Tag Archives: secretary

Barcelona"s New York transfer summit – Chelsea"s David Luiz top summer target

Revealed: Barcelona's New York transfer summit – Spanish giants want Chelsea's Luiz and Wembley flop Neymar (and that means Villa would be free to join Arsenal)

By
Paul Collins

PUBLISHED:

22:31 GMT, 13 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

14:09 GMT, 14 February 2013

Top Barcelona officials met in New York this week to thrash out the club's transfer strategy and one of their top targets is Chelsea defender David Luiz.

Barca coach Tito Vilanova, who is currently on sick leave, met with sporting director
Andoni Zubizarreta, technical secretary Albert Valentn and football co-ordinator Narcis Julia in the United States.

Rough and tumble: Brazil defender David Luiz (right) tussles with Wayne Rooney during England's 2-1 win at Wembley last week

Rough and tumble: Brazil defender David Luiz (right) tussles with Wayne Rooney during England's 2-1 win at Wembley last week

Tito Vilanova

Another target: Neymar is wanted by Barca

New York summit: Tito Vilanova (left) flew to America where plans were drawn up to sign Neymar (right)

Vilanova is
keen to strengthen his defence, despite club captain Carles Puyol only
recent signing a new deal at the Nou Camp and 25-year-old Luiz is seen as a long-term replacement, despite the Brazil centre half struggling for consistency at Stamford Bridge this season.

Luiz's fellow Brazilian Neymar, who was widely criticised for his insipid performance at Wembley against England, was also on his list, which would allow Arsenal target David Villa to leave.

If he does make the move in the summer
then Luiz could team up with a couple of former Premier League players
in Alex Song and Cesc Fabregas.

Arsenal hope: Barcelona's David Villa, could be on his way out of Barca, who hope Luiz (below) will come in

Arsenal hope: Barcelona's David Villa, could be on his way out of Barca, who hope Luiz (below) will come in

Blues brother: Barcelona are keen to sign David Luiz in the summer

According to Portuguese paper A Bola, Chelsea would be reluctant to sell one of their assets to their European rivals.

But they also suggest that if they were to let him go to Spain, then they would want to recoup a sizeable amount of the 21m transfer fee they forked out for him in 2011.

Chelsea are third in the Premier League and Luiz and his team-mates face a battle to secure Champions League football next season as they are only one point ahead of fellow London rivals Tottenham, with Arsenal an additional four points behind them.

Dereck Chisora applying for new boxing licence

Chisora applying for new British boxing licence and hopes to be back in the ring this year

By
Martin Domin

PUBLISHED:

17:07 GMT, 11 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:33 GMT, 11 January 2013

Dereck Chisora is re-applying for his British boxing licence after it was revoked following his disgraceful brawl with David Haye in Hamburg last February.

The London heavyweight settled his differences with Haye at Upton Park in July when he was stopped in the fifth round of an entertaining grudge match.

That controversial fight took place under the auspices of the Luxembourg Boxing Federation but Chisora, 29, will now make his case to the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC).

Flashpoint: Chisora and Haye came to blows in Munich last year

Flashpoint: Chisora and Haye came to blows in Munich last year

If successful, he plans to make his return on the undercard of George Groves' clash with Mohamed Ali Ndiaye for the vacant European super-middleweight title. World champions Nathan Cleverly and Ricky Burns will also be in action on the same night.

Sportsmail understands that the BBBoC are yet to receive Chisora’s application and therefore cannot predict when a decision will be reached.

But after stripping him of his licence in March, the Board’s general secretary Robert Smith said: ‘There has been no set period when (Chisora) can re-apply for his licence.

'He no longer is a licence-holder with the British boxing board. Any person is allowed to re-apply at some point. Obviously the board will consider any application.

Down and out: Chisora lost the subsequent bout with Haye at Upton Park

Down and out: Chisora lost the subsequent bout with Haye at Upton Park

'What happens in the future, I do not know. But what we're obviously talking about is a few years.'

Prior to his bust-up with Haye, Chirosa slapped Vitali Klitschko at the weigh-in for their WBC world heavyweight title clash before spitting in Wladimir Klitschko’s face prior to the first bell.

It was at the post-fight press conference that he brawled with Haye, having lost to Vitali by unanimous decision.

Inside the ring, Chisora has lost his last three fights including a hotly-debated split-decision defeat to European champion Robert Helenius in Finland. He also surrendered his British and Commonwealth titles to Tyson Fury at Wembley Arena in 2011.

Should he be granted his licence, Chisora could target an all-British clash with David Price who faces American Tony Thompson in Liverpool on February 23.

Previous: Chisora slapped Vitali at the weigh-in before their fight in Munich

Previous: Chisora slapped Vitali at the weigh-in before their fight in Munich

FA to appeal against UEFA bans for Stephen Caulker and Tom Ince

FA to fight UEFA bans handed to Caulker and Ince after U21 play-off in Serbia

PUBLISHED:

18:49 GMT, 8 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

02:14 GMT, 9 January 2013

The Football Association have confirmed they have officially appealed against UEFA's bans against Steven Caulker and Tom Ince over England Under 21's heated European Championship play-off against Serbia.

Spurs defender Caulker was given a two-match ban and Blackpool winger Ince a one-match suspension after clashes between players and coaching staff at the end of the match in Krusevac in October.

FA general secretary Alex Horne said last month the FA intended to appeal against the bans.

Fight the ban: The FA have confirmed they will fight the bans handed to Steven Caulker and Tom Ince

Fight the ban: The FA have confirmed they will fight the bans handed to Steven Caulker and Tom Ince

He said then: 'It is the FA's vehement belief that its players and staff acted correctly in the face of provocation, including racist abuse and missiles being thrown.

'We are therefore surprised to see that two of our players have been given suspensions.

'We shall await UEFA's reasoning but it is our intention, at this stage, to support our players and appeal these decisions.'

UEFA ordered Serbia to play their next under-21 international behind closed doors following racist chanting and violent scenes during and after the clash.

The FA had reported the racist abuse to UEFA plus a number of other incidents. Full-back Danny Rose, who was dismissed after the final whistle for kicking the ball away in anger, complained he had been particularly targeted.

