29 February 2016

Early release from prison

When he was convicted in March 2014 this man did not even dream of that he will be released early from its three-and-a-half-year sentence. Spending in jail only half of it (21 months), former Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness from today is free. Bavarian Ministry of Justice confirmed this news on Monday after the 64 year old legend was sent behind bars in June 2014 for evading 28.5 million euros in taxes.

Bank goes to court

First and large US bank, Citigroup has said that it has received subpoena from federal prosecutors over the FIFA bribery scandal. From May last year the worlds football governing body was on the brink of biggest corruption charges in its 112 years old history from former executives of the organization and some entities. Several banks were included in the report by the prosecutors. Besides Citigroup, HSBC and JPMorgan Chase were also included, where FIFA officials used them for transferring cash. While JPMorgan did not reveal any investigation in its operations, last week HSBC admitted that is being investigated for its role in the FIFA scandal.
Being under investigation does not mean that the prosecutors immediately will bring charges towards the banks.

28 February 2016

FIFA museum opened

New president, Gianni Infantino on Sunday had its first official duty by opening the FIFA museum in Zurich. 'Here you can inoculate yourself with the football virus, if you do not already have it. In this place, only football matters!' he said in his speech.
On an area of 3.000 square meters, the museum has over 1.000 objects, 1.400 pictures, some 500 videos, 60 screens and 15 interactive stations. The public can also enjoy in sports bar, a bistro, cafe-bar, a library and seminar rooms. This football pleasure is situated in the center of Zurich. With investment of 140 million Swiss francs (128.4 million euros), 110 million were given for renovating the building plus 30 million for the museum itself, the target is to attract 250.000 visitors a year.

Day after Infantino's win

Ex-disgraced FIFA president, who for 17 years did his job 'very well' managing the organization of not remembering valuable things before the committee by denying everything, Sepp Blatter said that he felt relief at no longer being the main man. As he watched on TV the election process, among other things he said that 'I had this burden on me, but now its all gone. Being suspended or not, I was still the elected president, And now it is finished'. In midweek his ethics ban has been cut off to six years. At first he did not have any front-runner out of the five candidates after saying that he will not back anyone, as he did not had the power to interfere. But when the race was over, Blatter had only positive words for his successor. 'He is a young man, he is powerful, he has a lot of energy and I am sure he will do the right job' said Blatter for his countryman, the 45 year old Gianni Infantino.
On the other hand from Kuwait City, the Asian Olympic chief sheikh Ahmad al Fahad al Sabah on Saturday hailed Infantino's victory. 'As a member of the FIFA reform committee I was proud to be able to contribute to the proposals but I know that we still have a long way to go - reform cannot happen overnight' said by the Kuwaiti.

New Everton owner

Liverpool based club Everton on Saturday announced that it will have new owner. Should the Premier League approve and after a long search for new investment, British-Iranian billionaire Farhad Moshiri will have 49.9% share. With over 200 million pounds (253.5 million euros) Everton were in talks with an American consortium John Jay Moores and his partner Charles Noell, but obviously Moshiri was the right choice to steal their deal. The main factor of the deal was that the 70 year old chairman Bill Kenwright will still remain in the position of power at the club, which his friend Moshiri accepted that.
The Iranian has promised new investment in the Merseyside club.

27 February 2016

DFB stays without general secretary

German FA (DFB) general secretary Helmut Sandrock resigned from his post on Friday. That happened just one week before the release of the successful Germany's bid hosting the 2006 World Cup with a controversial payment to FIFA officials. He supposed to be in Zurich today, where FIFA is electing a new president, but because of 'health reasons' he withdrew earlier from the trip. After quitting his job DFB in a statement said that Sandrock 'resigned so that the federation could make a fresh start and for the good of football DFB needs to make a completely new start, even with personnel'. Top DFB officials came under fire for suspicious payment of 6.7 million euros to FIFA and are accused of buying votes for the 2006 World Cup. This payment also has led some doubts about the tax evasion scam in Germany. Acting like FIFA president at the time, Sepp Blatter is 'still wondering about the sum and how it can be paid without his knowing'.
Sandrock became general secretary in March 2011, when Wolfgang Niersbach moved up to become president.

Sixth official agreed to be extradited

Former Venezuela FA president Rafael Esquivel accepted to be extradited to USA and faces corruption charges. He was arrested in Zurich last May with other senior figures in world football. The Venezuelan has withdrawn his final appeal against extradition before Switzerland's highest court, so he 'must be placed into US custody within 10 days' said by a spokesman of the Swiss Federal Office of Justice. Esquivel is charged with taking bribes worth millions of euros in connection with the sale of marketing rights for Copa America tournaments in 2007, 2015, 2016, 2019 and 2023.
Despite being the FA president in his own country, he was also a former vice-president of CONMEBOL region, who together with 8 other football officials were arrested in Zurich last year. Esquivel is the sixth person to be extradited to USA. Seventh individual was sent to his native Uruguay. The remaining two, Julio Rocha of Nicaragua and Costas Takkas of Great Britain are still appealing extradition in Swiss courts.

Former captain quits 'Super Eagles'

Sunday Oliseh said on Friday that he quit the coaching job of Nigeria. On his Twitter account he wrote that he is 'resigning from the Super Eagles chief coach due to lack of support'. Ex-Nigeria captain accused the national FA of 'contract violations'  including failing to pay him his salaries. Recently Oliseh was in dispute with the Nigerian FA and was fined because of the team's poor performance at the African Nations Championship in Rwanda for failing to progress past the group stage earlier this month. That incident was a fuse for him that he came with today's decision, adding the unpaid wages to the story. His predecessor Stephen Keshi experienced similar problems with the salary when he was in charge with the national team.
Oliseh departed before two important African Cup of Nations qualifying games against Egypt next month.

26 February 2016

Infantino the mighty

It started like every ordinary day before the weekend. From 5 official candidates that contested the FIFA presidential race, suddenly one of them pulled out from the contention before it even began.
This day has finally arrived. The long awaited FIFA extraordinary congress in Zurich have to give us an answer to the question of who will be president of the world's powerful football organization. And around 18.00 CET the envelope have said that Gianni Infantino has won with 203 votes. Prior to the race the South African businessman Tokyo Sexwale announced his withdrawal. His annunciation meant that we were left with 'only' 4 candidates. With all 207 members of associations eligible for voting, Afghanistan was called first on the stands...First round results looked like this: 7 votes given to Jerome Champagne, 27 for Prince Ali, 85 voted for sheikh Salman and 88 for Gianni Infantino. The rule strictly says that candidate must win at least majority of 2/3 (two-thirds) or 138 votes in order to be announced as president. As that never happened in round 1, we entered the second where new rule apply from now on: candidate must receive 104 votes to win. If no one obtains that number the lowest ranking nominee will be dropped out of the race (like playing elimination game) and the next round will be on. But this (second) round gave us the final winner: Jerome Champagne receives nothing, 4 went to Prince Ali, 88 voted for sheikh Salman and the joy belonged to Gianni Infantino who received 115 votes. The most happiest man at the congress said in a speech that 'new era' is starting for FIFA and that image have to be restored. The 45 year old Swiss will serve as the president until 2019.
Will he bankrupt the organization, as some of his rivals were saying, we just have to wait and see in the following years.

Tokyo withdraws from the election

Many rumors were true. Despite strong words from his team and 100% certainty that he will stay until the end we are guessing that he could not take the pressure any more.
During congress speech, South African candidate Tokyo Sexwale has announced his withdrawal from the race. So now we remained with 'only' 4 contenders who eagerly awaiting the outcome from the first round of voting...

Spanish international could face tax evasion problems

Spanish state prosecutor has asked the judge to open a case against the midfielder Xabi Alonso. From 2009 until 2011 'evidence' has been found that the 34 year old player has been avoided paying tax of 3 million euros. Now it is up to the judge's decision whether to open the case or not.

