Tag Archives: constitution

Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole can leave says Rafa Benitez

Lampard and Cole can leave, says Rafa leaving Chelsea old guard in tatters

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UPDATED:

23:31 GMT, 23 November 2012

Chelsea legends Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole are to leave at the end of the season after Rafa Benitez confirmed the break-up of the Champions League-winning team.

Both players are out of contract next summer and Chelsea’s new coach admitted they are unlikely to stay at Stamford Bridge beyond the end of the season.

Lampard, Chelsea’s third highest goalscorer ever, has won three Barclays Premier League titles, four FA Cups and the European Cup in his glittering 11-year spell.

Going: Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard (below) will be allowed to leave Chelsea

Going: Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard (below) will be allowed to leave Chelsea

Legend: Frank Lampard

Cole, who joined from Arsenal in 2006, has won a Premier League title, four FA Cups and the Champions League during his spell at Stamford Bridge.

Asked directly if it was the end of a glorious era for the pair at Chelsea, Benitez said: ‘I think so, that is the case at the moment.

‘I am only here for seven months. If it is for two or three years then maybe I would have an influence.

‘Sometimes you are in a difficult position as manager because there’s too much to decide on, so it’s better to have a technical director sometimes.’

Benitez has been put in the picture by technical director Michael Emenalo and met owner Roman Abramovich for dinner on Thursday evening as Chelsea take a new direction.

He added: ‘I spent two or three hours with the owner, we talked about everything. He knows my ideas, but we didn’t have that much time together. Maybe we will in future.

‘If you have confidence in yourself and explain yourself, everyone can understand. My impression with the owner is he’s a nice person. You can talk with him and he understands. He likes to see you have a clear idea: I think it’s black and white with him.’

Abramovich is changing the team’s constitution after years of relying on powerful dressing-room influences such as Didier Drogba, Petr Cech, John Terry, Lampard and Cole.

Short term: Rafa Benitez still plans to use the players until their contracts are up

Short term: Rafa Benitez still plans to use the players until their contracts are up

Cole already has interest from Paris
Saint-Germain and Manchester United. Lampard, 34, is also considering
other offers as he enters the final six months of his Chelsea career,
but had hoped to finish his playing days at Stamford Bridge. Benitez
still plans to use the pair in the short term as he attempts to
stabilise the club after another managerial departure.

Benitez, who is preparing for Sunday's match with Manchester City, was forced to respond on Friday after Sir Alex Ferguson described him as a ‘lucky’ manager. The pair fell out when Benitez almost won the Premier League title with Liverpool in 2009.

Jose Mourinho, who was manager of Inter Milan before Benitez succeeded him in 2010, was also sceptical.

But Benitez said: ‘If people push you and if you want to win, then maybe you have to push back. I like to respect people, but sometimes I can’t because they push you. I have to defend my team, my club. Some managers in the middle of the table can be friendly, but only one can win the trophy.’

On misfiring Fernando Torres, Benitez added: ‘If the striker is not scoring, the rest of the team have to create more chances for him. My idea isn’t just to improve Fernando, but the whole team.’

Not just Torres: Benitez wants to improve the whole team

Not just Torres: Benitez wants to improve the whole team

Black players urged to support Kick It Out campaign and scrap breakaway plan

Divided we fail! Don't go it alone in racism fight, black players urged

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UPDATED:

21:57 GMT, 23 October 2012

The FA have joined Government ministers and senior football figures in urging black players to get behind the Kick It Out campaign and abandon plans for a breakaway union.

FA chairman David Bernstein and general secretary Alex Horne warned against 'fragmentation' as a breakaway began to take shape.

Peter Herbert, who chairs the Society of Black Lawyers, confirmed Sportsmail's exclusive story by telling the BBC discussions about forming a group – that he referred to as the 'Black Players' Association' – had taken place.

Snub: Rio Ferdinand, who was an unused substitute in the win over Braga on Tuesday, has boycotted the Kick It Out campaign

Snub: Rio Ferdinand, who was an unused substitute in Manchester United's win over Braga on Tuesday, has boycotted the Kick It Out campaign

Bernstein said: 'Great passions are involved here. I hope sense prevails and people can work together. Fragmentation isn't in anyone's interest. We support Kick It Out in every respect, both morally and financially. Do I hope players stay in Kick It Out Yes I do. Fragmentation would be a shame. At the same time we have to understand the moral issues and people have to be able to make their own choices but, in the interests of everybody, I hope it doesn't lead to fragmentation.'

As Sportsmail revealed, a draft constitution for a new group exists, with players as high-profile as Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand supporting the initiative.

It is understood that the players involved are determined to press ahead with plans for the BFA after becoming disillusioned with the game's governing bodies.

Leading the way: Terry returned to captain Chelsea on Tuesday night

Leading the way: Terry returned to captain Chelsea on Tuesday night

There is particular discontent with what is considered the lenient punishment of John Terry for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand.

'I have great respect for Anton Ferdinand and Rio Ferdinand and I understand their sensitivities,' said Bernstein.

'They have had a pretty rough time. Anton has had a very difficult time, as have his family. The fact this has taken so long – even though I would justify the process – certainly hasn't helped.'

Herbert said: 'There comes a point in any community's life or experience where enough is enough. People appear to have decided they have to do something more vigorously.'