Nasty scenes: Players and coaching staff from both sides clashed after the final whistle

Nasty scenes: Players and coaching staff from both sides clashed after the final whistle

Rose claimed he was subjected to monkey chants throughout the match and as he left the pitch.

The Serbia FA was also fined 80,000 euros (65,000) 'for the improper conduct of its supporters during and at the end of the match, as well as for the improper conduct of the Serbia players at the end of the game'.

Serbia fitness coach Andreja Milunovic, who attacked England officials, was banned for two years, the second of which is suspended for three years. Serbia assistant coach Predrag Katic was also banned for two years, the final six months of which suspended for three years.

Four Serbia players were also banned – Goran Causic for four matches, Ognjen Mudrinski and Filip Malbasic for three and Nikola Ninkovic for two.
The punishments meted out were widely condemned in some quarters at the time, while UEFA announced it would appeal against all the sanctions imposed by its control and disciplinary body in relation to the match.

Ban: Serbia have been ordered to play their next game behind closed doors

Ban: Serbia have been ordered to play their next game behind closed doors

Lord Herman Ouseley, chairman of football's anti-discrimination group Kick It Out, said last month: 'Kick It Out shares the concerns of many in football that abuse aimed at black players isn't taken seriously enough.

'This is a paltry slap on the wrist and again we haven't seen decisive action from UEFA.'

Sports minister Hugh Robertson, who had written to UEFA president Michel Platini demanding tough action for the racist abuse, expressed his disappointment.

Robertson said: 'I am disappointed in the punishment that has been awarded to the Serbian FA given the widespread racist abuse that England's Under-21 team suffered that night. Racism is completely unacceptable and we need tough sanctions to help combat it.'

Piara Powar, executive director of European anti-discrimination body FARE, also believed the punishment should have been more severe.

Powar said: 'We are disappointed in the totality of the sanction handed out to the Serbian FA. The original offences warranted a more severe collective punishment than a ban on spectators for one match.

'This is a moment in which leadership to challenge discrimination is needed from all authorities. This sanction falls short of that objective.

'We fully acknowledge the unilateral action taken by the Serbian FA in suspending players and sacking coaches in the wake of the match, but they need to demonstrate a wider commitment to educate their supporters and work towards tolerance.'

Hillsborough charity single "He Ain"t Heavy, He"s My Brother" is Christmas No 1

A fitting tribute! Hillsborough charity single 'He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother' claims Christmas No 1 spot

|

UPDATED:

19:15 GMT, 23 December 2012

A cover version of 1969 Hollies hit 'He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother' released as a tribute to the Hillsborough tragedy has claimed the Christmas No 1 spot.

The song, which has been heavily promoted by the club's famous figures over the past few weeks, beat X Factor winner James Arthur to the coveted position.

Former manager and player Kenny Dalglish, Paul McCartney and Alan Hansen are among the cast of stars of Justice Collective and were joined by Robbie Williams, Gerry Marsden, Melanie C, Paloma Faith and Shane MacGowan in the bid to raise vital cash for the families continuing to fight for justice for the 96 Liverpool fans who lost their lives in the tragedy.

**Scroll down to watch the video of the song

Release: Kenny Dalglish and John Bishop led the campaign to get the single to the top of the charts

Release: Kenny Dalglish and John Bishop led the campaign to get the single to the top of the charts

WHERE TO GET THE SINGLE

Click here to buy from iTunes

Or text the word ‘Justice’ to 80010 from your mobile in the UK (1 + standard network rate)

Current Liverpool boss Brendan
Rodgers said: 'I think it's been great support [and] a great applause to
the football fraternity. I think they recognised what these families
and people have been through.

'For
that to make number one shows that they've been helping them and
that'll be great for everyone concerned, puts a nice finish to the year
and allow the families to move on and be proud of what they've done.'

The record sold 269,000 copies this week, compared with 224,000 by Arthur.

A statement on the Liverpool website thanks all those who had bought the single as well as those who dedicated their time to ensuring people knew of it.

Fight: Families, with support from the likes of Shadow Health Secretary and MP for Leigh, Andy Burnham (centre), continue campaigning for justice for the 96 who lost their lives in 1989

Fight: Families, with support from the likes of Shadow Health Secretary and MP for Leigh, Andy Burnham (centre), continue campaigning for justice for the 96 who lost their lives in 1989

It read: 'After weeks of campaigning
and promoting, football fans around the world have achieved an historic
feat – the Justice Collective's Hillsborough charity single 'He Ain't
Heavy, He's My Brother' is Christmas No.1!'

'Following widespread support for the track it was confirmed as the highest seller of the week on Sunday.

'Competition had been provided by
X-Factor winner James Arthur with 'Impossible', but even the 24-year-old
himself asked the public to purchase 'He Ain't Heavy' to ensure it
finished in top spot before Christmas.

Together we're better: Everton projected this message on to Anfield in support of the single

Together we're better: Everton projected this message on to Anfield in support of the single

'Football supporters, both Liverpool
and otherwise, backed the song from its inception, and clubs across the
country have given their support by playing the record at half-time
during league fixtures.

'Celebrities, politicians, football
figures and contributors to the recording have all used social media to
raise awareness about the single, while Liverpool manager Brendan
Rodgers made an impassioned plea for fans to buy the track on Thursday.'

Everton showed their class with their
own message of support, taking to Twitter on their official account to
say: 'Great news that the Justice Collective have made it to number one.
Congratulations from everybody at Everton. #merseysideunited.'

