30 April 2019

Always listen to your doctor

Last Thursday a tragic death on the pitch happened in Eswatini football league during Malanti Chiefs - Green Mamba match. Home player Papy Faty passed away due to heart attack, while doctors unsuccessfully tried to revive him. Local newspapers even had an article of the player on the day of the game who was familiar with his heart condition and that his doctor told him to stop playing football or face serious consequences. Despite the medical warning, the 28-year-old collapsed on the pitch after just 15 minutes of play. This was a promising player for Burundi for which was expected to be on the team this summer for the Africa Cup of Nations event.
On a different story, today was lost the Czech Republic international Josef Sural. The 28-year-old was the only one killed, while six others were injured when the Alanyaspor players were returning home after a Turkish football match with Kayserispor. Their mini-van crashed about 5 kilometers away from the match venue. First reports was that the two drivers of the vehicle fall asleep, according to the Alanyaspor president Hasan Cavusoglu. Due to this tragic incident games of the Turkish league will start with a minute silence this weekend.

29 April 2019

Semi-final time, part one

European Cup competitions are nearly at its end. Just couple of games have to be played, in both events, only to find out which two teams are going to be in the final this season. Next week four duels will have the same kick-off in three nights. In both competitions England have one club more than other three nations.

Finally one game at each consecutive night is going to have the Champions league. Two teams are in the last 4 from one country which are going to battle against a Spanish and Dutch representative.

Tuesday, 30 April at 21.00 CET: Tottenham - Ajax.

Wednesday, 01 May at 21.00 CET: Barcelona - Liverpool.

At the most interesting competition, television viewers are going to be in difficult situation as only one game can be watched live. No matter of the weight of its predecessor, Europa league without doubt attracts plenty of attention. In here we have similar situation like before, but here are Spanish and German clubs.

Thursday, 02 May at 21.00 CET: Arsenal - Valencia.
Thursday, 02 May at 21.00 CET: Eintracht Frankfurt - Chelsea.

28 April 2019

Quickest Internet access

After South Korea, Egypt could be the second country in the world who is going to test the fifth generation network technology for transferring data better known as 5G. This news has come at the right moment and with a good reason: the northeast country in the summer will stage one of the best tournaments the African continent has to offer - the African Cup of Nations. Six days ago the Information and communication technology minister Amr Talaat announced that the first experimental period will be together with the telecommunication giant Huawei at the Cairo international stadium.
In other news related to this event it is also revealed that from 1.500 to 2.000 helpers may take part at this big football manifestation. This Monday the president of the volunteers committee Jehad Amer said that the actual number will be known after the actual visits of the venues.

27 April 2019

Ex-club president cleared from money irregularities

A former Barcelona chairman was cleared on any charges of illegally obtaining 20 million euros given to him by another ex president of Brazilian football confederation Ricardo Teixeira. Sandro Rosell, who stayed in custody for 20 months, together with his wife and four others were being accused of gaining rights to 24 Brazil games alongside a sponsorship deal with Nike. The 55-year-old, which was in danger of going to prison for 6 years if this case has ended on a positive outcome, was pronounced a free man couple of days ago from the National court.

26 April 2019

Financial incentives for one summer competition

On 21 June African Cup of Nations is going to start with the edition number 32, while last week the confederation has decided the rewards that every participants would receive.
At 16 April the African football region has revealed the financial stimulus that all teams were expecting to hear, playing for this great tournament. Just for being there and showing up, each 24 countries who qualified for this event are going to get 600.000 dollars (530.571 euros). Eight teams that will play in the quarterfinal stage are going to receive 800.000 dollars (707.428 euros). Semifinalists will be rich for 2 million dollars (1.768.570 euros). The unlucky loser in the final may not lift the trophy, but 2.5 million dollars (2.210.710 euros) is going to have on their account. And despite the title, the winner on 19 July will collect 4.5 million dollars (3.979.280 euros).

25 April 2019

Major format change for a Copa America event

In June is going to start one of the thrilling football international tournament in South America, and organizers from now altered the format system of a future event.
Beginning from 2020 Copa America competitions are going to be played on even years. On 09 April in Rio de Janeiro, the CONMEBOL confederation decided to award Argentina and Colombia the right to host edition number 47, and on that date also has been announced the big change. Two group divisions awaits this event: zona Sur (South zone) where Argentina will play with Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia plus the invitee country number one, while zona Norte (North zone) consists of Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, and the second visiting country at this tournament. First four teams will qualify for the quarter final stage.
Staying on this topic, Brazilian media also reported last week that the two countries who are going to participate as guests are already known. After the 2019 edition, Qatar is going to remain playing with the best South American teams next year. The second visitors are also members of the Asian confederation: PR China is expected to conclude the list.

