Sunderland have appointed Paolo Di Canio as their new coach on a two-and-a-half year deal. The former foreign secretary made the announcement on his personal website, www.davidmiliband.net. Miliband said: “I wish Sunderland AFC all success in the future. It is a great institution that does a huge amount for the North East and I wish the team very well over the next vital seven games. “However, in the light of the new manager’s past political statements, I think it right to step down.” Di Canio has admitted to having fascist leanings, telling Italian news agency ANSA in 2005: “I am a fascist, not a racist.” The Italian, who has not managed at Premier League level before, has also courted controversy most recently following his acrimonious departure from League One club Swindon in February. Despite that Sunderland chairman Ellis Short believes the former West Ham forward is the man to steer the Black Cats away from the relegation zone. “Paolo is hugely enthused by the challenge that lies ahead of him. He is passionate, driven and raring to get started,” he said in a statement on the club’s official website. “The sole focus of everyone for the next seven games will be to ensure we gain enough points to maintain our top-flight status. “I think that the chances of that are greatly increased with Paolo joining us. Our fans have shown tremendous patience and understanding this season. They have continued to back the team in huge numbers, both home and away, and that is something that continues to inspire all of us in our drive to give them the successful club they deserve. That remains our primary aim.” Di Canio will take charge from Monday after travelling to the north east on Sunday for talks. The 44-year-old Italian replaces Martin O’Neill who was sacked following Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at home to Manchester United, which left the club a single point above the relegation zone. As a result of the appointment, former MP David Miliband resigned from his role as vice-chairman and non-executive director of Sunderland due to Di Canio’s “past political statements”. Press Association
Sir Alex Ferguson cannot wait to lock horns with Jose Mourinho again in the Premier League, although the Portuguese says he has still to decide where his future lies. The Manchester United boss does not claim to have any idea whether speculation linking Mourinho with a return to Chelsea this summer will prove to be accurate, but it is widely thought that Real Madrid’s Champions League demise this week will herald Mourinho’s exit from the Bernabeu. And if the charismatic coach does return to the club he led to successive Premier League titles in 2005 and 2006, it is a competition Ferguson would relish. “Absolutely,” said the Scot. “It will get me angry again. I have no idea what Jose is doing but going back is a big attraction for him.” Press Association Mourinho strongly hinted after Tuesday’s Champions League exit at the hands of Borussia Dortmund that he wants to return to Chelsea by declaring that he is “loved” in England – in contrast to Spain, where he believes people “hate” him. But, speaking at his pre-match press conference on Friday ahead of the game against Real Valladolid, Mourinho claimed nothing was certain yet. “It’s not worth talking about if I go or not,” he said. “If I go, I will not give explanations. “I’m working with total professionalism and I still have the same honour and pleasure to work for this club as I did a month or two ago. “I have not taken the decision yet. First to know will be my wife and my children. Then the president (Florentino Perez) and director general (Jose Angel Sanchez). “We will speak about the future after the end of the season. I have a Copa del Rey final and La Liga matches to play.” Mourinho added: “I feel no pressure from the press. It’s not a problem for me. The only pressure I feel is the pressure I put on myself. Of the clubs I have left there were no negative words – all just the opposite. When I leave here it is not going to be any different.”
Portugal have seven points from three games in the three-team group, two ahead of Italy who have finished their campaign. Poland, who visit Portugal for the group’s final game on Tuesday, have one point and have already been relegated.They are also in line to host the semifinals and finals in June as Italy and Poland were the only other two countries to express an interest in staging the tournament. The decision still has to be ratified by Uefa on December 3.Last November, Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 60 years after being held by Sweden at the same stadium.Italy had an early chance when Lorenzo Insigne’s long-range shot was parried by Rui Patricio and Ciro Immobile blasted the rebound over the bar.In what was a hugely promising display by Roberto Mancini’s side, Alessandro Florenzi drove a low shot narrowly wide before Marco Verratti threaded a ball through to Immobile and this time Patricio saved the shot with his leg.Another neat move ended with Jose Fonte blocking Federico Chiesa’s shot early in the second half.Portugal, who have not picked Cristiano Ronaldo since the World Cup by mutual agreement, were more threatening as the game wore on.Substitute Joao Mario shot over on the turn after Joao Cancelo worked an opening on the right and Gianluigi Donnarumma made a difficult save from William Carvalho’s low shot.Lorenzo Pellegrini’s header was comfortably saved by Patricio as Italy had a final fling in stoppage time.3 AttachmentsShare this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Portugal became the first team to qualify for the Nations League semifinals when they held Italy 0-0 yesterday, the second time in a year that the hosts have been knocked out of a competition following a goalless draw at the San Siro.Italy, with defender Giorgio Chiellini making his 100th appearance, suffocated Portugal in the first hour with their pressing and created numerous openings with their intricate passing moves.ut they ran out of steam in the last half hour and the European champions held out fairly comfortably.
