Sports

Zambia captain Stopilla Sunzu says they will not get carried away by Wednesday’s 3-0 win over Niger.

Sunzu began his reign as Zambia captain on a memorable note when the team picked up its first win in the 2015 Africa Cup Group F qualifiers.

He says the team trained very hard for the game and it paid off with the win, adding that the Chipolopolo were also verycompetitive against Niger.

Sunzu says the team now needs to focus on the next two games, stating that there is still a lot of work to do.

Sunzu took over the armband this week following the expulsion of long-serving captain Christopher Katongo from camp after tactical differences with coach Honour Janza.

Meanwhile, the win lifted Zambia from third to second and back in strong contention in the qualifyingrace to the 2015 finals.

Zambia are tied on five points with third placed Mozambique and are four points behind Cape Verdewho have qualified with two games to spare.

Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted the squad needed “a big injection” of players.

Ferguson retired in 2013 but successor David Moyes was sacked in April as United struggled to seventh last term, their lowest Premier League finish.

Six new players were brought in at a cost of £150m, including Angel Di Maria for a British record fee of £59.7m

“It was really important because you need quality at Manchester United, you need the best players,” Ferguson said.

The 72-year-old Scotsman, who won 38 trophies in his 26 years at United, told MUTV: “That’s the way the game is going today with fees likes £85m for Gareth Bale.

“When you can identify ability like that needed by Manchester United, they have the resources to do that.

“Those are fees I never quite equalled but nonetheless they were needing quite a big injection this year.”

BBC

Schalke have appointed Roberto Di Matteo as their new coach after relieving Jens Keller of his duties on Tuesday morning.

Di Matteo, who won the Champions League during a brief spell in charge of Chelsea in 2012, has been out of work since being dismissed by the Blues and he inherits an underperforming side.

The former Stuttgart manager Keller has been shown the door after just under two years in charge of the Royal Blues, with the club currently 11th in the Bundesliga table.

They are just three points above the bottom three and the same distance from the top six and were eliminated from the DFB-Pokal in the first round.

 Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Hoffenheim proved to be the final straw for Keller, whose position was always under scrutiny from the day he replaced Huub Stevens.

He managed to lead the club into the Champions League in each of his two seasons.

There was a point of this match when Arsène Wenger seemed to have gone into Begbie-from-Trainspotting mode and was squaring up to José Mourinho by the side of the pitch, as if someone had spilled his pint one time too many. Wenger had already shoved his bete noire in the chest and when he went back to prolong the argument the Arsenal manager briefly pushed his face towards his old adversary so they were almost nose to nose. Those were the lingering images of a sometimes wild game when, once again, Mourinho came out on top and everyone could see exactly how far he has got under Wenger’s skin.

Mourinho’s superiority over Wenger has stretched now to 12 games unbeaten and the man he branded a “specialist in failure” will be fortunate to escape further action from the Football Association. Chelsea have won seven matches during that sequence and once we had waded through all the varying subplots and controversies the bottom line is the Premier League leaders have re-established a five-point advantage ahead of Manchester City – and gone nine clear of Arsenal – courtesy of Eden Hazard’s expertly taken penalty and the latest demonstration of Diego Costa’s penalty-box prowess.

That list of side-issues is fairly considerable, though, even ignoring for one moment the first-half spat between Wenger and Mourinho, with the older man very much the aggressor, that brought no apology from the Arsenal manager, but a wry offer to the journalists in his presence that it was only a “little shove” and he could show us a real one if requested.

The referee, Martin Atkinson, could feasibly have shown four red cards and his leniency was starting to feel absurd when Danny Welbeck lunged in two-footed on Cesc Fàbregas during the closing exchanges and it was deemed worthy only of a booking.

Yet this was not a good day for keeping by the rules and Chelsea will face some awkward questions about the head injury suffered by the goalkeeper, Thibaut Courtois, and why they let him carry on after he had been left flat out on his back, eyes closed, after his collision with Alexis Sánchez. Courtois carried on for 13 minutes before suffering a relapse and it was alarming in the extreme to see blood coming from his right ear and, later, ambulance staff sprinting into the home dressing room. He was taken to hospital and Chelsea’s decision-making is clearly open to scrutiny bearing in mind the FA brought in new regulations for head injuries at the start of the season.