Draw for the last 16 took place today

All teams learn their opponents from the last 16 draw of the Europa League:

FC Shakhtar Donetsk - RSC Anderlecht

FC Basel - Sevilla

Villarreal CF - Bayer 04 Leverkusen

Athletic Club - Valencia CF

Liverpool - Manchester United

AC Sparta Prague - SS Lazio

Borussia Dortmund - Tottenham Hotspur

Fenerbahce SK - SC Braga

First leg games will be played 10 March and the return are scheduled for week later.

25 February 2016

Results from tonight's games

Lokomotiv Moscow - Fenerbahce 1:1

Scorers: 1:0 44 Alexandr Samedov
              1:1 82 Mehmet Topal

Athletic Bilbao - Olympique Marseille 1:1

Scorers: 0:1 40 Michy Batshuayi
              1:1 80 Sabin Merino

FC Krasnodar - Sparta Prague 0:3

Scorers: 0:1 51 Lukas Marecek
              0:2 57 Martin Frydek
              0:3 70 Kehinde Fatai

Lazio - Galatasaray 3:1

Scorers: 1:0 59 Marco Parolo
              2:0 61 Felipe Anderson
              2:1 62 Yasin Oztekin
              3:1 72 Miroslav Klose

Bayer Leverkusen - Sporting Clube de Portugal 3:1

Scorers: 1:0 30 Karim Bellarabi
              1:1 38 Joao Mario
              2:1 65 Karim Bellarabi
              3:1 87 Hakan Calhanoglu

Rapid Vienna - Valencia 0:4

Scorers: 0:1 59 Rodrigo
              0:2 63 Sofiane Feghouli
              0:3 71 Pablo Piatti
              0:4 88 Ruben Vezo

Schalke 04 - Shakhtar Donetsk 0:3

Scorers: 0:1 26 Marlos
              0:2 63 Facundo Ferreyra
              0:3 77 Viktor Kovalenko

Basel - St. Etienne 2:1

Scorers: 1:0 14 Luca Zuffi
              1:1 90 Moustapha Sall
              2:1 90+1 Luca Zuffi

Manchester United - FC Midtjylland 5:1

Scorers: 0:1 27 Pione Sisto
              1:1 32-own goal Nikolaj Bodurov 
              2:1 64 Marcus Rashford
              3:1 75 Marcus Rashford
              4:1 88-pen Ander Herrera
              5:1 90 Memphis Depay

Molde - Sevilla 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 43 Eirik Hestad

Napoli - Villarreal 1:1

Scorers: 1:0 17 Marek Hamsik
              1:1 58 Tomas Pina

Olympiakos - Anderlecht 1:2 => after extra time

Scorers: 1:0 29-pen Konstantinos Fortounis
              1:1 102 Frank Acheampong
              1:2 111 Frank Acheampong

Porto - Borussia Dortmund 0:1

Scorer: 0:1 23-own goal Iker Casillas

Teams in bold, together with Sporting Braga, will compete in tomorrow's draw from 13.00 CET for the round of 16.

Remaining second leg bets for the Europa League

Tonight are continuing all matches from round of 32 with the following schedule:

- Lokomotiv Moscow - Fenerbahce, from 17.00 CET. Lokomotiv are playing awfully at home. However, the Russians know they needed a win of at least 3 goals to progress, but Fenerbahce will hold them with a draw.

At 19.00 CET will start:
- Athletic Bilbao - Marseille. After a hard 1:0 win in the first leg, Athletic is hoping to qualify in the stage with a comfortable win. But over here it will not be easy because both sides are having mixture of results lately. We are predicting here that a draw will be enough for the Spanish team.
- Krasnodar - Sparta Prague. Russian side will try to find the winning form to overturn this one goal deficit. Sparta will try at least to hold to hold them back, but Krasnodar seems to spoil their supporters with convincing victory.
- Lazio - Galatasaray. After scoring their goal in Turkey, Lazio are hoping to progress in the next round. However the opposite side knows that they have to attack from minute one and try to score many goals as possible to progress through. We are predicting here a draw between these two.
- Bayer Leverkusen - Sporting CP. Tough game to predict. Not a good start at home for Bayer side as they are continuing with losses. On the other hand, Sporting will not wave a white flag after their minimal loss from the first leg. The Portuguese knows that have to start strong and be brave for 90 minutes. Here draw will be fair enough, but Sporting will do everything to win.
- Rapid Vienna - Valencia. After their 6:0 humiliation from the first leg, the Austrians are looking to retaliate. However, they cannot seems to score 7 goals to go through as Valencia are slowly back to their winning form. Although Valencia has big advantage from first leg, they will try to close this game with a draw.
- Schalke 04 - Shakhtar Donetsk. After their scoreless draw in the first leg the home side are hoping to seal this game. In their their first ever meeting in this stadium Shakhtar won 1:0. We think that the Ukrainians does not have this power again repeating that success tonight.

The following games are starting from 21.05 CET:
- Basel - St. Etienne. Scoring two goals away, Basel are confident to progress to the next round. From game to game they are playing better and better as they want to seal the aggregate win with lots of goals.
- Manchester United - Midtjylland. After scoring their best ever win in their club history seven days ago, the Danish side wants to complete the surprise tonight and qualify for the next round. Although their results are dreadful this season Manchester will not allowed their fans to be disappointed...again.
- Molde - Sevilla. Not finding their superb form from the group stage, Molde will try to score 4 goals for progressing through against the current Europa League champion. The Spanish team are going to an unfamiliar pitch who, we think, no one will emerge as a winner.
- Napoli - Villarreal. After the Spanish minimal win from the first game, Italians will eagerly want to win this match.
- Olympiakos - Anderlecht. Having the advantage, the Belgians will try to stall this game as much as possible. But they do not know how the Greek side is strong at home.
- Porto - Borussia Dortmund. Porto at home await a tough opponent. Even if they want to take revenge we do not think that they will succeeded as Borussia are looking always strong wherever they are.

Former AKP deputy risks prison

Commenting on social media can be dangerous for some players. What you wrote can be understood as conspiracy and at the same time you can be in big, big trouble. From today an ex-international is feeling this on his skin.
Turkey's legend Hakan Sukur could be facing jail time for up to 4 years for 'insulting' Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his son. Deputy Attorney General said that indictment were raised by an Erdogan's lawyer and the businessman Bekir Savram who filed the appeal due to his Twitter posts. In his defense, Sukur denied that the tweets were directed at the president or his son. Following the acceptance for his indictment the court is now waiting to set a date for the first hearing on the case. The 44 year old responded through Twitter that he has moved to USA, working on his project of opening a sports academy in California. He also said that he is not certain whether he will appear at the trial. After leaving football, Sukur went into politics where in 2011 was elected member of parliament for the Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development party (AKP). However, he resigned in 2013 after a major bribery and corruption investigation became public targeting Erdogan and his four government ministers. After his resignation, Sukur became supportive of Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen who have objections shutting down the schools through Gulen's movement, known as Hizmet (the Service).
Playing most of his football career in Galatasaray and later Inter, Sukur has left a deep trail in Turkish football as one of the best strikers in the national team with 51 goals from 112 games. He is also remembered for his appearance from the 2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan, where Turkey registered its best ever performance of third place.

24 February 2016

With a man down PSV hold Atletico to a goalless draw

PSV Eindhoven - Atletico Madrid 0:0

Last tip from Champions League, first leg

PSV Eindhoven and Atletico Madrid are having their mini derby. Two well knows name coaches of Phillip Cocu and Diego Simeone are up against each other tonight in Holland. Both teams are playing well and we are expecting an exciting football game that will end up in a draw. The Madrid side surely wants to win this match but their opposition thinks otherwise as they are too a capable of scoring goals at home.

Four goals thriller ends up in a draw

Sporting Clube de Braga - Sion 2:2

Scorers: 0:1 15 Theofanis Gekas
              1:1 27-pen Josue
              1:2 29 Theofanis Gekas
              2:2 48 Nikola Stojiljkovic

Wednesday's first game tip for the Europa League, second leg

Sporting Braga wants to become the first team to qualify for the next stage - round of 16 which will be played from next month. After their 2:1 win in Switzerland last Thursday, the Portuguese team is looking confident to secure this game also knowing there is no time for relaxation. On the other hand Sion is playing awfully away from home, therefore a negative record for them will continue also tonight.