VIDEO Hillsborough charity single He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother

Play Video

Loading video…

DM.has('rcpv31539','BC',
'renderConfig' :

'css' : “videoplayer-large”,
'autoplay' : false,
'muted' : false,
'adUrl' : “http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/adssz=8×8&iu=%2F7023%2Fdm.video%2Fdm_video_homehp&ciu_szs=&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=xml_vast2&unviewed_position_start=1&url=[referrer_url]&correlator=[timestamp]”,
'playerId' : “1989148206001”,
'playerKey' : “AQ~~,AAAAAFSL1bg~,CmS1EFtcMWELN_eSE9A7gpcGWF5XAVmI”,
'objId' : “rcpv31539”,
'videoPlayer' : “2010986574001”,
'width' : 636,
'height' : 358,
'linkBaseURL' : “http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2242915/Hillsborough-charity-single-revealed-including-Alan-Hansen-Paul-McCartney-Kenny-Dalglish-Robbie-Williams.html”

});

Star: Paul McCartney in the single which hopes to raise 1m for families of victims of the Hillsborough disaster

Star: Paul McCartney in the single which hopes to raise 1m for families of victims of the Hillsborough disaster

Support: Liverpool legends Alan Hansen and Kenny Dalglish sing their lines in the song

Support: Liverpool legends Alan Hansen and Kenny Dalglish sing their lines in the song

He ain't heavy: Former manager Kenny Dalglish and Peter Reid
Who's singing what

The road is long – ANDY BROWN

With many a winding turn – ANDY BROWN

That leads us to who knows where – GERRY MARSDEN

Who knows when – PAUL HEATON

But I'm strong – GLENN TILBROOK

Strong enough to carry him – GLENN TILBROOK

He ain't heavy, he's my brother – JOHN POWER/ROBBIE WILLIAMS

So on we go – JOHN POWER

His welfare is of my concern – MELANIE C

No burden is he to bear – ROBBIE WILLIAMS

We'll get there – ROBBIE/MELANIE C

For I know – REBECCA FERGUSON

He would not encumber me – HOLLY JOHNSON

He ain't heavy, he's my brother- HOLLY JOHNSON/REBECCA F

If I'm laden at all – BEVERLEY KNIGHT

I'm laden with sadness – BEVERLEY KNIGHT

That everyone's heart – PALOMA FAITH

Isn't filled with the gladness- PALOMA FAITH

Of love for one another – ELIZA DOOLITTLE

It's a long, long road – DAVE McCABE

From which there is no return – PETER HOOTON

While we're on the way to there – REN HARVIEU / JON McCLURE

Why not share- JON McCLURE / REN HARVIEU

And the load – DAVE McCABE

It doesn't weigh me down at all – MACCA

Coz he ain't heavy – MACCA

(He ain’t heavy) – SHANE MACGOWAN

He's my brother – SHANE MACGOWAN/ BEVERLEY K

He's my brother – ALL (most)

He ain't heavy, he's my brother … – ALL (most)

The FA accused of showing "total apathy" towards fan safety at time of Hillsborough disaster

Hillsborough latest: FA were more 'interested in lunch' than fan safety in 1980s, claims former Wembley chief

|

UPDATED:

09:57 GMT, 21 December 2012

The Football Association have been accused of showing ‘total apathy’ towards fans and their safety in the 1980s at the time of Hillsborough disaster.

David Griffiths, who was chief executive of Wembley stadium in the 1970s and 80s, made the accusation and claims there was a 'culture of complacency' in the FA’s safety inspection regime.

In an interview with the Liverpool Echo, he said: ‘This culture of complacency existed all the way through the 70s and 80s. My belief is that it was prevalent at the time of Hillsborough.

Horror scenes: Fans spill onto the pitch during the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest

Horror scenes: Fans spill onto the pitch during the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest

'They would turn up and basically ask ‘what’s for lunch’

The FA have declined to comment on Mr Griffiths’ specific claims, but a spokesman said: 'The FA and English football has changed immeasurably and has learnt many lessons in the last 23 years.

'Through advancements in safety and investment in facilities English football is now a much safer, more welcoming environment for supporters.'

Mr Griffith’s comments comes as the FA prepare to be investigated by a new police probe for its role in the disaster.

Justice: The families of the 96 outside the High Court after the original accidental death verdicts were quashed and an order for fresh inquests

Justice: The families of the 96 outside the High Court after the original accidental death verdicts were quashed and an order for fresh inquests

The Hillsborough Independent Panel report said there was no meeting between FA officials and the police ahead of the 1989 semi-final that claimed the lives of 96 Liverpool fans at Sheffield Wednesday’s stadium.

Instead the arrangements that had been used in 1988 were confirmed for 1989 by telephone.

The panel also revealed that according to Sheffield Wednesday club secretary Graham Mackrell that there was no inter-agency pre-match briefing.

'Somebody should have been at that meeting. Had I been the chairman of the FA’s match and ground committee I would have wanted to see the people who managed Hillsborough.'

Everton beam Hillsborough message on to Anfield to support charity single

Let's make Hillsborough song No 1 together! Everton beam message of support on to Anfield as families finally close in on justice

|

UPDATED:

00:06 GMT, 20 December 2012

Everton projected an image of unity on to Anfield on Wednesday night to show their solidarity with the families of the 96 Hillsborough victims.

The picture carried the words 'Let's make it No 1 together' which refer to the Justice Collective's bid to get their single to the top of the charts this week.

A cover version of 1969 Hollies hit 'He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother', the song has been heavily promoted by the club's famous figures over the past few weeks.

Justice: Everton projected this message on to Anfield in support of the Hillsborough charity single

Justice: Everton projected this message on to Anfield in support of the Hillsborough charity single

Where to get the single

Click here to buy from iTunes

Or text the word ‘Justice’ to 80010 from your mobile in the UK (1 + standard network rate)

Earlier in the day the High Court quashed the original inquest verdicts returned on the 96 fans who died in the 1989 disaster.

A fresh inquest was ordered after an application by the Attorney General Dominic Grieve.

More than 40 families, who had travelled to London for the hearing, burst into applause when the judges granted the application.

The Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge described what happened in 1989 as 'catastrophic'.

Referring to the families, many of
whom were weeping in court, he said there had been a 'profound, almost
palpable belief that justice has not been done and that it cannot be
done without and until the full truth is revealed'.

Delight: Trevor Hicks holds up a newspaper on the steps of the High Court in London earlier today

Delight: Trevor Hicks holds up a newspaper on the steps of the High Court in London earlier today

Joyous: Shadow Health Secretary and MP for Leigh, Andy Burnham (centre), Margaret Aspinall (right) and Jenni Hicks (left) show their delight after the hearing

Joyous: Shadow Health Secretary and MP for Leigh, Andy Burnham (centre), Margaret Aspinall (right) and Jenni Hicks (left) show their delight after the hearing

He continued: 'We must record our
admiration and respect for their determined search for the truth about
the circumstances of the disaster and why and how it had occurred, which
– despite disappointments and setbacks – has continued for nearly
quarter of a century.'

