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Luis Suarez latest Liverpool will NOT appeal ten-match ban for bite

Suarez will NOT appeal 10-match FA ban for biting Ivanovic… and it's his own decision

PUBLISHED:

12:40 GMT, 26 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:02 GMT, 26 April 2013

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Luis Suarez will not appeal the 10-match ban handed to him by the FA for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic.

Suarez had until midday today to lodge an appeal, with the club reportedly leaving the decision to the Uruguayan himself.

The 26-year-old had already accepted the three-match suspension for violent conduct, but will not contest the additional punishment.

Scroll down for video of Brendan Rodgers Press Conference

tasty: The bizarre clash was missed by referee Kevin Friend, who had to be told the specifics by Ivanovic

Appeal: Suarez has decided to fight against the 10-match ban he was handed by the Football Association

A three-person Independent Regulatory Commission upheld The FA’s claim that a suspension of three matches was clearly insufficient and the player will now serve a further seven first-team matches in addition to the standard three.

The suspension begins with immediate effect and applies to Liverpool's next ten domestic first-team fixtures.

Closed: Suarez during a training session at Melwood Training Ground on Wednesday

Closed: Suarez during a training session at Melwood Training Ground on Wednesday

Blame game: Graham Poll is relieved referee Kevin Friend (right) was not blamed for missing the incident

Blame game: Graham Poll is relieved referee Kevin Friend (right) was not blamed for missing the incident

Prime Minister David Cameron said today that Suarez's bite on Ivanovic set an 'appalling example' to his seven-year-old son.

Cameron told BBC Radio Five Live this morning that his intervention in the matter was merely that of a concerned father.

'I made my own views clear just as a dad watching the game,' he said.

Prime criticism: Even Prime Minister David Cameron, seen here appearing on BBC Breakfast, told BBC Radio Five Live this morning that players behaving like this sets an 'appalling example'

Prime criticism: Even Prime Minister David Cameron, seen here appearing on BBC Breakfast this morning, told BBC Radio Five Live this morning that players behaving like this sets an 'appalling example'

'I've got a seven-year-old son who just loves watching football and when players behave like this it just sets the most appalling example to young people in our country.'

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers yesterday accused the FA of double standards and throwing Suarez out with the ‘garbage’.

Rodgers spoke publicly
yesterday for the first time since Suarez was banned for 10 games for
biting Ivanovic.

And he did not hold back,
insisting the punishment was ‘not right’ and ‘too severe’.

Goalkeeper
Pepe Reina went even further, saying it was ‘absurd, out of proportion
and unfair’ and that the authorities had ‘got it in for Luis’.

He needs help: Suarez has launched an impassioned defence of his under-fire striker

He needs help: Suarez has launched an impassioned defence of his under-fire striker

Brendan Rodgers 'shocked' by length of Suarez ban

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Rodgers believes the three-person Independent Regulatory Committee that imposed the ban were prejudiced by the fact the FA had already announced they considered the offence worthy of more than a three-match ban.

Further to that, he claimed the FA’s disciplinary procedures were inconsistent and said he was mystified by the Prime Minister’s decision to enter the debate.

Rodgers said: ‘Luis has not let me down one bit. He is a player who fell well below the standards of this football club but that doesn’t mean he should be thrown to the garbage, which is what has happened from a lot of people these last few days.

Luis Suarez is seen laughing and joking with his team-mates

Luis Suarez is seen laughing and joking with his team-mates

In the mix: Suarez looked in high spirits during this afternoon's training session on Merseyside

‘I certainly won’t be prepared to do
that. I don’t believe the sanction fits with what he did. There’s no
doubt if you have those high-profile figures making those sorts of
statements, there will be a bias.

‘It’s human nature. If you have people reading and listening to things,
when they sit down to talk about it supposedly for the first time,
people would argue whether they already had a decision in their minds.
That process, for me, would need to change.

‘You have an FA council member, an FA county representative and an
ex-player, so I don’t know how it is independent. That has to be looked
at and this is probably not the first time it’s been said.