When the two sides met last season it finished 6-0 to Chelsea to sabotage Wenger’s 1,000th match as Arsenal’s manager and left him so distressed that, for the first time ever, he refused to do his press conference. Arsenal, to give them their due, were better this time. They had spells when they looked mildly threatening and Wenger’s tete-a-tete with Mourinho followed the theme of a team that seemed determined to stand up to their opponents and show they were no soft touch.

They also have a good case for thinking that Gary Cahill should have been sent off for the scything challenge on Sánchez that persuaded Wenger to stride from his technical area to the one designated for Chelsea personnel and respond to Mourinho’s orders for a retreat by putting both hands into his chest to give him a shove and then reminding him, close-up, who was the taller, more imposing man. Wenger was justified in saying it was a red-card offence and he could also reflect on the moment, at 1-0, when Fàbregas threw himself at Jack Wilshere’s shot and the ball deflected off his hands inside the penalty area only for Atkinson to wave play on.

Equally, Laurent Koscielny should have been shown a red card for halting Hazard’s brilliant run for his penalty, after the Belgian had already gone past Santi Cazorla and Calum Chambers and would have been running clear on goal if he had eluded a third man. Chambers could feasibly have been dismissed for two bookable offences before half-time and Welbeck’s studs-up challenge on Fàbregas was an even more obvious sending-off than Cahill’s. Both teams will deflect the other side’s complaints with grievances of their own but ultimately the victory came down to Chelsea’s greater penetration in attack and solidity in defence. It has become a recurring theme when these sides lock horns and the deja vu for Arsenal was compounded by the fact it was the brilliantly influential Fàbregas playing the ball for Costa to run clear and lob Wojciech Szczesny in the 78th minute.

That was Costa’s ninth goal for his new club and an offside flag spared him too much embarrassment from an inexplicable open-goal miss late on. Hazard had been a constant menace, flustering Arsenal to the extent that Mathieu Flamini strayed dangerously close to turning one of his crosses into his own net, and Wenger was entitled to be disappointed that his team did not do more to look for rustiness in Petr Cech, the replacement for Courtois.

At other points of the match, Mourinho could be seen gesturing for Wenger that it was time he stopped yapping away at the officials. The two men clearly cannot stand one another and there was no handshake at the final whistle but it was noticeable how Mourinho did not go after him in the post-match interviews. Then again, he did not have to. His team had already inflicted the more grievous damage and that, more than anything, is why Wenger gets so worked up.

Man of the match Eden Hazard (Chelsea).

In an instant, Manchester City were transported back to last season. Yaya Touré was scoring again, the supporters were singing his name and Manuel Pellegrini’s team were producing the sort of result that served as a reminder why they became champions in the first place. Frustration has been a familiar feeling for them in a stuttering title defence and, after 81 minutes, a second stalemate of the embryonic campaign beckoned.

Then Touré intervened. Twenty yards out, confronted by a phalanx of defenders, he accepted Fernando’s pass and bent his shot between Alan Hutton and Philippe Senderos. Aston Villa’s resistance was ended. So, with it, was Touré’s drought. His previous league goal came against the same opponents in May; it was a landmark strike, making the Ivorian only the second central midfielder of the Premier League era to register 20 in a season, a formidable achievement that was followed by a fallow period.

A belated first against top-flight opposition in five months brought the loudest chorus of Touré’s name in that time. If relations were soured over the summer by the unnecessary furore his agent, Dimitri Seluk, created, with his bizarre accusation that City did not even provide a cake to celebrate his client’s birthday, they are undergoing a repair now. His goal might be said to represent the icing on the cake for Pellegrini, who handled a difficult situation diplomatically. “I think it was a misunderstanding,” the Chilean claimed, downplaying the farrago in typical fashion and attributing Touré’s substandard start to the season to the summer loss of his brother, Ibrahim.