24 April 2019

Police officers who scored an own goals

How football can be a very addictive sport shows the following (somewhat comical) incident from west of Kenya, Nandi district.
Last Tuesday the two big idols nowadays Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi played their quarter final matches against different clubs at the Champions league. This big temptation to see them live on television (which both players happened to be on the pitch on the same night) was among police officers as well, who went at the Chepturo shopping center (which is 4 kilometers away from their work) to watch the games. Up to that point everything was in order until bunch of (skillful) thieves took the advantage of the Kamworon police office in Aldai being unattended and stole 3 rifles plus 60 bullets (according to police report).
At the end the officers, who were on duty that night, were being interrogated by their own colleagues without any saying issued of possible punishments.

23 April 2019

Judges for African regional championship

An exciting African Cup of Nations will begin in less than two months time and already the confederation has appointed referees who first have to go to a training program. Last Wednesday 56 match officials have been called for a preparatory course in Rabat (Morocco) which start this Sunday. In the list there are five names each from Egypt and Tunisia who have the most representatives in this training session. All 27 main referees and 29 assistants can be viewed on the African continental web page.

22 April 2019

Godfathers of football named the oldest mascot

While two weeks ago we found out all groups for the Gold Cup and African Cup of Nations events (which both are beginning in couple of months time), past week the oldest international competition in the world is going one step further. Nowadays (almost) every event in this sport has to have at least a mascot just to decorate the competition.
The last continental tournament this year (who is also starting in two months time) is going to appear in Brazil with edition number 46. Copa America organizers had given spectators a chance to name the official mascot of the event. For just one week only, fans across the world had to name the cutest rodent which is friendly with other animals, and two choices were given between Capibi and Zizito. Capybara is the biggest animal of this kind who lives in South America, and football godfathers (lovers) last Friday at the official social media pages of the confederation have selected the second option.
With 65 percent of the votes the winner is a mix of words. This name is coming from the (joint) all-time top scorer of Copa America, Brazilian Thomaz Soares da Silva (better known as Zizinho) who put the ball 17 times behind various goalkeepers.

21 April 2019

When his surname becomes reality

The following player has a surname that can easily become a nasty habit (there is if one ingredient is modified). It is true that it consists water, but if for a second is changed into an alcohol beverage, then two scenarios are likely going to happen: either he will fight or drive drank. This story tells the second case.
Last Tuesday morning the 29-year-old Daniel Drinkwater or Danny Drinkwater is accused of speedy racing which caused a car crash under the influence of alcohol near Manchester. His Range Rover collided with a Skoda vehicle when the defender was coming home from a party. After the arrest the Chelsea player was released on bail, but nevertheless has to appear in court on 13 May.

20 April 2019

Joint qualifying duels known from a single draw

The Asian continent slowly is preparing to have a new set of qualifiers. Although it is not yet known how many places this continent is going to have at the next World Cup, preliminary matches for Qatar 2022 will start in the summer. Together with this, qualifying cycle begins for an future Asian Cup event as well.
Generally, qualifying games for the worldwide sport event is beginning in Asia. Undecided FIFA still thinks whether to increase number of participants at the competition, however Asian World Cup qualifiers are going to commence regardless that decision. While is still in our memory Asian Cup 2019 from this January, preliminaries for 2023 tournament are also going to kick-off.
At the headquarters of the confederation in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia this Wednesday was drawn six duels for the preliminary round 1. Everything is going to be decided in 5 days: 06 June will be the first 90 minutes, while return legs are on 11 June. The following Asian teams who are below thirty-fourth place in the global ranking will open this campaign first and pairs are the following:

1. Mongolia - Brunei Darussalam.

2. Macau - Sri Lanka.

3. Laos - Bangladesh.

4. Malaysia - Timor-Leste.

5. Cambodia - Pakistan.

6. Bhutan - Guam.

In this whole system there is one catch: because Timor-Leste is suspended to participate at the next Asian Cup event (due to playing with players who were not supposed to appear for 2019 qualifiers), duel number 4 is valid only for the World Cup campaign. This means that Malaysia automatically entered into the second qualifying round of the Asian Cup 2023 competition.

