Horne seals FA role
ALEX HORNE was yesterday appointed general secretary of the Football Association on a permanent basis to succeed Ian Watmore.

Horne, a former managing director of Wembley Stadium, had been acting as deputy to Watmore, who walked out as chief executive in March.

Roger Burden was also made acting chairman until a new independent chairman can be found to replace Lord Triesman.

Of Horne’s appointment, Burden said: “We are confident he will provide strong leadership and stability.”

Essien out of World Cup
GHANA have suffered a major blow after midfielder Michael Essien was ruled out of the World Cup with injury.

Chelsea star Essien hasn’t played since suffering a knee injury during Ghana’s Africa Cup of Nations campaign in January, and will not fully recover until the end of July.

The Ghanian FA said the decision to withdraw Essien came as a result of a joint assessment of his fitness by physios of both the national team and Chelsea.

Essien is the second Chelsea player to be ruled out of the World Cup, joining Germany’s Michael Ballack.