Another candidate attack Infantino

After Jerome Champagne attacked his rival on Sunday for dangerous plans he has for FIFA, today another presidential candidate did the same. As the UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino wants to increase cash payouts to federations sheikh Salman 'calculated', and he did that just three days before the vote, that FIFA would go bankrupt with a deficit of 508 million euros. The Bahraini royal said that that amount will be expected deficit for the next four years. Unable to 'breathe' with so much money Salman's predictions are not good for FIFA as he stated that the organization would go bankrupt in three years. Therefore, a quick reform change is needed and if he is elected he will bring a few (fresh) sponsors who are ready to sign contracts, but did not...yet. Which are they, we have no clue, but they are only known by the sheikh.
Infantino and Salman are front-runners for the FIFA chair while the other three nominees considered to be outsiders.

23 February 2016

Messi sunked Arsenal hopes

Arsenal - Barcelona 0:2

Scorer: 0:1 71 Lionel Messi
            0:2 83-pen Lionel Messi 

Free tip for the Emirates derby

Tonight we are continuing giving free tip for the major European competition, round of 16, 1 leg game.
Barcelona is on the great way of becoming the first club defending their title since the Champions League is introduced with the new format. The best MSN (Messi-Suarez-Neymar Jr.) trio in the world at this moment seems to give many problems to the goalkeepers, who like a joke are scoring goals in almost every game (well...except for the last one). However here we are expecting a total different approach to the game, where Arsenal will try at least to hold the champions with a draw.
At the Emirates stadium these two teams have met twice. Arsenal recorded a minimal win while the other game ends in a draw with four goals scored. Hopefully tonight both teams will produce the same entertainment football for us.

One step closer to victory

UEFA's general secretary, now running for the presidential race in FIFA Gianni Infantino, is confident that he will receive more than half of the votes from the Africa Confederation. He released that statement besides the Confederation of African Football (CAF) officially support the Bahrain Sheikh Salman. As CAF has 54 nations who are participating in the voting process, the 45 year old is still hoping to get the majority from this region. On the invitation on the fellow candidate Tokyo Sexwale, Infantino on Monday is visiting South Africa. As the Swiss can make 'impact in Africa, after the discussions I have made with many African (federation) presidents I feel very confident'.
Africa, with the largest number of voting countries, is seen very important confederation for the two rival favorites Salman and Infantino.

UEFA and AFC 'observes' are not welcome

At first he is nowhere to be found this whole time and suddenly he speaks out. Maybe by just knowing that all is over by now and he is making his last efforts to salvage out of the campaign...
Only four days remaining until FIFA's big decision day, Jerome Champagne is in the news again. In fact the Frenchman is criticizing, with a formal complaint, that his two rivals supported by continental governing bodies (UEFA and AFC) will have enormous and unfair advantage ahead of Friday's vote. He told the FIFA election monitors on Monday to cancel 20 extra passes for 'observes' from UEFA and 7 from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) entering the election hall in Zurich. The 57 year old is saying that allowing extra accreditations would 'betray  a gross violation of the principle of fairness'.
Should be any breaches or irregularities in the FIFA election race the Court of Arbitration for Sport is the right address for complaints.

Disobedient Makudi

FIFA barred him first from all football activity for 90 days. As he did not get that serious enough, now he is banned for 3 months.
Former Thai FA president (FAT) Worawi Makudi, who served in FIFA's executive committee, was also part of the group when it voted for the hosts of 2018 and 2022 World Cups in 2010. As Makudi was 'still involved in the affairs' in FAT he got his suspension for 90 days in October, after allegedly breaching FIFA's code of ethics. The 64 year old was also fined 3.000 Swiss francs (2.724 euros).
Following his ban, Thailand football officials have elected new president earlier this month. Makudi was a member of the executive committee for 18 years while last year he was relieved of duties from FIFA.

22 February 2016

Street protest in Trabzon

After yesterday's comical scenes from Istanbul, today it had its continuity...at least away from the football pitch in a peaceful manner. Angrily Trabzonspor supporters marched through the streets carrying and waving red cards. This 'original' protest obviously was toward last night's referee Deniz Ates Bitnel who in a bizarre incident dismissed Salih Dursun in a ludicrous way. The 'unlucky' Dursun picked up the red card and, after it fell off the referee's hand, showed it to him to leave the game. Visiting fans are well shocked by the decision of which some of them were even been brave enough to complain about it in the streets despite the heavy rain in Trabzon on Monday.

Chaos in Turkey as reffere saw red

Some funny and amazing scenes happened tonight in the Turkish Spor Toto Super Lig. Trabzonspor barely finished its away game against Galatasaray with just 7 players on the pitch. Under FIFA regulations the game will be interrupted if one team has a maximum of six players in the game. If five players are sent off the game is forfeited.
The hosts won this game 2:1, with Lukas Podolski scored the first goal for Galatasaray when the visitors was one play down at the time. After that equalizing goal from the German, three more players has been sent-off in the dressing room, so that the Istanbul based club scored its winning goal from the penalty spot in the eighty-ninth minute from Selcuk Inan. While Ozer Hurmaci and Aykut Demir were both sent off for two yellow cards, Luis Pedro Cavanda and Salih Dursun saw direct red three minutes from time. While the Belgian Cavanda was sent off because of the penalty he made earlier, where the winning goal came later on, at the same time his teammate Dursun was sent off for another, hilarious reason.
In the eighty-seventh minute of the game, Umut Bulut appealed for the penalty with fist gesticulation. The Black Sea team obviously lost nerves at that moment and their protest goes off the rails very, very quickly. First, Cavanda shoves the referee for which he is correctly given a red card. During that skirmish, the referee drops his card, the 'unfortunate' Dursun picks it up and with no thinking shows it to the referee in protest!

Groups determined in Copa America Centenario

This summer the American continent will face one of the oldest international tournament in the world. Playing in 10 cities across USA, 16 teams will play 32 games from 2 confederations and for the first time in its 100 year old history Copa America will be played outside South American continent. Tonight in Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City in a televised draw we learned who will play who in this exciting tournament. We are confident that every team will give its maximum, who with their magical moves and skills will give everything to entertain us, playing thrilling football. The group schedule look like this:

Group A: USA, Colombia, Costa Rica, Paraguay.
Round 1, 03 June: USA - Colombia. 04 June: Costa Rica - Paraguay.
Round 2, 07 June: USA - Costa Rica and Colombia - Paraguay.
Round 3, 11 June: USA - Paraguay and Colombia - Costa Rica.

Group B: Brazil, Ecuador, Haiti, Peru.
Round 1, 04 June: Brazil - Ecuador and Haiti- Peru.
Round 2, 08 June: Brazil - Haiti and Ecuador - Peru.
Round 3, 12 June: Brazil - Peru and Ecuador - Haiti.

Group C: Mexico, Uruguay, Jamaica, Venezuela.
Round 1, 05 June: Mexico - Uruguay and Jamaica - Venezuela.
Round 2, 09 June: Mexico - Jamaica and Uruguay - Venezuela.
Round 3, 13 June: Mexico - Venezuela and Uruguay - Jamaica.

Group D: Argentina, Chile, Panama, Bolivia.
Round 1, 06 June: Argentina - Chile and Panama - Bolivia.
Round 2, 10 June: Argentina - Panama and Chile - Bolivia.
Round 3, 14 June: Argentina - Bolivia and Chile - Panama.

Certainly the toughest group, the group of death, has to be the last one where Argentina, current 2015 Copa America champion Chile and Panama will be playing each other. While the hosts also awaits some tough games with Colombia and Costa Rica standing in their way.
All in all, we are expecting to see some good quality games with one of the best footballers in the world gathered in one place. After playing all games in the groups, the top two teams will qualify for the quarter-finals which start from 16 June where knock-out round begins up until the final game on 26 June, where each of these 16 teams are dreaming to lift the oldest trophy in the world.