On the day the charity single was released comedian John
Bishop joined Kenny Dalglish in the campaign to get the song to the top
of the charts for Christmas.

Dalglish, Paul McCartney and Alan Hansen are among the cast of stars of Justice Collective and were joined by Robbie Williams, Gerry Marsden, Melanie C, Paloma Faith and Shane MacGowan in the bid to raise vital cash for the families continuing to fight for justice for the 96 Liverpool fans who lost their lives in the tragedy.

Scroll down to watch the video of the song

Release: Kenny Dalglish and John Bishop led the campaign to get the single to the top of the charts

Release: Kenny Dalglish and John Bishop led the campaign to get the single to the top of the charts

First in line: Dalglish sells the first copies of the single which hopes to raise 1m

First in line: Dalglish sells the first copies of the single which hopes to raise 1m

VIDEO Kenny Dalglish and John Bishop launch the single

Play Video

Loading video…

DM.has('rcpv32625','BC',
'renderConfig' :

'css' : “videoplayer-large”,
'autoplay' : false,
'muted' : false,
'adUrl' : “http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/adssz=8×8&iu=%2F7023%2Fdm.video%2Fdm_video_sport&ciu_szs=&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=xml_vast2&unviewed_position_start=1&url=[referrer_url]&correlator=[timestamp]”,
'playerId' : “1989148206001”,
'playerKey' : “AQ~~,AAAAAFSL1bg~,CmS1EFtcMWELN_eSE9A7gpcGWF5XAVmI”,
'objId' : “rcpv32625”,
'videoPlayer' : “2040124924001”,
'width' : 636,
'height' : 358,
'linkBaseURL' : “http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2249313/Hillsborough-charity-single-hoping-Christmas-No-1.html”

});

VIDEO Hillsborough charity single He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother

Play Video

Loading video…

DM.has('rcpv31539','BC',
'renderConfig' :

'css' : “videoplayer-large”,
'autoplay' : false,
'muted' : false,
'adUrl' : “http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/adssz=8×8&iu=%2F7023%2Fdm.video%2Fdm_video_homehp&ciu_szs=&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=xml_vast2&unviewed_position_start=1&url=[referrer_url]&correlator=[timestamp]”,
'playerId' : “1989148206001”,
'playerKey' : “AQ~~,AAAAAFSL1bg~,CmS1EFtcMWELN_eSE9A7gpcGWF5XAVmI”,
'objId' : “rcpv31539”,
'videoPlayer' : “2010986574001”,
'width' : 636,
'height' : 358,
'linkBaseURL' : “http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2242915/Hillsborough-charity-single-revealed-including-Alan-Hansen-Paul-McCartney-Kenny-Dalglish-Robbie-Williams.html”

});

Star: Paul McCartney in the single which hopes to raise 1m for families of victims of the Hillsborough disaster

Star: Paul McCartney in the single which hopes to raise 1m for families of victims of the Hillsborough disaster

Support: Liverpool legends Alan Hansen and Kenny Dalglish sing their lines in the song

Support: Liverpool legends Alan Hansen and Kenny Dalglish sing their lines in the song

He ain't heavy: Former manager Kenny Dalglish and Peter Reid
Who's singing what

The road is long – ANDY BROWN

With many a winding turn – ANDY BROWN

That leads us to who knows where – GERRY MARSDEN

Who knows when – PAUL HEATON

But I'm strong – GLENN TILBROOK

Strong enough to carry him – GLENN TILBROOK

He ain't heavy, he's my brother – JOHN POWER/ROBBIE WILLIAMS

So on we go – JOHN POWER

His welfare is of my concern – MELANIE C

No burden is he to bear – ROBBIE WILLIAMS

We'll get there – ROBBIE/MELANIE C

For I know – REBECCA FERGUSON

He would not encumber me – HOLLY JOHNSON

He ain't heavy, he's my brother- HOLLY JOHNSON/REBECCA F

If I'm laden at all – BEVERLEY KNIGHT

I'm laden with sadness – BEVERLEY KNIGHT

That everyone's heart – PALOMA FAITH

Isn't filled with the gladness- PALOMA FAITH

Of love for one another – ELIZA DOOLITTLE

It's a long, long road – DAVE McCABE

From which there is no return – PETER HOOTON

While we're on the way to there – REN HARVIEU / JON McCLURE

Why not share- JON McCLURE / REN HARVIEU

And the load – DAVE McCABE

It doesn't weigh me down at all – MACCA

Coz he ain't heavy – MACCA

(He ain’t heavy) – SHANE MACGOWAN

He's my brother – SHANE MACGOWAN/ BEVERLEY K

He's my brother – ALL (most)

He ain't heavy, he's my brother … – ALL (most)

Godfrey Chitalu, not Lionel Messi holds goal scoring record, say Zambia FA

Messi DOES NOT hold goal record, Chitalu does! Zambian FA try to ratify hitman's 107-goal season

|

UPDATED:

23:23 GMT, 19 December 2012

The Zambian FA is planning an official challenge to Lionel Messi's astonishing record of 90 goals – and counting – in a calendar year, claiming the feat does not beat Godfrey Chitalu's haul of 107 in 1972.

As the Barcelona forward continues to strive past Gerd Muller's officially recognised 40-year-old record of 85 goals, Zaf chiefs are hoping to ratify the achievements of the Kabwe Warriors striker.

FIFA do not recognise Chitalu's goals, but they say they have evidence to prove his scoring feat.

Whisked away Lionel Messi broke Gerd Muller's official scoring record - but not Godfrey Chitalu's

Whisked away Lionel Messi broke Gerd Muller's official scoring record – but not Godfrey Chitalu's

Faz spokesman Eric Mwanza told the BBC: 'We want to make it very clear that it is not a question of authenticating, or trying to verify or see if he actually scored the goals – that is not in question.'