All smiles: Luis Suarez trains with Liverpool the day after he was hit with a ten-game ban

All smiles: Luis Suarez trains with Liverpool the day after he was hit with a ten-game ban

‘I felt Luis would maybe get more than three games. But we had hoped
there would be something in there that would allow him a greater
opportunity to rehabilitate. The bigger thing in all of this is to try
to make sure it doesn’t happen again.’

Rodgers made a clumsy analogy yesterday in comparing Suarez’s moment of madness to a tennis player smashing his racket.

But he argued that the length of the punishment was unfair in comparison
to two similar cases in 2006; one saw Tottenham’s Jermain Defoe escape
punishment for biting West Ham’s Javier Mascherano, while the other saw
Chester’s Sean Hessey receive five matches for biting Stockport’s Liam
Dickinson.

‘I feel the punishment has been against the man rather than the
incident,’ Rodgers said. ‘That is my underlying feeling. There was
euphoria around the time that it happened. Everyone has their opinion.
That’s fine. But when you come away and assess it in the cold light of
day, it was violent conduct.’

Bite club: Suarez sunk his teeth into Branislav Ivanovic during the Premier League match at Anfield

Bite club: Suarez sunk his teeth into Branislav Ivanovic during the Premier League match at Anfield

JAMIE CARRAGHER'S VERDICT

CLICK HERE: Luis was wrong, but before we hound him out let's remember other Liverpool legends were not exactly saints

Again, of course, there is a flaw in Rodgers’ argument. The FA stated
their case that a three-game ban for Suarez was insufficient on the same
day it was revealed Suarez felt three games was ample.

Both sides
stated their positions and it was then left to the independent committee
to make a decision.

The committee can take into consideration past misdemeanours and the
fact Suarez had been banned for 10 games in his Liverpool career, not to
mention his seven-match suspension at Ajax for biting PSV Eindhoven’s
Otman Bakkal, would have counted against him.

tasty: The bizarre clash was missed by referee Kevin Friend, who had to be told the specifics by Ivanovic

tasty: The bizarre clash was missed by referee Kevin Friend, who had to be told the specifics by Ivanovic

The FA have also not always been successful in arguing for longer
suspensions. In January, an independent panel decided a three-game ban
for Chelsea’s Eden Hazard was sufficient after he tangled with a
Swansea ball boy. On that occasion the FA had called for a longer ban,
too.

Pardew baffled by FA action

Alan Pardew has branded the FA’s disciplinary system flawed and wants the organisation’s decisions to be more consistent.

The Newcastle manager hit out after Wigan’s Callum McManaman escaped a ban for his horror challenge on Toon defender Massadio Hadaira but Liverpool’s Luis Suarez was banned for 10 games after biting Branislav Ivanovic of Chelsea.

‘I don’t think that’s reasonable,’ Pardew said. ‘That is a flaw in the system. All Premier League managers are looking for that committee to give us the answers as to why. You’re always going to have grey areas when it comes to discipline and fines but at least have some consistency. It’s consistency of punishments we’re looking for.

‘The FA need to answer why it was 10 games for Suarez. It’s interesting why it was.’

Suarez serves the first game of his ban when Liverpool play at Newcastle on Saturday.

Liverpool have promised to stand by Suarez, regardless of whether he
appeals, but they are aware his ban could be increased at a new hearing.
Former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann said yesterday Suarez should
‘accept it and get on with it’.

Rodgers, in a club suit at the Melwood training ground rather than his
customary tracksuit, has spoken several times with Suarez and his agent,
Pere Guardiola, in recent days. There will be more discussions and
Suarez will train as normal. But Rodgers admitted the club’s greatest
asset may consider whether he wants to continue playing in England.

‘This is a guy who I see on a daily basis trying very hard,’ said
Rodgers. ‘His passions in life are his family and Liverpool Football
Club. It is part of his make-up, you can’t change that. But he is trying
to adapt the traits he has grown up with to the culture here.

