Schafer named as coach
The Reggae Boyz, all but eliminated from contention for next year’s World Cup finals, named Winfried Schafer as their new coach on Wednesday for the remainder of CONCACAF qualifying matches. The 63-year-old German will guide Jamaica for the final four matches after Theodore Whitmore was fired following the Reggae Boyz’s woeful qualifying start, including four losses in a row. Jamaica are on the bottom of the table with only two points from six matches and little hope of taking one of three available World Cup spots from the six-team round-robin competition, or even the chance to play New Zealand for a berth that goes to the fourth-placed finisher. Schafer’s contract will last to November with an option to be renewed. His debut with Jamaica is due for Sept. 6 when the Reggae Boyz visit Panama. Schafer coached Cameroon to the Africa Cup of Nations in 2002.
Moses, Ameobi recalled
Nigeria have recalled Chelsea’s Victor Moses and Shola Ameobi of Newcastle United for next month’s friendly against South Africa in Durban. Moses returns after injury forced him out of the FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil. Ameobi was not at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa after he made his long-awaited debut for Nigeria in November last year in a friendly against Venezuela in the US. Spartak Moscow striker Emmanuel Emenike and Obinna Nsofor, who plays for Russian club Lokomotiv Moscow, have also been selected. Nsofor returns to the team after nearly two years in the international wilderness. Long-serving goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, who has captained the team in the absence of Joseph Yobo, has been left out.
Cisse in sponsor’s logo spat
Papiss Cisse has withdrawn from Newcastle United’s pre-season tour of Portugal after refusing to wear club sponsor Wonga’s logo on religious grounds, the BBC reported on Wednesday. The Senegal striker, a Muslim, told club officials he was not prepared to promote Wonga, a firm which offers short-term, high-interest loans. Islamic law forbids borrowing or paying money with interest. However, the 28-year-old did offer to wear an unbranded shirt or one bearing a charity logo instead. Other sports teams have made concessions to the faith of their Muslim players, with South Africa cricketer Hashim Amla allowed to wear shirts without the logo of team sponsor Castle Lager because of the Islamic prohibition on drinking alcohol. The BBC quoted sources saying Cisse’s refusal to wear the sponsored shirt had left him in a “strained” relationship with the Premier League side. Cisse’s Newcastle teammates Cheick Tiote and Moussa Sissoko are also Muslim, but have told the club they have no issue with wearing the sponsor’s logo.
Negredo happy to join City
Manchester City’s new Spanish signing Alvaro Negredo said he was happy to be moving to “a great team” as he bid a tearful farewell to Sevilla on Wednesday. “I am happy to be going to this great team,” he said at a farewell ceremony after Sevilla confirmed they had sealed his transfer. “I have had four very happy years with Sevilla, but there are stages in life and mine here has finished.” The club declined to say how much City paid for Negredo, but Spanish and British media reports put the sum at about 28 million euros (US$37 million). Sevilla president Jose Maria del Nido said the sale would bring “a stack of millions of euros to Sevilla’s coffers, which will enable us to grow.”