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FIFA denies bribery claims

Fifa president Sepp Blatter's top deputy has denied allegations that he is the high-ranking official who made key payments in a bribery scandal engulfing world football.

 

The New York Times and other media named Jerome Valcke as the person responsible for a $10m (£6m) transfer of funds cited in a US indictment.

 

A letter has emerged apparently linking Mr Valcke to the payment.

 

But Fifa has strongly denied that Mr Valcke or other managers were involved.

Newly crown T&T Pro League and CFU champions Central FC have been drawn into Group D of the 2015-16 CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) alongside reigning MLS Cup champions LA Galaxy and one of Guatemala's most successful team Comunicaciones FC.

 

W Connection were not so lucky as the T&T Pro League and CFU runners-up were drawn into Group A and will face stiffer competition with the likes of Costa Rican giant Deportivo Saprissa and recently crowned Liga MX champion Santos Laguna standing in their way.

 

Central FC will be making it's CCL debut while W Connection previously competed and are no strangers to the tournament.

Australia opener Chris Rogers will miss the first Test against West Indies in Roseau from June 3 because of a concussion he suffered after getting hit in the nets on Sunday. 
 
Shaun Marsh appears likely to take his place.
 
Rogers batted briefly after the blow to the helmet, inflicted by a local net bowler, but pulled up sore on Monday morning and was ruled out by the team doctor Peter Brukner.
 
Meanwhile, Steven Smith has been anointed Australia's new Test match No. 3 for Australia.
 
Australia's captain Michael Clarke confirmed that his vice-captain Smith would walk out at the fall of the first wicket on Wednesday, a decision he said was made during the latter part of the home summer.
 
Smith had been such a dominant figure during the Border-Gavaskar series against India and then looked a natural No. 3 during the critical phases of the World Cup.

Hart names T&T Gold Cup squad

Trinidad and Tobago head coach Stephen Hart has announced a preliminary squad for phase one preparations for the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

 Hart conducted his first training session this morning at the Hasely Crawford Stadium and will continue during this week ahead of the team’s departure for Jordan for the June 16th international friendly.

The Squad is as follows : Goalkeepers Jan-Michael Williams (Central FC), Marvin Phillip (Point Fortin Civic);

Defenders: Mekeil Williams (W Connection), Eljiah Belgrave (Police FC); Kaydion Gabriel (Central FC), Shannon Gomez (W Connection, Triston Hodge (W Connection), Daneil Cyrus (W Connection),

Midfielders: Andre Boucaud (Dagenham & Redbridge—UK), Leston Paul (Central FC), Dwane James (North East Stars), Khaleem Hyland, Ataulla Guerra (Central FC), Sean De Silva (Central FC), Keron Cummings (North East Stars), Kadeem Corbin (St Ann’s Rangers);

Forwards: Shahdon Winchester (W Connection), Kenwyne Jones (Cardiff City—UK)  Devorn Jorsling (Defence Force). Willis Plaza (Central FC),

“This squad will begin phase one of our preparations for the CONCACAF Gold Cup. It is not a final squad,” Hart said.

“We have a friendly international against Jordan later this month and I will announce a final squad for that which could also include different players. But we were supposed to play Curacao this week and that match is not confirmed as yet.

“There are adjustments to be made and we are working towards preparing the team in the best possible way for Jordan and whichever other preparation matches are afforded to us going into the Gold Cup,” Hart added.

Trinidad and Tobago will open their 2015 CONCACAF  Cup against Guatemala in Chicago on July 9th.

T&T will face the Guatemalans at Soldier Field in Chicago on July 9th in the opening match of a  Group C double header which will see Mexico taking on Cuba in the second outing.

T&T then faces Cuba on July 12th at the Phoenix Stadium in Phoenix and Mexico on July 15th at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

Blatter to resign as FIFA President

Sepp Blatter says he will resign as president of football's governing body Fifa amid a corruption scandal.

In announcing his exit, the 79-year-old Swiss has called an extraordinary Fifa congress "as soon as possible" to elect a new president.

Blatter was re-elected last week, despite seven top Fifa officials being arrested two days before the vote as part of a US prosecution.

But he said: "My mandate does not appear to be supported by everybody."

Fifa was rocked last week by the arrests on charges of racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering as part of a US prosecution that also indicted 14 people.

A separate criminal investigation by Swiss authorities into how the 2018 and 2022 World Cups were allocated is also under way.

"I am very much linked to Fifa and its interests. Those interests are dear to me and this is why I am taking this decision," added Blatter.

"What counts most to me is the institute of Fifa and football around the world."

(bbc.sports)

Top seed Serena Williams needed just 65 minutes to overcome Sara Errani 6-1 6-3 and book her place in the French Open semi-finals at Roland Garros.
 
The 33-year-old American, seeking her 20th Grand Slam title, proved too powerful for her Italian opponent.
 
Williams required just 27 minutes to take the first set but was made to work hard in the second by 17th-seed Errani.

Murray ready for Ferrer test

Andy Murray will try to reach his third French Open semi-final on a day when Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal go head-to-head in Paris.
 
Third seed Murray plays Spanish seventh seed David Ferrer on Court Suzanne Lenglen at around 15:00 BST.
 
Nine-time champion Nadal will face top seed Djokovic at a similar time on Court Philippe Chatrier.

Russia prepares for 2018 World Cup

Russia is continuing with preparations to host the 2018 World Cup, despite the criminal investigations into Fifa.
 
Swiss prosecutors are investigating the bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, won by Russia and Qatar respectively.
 
Fifa president Sepp Blatter resigned on Tuesday, four days after being re-elected as head of world football's governing body.

South Africa denies World Cup bribe

South Africa has denied paying a $10m bribe to secure the 2010 World Cup, in the wake of a US inquiry into corruption at world football body Fifa.
 
Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula said the money in question was above board and intended to support football in the African diaspora in the Caribbean.
 
The Fifa scandal erupted last week when US prosecutors indicted 14 people.

Blatter under investigation in US

Fifa president Sepp Blatter is being investigated by US officials as part of their inquiry into corruption at the world football body, US media say.
 
The news came hours after Mr Blatter, 79, announced that he was stepping down from his role.
 
US prosecutors launched a criminal inquiry last week, with seven Fifa officials arrested in Switzerland, part of a group of 14 people indicted.
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