Football Notes: Essien Invites Real Madrid To His Game Of Hope And Inspiration In Africa
Real Madrid footballer Michael Essien "has invited the whole Real Madrid team" and its coach José Mourinho to a charity game June 8 in Accra, Ghana, Essien's home country. Essien is behind the Game of Hope and Inspiration, "in which African players will play against the rest of the world." So far, Real's Luka Modric and Ricardo Carvalho have confirmed their participation. Essien "has also invited his friends at Chelsea, the club which he will be going back to after being loaned out" (MARCA, 5/8). ... A friendly between AC Milan and recently crowned Dutch champions Ajax Amsterdam in Beijing "was canceled after the organizers failed to pay an appearance fee on time." The report emerged after the Serie A club announced on its Twitter account on Friday that the game, scheduled for the Chinese capital on May 25, had been canceled for "organizational reasons" (AFP, 5/7). ... Just a month before Kenya plays Nigeria in a World Cup qualifier match in Nairobi, Football Kenya Federation "has raised a red flag" saying its coffers are empty. FKF has put the government and well wishers on notice that unless they get a $2.5M windfall, "then the chances of Harambee Stars honoring their fixtures against Super Eagles, Malawi Flames and Namibia between June 5 to Sept. 6 is nil" (XINHUA, 5/8). ... FIFA has announced that it will not take disciplinary action against the FA "for alleged racist chants from England fans directed at the Ferdinand brothers during the match against San Marino in March." However, the FA has been warned to take "preventative measures" (EUROSPORT, 5/8). ... The likelihood of India hosting the 2017 U17 World Cup "received a boost" as the All India Football Federation's bid received the support of the Indian PM's Office as well as of FIFA's VP Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 5/8).