30 April 2017

Merciless organization

Football officials are falling like pawns mostly of their own 'mistakes'. Doing it deliberately or not, FIFA does not forgive at all (that easily).
Last Friday ex-president of Costa Rica FA, Eduardo Li was banned for life from the sport. Saying good-bye to football he admitted that he (asked and received) taking bribes from marketing companies and for racketeering.
Same fate experienced Richard Lai. On Thursday night the Guam FA president admitted that he 'appropriated' 950.000 dollars in bribes between 2009 and 2014, so now he has to pay 1.1 million back in penalties. The verdict: yesterday FIFA and AFC suspended him for 90 days.
FIFA's ethics committee wants a 4 year ban on Gordon Derrick. Against the Caribbean Football Union president and Antigua and Barbuda's general secretary is opened a case for corruption.

Second champion known

Couple of days after Mexican side CF Pachuca, United Arab Emirates find out who is the host team represented at the Club World cup. Al Jazira secured its place at the fourteenth edition by winning the domestic Arabian Gulf league championship title. On 06 December the home side will open the event against the OFC champion, which will be revealed next on 07 May.
That duel will be decided between two New Zealand clubs: either Auckland City or Team Wellington for the Oceania title over two legs.

29 April 2017

Revealed referees for Russia

With exactly 50 days away from the first and preparatory major tournament in Russia this summer, FIFA yesterday revealed 36 names who will take care of the event as 'man in black / yellow'. From this competition they will have great help with the goal line technology system. These 'magnificent judges' are divided into 4 categories, and as for regions: Oceania gives one, 4 comes from CAF and CONCACAF confederations, Asia sends 7, CONMEBOL has 8, while 12 are Europeans.
Main referees are: Fahad al Mirdasi (Saudi Arabia), Alireza Faghani (IR Iran), Bakary Gassama (Gambia), Mark Geiger (United States of America), Nestor Pitana (Argentina), Wilmar Roldan (Colombia), Milorad Mazic (Serbia), Gianluca Rocchi (Italy) and Damir Skomina (Slovenia). Linesmen: Abdulah al Shalway and Mohammed al Abakry (Saudi Arabia), Reza Sokhandan and Mohammadreza Mansouri (IR Iran), Jean Claude Birumushahu (Burundi), Marwa Range (Kenya), Joe Fletcher (Canada), Charles Morgante (United States of America), Hernan Maidana and Juan Pablo Belatti (Argentina), Alexander Guzman and Cristian de la Cruz (Colombia), Milovan Ristic and Dalibor Djurdjevic (Serbia), Elenito di Liberatore and Mauro Tonolini (Italy), Jure Praprotnik and Robert Vukan (Slovenia). Controversial moments will be reviewed by video assistant referees: Ravshan Irmatov (Uzbekistan), Malang Diedhiou (Senegal), Jair Marrufo (United States of America), Enrique Caceres (Paraguay), Sandro Ricci (Brazil), Ovidiu Hategan (Romania), Artur Dias (Portugal), Clement Turpin (France). Abdelkader Zitouni (Tahiti) is the lone support referee for all 16 matches.

28 April 2017

Kings from north America

With one goal advantage CF Pachuca has beaten their counterparts Tigres UANL, who has lost their second final in a row in the north American version of the Champions league. Thus CONCACAF became the first region to give its champions from Mexico a ticket for the final meeting - the Club World cup which will be held this December in United Arab Emirates.

27 April 2017

Canceled membership

The most anticipated and dramatic club event in the world is, without doubt El Clasico. Everybody wants to witness (probably) the best two teams in Spain fighting against each other on the pitch - Real Madrid and Barcelona. And last weekend the stadium was too small for everyone to attend that match: some spectators did everything to see the mega-derby offering real wealth while others 'renounced' that right for a bigger price.
Out of anger due to the final result, fear or something third, Real Madrid on Tuesday in cooperation with state police deprived 357 membership owners accusing them of re-selling their tickets to the visiting fans. It was very 'strange' that Blaugrana spectators sat at various sections throughout Santiago Bernabeu stadium, who were mingled with home fans. Before the game even began, investigation was already opened for 1.450 members.
According to reports those cards were paid from 500 and even up to 1.000 euros, knowing that membership for northern stands behind the goal for one year costs around 450 euros. With this yearly ticket owners may watch championship duels only and is not valid neither for Copa del Rey nor Champions league games.

