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Sat, 19 Dec 2015 09:08:31 -0500
Soccer-Chelsea turn to Hiddink again to revive fortunes

By Mfuneko Toyana JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - It was Africa versus Europe in Johannesburg on Saturday as Tokyo Sexwale and Jerome Champagne lobbied southern Africa's soccer bosses for support to become the next head of the scandal-ridden soccer body FIFA. The South African apartheid-era political prisoner turned multimillionaire and the former French diplomat laid out their plans to reform FIFA to the Confederation of Southern African Football Association's (COSAFA) annual general meeting. The two men hoping to succeed suspended FIFA head Sepp Blatter presented a show of solidarity as they recalled working together on South Africa's successful bid to host the 2010 World Cup tournamen


Sat, 19 Dec 2015 08:42:17 -0500
Soccer-Dutchman Hiddink returns to Chelsea as interim manager

YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) -- Lionel Messi and Neymar are hoping to return for Barcelona in the Club World Cup final on Sunday after taking part in Saturday's training sessio


Sat, 19 Dec 2015 08:42:17 -0500
Soccer-Dutchman Hiddink returns to Chelsea as interim manager

LONDON (AP) -- Guus Hiddink is back at Chelsea for a second spell as manager, succeeding Jose Mourinho until the end of the seaso


Sat, 19 Dec 2015 07:55:06 -0500
Soccer-Kroos remains a key player for Real, Benitez says

Jose Mourinho is not planning to take a break from management after his departure from Chelsea and is ''already looking forward,'' a statement by the agency which represents the Portuguese coach said Saturday. The statement from CAA Sports also appears to confirm that Mourinho was fired from his second spell at Stamford Bridge on Thursday, with Premier League champion Chelsea having lost nine of its first 16 league matches this season. ''Jose Mourinho is pleased that he returned to Chelsea football club because he was able to give the fans another Premier League title,'' the statement sai


Sat, 19 Dec 2015 06:13:23 -0500
Soccer-Mourinho not ready to take sabbatical - statement

Jose Mourinho is not planning to take a break from management after leaving Chelsea and is ''already looking forward,'' a statement released by the agency which represents him said Saturday. The statement from CAA Sports appears to confirm that Mourinho was fired from his second spell at Stamford Bridge on Thursday. ''During his career, Jose has sometimes chosen to leave a club, but only at Chelsea has the club decided that he should leave,'' it sai


Fri, 18 Dec 2015 20:23:34 -0500
Ex-Costa Rica soccer chief pleads not guilty in FIFA probe

Midfielder Michael Bradley has won the U.S. Player of the Year Award for the first time. The American captain had three goals and six assists in 18 appearances in 2015, the most assists on the team in a calendar year since Landon Donovan's eight in 2013. Bradley, who plays for Toronto in Major League Soccer, received 39 first-place votes and 176 points in voting by media conducted by Futbol de Primera that was announced Frida


Fri, 18 Dec 2015 17:15:25 -0500
Soccer-Ligue 1 summaries

Former Costa Rican Football Federation President Eduardo Li on Friday pleaded not guilty in Brooklyn federal court to corruption charges connected to the ongoing scandal around FIFA. Li entered his plea in the late afternoon and remains in custody, according to Li's lawyer and a spokeswoman for U.S. prosecutors. The U.S. Department of Justice issued an indictment in May for Li, accusing him of taking bribes in connection with the sale of marketing rights for World Cup 2018 qualifying game


Fri, 18 Dec 2015 16:45:47 -0500
Portland trades Will Johnson to Toronto

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -- Hoffenheim will spend the Christmas break in the relegation zone of the Bundesliga after losing 1-0 at Schalke on Frida


Fri, 18 Dec 2015 11:46:37 -0500
Soccer-Bielsa would be great acquisition for Swansea, says Pochettino

ZURICH (AP) -- Sepp Blatter has called a news conference on Monday to respond to the FIFA ethics committee's verdic


Fri, 18 Dec 2015 11:19:28 -0500
Soccer-Aguero ready to return against Arsenal, says Pellegrini

Midfielder Michael Bradley has won the U.S. Player of the Year Award for the first time. The American captain had three goals and six assists in 18 appearances in 2015, the most assists on the team in a calendar year since Landon Donovan's eight in 2013. Bradley, who plays for Toronto in Major League Soccer, received 39 first-place votes and 176 points in voting by media conducted by Futbol de Primera that was announced Frida


Fri, 18 Dec 2015 10:56:05 -0500
Soccer-Messi misses training, passes kidney stone