‘Each time he makes a step forward we beat him with a stick and beat him
down. I can understand if he felt like that in a moment of reflection.

‘Am I worried he will knock on my door I am not thinking about that. I
can guide him, like I’ve done this year, and will tell him when he’s
done wrong. We will plan for the future with Luis. There is no other
thought. Luis is very much a player I believe will be here.’

Bayern Munich, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain have been linked with
Suarez but Rodgers added: ‘I’ve had a lot of discussions with Pere
Guardiola that have been very strong. They are very happy with what the
club has done, not only to protect the player but to support him.

‘The objective is to make sure it doesn’t happen again and that is at the forefront of our minds.’

Follows him: Suarez's clash with Patrice Evra in 2011 resulted in an eight-game ban for the Liverpool man

Follows him: Suarez's clash with Patrice Evra in 2011 resulted in an eight-game ban for the Liverpool man

Follows him: Suarez's clash with Patrice Evra in 2011 resulted in an eight-game ban for the Liverpool man

VIDEO Liverpool's Managing Director on Suarez controversy

Liverpool to stand by Suarez

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Look, ref: Ivanovic shows his arm to referee Kevin Friend following the biting incident at Anfield yesterday

Look, ref: Ivanovic shows his arm to referee Kevin Friend following the biting incident at Anfield yesterday

Luis Suarez appears to bite Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic

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Previous: Suarez bites Otman Bakkal of PSV while playing for Ajax

Previous: Suarez bites Otman Bakkal of PSV while playing for Ajax

Repeat The PSV star was as perplexed as Ivanovic by Suarez's behaviour

Repeat The PSV star was as perplexed as Ivanovic by Suarez's behaviour

It's not the first time Suarez has used his teeth

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OTHER SUAREZ CONTROVERSIES

Liverpool forward Luis Suarez is back in the spotlight after appearing to bite Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic on the arm during the 2-2 draw with Chelsea at Anfield, going on to score a late equaliser.

Here are some of the previous controversies surrounding the Uruguayan forward.

February 2007: Suarez made his international debut for Uruguay against Colombia but was sent off in the final minutes after being shown a second yellow card for dissent.

November 2007: Joined Ajax from Uruguayan side Nacional but he was later suspended by the Dutch giants after a half-time dressing-room altercation with team-mate Albert Luque.

July 2010: During the 2010 World Cup quarter-finals, Suarez prevented Ghana's Dominic Adiyiah from scoring in the final minute with a deliberate handball on the line and was subsequently sent off. A penalty was awarded but missed by Asamoah Gyan and footage showed Suarez celebrating on the sidelines. Uruguay eventually went through to the last four on penalties.

November 2010: Suarez was handed a seven-match ban by the Dutch FA and fined by his club for biting PSV Eindhoven midfielder Otman Bakkal during an Eredivisie match.

October 2011: Following his move to Liverpool in January 2011, he was involved in a tackle with Everton's Jack Rodwell and goes down with apparent minimal contact. Rodwell was then sent off.

October 2011: Suarez was alleged to have racially abused Manchester United's Patrice Evra during a Premier League match. Suarez was later found guilty by an independent regulatory commission and banned for eight matches and fined 40,000.

December 2011: Was seen making an offensive gesture towards Fulham fans. At this time he had already been charged by the Football Association over the racism incident, although not yet punished, but was handed a further one-match ban for the gesture.

February 2012: United and Liverpool met again at Old Trafford, but more controversy blew up as Suarez refused to shake Evra's hand before kick-off.

October 2012: Celebrated a goal against Everton by diving in front of Toffees boss David Moyes who had earlier claimed that 'divers' such as Suarez were putting fans off the English game.

January 2013: Handles the ball prior to scoring Liverpool's winner in the FA Cup third round tie at Mansfield.

April 2013: Bites Branislav Ivanovic on the arm but
escapes punishment on the pitch as the referee fails to see it, and
scores Liverpool's equaliser seven minutes into stoppage time as they
draw 2-2 with Chelsea at Anfield. Fined by club the following day and
charged with violent conduct by the FA. Subsequently handed a 10-match
ban by an independent regulatory commission.