19 April 2019

Home clubs advanced to penultimate phase

Valencia - Villarreal 2:0

Scorers: 1:0 12 (12.05) Antonio Latorre
              2:0 54 (53.40) Daniel Parejo

Eintracht Frankfurt - Benfica 2:0

Scorers: 1:0 36 (35.49) Filip Kostic
              2:0 67 (66.41) Sebastian Rode

Chelsea - Slavia Prague 4:3

Scorers: 1:0 05 (04.39) Pedro Rodriguez
              2:0 09-own goal (08.47) Simon Deli
              3:0 17 (16.37) Olivier Giroud
              3:1 25 (25.00) Tomas Soucek
              4:1 26 (26.03) Pedro Rodriguez
              4:2 51 (50.48) Petr Sevcik
              4:3 54 (53.49) Petr Sevcik

18 April 2019

Visitors confirmed semi final spot with a dominant play

Porto - Liverpool 1:4

Scorers: 0:1 26 (25.43) Sadio Mane
              0:2 65 (64.38) Mohamed Salah
              1:2 68 (67.52) Eder Militao
              1:3 77 (76.31) Roberto Firmino
              1:4 84 (83.27) Virgil van Dijk

17 April 2019

Winning teams progressed to next round

Juventus - Ajax 1:2

Scorers: 1:0 28 (27.30) Cristiano Ronaldo
              1:1 34 (33.32) Donny van de Beek
              1:2 67 (66.44) Matthijs de Ligt

Barcelona - Manchester United 3:0

Scorers: 1:0 15 (15.13) Lionel Messi
              2:0 19 (19.03) Lionel Messi
              3:0 61 (60.46) Philippe Coutinho

16 April 2019

Alcoholic drink as a partner this summer

Out of the three continental football championships this summer, one tournament has already signed a new partner.
The supporter of Gold Cup 2019 is going to be one famous alcoholic beverage which is made from blue agave plant. Six days ago the North, Central American and Caribbean region have signed an agreement with 'Camarena Tequila' to present their products at the event. With this deal, and though constant advertising, the company is hoping to strengthen their presence of the drink on the existing markets.
In total, this is the seventh signing as official sponsor of this exciting tournament.

15 April 2019

Battle for being amongst four best clubs

Beginning from next midweek, semifinal places will be decided for both European Cup competitions. All 8 duels, who are having the same kick-off, are in danger of having additional times or even penalties.

Following the rule (but not always) Champions league is first on schedule. With this competition we are going to be tortured two nights when we will have two games each.

Tuesday, 16 April at 21.00 CET: Barcelona - Manchester United.
Tuesday, 16 April at 21.00 CET: Juventus - Ajax.

Wednesday, 17 April at 21.00 CET: Manchester United - Tottenham.
Wednesday, 17 April at 21.00 CET: Porto - Liverpool.

On the other hand, if we want to see plenty of competing, running and more importantly: big amount of goals than the predecessor in only one night (again not always...however this very rarely happened), then Europa league is the best event to watch. As now nobody has the right to start early, all 8 teams are going to be on the field at one single night.

Thursday, 18 April at 21.00 CET: Chelsea - Slavia Prague.
Thursday, 18 April at 21.00 CET: Eintracht Frankfurt - Benfica.
Thursday, 18 April at 21.00 CET: Napoli - Arsenal.
Thursday, 18 April at 21.00 CET: Valencia - Villarreal.

14 April 2019

Suspension of a second football division

Just one month before the end of the championship the Cyprus football association has decided to suspend its second league due to match-fixing. Several games have been suspicious played last weekend which prompted this Wednesday the league to be cancelled until further notice. It is announced that the competition will resume until the end of the season without giving any information. The organization is going to change the structure of this championship next year.

13 April 2019

Draws finished for couple of summer tournaments

In a space of one day and a half, 10 groups has been drawn from two separate confederations at two thrilling competitions which both are going to start in two months time.
At Los Angeles (United States of America, USA) ceremony on Wednesday night (local time) / Thursday morning (CET) the following 16 teams have learned their fate in which groups they will play for the Gold Cup 2019 which is going to appear for the fifteenth time from 16 June in the morning hours.

Group A: Mexico, Canada, Martinique, Cuba.

Group B: Costa Rica, Haiti, Nicaragua, Bermuda.

Group C: Honduras, Jamaica, El Salvador, Curacao.

Group D: USA, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana.

Seventeen more editions than its predecessor has the Total African Cup of Nations whose going to start at the same month but 5 nights later. Tonight, at the Egyptian capital Cairo 24 teams was divided in 6 groups for the 2019 final competition.

Group A: Egypt, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Zimbabwe.

Group B: Nigeria, Guinea, Madagascar, Burundi.

