FIFA will appoint a normalization committee to take control of the Guinean soccer federation after what it calls ''internal wrangles'' brought all competitions in the West African nation to a halt. FIFA says the committee will be made up of between five and seven members and will be appointed jointly by the world governing body and the Confederation of African Football. The problems at the federation come as Guinea struggles to qualify for next year's African Cup of Nations.
Posted: April 29, 2016, 9:45 am

FILE - In this Aug. 28, 2015 file photo UEFA President Michel Platini delivers his speech during a press conference after the soccer Europa League draw ceremony at the Grimaldi Forum, in Monaco. Michel Platini expects Sepp Blatter to attend as a witness in his appeal against a six-year FIFA ban at the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Friday. (AP Photo/Claude Paris, File)

Michel Platini has begun his appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport against a six-year ban by FIFA over a $2 million payment approved by Sepp Blatter. The UEFA president did not speak with reporters Friday after arriving for an 8 a.m. (0600 GMT) closed-door hearing expected to last at least eight hours. A verdict could come as early as Monday, when UEFA gathers in Budapest, Hungary, ahead of an annual congress of 54 soccer federations who have been without their leader for seven months.

Posted: April 29, 2016, 9:39 am

UEFA President Michel Platini arrives for a hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in an appeal against FIFA's ethics committee's ban, in Lausanne, Switzerland April 29, 2016. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

By Brian Homewood LAUSANNE (Reuters) - Suspended UEFA president Michel Platini's appeal against his six-year ban football was being heard at sport's highest tribunal on Friday with former FIFA president Sepp Blatter among the witnesses. Platini, who arrived in a taxi for the hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), is hoping that the ban will be overturned in time for the Euro 2016 tournament, which will be held in his native France in June and July. Platini, who was favorite to succeed Blatter as president of global body FIFA before he was banned, was mobbed by reporters and cameramen as he entered the building in a leafy Lausanne suburb.

Posted: April 29, 2016, 8:28 am
Starting with their 2-0 opening weekend victory over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, West Ham United have been a surprise package all season, and manager Slaven Bilic has coaxed a high level of consistency from his squad. With four matches remaining, the Hammers find themselves in the hunt for a Europa League place heading into Saturday's match versus West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns. West Ham have been idle since beating Watford 3-1 on April 20, getting two goals from the spot by Mark Noble and another strike from Andy Carroll.
Posted: April 28, 2016, 11:34 pm
Being relegated is, by far, the worst fate a Premier League club can suffer. Sunderland have managed to escape the drop each of the past few seasons, and they'll be fighting for the Premier League lives again with Saturday's clash against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium. The Black Cats (7-10-17) enter Saturday's clash hovering just above the relegation zone with 31 points, clear of 18th-place Norwich City on goal difference, though owning a match in hand.
Posted: April 28, 2016, 11:02 pm

Football Soccer - Villarreal v Liverpool - UEFA Europa League Semi Final First Leg - El Madrigal Stadium, Villarreal, Spain - 28/4/16
Villarreal coach Marcelino Garcia Toral celebrates after Adrian scored their first goal
Reuters / Albert Gea

By Toby Davis LONDON (Reuters) - Villarreal's Adrian Lopez produced a stinging sucker punch in stoppage time to leave Liverpool reeling and move the Spaniards closer to a maiden European final after their Europa League last four first leg clash finished 1-0 on Thursday. Liverpool, who got a taste of their own medicine having scored deep in added time to knock Borussia Dortmund out in the quarter-finals, looked comfortable before Denis Suarez broke into the box and unselfishly squared for Lopez to sweep home. In the other semi-final, holders Sevilla had their fingers briefly loosened from the trophy before grabbing a 2-2 draw at Shakhtar Donetsk that left them well-placed to progress.

Posted: April 28, 2016, 10:36 pm
The Everton faithful's patience with manager Roberto Martinez appears to have run out after a last-gasp FA Cup semifinal defeat to Manchester United extended the side's winless run to seven games. The Toffees (9-14-11) host Bournemouth on Saturday, seeking a first league win since defeating Aston Villa 3-1 on March 1, having drawn three and lost four of their last seven across all competitions. Hot on the heels of a 4-0 hammering at the hands of nearest rivals Liverpool in their last Premier League outing, Martinez's men were booed off the Wembley pitch after an abject first half against United at Wembley last Saturday.
Posted: April 28, 2016, 10:26 pm
Gabby Agbonlahor will be available again for Aston Villa on Saturday when they face Watford at Vicarage Road. Agbonlahor has been serving a club-imposed suspension at relegated Aston Villa (3-7-25) due to a series of off-field incidents and a lack of physical conditioning. "I want to begin with an apology to all Aston Villa fans for my actions in recent weeks, especially at a time when it is devastating for everyone involved with the club," Agbonlahor said.
Posted: April 28, 2016, 10:06 pm

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