Hair today, gone tomorrow… but new style makes Pique a dead ringer for former boss Guardiola

Hair today, gone tomorrow… but new style makes Pique a dead ringer for former boss Guardiola

By
Charlie Skillen

PUBLISHED:

20:07 GMT, 23 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

20:09 GMT, 23 April 2013

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique revealed his new shaved hairstyle in tonight's Champions League semi-final first leg at Bayern Munich, and it makes him look just like former manager – and next Bayern boss – Pep Guardiola.

After wearing a hat during training yesterday, the former Manchester United centre back shocked fans with his trademark spiked look completely gone.

Guardiola

Pique

Spot the difference: Gerard Pique (left) sports a similar look to former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola (right)

Keep it covered: Pique was wearing a hat in Barcelona's training session yesterday to hide his new look

Keep it covered: Pique was wearing a hat in Barcelona's training session yesterday to hide his new look

The shaved head comes complete with a beard, meaning he had more foliage on his chin than his head.

The new look obviously doesn't do him much good on the pitch. Thomas Muller's opener for Bayern was a header past the newly-bald Pique.

Guardiola sports the same look, and
the style is set to be a regular feature at the Allianz Arena with the
Catalan manager replacing Jupp Heynckes at the end of the season.

It's possible that his partner, pop
star Shakira, prefers the 'Pep' look. The couple have been dating since
2010 and celebrated the birth of their first child in January.

Partner: It is unknown whether Pique's partner, pop singer Shakira, likes his new 'Pep' look

Partner: It is unknown whether Pique's partner, pop singer Shakira, likes his new 'Pep' look

Pique and Shakira

F1 Williams team leader Sir Frank gives job to his daughter

Mother's delight: Daughter Claire is Williams' new boss after mum's blessing

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Daddy's girl: Sir Frank Williams with his daughter Claire at the Spanish Grand Prix in 2012

F1

‘I think it will make team
principals’ meetings quite interesting having two women there — I don’t
know how, but it will change the dynamic,’ said Claire, who will
represent the team when Sir Frank, who is still team principal despite
turning 71 next month, does not travel to races.

‘While I am pleased to have got where I have as a woman, it should be about merit.’

Claire, 36, has come through the media side of motor racing after taking a politics degree from Newcastle University.

Immersed in the sport all her life,
she was a press officer at Silverstone before moving to Williams in
2002, and has now been handed her fourth promotion in three years.

Her last job was as director of
marketing and communications, a role that involved bringing in revenue.
All the team’s current backers have re-signed, several of them on
increased terms.

She will continue to look after the
business side of Williams — a team desperately striving to reprise the
glory days of the Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost and Damon Hill eras.

After a few depressing years, the team
staged something of a renaissance in 2012, but they have struggled
again this season — neither Pastor Maldonado nor Valtteri Bottas has
registered a point in the first two races.

Much to ponder: Williams team principal Sir Frank during a practice session

Much to ponder: Williams team principal Sir Frank during a practice session

Claire, whose boyfriend Andrew Murdoch
is Maldonado’s race engineer at the team’s Oxfordshire headquarters, is
unfazed by the flux of senior staff in the last year, drawing
inspiration from her stern apprenticeship.

‘Frank appreciates hard work,’ she said. ‘He whipped my a*** when I first came here.

‘He showed me no favours — quite the
opposite. I had to prove myself. If there is something that needs wiping
up you get the brush out yourself and do it yourself. That is the ethos
at Williams.’

Sir Frank, one of the paddock’s great fighters, will appreciate the sentiment.

Fabio Capello trains at Chelsea for Russia v Brazil while Luiz Felipe Scolari and Yuri Zhirkov also return

Capello arrives at Stamford Bridge with Blues looking for new boss… but he's here on official Russia duty

By
Rik Sharma

PUBLISHED:

13:18 GMT, 24 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:34 GMT, 24 March 2013

So Fabio Capello has arrived at Stamford Bridge this season after all.

