the Lomita sheriff’s station. “We’re looking for people acting suspiciously and keeping an eye out for any fires,” Ahn said. “If something does break out, hopefully we’ll be able to get the firefighters out there before it becomes newsworthy.” At least 40 Los Angeles County firefighters from the three battalions serving Carson, Gardena, Compton, Lawndale, Hawthorne, Lomita, Palos Verdes Estates and Avalon also were sent to help battle the blazes, according to department officials. Four firefighters from the Los Angeles Fire Department’s Engine 95 near Los Angeles International Airport were sent to the Canyon Fire in Malibu shortly after it broke out early Sunday morning, according to department spokeswoman Luisa Davies. last_img read more

Harvest Fest offers safe fun

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.The world, as we know it today, has become unstable and more threatening. Fear and anxiety grip the hearts of parents who are concerned for the safety of their children. Almost gone is the world in which it was safe to wander the streets in the evening and accept candy from strangers within the neighborhood. Today we have to be more cautious when it comes to allowing our children to receive gifts from anyone. The Harvest Fest provides a carefree haven for our children. We have joined efforts with the local law-enforcement agencies to ensure a completely safe environment in which every child and whole families can have some good old-fashioned fun. Entrance is free, and children can go home with as much candy as their pockets can hold! With more than 40 game booths, jumpers, sumo wrestling, recreational activities for teens, face painting, special live worship music, a cakewalk, even a mini-harvest for the little children and tons of candy, there is something for everyone. With so many attending every year, it takes more than 300 volunteers to operate the Harvest Fest to make it a success, and this year is no exception. Our goal is to bless all who attend, the young as well as the young-at-heart. On a night like this, we are all kids. Harvest Fest is here to offer a completely safe and positive environment for all. What’s a festival without food? Anytime you get hungry, venture over to our food court and choose from a variety of great food at reasonable prices. There is our American food booth with juicy hamburgers and hot dogs, a Chinese food booth offering an assortment of dishes straight from The China Tea House in Torrance, a Mexican food booth, a Cuban food booth and much more! If snacks are all you want, stop by our nachos and popcorn stands, or even our dessert table with its huge assortment of cakes, pies and cookies. There’s even a cappuccino cart where you can order blended drinks, coffee or lattes! In a world that emphasizes darkness at this time of the year, it is important to show and teach our younger generation that there is still a light that shines above it all. As Jesus said, “I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.” Harvest Fest is a free event and is open to anyone in our community. You don’t have to attend church to participate in the festivities. The event takes place from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday at Calvary Chapel South Bay, 19300 S. Vermont Ave. in Gardena, at our Hamilton Street parking lot. For more information, contact our church office at 310-352-3333 or check our Web site at There is also plenty of secure parking on our lot and the surrounding areas; come early for the best available spaces. Be sure not to miss out this year. Invite all your family and friends to come and enjoy a night out filled with laughter, food and games. The secret’s out. Harvest Fest is the place to be – safe, fun and entertaining! The Rev. Steve Mays is senior pastor of Calvary Chapel South Bay in Gardena.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! By Steve Mays Where do 8,000-plus people gather every year on the night of Oct. 31? October is a special time for Calvary Chapel South Bay. It’s the time we enthusiastically prepare for our annual Harvest Fest. Of course, most people are out participating in the traditional Halloween celebration with commercially driven pumpkins, ghosts and witches. While Halloween glorifies the dark and scary things of this world, here at Calvary Chapel we hold an annual alternative to Halloween representing the light of Jesus Christ in the midst of this world’s darkness. The church’s Harvest Fest is a Halloween-safe haven for children, families and friends alike. For more than 20 years, Calvary Chapel has had the privilege of holding this fall carnival for thousands of kids, parents, grandparents and friends. last_img read more