Hiddink set to coach Ivory Coast at WCup
says Guus Hiddink will "almost certainly" coach Cte d'Ivoire at the World Cup. Hiddink's contract as Russia coach expires in June and the Dutchman has already agreed to a two-year deal to lead Turkey through August 2012 with an option for two additional years. Vahid Halilhodzic was fired as coach last week after Cte d'Ivoire failed to reach the semi-finals at the African Cup of Nations earlier this year.
Ivorian Football Federation president Jacques Anouma said Saturday that a new coach will soon be announced for the June 11-July 11 World Cup in South Africa. Hiddink, who guided Russia to the semi-finals of the 2008 European Championship, coached South Korea at the World Cup in 2002 and Australia in 2006.
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP):
Chile has called off two football friendly matches this week because of the powerful earthquake that has killed at least 700 people in the country. The South Americans were scheduled to play an unusual double-header tomorrow in Santiago, facing North Korea and Costa Rica.
Chile will be playing in its first World Cup since 1998. North Korea has also advanced to the finals beginning June 11 in South Africa. Harold Mayne-Nicholls, president of the Chile federation, said football was a low priority in the face of the death and destruction brought by the earthquake.
Back in court
Portsmouth face another court hearing today because the British government is contesting the Premier League club's right to legal protection from creditors. The government's revenue and customs authority tried to shut down Portsmouth over unpaid taxes and is challenging the High Court's ruling last week that allowed the club to enter bankruptcy protection.
Portsmouth is the first English Premier League team to enter administration, as the protection is known. Court-appointed administrator Andrew Andronikou has said he will cut costs in an effort to keep the club in business.
NEW DELHI (AP):
India striker Shivendra Singh has been suspended for three matches for hitting Pakistan's Fareed Ahmed at the men's field hockey World Cup. Tournament director Ken Read said yesterday he noticed Singh's actions on video after the conclusion of Sunday's Pool B match, won 4-1 by India over Pakistan. Read said in a statement that Singh "lifted his stick and struck Fareed above the eye, causing a minor cut".
India have lodged an appeal. The International Hockey Federation also banned Pakistan's Mohammad Irfan for one match for using non-approved equipment. Irfan used a glove and kneepad that had not been examined by match officials. Players are only supposed to use equipment approved before every game by officials.
South Africa's foreign minister has criticised a decision by African football authorities to ban Togo from the next two African Cup of Nations. Maite Nkoana-Mashabane says she is "disappointed" with the African Football Confederation for banning Togo.
The team agreed to remain in Angola and play after gunmen killed two members of the team's party and a driver at last month's tournament in Angola, but the Togo government ordered the players home. CAF said the withdrawal constituted government interference, a violation of the rules. Togo has asked world sport's top court to overturn the suspension from the 2012 and 2014 African Cup of Nations.