31 May 2017

For and against

In a fear of a new possible terrorist attack on the day where Champions league final is going to take place this weekend, there are some sparkles between the host and the European football organization before the game even began.
Welsh capital is doing everything to avoid any incidents, so the local authorities have forbidden any gatherings of supporters in the fan zones. This 'anti-football' decision has 'angered' UEFA by saying that they will exist after all.
For security in Cardiff on Saturday some 15.000 policemen will be on the streets to guard the whole event. Around the stadium will be formed safety rings.

30 May 2017

Biggest fine in Bosnian football

On 17 of this month Siroki Brijeg has won Bosnia and Herzegovina Cup over penalties against Sarajevo. However, the FA was not too happy how this match was played, so they notice a number of omissions. They counted up to six: lack for organization in the game, chanting fascist slogans, belittling the national anthem, incite religious and national hatred, use of pyrotechnics and distribution of alcohol in the stadium. Due to this charges, the club from Siroki Brijeg last week has been penalized with the biggest fine in the country: 25.000 convertible marks (12.781 euros) plus with 7 matches playing on an empty stadium (without supporters) on a national level.
With all these difficulties and by winning the trophy, we will see this club next season competing in the qualifying round of the Europa league.

29 May 2017

New or old champion?

Will Champions league be defended for the first time since its installment, we would find out next weekend where Juventus plays against Real Madrid. It will all be answered on the first Saturday in June between, currently, two champions in their own countries for this season. Spanish champion would be very honored if for the first time defend the title earned from one year ago, and the real threat comes out from the Italian counterparts who so far in the tournament played remarkable football. Final game of the competition for 2016/17 season will be played at the National stadium of Wales in Cardiff on 03 June from 20.45 CET.

28 May 2017

Benchmark reports for Asian clubs

The Asian confederation has decided last week to issue benchmark reports for its clubs. In order to increase more transparency among teams, these statements will analyse financial trends and check financial data. This is mainly important for club licensing for the Asian teams.

27 May 2017

Verdict is confirmed

This Wednesday the Spanish court dismissed the appeal of the football player and has confirmed that Jorge and Lionel Messi damaged the state for 4.16 million euros earned between 2007 and 2009. This duo both need to serve 21 months in prison, but in Spain less than 2 year sentence is automatically converted into probation. Concerning the fact that the Barcelona and Argentina star quickly paid the debt towards Spanish tax authorities, the court has reduced sentence for his father from 21 to 15 months and financially from 1.6 to 1.3 million euros.

26 May 2017

Security comes first

Next Saturday it will be football holiday in Europe as we are only one game away to see which is the best team in Champions league for this season. But the recent deadly event in England alarmed UEFA to that point that asked the hosts to raise security to the highest level.
Cardiff is preparing for the final as its biggest and important football game in the town. In the Welsh capital manholes are welded and fences are raised. Around the stadium it would be formed a safe zone. A new and helping application is designed for telling fans / citizens for possible incidents. 'EVAC Cardiff' will send notifications to every user on smart phones and tablets.
The south Wales police has said that this is one of the biggest safe operations ever conducted in the city. On the day of the game more than 1.500 policemen will be in Cardiff, while lots of them will be armed.

24 May 2017

Double joy for 'Red devils' in 90 minutes: won Europa league title and Champions league spot for next season

Ajax - Manchester United 0:2

Scorers: 0:1 18 Paul Pogba
              0:2 48 Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Indeed a problematic match

At first the visitors did not want to play because they feared for their safety. At the start of the month it was decided that this duel would be played 5 days before the second round in Pyongyang. As that was not enough, the confederation has now turned the page...once again.
Now the 'historical' first round game from the Asian cup qualifiers for United Arab Emirates 2019 which was scheduled FINALLY to be played next month has been suspended again. At last the Asian football confederation decision is now determined: due to high political tensions on the Korean peninsula, North Korea - Malaysia will be played in the second part of 2017 - 05 October (of course if conditions are permitted).