A goal marked a return to form. Perhaps as significantly, a midfielder often accused of neglecting his defensive duties had slid in to make a fine block and take the sting off Andreas Weimann’s shot on one of Villa’s few attacks. “He can be criticised for one or two weeks but I know perfectly the way he thinks and the way he can play so I never had a problem about that,” added Pellegrini. City’s problems were diminishing by the time Sergio Agüero delivered his sixth goal of the season, the Argentinean rifling in a shot after he was found by James Milner.

“For 81 minutes, the lads were excellent,” stated Paul Lambert, the Aston Villa manager. It was a day when his defence and the woodwork were allies in an admirable rearguard action. Brad Guzan did not have a save to make until the second half, but his back four were overworked. Nathan Baker produced a masterclass in defensive defiance, excelling with a series of blocks to cap his renaissance, and Aly Cissokho hacked off his line to deny Edin Dzeko. It was the culmination of a well-worked set-piece, with Milner finding David Silva, who crossed for the Bosnian.

It was another indication of the Englishman’s influence. Milner was the instigator of many of City’s finer chances, playing with trademark persistence and no little skill. One pass, when Agüero hit the base of the upright, was Silva-esque. It was the second time City had hit the post. Aleksandar Kolarov clipped it with a typically ferocious shot from an acute angle.

“I was thinking that this was not our day,” Pellegrini confessed. But his side were relentless. It amounted to a fine response to difficulty. Silva grew in prominence in the final half-hour as Guzan became busier and Villa could not quite hang on.

They adopted their tried-and-trusted tactics against the elite, of playing without possession and springing quick counter-attacks. It was a ploy that threatened to work as Charles N’Zogbia spun away from Fernandinho and sprinted 40 yards to unleash a shot that whistled past the post. Then, seconds after Agüero struck wood, N’Zogbia released Kieran Richardson, who was thwarted by Joe Hart. “If you get a chance, you have to take it,” said Lambert, whose side have still only scored four league goals.

At least Christian Benteke returned as a substitute after six months on the sidelines with a ruptured Achilles tendon. However, an attacking boost followed a striking disappointment, as the ill Gabby Agbonlahor pulled out after the warm up, and fortune has not favoured them. “I have never known a run like this,” said the Scot, whose side have faced last season’s top four in consecutive games. “The fixtures have been pretty unkind.”

THE Zambia Football Coaches Association (ZAFCA) has backed Sports Minister Chishimba Kambwili’s directive for the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) to find a coach to help Honour Janza qualify Zambia to the Morocco 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
Kambwili on Thursday said the Chipolopolo technical bench needed to be beefed up following a sluggish start to the qualifiers that has seen the 2012 African champions picking up just a point from a possible six.
The Chipolopolo, who guest Niger on October 11 with the return fixture billed for Levy Mwanawasa Stadium four days later, are currently third in group F with one point, having drawn 0-0 against Mozambique and suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Cape Verde.
ZAFCA president Patrick Kangwa said in an interview yesterday that Kambwili’s
directive was in line with the association’s position.
Kangwa last week issued a statement in which he recommended that the national team’s technical bench needed to be boosted ahead of the remaining qualifiers.
“The minister has reaffirmed what we proposed and if anything, we need two coaches to assist Janza execute his duties and we wrote to FAZ on the same proposal, so I think the Minister has just touched on an important issue that needs attention,” Kangwa said.
Kangwa said it did not matter whether the inclusions to the technical bench were sourced from within or outside the country but that the bench required strengthening.
Meanwhile, Chipolopolo assistant coach Chintu Kampamba has been awarded with the second best performing certificate at the B Licence International coaching course in Hennef, Germany.
The course attracted 29 participants from all over the world.
Kangwa commended Kampamba for the feat but urged him to apply the expertise he had acquired from the training to the development of the squad.
“I would like to congratulate Kampamba for that achievement but I think what is important is the conversion of the knowledge he has acquired on the team, that’s what counts in football,” he said.

Barcelona and Argentina star Lionel Messi is to face trial for alleged tax evasion, a Spanish judge has ruled.