21 February 2016

Installation of transparent voting booths rejected

In order everything would be fair and in democratic voting process, FIFA has rejected the proposal from a presidential candidate to use transparent voting booths ensuring that delegates do not photograph their ballot paper. This unusual request was made by Jordanian Prince Ali, who after after hearing this, said that he will take this case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to settle the dispute. With little time left, we do not think that will be wise decision to do for the Prince. Released statement through his French based lawyer said that the Prince only wanted 'to safeguard the full transparency of the electoral proceedings'. But according to the FIFA statutes - the voting is secret. Domenico Scala, chairman of the FIFA electoral committee, rejected the Prince's proposal and said that the voters could produce evidence of their vote by using a mobile phone.
Unless he wants to win the election and be crowned FIFA chief as well he has to think something quick like every other normal presidential nominee.

'Hazardous plans from Infantino'

Little heard in the news lately, FIFA presidential candidate Jerome Champagne attacked his rival Gianni Infantino. The Frenchman stated that his Infantino, who is favorite to win the election race, have 'dangerous' plans for the world football governing organization. In desperation of loosing the race or is it something else, Champagne said that the 45 year old Swiss could cost FIFA an extra 808.4 million euros in expenditures over the next 4 years. 
The UEFA general secretary has promised to distribute 4.5 million euros every four years to each FA for football development, plus 36 million euros for all the 6 football confederations over the same period. Approved by the FIFA Congress in 2014, for the 2015-18 cycle FIFA's budget is predicted to be an estimated income of an unbelievable 4.5 billion euros over the four years. Infantino said that currently FIFA is going through a difficult period as the deficit in 2015 is around 90 million euros.
If the Swiss is indeed elected on next Friday's election date, it will be real difficult to find that money he is promised. Another prediction is to wait few more years until new affair will be available to the public.

'You cannot buy a World Cup'

Suspended FIFA president Sepp Blatter has repeated that corruption was out of the question over the election process of the 2022 World Cup host city. Many officials are seeing that Qatar actually fixed the vote and many are questioning whether this tiny Asian nation, with no football history, can actually host a big tournament football event on a world level. Since then, this decision sparked the crisis in which FIFA is today.
In the 'Times' interview Blatter stated that the former French president Nicolas Sarkozy told Platini not to vote for USA during the election process from which the famous player has denied that. Among other things, the 79 year old Swiss said 'You cannot buy a World Cup, it will go at the end where the higher political influences are. Platini was at a meeting with the head of state and if he is asking me to support France for different reasons than he must follow the decision and his (Platini) vote will not be for the Americans. I knew there would be a problem, but it was too late'.
This week Blatter returned to FIFA's headquarters, but not to sit in his favorite chair, as his appeal against an 8 year ban was heard.

Misbehavior from Danish international

Posting a picture on the Internet with a luxury Mercedes-Benz car is not a problem at all. But the trouble begins if you post a picture with your club's rivalry car sponsor.
Nicklas Bendtner did just that and angered Volkswagen representatives and the team he is playing for. The 'unfortunate' player put a photograph on Instagram climbing (posing) onto the cool vehicle by writing 'On my way to another session'. Wolfsburg sports director Klaus Allofs stated that the rules, which are not new, cannot be broken and 'you must pay attention to how you are photographed in public'. However the club did not issue any information about how Bendtner will be fined for his transgression.
This same player was also fined during the EURO 2012 after displaying underwear with the name of a bookmaker during Denmark's game with Portugal.

20 February 2016

Dissatisfying fans

From protest last weekend we are going into new protest this weekend. The main role this time are the supporters...again.
Saturday is the day when usually derby games are supposed to have much meaning for the fans. But not this Saturday as it will be overshadowed by another disgruntled supporters...and this time the supporters from both teams (probably a new trend from now on). The eighty-fourth Rhine derby between Borussia Moenchengladbach and Cologne in the Bundesliga is looking to lack its usual electric atmosphere amid fans' dissatisfaction of enhanced security measures. The two group of supporters from both clubs are very well organized and showing respect toward each other and all of that is leading to the above main cause.
The home fans indicated that they will lower the tone down for support of their team in part of their own protest. Visiting fans however are already threatened to boycott the game. While around 1.000 others Cologne supporters are planning a march near the venue before kick-off for protesting limitations of tickets sold to away fans and personalization of each one.

More bans from FIFA on the way

Despite the three well known names for us in football world, FIFA has extended its suspension to two more persons from CONMEBOL region. The only difference in this story is that the following two football officials have admitted their guilt while the previous three mentioned above are still complaining, 'whining' and are still fighting in courts in order to clear their name...
Former FA presidents in their respective countries, Colombian Luis Bedoya and Chilean Sergio Jadue, are accused of violating several duties, like breaching FIFA's ethics code, cooperation and reporting, bribery and corruption, general obligation to cooperate and loyalty. Because both have confessed for the corruption charges, FIFA showed no mercy and recommend to punish them with life bans from the sport. The 56 year old Bedoya was also a former FIFA executive committee member and a former vice president of the CONMEBOL confederation. His colleague, 36 year old Jadue, was a CONMEBOL vice president.
The adjudicatory chamber of the ethics committee will issue a ruling in the case for this two 'brave and honest' football officials from South America.

19 February 2016

Blatter will not support anyone

Just 7 days are remaining until the new FIFA president is elected. With only a week left to go, suspended president Sepp Blatter has been given his opinion of how he will vote for the new chief.
According to the Swiss, none of the five candidates are fit and mature enough to run the worlds football governing body. As he cannot decide who will be the next president, Blatter admitted for the French radio RMC that 'four out of the five candidates had word with him'.
Royal sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa from Bahrain and another Swiss 45 year old UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino are hot favorites winning the race while the other 3 have minimum chances of winning. Who will be the lucky winner we will find out next Friday.

18 February 2016

Thursday's results from the Europa League

Anderlecht - Olympiakos 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 67 Kara Mbodji

Borussia Dortmund - Porto 2:0

Scorers: 1:0 06 Lukasz Piszczek
             2:0 71 Marco Reus

Midtjylland - Manchester United 2:1

Scorers: 0:1 37 Memphis Depay
             1:1 43 Pione Sisto
             2:1 76 Paul Onuachu

Sevilla - Molde 3:0

Scorrers: 1:0 35 Fernando Llorente
              2:0 48 Fernando Llorente
              3:0 71 Kevin Gameiro

St. Etienne - Basel 3:2

Scorers: 1:0 09 Moustapha Sall
             2:0 39 Kevin Monnet-Paquet
             2:1 44 Walter Samuel
             2:2 55-pen Marc Janko
             3:2 77 Jean-Christophe Bahebeck

Villarreal - Napoli 1:0 

Scorer: 1:0 81 Denis Suarez

Galatasaray - Lazio 1:1

Scorers: 1:0 11 Sabri Sarioglu
             1:1 21 Sergej Milinkovic-Savic

Olympique de Marseille - Athletic Bilbao 0:1

Scorer: 0:1 53 Aritz Aduriz

Shakhtar Donetsk - Schalke 04 0:0

Sion - Sporting Braga 1:2

Scorers: 0:1 12 Nikola Stojiljkovic
             1:1 53 Moussa Konate
             1:2 61 Rafa Silva

Sparta Prague - FC Krasnodar 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 63 Lukas Julis

Sporting CP - Bayer Leverkusen 0:1

Scorer: 0:1 26 Karim Bellarabi

Valencia - Rapid Vienna 6:0

Scorers: 1:0 04 Santi Mina
             2:0 09 Daniel Parejo
             3:0 24 Santi Mina
             4:0 28 Alvaro Negredo
             5:0 34 Andre Gomes
             6:0 89 Rodrigo

Continuing free tips from Europa League

After Tuesday's opener, today concludes all last 32 first leg games from the Europa League.

