Chelsea's manager Mourinho attends a news conference a day before their Champions League soccer match against Galatasaray in Istanbul

Report: Samuel Eto’o “very annoyed” by Jose Mourinho’s comments


Chelsea striker Samuel Eto’o is “very annoyed” at manager Jose Mourinho for dismissing him as a goal-scorer and making light of his age.

Following news of Mourinho’s private comments that were made public on Monday, Eto’o spoke with Cameroon coach Claude Le Roy about the incident. According to Le Roy, the striker is not happy with his manager’s words.

“I had him on the phone just before I came on screen, and he’s very annoyed,” Le Roy told Canal+ show Talents d’Afrique.

“Actually, Mourinho went to see him before he saw the pictures and told him to not believe everything that was going to be said. And that he had said nothing about him. But I can tell you that Samuel didn’t like it.”

On Monday, details of Mourinho’s private conversation came to light with the Chelsea boss saying: “Will we win the title? No, we don’t have any scorer. Samuel Eto’o? He is 32-years-old, maybe 35, I don’t know.”

MORE: Chelsea can’t win the league because they lack a scorer

Supposedly unbeknownst to Mourinho, the subject conversation was filmed by Canal + during what the manager said to be a private and light-hearted conversation with the head of Hublot watches at a sponsor’s event. Mourinho was livid over the incident ahead of his side’s crunch Champions League tie with Galatasaray on Wednesday.

“I think you should be embarrassed as a media professional because, from an ethical point of view, I don’t think you should be happy – not you, but a colleague – is able to record a private conversation and make it public,” he said. “You should all be a bit embarrassed because it’s against the ethics you have in your work. From an ethical point of view, it’s a real disgrace.”

Canal +, however, sees the story differently. “These are not stolen images,” a spokesman for the French TV station said. “The camera wasn’t 10 meters away, it’s not on zoom,” the spokesman continued, and “[y]ou could see the red light and he was clearly aware he was being filmed.”

The Chelsea manager denied that his words fractured his relationship with Eto’o. Having managed the striker at Inter and now Chelsea, Mourinho said Eto’o had “no reason to be upset” because the act of bringing him to Stamford Bridge proves his love for the player. In addition, Mourinho explained that he is not a manager who makes fun of players and “because if there are managers in the world who really defend their players, I’m obviously one of them.”

Whether Le Roy’s take on the issue is an accurate reflection of Eto’o’s feelings remains to be seen but scrutiny promises to be high during today’s Champions League clash.

Statement from suspended UEFA president Michel Platini

Michel Platini, UEFA & FIFA
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Statement from suspended UEFA President Michel Platini:

Early this afternoon, I was informed of the FIFA ethics committee’s decision to impose on me a provisional 90-day suspension with immediate effect. That decision, which I will of course contest in the appropriate manner at the appropriate time, had already been the subject of a deliberate leak, and I gave my opinion on that earlier in the day.

I reject all of the allegations that have been made against me, which are based on mere semblances and are astonishingly vague. Indeed, the wording of those allegations merely states that a breach of the FIFA Code of Ethics “seems to have been committed” and that a decision on the substance of the matter cannot be taken immediately.

Despite the farcical nature of these events, I refuse to believe that this is a political decision taken in haste in order to taint a lifelong devotee of the game or crush my candidacy for the FIFA presidency.

I want everyone to know my state of mind: more than a sense of injustice or a desire for revenge, I am driven by a profound feeling of staunch defiance. I am more determined than ever to defend myself before the relevant judicial bodies.

I want to reiterate in the strongest possible terms that I will devote myself to ensuring that my good faith prevails. I have received numerous messages of support today from UEFA’s member associations and the other confederations encouraging me to continue my work serving football’s interests. Nothing will make me give up on that commitment.

EURO 2016: Ireland shock Germany, Northern Ireland qualify

Shane Long, Ireland
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A recap of Thursday’s action in 2016 European Championship qualifying:

Ireland 1-0 Germany

Southampton striker Shane Long scored the goal that knocked off the defending world champions and pushed Ireland one step closer to next summer’s European Championship in France. Long, who entered the game in the 65th minute, latched onto Darren Randolph‘s ball over the top in the 70th minute, took one touch to settle and fired for the far post, beating Manuel Neuer for the game’s only goal.

With one game still to play, Ireland (18 points) sit third in Group D, level on points with Sunday’s opponent Poland. While the winner of Sunday’s clash could leapfrog Germany (19), they will more likely finish second in the group and qualify automatically. A draw on Sunday could still see both sides qualify automatically through the ranking of third-place finishers (the top third-place finishers from group play earns an automatic berth at EURO 2016).

Northern Ireland 3-1 Greece

Norther Ireland (20 points) topped Greece (3), 3-1 on Thursday to officially book their place at EURO 2016. Steven Davis scored twice and Josh Magennis added the third for Michael O’Neill’s side.

With one game still to play (Sunday, at Finland), Northern Ireland can finish no lower than second. A draw against Finland, or any points dropped by Romania (17) would see Northern Ireland finish top of Group F.

Portugal 1-0 Denmark

Joao Moutinho scored the only goal of the game to secure Portugal’s (18 points from just seven games) place at next summer’s tournament. The defeat sees Denmark remain second in Group I, a point ahead of third-place Albania, who lost to Serbia on Thursday. Having played all eight of their group games, Denmark can go no higher than 12 points, meaning they would fail to qualify if Albania beat Armenia on Sunday. A draw between Albania and Armenia would see Denmark qualify based on tiebreakers.

Elsewhere in EURO 2016 qualifying action

Group D

Scotland 2-2 Poland
Georgia 4-0 Gibraltar

Group F

Hungary 2-1 Faroe Islands
Romania 1-1 Finland

Group I

Albania 0-2 Serbia