23 May 2017

Hooligans against an association

On 14 May, 21 stewards were injured during fans riot outside the stadium plus 15 police officers were hurt from fireworks. Those several hooligans marched through Karlsruhe dressed in military attire, who set lots of flares and fireworks in the process. On top of that on one banner was written 'War on the DFB (German FA)'. All this disorder happened in the second Bundeliga match between Karlsruher and Dynamo Dresden.
Seven days ago the association opened an investigation into this low behavior, while the interior minister Thomas de Maiziere wants tougher punishments for the perpetrators.

22 May 2017

Who will succeed Sevilla?

In both European league competitions after lots and lots of qualifying matches, group stage games and knock out round plays, we finally came to the last 2 important duels of 2016/17 season. 
In reverse order, the Europa league final will start first this time, plus it will have an unusual time slot of 20.45 CET. After Spain, new country will rule with this tournament: either Holland or England. Apart from financial boost and the trophy, Ajax and Manchester United are actually battling for the main prize: entering Champions league list for 2017/18 season. Swedish capital Stockholm on Wednesday, 24 May will have the honor to close a successful tournament for this year at Friends arena.

Forbidden banner

Ten days ago Japan FA has punished Gamba Osaka with 2 million yen (16.135 euros). On 16 April versus city rivals Cerezo, its supporters 'sneaked' on stadium a banner that looked like a Nazi symbol.
Reaction from the club was really fast: those group of fans, who displayed that flag, were barred from entering the games while for the other groups banners are completely prohibited.

21 May 2017

Suspicious transfer

Out of nowhere, Paul Pogba's move from Juventus to Manchester United last summer is under suspicion. Ten days ago FIFA has put this transfer under investigation after his manager, Mino Raiola is believed to have collected enormous amount of money.
The 24 year old has first left the island in 2012 and went to Juventus for 1.8 million euros. Four years later he returned to England with a record sum of 105 million, although, after the conclusion of the contract, the Italians have announced that the economic effect of such transfer be 72.6 million euros.

20 May 2017

Cooperation among confederations

FIFA's extraordinary congress in Manama, Bahrain last week helped some confederations to collaborate with each other. One example is the Asian region with the CONCACAF counterpart. Apart from both regional competitions, the contract will be focused more on: technical and administrative training, management, refereeing, marketing, development, social responsibility, development and technology.

19 May 2017

TV exclusive agreement

The biggest event in north America will happen this summer with the Gold cup event. We certainly cannot wait for this month to start, and right from the first kick off of the ball until the last we will see a familiar advertising channel throughout the stadiums in United States of America.
The Sports Network (TSN for short) has signed up a multi-year contract with CONCACAF confederation to become an official sponsor at the 2017 Gold cup tournament. So little is known of this network in Europe, but over in north America this is one of the leading sport channels, based in Canada. With the agreement signed this Tuesday, TSN will have a free advertisement panels on all stadiums plus every game will be broadcast on its platforms: mobile applications and web site.
Together in a package, and apart from the upcoming competition, TSN has also grabbed, joined the community and is now exclusive partner of CONCACAF Scotiabank Champions league starting from this August.

18 May 2017

New national league to be launched

Last Tuesday Canada FA with its members has agreed to launch a new national football championship: Canadian premier league. New league would start from 2018/19 season with Hamilton and Winnipeg being founding cities. Ten more towns across the country are also interested to stage games for this league.

17 May 2017

Most precious footballers

May is the last month where national championships are getting to a close. And with the finish also comes the awards for best best players for this season, this time at the French league.
In a competition with Anthony Lopes (Olympique Lyon), Kevin Trapp (PSG) and Baptiste Reynet (Dijon), Monaco's number one Danijel Subasic became the best goalkeeper for the current season. The Croatian is only the second foreigner to 'steal' that prize as his predecessor was Italian Salvatore Sirigu, who won awards in 2013 and 2014.
Other titles were collected also from Monaco: Kylian Mbappe for best youth player, while best coach is Leonardo Jardim.

