MIAMI, Feb 12 (Reuters) – FIFA presidential candidate Gianni Infantino’s plan for an expanded 40-team World Cup came under fire from two of his rivals as the campaign to secure the top job at the corruption-hit organisation heated up on Thursday.Four of the five candidates to replace Sepp Blatter in the Feb. 26 election in Zurich gave presentations to members of the CONCACAF confederation, which governs the sport in North and Central America and the Caribbean, at an airport hotel in Miami.Normally such meetings take place behind closed doors but CONCACAF officials allowed the media into the room for a rare taste of how the FIFA candidates make their pitch to the electorate — the heads of national football federations.The protocol in such occasions is usually for candidates to avoid public criticism of each other.UEFA general secretary Infantino’s plan to create eight new spots in the World Cup was attacked by both Asian Football Confederation president Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa and former FIFA deputy general secretary Jerome Champagne, however.Salman gave a powerpoint presentation of his manifesto and when he discussed FIFA’s biggest tournament, the words on the screen read “Promises of more World Cup spots during an election period are unprofessional”.The Bahraini said any changes should be well explained and gain broad support before being introduced.Champagne was sharper in his condemnation of Infantino’s proposal.“My programme is not smoke and mirrors,” the Frenchman said. “They are facts and not the kind of projects that are being thrown around like organising a World Cup with 40 teams when we know that is not the central issue for 150 federations around the world.“We know that organising a World Cup with 32 teams is already so costly and so difficult. We know also that the international calendar is so complicated,” he added.Infantino defended his plan.“Eight more countries would be in World Cup fever,” he said. “It would boost the competition and commercially it means more teams, more matches, more revenue”.The Swiss’s proposal to massively increase the money FIFA gives to individual federations for development and other projects was also criticised by Salman.Infantino says he will ensure that half of FIFA’s entire revenue will be distributed to federations with five million dollars over four years for each member association as well as $40 million over the same period for the regional confederations.“Whenever there is an election we hear a lot of promises … we have to be realistic in what we can achieve and what we can do,” said Salman, who said cash should be targeted at those who needed it most.“Does Japan, China or Saudi Arabia need financial support? I don’t think so. When we look at countries around the world, you can look at countries like Germany, the U.K. or even the United States, I think they don’t need it as much as the smaller countries do.”Infantino also hit back at those who suggested his plan to distribute more resources was simply an election tactic.“I was criticised when I made these proposals, they said ‘Ah, you are trying to buy votes’,” he said.“I am not buying anything. It is not my money, it is your money. FIFA’s money is your money, the national associations’ money.”TRADITIONAL POLITICKINGWhile the candidates mostly stuck to explaining their manifesto plans, they did engage in some more traditional politicking, tailoring their appeal to the CONCACAF audience.Jordanian FA president Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein said scandal-plagued CONCACAF, which has seen its last three presidents indicted as part of the U.S. Department of Justice investigation, should not feel it was to blame for FIFA’s crisis.“Your confederation is not the cause of FIFA’s problems it is a victim of FIFA’s problems. The failure of leadership at the top of FIFA set the tone for the entire organisation,” he said.Ali said that FIFA’s recent decision to suspend payments to CONCACAF was a “collective punishment” and said he was “outraged” when he heard of the move.Infantino told the delegates that “the media treats your region unfairly”, while Salman said “Asia and CONCACAF have so many similarities between us”.There was no debate as the candidates each spoke without their opponents in the room.South African businessman and politician Tokyo Sexwale, the fifth candidate, did not attend the meeting.
