Capello in breach of contract?

Former FA executive director David Davies has suggested that coach Fabio Capello may have breached his contract after complaining about the decision to strip John Terry of the England captaincy.

Davies told the BBC the FA was taking “the matter very seriously”.

On Sunday Capello said to Italy’s state broadcaster RAI he “absolutely” did not agree with the decision.

“I thought it was right that Terry should keep the captain’s armband,” said the 65-year-old Italian.

“I have spoken to the [FA] chairman and I have said that in my opinion one cannot be punished until it is official and the court – a non-sport court, a civil court – had made a decision to decide if John Terry has done what he is accused of.”

With the overpaid underwhelming Capello possibly in breach of his contract, and the declining Terry reputed to be considering his international future, has the FA inadvertently yet fortuitously, pulled off the improbable feat of killing two birds with the one stone here?

AVB condemns Ferdinand abuse

In the light of Liverpool’s somewhat inept handling of the Luis Suarez affair, it comes as a relief to see Chelsea managing their own race-related predicament with a bit more class.

During Sunday’s game at Stamford Bridge, Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand was booed mercilessly by a section of Chelsea’s support. Ferdinand’s misdemeanour? He is the brother of Anton, the player allegedly racially abused by Chelsea skipper John Terry.

Pleasingly, Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas, was swift to condemn those responsible.

“You have to condemn it when there is discriminatory, aggressive behaviour but you don’t expect opposing fans to cheer your players.

“This is a normal situation in the Premier League. We know the situations. We know we have to play a part.

“If we want to push on this sequence of events to extend in the future, it’s up to us. It’s up to me and it’s up to you in the press.

“If you want to give importance to situations like this, if you let people take responsibility, assume responsibility and the fans and the knowledge that maybe what they were doing makes no sense, it’s better but to try to prevaricate isn’t right.”

Match fixing spreads

A match-fixing scandal in Malaysia that led to 18 players being banned by the country’s football association has been described as a “disgrace” by the country’s sports minister.

A coach was also among those suspended by the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM), prompting Youth and Sports Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek to call for police action.

“I will direct the respective authorities to investigate and find out the source of the match-fixing scandal,” he was quoted as saying by Malaysia’s Bernama news agency.

The players from three clubs were suspended for between two and five years by the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) for fixing matches in the national under-20 President’s Cup last year.

The match-fixing probe is a fresh blow to Malaysian football, which has struggled to recover from a 1994 scandal that saw 21 players and coaches sacked, 58 players suspended and 126 players questioned over corruption.

Blatter demands reinstatement of Egypt FA

FIFA will turn a blind eye to a lot of things, but when it comes to politicians interfering in the running of a country’s football federation, it operates a strict zero tolerance policy.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said he will seek to reinstate fired Egypt football federation leaders, calling their dismissal “direct interference” by the Cairo government.

The president of Egypt’s football federation and his board of directors resigned Saturday, having already been dismissed by the country’s prime minister, Kamal el-Ganzouri, following the deaths of more than 70 people at last week’s game between Al-Ahly and Al-Masry.

“We will look to have the Egyptian federation reinstated and, naturally, see that this situation does not repeat itself,” Blatter said, adding that the situation in Egypt is “very delicate”.

Goal of the day

After a promising start to his career Hugo Viana has been on a downward trajectory for some time now, but his outrageous long range effort for Braga against Portimonense offered a glimpse of the form that once made him one of the most coveted young players in Europe.

Marcelino pays price

Following Sevilla Sunday’s 2-1 home defeat against Villarreal, coach Marcelino Garcia didn’t have to wait long to find out if he retained the support of the club.

Seven matches without a win didn’t augur well for Marcelino, but he remained optimistic that the club would give him time to arrest the decline.

“I will not quit, although I am the most responsible (for the result),” he told reporters after the defeat to Villarreal. “I will work until the people who make decisions know what to do about my future. I feel capable of turning this situation around.”

Unfortunately, for Marcelino, his confidence in his own ability was not shared by his employers.

“Sevilla took the decision to sack first-team coach Marcelino this morning due to the negative run of results that has seen them go seven matches without winning and collect only two points,” the Andalucian side said in a statement.

More match fixing

A senior South Africa Football Association official says Bafana friendly matches ahead of the 2010 World Cup were probably targeted by match-fixers from Asian online betting syndicates.

Lindile “Ace” Kika, who is the country’s head of national teams, has denied any personal wrongdoing involving the four matches that were allegedly fixed by referees appointed by a sports marketing group called Football4U.

The blame for arranging the matches was shifted to Kika by former Safa chief executive Leslie Sedibe, who told the Sunday Times that he did not remember signing a contract for the matches. Sedibe said he had delegated this to Kika.

Kika responded that he never had the power to make such decisions.

“I am surprised Leslie says he delegated me to organise the friendly games,” said Kika.

The match-fixing allegations centre on Bafana matches in May 2010 against Thailand, Bulgaria, Colombia and Guatemala.

Football4U was controlled by Wilson Raj Perumal, a Singaporean, who has since been jailed in Finland for fixing games in that country. FIFA has described his conviction as a significant breakthrough in the global effort against match-fixing and illegal betting.

“These guys (Perumal and his organisation) approached us about a referees exchange programme,” said Kika. “And to be honest, I did not think twice about it. I thought it was a good opportunity for our local referees to interact with other internationals.”

Gaffe of the day

Ghana took their expected place in the semi-finals of the African Nations Cup, courtesy of a dreadful blunder by Tunisia keeper Etoile Sahel.

Zlat attack

With Zlatan Ibrahimovic you have to take the rough with the smooth. A league title each season is pretty much guaranteed, but there will be times when you wonder if it is all worth it.

In Milan’s goalless draw against Napoli, the Swede became needlessly involved in a fracas with Salvatore Aronica which resulted him being shown a red card and facing a possible three-match ban.

Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani claims that the slap was not violent and therefore the striker might get away with a two-game ban. A two-match absence is bad enough for a side heavily dependent upon Ibrahimovic’s goals, but if it is extended to three, then the striker will miss the top-of-the-table clash against Juventus.

“I am reading catastrophic opinions on this, but there was no violence,” Galliani told Gazzetta dello Sport. “Therefore, I believe Ibrahimovic will not receive more than a two-match ban.”

Here’s the moment that Ibrahimovic saw red.


Anyone looking to make a quick buck could do worse than register the domain name The chances are that you will be inundated with visitors after the club promoted that url on billboards throughout Sunday’s thrilling 3-3 draw with Manchester United.

From the person who created the sign to the person who installed it, surely someone could spell the word Chelsea?