WINTER WORLD CUP LOOKS LIKELY
The Premier League is believed to be unhappy with comments from its own chairman Sir Dave Richards on Sky Sports which indicated a winter World Cup is almost inevitable in 2022.
There are concerns over the heat in Qatar in the summer and Richards seemed to back the tournament being moved. FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke recently became the first senior official of world football’s governing body to say the dates of the World Cup could change depending on medical advice
But a Premier League spokesman said its “view remains unchanged”.
“We are opposed to a winter World Cup for obvious practical reasons that would impact on all European domestic football,” the spokesman added.
The idea, which has backing from representatives of FIFA and UEFA, is for a winter break to accommodate the Finals in nine years time.
McMANAMAN ESCAPES FA RAP
Wigan’s Callum McManaman has escaped a Football Association charge for his tackle on Newcastle’s Massadio Haidara.
Haidara was taken off on a stretcher in the Latics 2-1 win, but the FA cannot take action as an official saw the incident.
Newcastle managing director Derek Llambias claims the FA’s disciplinary process is “not fit for purpose”.
An FA statement read: “Where one of the officials has seen a coming together of players, no retrospective action should be taken, regardless of whether he or she witnessed the full or particular nature of the challenge. This is to avoid the re-refereeing of incidents.
“In the case of McManaman, it has been confirmed that at least one of the match officials saw the coming together, though not the full extent of the challenge. In these circumstances retrospective action cannot be taken.”
APPLETON MAKES IT THREE
Championship strugglers Blackburn Rovers have sacked boss Michael Appleton after 15 games and 67 days at Ewood Park.
He is the third manager to leave the club this season following the departures of Steve Kean and Henning Berg.
Appleton, who left Blackpool for Rovers in January is replaced by reserve-team coach Gary Bowyer for the remainder of the season.
League Managers Association chief executive Richard Bevan told the BBC “to have five managers this season is nonsense”.
ON THE CONTINENT
AEK Athens have suspended Giorgos Katidis for the rest of the season after the 20-year-old midfielder’s Nazi salute at the weekend.
Real Madrid are in pole position to land Paris St-Germain’s 20-year-old Italy international midfielder Marco Verratti.
The agent of Barceloan striker Alexis Sanchez is expected to meet with Juventus representatives before the end of this month.
Yaya Toure’s agent has said he will start negotiating with other clubs if the 29-year-old midfielder does not sign a new contract with Manchester City by Saturday
In a great PR exercise Chester Town, Michael Owen’s hometown club, say they want the former England striker playing for them next season in the Blue Square Conference despite his intention to retire.
Former England and Arsenal women’s captain Faye White, 35, has announced her retirement from football.