Group C: Senegal, Algeria, Kenya, Tanzania.

Group D: Morocco, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Namibia.

Group E: Tunisia, Mali, Mauritania, Angola.

Group F: Cameroon, Ghana, Benin, Guinea-Bissau.

12 April 2019

Two punishments in a match, one saved plus a hat-trick scorer in other

Villarreal - Valencia 1:3

Scorers: 0:1 06 (05.30) Goncalo Guedes
              1:1 36-pen (36.00) Santi Cazorla
              1:2 90 (90.01) Daniel Wass
              1:3 90+3 (92.34) Goncalo Guedes

- Andres Fernandez (Villarreal) perfectly saved a penalty from Dani Parejo (Valencia) at 06 (05.29), but the ball still went into his net 1 second later.

Benfica - Eintracht Frankfurt 4:2

Scorers: 1:0 21-pen (20.23) Joao Felix
              1:1 40 (39.46) Luka Jovic
              2:1 43 (42.21) Joao Felix
              3:1 50 (49.35) Ruben Dias
              4:1 53 (53.00) Joao Felix
              4:2 72 (71.31) Goncalo Paciencia

- For a nasty foul at 19 (19.06) Obite Evan N'Dicka (Eintracht Frankfurt) received a direct red card.

Slavia Prague - Chelsea 0:1

Scorer: 0:1 85 (85.03) Marcos Alonso

11 April 2019

At both games the guests have scored first but only one survived to keep the win

Ajax - Juventus 1:1

Scorers: 0:1 45 (44.35) Cristiano Ronaldo
              1:1 46 (45.30) David Neres

Manchester United - Barcelona 0:1

Scorer: 0:1 12-own goal (11.35) Luke Shaw

10 April 2019

First half goals were enough

Liverpool - Porto 2:0

Scorers: 1:0 05 (04.20) Naby Keita
              2:0 26 (25.29) Roberto Firmino

09 April 2019

Watchers from above, and mascot name wanted

The oldest official international tournament in the world this summer is going to be held for the forty-sixth time. Brazil will be the host of 10 teams from South America plus 2 invitees from the Asian region, while Copa America 2019 is going to be played on 6 stadiums in 5 cities.
Preparations for this thrilling event is going according to plan. Whilst on 21 March 46 referees have been named for the competition (which half are divided in main officials and the other half are assistants), and 4 days ago 54 technological judges have been called from 10 member associations. Because nowadays football is unthinkable to be played without monitoring, video assistant referees are going to be part for the first time in this tournament.
Fans around the world are encouraged to choose themselves the official mascot name of the event. It is already known that the official mascot is going to be the largest rodent in the world which lives in South America: Capybara. This cute and petulant animal is a football oriented, who loves this sport and due to this the confederation are asking for help to name it with two options given: from 05 April the competition is opened and everyone can vote between Capibi and Zizito. The final winner will be announced this Friday.
All the above 100 referee names may be found on the CONMEBOL website. On the same site there is also the information on how and where to vote for the sympathetic mascot name, and also you can read in details why these names are chosen.

08 April 2019

Quarterfinal time, part one

After the international duty and couple of rounds at the national championships, European Cup competitions are back. Next week 8 duels will play the first 45 minutes, which are going to have the same kick-off time at 3 nights. In both tournaments there is going to be one match played where clubs are from the same country. While the first four matches are not promising to be something special and exciting, this can not be said for the second half.

Traditionally Champions league starts first. Clubs from 5 countries are represented and as always two games are held one night after the other.

Tuesday, 09 April at 21.00 CET: Liverpool - Porto.
Tuesday, 09 April at 21.00 CET: Tottenham - Manchester City.

Wednesday, 10 April at 21.00 CET: Ajax - Juventus.
Wednesday, 10 April at 21.00 CET: Manchester United - Barcelona.

Europa league differs in many ways. All duels are played on the same night, while there are 6 teams from various countries.

Thursday, 11 April at 21.00 CET: Arsenal - Napoli.
Thursday, 11 April at 21.00 CET: Benfica - Eintracht Frankfurt.
Thursday, 11 April at 21.00 CET: Slavia Prague - Chelsea.
Thursday, 11 April at 21.00 CET: Villarreal - Valencia.

07 April 2019

Alleged racist behavior

The first 2 rounds of the European qualifiers for 2020 are over last month, and on the penultimate night a xenophobic case has emerged.
On the last Monday in March Montenegro played with England, where throughout the whole game spectators have done an ugly thing (according to the visitors). Colored players were racially abused, monkey chants was intended for Raheem Sterling, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Danny Rose. However, the opposing side denies everything with the coach Ljubisa Tumbakovic said that he did not notice nor heard a thing. Among many high officials: the state president, the premier, the minister of sport have said the same, plus the delegate of the match also stayed silent.
Nevertheless, the regional football organization has opened an investigation (for any case).