Lionel Messi could still play for Barcelona in Sunday's Club World Cup final. The Argentina forward missed Friday's training, and was absent from the 3-0 semifinal win over Guangzhou Evergrande with renal colic, a type of abdominal pain commonly attributed to kidney stones. What the manager (Luis Enrique) said is that we have to evaluate, hour after hour, how he is feeling,'' Barcelona media officer Chemi Teres sai


Fri, 18 Dec 2015 09:14:59 -0500
Soccer-Van Gaal fears same fate as Mourinho if United keep losing

Through all the ups and through all the downs, Jose Mourinho has never really been this low before. The dapper Portuguese coach has won titles with some of the biggest soccer teams in the world, including Real Madrid and Inter Milan. ''And so the second post-Jose Mourinho era begins for Chelsea Football Club,'' the club wrote Friday on its websit


Fri, 18 Dec 2015 08:01:49 -0500
Soccer-Champions League place a realistic target for Everton - Lukaku

By Malena Castaldi MONTEVIDEO (Reuters) - Switzerland has authorized the extradition of Eugenio Figueredo, the former head of South America's CONMEBOL soccer body, to Uruguay to face trial on corruption charges, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Friday. CONMEBOL, an influential grouping that includes traditional soccer powers such as Brazil and Argentina, is heavily embroiled in a corruption probe led by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation. "Switzerland has authorized Figueredo's extradition to Uruguay instead of the United States," the source told Reuters, requesting anonymit


Fri, 18 Dec 2015 07:56:50 -0500
Switzerland OKs extradition of soccer - Figueredo to Uruguay

MUNICH (AP) -- Amid speculation on the future of coach Pep Guardiola, Bayern Munich says it has extended the contracts of four players, including Germany forward Thomas Mueller and veteran Xavi Alons


Fri, 18 Dec 2015 02:12:53 -0500
Soccer-Garde prepares for January clear out at rock bottom Villa

ZURICH (AP) -- Michel Platini's fading chance of becoming FIFA president is being tested at an ethics hearing into his $2 million payment for work as Sepp Blatter's advise


Thu, 17 Dec 2015 17:34:09 -0500
Soccer-Lazio end winless run, Milan oust Sampdoria

AC Milan is through to the Italian Cup quarterfinals after winning 2-0 at 10-man Sampdoria, Rossoneri coach Sinisa Mihajlovic's former team. M'Baye Niang broke the deadlock five minutes after the break, beating the offside trap to run onto Carlos Bacca's through-ball and fire into the bottom left corner. Bacca sealed the result in stoppage time, thanks to an assist from Keisuke Honda, after Samp had missed clearcut chances to leve


Thu, 17 Dec 2015 13:17:46 -0500
TAKE A LOOK-Soccer-Chelsea sack manager Jose Mourinho

Even at Chelsea's lowest, ebb the fans were still chanting Jose Mourinho's name. Just how will they react to the departure of the ''Special One,'' the most successful manager in Chelsea's history? Owner Roman Abramovich won't have to wait long to find out, with Chelsea hosting Sunderland on Saturday at Stamford Bridg


Thu, 17 Dec 2015 12:47:32 -0500
Sepp Blatter faces judgment by FIFA ethics court he created

By Martyn Herman LONDON (Reuters) - Jose Mourinho was sacked as manager of Premier League champions Chelsea on Thursday after a calamitous run of results left the west London club one point above the relegation zone. A club statement said Chelsea and the 52-year-old Portuguese had parted company by "mutual consent" seven months after he led them to the title by an eight-point margin. It concludes a spectacular fall from grace for Mourinho, rated as one of the world's best coaches, who declared himself the "happy one" when he returned for a second stint in charge of Chelsea in 2013 after spells at Inter Milan and Real Madri


Thu, 17 Dec 2015 11:55:55 -0500
Soccer-Italian Cup last 16 results

By John Miller and Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi ZURICH (Reuters) - Suspended FIFA President Sepp Blatter appeared before the ethics committee of world soccer's governing body on Thursday in a case that could end with him banned from the sport for years. FIFA is reeling from the worst corruption scandal in its more than 100-year history, with 41 people including national soccer bosses and entities charged by U.S. prosecutors and Blatter under criminal investigation in Switzerland. Blatter, who is due to leave the post on Feb. .


