Tag Archives: countries

Image article-2286978-1854D82D000005DC-485_634x394.jpg

Michel Platini says 2022 World Cup in Qatar must be staged in winter

Qatar World Cup must be staged in the winter to protect players and fans, says Platini

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

11:49 GMT, 2 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:49 GMT, 2 March 2013

Michel Platini says the 2022 World Cup in Qatar must be held during the winter to protect the players and fans from the searing desert heat.

Temperatures can exceed 40 degrees in the summer in the middle-eastern country, compared to a more comfortable 17 degrees in the winter.

The finals were controversially awarded to Qatar two years ago with Platini, the UEFA president, one of those who voted in their favour.

Winter World Cup: UEFA President Michel Platini says the 2022 tournament in Qatar must be staged in the winter months to protect players and fans from 40C temperatures

Winter World Cup: UEFA President Michel Platini says the 2022 tournament in Qatar must be staged in the winter months to protect players and fans from 40C temperatures

'I am in favour of Qatar under two conditions,' the former French star told Bild newspaper. 'Because of the heat the World Cup will need to be held in the winter.

'With over 40 degrees, playing football is impossible and for fans it would also be unbearable.

'Also, the neighbouring emirates must be included so that the World Cup is staged throughout the entire region.'

Grand designs: The proposed Al-Rayyan football stadium in Doha, to be built for the 2022 World Cup

Grand designs: The proposed Al-Rayyan football stadium in Doha, to be built for the 2022 World Cup

Spectacular: The Qatar University Stadium in Doha, another one of the proposed venues

Spectacular: The Qatar University Stadium in Doha, another one of the proposed venues

Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait are among the neighbouring countries that could be considered.

Platini's proposals will cause chaos to the regular football calendar, with six or seven weeks of disruption to domestic leagues.

Image article-0-0131DE4400000578-574_468x286.jpg

EU probe into football aid may scupper West Ham"s Olympic Stadium move

EU probe into football aid may scupper West Ham's Olympic Stadium move

|

UPDATED:

22:49 GMT, 13 October 2012

West Ham 's move to the Olympic
Stadium has been thrown into doubt after European Commission officials
wrote to the UK Government asking for details about potentially illegal
state aid to football clubs.

The Commission, an arm of the
European Union, has power to halt West Ham's bid and has written to all
EU countries with the same request but The Mail on Sunday understands
the letter to the UK Government specifically mentions West Ham's
potential use of the Olympic Stadium.

'The Commission has sent a letter to
all member states about state aid to professional football,' said a
European Commission spokeswoman.

Uncertain future: New questions have been raised about the Olympic Stadium

Uncertain future: New questions have been raised about the Olympic Stadium

'The aim of the letter is to provide guidance to member states, whilst at the same time asking for information about any special financial rules that may exist for professional football there.'

The EC probe could prove beneficial to Premier League clubs as it is likely to highlight subsidies paid to Spanish, French and German clubs by city councils, such as the deal by Madrid City Council to buy Real Madrid's training ground in 2001 to clear its 200million debt at a rate which critics said was preferential.

Bayern Munich got 168million from city and regional governments to develop the infrastructure around their AllianzArena.

Olympic legacy: West Ham boss Sam Allardyce

Olympic legacy: West Ham boss Sam Allardyce

The drawn-out process of the Olympic Stadium legacy is due to be discussed tomorrow at the board meeting of London Legacy Development Corporation, the organisation set up by Mayor of London Boris Johnson to oversee the Olympic Legacy.

A final decision on the four bidders, including West Ham, is expected to be delayed.

West Ham are expected to be win the right to rent the stadium from the LLDC having initially won the initial tendering process although that was eventually scrapped.

Image article-2174620-0CC1C72E000005DC-56_233x423.jpg

Mohamed Bin Hammam suspended by AFC

Bin Hammam in hot water again as disgraced former FIFA man is suspended in Asia

|

UPDATED:

23:36 GMT, 16 July 2012

Disgraced: Bin Hammam

Disgraced: Bin Hammam

Mohamed Bin Hammam has been provisionally suspended from all football activity by the Asian Football Confederation following a forensic audit of the governing body's accounts.

Former AFC president Bin Hammam has already been banned for life by world governing body FIFA after being found guilty of paying cash gifts totalling close to $1million US dollars to football officials from Caribbean countries during his FIFA presidential campaign last May.