The judge rejected a prosecution recommendation to drop the charges on the grounds the player‘s father was responsible for his finances.

Messi and his father Jorge are accused of defrauding the authorities ofmore than 4m euros (£3.1m; $5m).

The pair, who deny wrongdoing, have five days to appeal against the ruling.

It is alleged that they withheld the money between 2007 and 2009.

The income related to Messi’s image rights, including contracts with Banco Sabadell, Danone, Adidas, Pepsi-Cola, Proctor and Gamble, and the Kuwait Food Company.

Lionel Messi, centre, in a match between Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain in Paris, 30 September 2014
Messi and his father paid 5m euros back to the Spanish tax authorities

The footballer and his father are suspected of avoiding paying Spanish tax by using companies in Belize and Uruguay to sell the rights to use Messi’s image.

The judge ruled: “In this type of crime, it is not necessary for someone to have complete knowledge of all the accounting and business operations nor the exact quantity, rather it is sufficient to be aware of the designs to commit fraud and consent to them.”

In August 2013 Messi and his father made a 5m euro “correctivepayment“, equal to the alleged unpaid tax plus interest.

Messi has been four times Fifa World Player of the Year and is captain of Argentina.

The court decision comes as Barcelona grapples with a separate prominent legal case.

A Madrid court is hearing a lawsuit that accuses Barcelona of misappropriating funds from the transfer fee to buy Brazil striker Neymar from Santos in 2013.

Club president Sandro Rosell quit in January, but insisted he had “acted correctly” over the transfer.

Quite how Tottenham led until the final minute of this match was a mystery. Ultimately they left with only a point after a calamitous error by their centre-back Vlad Chiriches – and even a draw was rightly viewed by the Besiktas manager, Slaven Bilic, as an injustice.

Chiriches, who endured a torrid evening, handled just inside the penalty area to allow Demba Ba to convert the equaliser from the spot. Harry Kane’s goal midway through the first half, coupled with Hugo Lloris’s wonderful goalkeeping, had almost stymied the visitors. That duo were the only reasons for Spurs cheer, however, as the home side laboured against a Besiktas team who, for chunks of this match, looked like they would run amok.

“I don’t want to sound big-headed but every team that comes here and gets a point thinks it is a good result,” said Bilic. “But we were excellent and the only thing I’m not happy with is the result. We were so good. I told them at half-time just keep passing it. It had to come.”

In Ba and Olcay Sahan, Besiktas possessed two menacing outlets in attack. Throughout the match, the pair teased and tested Tottenham’s all too porous backline and were denied only by the reflexes of Lloris. Conversely, when Mauricio Pochettino assessed his attacking options beforehand he must have squirmed. His three main strikers, Kane, Roberto Soldado and Emmanuel Adebayor, had managed just six goals in 17 appearances – and if that statistic is not immediately damning, the inadequacy of their attacking threat has been. This was a night for Kane and Soldado to set the record straight. Yet, in the opening exchanges, they did anything but.

The visitors, meanwhile, operated with pace and precision down both flanks, the left especially, and Ba almost helped to create a goal in the second minute after Sahan, driving in off the left wing, pounced on an awful lapse by Chiriches. The Senegal striker outmuscled his marker only to see Sahan blaze wide. Ba soon leathered a shot against the bar from an awkward angle. Lloris had it covered but he scarcely seemed to believe the former Chelsea frontman could go so close from such a position.

Tottenham’s attacks were tame by comparison and Soldado and Kane were like ghosts at first. Then, out of nowhere, Kane struck low into the bottom corner and Tottenham were ahead. It was the 27th minute, and although the 21-year-old’s run and shot from the edge of the box was not spectacular, it was perfectly placed.

Besiktas came again. Lloris made a stunning save with his outstretched boot to deny Sahan, and Kane was thwarted by a fine save at the other end when he pummelled a shot goalwards from a tight angle. Tottenham were, at least, improving.