Thu, 17 Dec 2015 11:45:28 -0500
Mourinho sacked as Chelsea manager

Jose Mourinho's second spell at Chelsea ended prematurely Thursday with the team in decline only seven months after the Portuguese coach won his third Premier League title with the club. Although Chelsea is only one point above the relegation zone, the 52-year-old Mourinho had been defiantly insisting he was the right man to oversee the team even as it collapsed on the field with a succession of humiliations. Mourinho's departure - characterized by Chelsea as ''mutual'' - came 2 1/2 years after his return to Stamford Bridge and only four months into a new four-year contrac


Thu, 17 Dec 2015 10:59:26 -0500
Factbox: Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho

ZURICH (AP) -- Sepp Blatter attempted to save his presidency on Thursday at the FIFA ethics committee he helped create and whose authority he does not recognize in his cas


Thu, 17 Dec 2015 10:56:44 -0500
Soccer-Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho

Midfielder Carli Lloyd has been voted the U.S. Soccer Federation's Female Player of the Year after her hat trick in the final led the Americans to the Women's World Cup title. The announcement was made Wednesday before their 1-0 exhibition loss to China in Abby Wambach's farewell match. The 32-year-old Lloyd put the U.S. ahead 34 seconds into the final against Japan in July and capped her hat trick with a goal on a 54-yard shot from midfiel


Thu, 17 Dec 2015 09:40:18 -0500
Sepp Blatter faces judgment by FIFA ethics court he created

Coach Rafa Benitez may not survive another Real Madrid setback in the Spanish league. Former Madrid star Zinedine Zidane has made front page headlines in Spain this week, touted as the man ready to replace Benitez as soon as he's gon


Thu, 17 Dec 2015 08:50:37 -0500
Crystal Palace manager embracing American investment in club

Without a win in seven matches and knocked out of the Italian Cup by a second-division side, Roma is very much in crisis. Roma has not won in any competition since beating Lazio in the capital derby on Nov. 8, and it crashed out of the Cup on Wednesday, losing 4-2 on penalties to Serie B side Spezia after the match ended goalless. Roma has slipped on the table to fifth, and reports in Italy say coach Rudi Garcia will be sacked if he fails to beat Genoa in the final match before the winter break on Sunda


Thu, 17 Dec 2015 07:39:03 -0500
Soccer-Suarez scores hat-trick as Barcelona stroll into final

Luis Suarez made up for the absence of Lionel Messi and Neymar, scoring a hat trick Thursday as Barcelona beat Guangzhou Evergrande 3-0 to advance to the final of the Club World Cup. Suarez put Barcelona ahead just before halftime, hammering in a rebound off Ivan Rakitic's long-range effort that was parried by Guangzhou goalkeeper Li Shua


Thu, 17 Dec 2015 06:31:09 -0500
Soccer-Tottenham get planning permission for new ground

President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that suspended FIFA President Sepp Blatter was "a very respected person", adding that it was up to investigators to establish whether there actually were cases of corruption in the world soccer body. "Whether there are signs of corruption in FIFA, the investigation must show. As for Joseph Blatter, he is a very respected person, he has done a lot for the development of world soccer... That's the one to be awarded Nobel Peace Prize," Putin sai


Thu, 17 Dec 2015 06:16:09 -0500
Messi out of Club World Cup semifinal with abdominal pain

Bayern Munich fans could be forgiven for overlooking the last Bundesliga game of the year, such is the commotion over the club's off-field issues. Bayern visits Hannover on Saturday, and attention has been focused on Pep Guardiola's future as coach, as well as the latest injury blow that has again strained his relationship with team doctors. Hannover is fighting relegation after a dismal opening half to the season, and an upset over the league leader would provide a welcome boost before the winter brea


Thu, 17 Dec 2015 05:31:50 -0500
Soccer-Messi misses Club World Cup semi-final through illness

YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) -- Lionel Messi was absent from Barcelona's Club World Cup semifinal against Guangzhou Evergrande on Thursday because of abdominal pai


Thu, 17 Dec 2015 03:20:42 -0500
Sepp Blatter faces judgment by FIFA ethics court he created

ZURICH (Reuters) - The Swiss Justice Ministry said it had frozen millions of Swiss francs related to world soccer body FIFA, a spokesman said on Thursday, confirming a media report. "U.S. authorities asked for documents related to 50 accounts at different banks, through which corruption money is supposed to have transited," ministry spokesman Folco Galli said in a statement, confirming a report by Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger. He said a "high double-digit million amount" had been frozen following the U.S. query. (Reporting by Oliver Hirt and Silke Koltrowitz; Editing by Janet Lawrenc


Thu, 17 Dec 2015 03:12:25 -0500
Soccer-Everton - Martinez impressed by Ranieri - Leicester