But don't worry Rafa, he's not here for a secret meeting with Roman Abramovich – instead to take charge of Russia in their glamour friendly against Brazil on Monday night.

Capello took a stroll through Kensington on Sunday morning and then led a training session for his squad on Chelsea's pitch – though Yuri Zhirkov was already well acquainted with his surroundings having played there for two seasons.

At the Bridge: Fabio Capello took a training session for his squad at Chelsea's ground

At the Bridge: Fabio Capello took a training session for his squad at Chelsea's ground

Capello (right) gets his point across

All together now: Capello talks to his Russia players ahead of the glamour friendly

All together now: Capello talks to his Russia players ahead of the glamour friendly

The 18million signing failed to make an impact – with Chelsea favouring a 4-3-3 system which did not accomodate his favoured left midfield position position.

Perhaps his best spell came when Ashley Cole was injured – he slotted in at left-back and performed well.

Zhirkov departed for Anzhi Makhachkala in August 2011 for close to 13m.

Old haunt: Yuri Zhirkov played at Chelsea for two seasons but struggled to make a lasting impact

Old haunt: Yuri Zhirkov played at Chelsea for two seasons but struggled to make a lasting impact

View from the Bridge: Russia's players prepare to face the likes of Neymar, Kaka and Oscar

View from the Bridge: Russia's players prepare to face the likes of Neymar, Kaka and Oscar

Capello was focused on the job at hand and had no time to discuss speculation over a move to Chelsea.

He said: 'I know nothing about this. I am really happy with Russia and focused to qualify for the World Cup.'

Capello's counterpart, Luiz Felipe Scolari, has history at Chelsea.

The World Cup winner had an ill-fated spell with the club in 2008, taking over from Avram Grant with Jose Mourinho's shadow still looming over the club.

Scolari brought in Deco and Jose Bosingwa and although he started well, things fell apart sooner rather than later.

Struggle: Luiz Felipe Scolari (left) was booted out by Roman Abramovich

Struggle: Luiz Felipe Scolari (left) was booted out by Roman Abramovich

He was out on his ear by February 9, with Abramovich wielding the axe as Chelsea's form dropped off.

Guus Hiddink came in and salvaged the season, taking them to the infamous Champions League semi-final tie with Barcelona and an FA Cup triumph.

Brazil's squad features three current Chelsea players – Oscar, David Luiz and Ramires.

David Luiz

Oscar

Home: David Luiz, who captained Brazil against Italy, and Oscar, right, play at Stamford Bridge every other week

The latter turned 26 on Sunday and although he missed the country's 2-2 draw with Italy, thanks to a strained right adductor, will be re-assessed before Monday's clash.

Defender Luiz posted this picture montage of him and Ramires on his Instagram account to celebrate his compatriot's birthday.

History: Luiz played with Ramires at Benfica and the pair are good friends now at Chelsea

History: Luiz played with Ramires at Benfica and the pair are good friends now at Chelsea

P.S.

At Chelsea, Luiz has little competition in the 'wild hairstyle' stakes (although youngster Nathan Ake makes a good fist of it).

But with Brazil, he is in good company. He posted this picture of himself with defenders Marcelo, of Real Madrid, and Dante, from Bayern Munich.

I want curly hair too: Luiz (centre) with Marcelo (left) and Dante (right)

I want curly hair too: Luiz (centre) with Marcelo (left) and Dante (right)

George Groves beats Baker Barakat with second round TKO in Germany

Groves continues winning record by easily overcoming Barakat with second round TKO

, George Groves has now matched that tally in the last fortnight following his second-round stoppage victory over Baker Barakat in Germany.

The 24-year-old super middleweight beat Dario German Balmaceda at Wembley Arena two weeks ago and made light work of his Syrian opponent on the undercard of Robert Stieglitz's world title rematch with Arthur Abraham in Magdeburg.

