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FIFA continues to unravel after Blatter, Platini provisionally banned

FIFA have provisionally suspended president Sepp Blatter, UEFA president Michel Platini and secretary general Jerome Valcke for 90 days following recommendations from their own ethics committee.

We're in uncharted waters. It's something I've written before -- way too many times -- when it comes to FIFA, but the fact is this ship is sailing further and further toward the edge of the map.

FIFA's statement Thursday brought news of a raft of provisional suspensions at the summit of world football from the body's Independent ethics committee. FIFA president Sepp Blatter and the man hoping to replace him next February, UEFA president Michel Platini, have been "banned from all football activities...

Ivanovic, Matic, Fabregas and Hazard among Chelsea strugglers

The ESPN FC crew look at whether Jose Mourinho's days are numbered at Chelsea.

Chelsea had only lost one home league game in more than five seasons under Jose Mourinho; now they have lost two of the last three. They had only conceded 15 league goals in 38 games when his 2004-05 side became champions but have conceded 17 in eight matches already in the current campaign. They had 22 points at this stage 12 months ago, but just eight now.

The statistics are extraordinary -- but what are the reasons for this remarkable decline?

Matic fails to shield defence

Nemanja Matic established...

South Sudan making strides and dreaming of a place at the World Cup

For South Sudan, their World Cup qualifiers are far more than just a football match.
For South Sudan, their World Cup qualifiers are far more than just a football match.

When Richard Justin Lado was born, South Sudan, the country he captains in international football, did not exist. It did not exist when midfielder Adnan Nan was born, when goalkeeper Roy Gulwak was born or even when the youngest member of the current South Sudan team, 20-year-old Friday Zico was born.

South Sudan only became a country in 2011. A year later, it became a FIFA member and four years later, even as the civil war rages on, South Sudan are beginning a journey which they hope will end at...

Jurgen Klopp's rise from Bundesliga 2. to one of the most-wanted managers

ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop explains why Jurgen Klopp is a better option for Liverpool than Carlo Ancelotti.
Gab Marcotti of ESPN FC believes that Jurgen Klopp would help to bring life back into Liverpool should he end up being hired as the manager.

The following is an excerpt from Raphael Honigstein's new book, Das Reboot: How German Football Reinvented Itself and Conquered the World.

In it, the clock is turned back more than a decade to look at the rise of a little-known manager named Jurgen Klopp.

Bild feted 'Kloppo' as the 'Harry Potter' of German football. He wore metal-rimmed glasses and the same youthful haircut as the wizard's apprentice, not to mention that him getting little Mainz into the Bundesliga reeked of magic. 'There's no...

 By Shaka Hislop

Bayern Munich stay on top, Barcelona slip down the Power Rankings

ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop reveals his latest power rankings which see Manchester United ousted in favour of Manchester City and Arsenal.
ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno says there's no hope for anyone else in the German league; Bayern Munich are in a league of their own.

The top two remain the same, but last season's treble winners take a big tumble down Shaka Hislop's Top 10.

1. Bayern Munich (no change)

My ESPN FC colleague Ale Moreno put it best when he said, in the aftermath of Bayern's 5-1 thrashing of Borussia Dortmund, that the Bundesliga title race is "100 percent over". With Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski each scoring twice, Pep Guardiola's side eased past the only other team who had shown any evidence that they could challenge this season.


AC Milan are in crisis again despite summer transfers and a new coach

While many are quick to blame AC Milan manager Sinisa Mihajlovic for the squad's recent troubles, ESPN FC's Gabriele Marcotti says he may not be completely at fault.

Napoli's manager Maurizio Sarri could have been in AC Milan's dugout this season. AC Milan's owner, Silvio Berlusconi, had been struck by the manner in which Sarri's Empoli team had played at San Siro last season in a 1-1 draw. It took Berlusconi back to another time when Arrigo Sacchi brought his Parma team to the stadium as if it were a job interview, captured Berlusconi's imagination and got hired in 1987.

Berlusconi's instincts were right about Sarri, as his Napoli team sits sixth in Serie A,...