Liverpool are on a collision course with Chelsea in the FA Cup fifth round, while holders Manchester City will travel to Sheffield Wednesday following the draw on Monday.There is also the potential of a reunion for Wayne Rooney with Manchester United as the former England striker’s new club Derby County will host the Red Devils if they get through theirfourth-round replay against Northampton Town. Liverpool, who have been fielding a second-string side in the competition, also have a replay with Shrewsbury Town at Anfield with the winners visiting Frank Lampard’s Chelsea.There will definitely be an all-Premier League tie as either Southampton or Tottenham Hotspur host Norwich City, while Leicester City will meet Coventry City or Birmingham City inanother Midlands derby.Holders Manchester City travel to Championship outfit Sheffield Wednesday, and Sheffield United will also face second-tier opposition in the form of Reading or Cardiff City. The ties will be played in the week commencing March 3. FA Cup fifth round draw: Sheffield Wednesday v Manchester City Reading/Cardiff City v Sheffield United Chelsea v Shrewsbury Town/Liverpool West Bromwich Albion v Newcastle United/Oxford United Leicester City v Coventry City/Birmingham City Northampton Town/Derby County v Manchester United Southampton/Tottenham Hotspur v Norwich City Portsmouth v Bournemouth/Arsenal
0Shares0000NORWICH, United Kingdom, January 22 – Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has declined to blame Fernando Torres for his side’s latest setback.The Spain forward, a £50 million signing from Liverpool a year ago, failed to add to his tally of just two Premier League goals this season. Chelsea were held to a goal-less draw at Norwich City in the Saturday lunchtime game but had created enough chances to have won.The clearest fell to Torres midway through the second half but he could only stab wide with the goal at his mercy.The result meant Chelsea had failed to put pressure on the three clubs above them, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham, who all play on Sunday.It also left them vulnerable to a challenge for the fourth Champions League qualification spot by Arsenal, Newcastle and Liverpool in the coming weeks.Television footage had shown a frustrated Villas-Boas reacting angrily to the Torres miss, which was at least not as bad as the open goal he failed to find at Manchester United in September.Yet afterwards the former Porto manager was calmer and insisted he was satisfied with Torres performance.“He worked really hard, we were happy with his play,” he said. “We can’t be hypocrites and not take into account what he did in the last game, against Sunderland when everybody praised him.“He couldn’t find the back of the net but we are not just looking for that. He had a good couple of chances, and for you to have chances you have to position yourself to have those good chances and he was there present. With a little bit more luck he will find the back of the net.“We created enough opportunities to win the game, not only for our striker but for our midfielders coming through. I think we are in the top three for teams creating goal-scoring chances. It’s just finding that efficiency. It’s been happening all season.”There was more bad news as England midfielder Frank Lampard suffered a calf injury and had to be substituted in the 35th minute.“It looks like a muscle tear, we need to do an MRI to assess the full extent of the damage but from what I’ve been told by the doctors it doesn’t look that bad,” Villas-Boas added.Juan Mata hit a post late on and Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy was kept busy throughout the 90 minutes as Norwich recorded their first clean sheet of the season.The Canaries were deserving of a point however with forwards Steve Morison and Grant Holt both coming close to scoring early on and the result further enhanced the growing reputation of Norwich manager Paul Lambert, who steered the club to successive promotions in his first two seasons.“John Ruddy was excellent but it wasn’t just him,” Lambert said. “I thought the whole group from the lads up front, to the midfield and the back four put their bodies on the line when they had to.“It was a huge point for us. Two years ago we were playing Yeovil, Walsall and Stockport and now we are playing against Chelsea, who are used to being in the Champions League, and competing with them.“I thought first half we were excellent. Second half, Chelsea had a lot of the ball which they are entitled to do as I think they are a fabulous side. You make no apologies for defending as strongly as we did in that half but in the first half I felt we gave as good as we got.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
0Shares0000LONDON, England, December 1- Striker Robert Lewandowski is heading to Manchester United the Daily Mail claims in an exclusive report.The Poland star has indicated to friends he has set his sights on the move from Borussia Dortmund at the end of the season. After rejecting overtures from United last summer, the German club have reluctantly accepted they are about to lose their leading marksman.With his Dortmund deal running out at the end of next season, United hope the fee will be little more than the initial £12million they paid for his former team-mate Shinji Kagawa last summer.Sir Alex Ferguson believes pairing 24-year-old Lewandowski with Robin van Persie — and Wayne Rooney operating just behind — would give him the most lethal attack in the Premier League.As well as picking up Lewandowski, Ferguson has told Rooney he needs to get back towards the top of the scorers charts.The Englishman has only three in 14 games for United, one of which was a penalty.– DailyMail0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
0Shares0000Chelsea’s Pedro celebrates after Chelsea scored during the English Premier League soccer match between West Bromwich Albion and Chelsea at The Hawthorns Stadium in West Bromwich, Britain, 23 August 2015. PHOTO/AFPLONDON, January 20 – Chelsea forward Pedro Rodriguez admits that he his still adapting to English football, while retaining belief that the club will rediscover their best form.The 28-year-old Spaniard joined the Blues after more than seven years in the first team at Barcelona, where he made over 200 La Liga appearances before opting for a new experience in the Premier League. “I’m happy living here. It’s a great city and a great League to play in, although the Premier League is very different to La Liga,” he told the Evening Standard.“There are lots of differences, the main one being the type of game that most teams play. In Spain it’s more tactical and here it is much more intense and competitive.“In Spain, you always try to give the ball to someone in the middle of the pitch and they take it from there to build up the play. But here, teams play longer passes to stretch the game. I’m slowly adapting and we practice a lot in training, so I try to put what I learn into my game during matches as well.”Having won plenty of trophies during his time with Barca, Pedro finds himself in a team struggling to pick up points despite last season’s triumphs, but his rhetoric is optimistic when speaking about their ambitions for the rest of the campaign.“We’ve been having some good results, the team has been improving and hopefully we will move towards the top of the table, which is where we should be,” he added.“I’m not sure how much our early results this season really affected people, but what I can say right now is we are very confident we will see an improvement.“[New manager Guus Hiddink] is a very calm man, who talks with the players well. He has clear ideas of what he wants from the team and he makes us play well together. The team has adapted well to his methods.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
Stuart Gray, the Sheffield Wednesday manager 1 Sheffield Wednesday are on the verge of signing French midfield ace Florian Tardieu.The 22-year-old impressed last season – and was named on the list of the 50 most talented players in French football – but could not prevent Istres’ relegation from Ligue 2.And now he is ready to test himself in England, with Wednesday close to finalising the deal.According to reports in France, Stuart Gray’s side have agreed a fee with Istres and personal terms are almost agreed.