He is awaiting a final verdict on his appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, his final chance to overturn the world ban, but the body he formerly headed are now pursuing their own investigation into a number of alleged rule breaches.

The audit, produced by Pricewaterhouse Coopers, centred on contract negotiations and payments to and from AFC bank accounts during Bin Hammam's presidency.

Bin Hammam is alleged to have breached Article six of the AFC Statutes (Conduct of Bodies and Officials); Article 62 of the AFC Disciplinary Code (Corruption); and Articles three (General Rules), five (Conflict of Interest), nine (Fiduciary Duty and Confidentiality), 10 (Accepting Gifts and Benefits), 11 (Bribery) and 12 (Commission) of the AFC Code of Ethics.

He will be suspended from duty for up to 30 days while the allegations are investigated, the AFC confirmed in a statement.

Image article-2156626-13843456000005DC-952_468x286.jpg

Euro 2012: England will fight racial abuse through official channels

England hope to fight any racist abuse through official UEFA channels

|

UPDATED:

00:44 GMT, 9 June 2012

England will aim to keep the team on the pitch and fight racism through official channels if their players are abused during Euro 2012.

UEFA confirmed on Friday that black players in the Holland squad were targeted with monkey noises at a training session in Krakow – also the base for England and Italy.

England's open training session was
without incident yesterday with an FA spokesman saying: 'We are hopeful
there will be no problems at our matches.

Restraint: England trained and spent time at Auschwitz on Friday would not walk off the pitch if players are targeted

Restraint: England trained and spent time at Auschwitz on Friday would not walk off the pitch if players are targeted

Restraint: England trained and spent time at Auschwitz on Friday would not walk off the pitch if players are targeted

Restraint: England trained and spent time at Auschwitz on Friday would not walk off the pitch if players are targeted

Euro 2012 email button

'We are very respectful of both our host countries and want to enjoy the tournament.'

England, who play all their group games in Ukraine, would follow protocol observed in Bulgaria in September, when Theo Walcott, Ashley Young and Ashley Cole were targeted.

Targeted: Some of Holland's black players were taunted during a training session

Targeted: Some of Holland's black players were taunted during a training session

Targeted: Some of Holland's black players were taunted during a training session

London 2012 Olympics: World Taekwondo Federation to investigate British selection process after Aaron Cook left out

World Taekwondo Federation to investigate British selection process after Cook left out of Olympics

|

UPDATED:

11:14 GMT, 7 June 2012

The World Taekwondo Federation are to review the selection process which has seen world No 1 Aaron Cook rejected three times for a place in Great Britain's Olympic team.

GB Taekwondo's decision to put forward Lutalo Muhammad, ranked 59 places below Cook, in the under 80kg division despite twice being asked to reconsider by the British Olympic Association will now be scrutinised by the world governing body.

'We are extremely disappointed by the way in which British Taekwondo's selection process has been conducted and it is clear that the lack of a conclusive rationale has caused confusion,' said WTF secretary general Jean-Marie Ayer.

Top: Cook is ranked No 1 in the world

Top: Cook is ranked No 1 in the world

'The manner of the selection is bringing our sport into disrepute among the UK media and major Olympic stakeholders due to a perceived lack of transparency.

'Our main concern is always that every athlete is given fair and equal consideration – their welfare must come first.

'We at the WTF have done our utmost to bring fair practices and transparency to our sport and that is why we have committed to undertaking this review.

'People all over the world practise taekwondo because it represents sport in its purest form: an individual display of skill, speed and strength.

'It is essential that the WTF preserves that purity for its 201 member countries and 70 million practitioners with transparent and decisive governance.'

Unwanted hat-trick: GB Taekwondo refuse to select Aaron Cook

Unwanted hat-trick: GB Taekwondo refuse to select Aaron Cook

Ayer said the review, likely to be conducted over the next couple of weeks, would look at whether any regulations had been broken but could not overrule GB Taekwondo's decision.

'Up until now, the WTF had hoped that this matter could be resolved internally at British Taekwondo,' Ayer said.

'As the global governing body we do not interfere with the selection processes and internal affairs of our member nations.

'We have always stated that the athletes nominated for selection must meet minimum requirements set in the Qualification System.

'We are not commenting on the decision to select or omit specific athletes, as the criteria imposed beyond our minimum requirements are the remit of the individual member nation.

'This review will not have the power to alter British Taekwondo's decision, but it will determine whether any rules of the WTF ethics code have been broken.'