26 April 2017

Collaboration with social media

Besides north American viewers, the whole world will have a chance to see the second leg of the CONCACAF Scotiabank Champions league final between Mexican sides CF Pachuca and Tigres UANL on 27 April at 04.00 CET. As no one won first 90 minutes from one week ago the return leg should be an interesting duel.
For you to watch the north American version of the most strongest club competition at the region all you need to have its Internet. Today the confederation and Twitter have reached an agreement to broadcast live this final, which basically everyone can see. Online and offline users from this platform can also watch the pregame show half an hour earlier prior to the big match from the estadio Miguel Hidalgo.
There is no doubt that Mexican club will represent CONCACAF at the Club World cup this December in United Arab Emirates. The only question is which one?

25 April 2017

Beyond the deadline

The well known bad diplomatic relations is still ongoing between North Korea and Malaysia. These two countries had to play in Pyongyang on 28 March the first round of qualifiers for the Asian cup. The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) had been given a deadline by 14 April to the host to propose a neutral venue. Because that date has now been surpassed, last Thursday it was announced that the AFC itself will try to find a third country to act like the 'host' for these two teams which supposed to take place 08 June. Final decision on whether the above two teams will play their match on neutral ground will be known one month earlier - on 08 May.

24 April 2017

Unjustified heavy amercement

Just one day before the return leg in Turkey this Thursday at the Europa league, UEFA has issued an unwarranted and funny fine. On 14 April Olympique Lyon and Besiktas match was delayed for 46 minutes (to be exact) due to spectators' invasion on the pitch. Although (another) lack of security at the entrance of the stadium were to blame now both clubs have to pay 100.000 euros. On top of that this duo has been put on probationary period of 2 years i.e. both will be thrown out of European competitions on one season in next 2 years if these incidents are repeated by their fans.
The home side has been charged with poor organization of the game, blocking stairways, setting off fireworks and incursion of the spectators at the end of the game. On the edge of being suspended are their Turkish rivals as well which are accused of spectators' fight with police and French fans, fireworks and throwing objects on the pitch. But, as always there was no word on the security presence.

23 April 2017

Back after the break

From seven days ago football is playing again in Indonesia. The last domestic super league competition was played in 2014/15 season after the government intervened in the work of the FA. Because of that FIFA has suspended this sport in 2015, and for full 2 years football was halted in Indonesia i.e. did not play any international nor domestic matches. One year later, the dismissal was lifted and on 15 April Barito Putera and Mitra Kukar kicked off the proceedings and opened a new football page in this southeast Asian country.

21 April 2017

Europa league semi final layout

After an amazing Thursday night where we had 13 goals and 13 lottery penalty shoot outs in 450 minutes of play from just 4 games, today is the time to find out the last 2 matches from the Europa league. Semifinal pairs will be played on 04 and 11 May, before the grand final in Sweden at the end of next month.

Ajax - Olympique Lyon.

Celta Vigo - Manchester United.

At the final in Stockholm 'home' club would be the first pair who will play versus the second.

Semi final schedule complete

Champions league is come down to only two pairs. A French and Italian club will compete against two Spanish and among them are the last year's finalists. First 90 minutes is going to be played on 02 and 03 May. Cardiff finalists will be decided the following week.

Real Madrid - Atletico Madrid.

Monaco - Juventus.

In Wales, second pair is going to be 'the host' and welcome game winners number one.

