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Friday Kickoff: Mourinho to serve ban; Nigeria, Mali in U-17 World Cup final; and more


Jose Mourinho needs to help Chelsea turn its season around, but he will be unable to do anything from the sideline against Stoke City at Britannia Stadium on Saturday.

The English Football Association announced that the Chelsea head coach is suspended for one game and must pay a $75,600 (£50,000) fine for comments he made following his team’s 3-1 loss to Southampton on Oct. 3. He decided to not appeal the decision, but he says he will still have an influence on Saturday’s outcome.

“I choose the team, I predict as much as I can the different aspects of the game and I try to prepare them better than ever,” he said in a press conference on Friday.

According to the FA, Mourinho’s post-game comments in early October breached the federation’s rules.

“The Appeal Board has upheld the original sanction and therefore it remains that Mr Mourinho’s suspended stadium ban will be immediately invoked should he be found by an Independent Regulatory Commission to have committed a further breach of FA Rule E3 for any comment or statement to or through the media before 13 October 2016,” a statement from the FA reads.

Chelsea currently sits in 15th on the English Premier League table with only 11 points through 11 games.

Here are some more news and notes:


The world is going to have a youth champion come Sunday, and no matter who the winner is, the Confederation of African Football should be proud.

With wins in the FIFA U-17 World Cup semifinals, Nigeria and Mali will meet each other in the final on Sunday.

Nigeria knocked out Mexico with an emphatic 4-2 win on Thursday, while Mali bested Belgium, 3-1. This is the second consecutive tournament in which El Tri was eliminated by the Super Eagles, as Nigeria defeated Mexico in the U-17 World Cup final in 2013.


Karim Benzema, 27, is currently facing charges of conspiracy to blackmail and participating in a criminal group, but Real Madrid is supporting its player.

The French international is being charged for his role in a blackmail attempt on French teammate Mathieu Valbuena. Investigators think Benzema served as an intermediary between the blackmailers, who allegedly had an incriminating sex tape.

“The Real Madrid C. F. president, Florentino Pérez, held a meeting with the player in which he gave him his full support and expressed his confidence that his actions were in good faith and that he is completely innocent,” a statement on the club’s website reads.

“The club values and recognises the professional commitment, the displays of camaraderie with his team-mates and the impeccable attitude he has shown as a core member of the first team squad for the more than six seasons that he has been a part of Real Madrid”

Benzema returned to training on Thursday and is available for selection as Real Madrid faces Sevilla on Sunday.


Cristiano Ronaldo’s agent, Jorge Mendes, thinks the Portuguese star will end his career at Real Madrid. (REPORT)

Sevilla midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak, who was rumored to move to the EPL, inked a new deal to keep him in La Liga until after the 2018-19 season. (REPORT)

Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta hopes Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema can return to playing and fix his off-the-field issues as quickly as possible. (REPORT)

West Bromwich Albion head coach Tony Pulis was fined £8,000 after admitting to using offensive language or behavior on Oct. 31 against Leicester City. (REPORT)


  1. if you ever needed proof that it’s tactical acumen that tips the balance just see Mali’s side. technically these teams are all very similar seems to me, including the USA

  2. If there is any consolation for the US U-17’s, except for Croatia who played Nigeria after the Nigerians had clinched first place in the group, no other team has come closer to beating Nigeria than the US. And Croatia lost only to Mali and that by a 1-0 score. So, the US got stuck in another group of death as it turns out.

      • If you watched the Chile game you would know the score was deceiving. It was pretty evenly played until Chile got its 2nd goal to go up late 2-1. Then the US threw everyone forward and got punished. I only saw the 2nd half of the US v Croatia, but Croatia clearly was superior then.

  3. Is Benzema good enough to support him? I don’t think his absense impact on the game so much. I hope experts consider it, while planning the future 😀


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