The British Olympic Association's Olympic Qualification Standards Panel are currently meeting to review the selection panel process, which was observed by one of their lawyers on Wednesday.

Until they have finished their deliberations the nomination will not be ratified.

On Wednesday night Cook's management company issued a statement in which they said it would be a 'national disgrace' if the reigning European champion did not represent his country at London 2012.

One young fan has even started an online petition (www.change.org/petitions/put-aaron-cook-in-the-olympics) which already has over 1,000 signatures protesting about the decision.

Scotland, Wales and Ireland consider bid to host Euro 2020

Scotland and Wales join forces with Republic of Ireland for potential Euro 2020 bid

|

UPDATED:

12:39 GMT, 15 May 2012

Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland have formally declared an interest in hosting Euro 2020.

The countries have told UEFA that they would be interested in bidding to host the European Championships on a joint basis.

Turkey have also informed UEFA that they want to want host the tournament, and reports in Georgia say the former Soviet republic is interested in a solo bid.

Fit for purpose: The Millennium Stadium in Cardiff is a world class venue

Fit for purpose: The Millennium Stadium in Cardiff is a world class venue

The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) said in a statement: 'The FAI has confirmed that it will join the Scottish FA and the Welsh FA in putting forward an expression of interest to host UEFA Euro 2020.

'The expression of interest is preliminary after the principle was discussed and is being put forward by the three associations so that the opportunity can be explored in more detail.

'At this stage no bids would be expected or required by UEFA for at least 18 months.'

Bidders would need to put forward up to 10 stadiums to host matches in the European Championships, which is being expanded from 16 teams to 24 from 2016.

Scotland and Wales would struggle to provide that number of stadiums to satisfy UEFA requirements but Ireland's involvement would cover the shortfall.

Top venue: Hampden would be one of the main stadiums in the bid

Top venue: Hampden would be one of the main stadiums in the bid

The formal declaration of interest
does not commit the Celtic countries to proceeding with a bid however – a
decision is not due to be taken by UEFA for 18 months.

The
countries have not fared well in the past in bidding for the
tournament. Scotland and the Republic of Ireland bid jointly for Euro
2008 but were one of the first to be eliminated, and Scotland and Wales
considered bidding jointly for Euro 2016 but decided against it.

Turkey's bid is in some disarray already because their FA has been engulfed by allegations of corruption and match-fixing in Turkish football, and it also conflicts with Istanbul's bid to land the Olympics in the same year.

UEFA president Michel Platini had signalled he would support's Turkey bid but only if Istanbul fails in its Olympic bid.

Image article-2131123-0D1AE25300000578-727_468x327.jpg

Mohamed Bin Hammam to make final bid to escape FIFA ban

Last chance saloon for Bin Hammam as he attempts to escape FIFA lifetime ban

|

UPDATED:

17:11 GMT, 17 April 2012

Mohamed Bin Hammam will make his final bid to overturn his lifetime FIFA ban for bribery on Wednesday.

The Qatari is taking an appeal against the ban, which was imposed by FIFA's ethics committee in July, to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne.

Bin Hammam was banned for life after being found guilty of paying cash gifts totalling nearly 1million US dollars (630,000) to football officials from Caribbean countries during his FIFA presidential campaign last May.

Trouble: Mohamed Bin Hammam (right) accompanied by FIFA Vice President Austin Jack Warner

Trouble: Mohamed Bin Hammam (right) accompanied by FIFA Vice President Austin Jack Warner

The 62-year-old, who had also been president of the Asian Football Confederation, failed to overturn the ban at FIFA's appeals committee in September and the CAS panel remains his last chance.

Bin Hammam is not expected to attend the hearing in person but to leave the legal arguments to his lawyers. FIFA will also have their legal team arguing that the bribery charges had been proved and that the lifetime ban was just.

The charges were brought after a special meeting of the Caribbean Football Union in Trinidad on May 11 last year arranged to hear Bin Hammam while on the campaign trail.

Unopposed: Sepp Blatter was re-elected

Unopposed: Sepp Blatter was re-elected

According to a FIFA ethics committee
report, witnesses said after Bin Hammam's speech, then FIFA
vice-president Jack Warner instructed delegates to go to a room to pick
up gifts – these turned out to be brown envelopes each containing 40,000
US dollars in cash.

According to the witnesses, Warner told delegates that Bin Hammam 'was the actual source of the money', the report states. Warner resigned from all football activities in June after being charged with bribery.

