Okedara Defeats Kwardey

Nigerian-born Osun State pugilist and reigning African Boxing Union Champion, Mojeed Okedara has emerged after a Technical Knock Out (TKO) as the newly crowned Universal Boxing Championship (UBC) Super Middle Weight World Champion.

The boxing match which came up at Blueroof of Lagos Television (LTV),Agidingbi, Ikeja, Lagos State saw Mojeed Okedara squared up against Ghanaian Eric Kwardey.

Okedara, who hails from Ikire in Osun State had the upper hand from the beginning of the contest as he was too much for Kwardey who arrived Nigeria with high hopes of defeating his Nigerian opponent but himself was at the receiving end.

Chelsea Fail In Stadium Ownership Bid

Chelsea have been defeated in their bid to buy back the freehold of  Stamford Bridge following an extraordinary general meeting of Chelsea Pitch Owners (CPO) shareholders.

The Blues failed to convince the holders of 75% or more of the shares in CPO to support their proposal, which was seen as a precursor to a move to a new 60,000-seater stadium.

At an emotionally-charged meeting in Stamford Bridge’s Great Hall, CPO chairman Richard King revealed a no vote was carried after 61.6% of approximately 700 shareholders voted against the proposal, with the 38.4% who supported the Blues’ plan leaving the club 13.4% short of their target.

The defeat prevents Chelsea regaining ownership of the land they sold to supporter-led group CPO in the 1990s in order to ensure the club was not made homeless.

They made an offer to buy back the freehold at the beginning of the month, saying they would not be able to move to a new stadium unless they could profit from the land on which Stamford Bridge sits.

Their opponents, spearheaded by the ‘Say No CPO’ (SNCPO) campaign, insist they are not against relocation in principle but criticised the club for a lack of transparency, failing to give enough time for the issues to be debated and refusing to transfer the existing CPO agreement to any new stadium.

One shareholder, a lawyer, asked whether the club had considered asking for a “conditional sale agreement’’ that would see CPO shareholders automatically surrender their shares once the club had identified a ground within three miles of Stamford Bridge that would house 60,000 people.

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck, who provided robust answers to most of the questions posed to him, admitted it was not something he had considered, adding: “ I don’t think we’re in a position in this meeting to revise our proposals.’’

Henderson Hails Carroll Quality

Jordan Henderson has reserved praise for Andy Carroll after the striker helped Liverpool advance to the quarter-finals of the Carling Cup.
Carroll made his sixth start of the season at the Britannia Stadium on Wednesday as Liverpool overcame Stoke 2-1 in the fourth round of the Carling Cup thanks to a brace from Luis Suarez.
The £35 million signing from Newcastle United has scored just twice this season but midfielder Henderson believes Carroll is close to finding his top form for the Reds.
Henderson said: “I thought Andy was brilliant against Stoke. He worked really hard, closed defenders down, won a lot of headers and had a few chances himself.
“He contributed a lot.

He’s been doing that in training and we all know what we can do. I don’t think there’s a problem with Andy’s belief.

He’s a good player and he shows that in training every day.”
Henderson went on to express his ambitions of winning silverware at Anfield, the club having last lifted a trophy in 2006 when they beat West Ham in the FA Cup final.
“It’s a long time without a trophy but we’re just concentrating on winning every game and getting that winning mentality back,” Henderson said.
“We’re quietly confident. We’ll just keep looking forward to every game, keep building the team spirit and hopefully we’ll keep putting in performances like that.”

Terry To Keep England Captaincy

John Terry is unlikely to be temporarily stripped of the England captaincy while he is investigated by the Football Association for the alleged use of racist language towards Anton Ferdinand.
With England due to play two high profile friendly internationals against world and European champions Spain and then Sweden next month, the FA could have chosen to force coach Fabio Capello to remove the armband from the Chelsea centre-back.
As the FA has previously reported Spanish fans for racist behaviour towards England’s black players, Terry’s appearance as skipper for the game at Wembley on November 12 could be seen as hypocritical.
But it is believed the FA will make no decision on his future until after the result of their investigation into the incident in the game between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road on Sunday is known.
As well as the FA investigation, pictures are to be scrutinised by officers from Hammersmith and Fulham police after a member of the public emailed a complaint.
Capello has replaced Terry as captain once before following his high-profile fall out with Wayne Bridge over a personal matter when the two players were both at Chelsea, handing the armband to Rio Ferdinand – Anton’s brother.
Terry, meanwhile, has not travelled with the rest of the Chelsea squad for the Carling Cup tie at Everton as he is on four yellow cards, and another caution would see him suspended for the Premier League game against Arsenal on Saturday.
Terry said that he would fight to prove his innocence regarding the racism row and welcomed the news of the investigation in a statement which read: ‘’I welcome the FA enquiry and look forward to clearing my name as soon as possible.

