The UAE coach Srecko Katanec has promoted five members from the team that reached the quarter-final of the Under 20 World Cup to the senior squad for his first competitive game in charge. The Emirates face Malaysia in an Asian Cup qualifier on Wednesday. Baniyas' Amer Abdulrahman and Theyab Awana, Al Wahda's Hamdan al Kamali, Al Ahli's Ahmed Khalil and Al Jazira's Sultan Bargash Menhali figure in the 23-man squad, who will assemble tomorrow.
In England, Chelsea said yesterday they are "effectively debt free" after turning most of the outstanding financial commitments to owner Roman Abramovich into equity. The move was to comply with future Uefa financial controls regarding debt. £340 million pounds (Dh1.98bn) of Abramovich's interest-free loans have been converted into equity. The Chelsea chairman, Bruce Buck, said the move will "enable the club to comply with any regulations on debt levels."
The Uefa president, Michel Platini, wants to ban clubs from the Champions League after 2012 unless they break even on football-related business. Chelsea also said in the financial year ending June 30, their losses were reduced from £65.7m to £44.4m. Elsewhere in the Premier League, Portsmouth have been issued with a winding up petition by British Revenue and Customs. The petition was presented on December 23 but a full court hearing will not take place until February.
Meanwhile, the London-based financial company Intermarket has confirmed that it will make a takeover bid for Premier League strugglers West Ham believed to be around £100m. * With agencies