From three undecided games: two finished after extra time while one ended with a roulette

Besiktas - Olympique Lyon 2:1, on penalties: 6-7

Scorers: 1:0 27 Anderson Talisca
              1:1 34 Alexandre Lacazette
              2:1 58 Anderson Talisca

Genk - Celta Vigo 1:1

Scorers: 0:1 63 Pione Sisto
              1:1 67 Leandro Trossard

Manchester United - Anderlecht 1:1, after extra time 2:1

Scorers: 1:0 10 Henrikh Mkhitaryan
              1:1 31 Sofiane Hanni
              2:1 107 Marcus Rashford

Schalke 04 - Ajax 2:0, after extra time 3:2

Scorers: 1:0 53 Leon Goretzka
              2:0 56 Guido Burgstaller
              3:0 101 Daniel Caligiuri
              3:1 110 Nick Viergever
              3:2 120 Amin Younes

19 April 2017

Camp Nou did not experienced another miracle

Barcelona - Juventus 0:0

Champions in agony needed additional minutes to advance

Leicester - Atletico Madrid 1:1

Scorers: 0:1 26 Saul Niguez
              1:1 61 Jamie Vardy

Real Madrid - Bayern Munich 1:2, after extra time 4:2

Scorers: 0:1 52-pen Robert Lewandowski
              1:1 75 Cristiano Ronaldo
              1:2 77-own goal Sergio Ramos
              2:2 104 Cristiano Ronaldo
              3:2 109 Cristiano Ronaldo
              4:2 112 Marco Asensio

18 April 2017

Fury crowd

Is it some curse, because of the name or something else? In last couple of plays Olympique Lyon matches were delayed for almost an hour. Last Thursday there was a 46 minute delay in the Europe league encounter against Besiktas and 3 days later another delay has occurred, this time in its national championship.
In Corsica, at the 33 round between Bastia and Lyon home supporters invaded the Armand-Cesari pitch two times. First was when hooligans attacked the visiting side during warm up before the start of the game. They have assaulted Lyon goalkeeper Mathieu Gorgelin and Memphis Depay. Out of anger the visitors refused to play, but after 55 minutes Lyon decided to continue with the game. However, another intrusion happened at halftime which triggered the match to be completely abandoned.

17 April 2017

Four best teams wanted from each tournament

Immediately after the Easter holiday European cup competitions continue with its second leg. Sixteen teams will be halved into eight and although it may seems that some pairs are already decided in the first 90 minutes no one is safe into advancing onto the next stage, as we know in football everything is possible.

In its standard time of 20.45 CET second and third day of the week are always reserved for Champions league. All will be answered in the last day on whether we are going to see new teams or we will be 'stuck' with the old ones for the semi finals.

Tuesday, 18 April: Leicester - Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid - Bayern Munich.

Wednesday, 19 April: Barcelona - Juventus and Monaco - Borussia Dortmund.

As far as the Europa league is concerned, in here questions will be answered in only hour and 49 minutes time (or maybe more). Out of the two, this is the only competition where new champion is going to be crowned, and by seeing their play so far only few teams can apply for that position. The quest and hunt for best four clubs this season begins from 21.05 CET.

Thursday, 20 April: Besiktas - Olympique Lyon, Genk - Celta Vigo, Manchester United - Anderlecht and Schalke 04 - Ajax.

16 April 2017

Tragic death

Deportivo Arabe Unido player and Panama international star Amilcar Henriquez has been murdered outside his home in Nuevo Colon, at the Colon province. The 33 year old midfielder, nicknamed 'Mickey', was shot several times on Saturday morning by an unknown gunman, while his two friends Josemar Pedro and Delano Wilson have sustained injuries from the attack. "We wholeheartedly condemn the murder of Amilcar Henriquez. We will put all our forces at Colon's disposal to catch those responsible" wrote on his Twitter account Juan Carlos Varela, president of Panama.

Help from above has arrived

It is not exactly a birds view, but its similar to it. Technology system called video assistant referee is slowly entering the sport and its here to stay...for good.
After lots and lots of testing, from last Friday Australia has become the first country / continent in the world who introduced it into its domestic championship. The A-league additional referee debut started on the match between Melbourne City and Adelaide United.
This system is mainly installed due to the incidents with goals, red cards and penalties, who referees do not want to witness it or 'are afraid' to show.