16 May 2017

Tickets allocation

We are only nine days away to learn who will be the new champion of Europa league. After a hat-trick performance from Spain, now we know that a new country will win the title: either Holland or England. Who will have more supporters and how tickets allocation went through that was decided right after the semifinals.
The beautiful stadium of Friends arena in Stockholm on 24 May will host the match between Ajax and Manchester United. For this final both teams would be given 9.500 tickets from the total 50.650 seats. There is no doubt that the two finalists will receive more application than the above number. Since 19.000 is already gone, the rest will go for: sponsoring partners, national associations, broadcasters and local organizers. Around 17.000 tickets are separate for various fans throughout the world which can be bought through the UEFA website.

15 May 2017

Official air partner

Bit by bit, one week ago the world football organization has snatched one more sponsor. Qatar based air carrier Qatar Airways has signed an agreement until 2022. Thus this mega company gained exclusive marketing rights to: 2017 Confederations cup and 2018 World cup (both in Russia), 2019 Women's World cup in France, concluding with the host in its own country - 2022 World cup in Qatar. Not to mention that this partnership also includes and the official airliner to FIFA as well, in the next 5 years.

From player to director

After 24 years spent in the club, iconic captain of AS Roma Francesco Totti will finish his career at the end of this season. Last Wednesday new sports director Monchi has told that right after the retirement the striker should have some director role in the club next season, but these days the footballer denied all that in a mysterious way (probably wanting the ball more than the offered function).
The 40 year old made debut at the club in 1993 and with 783 appearances scored 307 goals.

14 May 2017

Great achievement

One round before the end, SPAL has secured return into the Italian Serie A starting from 2017/18 season. The team from Ferrara made a comeback into the elite after 49 years. In just the last two years, Societa Polisportiva Ars et Labor or simply SPAL, went from third league into the top flight.

13 May 2017

Final two referees

Just 14 hours after the second European cup tournament semifinals which finished in a thrilling fashion, UEFA has announced final two 'men in yellow' of the season.
Stockholm will be host for the two best teams at the Europa league. In the Swedish capital on 24 May Ajax and Manchester United will fight for the title. In this game both teams will have to 'listen' to Damir Skomina from Slovenia. Whoever will be victorious from Friends Arena the main prize would be entering Champions league 2017/18 season.
And talking about that league, just 10 days later at the Welsh capital, Germany's Felix Brych will round up 2016/17 season. Champions league final game will be decided in Cardiff at the National stadium of Wales on Saturday, 03 June between Juventus and Real Real Madrid. Besides the title and great financial boost winner in this duel will represent European region at the Club World cup at the end of the year in United Arab Emirates.
Both matches will start from 20.45 CET.

11 May 2017

Mixed overall fortunes for the home clubs

Manchester United - Celta Vigo 1:1

Scorers: 1:0 17 Marouane Fellaini
              1:1 85 Facundo Sebastian Roncaglia

Olympique Lyon - Ajax 3:1

Scorers: 0:1 26 Kasper Dolberg
              1:1 45-pen Alexandre Lacazette
              2:1 45+1 Alexandre Lacazette
              3:1 81 Rachid Ghezzal

Additional information: Swedish capital Stockholm will welcome Ajax and Manchester United for the grand final game on Wednesday, 24 May from 20.45 CET.

Fastest goal number three

Apart from the European, Asian Champions league is producing some extraordinary matches these days. To prove that this is (more than) right in one of today's duels there was a real drama in the first 6 minutes, the whole match ended in 5 goals, but the real thriller began at the very beginning.
As the old continent is slowly preparing for the most precious game of the season, in Asia we have come to closing in the group stages. Chinese international striker Wu Lei has opened the score for his Shanghai SIPG club in just 21 seconds against Western Sydney Wanderers, making it the third quickest goal at the competition. Unfortunately this fantastic opening was not enough for Andre Villas-Boas team as they lost the game, but qualified through to last 16 finishing second in group F.
In 2013 Sebastian Soria who scored in only 10 seconds is the absolute leader on the tournament, while silver position holds Salamat Kutibaev from this February as he needed 17 seconds unlocking Al Ahli's net.