Making his point: Chairman of the Football Assocation David Bernstein warned against fragmentation

Making his point: Chairman of the Football Assocation David Bernstein warned against fragmentation

PFA chairman Clarke Carlisle said he will hold talks with the players in an attempt to avert the growing crisis.

Reading striker Jason Roberts, who has been among the most vocal players during the demand for change and led the T-shirt boycott of Kick It Out last weekend, is in regular dialogue with Carlisle.

Carlisle said: 'I've had a number of conversations with Jason over the past few months and the most recent was on Sunday. Jason explained one or two things to me, but I don't know what the full intentions or requests of this breakaway group are.

'The threat is very real because the proposal is there and the discussions have been had. We have been having meetings with Jason and we have been desperately trying to get Rio into the meetings. We will have discussions with them and we need to know exactly what it is they want.

Centre of attention: Roberts is among a number of black players to snub the Kick It Out campaign

Centre of attention: Roberts is among a number of black players to snub the Kick It Out campaign

'Whether this is a movement that is in full flow and whether they think it is going to happen irrespectively, or whether it is something where they are trying to instigate change within the organisations that are in place.

'It has the potential to be divisive as when you establish a black players' union it would instantly define 'us and them' and that's something we need to work against.'

FA general secretary Horne claimed the FA are one step ahead of the world's leading football authorities in helping to combat racism.

'We are ahead of the game when it comes to tackling the issue of racism compared with other countries,' he said.

Urge: Hugh Robertson called on football's black players to unite behind the campaign

Urge: Hugh Robertson called on football's black players to unite behind the campaign

'We are always willing to co-operate and the English FA is a preferred partner, along with Germany, to assist FIFA with different issues.'

Sports minister Hugh Robertson suggested the breakaway group was a notion cooked up by 'hotheads'.

Robertson urged the game's black players to unite behind Kick It Out. He said: 'This is a moment for cool heads, not hot ones. Whatever the frustrations, the best way to advance this agenda is to get behind those bodies and to help them carry this work on. Footballers are individuals and take their own decisions. I acknowledge and support the work done by the anti-racism bodies, particularly Kick It Out, and I would urge everybody to get behind them.

'I absolutely understand why the temperature is raised and why they feel very strongly but I think it is important we back Kick it Out and continue to make progress.'

Muhammad Ali receives Liberty Medal

Ali receives Liberty Medal in Philadelphia for lifetime role as humanitarian fighter

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UPDATED:

10:46 GMT, 14 September 2012

Muhammad Ali received another title for his legendary collection on Thursday when he was honoured with a Liberty Medal for his role as a humanitarian fighter.

The boxing legend took centre stage at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia to receive the award for his longtime role outside the ring as a fighter for humanitarian causes, civil rights and religious freedom.

The three-time world heavyweight champion received an honour that his wife, Lonnie Ali, called 'overwhelming'.

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Family affair: Ali receives the award from his daughter Laila in a ceremony which the legendary fighter's family describe as 'overwhelming'

Family affair: Ali receives the award from his daughter Laila in a ceremony which the legendary fighter's family described as 'overwhelming'

She said: 'It is especially humbling for Muhammad, who has said on many occasions, “All I did was to stand up for what I believe”.'

70-year-old Ali, who has battled Parkinson's disease for three decades, stood with assistance to receive the medal from his daughter Laila Ali.

He looked down at his medal for several moments and then waved to the crowd. The award comes with a $100,000 cash prize.

Ali was born Cassius Clay but changed his name after converting to Islam in the 1960s. He refused to serve in the Vietnam War because of his religious beliefs and was stripped of his heavyweight crown in 1967.

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling later cleared him of a draft evasion conviction, and he regained the boxing title in 1974 and again 1978.

Legend: The boxing icon received the award from his daughter Laila for his lifetime role as a fighter for humanitarian causes

Legend: The boxing icon received the award from his daughter Laila for his lifetime role as a fighter for humanitarian causes

Legend: The boxing icon received the award from his daughter Laila for his lifetime role as a fighter for humanitarian causes

One of his most famous fights took place in Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where he battled George Foreman in the 'Rumble in the Jungle' in 1974.

At the ceremony, retired NBA star Dikembe Mutombo recalled the impression Ali's visit made on him as an 8-year-old growing up in that country.

'He changed my life,' said Mutombo, who also is a trustee of the Constitution Center. 'I can never forget how inspired I was to see a black athlete receive such respect and admiration.

'He changed how the people of Zaire saw themselves, and in turn how the world saw them.'

Since hanging up his gloves in 1981, Ali has traveled extensively on international charitable missions and devoted his time to social causes.

Ali received the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 2005. He also has established the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Research Center in Phoenix and a namesake educational and cultural institute in his hometown, Louisville, Ky.

The National Constitution Center, which
opened in 2003, is dedicated to increasing public understanding of the
Constitution and the ideas and values it represents.

One of a kind: Ali's family, including his wife Lonnie (second left) and sister-in-law Marilyn Williams (right) said the icon received the award despite 'standing up for what he believes in'

One of a kind: Ali's family, including his wife Lonnie (second left) and sister-in-law Marilyn Williams (right) said the icon received the award despite 'standing up for what he believes in'

Another title for the collection: Ali, who has been battling Parkinson's disease for three decades, did not speak at the award ceremony

Another title for the collection: Ali, who has been battling Parkinson's disease for three decades, did not speak at the award ceremony

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