Sepp Blatter is trying to save his FIFA presidency on Thursday at the ethics committee he helped create and whose authority he does not recognize in his case. The suspended FIFA leader will tell four judges he is innocent of wrongdoing when he enters the headquarters of soccer's world governing body for the first time since October. Blatter was key in 2012 to empowering a tougher and more independent FIFA ethics committee that he now insists cannot remove an elected presiden


Thu, 17 Dec 2015 00:11:12 -0500
Wambach bows out in defeat as China end 11-year U.S. streak

Abby Wambach walked off the field for the final time like a rock star - mic drop and all. China's 1-0 victory on Wednesday night - the U.S. team's first home loss in more than a decade - wasn't going to diminish the triumphant nature of Wambach's extraordinary career. ''Tonight is a celebration,'' Wambach asserte


Wed, 16 Dec 2015 23:53:35 -0500
Former El Salvador soccer chief arrested amid FIFA probe

(Reuters) - Abby Wambach, the most prolific goalscorer of all time in international soccer, bowed out of the game in defeat on Wednesday when the United States women's team lost 1-0 to China to end an unbeaten run of 104 matches on home soil. Despite the best efforts of her American team mates to get the ball to her in the friendly played in front of 32,950 fans in New Orleans, Wambach had only a couple of half-chances to add to her tally of 184 international goals. China struggled to get the ball out of their own half for long periods, but scored on a rare attacking foray when Wang Shuang connected with a cross in the 58th minute, her shot deflecting past a wrong-footed American goalkeeper Hope Sol


Wed, 16 Dec 2015 21:14:33 -0500
Soccer-Ecuador championship championship play-off results

Abby Wambach threatened to score several times in the final game of her extraordinary career, but China shut out the World Cup champion United States 1-0 on Wednesday night to hand the Americans their first loss on home soil in more than a decade. ''I love this team,'' Wambach said in comments delivered on the field to fans after the gam


Wed, 16 Dec 2015 19:01:01 -0500
Reuters Sports Schedule at 0001 GMT on Thursday, Dec 17

Abby Wambach made her debut with the U.S. national team in 2001 at the age of 21. One-hundred and eighty-five goals later, Wambach plays her final match with the national team in New Orleans on Wednesday night. This summer she played for the U.S. team that won the World Cu


Wed, 16 Dec 2015 17:42:40 -0500
Soccer-Revised English FA Cup third-round draw

El Salvador's former soccer federation president, Reynaldo Vasquez, who is wanted in the United States in connection with a probe targeting alleged corruption in the sport, has been detained, police said on Wednesday. Earlier this month El Salvador's Supreme Court approved the extradition of Vasquez, who headed the Salvadoran soccer federation, FESFUT, between 2009 and 2010. "We have detained Reynaldo Vasquez," deputy police director Howard Cotto said via Twitte


Wed, 16 Dec 2015 14:18:20 -0500
Brazil - ex-soccer chief tries to reach bond deal to stay out of jail

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- MetLife Stadium at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey, will be the site of the 2016 Centennial Copa America final June 2


Wed, 16 Dec 2015 09:45:46 -0500
Soccer-One billion watched 2014 World Cup final on TV

South American champion River Plate booked a place in the Club World Cup final for the first time in 19 years by beating Sanfrecce Hiroshima 1-0 on Wednesday. River was matched for large spells by the J-League champion, but Lucas Alario scored in the second half with a header after Hiroshima goalkeeper Takuto Hayashi could only half-punch away a Carlos Sanchez free kick. ''We knew Hiroshima would be an organized team,'' River coach Marcelo Gallardo sai


Wed, 16 Dec 2015 08:17:06 -0500
Soccer-Litex thrown out of Bulgarian league for walking off pitch

Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have been investigated for similar irregularities that led to Barcelona's ban on registering new players, suspended FIFA President Sepp Blatter told Spanish media. Blatter said in an interview with Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo that FIFA's disciplinary committee has already concluded the probes, but he doesn't know their outcome. ''FIFA's disciplinary committee has opened separate proceedings on Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid for the same infractions committed by FC Barcelona,'' Blatter said in the interview made available online on Wednesda


Wed, 16 Dec 2015 07:41:03 -0500
Soccer-River scrape into Club World final with nervy win

OSAKA, Japan (AP) -- South American champion River Plate booked its place in the Club World Cup final, beating Sanfrecce Hiroshima 1-0 on Wednesda


Wed, 16 Dec 2015 07:39:10 -0500
Report: Blatter says Madrid, Atletico probed over transfers

