• Ghana FA feared supporters would be killed in tumult
•The Confederation of African Football statement
• Gary Al-Smith ‘I was choking … my eyes started burning’
• Ghana players and fans pelted with missiles in win
• In pictures: helicopters, riot police and chaos Continue reading...
• The FA statement on Giuseppe Bellusci in full
The Leeds United defender Giuseppe Bellusci has had an FA charge against him found not proven by an independent regulatory commission.
Bellusci had been charged with misconduct by the Football Association in December for allegedly using racist language towards the Norwich City striker Cameron Jerome.Continue reading...
• New sponsor to be on shirt for Sunday’s game with Man Utd
• Liverpool announce New Balance as new kit manufacturer Continue reading...
• Ghana players and fans pelted with missiles
The louspeaker crackled to life. “This is the minister of sport of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea,” a disembodied voice said. “I want to urge you all to calm down and cooperate with the police. We are sending a poor image about our country …” The crowd responded with boos and whistles. Another warning from the PA – and then the police moved in.
Smoke bombs flew. A chopper appeared, lowering its rotors to scatter fans as police brandished batons and Tasers. For a brief moment, there was a rush as supporters made for the exits, all played out to a global audience.Continue reading...
• Usmanov gives money to crisis-hit Russian Football Union for second time
• Capello last received his wages from employers in June
The Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov has stepped in with an emergency loan so that Russia can pay national team coach Fabio Capello 400 million roubles (£3.9m) in back wages.
The country’s richest man, a mining magnate who is worth an estimated $14bn according to Forbes and is the second-largest shareholder in Arsenal, announced late on Thursday that he was giving the Russian Football Union a 400-million-rouble loan on preferential terms, and the first payment was made later that night. Usmanov made the loan at the request of the sports minister, Vitaly Mutko, who said on Thursday that the back wages would be paid over the course of two days.Continue reading...
• Chelsea sign £27m Juan Cuadrado as Wolfsburg get Schürrle
Perched on Colombia’s northern coast, Necoclí is an idyllic paradise fringed with palm trees, deep blue Caribbean waters and a lush tropical rainforest that tumbles from the mountains into unspoilt golden sands.
But over the last few decades this haven of serenity and natural beauty has been trapped under a dark cloud of unimaginable horror. It has kept the tourists away and left 70% of the town’s population victims of violence. Few have been spared, not even Necoclí’s most famous son, the new Chelsea winger Juan Guillermo Cuadrado.Continue reading...
Brendan Rodgers’ jaw almost hit the floor when it was put to him that both Merseyside rivals head in to the 224th derby in a good run of form. Liverpool have won eight of their past 14 matches, Everton two in 14. Hence his astonishment. Everton team did collect a crucial first win of 2015 at Crystal Palace last Saturday and will need to maintain the dogged defending of Selhurst Park as Steven Gerrard looks to bow out of this historic fixture emphatically. Andy Hunter
Kick-off Saturday 5.30pmContinue reading...
• ‘We need to see stiff action’ says Ghana FA president
• Ghana players, fans pelted with missiles
• In pictures: helicopters, riot police and chaos
• Referee banned for controversial penalty
Ghana have called for stiff action against the African Cup of Nations hosts, Equatorial Guinea, after Ghanaian supporters were injured in attacks by home fans during Thursday’s semi-final between the two countries.
“It’s a pity that this dark cloud overshadows our success and we really need to see some stiff action taken by the Confederation of African Football,” said Kwesi Nyantakyi, the president of the Ghana Football Association and who is also a senior Caf executive.Continue reading...
• ‘We are all certain that Benny will again wear the Union shirt. He is a fighter’
• Club known for independent spirit and loyalty to fans and players
The second division German club Union Berlin have extended the contract of Benjamin Köhler by a year after he was diagnosed with a rare type of stomach cancer.
“I’m going to fight it,” said Köhler. “It’s a massive blow for my family and I – first I’ve got to process it, but then I’m going to fight it with everything I’ve got. We’ll be seeing each other again for sure.”Continue reading...
• Bale jeered again during win over Real Sociedad
You might have heard that Gareth Bale has been whistled by the Real Madrid fans recently. You might have heard it a little less if you had actually been at the Santiago Bernabéu. At the stadium where they whistled Alfredo Di Stéfano and where they whistled Zinedine Zidane they have whistled the Welshman too but not as loudly, as incessantly or as unanimously as you might have heard.
“I don’t think Gareth heard whistles,” Carlo Ancelotti insisted this week and he was probably right too. The noise from the supporters has not been as deafening as the debate that has emerged, a debate that at times seems plain bizarre.Continue reading...
• Match report: Manchester United 3 Leicester City 1
• Nigel Pearson hails new signing Kramaric
Andrej Kramaric was six years old when his father, Josip, first took him to Dinamo Zagreb’s training ground. The boy had been complaining that he had no one to play football with any more: all of his friends had started school and Andrej was stuck in nursery for one more year.
“One day, Dad put me in the car and didn’t say where we were going,” Leicester City’s record signing remembers. As it turned out, they stopped just down the road, five tram stops from their home in Zagreb’s Subiceva street. Initially, the Dinamo youth coaches told him to go away and “grow up a bit” as he was much smaller than the other kids but Josip managed to persuade them to let him join in and it did not take long before they realised that while he was small for his age, he was faster than anyone else there and possessed a technique well beyond his age.Continue reading...
My dad died last year. Cancer. He was diagnosed in May, he was dead by August. Those three months were punctuated by tear-stained trips back home and awkward phone calls early each morning. “Just wanted to let you know I am still alive,” he would say. You could almost hear him trying to put a smile on a brave face. But what do you say in that situation? How are you? How do you feel today? Has the doctor been in? Does he think the chemo is working? Do you think the chemo is working? It’s hard and many fall silent. Luckily we always had football – and we always had Liam Coyle.
Liam Coyle may sound like a local butcher, the place where your mother used to buy the good meat when the relatives came over, but he is one of the greatest players you have probably never heard of. For those of us who followed Derry City, he was a footballing god amongst leaden-footed mortals. He was strong, his touch was silken and, on the mud-plagued pitches of the oft-drab League of Ireland, his skills shone with the force of a trillion watts. He was a brilliant goalscorer, too, from any angle, from any range, from any part of his body. To top it all off, he also had this preternatural ability to read the game and see moves and moves ahead, like a Russian super grandmaster.Continue reading...
• ‘A photo shows one second of your life. It doesn’t define who you are’
• Wilshere posted video on Instagram highlighting his professionalism
• Alexis Sánchez still has a chance of featuring against Tottenham Hotspur
Arsène Wenger has told Jack Wilshere that it is “down to him to master his life,” as he sought to draw a line under the furore of his latest smoking incident. The Arsenal manager said that Wilshere was sorry for being photographed holding a shisha pipe during a night out in London last Sunday.
But Wenger, who suggested that Alexis Sánchez still had a chance of featuring against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on Saturday, also made the point very strongly that he did not doubt Wilshere’s commitment.Continue reading...
Click to enlarge, and debate the strip below the line. Keith Hackett's verdict appears in Sunday's Observer and here from Monday.Continue reading...