Sunday, December 9, 2007

Weekly Soccer News Roundup December 9 2007

Weekly Soccer News Roundup December 9 2007.
Weekly soccer news
for week of December 9th

Ozren Podnar

Drug lords helped Argentina in 1978?

A drug cartel from Cali bribed the Peruvian national team in order to help Argentina qualify for the 1978 World Cup, claims Fernando Rodríguez Mondragón, the son of the jailed drug lord Gilberto in his forthcoming book.
At that World Cup celebrated in Argentina, the home team had to beat Peru by at least four goals in order to reach the finals on goals' difference ahead of Brazil.
The final result of the match in Mendoza was 6-0, for which Mondragón claims the Argentinians should thank his father and his uncle, who had paid off the Peruvians.
One of the Argentinian stars, Leopoldo Luque, said he and his mates did not spot anything strange in the Peruvia players' approach, except that they were very bad.
"Soccer players are not actors. When they are up to something weird, it becomes obvious very soon. In that game, we noticed nothing of the sort. We were just so much better," remembers Luque, who scored two goals, as well as Mario Kempes.
Mondragón also mentioned that his cartel attempted to sign Diego Maradona for América of Cali, but the deal failed to materialize due to superior offers that Maradona had from Europe.
"The transfer did not come to fruition, but a lasting friendship remained between both parties," wrote the mafioso's son in the book called "Son of the Chessmaster 2", after his father's nickname.


Syomin fourth Dinamo Kiev coach in a season

Russian Yuri Syomin has become the fourth Dinamo Kiev coach in the current season, by replacing the former Ukrainian international Oleg Luzhny. Previously coach to Lokomotiv and Dinamo of Moscow and of the Russian national team, Syomin has been given clear instructions as to what his mission is.
"This team must never again embarrass themselves in Europe," said the president Grigory Surkis, referring to Dinamo's dismal campaign in this year's Champions' League.
The most popular Ukrainian team started the season under Anatoly Demyanenko, who was soon replaced by Josef Szabo. Eventually, Szabo was succeeded by his assistant Luzhny, who was in turn sacked after five consecutive defeats in the international competition.

Policeman injured in fighting with Red Star ultras

A plain clothes policeman was severely bruised and burned in a clash with Red Star supporters during a Serb championship match against Hajduk Kula at Belgrade's Marakana stadium.
The incident started when the agent attempted to arrest a local fan for lighting a firecracker. Other fans came to their mate's rescue and overpowered the policeman even though he fired two warning shots in the air. One of the hooligans even scorched the fallen man with the firecracker, inflicting serious burns.
The riot police quickly intervened and rescued the agent, who was transported to a hospital in a stable condition.
Several fans were arrested and will be tried for attempted homicide, but surprisingly three of the Red Star officials were detained as well on suspicion of having failed to provide safety during the match and having enabled the hooligans to smuggle in the pyrotechnical material.
Within a separate police investigation, Red Star's secretary general Zoran Damjanovic was also brought in on charges of corruption and embezzlement relative to players' transfers, completing a dismal week for Serb soccer.


Giggs makes it a hundred
Manchester United's living legend Ryan Giggs scored his 100th Premier League goal in a match against bottom placed Derby County, helping the Red Devils move within a point of leaders Arsenal. United's 4-1 win coupled with a sensational Gunners' defeat at the hands of Middlesbrough means that the race for the Premiership title will be more exciting than thought during the previous weeks.
Giggs, the 34-year-old Welsh Wizard, has been a regular feature for Manchester United since 1991 and is the team's most successful player in history as far as the trophies are concerned.

Galatasaray want to retire Hakan

The best known Turkish international, Hakan Sükür, has been advised to retire at the end of this season in order to cede a place to the players of the new generation. The 36-old forward has been told that he would be undesirable in the future because, as Galatasaray vicepresident Adnan Polat said, of his inability to fit into the new scheme.
"We are in the process of creating a new team in which there will be no place for him. I have suggested to him that he should quit at the season's end. Should he fail to do this, we will terminate his contract," announced Polat.
The Galatasaray and Turkey legend, who scored over 200 goals for the club and 50 for the country, has no intentions of ending his career.
"I don't plan to abandon the soccer scene. I wish to play for at least two more seasons," said Sukur, who is still going strong and scores with an astonishing regularity.

Drogba undergoes emergency surgery

Didier Drogba was surprisingly operated on his knee on Saturday in spite of an agreement with Chelsea directors about postponing the surgery for the forthcoming week. The Ivorian forward will be back in action in about five weeks, but the Stamford Bridge faithful will not see him before the third week of February!
If Drogba recovers in time, he will take part in the African Cup of Nations in Ghana, and if Ivory Coast makes good progress Chelsea will remain deprived of their first-choice striker for over two months.
Drogba suffered from a long term problem with his knee, called degeneration of the meniscus, which he aggravated while representing his country.

Corinthians like Manchester and Valencia

Corinthians of Sao Paulo have become the latest in the string of big clubs to have
been relegated in spite of their glamourous tradition. The second most popular Brazilian club, supported by no less a person than the President Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva, went from winning the title in 2005 to going down at the end of this season.
The main reason for Corinthians' downfall is arguably the managerial chaos caused by the trials of the director Alberto Dualib and his associates for money laundering, embezzlement and other financial wrongdoings.
While the supporters of their principal rivals, Sao Paulo and Palmeiras, are currently ecstatic over their archrivals' plight, Corinthians' fans believe their beloved team will soon return as have most Brazilian greats relegated through results or FA rulings.

Relegated giants

Manchester Utd. (1974)
Tottenham (1977)
Milan (1982)
Lazio (1985)
Valencia (1986)
Sevilla (1996)
Fluminense (1998)
Atletico Madrid (2000)
Sampdoria (2000)
Botafogo (2002)
Leeds (2004)
Borussia M. (2007)

Forcibly relegated
Milan (1980)
Lazio (1980)
Bordeaux (1991)
Olympique Marseille (1994)
Fiorentina (2002)
Juventus (2006)

Note: year of relegation in brackets

Copyright Ozren Podnar & Soccerphile

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