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita “I’ve got a lot of silvers in different shoeboxes in storage units all over the place. But I think the gold one will have a special place,” said Cohen, who couldn’t take her eyes off the medal during the awards ceremony said. She finished with 199.18 points, more than 28 points ahead of Meissner. Granada Hills’ Beatrisa Liang, 17, fell to fifth from third after falling several times during her program. Thousand Oaks’ Danielle Kahle finished 12th. Newcomers in men’s figure skating: For the first time since 1976, the United States will send three newcomers to figure skating’s biggest event: Johnny Weir, Evan Lysacek and Matt Savoie. After winning his third straight U.S. Figure Skating Championship men’s title in St. Louis, the 21-year-old Weir took notice. “It is odd to think back to the last Olympics and think it was Tim (Goebel) and Michael (Weiss) and Todd (Eldredge), and now none of them are here,” Weir said Saturday. “It’s a little weird and two of them are still skating.” Kwan was picked after petitioning U.S. Figure Skating. And by a vote of 20-3, a selection committee gave the nine-time U.S. and five-time world champion a medical bye. Cohen didn’t need any help from the selection committee. She earned it all on her own with her very first national title at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in a rout Saturday night at St. Louis. She finished with 199.18 points, more than 28 points ahead of Meissner. Lysacek, the reigning world bronze medalist, won the free skate with 150.44 points and finished second overall at 224.47 to Weir’s 225.34. They were followed by Savoie, whose clutch performance reversed a long downward career spiral. Rahlves wins at Lauberhorn course: Daron Rahlves of the United States won his third World Cup downhill of the season, becoming the first American to win on the famed Lauberhorn course since Kyle Rasmussen in 1995. Rahlves, the winner at Beaver Creek and Bormio earlier this season, covered the Wengen, Switzerland, course in 2 minutes, 30.54 seconds. Kostelic wins first in downhill: Triple Olympic champion Janica Kostelic made her second major breakthrough of the season in Bad Kleinkirchheim, Austria, when she won the first World Cup downhill race of her career. Kostelic clocked 1 minute, 37.96 seconds to finish .17 seconds ahead of Sweden’s Nike Ben. Also: Tobias Angerer of Germany and Katerina Neumannova of the Czech Republic won mass start World Cup races Saturday in Val di Fiemme, Italy, reasserting their status as medal contenders for the upcoming Turin Games. … Jason Smith of the United States beat Switzerland’s Marco Hauser and American teammate Jayson Hale to win a World Cup snowboard cross race in Plan de Corones, Italy. … Hannu Manninen of Finland edged Anssi Koivuranta in Predazzo, Italy, to clinch his sixth victory of the season in a Nordic combined World Cup event. … Roar Ljoekelsoey of Norway successfully defended his title at the Ski Flying World Championships in Bad Mitterndorf, Austria, scoring 788 points to edge Austrians Andreas Widhoelzl and Thomas Morgenstern. … Aerialist Dmitri Dashinski of Belarus overcame gusting winds to win a one-round World Cup contest at Deer Valley resort in Park City, Utah. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Without ever putting her blades on the ice, Michelle Kwan made the U.S. figure skating team heading to the Turin Olympics – with national champion Sasha Cohen right by her side. Kwan missed the U.S. Figure Skating Championships with a groin injury. But the selection committee gave the nine-time U.S. and five-time world champion a medical bye Saturday night, placing her on the team with Kimmie Meissner and ahead of third-place finisher Emily Hughes.