Until then I have no further comment.’’
It is not certain that Terry will play any part in the double-header as Capello looks to try out other players ahead of next summer’s European Championship finals.
If Terry, who turns 31 in December, is charged and subsequently found guilty of abusing Ferdinand he would be certain to lose the captaincy and it would be difficult for Capello to select him at all.
Videos circulated on the internet in the aftermath of Sunday’s game, with some claiming the footage shows Terry insulting Ferdinand using racist language.

Terry has denied racially abusing Ferdinand, who he admitted had accused him of making a racist remark, but insisted his own response was actually a denial and not racist in any way.
A statement released by QPR on Tuesday said: ‘’The club is aware of an alleged racist incident in Sunday’s Barclays Premier League fixture between QPR and Chelsea at Loftus Road.

The Football Association are now expected to conduct enquiries into the alleged incident.”
Chairman Tony Fernandes said: “Queens Park Rangers Football Club does not condone racism in any way, shape or form.

As a club, we will provide our players with our unequivocal support when alleged incidents like this occur.
“The club has, and will continue to, support Kick It Out’s One Game, One Community initiative, football’s equality and inclusion campaign. However, we are keen to draw a line under this alleged incident and focus on our forthcoming fixtures, starting with Sunday’s London derby at Spurs. The club will be making no further comment at this stage.’’
Ferdinand is yet to speak publicly on the matter, but he has been offered the full backing of his club over the alleged incident.

Arsenal To Wait On Vermaelen

Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen will  undergo tests on Wednesday after coming off with a calf problem towards the end of the Carling Cup victory over Bolton.

Vermaelen made his long-awaited return from an Achilles injury by starting in the 2-1 fourth round win, playing 84 minutes at the Emirates before being replaced by debutant Daniel Boateng. Manager Arsene Wenger revealed Vermaelen requested to be taken off after a feeling problem in his calf, but is confident the Belgian has not sustained any real damage.

“He did very well but he had to come off for a calf problem,” Wenger said. “I hope it is not too bad. He will be a bit short for Saturday [against Chelsea in the Premier League]. I do not know yet what has happened.

“We will have to test him tomorrow [Wednesday] but it did not look too bad. He has been out for a long time and only had one training session yesterday with the team.

“I didn’t expect a game of that intensity because it was a really tough game for a centre-back tonight as they put us under pressure in the second half. I don’t think it is a calf strain, I think it is just a tight calf because he has not played 90 minutes for three months.

“He wanted to come off. In fairness, I did not want to take him off because I thought it was stupid with four minutes to go in case we conceded a goal. He was adamant he could not go on so I hope it is not too bad.”

City Allay Fears Over Hargreaves

Manchester City have moved to allay fears Owen Hargreaves has suffered anything other than a very minor setback in his bid to resurrect his career.Hargreaves has been ruled out of the Carling Cup fourth-round tie at Wolves after a kick in the calf. The match would otherwise have provided the 30-year-old with an excellent opportunity to get some competitive football under his belt as he looks to establish himself at City.

The midfielder, who made a goalscoring debut for City in their third-round win over Birmingham, was released by Manchester United in the summer after three injury-ravaged seasons.

First-team coach David Platt said: ‘’There is no worry about it. He has got a little niggle that because it is Owen Hargreaves we are talking about it. It is nothing much, it is just a kick in the calf. We have had it scanned and there is no pull or anything.

‘’He has not broken down. If he had broken down we would be talking about him being out for three or four weeks but that is not the case.’’
Hargreaves played 57 minutes against Birmingham five weeks ago but his only appearance since was as a late substitute in the 4-1 Barclays Premier League win over Aston Villa on October 15.

He was thought to be in contention for a place on the bench for Sunday’s derby win over his former club but was not named in the squad.
Hargreaves was hampered by problems in both knees during his time at United before he suffered a hamstring injury early in what proved to be his final appearance for that club last November.

Yet while City do not want to risk him at Molineux, they insist that is not because they need to treat him more carefully than any other player.
Platt said: ‘’He is there or thereabouts but the fact of the matter is he hasn’t trained for three or four days. To go in and do one light training session and then go into it, you wouldn’t do with any player. That has nothing to do with whether it is Owen or not.

‘’Since we came back from the international break, Owen Hargreaves has been one of the 24-25 players available for selection. He could well have been in the squad for the derby. He could have been in the stand, on the bench or he could have played.