Promise in the second half came via the industry of Kane and the skill of Nabil Bentaleb. Kane was at the heart of a slick move which saw Andros Townsend curl a shot over, and momentarily Spurs looked lively. But, again, Besiktas began to dominate possession and, as their fervent fans let off flares – actions which could have ramifications for both clubs, should Uefa opt to sanction them – there was a sense an equaliser would come.

Lloris made a magnificent fingertip save from Sahan after another slip by Chiriches. In truth though, Sahan would have done better to pick a spot low down, where the keeper would surely have had no chance.

Besiktas then resorted to outlandish efforts in their quest to score the goal they deserved: Ba tried a piece of skill befitting Zlatan Ibrahimovic as he cartwheeled his right leg to steer a shot goalwards, then Sahan mirrored the technique of Wayne Rooney’s memorable goal against Manchester City, with a scissor-volley which flew inches wide. It was so nearly the perfect strike.

Ba would be denied yet again by Lloris before the night was out as the Frenchman, standing tall, pushed over a poked effort. It was a remarkable save by a goalkeeper who looked unbeatable. “I didn’t need tonight’s game to rate him,” said Bilic. “He’s brilliant. One of the top, top keepers.”

Ultimately, Chiriches’s indiscretion meant Ba, after a stunted run-up, was finally able to beat Lloris. “I don’t talk about the action by Vlad,” said Pochettino, skirting the embarrassing issue entirely. “It is an unfortunate action but in football you can always make a mistake.”

A 17-member home-based Zambia team goes into camp in Lusaka on Wednesday to kick off preparations for next weeks 2015 AFCON doubleheader qualifier against Niger.

The team includes versatile Zanaco midfielder Roderick Kabwe who was dropped for Zambia’s opening two Group F qualifiers against Mozambique at home and Cape Verde away.

Kabwe returns to the fold for the first time since August 31 when he played in Zambia’s 3-1 home friendly win over Sudan at the National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.

Also in the team is Konkola Blades striker Humphrey Maseneko who was earlier called-up for Zambia’s just-ended monthly home-based players get-together in Lusaka.

Meanwhile, Nchanga Rangers goalkeeper Toaster Nsabata has been axed while Power Dynamos goalkeeper Joshua Titima and Zambia number two Daniel Munyau of Red Arrows have kept their places in the team.

The team will be joined in camp by 12 foreign-based call-ups this weekend in Lusaka.

Goalkeepers:Danny Munyau (Red Arrows), Joshua Titima (Power Dynamos)

Defenders:Donashano Malama, Christopher Munthali (Both Nkana), Kayawe Kapota (Kafue Celtic), Nyambe Mulenga (Zesco United), Boyd Mkandawire (Napsa Stars)

Midfielders:Roderick Kabwe (Zanaco), Fwayo Tembo (Clubless), Shadreck Malambo, Bruce Musakanya (Both Red Arrows), Larry Bwalya (Nchanga Rangers), Charles Zulu (Zanaco)

Strikers: Patrick Ngoma (Red Arrows), Ronald Kampamba (Nkana), Julius Situmbeko (Power Dynamos), Humphrey Masenko (Konkola Blades)

Zambia has lost the bid to host the Africa Cup of Nations in 2019, 2021 and in 2023.
A vote of the executive committee, meeting in the Ethiopian capital, awarded Cameroon the 2019 finals and Ivory Coast will stage the 2021 edition.
In an unscheduled announcement Caf also decided to hand Guinea the right to host the 2023 finals.
Algeria and Zambia lost out in the bidding process.
Pompous Zambia rejected Zimbabwe ’s proposal to co-host the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.
Football Association of Zambia vice-president Boniface Mwamelo said the Zimbabwe Football Association’s proposal to co-host the 2017 tournament after Libya pulled out was impractical.
Zimbabwe Football Association ZIFA officials met FAZ general secretary George Kasengele and Zambia Tourism Board officials over the possibility of the two countries co-hosting the event.
But Mwamelo said FAZ’s strategy had always been to target the 2019 AfCON.
“It is totally out of the question. Even representatives of Botswana FA approached us on the possibility of 2017 co-hosting. It’s something we can’t even contemplate because in 2017 we are hosting the Africa Youth Championships and that requires resources,” he said.