Following games starts at 19.00 CET:
- Anderlecht - Olympiakos. In all three of their meeting so far, the Greek club have maximum victories. In 2013 edition of the group phase in the Champions League Olympiakos humiliated Anderlecht at home 3:0. Greek champions would like to repeat that success tonight and finish the job already in the first game.
- Borussia Dortmund - Porto. In its first meeting between these two clubs, the Bundesliga team is looking confident to register a win in the competition. Although they won the Portuguese derby away at Benfica last week, Porto will give anything to try at least score a goal.
- Midjylland - Manchester United. Surprise name in the tournament so far Midtjylland are playing with one of the greatest name in world football. Danish Superliga will continue in March so the champions lack continuity of games. On the other hand, even if they are not in their best form the Premier League side will not drop the win that easily.
- Sevilla - Molde. Although the surprise group A leaders from the group stage, Molde has lost its winning spirit and lately they are not playing well. The current champions of the tournament Sevilla would like to continue winning, spoil its supporters and lift the trophy again.
- St. Etienne - Basel. Basel will do anything to register away win, but the home side is also capable of scoring goals. However a draw would be enough from these two sides and postpone the overall winner until next week.
- Villarreal - Napoli. Both teams have equal chances of winning this leg. But we think that Villarreal will snatch this game with one goal difference.

From 21.05 CET are playing:
- Galatasaray - Lazio. Another tight game. Turkish champions looks determined to take away the win  and finish the job in the first leg.
- Marseille - Athletic Bilbao. Marseille are accomplishing some mixture results lately. The Spanish team will look to take this opportunity and steal away the victory.
- Shakhtar Donetsk - Schalke 04. Ukrainian side will be hoping to take a win and took advantage of latest mix results by the Germans.
- Sion - Braga. First ever meeting between these two teams we think it will finish with a draw. So next Tuesday we will know who will qualify for the next round after the second leg game in Portugal.
- Sparta Prague - Krasnodar. Sparta Prague is a not in good form at the moment. Russian side will certainly give them lots of troubles and might snatch this game by a goal difference.
- Sporting CP - Bayer Leverkusen. In its two meeting so far Germans are having both victories. Currently first in the Primeira Liga, Sporting CP is looking confident for a win. On the other side, Bayer will try to stall them and decide to finish the opponent before German supporters. Anyone can win this game, but a draw would be a fair result.
- Valencia - Rapid Vienna. Noth in their best for at the moment, Valencia will be hoping to win this game against its tricky and hard opponent. But the Austrians have completely other ideas and will go for a win here.

17 February 2016

Germans proves too strong for Belgian champions

Gent - Wolfsburg 2:3

Scorers: 0:1 44 Julian Draxler
              0:2 54 Julian Draxler
              0:3 60 Max Kruse
              1:3 80 Sven Kums
              2:3 88 Kalifa Coulibaly

Continuing free tip for the Champions League

Tonight I will continue giving you free Champions League bet tip. In Belgium, one of the surprises in the fall group stage KAA Gent welcomes German side Wolfsburg.
Belgian champions Gent seems to be unbeatable at home ground. They will do everything to make it a good, solid advantage before next month's second leg game. On the other side, Wolfsburg just knows that scoring a goal away from home is like a positive result for them and puts them favorites to qualify for the quarter-final round. Germans would not miss that opportunity.
At this game both teams will surely go for the victory, but a draw will be enough here.

16 February 2016

Stadium of Lights erupts at the last minute

Benfica - Zenit St. Petersburg 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 91 Jonas

First free tip for the Champions League

Second Russian team playing today in Europe, first in the main competition. Benfica entertain Zenit St. Petersburg at the Estadio da Luz (Stadium of Light).
Currently second in the Primeira Liga, Benfica at home lost its derby to Porto 1:2. The Portuguese champions are entering into this game as slight favorites. Playing at home in their famous, known stadium they face a strong opposition. If they want to progress to the next round they have to play at its very best. Meanwhile the Russian team will look to overturn this game into their advantage, playing for a draw or even a win. With lots of good players in the squad, like Hulk, Artyom Dzyuba, Danny and company will certainly make it very hard work for the hosts.
Considering the strength of the two teams we are predicting here a clear draw.

Dominating hosts secure two goals advantage

Fenerbahce - Lokomotiv Moscow 2:0

Scorer: 1:0 18 Souza
            2:0 72 Souza

First free tip from the Europa League

Europa League starts earlier than expected. Instead of Thursday, Fenerbahce and Lokomotiv Moscow will open the round of 32 today with its first leg game.
Currently the team is at the top position in Turkey, Fenerbahce is looking more confident of a win because their league is underway at the moment. With 3:1 win against Kasimpasa on Friday, the Istanbul based club have the power to score its first win into the spring continuation of this competition. Big names like Robin van Persie, Nani, Fernandao, Lazar Markovic and others points that this team is capable of even lifting the trophy. On the other hand, the Russian championship will continue next month. Lokomotiv Moscow currently third in their respective league, maybe is in disadvantage for not being in their form. They will do everything to hold of the opposition but without constant continuity of games we think that it will be hard to do so. Its captain Vedran Corluka surely will give his players directions how to turn this game into their own benefit but it will be real hard before the fanatical Turkish supporters. So far these two sides have never met before and for the first win we believe that Fenerbahce will succeed to beat their rivals and make a good score before their second leg next week in Moscow.
Rest of the games from this tournament are going to be played on Thursday.

'Finale Milano' has been unveiled

Adidas has unveiled the official match ball that will be used from tomorrow's knock-out round up until the final in Italy. Inspired by the host city Milan, the design includes some of the most iconic symbols of the city, with the Teatro all Scalais alongside with the famous stairs of San Siro where the final will take place. With the design of the Champions League logo along with the known stars, the ball have a striking design which contribute to the ball's performance. The ball is mainly white, combined with silver star panels and black applications. Also is thermally bonded, seamless surface made for precise passes, shots and cuts. The official Champions League ball is already available for purchase at a price of 140 euros.
The final will be played on 28 May.

CONCACAF lawyers warn of serious risks

If their reform fails, CONCACAF could face dramatic consequences with a risk of being disbanded. The last three presidents of this region are among those who have been indicted with money laundering, bribery, conspiracy and racketeering. CONCACAF's 41 members associations were given a briefing by the body's lawyers on Friday when they urged to back a comprehensive reform package which will be voted later this month. The lawyers warns of difficulties with broadcast partners, sponsors and banks.

First match fixing case unveiled in Holland

Dutch FA (KNVB) has confirmed the first rigged game in the Eredivisie. The disputable game was from 09 August 2009 between Utrecht and Willem II Tilburg.The KNVB investigation centers to Ibrahim Kargbo, who played for Willem II from 2006 until 2010. The Sierra Leone international together with the 2009 club captain Michael Aerts and a third unidentified player have been promised to throw out the game against Utrecht in return of 25.000 euros each. Willem II had to loose with more than two goal difference, but the 'incompetent' Kargbo failed at the mission as his team lost 'only' 1:0. This 'request' was sent by Singaporean convicted match fixer Wilson Raj Perumal. Among other things KNVB operational director Gijs de Jong stated that the football in that country 'lost its innocence' and they will continue to 'fight against this plague'.
Kargbo has already been suspended from Sierra Leone squad for alleged match fixing. In 2014, as its national captain, he was indefinitely suspended by his country over allegations surrounding a FIFA World Cup qualifier against South Africa in 2008 that ended goalless. On the other hand, the 50 year old Perumal participated in more than 100 manipulated games around the world and has been jailed in Finland and Hungary.

15 February 2016

Free tips for Europa League knock-out stage

After two months break, two main annual European competitions are back next week. Both of them are starting with the first leg games...
Unlike the Champions League, Europa League has also changed its format. Besides all the 'champions' playing in the main competition, former UEFA Cup was re-branded into Europa League. The European football governing body presented this new format with a real mixture of nations' cup champions, fair-play spots, last club winners of the tournament (no matter if they qualified for it or not) and the best UEFA coefficient is also taking major part in here. So, many clubs from one state are expected, who all in all were divided into 12 groups playing home and away games. All of those group games where played last fall, but now is the time for the real, best part: the knock-out round. The waiting is now over and the fun can begin. Round of 32 will start earlier than expected, as one game will start on Tuesday and the rest of them will be played in the regular time slots on Thursday. You can expect free tips on the following first leg games:

16 February, 18.00 CET: Fenerbahce - Lokomotiv Moscow.

18 February, 19.00 CET: Anderlecht - Olympiakos, Borissia Dortmund - Porto, Midtjylland - Manchester United, Sevilla - Molde, St. Etienne - Basel, Villarreal - Napoli.
18 February, 21.05 CET: Galatasaray - Lazio, Marseille - Athletic Bilbao, Shakhtar Donetsk - Schalke 04, Sion - Sporting Braga, Sparta Prague - FC Krasnodar, Sporting Lisbon - Bayer Leverkusen, Valencia - Rapid Vienna.