'What is in question now is why has he not been recognised, and that is what we are looking at now.

'We are sending communication to the Secretary General of Fifa, Mr Jerome Valcke, to look again into the matter of Godfrey Chitalu.'

Chitalu, who won Zambia's
player of the year award five times, went on to coach the national team
and died alongside 29 others in the tragic plane crash in 1993 as the
team travelled to a World Cup qualifier in Senegal.

Hillsborough Disaster: Theresa May announces new police probe as High Court quash orginal verdict

A giant step to justice: Fresh police probe into Hillsborough Disaster launched as original verdict quashed

|

UPDATED:

15:44 GMT, 19 December 2012

A new police investigation into the Hillsborough Disaster was announced by the Home Secretary today, as bereaved families of victims saw their long battle to uncover the truth of what happened take a historic step forward at the High Court.

The Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge and two other judges in London quashed the original accidental death verdicts returned after 96 Liverpool football fans died in the crush 23 years ago – and ordered a fresh inquest.

More than 40 families, who had travelled to London for the hearing, burst into applause when the judges granted an application brought by the Government's top law officer, Attorney General Dominic Grieve.

Scroll down for video

Delight: Trevor Hicks holds up a newspaper on the steps of the High Court in London earlier today

Delight: Trevor Hicks holds up a newspaper on the steps of the High Court in London earlier today

Joyous: Shadow Health Secretary and MP for Leigh, Andy Burnham (centre), Margaret Aspinall (right) and Jenni Hicks (left) show their delight after the hearing

Joyous: Shadow Health Secretary and MP for Leigh, Andy Burnham (centre), Margaret Aspinall (right) and Jenni Hicks (left) show their delight after the hearing

Lord Judge, announcing that there were 'good grounds' for the application, described what happened in 1989 as 'catastrophic'.

Referring to the families, many of
whom were weeping in court, he said there had been a 'profound, almost
palpable belief that justice has not been done and that it cannot be
done without and until the full truth is revealed'.

He said: 'We must record our
admiration and respect for their determined search for the truth about
the circumstances of the disaster and why and how it had occurred, which
– despite disappointments and setbacks – has continued for nearly
quarter of a century.'

When giving the ruling, Lord Judge
expressed regret that the process the families had gone through over the
years since the disaster had been “so unbearingly dispiriting and
prolonged'

The Lord Chancellor Chris Grayling
said: 'The victims' families and survivors of the Hillsborough tragedy
have seen their cause take another important step forward today.

'I will now do everything I can to help to get new inquests established quickly.

'I have received a request from the
Doncaster and Bradford coroners for a judge to be appointed to conduct
these inquests and I am today asking the Lord Chief Justice to make a
recommendation to me on suitable candidates as soon as possible.'

Trevor Hicks, chair of Hillsborough Family Support Group, spoke of his delight at the decision to quash the inquest verdicts.

Speaking outside the Royal Courts of
Justice, he said: 'Justice is on its way. Everything we've said has been
proven to be correct.'

Bitter-sweet: Aspinall lost her son James in the disaster, and had to be comforted outside court

Bitter-sweet: Aspinall lost her son James in the disaster, and had to be comforted outside court

KENNY DELIGHTED WITH DOUBLE RESULT FOR VICTIMS' FAMILIES

Former Liverpool player and manager Kenny Dalglish tweeted his delight after Lord Judge ruled that the original inquest into the deaths at Hillsborough were quashed.

Dalglish was also pleased to see that home secretary Theresa May had ordered a new police probe in response to the Hillsborough Panel's report.

He said: 'Two fantastic results today for the Hillsborough families. Your support has been unbelievable.'

Michelle Carlile, 44, clutching a
photograph of her brother Paul, 19, who died at Hillsborough, said of
today's decision: 'It is bitter-sweet. We have known the truth for 23
years.'

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said
after the decision: 'This is a watershed moment on the road to justice
for the families of the 96, and I share their overwhelming relief that,
after 23 very painful years, the inquest verdicts have been quashed.

'It is the only right and proper
decision that the High Court could make in the wake of the overwhelming
and compelling evidence uncovered by the Hillsborough Independent Panel.

'We must all keep up the pressure
that has driven the momentum over the last few months to make sure that
the families get the justice they deserve.

'I also welcome the new police
investigation, which we all hope will result in those that played a role
in causing the disaster and the monumental cover-up are brought to
account.'

Lord Judge said each of those who died in the tragedy was a 'helpless victim of this terrible event'.

He ruled that it was in the interests of justice to hold a fresh inquest.

He said the 'interests of justice must be served' – 'however distressing the truth will be brought to light'.

The main plank of the Attorney General's application related to crucial new medical evidence.

Giant step: The families celebrated what they saw as a victory outside the High Court

Giant step: The families celebrated what they saw as a victory outside the High Court

Address: Hicks and Aspinall spoke after Lord Judge had quashed the original ruling

Address: Hicks and Aspinall spoke after Lord Judge had quashed the original ruling

Address: Hicks and Aspinall spoke after Lord Judge had quashed the original ruling

Welcoming the decision, Mr Grieve
said: 'Thanks to the work of the Hillsborough Independent Panel it was
made clear that the medical evidence underpinning the original inquests,
and relied upon in subsequent reviews and inquiries, was fundamentally
unsound.

'In addition, the statements
concerning the actions of the police and emergency services, and the
original evidence concerning the alcohol consumption of the deceased,
give rise to questions that fresh inquests should address.

'I therefore believe the interests of justice require the 96 inquests to be quashed and for new ones to be held.

'Today, the Court has agreed with me.
These processes inevitably take time, but I share the hope that the new
inquests are held speedily as possible and I know that efforts are
being made to expedite them.

'The families' long and painful quest
for the truth reached a breakthrough with the publication of the
Hillsborough Independent Panel report.

'I hope and trust that new inquests
will provide a better understanding of how each of their loved ones
died, and bring closer the justice for which they have fought so hard.'

Around a dozen Hillsborough victims'
relatives and friends watched a live link to the events at the Royal
Courts of Justice from Courtroom 27 in the Liverpool Civic and Family
Court.