On the attack: George Groves (right) lands a jab on Baker Barakat

On the attack: George Groves (right) lands a jab on Baker Barakat

Groves will target the winner of that clash later in the year after starring as chief support to Carl Froch's mouthwatering rematch with Mikkel Kessler on May 25.

The Londoner, who has now won all 18 of his professional contests, was on top from the first bell, peppering Barakat to the head and body before a left uppercut had the 32-year-old wobbling.

The bell came to his rescue on that occasion but a knockdown in the second session, followed by a further flurry of blows, forced the referee to step in.

Stopping him now: The referee steps in to prevent any further punishment

Stopping him now: The referee steps in to prevent any further punishment

Groves, who recently left Frank Warren to join rival promoter Eddie Hearn, immediately looked forward to a world title challenge.

'It was a good fight,' he said. 'He wasn't at the level I'm used to but I put in a good performance and didn't make any mistakes.

'I'm the No 1 contender with the WBO and was supposed to fight Stieglitz last year but I had to pull out through injury.'

Alex Ferguson says Rafa Benitez should stand in front of him to shake hand

Rafa wants to shake my hand Well, he should stand in front of me next time! Fergie stokes new row with Chelsea boss

By
Graeme Yorke

PUBLISHED:

13:40 GMT, 15 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

09:41 GMT, 16 March 2013

Sir Alex Ferguson has re-opened his feud with Rafael Benitez over their handshake row.

The pair, who have a history of fall-outs, didn't shake hands before their FA Cup clash at Manchester United on Sunday.

Benitez later claimed that Ferguson ignored him prior to kick-off in the 2-2 draw at Old Trafford.

Scroll down for video

Clash: Sir Alex Ferguson (right) and Rafa Benitez on the touchline on Sunday

Clash: Sir Alex Ferguson (right) and Rafa Benitez on the touchline on Sunday

Hitting back: Sir Alex Ferguson (right) at the Cheltenham Festival with Paul Nicholls this week

Hitting back: Sir Alex Ferguson (right) at the Cheltenham Festival with Paul Nicholls this week

But Ferguson has now hit back, insisting that he did not refuse – before giving them Chelsea boss some advice.

He said: 'It is nonsense. Why would I refuse to shake his hand

'I was signing autographs and I never saw him. Why he has said that I have no idea.

Pointing the way: Benitez takes charge of Chelsea's training session on Friday

Pointing the way: Benitez takes charge of Chelsea's training session on Friday

'If he wanted to shake hands he could have stood straight in front of me. It is absolute nonsense.'

Ferguson and Benitez have had several run-ins in the Barclays Premier League – dating back to their United v Liverpool clashes.

The Spaniard famously held a press conference in 2009 where he ran down a list of 'facts' attacking Ferguson's record.

VIDEO “I didn't see him.” Fergie denies Benitez handshake claim

Absolute NONSENSE. Fergie rubbishes Benitez handshake claim

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Alex Ferguson on Rio and Reading

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Xavi ruled out of

Beaten Barca will be without El Clasico veteran Xavi for Bernabeau clash, as Madrid look for second win in five days

By
Gerard Brand

PUBLISHED:

13:36 GMT, 1 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:38 GMT, 1 March 2013

Barcelona's fears of a second El Clasico
defeat in five days were made worse today after discovering influential
midfielder Xavi has been ruled out of tomorrow's match with a hamstring
injury.

The Spaniard, who has played in 37 Clasico's, the highest of all current players, risked his niggling injury by appearing in Tuesday's 3-1 Copa Del Rey semi-final defeat to Real at the Nou Camp.

Caught out: Xavi risked the hamstring injury by playing in Tuesday's El Classico, and now finds himself on the sidelines for the La Liga clash

Caught out: Xavi risked the hamstring injury by playing in Tuesday's El Classico, and now finds himself on the sidelines for the La Liga clash

Influence: Xavi has played 36 times this season, scoring six goals

Influence: Xavi has played 36 times this season, scoring six goals

The 33-year-old first discovered a small tear after leaving the pitch against Valencia on February 2, but was rested before playing with no apparent trouble in San Siro for the Champions League last-16 first leg against AC Milan last week.