Overview in 2015 and expectations in 2016: Last year some familiar big club names did not even pass the group stage. The likes of Ajax, Celtic, Viktoria Plzen, Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, Besiktas are certainly going to be missed in the continuation of the spring event. So, the remaining 32 qualified teams will give everything in their power to entertain us with good quality football and fight until the final game: 18 May at St. Jakob Park in Basel, Switzerland.

14 February 2016

Former Bulgarian player has died

Ex-Bulgarian legendary footballer Trifon Ivanov, has died today aged 50 from heart attack. Played as a defender from the famous, golden generation of Bulgarian football, which in the 1994 World Cup took forth place previously eliminating powerhouses Mexico and Germany. He appeared in the 1998 World Cup as well, EURO 1996, and also he played for Real Betis, Neuchatel Xamax, Rapid Austria, Rapid Vienna, as well as Etar and CSKA Sofia in an early phase of his career in Bulgaria. 'Trifon Ivanov will remain in the history of Bulgarian football as one of the best defenders. We will all mourn the loss of a true friend. Rest in peace, Trifon', a Bulgarian FA said in the statement.
He collected 77 appearances for his country. The Bulgarian Football Union called him one of the best Bulgarian players ever. Because of his character Ivanov was the favorite specially from the sticker album collectors, for which he was once called 'Bulgarian Wolf'. Our condolences goes to his family!

13 February 2016

Infantino again

With less than two weeks to go for FIFA chief, the support for Gianni Infantino is growing day by day. This Saturday the regional meeting of National FAs was scheduled in hotel 'Metropol' in Belgrade. Chaired by the first man of Serbian FA Tomislav Karadzic, 12 more countries attended the meeting: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, FYR Macedonia, Greece, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, Slovenia and Turkey. All those 13 Football Associations have pledged their backing for the 45 year old Swiss in the forthcoming FIFA presidential election race.

Benzema has lied to his teammate

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema allegedly has admitted in court that he has lied to his French teammate Mathieu Valbuena over a sex tape in blackmailing attempt. On Benzema's hearing with the judge he denied watching the sex tape after telling Lyon midfielder that he did. Benzema approach Valbuema with the tape during France training camp in October and is under formal investigation since November. Both of them are suspended from the French team and are in serious doubts whether they will play in this year's European Championship.

12 February 2016

'Real is afraid of Barcelona's triumph at Bernabeu'

Former Barcelona president Joan Gaspart believes that Real Madrid is refusing to host the Copa del Rey final, because they are afraid of Catalans' celebrations. Barcelona are going to face Sevilla in the final 21 May, and as every year, Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu is in the competition hosting this event. Like last year, Barcelona are seeking to play just on the ground at Bernabeu which Real constantly refuses. For the 'Esports Cope' website ex-president Gaspart have only sharp words for their hot rivals, by saying 'Real Madrid are afraid that Barca will lift the Copa (at the Bernabeu) and if that is the reason they should say it'. 'Florentino, if you do not want Barca to play the final there, have the guts to say it publicly' he added. On the other hand, Sevilla's coach Unai Emery said that definitely he do not want to play this game at Barcelona's ground, as it is already booked for a Bruce Springsteen concert on 21 May. He 'hopes that it will not be Nou Camp, I would even prefer to play it in China. Thus, Emery will play 'where Sevilla fans are most comfortable'.
The final game is usually played on a neutral ground but in recent years Real Madrid is refusing to offer their stadium. According to 'Mundo Deportivo' the final decision on the venue will be expected to be known next week.

'Surprise' player of the month winner in BBVA

How many times have you heard of the name Lionel Messi? This 'new' football name nowadays who is promising to score goals in almost every game and be the best world player in the years ahead. Or was it before...as we are already puzzled.
Well exactly the above mentioned present name, nor junior nor senior, has received an unusual prize today. He was named the best player of the month for January in the BBVA's La Liga...for the first time ever! 'Leo Messi, elegido Mejor Jugador de la Liga BBVA en el mes de enero' was stated on La Liga's twitter account. Since the introduction of the awards in September 2013, 17 different players entered the list like, Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, Atletico Madrid defender Diego Godin and striker Antione Griezmann, Cela Vigo's striker Nolito who all have won it twice - except the Argentinian captain. 'While it may be almost impossible to believe, Messi has finally been named the La Liga player of the month' commented by Barcelona's website on Friday.
La Liga's player of the month award is voted by the writers at the league's official website.

Record setting ban from Valcke

Michel Platini and Sepp Blatter got 8 years ban, but ex-FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke is an absolute leader: he is removed from football for 12 years. On top of that the former French football administrator has to pay 100.000 Swiss francs (nearly 91.000 euros).
During the the investigation the ethics committee said that Valcke is guilty of wide-ranging misconduct, using of private jets for personal use, destroying key evidence and sale of 2018 and 2022 World Cup TV rights. It clearly shows that Valcke acted against FIFA and caused considerable financial damage to the organization. Statement showed that the 55 year old was 'travelling at FIFA's expense purely for sightseeing reasons as repeatedly he was choosing private flights for trips over commercial flights without any business rationale for himself and relatives'. Knowing of his guilt, Valcke deliberately trying to obstruct the ongoing investigation by deleting several files and folders. Furthermore, the Frenchman attempted to sell the next two World Cup TV rights for far below their actual market value to third parties, in this case the Caribbean region, as he encouraged them to struck the deal. Doing that, 'smart' Valcke thought that he would have made some extra profit from this.
This ban comes one month after the Frenchman was fired by FIFA. He had been suspended last September.

Will UEFA admit Kosovo?

According to reports, at the next congress UEFA is considering the proposal of Kosovo's admission to the full membership. The Southern Serbian territory is hoping to get green light at UEFA's meeting on 25 February. Football Federation of Kosovo currently has limited freedom of action. In January 2014 FIFA allowed them to play friendly games with restriction of the usage of symbols. If UEFA indeed allows the admission, Kosovo will be able to compete in the 2020 EURO qualifiers and its clubs will be allowed to compete in Eurocups. Currently Kosovo is nor UEFA nor FIFA member.
Next opponent will be Austria who has showed a desire to play a friendly game after the 2016 European Championship.

11 February 2016

Liverpool tickets decreased

After a 'long long' discussions American owners listened to their fans. Last weekend almost 10.000 supporters walkout the game over increased price tickets. Liverpool management were also surprised by the level of abuse towards them, as fans chanted 'You greedy b......s, enough is enough' before leaving. Now the club has admitted and apologized to the fans by decreasing the tickets from 102 to 76 euros, while the highest season ticket is also freezed. The distraction 'helped' the team to loose 2 goal lead until that 'fatal' seventy-seventh minute protest against Sunderland.

Nigeria coach fined

Nigeria FF (NFF) has fined its coach Sunday Oliseh for his 8 minute video rant over the weekend. Former Nigeria captain Oliseh has to pay 26.620 euros. He was under pressure after Nigeria failed to pass the group stages of the African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Rwanda. Since then the 41 year old apologized to the NFF for his outburst aimed at the Nigerian media. Oliseh came to the 'original' idea of posting a video on his own website to what he called the 'insanity' of his critics. He is now consulting his lawyers about contesting the sanction.