Speaking outside the court after the
hearing, the family of Hillsborough victim Gary Jones, 18, said today
was a major step forward.

Devastation: Anne Williams, who lost her son Kevin, arrives at court

Devastation: Donna Miller, holds a picture of the brother Paul Carlile

Devastation: Donna Miller, holds a picture of the brother Paul Carlile (right), as Anne Williams, who lost her son Kevin, arrives at court earlier in the day

Mr Jones's sister, Cathy, said she was 'delighted' by the words of the Lord Chief Justice.

She said: 'It's a step towards
justice and the truth. The last 23 years has been very difficult – every
day having to fight. Nobody should have to justify why somebody has
died and have to fight for their honour.'

Marion Brady, whose son Paul, 21, was
killed, said it was “absolutely wonderful” that a new police
investigation had been instigated, and added: 'It's been very hard. We
have had knockback after knockback. I just hope I live to see it all
come to fruition.'

Ian Daley, 48, who was at
Hillsborough and lost his friends Graham Wright, 17, and Gordon Horn,
20, said: 'The truth is out now. It's only what the families deserve.
They've had to wait for a long time.'

Stephen Kelly lost his brother Michael, 38, in the disaster, describing him as '38 going on 15'.

He said: 'I'm absolutely over the moon. It's a brilliant result today, we've justified our actions for all these years.

'We've really worked hard for this, and Hillsborough wasn't an accident, it was a disaster waiting to happen.

'But it's been proven today and the inquest has been quashed. I'm really pleased with that.

'It's clearly been stressful at the least, but we got here, and everybody who supported us all these years – this is for them.'

Search for justice: Theresa May has announced a new police probe into the Hillsborough disaster

Search for justice: Theresa May has announced a new police probe into the Hillsborough disaster

Swift: Home Secretary Theresa May wants a 'thorough response' to the findings of the Hillsborough Panel

Swift: Home Secretary Theresa May wants a 'thorough response' to the findings of the Hillsborough Panel

Former Durham Chief Constable Jon
Stoddart, meanwhile, will lead the new police inquiry, which will focus
specifically on the deaths of Liverpool fans at the FA Cup semi-final in
1989.

Barry Devonside, 65, lost his son Christopher, 18, at Hillsborough.

Today, he welcomed the legal ruling and called for criminal prosecutions if there is evidence against police officers.

He said: 'One thing that doesn't change is that our son is not with us. This is a legal issue and history has been made today.

'If there is sufficient evidence to
bring charges against those who were in the wrong then they have to be
held accountable in law.

'I am not on a witch-hunt and I don't
want people locked up for the sake of it, but if there is evidence they
should be before a court.

'There was serious medical evidence to show at least 41 people could have survived.

'When Bolton Wanderers player Fabrice
Muamba collapsed on the pitch he was clinically dead for 78 minutes but
he survived because of the immediate help he got.

Solidarity: Hicks lost two daughters at Hillsborough and was in London today

Solidarity: Hicks lost two daughters at Hillsborough and was in London today

'If they had got the lines of ambulances on to the pitch at Hillsborough, so many people might not have been lost.

'And we might not have lost our son.'

Anne Williams, 60, whose 15-year-old
son Kevin died at Hillsborough, has been one of the loudest voices
throughout the campaigners' efforts for justice.

Suffering from cancer, she attended today's proceedings in a wheelchair.

She applauded Mr Grieve as 'a man of his word'.

'He did what he promised,' she said.

'I am glad we never gave up. It has
been hard, but we wouldn't have been here today. I'd like a corporate
manslaughter verdict in the inquest, it's the least for what they have
done.

'It's a long process. God willing, I will be here, it has been a long wait to see justice.

'I am so glad I could be here today to hear it for myself.'

Face in the crowd: MP for Leigh Andy Burnham arrived at court to support the cause

Face in the crowd: MP for Leigh Andy Burnham arrived at court to support the cause

Referring to the cover-up that
shifted blame away from the authorities and on to the victims, she said:
'I can't forgive them the extremes they went to. Why didn't they just
give us the truth

'The way they twisted and turned
things, like the lies I was told about Kevin being dead by 3.15pm when
he died at 4pm… This hasn't sunk in yet.

'I keep thinking somebody is going to step in and ruin it.'

Liverpool Walton MP Steve Rotheram
said: 'This verdict marks the beginning of the end of the Hillsborough
disaster. At long last, the families have achieved their ultimate goal,
which is to change the verdict on the death certificates.

'The families have been an inspiration to Britain as they have fought their 23-year dignified campaign.

'Now that the fresh inquests have
been ordered, it would be wrong for the families to have to pay for a
second inquest. They should not have to bear the financial penalty of
the Establishment's mistakes in 1989.

'The Chancellor should also take this
opportunity to waive the VAT on the Justice Collective Hillsborough
tribute single so that every single penny raised can support the
families in the legal costs in the fight for justice.'

Support: A Liverpool fan campaigns for justice outside the High Court in London

Support: A Liverpool fan campaigns for justice outside the High Court in London

Former Durham Chief Constable Jon Stoddart, meanwhile, will lead the new police inquiry, which will focus specifically on the deaths of Liverpool fans at the FA Cup semi-final in 1989.

Home Secretary Theresa May said: 'I am determined to see a swift and thorough response to the findings of the Hillsborough Panel to deliver justice for the 96 football fans who died and the families who have fought so hard on their behalf.'

Mr Stoddart will be able to recruit investigators and staff to his team, but he will not be allowed to employ officers or former officers with any prior connection to the Hillsborough disaster.

He is also unable to recruit any officers or former officers who worked in the West Midlands, South Yorkshire or Merseyside police forces.

Mr Stoddart will also work closely with the previously announced Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation into police conduct in the aftermath of the disaster.

He said: 'I am aware of the great significance and personal responsibility which comes with leading this criminal investigation.

'My first priority is to meet with as many of the families as possible and to establish a working open relationship with them throughout the investigation.

'I have held a number of meetings already and have been struck by the families’ humility and steadfast determination to see justice delivered for their loved ones.

