Fifa confirms candidates
LONDON — Arsene Wenger said he was forced to field a strong Arsenal team in Tuesday’s humiliating 3-0 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday in the League Cup due to the growing strength of the Championship, the second tier of English football.
The 66-year-old Frenchman is known to use the League Cup as a platform to breed young talent, but the Gunners started the game with 10 internationals.
However, due to injuries during the match, teenagers Glen Kamara and Alex Iwobi were joined by Ismael Bennacer to form Arsenal’s midfield for most of the game.
The trio failed to deal with the intensity and relentless nature of Sheffield Wednesday who dominated proceedings.
“The level was too high for the young players. They are not ready to play at this level,” Wenger told reporters.
“There are many good players in the Championship and to play young players against Championship players is very difficult because the level has gone up.
“If you play with not a lot of experience, you don’t have a chance to win the game.”
Wenger rued the loss of England international duo Alex Oxlade-chamberlain and Theo Walcott to injuries during Tuesday’s game.
Oxlade-chamberlain picked up a hamstring injury after he appeared to roll over the ball awkwardly and was forced off inside five minutes.
Things took a turn for the worse as his replacement, Walcott, had to leave the field just 13 minutes later after sustaining a calf injury.
Walcott has been given the nod over Olivier Giroud this season and is in fine form, scoring seven goals in 16 appearances for club and country so far.
Wenger hopes Arsenal can avoid an injury crisis, with key games against Swansea City and bitter city rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League and the Champions League match against Bayern Munich.
“Oxlade-chamberlain and Walcott are two muscular injuries. Walcott is a calf and Oxlade-chamberlain is a hamstring. How big the damage is, I don’t know as we need
ZURICH — World Soccer’s governing body FIFA, shaken by the worst corruption crisis in its history, yesterday confirmed seven candidates had registered as candidates for its presidency, with former Trinidad and Tobago international David Nakhid the only surprise omission.
The seven candidates were Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan, Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa of Bahrein, Frenchmen Jerome Champagne and Michel Platini, Swiss Gianni Infantino, Liberian Musa Bility and South Africa’s Tokyo Sexwale. They must now face integrity checks under FIFA’S code of ethics.
Platini, the head of European soccer’s governing body UEFA, is currently suspended for 90 days along with FIFA president Sepp Blatter as soccer’s governing body.
Swiss authorities are investigating the decision to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments to Russia and Qatar respectively and the United States Department of Justice has indicted 14 soccer officials and sports marketing executives on a series of corruption charges.
Since 2010, FIFA’S own Ethics Committee has banned more than one dozen current and former members of the executive committee, either while in office or after they had left.
FIFA said that Platini’s bid would not be processed while he is banned, but he could still stand if he wins an appeal.
“Should such a ban be lifted or expire before the FIFA presidential election, the Ad-hoc Electoral Committee would decide, depending on the respective exact point in time, on how to proceed with the candidature concerned,” said FIFA in a statement.
As an alternative European candidate, UEFA’S general secretary Infantino announced he would stand on Monday.
Champagne is a former French diplomat who held various posts at FIFA between 1999 and 2010, but is a critic of UEFA.
Sexwale is a South African businessman and former Apart- to wait 48 hours to have them scanned,” Wenger said.
“It was a bad night at the office. We lost the two players and after that, we were not good enough. heid-era political prisoner and Bility is head of the Liberian Football Association. Prince Ali is a former FIFA executive committee member and Sheikh Salman is head of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
Nakhid had announced that he
“But we have a big game on Saturday (against Swansea), a game at Bayern coming up and already we are short, so to lose two offensive players tonight is damaging for us.” — Reuters would stand and on Monday took part in at the Play the Game sports conference in Denmark, along with Champagne, as a FIFA presidential candidate.
FIFA said that one of the five declarations of support for Nakhid was provided by a footballl as- socation which had also declared support for another candidate.
“The electoral committee decided not to consider Mr Nakhid’s application as it did not fulfil the required five declarations of support.” said a statement.
— Reuters BERLIN — Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola (pictured) admits he “can’t be bothered” answering constant questions concerning speculation about English clubs with his current contract due to expire in June. Chelsea, whose manager Jose Mourinho is under severe pressure, are the latest in a string of Premier League clubs who have been linked to Guardiola recently by the UK media.
In past months, the Spaniard has been heavily linked to Manchester City and even the Brazil and England national team coaching jobs, but now he has had enough.
“The subject is always the same. I am not going to answer them. I can’t be bothered with it anymore,” said Guardiola when asked by reporters about the Chelsea rumours.
“Please, we are only in October! We still have seven months to go and I need to win, win, win.”
The Bavarian giants are peerless in the Bundesliga and are on course to claim a record fourth straight German league title next May. Bayern chairman Karl-heinz Rummenigge has said he wants to extend Guardiola’s current contract as quickly as possible.
Club captain Philipp Lahm has already told Guardiola that the team want him to stay, but, should the Spaniard leave, media reports suggest Carlo Ancelotti has been approached as a possible replacement.
— AFP LONDON — Chelsea striker Diego Costa (pictured) was taken to hospital after sustaining a rib injury during the League Cup holders’ penalty shootout defeat at Stoke City on Tuesday, manager Jose Mourinho said.
The Brazil-born Spain striker appeared to hurt himself in a collision with Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland and after initially playing on, he went off in the 33rd minute, with Loic Remy taking his place.
“He’s in the hospital,” Mourinho told his post-match press conference at the Britannia Stadium. Asked how Costa had sustained the injury, he replied: “I don’t know. I think he punched himself.”
Chelsea lost 5-4 on penalties, with Butland saving the decisive spot-kick from Eden Hazard after the game had finished 1-1 in normal time.
Costa, 27, was Chelsea’s top scorer last season with 21 goals in his first campaign after signing from Atletico Madrid, but has found the net only three times in all competitions this season. — AFP
Sheffield Wednesday winger Ross Wallace puts his side in the lead with a neat finish.
Prince Ali bin Al hussein