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 By PA Sport

FIFA bans World Cup bid inspector Harold Mayne-Nicholls

Switzerland's attorney general said his investigation into possible money laundering incidents relating to the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding contests would not exclude interviewing FIFA president Sepp Blatter and Secretary-General Jerome Valcke.
Outgoing FIFA president Sepp Blatter could be interviewed by Swiss authorities investigating potential fraud surrounding the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
The ESPN FC crew discuss the possibility of some confederations detaching themselves from FIFA.
Qatar have continued their World Cup preparations despite FIFA corruption allegations and accusations of poor working conditions in their country.

The head of FIFA's inspection team for the bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups has been banned from football for seven years after it was revealed he asked for favours from Qatar.

Harold Mayne-Nicholls, 54, was in charge of the commission which assessed each bid and which rated Qatar, the winner of the vote to host the 2022 tournament, a high-risk option due to searing heat of the summer.

A leaked email from FIFA's chief ethics investigator Cornel Borbely said Mayne-Nicholls "repeatedly asked...

 By Ben Gladwell

Massimiliano Allegri, Claudio Marchisio extend Juventus contracts

The ESPN FC crew discuss the impact Andrea Pirlo will have in Major League Soccer after Juventus recently confirmed the midfielder's move.
ESPN FC's Gabriele Marcotti gives his, "Gab-O-Meter" rating of whether or not Paul Pogba is moving to FC Barcelona this season.

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has extended his contract by a year until 2017, becoming Serie A's second highest-paid coach in circulation.

The former AC Milan coach took charge of the Bianconeri only weeks before the start of last season following Antonio Conte's shock resignation. His arrival was met with disdain by most Juve fans, who greeted him by throwing eggs at, spitting at and kicking his car when he arrived for his first day in charge.

He managed to win them over by leading the club...

Micah Richards says best ahead after move from Man City to Aston Villa

Richards was a Premier League winner at Manchester City.

Micah Richards rued the injuries that prevented him from achieving more at Manchester City and declared that his best days lie ahead of him at Aston Villa.

The England international defender signed for Villa on a free transfer, ending a 13-year association with City.

Richards, who was City's longest-serving player, made 245 appearances over nine years but was limited to nine league starts since 2012 because of...

Douglas Costa not strong enough for Bayern, says Shakhtar boss

Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich have bolstered their attacking options with the 30 million euro capture of Douglas Costa.
ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti gives his insight on Douglas Costa's transfer to Bayern Munich from Shakhtar Donetsk.

Mircea Lucescu, coach of Douglas Costa's former club Shakhtar Donetsk, contradicted comments he made last week by saying that Costa is not yet good enough for Bayern Munich.

"I think Costa is not yet strong enough for Bayern. Ribery and Robben are a different caliber," Lucescu told Bild, although he added that Costa can improve. "He can grow and make it there."

Last week Lucescu had praised Costa's qualities, saying: "He is equally good with both feet, has a sense for free spaces, a strong shot...

Angelo Henriquez leaves Manchester United to join Dinamo Zagreb

Angelo Henriquez did not make a first-team appearance for Manchester United.

Angelo Henriquez has ended his Manchester United career without making a single first-team appearance by joining Dinamo Zagreb.

Henriquez, 21, spent a successful loan spell with the Croatian club last season, helping them to a domestic double with 29 goals in 36 games.

Now the Chilean forward, who was not given a senior debut by Sir Alex Ferguson, David Moyes or Louis van Gaal, has signed...

By ESPN Staff

Valencia sign Belgian teen Zakaria Bakkali through 2020

Valencia have reached an agreement with Belgian international Zakaria Bakkali through June 30th, 2020, the club said on Monday.

The 19-year-old winger moved on a free transfer after his contract with Eredivisie champions PSV Eindhoven expired.

"It is a big step for me to join a club...