CHELSEA (4-2-3-1)BEGOVIC, IVANOVIC, CAHILL, TERRY, AZPILICUETA, RAMIRES, FABREGAS, WILLIAN, OSCAR, HAZARD, COSTAVILLA (3-5-2)GESTEDE, SINCLAIR,AMAVI, GUEYE, WESTWOOD, VERETOUT, HUTTON, LESCOTT, RICHARDS, CRESPO,GUZANChelsea lost their last game at Stamford Bridge, beaten 3-1 by Southampton, and now face Aston Villa attempting to win for only the third time in nine games in the Barclays Premier League.The Blues have conceded at least two goals in seven of their eight Premier League games this season. And Chelsea have conceded seven goals in their last four home league games, as many as they had in their previous 17 at Stamford Bridge.And the eight points they have is their lowest total after eight games in a top-flight season since the 1978-79 campaign, when they had just four. Chelsea were relegated that season.Manager JosÈ Mourinho has insisted he will not resign, but his Villa counterpart, Tim Sherwood, is said to be under pressure and unless results improve in this game and the next, against Swansea, he could lose his job.Less than five months after leading Villa to the FA Cup final, Sherwood has lost six of his last seven Premier League and taken just one point from a possible 21. Former Spurs boss Sherwood has now lost 19 Premier League games, as many as he has won.
DENIES WRONGDOING PARIS (AP): The FIFA ethics committee has requested a life ban for Michel Platini, the Frenchman’s lawyer said yesterday, a move that would rule the UEFA president out of the race to succeed Sepp Blatter. Thibaut d’Ales told The Associated Press that the maximum sanction was asked for when the FIFA ethics committee investigations unit submitted its final case report. Blatter could also face expulsion from world soccer over a US$2 million payment of FIFA money he approved to Platini in 2011. Platini and Blatter face separate hearings before FIFA ethics judge Joachim Eckert in December. “The overreaching of the request really convinces us of this commission’s total lack of credibility,” D’Ales said in a telephone interview. “There is not a single tangible element in this case that can confirm the suspicions.” Platini is currently serving a 90-day ban over cash he got as backdated salary almost nine years after he stopped working as Blatter’s presidential adviser from 1998-2002. Platini denies wrongdoing and says he had a verbal contract with Blatter to receive the money. Blatter has argued that an oral agreement is valid under Swiss law. However, FIFA was also not legally required to pay Platini after five years passed. Eckert is expected to give his verdicts in the cases of Platini and Blatter in December. Any sanctions can be challenged at the FIFA appeals committee and Court of Arbitration for Sport. D’Ales said he was informed of the ethics committee’s request on Monday and decided to make it public after it leaked in the French press. He said FIFA’s aim is to prove that there was no contract between Platini and Blatter. “Obviously, we’ve got the proof that such a deal existed,” D’Ales said. “We will submit it to CAS, which will handle the case within a fairly short space of time.” A spokesman for the FIFA ethics prosecutors declined to confirm what sanction was requested last week. “We are entitled to comment, but we decided for reasons of personality rights and the presumption of innocence not to publish the request,” Andreas Bantel told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. “If Mr Platini wants to comment on the request he is entitled to do that.” Platini aims to clear his name and stand as a candidate in the FIFA presidential election on February 26 to succeed Blatter, who is stepping down. Blatter announced his exit plans on June 2 under pressure from American and Swiss federal investigations into bribery and corruption at FIFA. Switzerland’s attorney general has opened criminal proceedings against Blatter over the US$2 million payment as suspected criminal mismanagement of FIFA money.
UPDATED: COPS DO want to quiz Ballybofey-based French businessman Francois de Dietrich as part of an investigation into an alleged Ponzi investment scam, PSNI and Garda sources have confirmed.Earlier today de Dietrich, boss of Etic Solutions, claimed he isn’t wanted by the authorities.However sources have told us they do want to question him about the scheme – and about alleged breaches of a Northern Ireland High Court retraining order. Assets and cash valued at an incredible Stg£20.3 Million have been seized in the North as part of a cross-Border investigation into Mr de Dietrich.The shocking new figures were released as detectives in Donegal and the North join forces to investigate how at least 230 people – most of them from Donegal – handed over vast sums of money to the boss of Etic Solutions.Earlier this week donegaldaily.com posed the question – where is Francois?Today that is the question on the lips of at least five different police forces, two financial authorities and two sets of revenue investigators. Police believe Monsieur de Dietrich had run a scheme offering vast returns to investors, claiming he was buying and selling liquidated stock.However they don’t believe any stock existed – and that Mr Dietrich was in fact running a so-called illegal Ponzi scheme.In November Gardai raided offices at the Bastille Bistro in Letterkenny, Mr de Dietrich’s home and offices in Ballybofey.By that stage the Financial Services Authority in the North had sought and won a High Court injunction, preventing Mr de Dietrich from procuring any more funds for his scheme.A judge also granted an order freezing assets then worth £6M. Mr de Dietrich is alleged to have breached the judge’s order and three weeks ago the High Court ordered his immediate imprisonment.He has been ordered to appear before the court again next week. Meanwhile cops and the FSA UK have frozen more accounts in five different banks containing £14M – taking the total over £20.2M.The news will not surprise too many people in Donegal.Some associates of the French businessman had been telling investors that their money will be returned soon. However the fact that the authorities have managed to recover so much money will mean that all is not lost for investors.Tonight a well-placed source in the North told us: “The final tally of cash could be in excess of £50M between Northern Ireland, the Republic, Germany and other countries.“I suppose the big question will be how many of these investors will come forward to put in a claim for money after any criminal trial. We do believe that some of these investors have put in money that they may not have necessarily declared to the taxman.”Donegaldaily.com now been given a list of names of investors.Many are well-known business people from every part of Donegal. One is waiting on €1.4M plus his interest.Agents of the scheme – two of them well known in the county – were not available for comment. They are being treated as innocent parties by cops.We will endeavour to get their side of the story today. Their details are with the authorities.A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to separate investors, not from any actual profit earned by the organisation, but from their own money or money paid by subsequent investors.It always collapses – and many people are usually left out of pocket.If £20M has been seized, it is possible that this scheme could involve three times that amount.Having taken so many investments from Donegal people, it is understood a number of Derry business people were also asked to invest in recent months.Mr de Dietrich had sponsored City of Derry rugby club.Last night one Derry investor told us: “I only realised I may lose my money when I was told by a friend to log onto donegaldaily.com just before Christmas. It is still sinking in.“Hopefully I will get my small investment back, even if it takes a couple of years.”UPDATED: COPS DO WANT TO QUIZ ETIC SOLUTIONS BOSS, SOURCES CONFIRM was last modified: January 22nd, 2011 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)