Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Soccer News 1/23/2007

Fans finally did it. Feyenoord kicked out of the UEFA Cup

The notorious Feyenoord ultras have finally dealt a fatal blow to the club they supposedly love. UEFA has banned the Dutch club from the UEFA Cup because of violent incidents caused by Feyenoord fans in Nancy. The raging supporters even forced the referee to stop the game for several minutes.
Even though Feyenoord were to be just fined and have their stadium closed for two years, the UEFA's Appeal Committee decided to increase the sentence.
Twice the UEFA Cup winners and once European champions, Feyenoord have become one of the biggest clubs to suffer the ignominy of UEFA suspension, Real Madrid, Milan, Dinamo Zagreb and Hajduk Split having also been punished in this way because of their fans' conduct.

Gremio green with rage. Fans attack Internacional directors at airport

A historic rivalry separates city rivals Gremio and International of Porto Alegre. Both clubs have been champions of Brazil, South America and the world, but Internacional have been more successful over the years.
When the board of directors of the current world champions Inter were coming back from Brazilia, where the members of the board and the squad had been decorated by Brazil's president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, they had the bad luck of running into some Gremio's fans.
The rivals' ultras were in fact awaiting their new goalkeeper Sajo from Argentina, but Inter's directors landed first and came under attack from Gremio's hard liners.
After receiving some punches and kicks, the appalled Inter officials said that envy had to be the cause of the aggression."Some people at Gremio cannot bear the thought of Internacional having more success", claimed Inter's chairman Fernando Carvalho.Still, good of Gremio vice-president César Pacheco for condemning the actions of the fans."This should be investigated by the police. A true Gremio fan cannot come to the airport and attack Inter's officials."

Saviola not giving up. Seven goals in 11 days

Barcelona's forward Javier Saviola spent two years on loan in Monaco and Sevilla, and as soon as he returned to Camp Nou last summer, the board attempted to set him up for another loan or a transfer. However, injuries to Eto'o and Giuly forced Frank Rijkaard to field the Argentinean, who has been using his playing time to maximum effect.
Since January 10th, Conejo (Rabbit) scored seven goals in four games, although he played just two of them from start to finish. Even after he scored his seventh in eleven days, against Nástic in the League, he was substituted in the second half. The fans clearly showed what they thought: they booed the Dutch coach only to give Saviola a standing ovation.

Date Game Output
1/10/2007 Alavés 0-2 Barcelona two goals
1/13/2007 Espanyol 3-1 Barcelona one goal
1/16/2007 Barcelona 3-2 Alavés three goals
1/21/2007 Barcelona 3-0 Nástic one goal

A violent Sudamericano U-20. Fillol hit with a bottle

The South-American U-20 Championship in Paraguay has been marred with violence, specially where favourites have been involved.
Argentina's assistant coach Ubaldo Fillol was hit by a bottle thrown from a stand at the end of the game in which Argentina beat the hosts 1-0. After the final whistle, the Argentinean bench was pelted with objects including a bottle full of water, which hit the legendary keeper on the shoulder, causing a minor cut that required three stitches.
At the same tournament, the Brazilian Fernando pushed the referee Alberto Duarte to the ground after he awarded a penalty which Chile converted to make it 2-2 in added time. The referee was subsequently escorted by the police to a safe place, away from the fuming Brazilians.

MLS still hungry for stars. Ronaldinho follows in Beckham's steps?

After Los Angeles Galaxy closed the deal with David Beckham for the upcoming US soccer season, Major League Soccer is aiming at another huge star: Ronaldinho.
Roberto Assis, Ronaldinho's brother and agent, has confirmed to Globoesporte that there have already been contacts between MLS and the top Brazilian star.
"We have been advised that the MLS wishes to sign Ronaldinho, to make him the flag bearer of soccer in the US. I would like to emphasize that there are no problems between Ronaldinho and Barcelona, but this does not mean we will not study serious offers that may come our way", says Roberto Assis.

After a "friendly" in Quito. The Swedish captain calls an Ecuadorian player "idiot" and the referee "clown"

The Swedish skipper Anders Svensson labeled the Ecuadorian player Fernando Guerrero an "idiot" for having kicked him in the groin and the Peruvian referee Manuel Garay a "clown" for not speaking English.
In the friendly which ended in a 1-1 draw in Quito, Svensson and Guerrero were sent off with five minutes to go, after a foul committed by the Swede lead to a showdown between the players.
"I approached him asking why he was rolling on the ground shouting. I had only obstructed him, nothing serious. When I bent over him, he kicked me in the groin", Svensson said of the action that earned Guerrero the "idiot" title.
That was not the end of Svensson's surprises, as Garay gave both players a red card."That decision was surreal, at first I thought it was a joke. The ref acted like a clown throughout the game, not understanding anything. It was useless to talk to him. Imagine a FIFA referee not being able to speak English", said Svensson to the Swedish paper Aftonbladet.
Svensson, never sent off in the past, trusts that the FIFA's Disciplinary Committee will not punish him with more than a one game ban.

"No" to the commissioner. FIFA and UEFA reject governmental interference with Polish soccer

FIFA and UEFA do not recognize the Polish government-named soccer commissioner due to "a breach of the autonomy of sport".
On January 19th, the Polish Government dissolved the board of directors of the Polish Football Federation (PZPN) headed by the chairman Michal Listkiewicz, naming Andrzej Rusko, chairman of the Polish League, commissioner.
The decision was taken to punish the leading FA officials for not curbing the spread of corruption in Polish soccer, in which 60 soccer officials are being criminally investigated.
Governmental intervention into the Polish FA is sanctioned by Polish legislation, but is against FIFA and UEFA regulations.
The world and the European ruling bodies have issued a communique warning that they do not recognize the commissary imposed by the Government as the decision of the Polish Minister for Sports "violates the principles of the autonomy of sport" and the commitments undertaken by the Polish Government towards both institutions.
For FIFA and UEFA, "the executive committee of the Polish Football Federation continues to be the legitimate and the recognized organism in all issues related to Polish soccer."
The quarrel between the international soccer ruling bodies and the national FA's is a very old one and concerns the right of the national governments to correct the conduct of soccer officials when they themselves refuse or are incapable of resolving the issues within their own organizations.
The biggest casualties will be, as always, the fans and the players, if Poland is expelled from the Euro 2008 qualifiers, as may well be the case if the original soccer officials in Poland are not reinstated.

Girls also pack a punch. Fierce Rocío knocks down a ref

Rocío Guerrero Jiménez of Atlético Jiennense from the Spanish women's Division One has been suspended for six months after hitting a referee.
The aggressive player punched Juan Manuel Fernández Gonzáles in the face three times, but the ref bravely brought the game Las Mercedes-Atlético to a close before bringing charges against Jiménez.
Luckily for him, the local club tape every one of their games and a video was given to González showing the details of the incident.
Atlético's chairman Rafael Vasco was swift to condemn the player's behaviour:"Jiménez has tarnished our club's so far impeccable reputation."

Soccer Book Reviews Soccer Goods

No comments: