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Chelsea boss concerned about ticket price rises

Hiddink echoed the thoughts of Slaven Bilic and Steve McClaren. Credit: PA

Chelsea interim manager Guus Hiddink insists Premier League clubs should not forget "the man in the street" in the row over rising ticket prices.

An estimated 10,000 Liverpool fans staged a walk-out of Anfield during their league match against Sunderland last weekend in protest at increases next season, which included a new £77 match ticket and the club's first £1,000 season ticket.

And Hiddink said:

I've heard and read several statements of several colleagues of mine, which are very sensible and with a lot of common sense. Football has changed in the last few years a lot regarding organisation, television rights, sponsors. It's a very interesting world for broadcasters, for sponsors.

But we must not forget it's about the players who like to perform and, equally in importance, the public. The man in the street who likes to see high level football. I was happy to read my colleagues have a similar point of view: that the public is the most important thing.

– Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink

Cavendish wins Tour of Qatar for second time

Mark Cavendish has won the Tour of Qatar after finishing second on the concluding fifth stage.

Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) won his third stage of the five-day race, but Briton Cavendish (Team Dimension Data) secured the gold jersey by five seconds.

Cavendish has now won the Tour of Qatar twice. Credit: PA

A photo finish determined Kristoff had beaten Cavendish by a minute margin, but the Norwegian was runner-up to the Manxman overall - who has now won the Qatar tour twice.

The victory constituted the first general classification success of the season for Team Dimension Data, previously known as MTN-Qhubeka.

Cavendish spared a thought for team-mate Edvald Boasson Hagen, who punctured on Thursday to relinquish the gold jersey.

"Obviously it's nice to be wearing gold now, but I know I am only wearing it on behalf of Edvald," Cavendish said.

"He only lost it because of bad luck and not through any other kind of cause.

"He should be the guy wearing this gold jersey but we are just super happy to keep it in Team Dimension Data."

After showing his road form at the venue for October's Road World Championships, Cavendish could now turn his attention to the track, with the Track World Championships taking place in London in early March.

Bryan Oviedo rewarded with new Everton contract

Everton utility man Bryan Oviedo's recent impressive performances have been rewarded with a new three-and-a-half-year contract.

Oviedo is enjoying an impressive run of form. Credit: PA

The Costa Rica international has signed the deal after showing this season he is back to his best following an horrific double fracture of his leg two years ago.

"I am really happy to commit my future to Everton because this is a special club and, for me, a second home," said Oviedo, who joined from Copenhagen in the summer of 2012 and has kept Leighton Baines out of the side in the last two matches.

"When I experienced some really tough times, the toughest of my career, everybody was behind me - the manager, the staff, the players and the fans and that support helped me through and made me stronger, as a person and as a player.

"I feel that I am in the best moment of my career. I am experienced now and I have greater confidence and I have a real ambition to win a trophy for Everton.


Former Fifa secretary general Valcke given 12-year ban

Valcke has been handed a 12-year ban. Credit: PA

Former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke has been banned for 12 years for a number of offences including his part in a World Cup tickets scandal and using a private jet for personal reasons.

The Frenchman, who was formally dismissed last month, has been banned from all football-related activity for 12 years and fined 100,000 Swiss francs (almost £71,000) by FIFA's ethics committee.

Valcke also negotiated to sell World Cup television rights for below their true value, according to a statement from the ethics committee.

Messi wins player of the month for the first time ever

Lionel Messi has been named Spain's La Liga player of the month for January - the first time he has ever won the award.

La Liga player of the month has been given out since the beginning of the 2013-14 Primera Division season, but the five-time FIFA Ballon d'Or winner had not won it until now.

Messi has never been named as player of the month in La Liga until now. Credit: PA

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner finally won the award at the 23rd time of asking after scoring six goals in as many league games in January.

The 28-year-old struck a hat-trick against Granada as well as scoring in victories over Athletic Bilbao, Malaga and Atletico Madrid to take his total of league goals for the season to 12.

Messi is only the second Barcelona player to win the award following Neymar's success in November.

Cristiano Ronaldo has won the award twice since it began in September 2013.

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