10 May 2017

Loosing guests entered into another final

Atletico Madrid - Real Madrid 2:1

Scorers: 1:0 12 Saul Niguez
              2:0 16-pen Antoinne Griezmann
              2:1 42 Isco

'Problematic match' in its original place

The 'troubled game' has finally been resolved. Couple of ideas were circulating around: that the other country would switch hospitality or shifting the match away to a neutral venue. At the end everything went on to the original plan for the suspended game of the Asian cup first qualifying round. Yesterday the Asian football confederation has decided that North Korea and Malaysia will play their duel in Pyongyang on 08 June after the Malaysian government lifted travel restrictions for its citizens.
So, everything stays the same, apart from the date, as this match supposed to be finished at the end of March.

09 May 2017

Unwanted guest

This week in one other sport - tennis, at the 1.000 category event Mutua Madrid open is being held in the Spanish capital. So far this tournament is playing in a good mood, but today the Madrid crowd went a little bit too far causing chaos due to one man.
Series of insults and boos were directed at Gerard Pique, who like any other came to watch the match between David Ferrer - Mikhail Kukushkin. As football is opposite from tennis, where is playing in absolute silence, the referee briefly needed to interrupt the game when the 30 year old got up to his feet which was enough to provoke the home noisy crowd while the whistles became more and more unbearable.
Like any other professional player, the Barcelona defender was relaxed the whole time without paying attention to the angry crowd around him.

08 May 2017

Eight teams cut in half, part two

Four clubs will try to make into the final in Wales and Sweden and for the remaining 90 minutes fierce battle is expected on the pitch. While at the 'strongest' competition the champion is still trying to defend its title, for the second one we are searching for new leader from start of the season.

Next week will be the final time this year that Champions league will be held over two days. Two pairs should provide plenty of entertainment from 20.45 CET.

Tuesday, 09 May: Juventus - Monaco.

Wednesday, 10 May: Atletico Madrid - Real Madrid.

Lots of excitements happened past week and for the next we are hoping the same. For the last time from 21.05 CET Europa league will be held on one day.

Thursday, 11 MayManchester United - Celta Vigo and Olympique Lyon - Ajax.

07 May 2017

Newspaper quintet goes to court because of 'a crime'

Sport journalist Javier Sanchez, data collecting journalist Paula Guisado, research journalist Quico Alsedo and director Pedro Garcia Cuartango, who works at the famously known newspaper 'El Mundo', are accused in Madrid due to unlawfully collecting information about players who evade taxes in the affair 'football leaks'. Together with director of the publishing house Unidad Editorial, Antonio Fernandez Galiano, needs to appear in court on 18 May.
On 02 December all Spanish media needed to stop issuing the articles, after judge Arturo Zamarriego forbids them from further publishment. El Mundo is compiled in a consortium of 12 European media issuing series of articles about Real Madrid players who avoid paying taxes to the state, who among them is best player in the world Cristiano Ronaldo. As football leaks continued, last Thursday Zamarriego has charged all five for disobeying a court order.
Their answer, and it is evidently, that El Mundo did not came to those information illegally, and the articles were published simultaneously in all 12 media united at the consortium. Reactions from many journalists associations want the judge to revoke the order, while opposition political parties accuse the government of protecting the clubs and players. Parliamentary representative at the Podemos party (We can), Alberto Garzon said that this is a 'powerful network with big economic interests' which includes marketing and construction companies. 'People at the end understands there is one justice for rich and one for poor' he added.

Powerful 'Navy Blues'

Instead of winning Team Wellington has lost its second final leg with similar score, which means that Auckland City won the Oceania Champions league for seventh consecutive time. The new / old title holders collected all four awards: golden ball, boot and glove as well as the fair play reward.
Next champion will be revealed in Europe on 03 June, first final who will be decided on only one leg.
Therefore first pair is known at the Club World cup opening match which will be held in United Arab Emirates. On 06 December the Alibaba YunOS Auto tournament kicks off with Al Jazira - Auckland City in Al Ain stadium at 19.00 CET.