Bin Hammam pulled out of FIFA presidential contest and Sepp Blatter was re-elected unopposed.

After his lifetime ban, Bin Hammam – who spearheaded Qatar's successful bid for the 2022 World Cup – insisted he would never stop fighting to clear his name.

he will not relent in his bid to clear his name

Never back down: Bin Hammam said he will not relent in his bid to clear his name

He said in August: 'I was found guilty beyond any doubt by a kangaroo court and banned for life.

'I will not rest no matter what tactical delays, forgery or bias are put against me. I will continue my battle until I prove my innocence and that my suspension was a political decision and an absolute abuse of power to deprive me of my right to contest for FIFA presidency.'

The CAS hearing is expected to last for two days with the decision being announced within the next month.

Bin Hammam has also gone to CAS to try stop the Asian Football Confederation replacing him as president.

China's Zhang Jilong was appointed as acting AFC president last summer but the confederation must wait one year from the date of Bin Hammam's provisional ban – May 29 – before holding an election to replace him.

Image article-2102579-11C5F32B000005DC-968_468x346.jpg

Porto claim no Manchester City players were racially abused

Porto slam racism accusations after City lodge complaint with UEFA

Porto have hit back at accusations that home fans hurled racist abuse at Manchester City players during their Europa League clash on Thursday night.

City lodged an official complaint with UEFA after Mario Balotelli and Yaya Toure were allegedly taunted by Porto fans.

Club
officials were said to be shocked when they heard the chants aimed
at the pair during City's 2-1 Europa League victory against the
Portuguese champions in the Estadio do Dragao.

Abuse: Yaya Toure is alleged to have been racially taunted by the Porto crowd

Abuse: Yaya Toure is alleged to have been racially taunted by the Porto crowd

But Porto insist that their fans were merely showing their support for City star Sergio Aguero and home favourite Hulk.

'What we can basically say is that nothing abnormal happened, no one noticed anything strange, not even the UEFA delegates that worked closely with Porto during the match,' Porto spokesman Rui Cerqueira said.

'Kun, Kun, Kun; Hulk, Hulk, Hulk,' he said, demonstrating the chants.

'(Those chants) can be easily confused with racist chants.

'We are very proud of having a multi-racial team, with players from all backgrounds and to have achieved many titles with respect,' he said.

'Porto players have never felt the slightest hint of racism and we were very surprised with the accusations.'

Advantage: City celebrate as they take a 2-1 lead to the Etihad Stadium

Advantage: City celebrate as they take a 2-1 lead to the Etihad Stadium

But Toure revealed he had 'heard
something', adding: 'That's why we all like the Premier League, because
it never happens there. Maybe in foreign countries they don't expect
black players.

'I think in
future it will be OK, they will change their minds and the game will
become more open. 'Football is football and the fans come to enjoy the
game, and we don't want things like this.'

But one Porto supporter claims he heard the abuse.

'Monkey chants were clearly heard, even if for just a brief moment and not coming from the whole stadium, particularly after a nastier foul by Balotelli,' Francisco Pimento said.

'But it all died off afterwards, though Balotelli kept being whistled and booed from then on.'

Praise: Roberto Mancini hailed Mario Balotelli for not letting the chants affect him

Praise: Roberto Mancini hailed Mario Balotelli for not letting the chants affect him

City manager Roberto Mancini meanwhile said he had not heard anything during the match.

'I didn't hear this because I was concentrating on the game,' he told local media.

'But I think the players are strong. Mario did very well. He was calm and it is important he contributed.

'He knows these kinds of things can happen every game. This is the reason I spoke to Mario before the game and said: “you should think only about football”.'

Image article-2095591-118FFD96000005DC-178_224x423.jpg

England"s Muttiah Muralitharan – Maurice Holmes – left in the cold

EXCLUSIVE: 'English Murali' left out in the cold as Holmes fights for his future

England have been brutally exposed by the mystery spin of Saeed Ajmal here but the only Englishman in the professional game capable of bowling the doosra is in danger of being drummed out of cricket.

Maurice Holmes, a 21-year-old off-spinner who has twice been reported for having an illegal action, is fighting for his cricketing future after being released by Warwickshire last year.

Now he is in India at his own expense working on his bowling at the Global Cricket School and is adamant that his action, which bears a striking resemblance to that of Muttiah Muralitharan, is not only legal but could provide the English answer to Ajmal.