But Xavi suffered another small tear in a training session on Sunday, and despite playing on Tuesday has been officially ruled out of the clash at the Bernabau.

He will now have a week to recover before Barcelona's next match with Deportivo in eight days, and will hope to be involved when the four-time champions of Europe look to overcome a 2-0 last-16 first leg deficit against Milan.

Barcelona hold a staggering 16-point gap over Madrid in third place, while Atletico Madrid trail the Catalan giants by 12 points.

The game will be played at 3pm on Saturday, meaning British television stations will not be able to televise the game due to Saturday football blackout rules.

Fabio Capello: I want to manage in England again

Capello opens door to England return: 'I miss it, the packed stadiums… and Russia has worse problem with foreign players'

By
Adam Crafton

PUBLISHED:

01:31 GMT, 23 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

01:42 GMT, 23 February 2013

Fabio Capello has opened the door to Premier League suitors, declaring his fascination for English football and revealing his difficulties adapting to life as manager of the Russian national team.

Speaking through a translator at a question and answer session at the Cambridge Union, the former England boss revealed his strong passion for English football.

He said: 'The Premier League is absolutely fascinating. I would be available and would be flattered to be linked with jobs in this league.

Longing: Fabio Capello admitted he misses England after taking over as the manager of Russia

Longing: Fabio Capello admitted he misses England after taking over as the manager of Russia

'Both my wife and I enjoyed our time in the UK and what I miss about football in the UK is that the stadiums are packed, whereas the Russian league is often half-empty.

'I am used to the media attention from Italy and Spain, and I can handle the newspapers and press here. It is just part of the job. In Russia, it is great because nobody can read the newspapers!

Although Capello is finding the Russian media easy to deal with, the Italian revealed the frustrations he has found as he tries to get to grips with the Russian language.

He said: 'It is not difficult when we train but it is very hard to pass on my emotions and motivation to the players and I have to rely on the translator.

'Before a match, I show the players videos and show them bullet points to get my point across but the translator even has to write these because the Russian language has a different alphabet. Sometimes, the translator relates the concepts but not with the feeling that I want to convey.'

Defender: Capello consistently backed John Terry despite his off-the-field problems

Defender: Capello consistently backed John Terry despite his off-the-field problems

New horizons: Capello hopes to lead Russia to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

New horizons: Capello hopes to lead Russia to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Along with the language-barrier, the former Real Madrid and AC Milan boss has grown frustrated with the small pool of Russian players that he has to work with, believing the influx of foreign players in the Russian league to be an ailment even more chronic than the same issue facing the English Premier League, while the long travelling is also proving problematic.

He said: 'I used to complain that there are only playing 38 per cent of Premier League players that are English but the situation is even worse in Russia on this issue. To attract players to Russia, a lot of money is needed.

'Moreover, many of the best teams with these huge private benefactors are located at the borders of Russia so it is a lot of travelling for me.'

And the former Three Lions boss couldn't mask his surprise that AC Milan decided to pay 21million to take Mario Balotelli back to Italy.

Mario Balotelli

Mario Balotelli

All change: Mario Balotelli moved from Manchester City to AC Milan in the January transfer window

He said: 'When I found out that Milan were signing Balotelli, I thought it was crazy! But he has been playing brilliantly since arriving, he has had no problems with the referee and he can make a difference, as he has showed with four goals in three games. He’s great – but it’s impossible to manage Balotelli!

'With these players, like I had with Antonio Cassano myself you have to speak to them to explain exactly what they have to do before the game – but within five minutes they do whatever they want anyway!'

SIX NATIONS 2013: Ben Morgan will play after ankle injury, says Stuart Lancaster

Morgan on mend after ankle injury and he could be back to face Italy, says Lancaster

By
Duncan Bech, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

16:00 GMT, 18 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

18:00 GMT, 18 February 2013

England coach Stuart Lancaster is confident Ben Morgan will play some part in the RBS Six Nations as the Gloucester No 8 continues his recovery from an ankle problem.