'My role is to ensure that we determine exactly what happened in the lead-up to and on the day of the disaster and establish where any culpability lies.'

Horrific: Former Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish and former Nottingham Forest boss Nottingham Forest were escorted from the grisly scenes at Hillsborough in 1989

Horrific: Former Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish and former Nottingham Forest boss Nottingham Forest were escorted from the grisly scenes at Hillsborough in 1989

Justice for the 96: Floral Tributes outside Hillsborough Football Ground in Sheffield

Justice for the 96: Floral Tributes outside Hillsborough Football Ground in Sheffield

Carnage: 96 people died after the crush at Hillsborough on April 15, 1989

Carnage: 96 people died after the crush at Hillsborough on April 15, 1989

VIDEO Outside court. Inquest verdict quashed for 96 Hillsborough fans

Play Video

Loading video…

DM.has('rcpv32800','BC',
'renderConfig' :

'css' : “videoplayer-large”,
'autoplay' : false,
'muted' : false,
'adUrl' : “http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/adssz=8×8&iu=%2F7023%2Fdm.video%2Fdm_video_sport&ciu_szs=&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=xml_vast2&unviewed_position_start=1&url=[referrer_url]&correlator=[timestamp]”,
'playerId' : “1989148206001”,
'playerKey' : “AQ~~,AAAAAFSL1bg~,CmS1EFtcMWELN_eSE9A7gpcGWF5XAVmI”,
'objId' : “rcpv32800”,
'videoPlayer' : “2045781591001”,
'width' : 636,
'height' : 358,
'linkBaseURL' : “http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2250473/Hillsborough-Disaster-Theresa-May-announces-new-police-probe-High-Court-quash-orginal-verdict.html”

});

Mark Clattenburg saga: Prospect criticise FA for leniency shown to John Mikel Obi

Referees union dismayed by Mikel punishment after Clattenburg confrontation

|

UPDATED:

23:34 GMT, 6 December 2012

The referees trade union, Prospect, have revealed their dismay at the 'leniency' of a three-game ban handed to John Mikel Obi after he confronted Mark Clattenburg following Chelsea's stormy Barclays Premier League clash with Manchester United in October.

A Football Association independent regulatory commission handed down Mikel's ban on Thursday, which included a 60,000 fine, after the Chelsea midfielder admitted the charge.

In a statement the FA revealed the sanction would have been 'significantly longer' but for the fact Mikel had believed he had been racially abused by Clattenburg.

Confrontation: Mikel accused Clattenburg after Chelsea played United

Confrontation: Mikel accused Clattenburg after Chelsea played United

A strongly-worded statement from Prospect on Thursday night, however, criticised the length of Mikel's ban, which rules him out of domestic duty until Boxing Day.

'Prospect, the referees trade union, today expressed dismay at the lenient punishment handed down by the FA Regulatory Commission to Chelsea player John Obi Mikel,' the statement read.

'It is vital that officials were given real respect and this decision regrettably gave entirely the wrong message. A player in parks football found guilty of behaviour like Mikel's would have faced a long-term ban.'

National secretary Alan Leighton claimed Mikel's behaviour deserved a heavier sanction despite the mitigating circumstances.

'For entering the referees dressing room and threatening and intimidating the referee to the extent that he feared for his safety the penalty was no longer than had the player been sent off for serious foul play,' Leighton said.

'This did absolutely nothing to further the Respect campaign.'

In the spotlight: Clattenburg missed weeks of action

In the spotlight: Clattenburg missed weeks of action

Leighton added that 'far too much weight had been given to the mitigating factor and that Mikel's behaviour merited a strong deterrent penalty'.

The FA announced Mikel's charge last month in a statement that also confirmed they would take no action against Clattenburg following a complaint by Chelsea that he used a racist remark to their players.

The FA decided there was 'no case to answer' over the allegation the referee said 'shut up you monkey' to Mikel.

Following Thursday's hearing, which Mikel had requested, the FA's regulatory committee revealed those factors had played a key part in the length of the ban.

'The breach of FA Rule E3 was in relation to an incident which occurred in the match official's changing room at the end of Chelsea's fixture against Manchester United on 28 October 2012,' the FA statement read.

'The Regulatory Commission's independent chairman Christopher Quinlan QC emphasised that the Independent Regulatory Commission accepted, as did The FA, that at the time he threatened the referee the player genuinely believed that the referee had racially abused him.

New deal: Mikel has committed his long-term future to Chelsea

New deal: Mikel has committed his long-term future to Chelsea

'But for that factor the suspension would have been significantly longer.'

Mikel, who signed a new five-year deal on Wednesday, will therefore miss the weekend's trip to Sunderland but will be available when Chelsea jet out for the Club World Cup in Japan next week.

His availability when the Blues return from the Far East could be limited though, with the midfielder due to meet up with Nigeria early in the new year for the African Nations Cup.

That tournament begins on January 19, with the players set to convene in the weeks beforehand, and Mikel would be unavailable until February 10 should Nigeria reach the final.

New boss Rafael Benitez appeared to begin preparations for his absence on Wednesday night when he employed David Luiz in midfield at stages of the 6-1 Champions League win over FC Nordsjaelland.

Benitez admitted after the match he was prepared to use Luiz further up the pitch and provide support for holding midfielders Ramires and Oriol Romeu, who both started the game.

Andrew Flintoff wins boxing match against Richard Dawson

It's just not cricket… but Flintoff WINS his first pro boxing bout as former England captain beats heavyweight Dawson on points

|

UPDATED:

10:45 GMT, 1 December 2012

Andrew Flintoff entered the ring a former England cricketer but left a heavyweight boxer after overcoming a second-round knockdown to beat American Richard Dawson on his professional debut.

The 34-year-old, who had previously led England to an Ashes series triumph against Australia with a bat and ball in his hand, won by a single point on the referee's scorecard at the Manchester Arena.

Flintoff took the fight to Dawson from the first bell and recovered well from hitting the canvas for the first time since he started training four-and-half months ago.