In a spin: Maurice Holmes is without a club, while Saeed Ajmal is demolishing England with ease in the current series

In a spin: Maurice Holmes is without a club, while Saeed Ajmal is demolishing England with ease in the current series

In a spin: Maurice Holmes is without a club, while Saeed Ajmal is demolishing England with ease in the current series

The case of Holmes provides a contrast in attitudes between England, who have no unorthodox spinners, and the Asian countries whose men of mystery have proved so difficult for English batsmen to handle.

In Pakistan, Ajmal’s unorthodoxy has been encouraged but in England we appear to cry foul immediately.

‘A lot of people have said that if I had been born Asian I would not have had any problems but in England it can be dangerous to be different,’ said Holmes, speaking exclusively to Sportsmail from Mumbai.

'I'm convinced my action is legal even though I admit it can look odd to the naked eye, but I don’t feel wronged or unfairly treated. I just feel there has been a lot of misunderstanding.’

Legend: Holmes has been compared with Muttiah Muralitharan

Legend: Holmes has been compared with Muttiah Muralitharan

Holmes, a product of Kent who moved away from his home county because of suspicions over his action, was suspended after being reported by umpires Peter Willey and George Sharp following a CB40 game for Warwickshire and during a second-team match.

Tests proved unsatisfactory because it was deemed that he was bowling differently from how he does in a match, particularly the doosra that he delivers much more slowly than Ajmal.

His ban was lifted in September but he has been warned that there remain question marks over his doosra, and a spinner who was flown to Colombo two years ago by New Zealand to help them prepare for facing Murali is looking for another county.

Essex are among those who have invited him to pre-season nets to see whether he is worth a gamble.

Causing trouble: England haven't found the answer to the doosra

Causing trouble: England haven't found the answer to the doosra

‘I believe I have something special to offer,’ said the Loughborough University student. ‘It didn’t work out at Warwickshire and I hope that will be somebody else’s gain.

‘I never set out to be different. I just did what came naturally and it was only when someone pointed it out I knew it was out of the ordinary. There aren’t many who can bowl this way. I’m not the finished article but I will go to any length to be the best I can be. I still have a role to play.’

The question is, with English attitudes so opposed to a form of bowling we have never mastered, will he be allowed to prove it

Image article-2090663-116C142B000005DC-58_468x309.jpg

Sport Relief 2012: England stars join Amy Childs to launch appeal

England stars join reality TV beauty Amy Childs to launch Sport Relief campaign

A host of England stars have joined forces to help kick-off this year's Sport Relief campaign… with an added dose of glamour from Amy Childs.

Tottenham duo Scott Parker and Michael Dawson joined the cause with Aston Villa striker Darren Bent, Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson and Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott all taking part to raise awareness for the charity.

Sport relief: Scott Parker and Amy Childs help launch the appeal

Sport relief: Scott Parker and Amy Childs help launch the appeal

And Bent has urged people to unite behind the cause, insisting you don't need to be a sportsman to take part.

The Villa frontman said: 'You don’t need to be a professional footballer to get involved with Sport Relief.

'This will help transform lives in the UK and the world’s poorest countries.'

But they were put in shade by reality
TV beauty – and West Ham fan – Childs who is certain to help raise
awareness of the appeal with her provocative pose wearing just the shirt
to protect her modesty.

All smiles: Spurs defender Michael Dawson poses with the shirt

Signed up: Aston Villa striker Darren Bent

All smiles: Spurs defender Michael Dawson and Aston Villa striker Darren Bent

'Like me you don’t need to be sporty to get involved with Sport Relief,' she said.

'Something as simple as buying an
official Sport Relief T-shirt will help transform lives in the UK and
across the world’s poorest countries.'

Time out: Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson lends a helping hand to the cause

City gent: Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott

Time out: Liverpool's Jordan Henderson and City's Joleon Lescott join the cause

Britain's biggest sporting names, including boxer Amir Khan, are also expected to lend their support to the appeal that aims to raise money to change lives nationwide and in other severely deprived parts of the world.

The Sport Relief weekend begins on March 23.

Getting shirty: reality TV star - and West Ham fan - joins the charity appeal

Getting shirty: reality TV star – and West Ham fan – joins the charity appeal

The
T-shirts, which are all made from 100 per cent fair trade cotton, are
available from Sportsdirect.com, costing 8 for an adult T-shirt and 6
for the junior, with 4 of the proceeds of the adult shirt and 2 of the
junior shirt going directly to Sport Relief.