Morgan was injured in the opening-day victory over Scotland and has been pencilled in to return against Italy on March 10.

The 23-year-old has joined fly-half Freddie Burns on the sidelines, with his Gloucester team-mate receiving treatment for a knee problem.

Hopeful: Stuart Lancaster (left) believes Ben Morgan can return for England against Italy

Hopeful: Stuart Lancaster (left) believes Ben Morgan can return for England against Italy

'Morgan and Burns are making slow progress,' Lancaster said.

'Freddie is further down the line but they won’t play this weekend so it will be another week or so.

'Ben will be fine. It’s an ankle injury similar to the one Manu Tuilagi had. Manu was out for four or five weeks and Ben will be about the same.

'He wants to get himself right so he can push for selection against Italy.'

Centre Jonathan Joseph has been ruled out for two weeks with a toe injury, but full back Ben Foden has made good progress in his battle with ankle damage and will play for Northampton against Bath on Saturday.

In the mix: England centre Manu Tuilagi during today's training session

In the mix: England centre Manu Tuilagi during today's training session

Putting the boot in: Owen Farrell is getting his eye in while training

Putting the boot in: Owen Farrell is getting his eye in while training

Fly-half Toby Flood and flanker James Haskell missed training today because of a tight calf and flu respectively.

England resume their Six Nations against France on Saturday as the only team still capable of winning the Grand Slam.

Les Bleus limp into Twickenham on the back of successive defeats by Italy and Wales and with coach Philippe Saint-Andre under attack over selection but Lancaster insists they remain formidable opposition.

'If you look at their performances in the autumn, the three wins over Samoa, Argentina and Australia show they are not a bad side,' he said.

'They beat Australia 33-6 and Australia then beat us. While we’ll take something out of their first two Six Nations games, we’ll also take something out of those autumn internationals and make sure we’re ready for them.'

Quick feet: Mike Brown surges through the centre at Pennyhill Park this afternoon

Quick feet: Mike Brown surges through the centre at Pennyhill Park this afternoon

Captain fantastic: Chris Robshaw takes a breather during today's session

Captain fantastic: Chris Robshaw takes a breather during today's session

Comeback: Morgan pictured in his last game, against Scotland on February 2

Comeback: Morgan pictured in his last game, against Scotland on February 2

Neil Lennon"s son Gallacher joins Celtic in training

He's one of the Bhoys! Lennon's son joins Celtic stars in training session

PUBLISHED:

15:38 GMT, 18 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

15:38 GMT, 18 February 2013

Meet the latest addition to Celtic's Scottish Premier League-chasing squad: Neil Lennon's seven-year-old son Gallacher!

The Hoops' lead at the top of the SPL is a mammoth 18 points, so maybe the Glasgow giants' boss wanted to show his players that the game remains child's play

He's one of the Bhoys! Gallacher joins the Celtic team during a training session on Monday morning

He's one of the Bhoys! Gallacher joins the Celtic team during a training session on Monday morning

He's one of the Bhoys! Gallacher joins the Celtic team during a training session on Monday morning

Gallacher joined the elite stars at the club's Lennoxtown training base for a kick-around during the preparations for Tuesday night's league clash with St Johnstone.

Coach Garry Parker and a number of other stars were on hand to share a few passes with the boss's son as the Parkhead club close in on a 45th league title.

Best foot forward: Gallacher is already following in his dad's footballing footsteps

Best foot forward: Gallacher is already following in his dad's footballing footsteps

Best foot forward: Gallacher is already following in his dad's footballing footsteps

Neil Lennon’s men closed in on
back-to-back crowns by moving 18 points clear at the top of the table
with Saturday’s 6-2 rout of Dundee United.

The
Parkhead boss has stated he could be willing to let some key men start
their holidays early if they get the job done with enough games to
spare.

Calling the shots: Lennon oversees the session with his players... and son

Calling the shots: Lennon oversees the session with his players… and son