Franck Dja Djedje has left Chornomorets Odessa and returned to France due to concerns over the political instability in Ukraine.
The 27-year-old, the brother of Marseille full-back Brice, joined Chornomorets at the start of last season and has been a regular for them in both the Ukrainian Premier League and the Europa League.
However, the former Nice player last week returned to France, having ended his contract by mutual consent after becoming concerned for his safety amid the escalating conflict between Ukraine and Russia over control of Crimea.
Odessa is located in southern Ukraine, just over 100 miles across the Black Sea from Crimea.
“In Odessa, there are lots of pro-Russian sympathisers and sometimes neo-Nazi demonstrations. It is starting to take a different turn.
“I decided to resolve my contract amicably and leave as a free agent.”
Dja Djedje was one of five overseas players to leave fifth-placed Chornomorets last week, with the club unable to offer assurances over security.
A statement on the club’s website at the time read: “Given the extremely difficult socio-political situation in Ukraine and Odessa, FC Chornomorets were forced to meet the persistent requests of foreign players and their families who are extremely concerned for their safety.
“In this regard, our club decided to terminate the contract by mutual agreement with the following players: Pablo Fontanel, Markus Berger, Anderson Santana, Franck Dja Djedje and Lorenzo Riera.
“FC Chornomorets heartily thank these players for their enormous contribution to the team’s successful performance in recent years.”
Dja Djedje played in both legs of Chornomorets’ Europa League last 32 tie against Lyon last month but has now returned to France and, according to L’Equipe, is training with Nice’s reserve team.
He spent just over a season with Les Aiglons before moving to Ukraine, having previously played for Arles, Vannes, Strasbourg, Grenoble, Paris St Germain and Brest.
The Abidjan-born player represented France at every level up to Under-21 but switched allegiance to represent his native Ivory Coast at the 2008 Olympics.
Nantes defender Papy Djilobodji will be sidelined for three to four weeks by a broken rib, the club has revealed.
The 25-year-old was forced off after only 20 minutes of last weekend’s 2-2 draw with Ajaccio after colliding with his own goalkeeper Remy Riou, and was taken to a local hospital before the match had finished.
A statement on the club’s website read: “The Senegal international suffered a broken rib and will remain under observation for 10 days to avoid any complications.
“The defender will be missing from the squad for the next three or four weeks.”
Former Sierra Leone captain Mohamed Kallon has been held before the police over a row with President of the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) Isha Johansen.
The 34-year-old Kallon was held for about seven hours before he was granted US$11,000 conditional bail on Monday and told to report to the police on Tuesday for further questioning.
Assistant Inspector General of police Al Sheikh Kamara told BBC Sport that Kallon was detained because he has a case to answer in connection with the matter.
Ex-Inter Milan and Monaco striker Kallon alleges he was slapped on the back of the neck by Johansen after an FA Cup match involving his team, Kallon FC Jr, in Freetown last Thursday.
Kallon’s lawyer Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai told BBC Sport: “I’m disappointed, shocked and surprised at the police’s decision to detain Kallon.
“This is unbelievable, my client is supposed to be the complainant not the defendant in this matter because he was one who was slapped and sustained bruises – and also he was the first to report the matter to the police.
“My client has been victimised. The system in Sierra Leone favours those who have connections and money but we are going test the police in this case.”
Johansen and the SLFA spokesman John Konteh have maintained their stance that they will not make any comment because the police are investigating the matter.
There has been bad feeling between Kallon and Johansen since the SLFA elections in 2013.
The two were nominated for the SLFA top job but Kallon and another nominee Rodney Micheal were disqualified by a FIFA normalisation committee and Johansen was elected unchallenged.
German football manager Lothar Matthaus figures on the list of more than 10 coaches vying for the vacant post of Togo national team, the football federation said on Monday.
The 52-year-old former midfielder, who captained West Germany to victory at the 1990 World Cup, declined a proposal from Cameroon in 2010 but says he is now ready to work in Africa, according the Togolese federation.
However, the former Bayern Munich star will face competition from Ivory Coast former coach François Zahoui, Frenchman Hubert Velud and former Ajax manager Henk Ten Cate.
The post became vacant in January this year following the departure of Didier Six, who led the Sparrow Hawks to the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in 2013.
The Benin Football Federation (FBF) has named a three-man shortlist for the post of head coach of the national team, after vetting more than 20 applications, officials announced in Cotonou on Monday.
Former Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac is one of the top favourites according to reports, following his exploits with the Black Stars at the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations in Angola and the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Rajevac was also heavily linked last week with a role on Ghana’s bench at this year’s World Cup, possibly as a technical advisor.
Frenchman Hubert Velud, who coached Togo between 2009 and 2010, also figures on the list, as well as former OGC Nice manager Didier Olle-Nicolle.
Bharti Airtel and English giants Manchester United have announced details of a new mobile application designed to get its fans in Africa closer to the club.
Manchester United’s new Club application offers the most comprehensive mobile access available, giving fans the latest club news, exclusive videos, match highlights, live in-game updates, player profiles and much more – all of which is exclusively free for Airtel Africa’s subscribers.