Unbeatable Barcelona

For a new record and without the best MSN (Messi-Suarez-Neymar Jr.) trio nowadays, Barcelona is now 29 games without a loss. With 1:1 draw at Valencia in the Copa del Rey semi-final 'the Blaugrana' have made the unbeaten streak possible, who beat Pep Guardiola's team from 2010/11 season. They easily stroll into the final after an 8:1 aggregate win. Teenager Wilfrid Kaptoum with his first ever goal gave Barca 'hope' to go even further in games without defeat. Congratulations!

10 February 2016

Another Messi win over Ronaldo...again

This time not on the pitch, nor prizes, nor beauty but on a sports car.
Spanish newspaper 'Sport' reported that Lionel Messi have outsmarted its hot rival Cristiano Ronaldo by outbidding him on the world's most expensive car. And not just any car. Now former owner of the vehicle, Italian billionaire Alessandro Proto, hinted in a press release the footballer's involvement in the 1957 Ferrari 335 S Spider Scaglietti. The identity of the buyer has been kept anonymous, but the newspaper claim that Proto's company has suggested Messi could have won the auction over Ronaldo. Driven by legendary Formula 1 driver Stirling Moss in the 1958 Cuban Grand Prix, this expensive 'object' started the bidding from 20 million euros 'only' to reach the final sum of 32.1 million euros.

DFB demanding money from Beckenbauer

DFB (German FA) is seeking a sum from Franz Beckenbauer of 6.7 million euros in a connection linked to payment of the 2006 World Cup. DFB is believed to have sent official demands to the president of the 2006 German organizing committee Beckenbauer, along with: former vice-president Fedor Radmann, former DFB presidents Theo Zwanziger and Wolfgang Niersbach, and ex-DFB general secretary Horst Schmidt. Radmann, who was an organizing committee vice-president until June 2003, said he had received the demand on 08 January at his home in Switzerland and given 20 days to make the payment, but had lodged an objection.

Borussia Dortmund's win overshadowed by protests

After last weekend's organized protest in England over high ticket prizes from Liverpool fans, now that 'minor' incident is slowly crossing to Germany.
At the quarter-final stage in the DFB Pokal (German Cup) in Stuttgart fans protested against high ticket prices protest by staying away at the start and throwing tennis balls onto the pitch. Several thousands Dortmund supporters spent the opening 20 minutes away from their seats at the Mercedes Benz Arena with unfurling banner stretched across the empty seats by saying 'football should be affordable'. That however did not distract the club, who with 3:1 away win qualified for the semis.
Football fans over two countries now showed their anger against their club's management leadership. We now only wonder who will be next? Will this be global 'trend' soon?

Ronaldo could be playing until 2022 World Cup

Qatar residents should be very lucky to see how one of the greatest Portuguese player is ending his career for its national team. Real Madrid star striker Cristiano Ronaldo said that 2022 World Cup could be his last international tournament. The 31 year old was answering his views to beIN Sports on the main 2022 competition by saying that he often goes to holidays there - to Dubai and Qatar - and he will be very happy to stop playing international football in Qatar.
Ronaldo so far has scored 30 goals in all competitions. Often he is scoring against weaker opposition in Primera Division and the Champions League. But he cannot produce the final touch, of scoring goals, against any of La Liga's top six.

09 February 2016

Will Everton have new owners?

San Diego's ex-baseball owner John Jay Moores together with his assistant Charles Noell are edging closer to buy Everton for nearly 260 million euros. The deal could be struck withing the next fortnight after months of negotiating. The American duo was first interested for Swansea, but later they decided to purchase the Liverpool based club. Bill Kenwright who bought the club for 'only' 25 million euros is the current owner from 1999. He said that he is ready to give up his chair to people who are willing to make new investments, primarily in the stadium.

Blatter and Platini expected to be present at World Cup

Banned from football for 8 years, Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini are again making the news headlines. Both are hoping to be in one major competition. Well, at least one of them might just pull it through...
The disgraced, 'fantastic duo' are invited to attend 2018 World Cup in Russia. The call was sent by Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko who said that these two are still permitted to attend football events. Russian president Vladimir Putin has called Blatter 'a very respected person' who had done much for development of global football and therefore he should get the Nobel Peace Prize.
For entering 2018 we have to wait 2 more years. By then Court of Arbitration for Sport have to overturn FIFA's suspension into Platini's favor. On the other hand, Blatters' football career is over.

LFCTV pullout on live Q&A

More than 10.000 angry Liverpool fans walkout in revolt during the last weekend game in the seventy-seventh minute over the high ticket prices from next season. And the team was doing well having 2 goal lead, but after that fatal 77 minute the support fell down and also Liverpool's concentration on the pitch...
Today the club pulled out of live Questions and Answers (Q&A) program with chief executive Ian Ayre to explain the controversial ticket pricing. On their own channel, LFCTV, club invited fans to submit their questions on an live Q&A show to Ayre. But just hours before the broadcast was due to start the show has been cancelled via Twitter. Today's reports was that the club US based owners, Fenway Sports Group, began emergency discussions with Liverpool representatives.

08 February 2016

More records from La Liga

Some records have occurred this weekend in Spain worth mentioning.
We knew that Barcelona are winning game by game and that is nothing new, really. But the Catalans' last away win, on Sunday against Levante, have tied an all time club record of 28 games without loss. The unbeaten streak was first set by Pep Guardiola's team from the 2010/11 season. This was the tenth win in a row for Barcelona in all competitions. Luis Enrique's club has not lost since the seventh round of Primera Division in October, where Sevilla beat them 2:1. 'The Blaugrana' team coached by Rinus Michels in the 1973/74 season, with Johan Cruyff in the squad, also had not lost in 27 straight games. We now only guess that next week when the champions will play seventh placed Celta Vigo in Camp Nou next Sunday, it will be a real festivity for a number of 29.
Elsewhere in Spain, we congratulate Fernando Torres for scoring 100 goals for Atletico Madrid. On Saturday they came from behind to beat Eibar 3:1, with the 31 year old admitted that 'is like a dream come true'. He scored the jubilee goal in the first minute injury time just before the game ended.

Hooligans have gone too far in Amsterdam ArenA

Ajax supporters have prepared a bizarre scene during the game against Feyenoord. They hang a dummy with the name of the Ajax goalkeeper who now defend the colors of the Rotterdam club. After 9 years spent as an Ajax goalkeeper, Kenneth Vermeer made a controversial move to their biggest rivals Feyenoord in August 2014 that fans have never forgotten. He was the target of some hooligans on the biggest 'de klassieker' Dutch derby. Before the game started they hanged the doll with his name written on the back. After a few minutes the dummy was removed by stewards. However, it was unsure how the fan managed to bring the doll to the stands. The perpetrator was caught as he left the stadium. He received a stadium ban and on top of that will be persecuted. The KNVB (Dutch FA) called the incident 'a reprehensible action of a very small part of the Ajax supporters' while the club spokesman did not want to comment this incident.
Amidst clouds of black smoke with an eerie effect, the Amsterdam giants won the game 2:1.

07 February 2016

CAF is divided

After yesterday's shock news that Africa would not support their 'own' candidate Tokyo Sexwale, CAF's executive committee has pledged to vote for the Bahrain candidate. But not all African nations are giving support for sheikh Salman for the FIFA presidential race.
Jordanian Prince Ali says the Liberia FA has pledged its vote to him. Ali's campaign published a 3 page letter of endorsement signed by Liberia FA president Musa Bility. In its report the president stated that Ali 'represents real change, while other candidates are not even prepared to criticize the FIFA system'. Bility was himself an applicant, but failed an integrity test judged by FIFA's election monitoring committee. Liberia is the second African nation who will vote for the Prince, after Egypt who has done the same.
On the other hand, Gianni Infantino is a step closer to win the race. South Sudan is giving its vote to the Swiss. 'Any voter has the right to chose whoever they want' said South Sudan FA president Chabur Goc Alei, by adding 'It is not compulsory from CAF telling any member association he has to vote for sheikh Salman'. Alei concluded how 'the proposal of Gianni is the only solution for the future of football in Africa and the whole world'. Infantino's pledge of financial support from FIFA for smaller regional groups to organize youth tournaments was the key for the South Sudan's endorsement.
CAF is believed to be the key region of the FIFA presidential race where 54 African nations have the right to vote out of 209 member states.