‘’We don’t look at him any more as a separate case, whereas leading up to the international break we were still in his ‘pre-season’ preparation. We are over that. He comes into the equation like any other player comes into it now.

‘’He came in on September 1 and we’re now at the end of October. That’s seven weeks and he’s been off the training pitch five days. Rather than talking about what has happened in the last three years, he is now a Manchester City player and we should look at it from when he has been at Manchester City.’’

Tevez Fined Four Weeks’ Wages

Manchester City have upheld a misconduct charge against Carlos Tevez and the striker is to be fined four weeks’ wages.City held an internal investigation into Tevez’s actions after manager Roberto Mancini accused him of refusing to enter the field as a substitute during the 2-0 defeat at Bayern Munich at the end of September.

Following a disciplinary hearing, Tevez was found guilty of five breaches of his contract and has been handed a fine, which must be ratified by the Professional Footballers’ Association, as well as issued with a written warning as to his future conduct. He was also issued with a two-week suspension, though that is deemed to have been served already.

The club listed the breaches of conduct as follows: “1. An obligation to participate in any matches in which the player is selected to play for the club when directed by a club official.

“2. An obligation to undertake such other duties and to participate in such other activities as are consistent with the performance of the player’s duties and as are reasonably required of him.

“3. An obligation to comply with and act in accordance with all lawful instructions of any authorised official of the club.

“4. An obligation to observe the statutes and regulations of FIFA and UEFA, the FA Rules, the League Rules, the Code of Practice and the club rules, including but not limited to breach of Rule E3(1) of the FA Rules (obligation on the player all times to act in the best interests of the game and not act in any manner which is improper or which brings the game into disrepute).

“5. An obligation not to knowingly or recklessly do anything or omit to do anything which is likely to bring the club or the game of football into disrepute or cause the player or the club to be in breach of the Rules (as defined in the contract) or cause damage to the club.”
Tevez has the right to appeal to the club’s board within 14 days of the decision.

Tevez To Sue Mancini – Report

Disgruntled Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez is considering suing manager Roberto Mancini for defamation of character, according to a report from the BBC.

Tevez may investigate legal action after the Argentine was effectively found guilty by City of refusing to play in a Champions League game against Bayern Munich and fined four weeks’ wages. The striker has 14 days to appeal the decision, and should any such internal action fail, Tevez is expected to take the matter further.

It is understood Tevez and his advisors feel the five reasons given by the club for upholding the charge of misconduct are false. In such a circumstance, Mancini’s comments immediately following the game stating the striker refused to take to the pitch could be interpreted as defamation.

Meanwhile, Manchester City have revealed they are in no hurry to offload Tevez despite the ongoing problems with the player. The club valued the 27-year-old, their top scorer and inspiration during last season’s FA Cup-winning campaign, at more than £40 million earlier this year.

A club spokesman said: “I can confirm that following a call between Roberto and the chairman [Khaldoon Al Mubarak] today, the club’s formal position is that no offer for Carlos Tevez will be considered unless it reflects true market value.”

It is believed that the club will allow Mancini to decide what happens to Tevez over the remainder of his contract, which expires in 2014. The striker has been training alone since returning from suspension almost a fortnight ago and has not played since September 21.

The club has written to the Professional Footballers Association for ratification of the fine.The five contractual obligations found by the disciplinary panel to have been breached are:
1. An obligation to participate in any matches in which the player is selected to play for the club when directed by a club official.

2. An obligation to undertake such other duties and to participate in such other activities as are consistent with the performance of the player’s duties and as are reasonably required of him.

3. An obligation to comply with and act in accordance with all lawful instructions of any authorised official of the club.

4. An obligation to observe the statutes and regulations of FIFA and UEFA, the FA Rules, the League Rules, the Code of Practice and the Club rules, including but not limited to breach of Rule E3(1) of the FA Rules (obligation on the player at all times to act in the best interests of the game and not act in any manner which is improper or which brings the game into disrepute).

5. An obligation not to knowingly or recklessly do anything or omit to do anything which is likely to bring the club or the game of football into disrepute or cause the player or the club to be in breach of the rules (as defined in the contract) or cause damage to the club.
Carlos Tevez has the right to appeal this decision to the board of the club. Any appeal must be made within 14 days.

Toure For PSG, Taarabt Dream Dies

Manchester City defender Kolo Toure is interested in a move to Paris St Germain but QPR midfielder Adel Taarabt thinks his chance of a move to the billionaire-owned club has ended.