The app is available free to download now from iOS and Android, with extra exclusive content available to Airtel subscribers for free joins a growing collection of ways for fans to get the latest news, views and information from the Club.
In summer 2013, Manchester United became the fastest sports organization to reach one million followers on Twitter and Google+ and is credibly known to be the fastest growing Premier League club on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
This also allows the customers engage with their favorite club. Airtel seeks to provide innovative products that add value to customers and the launch of this application is in line with this through supporting various passion points.
“Football is one of the biggest passion points for many Africans and we look for innovative ways to provide value to our subscribers. Manchester United’s Club App will offer exclusive free content for our subscribers over the normal content that will be pushed through this App. The launch of this application goes on to further cement our partnership with Manchester United Football Club and we look forward to hosting this application on our mobile network allowing fans to get closer to their favorite club.” Andre Beyers, Chief Marketing Officer of Airtel Africa, said during the launch of the Club app.
Airtel and Manchester United’s partnership has brought together football fans in Africa and now this app is a platform where they can engage with the football club further. Manchester United is also involved in the Airtel grassroots football program, Airtel Rising Stars for boys and girls under the age of 17 which is in its third year.
The Airtel Rising Stars programme has gained support from Manchester United through provision of professional coaches to train the young stars during soccer clinics. Group Managing Director, Mr. Richard Arnold, commented: “The launch of the mobile app with Airtel Africa represents another step forward for Manchester United, and is a fantastic and fascinating way for our followers to stay in touch with what’s happening at the Club. With nearly 147 million followers across Africa, we’re delighted that our regional partner Airtel Africa is helping us to get even closer to our fans.”
Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah is desperate to kickstart his career at Chelsea.
He is yet to start for Jose Mourinho‘s men, but has already scored against them this season when he bagged Basle’s winner in the Champions League.
“I hope I can now start to score for Chelsea, not against Chelsea,” he told Chelsea Magazine. “I know it will not be easy to play every game for Chelsea because we have so many very good players in my position, but I hope to show how hard I work and then we will see.
“This move is a fantastic thing for me – going to a big team like this is fantastic for anyone – and I hope I can play here for a long time and have a good career.
“Football in Switzerland and England is a little bit different.
“But if you were to go straight from Egypt to the Premier League, it would be too difficult – it’s not possible!”
Cameroonian Samuel Eto’o and Senegalese Demba Ba stole the show as Chelsea thrashed Tottenham 4-0 at the weekend to take a seven-point English Premier League lead.
Eto’o, who turned 33 Monday, celebrated breaking the deadlock by staggering toward the corner flag after manager Jose Mourinho recently suggested he may be older.
Ba, who last week ended a long spell in the international wilderness owing to limited club game time, replaced Eto’o and bagged a late brace.
In France, Mali international Sigamary Diarra earned Ajaccio a valuable point while Ghana striker Abdul Majeed Waris scored again for relegation-threteaned Valenciennes.
SAMUEL ETO’O (Chelsea)
Eto’o grabbed the headlines with a goal, an assist and a cheeky goal celebration as Chelsea trounced Tottenham. The Cameroon star broke the deadlock in the 56th minute and celebrated by staggering towards the corner flag like an old man, in reference to Mourinho’s recent suggestion that he may be older than he claims to be. Four minutes later, he won the penalty from which Eden Hazard doubled Chelsea’s lead.
DEMBA BA (Chelsea)
Ba threatened to upstage Eto’o with a late brace after replacing his team-mate in the 76th minute at Stamford Bridge. He pounced after Sandro was unable to clear a cross from Oscar to put Chelsea 3-0 up in the 88th minute and claimed his second goal a minute later after capitalising on a calamitous back header by Kyle Walker.
SONE ALUKO (Hull City)
Aluko squandered an opportunity to put Hull ahead in their FA Cup quarter-final with Sunderland when he saw a first-half penalty saved by Oscar Ustari. The Nigerian’s blushes were spared in the second half, however, as goals from Curtis Davies, David Meyler and Matty Fryatt secured a 3-0 win that set up a last-four date with third-tier Sheffield United.
SEBASTIEN BASSONG (Norwich City)
Bassong cost his team two points in the race for Premier League survival after conceding a penalty in a 1-1 draw at home to Stoke City. Norwich led through Bradley Johnson’s header when the Cameroonian centre-back rashly brought down John Guidetti in the penalty area, enabling Jonathan Walters to level in the 73rd minute.
YOUSSEF EL-ARABI (Granada)
Moroccan forward El-Arabi registered his ninth La Liga goal of the season as Granada eased their relegation fears with a 2-0 win over Villarreal.
SOFIANE FEGHOULI (Valencia)
Feghouli provided his fourth assist in his last seven La Liga games as he teed up Paco Alcacer to open the scoring against Athletic Bilbao. However, the Algerian midfielder undid his good work by upending Ander Herrera to allow Aritz Aduriz to equalise from the penalty spot in a 1-1 draw.
Angolan striker Manucho played 66 minutes as Valladolid stunned Spanish champions Barcelona 1-0.
