Friday Kickoff: Warner claims his innocence; reports have Mourinho and Falcao joining Chelsea; and more

Friday Kickoff: Warner claims his innocence; reports have Mourinho and Falcao joining Chelsea; and more

South American Soccer

Friday Kickoff: Warner claims his innocence; reports have Mourinho and Falcao joining Chelsea; and more

JackWarnerBlack (ISIPhotos.com)

By DAN KARELL

Following his resignation from his position as Security Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, former CONCACAF President Jack Warner spoke live on national television on Thursday, defending his actions during his time as president of the region’s soccer authority, as well as any claims that he committed fraud.

Much of his speech on Thursday evening centered on the Dr. Joao Havelange Centre of Excellence in Port of Spain, Trinidad, which FIFA helped build with a $6 million loan to Warner. Warner explained that he had found a way to turn the loan into a grant, and showed during the speech e-mails and letters between Havelange and Warner, saying in return for the money the Trinidadian would rename the facility after the Brazilian soccer official.

Warner also took a shot at former partner in FIFA, President Sepp Blatter, saying that without the 30 votes the Caribbean nations carry, Blatter would never have been elected president in the first place back in 1998.

While Warner claims that he is innocent, he did admit during the initial election for Blatter, he helped commit voting fraud by having Jamaican federation president Horace Burrell’s girlfriend call out “oui” when Haiti was set to vote, as the Haitian federation was unable to attend the FIFA congress that year.

Here are some more stories to get your Friday started:

MOURINHO AND FALCAO LINKED WITH CHELSEA

Missed in the fallout after Borussia Dortmund’s stunning 4-1 win over Real Madrid was the news that Madrid manager Jose Mourinho has decided to return to a former club.

According to a report from German publication Bild, Mourinho will be returning to Chelsea next season, and along with a return to London will be the signing of Atletico Madrid forward Radamel Falcao Garcia for a reported price of €60 million. The Portuguese manager won six trophies between 2004-2007 with Chelsea, including two Premier League titles and an FA Cup.

Mourinho has had to endure a difficult season with the loss of domestic form, the  benching of captain Iker Casillas before his hand injury, and now a three-goal deficit in the Champions League semifinals. Falcao meanwhile has had another successful season at Atletico, scoring 25 goals in 29 La Liga matches this season. Both Mourinho and Falcao are represented by the same agent, Jorge Mendes of Portugal.

Chelsea have been looking for a permanent manager since last November, when they fired Roberto Di Matteo. Current manager Rafael Benitez has kept the interim label all season since being appointed as Di Matteo’s replacement.

SUAREZ WILL NOT APPEAL FA BAN

Liverpool will be without Luis Suarez for the foreseeable future.

After receiving legal advice on Friday, the Uruguayan forward decided not to appeal his ten-match ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic, meaning he won’t play for the final four matches this season and the first six for next year.

In addition Suarez will likely be suiting up with the Uruguayan squad at this summer’s Confederations Cup, which will take place in Brazil between June 15-June 30. Suarez has been one of the best players in the Premier League this season, scoring 23 domestic goals and 30 total for the Merseyside club.

BAYERN AND KLOPP DENY LEWANDOWSKI REPORTS

After Robert Lewandowski’s four goal thriller on Wednesday night, the player’s agent came out and said to the press that there had been an agreement with another club for the Polish forward to leave Borussia Dortmund this summer.

Since then, many football writers around the world have speculated that Bayern Munich are the unnamed club, though they denied any truth in the matter, releasing a statement on Thursday that said they have no contract signed with Lewandowski.

Borussia manager Jurgen Klopp took it a step further, saying that as of now, he expects the 24-year-old to be playing at Signal Iduna Park next season. Lewandowski is heading into the final year of his original four-year contract with Borussia, and if he returns next season, the German club could lose him on a free transfer when the contract is up.

INTER MILAN SIGN ICARDI, FOUR OTHERS

Currently sitting in fifth place in Serie A, Inter Milan have decided to make a few changes to the squad to improve them for next season.

According to a report in La Gazetta Dello Sport in Italy, Inter’s general manager Marco Fassone was quoted by an Italian blogger saying that the club had wrapped up the signings of five players; forward Mauro Icardi, midfielder Diego Laxalt, defender Hugo Campagnaro, defender Marco Andreolli, and attacking midfielder Ruben Botta.

Icardi in particular has had his coming-out party this season in Serie A with Sampdoria, scoring nine goals in 21 Serie A starts. The 20-year-old Argentine spent 2008-2011 at Barcelona’s La Masia, slightly mirroring countryman Lionel Messi’s career, before heading over to Italy with Samp.

QUICK KICKS

Forward Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has announced that he’s going to be staying at FC Schalke regardless of if they make the Champions League or not. (REPORT)

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has said Luis Suarez has set “an appalling example” to children. (REPORT)

Peruvian side Real Garcilaso defeated Nacional of Uruguay in their Copa Libertadores first-leg match on Thursday night. (REPORT)

Germany will play Ecuador in a friendly match on May 29 at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, Florida. (REPORT)

The Premier League has appointed Anthony Fry to take over as the next chairman of the league. (REPORT)

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What do you make of these reports? Do you believe Warner’s statements? Do you see Mourinho and Falcao at Chelsea? Do you think Suarez was right to not appeal?

Share your thoughts below.

 

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