15 April 2017

Foreign Italian club

After 31 years as club president Silvio Berlusconi has finally gave up his club. Former Italian prime minister and Fininvest chairman transferred 99.93 percent of shares on Thursday to Rossoneri sport investment lux company. These Chinese giants have purchased Milan for 740 million euros, which also includes 220 million of the club's debt. Entrepreneurs Yonghong Li and Han Li became new owners after around two years of (hard) negotiations.
This Saturday the team will play against city rivals Inter, who is also under Chinese leadership - Suning holdings group.

13 April 2017

Turnarounds are in fashion these couple of nights

Ajax - Schalke 04 2:0

Scorer: 1:0 23-pen Davy Klaassen
            2:0 52 Davy Klaassen

Anderlecht - Manchester United 1:1

Scorers: 0:1 37 Henrikh Mkhitaryan
              1:1 86 Leander Dendoncker

Celta Vigo - Genk 3:2

Scorers: 0:1 10 Jean-Paul Boetius
              1:1 14 Pione Sisto
              2:1 17 Iago Aspas
              3:1 38 John Guidetti
              3:2 67 Thomas Buffel

Olympique Lyon - Besiktas 2:1

Scorers: 0:1 15 Ryan Babel
              1:1 83 Corentin Tolisso
              2:1 85 Jeremy Morel

Additional information: Last game was delayed for 46 minutes due to spectators' invasion on the pitch with violence at the stands.

12 April 2017

Minimal advantages for both Madrid clubs

Atletico Madrid - Leicester 1:0

Scorer: 1:0 28-pen Antoine Griezmann

Bayern Munich - Real Madrid 1:2

Scorers: 1:0 25 Arturo Vidal
              1:1 47 Cristiano Ronaldo
              1:2 76 Cristiano Ronaldo

Club World cup match schedule and logo

At the end of each year six champions from each confederations are going to decide which is playing best football on a club level. This year the host for the Club World cup will be United Arab Emirates (UAE) where from 06 until 16 December welcomes those six title holders plus host champion from the national league. Eight matches are going to be played on two stadiums: Zayed sports city in Abu Dhabi and Hazza bin Zayed in Al Ain. The only thing which is known so far is that the leader at the UAE league will open the event against the Oceania champion on 06 December. Also today in the capital of UAE the logo was unveiled for the fourteenth edition of the event. 'The official emblem is a true representation of the UAE’s cultural heritage. The beautiful multi-colored sands of the desert form the basis of the emblem. From our precious historical traditions of fishing, sailing and pearl diving, reflected in the representation of the dhow, to the rich beauty of date palm leaves and trees that signify sustainability, this is a symbol for a phenomenal tournament taking place in the UAE.' explained the emblem major general Mohamed Khalfan al Romaithi who is also the president of the event. The original ball which is at the top of the trophy is made of Arabic calligraphy means Emirates.

11 April 2017

Suspended quarter final match

Juventus - Barcelona 3:0

Scorers: 1:0 07 Paulo Dybala
              2:0 22 Paulo Dybala
              3:0 55 Giorgio Chiellini

Additional information: Because of the attack where three explosive devices were detonated near the Borussia Dortmund bus, the game between the German club and Monaco was postponed. In order not to intervene with Wednesday's schedule this match will be played from 18.45 CET.

Rapid advance in Qatar

We eagerly await to see the twenty-first edition of the most popular sporting event in the world in Russia next year, there are even (big) talks of the hosting rights in 2026 these days, however, the World cup between them is somehow forgotten...but not entirely. The qualifying cycle, which will start three years earlier, did not even began, and yet the preparations of the first World cup on Arabian soil are already underway. In 2022 Qatar for the last time will see the old World cup with 32 teams and from now on host is doing everything to be ready even years earlier.
Al Bayt stadium in the city Al Khor is finished at almost half of work. The venue will have a proposed 60.000 chairs and the retractable roof to close the whole space will be approximately 20 minutes. 'Work on the site is progressing on schedule, with 40 percent of stadium structural work and 25 percent of the construction work for the surrounding precinct already completed. The area around the stadium will include facilities for the community and green areas. There are currently 3.000 construction workers on site.' explained Aspire zone foundation project director for the stadium Dr. Nasser al-Hajeri.