Scroll down to hear from Freddie after the fight

Job done: Andrew Flintoff celebrated after beating Richard Dawson in the four-round bout

Job done: Andrew Flintoff celebrated after beating Richard Dawson in the four-round bout

Winner: Andrew Flintoff

Winner: Andrew Flintoff

Frenzied: Flintoff sprayed Richard Dawson with shots

Frenzied: Flintoff sprayed Richard Dawson with shots

The former Lancashire all-rounder
walked to the ring wearing his County cricket top to the sound of
Oasis' Roll With It and the crowd of around 6,000 did their best to
recreate the electric atmosphere produced in the same venue last
Saturday for Ricky Hatton's unsuccessful comback.

Flintoff had been training under the
tutelage of Barry McGuigan and his son Shane and had shed over three
stone over four-and-a-half months before weighing in 25lbs lighter than
Dawson.

His decision to take up the sport at a professional level had been widely criticised,
particularly by British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion David
Price who stopped Matt Skelton earlier in the evening in Liverpool.

The British Boxing Board of Control
granted him a licence at the second time of asking and general secretary
Robert Smith was in attendance, all too aware no doubt at the
ramifications if the home favourite was badly beaten up.

Whoops: Flintoff was caught flush in the second round

Whoops: Flintoff was caught flush in the second round

Gotcha: Freddie catches Dawson on the chin

Gotcha: Freddie catches Dawson on the chin

Baying: The crowd cheered as Flintoff entered the ring to Oasis's song Roll With It

Baying: The crowd cheered as Flintoff entered the ring to Oasis's song Roll With It

Nod to the past: Flintoff pulled on his Lancashire shirt for his walk to the ring

Nod to the past: Flintoff pulled on his Lancashire shirt for his walk to the ring

Flintoff had insisted his venture was
not a stunt, despite the presence of Sky television who chronicled his
progress for a three-part documentary and Dawson, who had
been hand-picked, proved to be a wise match.

He brought over an unbeaten record
after three fights, although his debut bout was not sanctioned but had little over five rounds of experience in the professional
ranks. He knocked out his first opponent inside 19 seconds while the
second retired on his stool with broken ribs after the first session.
Dawson was taken the four-round distance in his latest bout.

The 23-year-old was raised by his
sister and brother-in-law until he was 18 while his mum and dad both
served time in prison. He was also locked up for three months
for assault and was shot four times in the back when working as a driver
in the drugs trade.

He had the added benefit of
experienced trainer Bob Shannon, who prepared Hatton for his bout with
Vyacheslav Senchenko, in his corner after his trainer was unable to
obtain a visa.

Eagle-eyed: Flintoff picked the American off in one of his flurries

Eagle-eyed: Flintoff picked the American off in one of his flurries

On the ropes: Dawson battled to hold Flintoff off

On the ropes: Dawson battled to hold Flintoff off

Go out swinging: Flintoff was the far more active of fighters

Go out swinging: Flintoff was the far more active of fighters

But when he came out at the first
bell, Dawson looked the less experienced as Flintoff led with his jab
and looked to land with his right hand. He had his man on the ropes in
the early stages but the visiting fighter was quick to hold whenever he
could.

The fight was already scrappy but
Dawson threatened to spoil the party in the second session. Flintoff
landed a right but his opponent responded with a left hook and, to the
shock of the crowd, sent their favourite to the canvas. Flintoff rose
quickly however and beat the count and did enough for the remainder of
the round to lose it 10-9, rather than 10-8 as is standard with a
knockdown.

Flush: Flintoff lands a straight

Flush: Flintoff lands a straight

Embrace: Flintoff leans over to see his wife, Rachael, after the bout

Embrace: Flintoff leans over to see his wife, Rachael, after the bout

Gracious: Flintoff consoles his defeated opponent

Gracious: Flintoff consoles his defeated opponent

Contrast: The two fighters strike a pose after the bout

Contrast: The two fighters strike a pose after the bout

Having survived that setback, Flintoff
resumed normal service in the next session and although Dawson tried to
keep out of range and slip the jab, he was continually caught on the
ropes and forced to hold to avoid taking a right hand.

Flintoff stalked his adversary round
the ring, knowing he had to win the remaining two rounds and did just
enough to send the contest into a winner-takes-all final stanza.

Rising from his stool to a raucous
reception, he continued to hunt Dawson down and although he took several
stiff jabs flush in the face, he was never unduly worried and raised his
own hand in expectation at the final bell before the referee did
likewise after the score was announced.

Furious Freddie: Flintoff launched a number of wild swings

Rachael Flintoff

Furious Freddie: Flintoff launched a number of wild swings as Rachael Flintoff (right) cheers her husband on

Nervous Rachael Flintoff took her seat before the fight

Nervous Rachael Flintoff took her seat before the fight

Nervous Rachael Flintoff took her seat before the fight

Celebrity fan: John Bishop was in the Manchester Arena to support his friend Flintoff

Celebrity fan: John Bishop was in the Manchester Arena to support his friend Flintoff

And there's more: Bishop's fellow comedian Jack Whitehall turned up

And there's more: Bishop's fellow comedian Jack Whitehall turned up

Me too! Former cricketer and radio broadcaster Darren Gough

Me too! Former cricketer and radio broadcaster Darren Gough

KO: David Haye leaves the jungle

KO: David Haye leaves the jungle

PS FREDDIE GOT UP BUT THIS BRITISH HEAVYWEIGHT SUFFERED A KNOCKOUT…

On the night that Andrew Flintoff picked himself back up from the canvas to win his first professional fight, former world heavyweight champion David Haye was knocked out of I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here in the semi-final to take third place on the show.

The boxer left actress Charlie Brooks and singer Ashley Roberts to battle if out in the final on Saturday night's show.

Speaking to Ant and Dec after his eviction, the 32-year-old said was 'weird' to be finally out of camp but said he was looking glad he had 'freedom at last'.

When asked if he was disappointed at being kicked out of the show ahead of the final he replied': 'It's the way it was meant to be.'

He added: 'I had a lot of fun'.

But, although Flintoff may have been the winner on the night, don't expect him to be taking on the Hayemaker anytime soon…

VIDEO: It wasn't one for the purists! Flintoff reflects on the fight

DM.has('rcpv2001556618001','BCVideo');