06 May 2017

Continued action of removing members

Real Madrid carried on removing 'bad' members who were selling their cards for the Spanish derby against Barcelona. It is believed that visiting fans were illegally buying those yearly tickets, so the Madrid club lost 635 members. Last Tuesday in April were taken 357 yearly passes, and the investigation were opened for 1.450 users. Some reports are even saying that tickets were selling over the Internet with very high price.
In response cancelled persons have formed a group, hired a lawyer office and announced legal proceedings against 'the Blancos'.

World Cup qualifying fines

Last Thursday FIFA has issued, more or less, heavy amercement for 9 FAs which the organization will collect in total 289.000 Swiss francs (266.480 euros). European region lead the way with 5 associations penalized, followed by CONMEBOL with 2 plus CONCACAF and Asia zone each have 1 fine.
Mexico is the only country from north America and Caribbean region with the lowest amount of 10.000 Swiss francs (9.221 euros). Next on the list are Italy and Montenegro, who are each penalized with 15.000 Swiss francs (13.831 euros). Both teams were fined for various incidents. Going higher with 17.500 Swiss francs (16.136 euros) has to pay Poland because their fans used pyrotechnics on their last qualifying game. Twenty thousand Swiss francs (18.441 euros) are for the first south American country - Argentina. Bosnia and Herzegovina has to pay 6.500 more (24.435 euros) because their spectators also used pyrotechnics. Second and last team in this list from south America is Brazil who has to give 35.000 Swiss francs (32.273 euros). Together with their hot rivals Argentina, Brazilians are also punished for bad behavior of their fans who were discriminatory and sang homophobic chants. IR Iran is the second most highest team which are losing 50.000 Swiss francs (46.104 euros). The only Asian representative is penalized for the overcrowded pitch and using of pyrotechnics in the game against PR China. Albania is at the top of 'bad' countries with the highest fine in this list of 100.000 Swiss francs (92.207 euros). The main reason is because their supporters were throwing pyrotechnics in the game against Italy who was interrupted for several minutes. And again no question of lack of security presence at the gates.

04 May 2017

Minimal English advantage in Spain

Celta Vigo - Manchester United 0:1

Scorer: 0:1 67 Marcus Rashford

Strong Dutch side...wherever they plays

Ajax - Olympique Lyon 4:1

Scorers: 1:0 24 Bertrand Traore
              2:0 33 Kasper Dolberg
              3:0 48 Amin Younes
              3:1 66 Mathieu Valbuena
              4:1 71 Bertrand Traore

02 May 2017

Portuguese star put the other Madrid club on worries

Real Madrid - Atletico Madrid 3:0

Scorer: 1:0 09 Cristiano Ronaldo
            2:0 73 Cristiano Ronaldo
            3:0 85 Cristiano Ronaldo

01 May 2017

Ready for comeback

FIFA has been lifted Mali's suspension from last Friday. For the west Africa nation this means that its clubs and team can compete freely on international and domestic level. First games after the dismissal will experience youth players under 17 years of age, which will represent its country at the TOTAL Africa Cup of Nations which is scheduled in Gabon from 14 until 28 this month.

Four matches in three days, part one

The first week of May is reserved for semi final games at both European league competitions. Little by little we came until the end, where 8 more matches awaits us before the finals.

It is already known that Champions league start the first in its standard time of 20.45 CET. Out of the two duels, one will be deja-vu game: not so long ago, on 28 May 2016 in the Milan final two 'old' rivals from the same city will meet again in this same competition. Can you guess which pair is it?

Tuesday, 02 May: Real Madrid - Atletico Madrid.

Wednesday, 03 May: Monaco - Juventus.

If the predecessor is mostly known (probably) for retaliation match(es) which happened one year ago, the Europa league always is famous for its thrills and plenty of goals from round to round. Usually games in this tournament begins at the same time, but with an exception, next week both games are divided in two days.

Wednesday, 03 May at 18.45 CET: Ajax - Olympique Lyon.

Thursday, 04 May at 21.05 CET: Celta Vigo - Manchester United.