Thursday, February 15, 2007

Soccer News 2/15/2007

Weekly World News

Mahdavikia suspected of faking a penalty

Hamburger SV have scored their first home win this season but the authorities are now questioning whether it was achieved in an ethical fashion.
Hamburger's player Mehdi Mahdavikia is being investigated by the German FA for supposedly having simulated a foul to win a penalty for his team in the game against Borussia Dortmund (3-0).
The Deutsche Fussballbund started the investigation after analyzing the TV images which suggest that the Iranian feigned a fall in the penalty area in the 10th minute of the game, without having been touched by the Dortmund keeper, Romann Weidenfeller. Referee Lutz Wagner awarded the penalty to the relegation threatened HSV, which resulted in the first goal for the hosts.

Capello's Real equal their best ever away record as Becks returns

By winning 2-1 at San Sebastian, Real Madrid equalled their best-ever number of away wins at this stage of the season. Real also had eight wins after the first 22 games during the 1960/61 and 1987/88 seasons, winning the title both times. This time, however, the Castillians have no more than five wins out of ten home games, which is one of their worst home records in the history of the club.
In spite of supposedly terrible results this season, Fabio Capello's side is just five points behind leaders Barcelona, a deficit that can be overturned in two games.
The other bright point in the match against Real Sociedad was the return of David Beckham, who even got one of the goals.
At the end of play at Anoeta Stadium, euphoria broke out around Becks as everybody approached the hero of the day and among the congratulators was even Capello himself, who had found he could not ignore the pro-Beckham pressure from inside the dressing room.
Phrases such as "you had to come on for us to win" and "it's los galácticos all over again" were commonplace, as Becks smiled at this unexpected return to fame at the club that had almost ostracized him over his U.S. transfer.

Platini in favour of a salary cap in Europe

New UEFA president Michael Platini favours the introduction of a salary cap for each team, without directly limiting payments to each individual player.
In an interview to France24 channel, Platini said he was against putting a limit on the individual player's salary but that there should be a maximum amount any club would be allowed to spend on players' salaries, with the freedom to juggle the individual amounts under the team's salary cap.
This is of Platini's schemes to avoid soccer getting too money-dominated and to remind people of the social values of the sport.
"We cannot just be thinking of the Stock exchange and of soccer as a vehicle for making money," said the Frenchmen, apparently intent on bringing the sport closer to those less financially fortunate.

Sixty arrests during the "derby of peace"

The Belo Horizonte derby between Cruzeiro and Atletico Mineiro, for the Minas Gerais state championship, was advertised as "the derby of peace". Many fans saw it as a marvellous oportunity for violence.
The two groups of ultras showered each other with bottles and stones, while the police fired volleys of rubber bullets at both "armies". Sixty hooligans were arrested and a home-made bomb was found on one of them.
Brazil, lest we forget, are to stage the 2014 World Cup.

Inter equal Real and Bayern with 15 wins

By beating Chievo in Verona 2-0, Inter Milan have achieved their 15th consecutive championship win this season, equalling the European record until now held by Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.
Real Madrid recorded 15 wins in 1960/61 and Bayern did the same over two seasons, in the final part of 2004/05 and the initial phase of 2005/06.
The game was marked by the absence of spectators, along with three other games of the 23rd matchday in the Italian Serie A.
Over the past 15 league games, Inter scored 36 goals and conceded just seven on the way to retaining their championship – that is, if the current league season comes to an end.
Inter's winning run
8th day – Livorno 4-1
9th day – Milan 4-3
10th day – Ascoli 2-0
11th day – Parma 2-1
12th day – Reggina 1-0
13th day – Palermo 2-1
14th day – Siena 2-0
15th day – Empoli 3-0
16th day – Messina 2-0
17th day – Lazio 2-0
18th day – Atalanta 2-1
19th day – Torino 3-1
20th day – Fiorentina 3-1
21st day – Sampdoria 2-0
23st day – Chievo 2-0

Kaka obtains Italian citizenship

Brazilian virtuoso Kaká obtained Italian nationalty last Monday in a ceremony attended by Milan's vice-president, Adriano Galliani. Kaká thus ceases to occupy a non-EU slot which will raise his transfer value further in the European market.The offensive midfielder joined Milan from Sao Paulo in July of 2003, winning the championship in his first season and reaching the European Cup finals a year later. He has been Real Madrid's target ever since, but the Milanisti have refused to sell him in order to prove they still mean business in the European game.

Seville derby with a taste of scandal

The big Andalusian derby between Betis and Sevilla ended goalless, but with a mega-scandal initiated by Sevilla directors.
The hosts could not believe it when the city rival's representatives refused to receive a souvenir honouring Betis' one hundredth anniversary. Sevilla's president José María Del Nido also rejected the request to pose in front of the statue of the host's president, Manuel Ruiz de Lopera, and later allegedly shouted at De Lopera's nephew, "you have the same faggot face as your uncle", an allusion to the supposed Betis boss' homosexuality. Finally, Javier Paez, the nephew, pushed Del Nido towards the staircase, but he "miraculously avoided stumbling down the stairs", claim the people from Sevilla. All this has led Betis to ban Del Nido from entering the VIP box at De Lopera Stadium for the forthcoming King's Cup quarterfinals return leg.

Victoria furious at US visa denial for her bodyguards

David Beckham's wife Victoria cannot believe that the US immigration authorities denied visas for Beckham family bodyguards with the explanation that "there are sufficiently qualified workers for the job in the States", reports Gazzetta dello Sport.
Victoria prefers that she and her three sons, Brooklyn (7), Romeo (4) and Cruz (2) be guarded by an experienced and coordinated team she and David trust, but the bureaucrats don't seem to care.
Between 2000 and 2004 three plots to kidnap one or more of the boys were uncovered and ever since the whole family has lived under the continuos supervision of their guardian angels.
According to Victoria, say her family friends, the bureaucrats took the decision out of spite and envy.

Cristiano Ronaldo puts United against the wall

The hottest Manchester United star, Cristiano Ronaldo, may have put into motion an operation to leave Old Trafford. According to The News of the World, his agent has requested a enormous sum for Cristiano's contract extension until 2012: 12,5 million euros per year before taxes.
Cristiano's (or his agent's) goal is to make the Portuguese the best paid player in the Premier League, but currently only Real Madrid seems to be capable of paying such an exorbitant salary. Currently, 12,5 million gross is the amount Raúl and Beckham earn, the last remaining galáctico wages.
At latest by July, Beckham will be gone together with his huge contract and Cristiano Ronaldo may be there to step in his shoes, unless Malcolm Glazer decides he should pay as much as the Portuguese demans rather than risking the fans' more than certain wrath.

Luis Figo to leave "big stage" next summer

Luis Figo's professional career on what he calls the "big stage" will end next June at the same time as the current Italian season.
"My career in terms of big time competition will finish this year in Italy. I have no intention of going back to Sporting Lisbon, but I may play another season with a Saudi team, something on which I have not yet decided," said Figo during a recent commercial event in Lisbon.
Figo also devoted a comment on the measures adopted by the Italian government to curb soccer related violence in the country.
"Ordering teams to play behind closed doors is utterly negative because soccer without the audience loses its essence," says the former Portuguese captain who should know what big crowds mean to a player after performing for Barcelona, Real Madrid and Inter for the past twelve seasons.

Wizard Ozzie

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