German prosecutors have asked Switzerland, home country of soccer world governing body FIFA, to help look into a suspicious payment linked to Germany's hosting of the 2006 World Cup, including by sifting through bank data. The Frankfurt state prosecutor has sought legal assistance over a 6.7 million euro ($7.3 million) transfer from Germany's DFB football association to soccer's world governing body, both authorities said on Wednesday. In November, police and tax investigators raided DFB headquarters and searched the homes of officials to investigate suspected tax evasion linked to the awarding of the tournamen


Wed, 16 Dec 2015 07:13:56 -0500
Neymar finally trains before Club World Cup semi

Suspended European soccer chief Michel Platini will not attend Friday's FIFA ethics committee hearing, his lawyers said on Wednesday. "Michel Platini ... has decided not to attend his hearing at the FIFA ethics committee on Dec. 18, 2015, as the verdict of this ethics committee has been announced in the press last weekend by one of its spokespersons, Mr Andreas Bantel, in disregard of all fundamental rights, starting with the presumption of innocence," the lawyers said in a statemen


Wed, 16 Dec 2015 06:59:08 -0500
Soccer-Australian championship results and standings

Neymar's chances of playing in the Club World Cup appeared to improve on Wednesday, as he trained for the first time since Barcelona arrived in Japan. Neymar did some running in front of the media at the start of practice at the match venue, Nissan Stadiu


Wed, 16 Dec 2015 06:42:22 -0500
FIFA election candidates to be quizzed by European lawmakers

YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) -- Neymar's chances of playing in the Club World Cup appeared to improve on Wednesday, as he trained for the first time since Barcelona arrived in Japa


Wed, 16 Dec 2015 06:36:29 -0500
Soccer-Messi tax fraud case should be dropped say lawyers

BRUSSELS (AP) -- FIFA's presidential candidates will be questioned by European lawmakers at a campaign meetin


Wed, 16 Dec 2015 05:29:28 -0500
Soccer-Villa facing three must-win games, says Garde

Nissan Motor's China venture has filed a lawsuit against a Chinese soccer team backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Evergrande Real Estate Group, alleging that it wrongfully pulled the automaker's logo from team jerseys. Dongfeng Nissan, a joint venture with China's second largest automaker Dongfeng Motor Group, says Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao football club broke its 110 million yuan ($17 million) sponsorship agreement early, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesda


Wed, 16 Dec 2015 02:56:02 -0500
Soccer-Key players will stay at Everton in January - Martinez

Abby Wambach sounds certain there will be no unforeseen circumstances luring her back onto the field next year at the Rio Games. The face of U.S. women's soccer for the past decade since Mia Hamm retired, Wambach insists she's been at peace for a while now with her decision to make Wednesday night's friendly against China in New Orleans her final international match. ''I can say this now,'' Wambach said before her last practice Tuesday evening in the Superdom


Tue, 15 Dec 2015 17:22:14 -0500
Soccer-Wolfswinkel double as Betis knock Gijon out of King - Cup

League leader Inter Milan eased through to the Italian Cup quarterfinals by beating Cagliari 3-0, while third-division Alessandria also advanced after upsetting Genoa 2-1 on Tuesday. Rodrigo Palacio, Marcelo Brozovic, and Ivan Perisic scored at San Siro to set up a quarterfinal against Napoli or Hellas Verona. Alessandria, which beat another top-flight side - Palermo - in the previous round, will face either Roma or Spezia after becoming the first third-division side to reach the last eight in 32 year


Tue, 15 Dec 2015 16:34:05 -0500
Soccer-Dutch Cup last 16 results

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -- Xabi Alonso scored a spectacular goal for Bayern Munich to beat Darmstadt 1-0 and earn a place in the German Cup quarterfinals on Tuesda


Tue, 15 Dec 2015 16:22:08 -0500
Soccer-German Cup last 16 results

CARSON, Calif. (AP) -- The LA Galaxy have acquired goalkeeper Dan Kennedy from FC Dallas for two selections in the 2017 draf


Tue, 15 Dec 2015 15:19:23 -0500
US to play exhibitions against Iceland, Canada in 2016

By Nate Raymond NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former Honduras president and soccer official Rafael Callejas pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to charges relating to what U.S. prosecutors described as multimillion-dollar bribery schemes at FIFA and other soccer governing bodies. Callejas, who is a former president of the Honduran soccer federation and has served on FIFA's marketing and television committee, appeared with a lawyer in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, and the lawyer entered the plea on his behalf. Callejas, 72, is one of dozens of soccer officials charged by U.S. authorities investigating corruption in the spor




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