Crystal Palace have made a £10million bid for Lille midfielder Ibrahim Amadou, according to reports.Eagles boss Sam Allardyce is still looking to add depth to his squad in the January transfer window, and have also been linked with former Sunderland man Yann M’Vila.Frenchman M’Vila is currently plying his trade on loan with Rubin Kazan in Russia and can be snapped up if someone meets his £11m release-clause.Palace are open to doing that but, according to reports in France, they are keeping their options open by tracking Amadou too.Indeed, the Eagles have reportedly made a £10m offer for the 23-year-old in the hope they can persuade Lille to sell.Amadou is highly thought of by the French club, though, and they are said to be reluctant to let him go. 1 Ibrahim Amadou in action for Lille against PSG
Coral’s Dave Stevens joins the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast to round up the latest sporting odds.Which city will take home the Premier League trophy this season?London representatives Chelsea may be defending champions, but Coral have Manchester as the odds on 8/11 favourites with City and United aiming for glory.It’s even money for the title to return to the capital, where Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham will compete, while it��s 10/1 to go to Liverpool and 150/1 to any other city.Get all this and more in the latest Coral Daily Download!Coral is the official betting partner of the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast
“We’re ecstatic with how it’s going,” said Assistant City Manager Mark Bozigian. “We’re already seeing results.” james.skeen@dailynews (661) 267-5743160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’In the burglary case, a CSO was able to canvass much of the neighborhood, eventually locating a witness with information that led to the arrests. Uniformed but unarmed, community service officers can take reports on minor and nonemergency crimes, answer phones, issue parking citations and direct traffic at crash scenes and special events. Of the 90,000 calls for service received a year at the Lancaster sheriff’s station from city residents, more than 10,000 of those could be handled by community service officers, saving the equivalent workload of five full-time deputies, according to city and sheriff’s officials. The city this summer took over staffing the community service officer program from Los Angeles County and expanded it from eight positions to 15. City officials said they could speed up the hiring process and pay more than what the county could pay. Under the county pay system, CSOs have a pay range of $1,802 to $2,246 a month. Lancaster’s pay scale for CSOs is $2,769 to $3,537 a month. LANCASTER – The city’s takeover and expansion of the community service officer program is beginning to show results for improving service and easing sheriff’s deputies’ workloads, city and sheriff’s officials said Monday. After three weeks on the job, the 15 community service officers have taken close to 700 crime reports, freeing deputies for other calls and helping cut response times for routine calls by 10 minutes, to seven to eight minutes, said Capt. Carl Deeley, commander of the Lancaster sheriff’s station. “They are really coming along quick,” Deeley said. “They should soon be taking up to 1,200 reports a months.” Deeley said in one incident, a CSO helped in a burglary investigation that resulted in five arrests. In many cases, a deputy taking a burglary report would have time only to get the basic information and maybe knock on a couple of neighbors’ doors before having to go answer other calls.
Glencar/Manorhamilton captured their seventh Leitrim Connacht Gold senior football championship title on Sunday in Carrick-on-Shannon, when Conor Dolan’s free in added time gave them a dramatic 0-16 to 0-15 win over 14-man Ballinamore Seán O’Heslin’s.It’s the north Leitrim club’s first senior title for eight years. Their six previous wins had come in 1977, 1999, 2008, 2009, 2010 & 2011.Listen back to the closing moments of the Ocean FM Sport commentary with John Lynch, Emlyn Mulligan and Aidan Rooney: play stop mute max volume 00:00 00:00 repeat Leitrim SFC final 13/10/2019: Glencar Manor 0-16 Ballinamore 0-15 Download Update Required To play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Listen back for the full match commentary and reaction of the 2019 SFC final here: play stop mute max volume 00:00 00:00 repeat Leitrim Senior Football Final 13/10/19 Download Update Required To play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Sunday’s final was a highly entertaining affair with very little between the teams throughout.Glencar/Manor came from 0-5 to 0-1 down early on to lead by 0-10 to 0-8 at the interval. Ballinamore were reduced to 14 players when Donal Feely was red-carded following a sideline melee involving players and mentors.Glencar/Manor joint-manager was also sent to the stand for his part in the same incident.To their credit, Sean O’Heslin’s performed strongly in the third quarter and the sides were level at 0-15 each as the game entered the closing stages.Then, in added time, Glencar/Manor were awarded a free and team captain (and Man of the Match) Conor Dolan kept his composure to slot over what proved to be the decisive score.Glencar/Manor’s Gerry Hickey tried to put the winning feeling into words, when he spoke to Ocean FM Sport’s John Lynch: play stop mute max volume 00:00 00:00 repeat Glencar/Manor’s Gerry Hickey 13/10/2019 Download Update Required To play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin.