Sports

Mar 162016
 
Harry Redknapp began his managerial career at Bournemouth in 1983

Former Tottenham and West Ham manager Harry Redknapp has joined Derby County as a football advisor.

The 69-year-old will work alongside head coach Darren Wassall until the end of the season, when a review of the club’s coaching structure will occur.

Derby sacked previous head coach Paul Clement in February and appointed Wassall until the end of the season.

The Rams are fifth in the Championship, seven points adrift of an automatic promotion place.

Redknapp, who has been out of work since leaving QPR in January 2015, told the club website: “From the first conversation I had with the chairman (Mel Morris) it was clear he has exciting plans for the football club.

“I am delighted to be able to help out and am looking forward to working with Darren and his team.”

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Mar 162016
 
Gianni Infantino said he wanted to restore Fifa’s image after he was elected president last month

Fifa wants to reclaim “tens of millions of dollars” taken illegally by its members and other organisations.

It also says corrupt officials who served on its former executive committee were guilty of selling their votes in World Cup bidding contests.

Former officials Chuck Blazer, Jack Warner and Jeffrey Webb are among those being sued by Fifa, which has submitted documents to US authorities.

In total, 41 individuals and entities have been charged in the States.

Fifa estimates millions of dollars were diverted from the sport illegally through bribery, kickbacks and corrupt schemes carried out by the defendants.

World football’s governing body has been in turmoil since May 2015, when a US investigation exposed widespread corruption at the top of the organisation.

Read: Who are the indicted Fifa officials?

Now it is attempting to fight back, describing itself as a “victimised institution”.

New Fifa president Gianni Infantino, elected in February, also claimed corrupt officials had “abused positions of trust”.

He added: “They caused serious and lasting damage to Fifa, its member associations and the football community.

“The monies they pocketed belonged to global football and were meant for the development and promotion of the game.

“Fifa as the world governing body of football wants that money back and we are determined to get it no matter how long it takes.”

Once the money had been recovered, Infantino said it would be directed back to its original purpose of benefitting and developing international football.

He added: “These dollars were meant to build football fields, not mansions and pools; to buy football kits, not jewellery and cars; and to fund youth player and coach development, not to underwrite lavish lifestyles for football and sports marketing executives.”

Infantino, 45, was elected as Fifa chief last month, replacing Sepp Blatter, who had been in charge of the governing body since 1998.

Analysis

BBC Sports editor Dan Roan:

Many critics will see this as Fifa effectively suing itself – a convenient and cynical act of hypocrisy, given the organisation’s close historical links with the defendants it is now taking action against.

But it should come as no surprise.

Fifa’s survival depends on it retaining the victim status afforded it by the US Department of Justice and this helps reinforce the narrative that it was the injured party in football’s corruption scandal, rather than the perpetrator.

With millions of dollars being spent each month on lawyers to clean up the scandal, as well as the loss of key sponsors, Fifa could do with the money.

Significantly, it publicly accepts for the first time that some members of its executive committee regularly sold their votes and that South Africa’s $10m payment to Warner and Blazer was indeed a bribe for the 2010 World Cup.

It is hard to imagine such an admission while Blatter was still in charge of Fifa, but Infantino will hope it helps him demonstrate that football’s governing body has turned a corner.

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Mar 162016
 
Footballer's race day off after urine row
Samir CarruthersImage copyright Reuters
Image caption Samir Carruthers played for MK Dons in this season’s FA Cup defeat against Chelsea

Cheltenham Festival has cancelled a booking involving a Championship footballer after a player was pictured appearing to urinate into a glass.

Midfielder Samir Carruthers is said to have been caught by a photographer as he relieved himself on a balcony.

Mr Carruthers, 22, was surrounded by race goers at the prestigious meet.

MK Dons said in a statement: “The club has commenced an internal investigation into the matter.”

In a tweet, Cheltenham Racecourse said: “In regards to images of inappropriate behaviour from yesterday, we have cancelled their booking for today.”