06 February 2016

Fans walkout from football game

As it was promised, it has been done. 'Spion Kop 1906' and 'Spirit of Shankly' groups during the week suggested all the fans to protest and walkout without any further explanation from the club over the expensive tickets starting from next season. Anfield stadium was almost empty after seventy-seventh minute when Liverpool supporters send a clear message to the club management over high ticket prices. With unfurled banners, like 'Football without fans is nothing' and 'Supporters not customers', the fans angrily protest against the 102 euro (77 pounds) tickets.
We think that the management had learn a great lesson today because Liverpool slipped from that 77 minute by giving away 2 goals lead.

Shock news from CAF

On Friday in Kigali, Rwanda at the Confederation of African Football (CAF) meeting decides to back sheikh Salman for the FIFA presidential race. The announcement was made by CAF vice presidents Suketu Patel and Almamy Kabele Camara at a news conference following the executive committee meeting. With 54 voting nations, Africa's choice may be crucial in the ballot on 26 February in Zurich.
This news came as a big surprise as CAF did not support their 'own man', South African businessman Tokyo Sexwale. The only African candidate in the race nevertheless remains 'great ally of CAF'. After this shock news to him and the confidence of staying in, Sexwale's spokesman said it was not entirely clear whether it will be premature to withdraw from the election race.
After the CAF meeting, the next key date for the candidates is 11 February when they will give presentations to the CONCACAF confederation at a meeting in Miami. CONCACAF has 35 member associations with votes in the FIFA election, from which 7 are already secured and determined for Gianni Infantino.

CONMEBOL made pact with the Pope

In order to prevent future corruption in the organization, the latest CONMEBOL president Alejandro Dominguez has made an unusual move with Vatican. The first man of the South American football governing body signed a collaboration agreement in the presence of Pope Francis, who is from Argentina, with his educational foundation 'Scholas'. A statement from CONMEBOL "shares Pope's vision to help educational models that benefit the development of skills and awareness" and "the aim of this joint action is to create social awareness about children in vulnerable situations".
Dominguez decided to connect with this European micro state after the last three CONMEBOL presidents were involved in corruption and bribery scandals.

'CAF would have backed Platini'

Exactly three weeks until the FIFA presidential race, the interim president of that organization Issa Hayatou revealed that the Confederation of African Football (CAF) region would have been voted for Michel Platini if he had been allowed to run for president. The disgraced 60 year old Frenchman was suspended from football for 8 years and now he is oriented more to clear his name in further courts. The Cameroonian Hayatou is president of CAF and became acting president in the wake of Blatter's suspension in October.
Following this shock statement of his, obviously he does not know how European candidates and presidents are slowly destroying this sport.

Legal proceedings against Beckenbauer

German FA (DFB) opens legal case against Franz Beckenbauer, former members and FIFA in a bid to potential damages arising from the 2006 World Cup bribe. DFB has taken necessary measures versus: former president of the World Cup organizing committee Franz Beckenbauer and vice president Fedor Radmann, ex-DFB presidents - Theo Zwanziger and Wolfgang Niersbach, former DFB secretary general Horst Schmidt and FIFA. Central to the affair is a suspect payment made by DFB to FIFA just before the 2006 tournament was awarded. DFB previously said that the money was a loan of 10 million Swiss francs (6.7 million euros) from then Adidas boss Robert Louis-Dreyfus paid to FIFA in 2002 to gain a much larger grant for the World Cup organizing committee. Niersbach said the payment had been arranged personally between Beckenbauer and FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who, of course, denied to have any knowledge of it. Behind this initial payment also prompted an ongoing tax evasion probe by German authorities against Zwanziger, Niersbach and Schmidt.

Ex-CONMEBOL president struck plea bargain

Uruguayan Eugenio Figueredo, former CONMEBOL president has agreed to hand over more than 9 million euros in stocks and property in a deal to reduce his punishment in the FIFA corruption scandal. The 83 year old agreed to cooperate with Uruguayan police.
Former FIFA vice president was arrested in Zurich last May as part of sweeping investigation into corruption at the worlds football governing body. He faces charges of money laundering and taking bribe to sell media and marketing rights for football tournaments and games across the Americas. Figueredo was extradited to his own country in December. Uruguayan prosecutor Juan Gomez said that 'he had reached a deal that includes handing over 12 or 13 properties with bank accounts and rights to shares he had invested in'.
More than 40 people and entities have been charged since May in the biggest FIFA corruption to date.

05 February 2016

Hollywood actress became honorary president

Rural club Glantraeth FC, from the island Anglesey in the north-west of Wales, send an original offer to the double Oscar nominee Naomi Watts - star of films such as Mulholland drive, King Kong, 21 grams, Babe: pig in the city - to become an honorary president. She spent her childhood on a farm with her grandparents near Malltraeth, where the football club is based and who now becomes its president. Population of the village counts around 400 people while games of the local football club watches an average of 40 people. Sir George Meyrick stood down as president in August and secretary Stan Strickland suggested Watts as his successor, who sent a letter to the British actress' agent in Los Angeles. Glantraeth competes in the third tier Welsh Alliance (Welsh football league system).
This is definitely best idea from the clubs' management for attracting more fans to the games!

Protest over tickets

Group of Liverpool supporters plans to protest in the upcoming game with Sunderland at Anfield due to an increase in ticket prizes for the new main stand from next season. 'Spion Kop 1906' group - backed by 'Spirit of Shankly' (SOS) - are calling for fans to leave Saturday's game in the seventy-seventh minute in revolt against 102 euro (77 pounds) top priced ticket. This season ticket for the main stand cost 78 euros, and SOS has already issued a statement expressing outrage at the increased price without explanation from the club owner.

04 February 2016

Messi - 500

Wednesday night in the Copa del Rey semi-final game at Camp Nou Barcelona humiliated Valencia 7:0. Neymar Jr. has scored 4 goals and missed a penalty deep into first half stoppage time. But his teammate stole the show by achieving his jubilee goal...
One of the greatest player of all time has scored its five-hundredth goal in official games of his career. Lionel Messi in just 74 minutes scored a new hat-trick, from which the second was his anniversary 500 goal. Of those 500, Messi scored 435 goals for Barcelona. He scored 49 goals for Argentina's national team, 14 for the young team while for the Olympic team he gave 2 goals. In total, the 28 year old star in his career so far played 637 games, scored 501 goals, shared 203 assists and won 28 trophies.
Knowing the skills and knowledge for the amazing Argentinian, we would not be surprised if he surpasses magical 1000 goals with this tempo.

Chinese company to sponsor second division

Those who insist that football faces unsolvable problems influencing sponsors and club owners in all spheres of this sport, are not far away from the truth.
Ledman Optoelectric Co., Ltd. - a Chinese company specializing in manufacturing LED lights - has agreed to sponsor the second division of Portuguese football starting from next season. As part of the sponsorship Segunda Liga will be renamed to Ledman LigaPro, who from now is making lots of controversies. Under the terms of the agreement, 3 Chinese assistant coaches and 10 players will be provided in the top 10 clubs of the Segunda Liga and it was also stated that teams would be obliged to devote and enhance the level of Chinese players. During talks, the clubs laid out proposed compensation package for taking on Chinese players. They asked for 20.000 euros the first year and 100.000 the fourth year for accepting three players and an assistant And a Chinese player's playing time should earn them several thousand euros, suggested clubs, who also wanted 20% of any transfer fee. Ledman is the official sponsor of Chinese Super League and the strategic partner of Chinese FA from 2011 to 2016, and also an official sponsor of China League club. Ledman has now become the business operator of Chinese Super League and China League. Company's involvement in Portuguese football is just one of many coordinated attempts to improve the quality and popularity of football in China. This purchase has been criticized by the Portuguese players' union, who argue that players would not be selected on merit. The contract where total value is mentioned has not been revealed.
Currently in Portugal, there are 4 Chinese players in the Segunda Liga. Braga B team and Leixoes each have one, while the other two plays for Freamunde. Since the start of the season they have in total three appearances.