KWADWO ASAMOAH (Juventus)
Another piece of absolute magic from Black Stars midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah saw Juventus beat visitors Fiorentina 1-0 and extend their lead atop the Italian Serie A table to 14 points. Even more awe-inspiring was that the 24-year-old left-footed star’s stunning effort into the top corner came from his right foot with four defenders surrounding him.
GERVINHO (AS Roma)
Gervinho showed more pace and creativity than he did in last week’s scoreless draw at home against Inter, but the Ivorian was guilty of missing more than one great scoring chance to give Roma the lead away to Napoli in a match billed as crucial for the Giallorossi’s title bid. It finished 1-0 in favour of Napoli, who remain third but are now three points behind Roma.
IBRAHIMA MBAYE (Livorno)
Mbaye has shown steady improvement on his debut Serie A season, but the Senegalese defender – on loan at Livorno from Inter but reportedly attracting interest from a number of top foreign clubs – took that up a notch with a first-half brace away to resurgent Sampdoria. The Genoese side eventually awoke from their slumber to score four second-half goals in a 4-2 win that left Livorno third from bottom.
MICHAEL ESSIEN (AC Milan)
Essien was one of Milan’s better players during a 1-0 defeat away to Udinese which put a severe dent in the Rossoneri’s faint hopes of Europa League qualification. The Ghanaian saw a long-range effort go over the bar but was mostly noticeable for a battling display in an otherwise mediocre collective performance.
MAME DIOUF (Hanover 96)
The Senegal striker faces a lengthy lay-off after dislocating his shoulder in a 1-1 Bundesliga draw with Bayer Leverkusen. The 26-year-old came off after just 15 minutes and a MRI scan will show whether he needs an operation with 10 Bundesliga matches left this season.
CHINEDU OBASI & JOEL MATIP (Schalke 04)
Nigerian striker Obasi scored his first goal of the season when he netted Schalke’s third in their 4-0 hammering of Hoffenheim. Playing on the right wing, Obasi converted a pass from Ghana midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng. Cameroon centre-back Matip also weighed in with an assist when he provided the final pass for Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to net Schalke’s first goal after only six minutes.
DOMINICK KUMBELA (Eintracht Braunschweig)
The Democratic Republic of Congo-born striker weighed in with an assist as Bundesliga bottom side Braunschweig picked up a point in a 2-2 draw at VfB Stuttgart. Kumbela set up Braunschweig’s 82nd-minute equaliser from a corner when he scrambled the ball to defender Ermin Bicakcic in the six-yard box.
ERIC CHOUPO-MOTING (Mainz 05)
Cameroon’s striker scored his third goal in four games when he netted a second-half penalty to give Mainz 05 a 1-1 draw at home to Hertha Berlin. Colombia striker Adrian Ramos had given Hertha a second-half lead, but Mainz levelled after South Korea’s Park Joo-Ho was fouled in the area.
SIGAMARY DIARRA (Ajaccio)
The Malian netted a dramatic injury time leveller to earn Ajaccio a valuable point in the fight against relegation. The 30-year-old picked up a long ball from Senegalese midfielder Ricardo Faty before slotting home in the 2-2 draw. Algerian midfielder Mehdi Mostefa had given the Corsicans a fifth-minute lead.
SERGE GAKPE (Nantes)
Togo forward Gakpe was on the scoresheet for only the second time this season as he converted a cross from Senegalese defender Issa Cissokho in the 2-2 draw with Ajaccio that extended Nantes’s winless run to almost two months.
ABDUL MAJEED WARIS (Valenciennes)
The Ghana forward set up a goal and then bagged the winner 14 minutes from time as Valenciennes boosted their survival hopes with a 2-1 win over Rennes. Waris crossed for Mathieu Dossevi to equalise and then slotted home the rebound after his penalty had been saved for the winner.
Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech was delighted to see Demba Ba amongst the goals in victory over Tottenham.
Cech feels he could become an unexpected hero for the run-in like some of the fringe members of the squad from the victorious Champions League success in 2012.
He said: “Of course Demba may still have a big role to play. You need everybody because you never know what can happen.
“Two seasons ago when we played the Champions League Final, we suddenly had all our central defenders injured and one banned and needed everybody to fill in and play.
“It’s credit to the guys like Demba who aren’t playing much because you can see that anything might happen and we need everyone in the team to be ready. Samuel came in just before the kick-off for Fernando and then Demba came on with 15 minutes to go and they both did really well.
“It’s credit to them that they keep working hard and waiting for their opportunity to help the team to achieve success. Everybody seems to be doing that.”
Victor Valdes is happy for former Barcelona teammate Yaya Toure over his success with Manchester City.
Valdes is not surprised that City have nurtured Toure’s attacking qualities.
He told the Daily Mail: “Here, Yaya started as a holding midfielder and he had a way of playing that suited what Pep (Guardiola, Barca’s former coach) wanted from a central defender, so he played there, too.
“But his strength is carrying the ball forward and that ultimately means you have to be playing further forward. He protects the ball so well — and now you are all discovering something that I already knew only too well: he has some shot on him. I learned about that in training a long time ago!”