Further images show a glass of liquid being poured over a balcony railing by another man in the group containing Mr Carruthers.

Image copyright Reuters

A spokesman for MK Dons – currently just one point above the relegation zone in the second tier of English football – said neither Mr Carruthers nor any other MK Dons player threw liquid over the balcony.

The four-day Cheltenham Festival is one of the highlights of the horse racing season, with the Queen’s granddaughter Zara Tindall and the Countess of Wessex among the guests at this year’s event.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Zara Tindall pictured with racehorse owner Trevor Hemmings at the Cheltenham Festival

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Mar 162016
 
Vincent Kompany has already had two spells out with calf injuries this season

Manchester City will be without captain Vincent Kompany for at least a month after he injured a calf against Champions League opponents Dynamo Kiev.

The Belgium defender, 29, has started just 13 games in the Premier League this season and has had 14 calf injuries since signing in 2008.

“Vincent has again a muscle injury in his calf, the same problem he has had before,” said Pellegrini.

Kompany is set for a scan on either Wednesday or Thursday.

But Pellegrini expects the player to be out for “a minimum of one month”, adding: “Vincent must be very strong mentally.

“It’s very difficult to accept but he has nothing else to do.”

Kompany will sit out Sunday’s derby against Manchester United and is likely to miss the Champions League quarter-final first leg on 5 or 6 April.

His importance to City is clear. This season, they have conceded a goal every 156 minutes when he is on the pitch and every 70 minutes without him.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Vincent Kompany out for a month – Manuel Pellegrini

BBC Radio 5 live co-commentator Andy Townsend said Kompany’s injury should be a serious concern for Manchester City.

“This is a recurring injury and it’s becoming a chronic situation with his calf,” said Townsend. “It must be seriously worrying for him now.

“The club have to seriously think about the lad’s long-term career. This injury is such a persistent one that he is going to have a serious, serious issue if he’s not careful.

“With players I’ve spoken to over the years who have had recurring problems, like Michael Owen, they say you run on the field and you’re petrified that your body is going to let you down.”

Pellegrini, who will leave the club in the summer to be replaced by current Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola, said reaching the last eight for the first time is “a very important achievement for the club”.

City will learn their quarter-final opponents in Friday’s draw, with Barcelona the side to avoid according to Pellegrini.

Luis Enrique’s side are not yet through to the last eight but hold a 2-0 lead over Arsenal ahead of Wednesday’s second leg at the Nou Camp.

“The team that it is better than all the other teams is Barcelona,” said Pellegrini. “I think all the other teams are at a similar level.”

Barcelona have knocked City out of the Champions League in each of the past two seasons.

Despite City’s progress, Rio Ferdinand is unimpressed.

“I think they’ve gone backwards,” the former England and Manchester United defender told BT Sport.

“Have they got any real chance of winning the Champions League? No. They’re further down than at any time since the money was injected.”

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Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 Reading

 Posted by at 6:14 AM
Mar 162016
 
James Wilson scored the fourth goal of his loan spell from Manchester United

Brighton lifted themselves into the Championship’s automatic promotion places with victory against Reading.

James Wilson gave the Seagulls the lead with a low first-half effort into the far corner from Sam Baldock’s assist.

Brighton failed to add to Wilson’s strike after the break and were thankful Ola John missed a chance from close range for a Reading equaliser.

Chris Hughton’s side climb to second above Middlesbrough after Hull drew against Nottingham Forest.

Victory stretched Brighton’s unbeaten home run to six Championship matches and saw them return to the top two for the first time since 14 December.

They sit a point above third-placed Middlesbrough, who have played a game fewer and host fourth-placed Hull on Friday.

Wilson’s left-footed finish came from Baldock’s surging run at the Reading defence before a well-placed through ball on the edge of the penalty box.

Reading had to wait for their chances to arrive, with Michael Hector missing one of their better ones when he blazed a rebound over the bar following Matej Vydra’s shot.

Midfielder John also failed to direct a shot on target from six yards out as he was distracted by an onrushing David Stockdale.

