Evening Ticker: FIFA report to remain private; Mourinho tracking Costa fitness; and more

Evening Ticker: FIFA report to remain private; Mourinho tracking Costa fitness; and more

European Soccer

Evening Ticker: FIFA report to remain private; Mourinho tracking Costa fitness; and more

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SeppBlatterFIFAMarch2014 (AFP)

By RYAN TOLMICH

Despite repeated requests from some of the sport’s highest ranking officials for transparency, FIFA is planning to keep things hushed.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter announced Friday that the report investigating the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups will remain private, while Blatter also claimed that no member of the executive committee asked for its release.

“Today in the meeting there was not any request from any member to publish this report,” Blatter said. “I am not speaking on this matter because it is really a matter for the Ethics Committee.

“The only contact we have had with Michael Garcia was the press release we received. We have not received any requests to publish the report. We did not have any direct contact with Mr. Garcia.”

Garcia, a former U.S. district attorney, was appointed head of the ethics investigation into whether corruption led FIFA to award World Cups to Russia and Qatar. He submitted his team’s reports earlier this month and has since called on FIFA to make them public.

Prior to Friday’s announcement, executives such as UEFA president Michel Platini, FIFA presidential candidate Jerome Champagne and U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati had campaigned for the release of the documents.

Here are some more of Friday evening’s news and notes:

AHEAD OF MIDWEEK UCL MATCH, MOURINHO TO PROTECT COSTA FITNESS

With league play, domestic cups and European competition all ongoing, exhaustion is a very real possibility for players at top-flight clubs.

Having been around the block before, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is going to keep an eye on new striker Diego Costa, who missed the end of last season due to injury. Chelsea face a weekend game with Aston Villa before traveling to Portugal to face Sporting CP 48 hours later.

“He plays tomorrow and he starts the game without problems,” Mourinho said. “The question is always the same: Can he finish the game and be in condition to play in Lisbon 48 hours later? It is a question that, in this moment, I don’t know [the answer to] because I don’t think about Sporting and the Champions League, I think about Aston Villa and the Premier League.

“Everybody is working hard and he is the first one to do that. He works with the technical staff and the medical department, he works with the physios. He’s trying to be ready for every game because mentally he is ready for every game. Physically he’s not, so everybody is trying hard for him to be able to play every game.”

MAN CITY TRIO TO MISS VISIT TO HULL CITY

After picking up a dominant 7-0 victory midweek over Sheffield Wednesday, Manchester City head into this weekend’s clash with Hull City shorthanded.

The reigning Premier League champions will be without Stevan Jovetic, Fernando and Samir Nasri for the trip to KC Stadium due to injury. However, despite missing the trio, Man City will see the returns of Sergio Aguero and David Silva, who missed out on the midweek victory.

“We continue with Jovetic and with Fernando out of the team,” said Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini. “Both of them I think will be ready next week – and Samir Nasri has a groin problem.”

“Sergio and David are both OK.”

What do you think of Blatter’s announcement that FIFA will withhold the findings of the report? How should Mourinho handle Costa from this point forward? Will City avoid the upset despite missing the injured trio?

Share your thoughts below.

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