United friendly trio for World cup

With joint forces Canada, United States of America and Mexico are trying to be the first three countries to host a World cup event. The only co-host so far was in Asia 2002, but CONCACAF region should get the right and the above three federations have expressed their desire to welcome the best 48 teams in 2026. Official process of candidacy for getting the World cup rights in nine years time starts at the end of the year.

10 April 2017

Quarter-final time

This is the month when we will find out all semi finalists in both European cup tournaments. We are left with 16 best clubs on the continent and all 8 pairs starts from leg one. From this round and up until the finals only 2 time slots apply.

Champions league, as always, is divided on to 2 days. Each day, 2 pairs will be played in its standard time of 20.45 CET.

Tuesday, 11 April: Borussia Dortmund - Monaco and Juventus - Barcelona.

Wednesday, 12 April: Atletico Madrid - Leicester and Bayern Munich - Real Madrid.

And twenty minutes later, from 21.05 CET, is starting the most exciting Europa league. Only one nation, Belgium, have couple of clubs more in the competition than 'rest of Europe'.

Thursday, 13 April: Ajax - Schalke 04, Anderlecht - Manchester United, Celta Vigo - Genk and Olympique Lyon - Besiktas.

09 April 2017

Expanded World cup proposition

We all know that from 2026 a new World cup will be presented to us with 48 teams. But how many teams will each confederation have?
At the end of March FIFA Bureau gave a suggestion of places for each region. After consulting all of them and under the new document for the expanded World cup finals to Asia are assigned 8 direct spots, Africa will get 1 more i.e. 9 direct places, CONCACAF and CONMEBOL 6 each, Oceania region will receive 1 direct spot, while 16 teams from Europe will be in the event nine years from now. Adding all numbers above we are getting 46 teams, so 2 are missing. For those who are 'sleeping' and are playing 'prank games' in the two year qualifying period, FIFA is giving last chance to still be at the event through intercontinental playoffs. There will be a six team tournament and all games will perform at the World cup host ground. All these six 'lucky survivors' will be from each region, except a team from Europe, however in here jumps a host World cup nation as well (who, of course, will play as friendly matches). There is a possibility that all games are going to be played in November prior to the main finals.
For all the above to be true the FIFA council has to confirm it first at the next meeting in the capital of Bahrain - Manama 09 May.

08 April 2017

New official sponsor for next two main FIFA competitions

Companies from PR China seems to have conquered FIFA. After Wanda group, Hisense has joined the community to be an official sponsor for the next two major tournaments. On Thursday the white goods and electronic manufacturer is the latest firm to affiliate forces with FIFA, however the deal has remained top secret. As the agreement says for itself, this summer in the Confederations Cup and one year later at the World Cup in Russia, Hisense televisions will also be the official for the events.

07 April 2017

Generous confederation

Its good to be part of the European football organization because every member will receive 'solidarity payments'. Each of them, and there are 55, will get one million euros. This was announced yesterday in Helsinki, Finland by president Aleksander Ceferin explaining that "UEFA's role is not to accumulate wealth, but to help its members and support the development of football".
The organization had closed the 2015/16 season on 102.1 million euros profit, which includes also the European championship in France. So, this generosity of 55 million is a 'little thing' from UEFA considering that its reserves have climbed up to incredible 633 million euros.
Ceferin has once again repeated that he will not allow the creation of closed Super league by saying that 'money has no power'.