Reading stay 15th, eight points above the relegation zone.

Brighton manager Chris Hughton told BBC Sussex:

Media playback is not supported on this device

Chris Hughton: Brighton boss after win over Reading

“It’s a good win, I think we were worthy winners. We were a little bit edgy second half, I think that’s understandable, but first half we were very good.

“We were worthy of our lead and I think we restricted their chances. They’ve got good quality, we knew it was going to be a tough game and it was.

“Sam Baldock was full of running and we wanted to be able to stretch them a bit more. I thought we did that and countered really well.

“I thought he was part of a good team performance and certainly gave us a lot of running today.”

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Man City 0-0 Dynamo Kiev (agg 3-1)

 Posted by at 5:56 AM
Mar 162016
 
Jesus Navas hit the post and Manchester City had just one shot on target in the match

Manchester City reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time despite a lethargic second leg goalless draw against Dynamo Kiev.

City, 3-1 up from the first leg, were in control of the tie but lost both centre-backs Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi to injury early on.

In a slow-paced first half, neither side threatened a shot on target.

Jesus Navas hit the post with a low drive in the second half and Yaya Toure struck straight at the goalkeeper.

Relive the tie from the Etihad Stadium here

City miss opportunity to show their class

Manuel Pellegrini – who will be replaced by Pep Guardiola as boss next season – wants to finish by making City champions of Europe for the first time.

After winning the League Cup last month, the Champions League remains City’s only realistic hope of a second trophy this season, as they lie 12 points behind leaders Leicester in the Premier League.

Manchester City’s shooting in the match was wayward, often reduced to efforts from long range

Pellegrini has made history by taking City further in the competition than any other manager, but can he go all the way?

Well, they will want to avoid Barcelona in the draw for the next round – should the holders complete the job against Arsenal on Wednesday – having been knocked out by the current Spanish champions in each of the last two seasons.

It was just as well that City had done the damage in the first leg, as this was a desperately poor performance against a Kiev side who have never won in England.

With the match taking an almost testimonial feel for long spells, neither striker Sergio Aguero nor midfielder Toure could exert their influence and missed the opportunity to signal their intent to other teams left in the tournament.

Kompany’s calf concerns continue

Vincent Kompany has played just 19 of a possible 46 games for Manchester City this season

Injuries to both of City’s first-choice centre-backs will be of big concern to the home supporters. Kompany misjudged a long ball forward and pulled up after turning to retrieve the situation. He slumped down to the ground knowing straight away he had suffered another setback.

Manager Pellegrini confirmed Kompany had picked up another calf injury, which is the 14th he has suffered since joining the club in 2008.

Kompany had played 19 of City’s 46 matches this season, and the statistics show they are worse off when he is missing. Across all competitions, they have conceded a goal every 156 minutes with him on the pitch – but one every 70 minutes without him.

Fellow centre-back Otamendi also went off in the first half, unable to continue after a collision with a visiting player.

Man of the match – Miguel Veloso

A midfield masterclass from the Portuguese midfielder who notched up a match-high 101 touches on the ball, 88 passes, 15 one-on-one duels and gained possession 10 times. Yaya Toure take note

What next?

The draw for the last-eight takes place on Friday at 11:00 GMT. City will face any of the following teams: Atletico Madrid, Barcelona or Arsenal, Bayern Munich or Juventus, Benfica, Paris St-Germain, Real Madrid, Wolfsburg.

Kompany has been ruled out “for at least a month” says Pellegrini so City must wait and see if Otamendi can recover in time for their Premier League game against rivals Manchester United on Sunday (kick-off 16:00 GMT).

The stats you need to know:

  • Manchester City are the seventh different English side to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League – after Arsenal, Tottenham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea – since the old European Cup was rebranded in 1992
  • City kept their first clean sheet in 10 Champions League matches – their last came in December 2014 against Roma
  • This was only the second time that City have failed to score in a Champions League match at the Etihad Stadium
  • City managed their one and only shot on target in this match in the 73rd minute

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