Sunday, June 1, 2008

World Soccer News January 2006

World Soccer News January 2006.
World Soccer News for week of 06/01

UEFA considers expelling Porto

A four year old referee tampering scandal could cost Porto its participation in next year's Champions' League. The top Portuguese club were recently punished by their FA by a deduction of six points for the 2007/08 championship, which did not hurt them as their advantage over Sporting Lisbon was as many as 20 points.

Unfortunately, UEFA have acquired an interest in the case, and the consequences could be severe.
"As per UEFA's request, the Portuguese FA have submitted to our attention all the documents related to the sanctions imposed on Porto, and our Control and Disciplinary Body is studying them," said communications director William Gaillard.
The scandal dates back to the 2003/04 season, when Porto attempted to bribe two referees to make sure of winning the league. Interestingly, the clubs involved in the European competitions are more prone to wrongdoings, arguably not wanting to risk domestic success because of their international efforts.
Standard Liege bought a 1982 league game to ensure the Belgian title and calmly play the Cup Winners' Cup finals (which they lost to Barcelona). Olympique Marseille did a similar thing in 1993 just before the Champions League finals. They were later stripped of the French title, but at least they beat Milan 1-0 and won the European prize. Porto in 2004 won the double under the guidance of José Mourinho.

Eduardo da Silva back sooner than thought?

Arsenal's Brazilo-croatian striker Eduardo da Silva may be back in action sooner than even the biggest optimists had predicted. While his teammates in Croatia have had a hard time hitting the net without him, Eduardo's rehabilitation in Brazil is doing just fine, as shown by a video shot by TV Globo.
The Gunner, injured in late February in a game against Birmingham, is already able to walk without aid, performing leg workouts in the weight room, riding a bike and kicking the ball with the previously broken leg!
"I am very surprised by the speed of my recovery. Arsenal hoped I would go back to practice in December, but now the doctors say it will happen as early as July or August at the latest," said Dudú during the interview.
Who knows, if Eduardo's progress continues in the same rhythm, it is not unimaginable that he will be fit to face England on September 10th at Zagreb's Maksimir Stadium in the World Cup qualifying campaign.
Even though Eduardo's left leg is looking good, 49% of Arsenal's fans think Arsene Wenger should bring another striker to the squad.

Barca's members take initiative against Laporta

Almost 10,000 of Barcelona's paying members, the socios, have signed a petition for censorship against club president Joan Laporta.
According to Barcelona's statutes, if 5% of the members with the right to vote (adults with over a year's tenure as members) sign the petition, then the club has to organize the vote of confidence in favour or against the president.
In fact, by May 29th about 9% of the electorate supported the censorship. If two thirds of those who take part in the soon to be organized poll, then Laporta will have to step down.
The spokesman for the opposition, lawyer Oriol Giralt, said that something needed to change very high up in the club, and there is no higher instance than Laporta, who was accused by some of his former associates of having introduced "dictatorship" at the Catalan club.
Since winning the 2006 Champions League, Barcelona have only won one other prize, the little-valued Spanish Supercup. And that is precious little for the club's 117,000 members and millions of fans world-wide.

Russia considering bid for 2018 World Cup

Russia could submit a bid to stage the 2018 World Cup, said the Russian FA chairman and sports minister Vitaliy Mutko.
"FIFA has not yet started the campaign for that Cup, but we are already considering the possibility of organizing the competition. Currently we are estimating the necessary investment. Out organizing potential is not in question in any way.

Luca Toni voted top Bundesliga player

The Italian striker Luca Toni has won the poll for the best player in the Bundesliga, organized by the official web page of the German soccer league.
Toni attracted 29% of the votes thanks to his 24 goals and five assists in 31 appearances. His chief rival was his French team mate at Bayern, Franck Ribery, who won 27.7% of the vote. Third place went to Werder's Diego Ribas with 12.8% of the votes. The best-placed German (of sorts) was Mario Gómez of Stuttgart, incidentally born to Spanish parents.

Moratti sacks Mancini, but how much will it cost?

Kicking out a coach who has just won a third consecutive championship and played in a fourth consecutive national cup finals cannot be common, but that's what has just happened at Internazionale of Milan.
Inter's trophy-winning coach Roberto Mancini has finally been sacked after several months of speculation that he would have to go regardless of the outcome of the Italian championship.
Moratti's arguments were Mancini's own promise to leave after the Champions League loss to Liverpool in early March and the lack of European success throughout the coach's four-year tenure at Inter.
A furious Mancini (43) has voiced dismay over the dismissal and advised Moratti through his attorney that he would have to pay him the remainder of the contract that was to run until 2012.
Former Chelsea boss José Mourinho looks poised to take over and is already relishing the high profile opportunity.
"It's easy to work with me. One just has to follow me," said Mourinho to a Portuguese newspaper. "I am not 'the special one,' as the English press called me. I'm just an excellent coach with no weak points.

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