06 April 2017

Record win under investigation

On 01 April Barcelona B team played a league match with Eldense at the Segunda division B, group 3. It was not an ordinary day for the visitors, when the Catalan's second team recorded the biggest victory in that category. Although last Saturday was a convenient day for pranks the end result was not a joke at all - 12:0.
After this double disaster for Eldense and one day after the 'famous'' loss, which sealed the relegation six rounds before the end, the club has announced that they are pulling out for the rest of the season. However on Monday, the president David Aguilar changed his mind saying that they will continue according to the schedule adding that he lodged an appeal and asked the Spanish football authorities to investigate the match. For RAC1 radio station he stated that footballers who normally plays for the team suddenly were off the starting line-up. Mauritania's Cheikh Saad also accused some of his own teammates who said that the manager and some players knew what was going on. And that manager was arrested from the Spanish police - Italian Filippo Vito di Pierro for match fixing.

05 April 2017

An former official has been barred doing business in this sport

In July he admitted racketeering and taking bribes for personal gains and this Monday he find out the verdict. FIFA's ethical committee has decided to remove ex-Guatemala FF president Brayan Jimenez permanently from football. Although, was pleaded guilty the merciless football organization never forgave him as he breached lots of contracts. 'His guilty plea related to two schemes by means of which he asked for and received bribes from sports marketing companies in relation to the awarding of marketing rights for World Cup qualifiers in the UNCAF region and for agreeing to the Guatemalan national team taking part in UNCAF region friendlies' said the committee statement.

04 April 2017

Top five earnings in football

Seven days ago renowned magazine France Football has done an interesting statistics of who is earning most in the sport on a worldwide basis.
At number one place, and without doubt, is Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo whose revenue is estimated at 87.5 million euros. In this amount is calculated the annual salary in Real Madrid, bonuses and income from advertising and sponsors. With 11 million less, in second place is his 'fierce rival' from Barcelona - Argentinian Lionel Messi, who in 2016/17 season earned 76.5 million euros. Top three round up another of his colleague from the club - Brazilian Neymar Jr. with 55.5 million euros. Gareth Bale has 41 million, and in fifth place is another Argentina player from Hebei China Fortune - Ezequiel Lavezzi who earns 28.5 million euros.
As for the coaches, best manager is Jose Mourinho who gets 28 million euros, ahead of Chinese trainer Marcello Lippi whose salary is 23.5 and Laurent Blanc with 20 million euros. Into the top five are also Carlo Ancelotii has a revenue of 15.8 and Pep Guardiola with 14.5 million euros.

03 April 2017

Race for 2026 World Cup hosts

With Europe and Asia already out, a host(s) for the World Cup in nine years time is left with 4 options.
One of them is known as CONCACAF confederation is considering joint bid from Mexico, United States of America and Canada to be first countries to welcome 48 nations in the event for the first time. On Tuesday Morocco has expressed their willingness to host the 2026 World Cup and new CAF president, Ahmad Ahmad, has backed the proposal. His support came after encouraging words was said by FIFA president Gianni Infantino that the country has a good 'infrastructure and organisational capacity'.
Previously this north African state has missed out to be host 4 times: 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010. Thus Morocco has become country with the most bids who was never to host World Cup finals.

02 April 2017

Fans are always guilty

As expected, last Thursday UEFA has penalized both clubs who played against each other in the last 16, from the Champions league. It was the first Tuesday in March when Arsenal and Bayern Munich met in the first leg of the competition, but their spectators (completely) has stole the show.
The hosts were guilty due to lack of security as one Arsenal fan run through the stadium, so the team was given a 5.000 euros fine. Due to high ticket prices for the game, 'angry' Bayern Munich spectators threw various objects on the pitch. Their (strange) behavioral protest did not help the team who was 'facilitated' with 3.000 euros.
Meanwhile, Napoli has to pay 38.000 euros because their fans threw fireworks and used lasers in the same round against Real Madrid.

01 April 2017

Lionel Messi punished

Yes, the title is correct and there is nothing wrong with it. Even if it is hard to believe, the little magician is penalized for insulting the linesman referee against Chile last Thursday and this reported to the match delegate. He was given four matches forced rest (one has already done), and now is expected to return to the team at the last round of CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers for Russia 2018 against Ecuador. FIFA also gave him a 'little present' for those bad words - Messi has to pay 10.000 Swiss francs (9.338 euros) fine.
This banning applies only for Argentina's official international (qualifying) matches, and not the club where he plays.