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

  1. biff says:

    Jose Mourinho, the most overrated coach in the world. Not saying he is not good, simply way overrated and seriously lacks people skills and, if this report is true, I see a train wreck ahead at Chelsea. You could see it on his face after the humiliation in Dortmund this week. He knows he no longer has the right stuff and has been surpassed by guys like Jurgen Klopp.

    • Old School says:

      “Jose Mourinho, the most overrated coach in the world.”

      You and I generally agree on most points but this is something I’ll never agree with you on.

      To say he’s overrated is more personal bias than actuality.

      • Rory says:

        If anything I could agree that he has certainly benifited from taking over well-stocked teams with a bit of money to spend (okay, Porto might be the exception when it comes to how much money). We may well never know if he could build a team from the ground-up, but we know he can win titles with the right resources. We have seen plenty of highly respected coaches fail to win titles even when they had enough money to do so.

        • biff says:

          You hit the nail right on the head, Rory. Mourinho would only move to a team with an unlimited payroll with a locker room already filled with established world class stars. I cannot see the guy taking over a mid-level team and developing into his own winning team.

        • bryan says:

          same can be asked of Pep. but no one calls him overrated.

          • biff says:

            My feeling is that Pep and Bayern are not a match made in heaven. I just can’t see it working out. I think Bayern was crazy not to keep Jupp Heynckes, who not only is a great coach but a good guy. I am hoping Jupp this summer goes to Barcelona or Mardrid.

      • biff says:

        It’s just the way I see it, Old School. I think Jose has lost his stuff and I think we have seen in the three exquisite Real Madrid games this CL season against Dortmund that the emperor (Special One) is no longer wearing any clothes. To me, Mourinho looked like a broken man Wednesday in Dortmund who had seen the ugly truth, i.e. Jurgen Klopp is now a much better coach. Klopp has been developing Dortmund from almost nothing since 2008 and the players still function as a unit. Subotic said after the Madrid win that they have total faith in his strategies, almost worshipful. Meanwhile, Mourinho is not capable of sticking with a team more than two or three years before his teams begin to disintegrate.

        • Yevgeniy says:

          You are WAAAAY overestimating coaching in general. Just because Lewandowski had a monster game, doesn’t mean that Murinho is not a good coach. And I am pretty neutral towards him. And very impressed by Klopp’s work. But players are responsible for 80-90%.

  2. why don't says:

    5 best strikers in the world right now – Falcao, RVP, Lewandowski, Cavani, Suarez

    next are Ibramovic, Huntelaar, Gomez

    Falcao should head to either Real Madrid or Man U or Bayern Munich. Chelsea sucks

  3. shane says:

    Appealing would have been a waste of time for Suarez. Use the ban to get the help Rogers says he needs.

  4. WeatherManNX01 says:

    Warner is scum. Blatter is scum. FIFA is scum. And they can all jump in a cesspool with the NCAA and IOC.

  5. Big Chil says:

    Jack Warner is corrupt.

    In other news: water is wet.

  6. bottlcaps says:

    Mourinho didn’t want to sell Kaka to LA even though he had little use for him (final 10 min in Wed game after it was all decided). His lack of playing time this season has seen his importance (and value) diminish. He is even on the bubble for the Brazilian team. Now, as a condition of employment at Chelsea, he has publicly said that Chelsea will have to re-sign Frank Lampard.

    This guy is raining on our (MLS and Galaxy) parade.

    With Mourinho going, I think the Galaxy will make a push for KaKa this summer. I think Lampard is still an option, but he really want to play in the WC and Hodgson has said that he prefers that Lamaprd stay in Europe.

    • why don't says:

      Lampard won’t make it to the WC. Gerrard is the same.

      Kaka should just sign a 3 year contract with La Galaxy for next season. he won’t be going to the WC

    • Old School says:

      Kaka won’t come to MLS before the World Cup. After? Perhaps.

    • EasyE says:

      The guys hasnt played regularly in over a year. Does he still have the star power to bring crowds? I mean I am I huge footy fan but this guy wouldn’t excite me to be honest.

    • bryan says:

      there were plenty of other things that went into Kaka’s decision to stay in Madrid. his salary the major factor. that’s why he couldn’t go to AC Milan either.

  7. manicmessiah says:

    Cameron is being disingenuous when he says he was just commenting as a concerned father. Being prime minister means his words carry extra weight.

    As far as Suarez being a bad example to children? Sure. But they pay him to score goals. He doesn’t host a children’s tv show.

    • Rory says:

      Suarez has hurt the EPL far more than his goals have helped LFC. What have LFC won with Suarez? Meanwhile the racism, the biting, the diving, it’s all very shameful.

    • stpauljosh says:

      And we all saw how British children’s show hosts turn out as role models.

  8. ChiTown says:

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

    —-

    Ah yes, this is the bad example. Not the players beating up people in public, burning their house down because they set off fireworks in the bathroom, or attacking a DJ because he wouldn’t play Phil Collins (true story about Steven Gerrard). No, it’s the foreign guy that bit someone. Not to mention that a star England player bit someone just a few years back and managed to escape punishment all together, no it’s this guy. Come on now.

    Maybe it’s the national team captain kneeing people in the back off the ball to hurt them or sleeping with their teammates wives. Or maybe…

    You know what, it’s not worth the time. And appalling example for children? They’re probably too worried about the misguided austerity measures you’re enacting that are pushing them into poverty.

    Idlot.

  9. Guy says:

    Once the check clears I am willing to testify that Jack Warner is innocent of all improprieties.