Toure returned to the City side last month after serving a six-month suspension for failing a drug test while Taarabt has revealed that a move to the Parc des Princes was imminent in the summer, but that former Brazil international Leonardo nixed it.

“He preferred [Jeremy] Menez, [Javier] Pastore and even wanted Ganso. The Qatar officials told me ‘do another great six months and in January we will be back’. However, I am under no illusion. I know I am not Leonardo’s priority.”

Toure played in the Blues’ Carling Cup victory over Birmingham and the Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich but has made only one appearance from the bench since then and was an unused substitute in City’s 6-1 Premier League win against derby rivals Manchester United yesterday.

The 30-year-old Ivorian is now linked with Qatari-backed PSG, who have made no secret of their desire to lure former England captain David Beckham to the Parc des Princes.

“I would be interested because of the competition there currently is at City,” Toure is quoted as saying by RMC Sport. “If the name of Paris comes it will not be like previous years.

“Now if they call me, I would listen to what they say. Given the very good players there are there, it really makes you want to go there, it’s clear.
“I know I’m not the only player interested, there are other players who really want to play for PSG.

“It’s not just for the money, but also because we see that there are very good investors who want to move the club to produce good football and win trophies.”

Balotelli Joins Firework Safety Campaign

Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has come full circle since his bathroom fire escapade by fronting a campaign to promote firework safety.
Balotelli was at the heart of the action in the Manchester derby, scoring the first two goals in an incredible 6-1 defeat of arch rivals United.

The Italian, though, hogged the headlines before the game when fireworks were let off in his house the day before the clash.
The colourful front-man responded by revealing a t-shirt which read ‘Why always me?’ after his opening goal. Balotelli added that fans could “work out’” what his t-shirt message meant and, after a year that has seen him involved in a number of controversial, sometimes comical, incidents, he insists that the latest one was not his doing.
“The thing at the weekend didn’t come from me, it came from one of my friends and one of my brother’s friends,” he said. “Maybe I should be more careful about who I let in my house. But it wasn’t about me, I didn’t do anything.”
Balotelli, meanwhile, hailed City’s on-field triumph on Sunday as “one of the best” team performances he has been involved with since joining the club from Inter Milan.
“The feeling was great. To win a derby away at Old Trafford is one thing, but to win it 6-1, none of us knew what to say.

We were really happy,” he told the club’s official website.
“It was brilliant. It was a great atmosphere; it was a derby, so that’s what you expect. My first goal was a good goal.

I’m a striker and sometimes you don’t think about what you will do.
“Those types of goal, sometimes they go inside and sometimes they don’t.

It was on target and it was a good goal, so I was happy.
“I think this win and this performance showed everyone that we can be the best.

I think [Sunday] was one of the best we have ever played together for sure.’’

Udinese Win It Late On

Two goals in the final two minutes saw Udinese beat Atletico Madrid 2-0 and maintain their unbeaten record in Europa League Group I.
Mehdi Benatia and Antonio Floro Flores were both on target as the hosts moved three points clear of their rivals, who suffered their first defeat in the pool.
Udinese threatened within a minute of kick-off, Floro Flores directing his header from Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu’s free-kick just over the crossbar.
Atletico had to wait 13 minutes for their first chance, which was smashed wide of the right post by Joao Miranda.
But the Spanish visitors grew in confidence after that and Assuncao stung the palms of Udinese goalkeeper Samir Handanovic with his shot, while club record-signing Radamel Falcao fired the ball over the bar from 18 yards.
Atletico goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois made his first save after 25 minutes, punching away a free-kick from Almen Abdi.
But it was the visitors who continued to dominate, and Handanovic pulled off two more good saves to deny Gabi and Luis Pizzi, who also drove another effort over the bar from the edge of the area as half-time approached.
Atletico also looked the better club after the interval but their final touch continued to desert them, with Diego Godin wasting a helpful inswinging corner from Diego Costa by turning a strike over the bar.
Chances had so far proved few and far between for Udinese, but they came close to taking the lead after 56 minutes with a header from Benatia which had to be tipped around the post by Courtois.
And Diego Fabbrini created another opportunity for the hosts 12 minutes later, but succeeded only in pushing his shot wide.
Falcao responded for Atletico with a header over the crossbar, but the opening goal remained elusive for both teams with 10 minutes to play as Floro Flores also headed high of the target.
Just when a draw seemed the likely outcome, though, Udinese went in front with two minutes remaining. Fabbrini’s assist picked out Benatia, who tucked the ball into the bottom right corner from 12 yards.
A second goal then followed deep into stoppage time, with Floro Flores sweeping home from 18 yards after Agyemang-Badu’s pass.