06 April 2019

Nobody to oppose him on coming election process

It looks like that the Asian football confederation will have the same-old president which is going to rule the region for another 4 years.
On 21 March Mohammed Khalfan al-Romaithi (United Arab Emirates) pull out from the election process, while 7 days later Saoud al Mohannadi (Qatar) has done the same thing. These two withdrawals means that sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al Khalifa now certainly is going to win the presidential race. The 53-year-old candidate from Bahrain will be re-elected as the chairman of Asian continent until 2023 at the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur this Saturday.

05 April 2019

Most paid manager(s) in the world

One of the respected sports magazine in the world this Tuesday issued an article of 20 most paid trainers worldwide. Because this list is very long, here is going to be mentioned only five names.
Whether is true or not and if we are going to believe this story, 'France football' has put the coach of Atletico Madrid in first place. The Argentine Diego Simeone yearly receives 41 million euros. At next two places are couple of former managers of Manchester United and Monaco. Despite laying off, Jose Mourinho collected 31 million euros from the English club, while his colleague at the French team Thierry Henry is rich with 25.5 million euros. Spanish trainer Pep Guardiola at Manchester City gets 24 million, while 23 million euros is receiving the Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde who concludes top 5.

04 April 2019

Penultimate mystery revealed for the CONCACAF championship

The all exciting Gold Cup event this summer will appear for the fifteenth time, 16 teams are going to entertain us in 17 stadiums across the region. From earlier we knew that this is not going to be played in only one country, because the confederation wanted everyone to enjoy this tournament spreading throughout the whole continent. Unfortunately, only three chosen states are going to see the best teams of the confederation.
Majority of games are going to be played in United States of America. And for the first time ever: Central America and the Caribbean region will also have the opportunity to participate in this great event who will be watched by millions of viewers worldwide. During the overall Nations league competition it was decided that Costa Rica is going to be the second host. Its national team is going to play at least one duel at home in group B as well as Jamaica who will be in group C. This Caribbean nation was announced yesterday as the final host after the above mentioned Nations league tournament was completed last Monday morning. Two duels are going to be played at National stadium in the Independence park complex in the capital Kingston.
Now only the last mystery remains for this tournament which everyone eagerly anticipate: the final groups and schedule of plays which will be disclosed next Thursday morning.

03 April 2019

Croatian champions severely punished

At the start of 2019-20 season (from second qualifying round for the Champions league), the following club will play on an empty stadium. Yesterday the European football organization penalized the Croatian champions with 67.000 euros together with 2 matches without spectators, whom one of them is on the waiting list in a period of 24 months.
The reason for this decision is the inappropriate racist behavior of Dinamo Zagreb supporters, throwing fireworks and various objects onto the pitch plus blocked stairways against Benfica of last 16 phase, first leg of the Europa league this March at the Croatian capital. For the last three cases the club is ordered to pay 47.000 euros plus additional 20.000 euros who are for the xenophobic conduct. On top of that, one duel has to be played without fans. However, if similar incidents are repeated at the next two years the second European match will be automatically activated and played in the same manner.

02 April 2019

Bombardment of an innocent country who must not be forgotten

Zenit Saint Petersburg and Orenburg played their match yesterday afternoon in the Russian Premier league, but before it even started the home supporters gave unconditional support to one country which was bombarded 20 years ago.
Last month was the anniversary of the NATO (North atlantic treaty organization) aggression on Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1999. Many innocent lives were lost, thus with a huge banner the Zenit Saint Petersburg fans did a tribute for the victims in this military operation who must never be forgotten.

01 April 2019

Famous venue is going to be demolished

A new project of Milan and Inter is to build a modern and new stadium with 60.000 seats. Legendary 'San Siro' will be tear down and in its place is going to be a new venue worth 600 million euros. Last Tuesday Inter officially gave the green light with the proposal. Italian media has revealed that this great architecture will have retractable roof, the facade is going to change colors depending which team is playing, whilst the lucrative sponsorship contract is going to be 25 million euros a year. Apart from the sport facilities, also there will be a concert hall with 5.000 seats plus shopping complex dedicated to these two clubs. Official opening is planned for 2023, while the model is taken from MetLife stadium in New Jersey, United States of America. Still, this idea has to be approved by the city council.