Tag Archives: fifa

Barcelona rule out David Villa sale to Arsenal

Another Arsenal blow as Barcelona stand firm over Villa as they rule out January move

after breaking his leg at the FIFA Club World Cup in December, 2011.

Vilanova added: 'The other day he scored two goals. We've always said that he's coming off a long injury, and he's getting more minutes all the time. But he's suffering more physical problems again.

'We know how important he is, like last year when we missed him a lot in the second half of the season.

'I'm convinced he will help us a lot over the remainder of the season.'

Diego Maradona close to becoming Iraq manager

Legend Maradona in line to become Iraq coach… who are ranked 92nd in the world

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UPDATED:

07:20 GMT, 21 December 2012

Diego Maradona is on the brink of becoming manager of Iraq.

The former Argentina boss, who is acting as a consultant for the UAE club Al Wasl that he used to coach, is awaiting the outcome of a meeting of the Iraqi Football Federation to be held on Friday.

Maradona has already set his sights on guiding the country, who are ranked 92 in the world, to the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil.

Who wants me Diego Maradona is in line to become the new Iraq manager

Who wants me Diego Maradona is in line to become the new Iraq manager

'Diego is really enthused and phones us every day,' agent Hernan Tofoni said. 'He doesn't just want to coach (Iraq) for the next six months but long term.'

'He is excited by the fact that it's a challenge and that he'd be going to replace Zico,' added Tofoni, referring to the Brazil great who quit as Iraq's coach last month.

Tofoni, a registered FIFA agent, said he put Maradona's name on the table when Iraq approached World Eleven looking for an Argentine coach and 'they liked the idea'.

He said there would be no obstacles for Maradona to leave Al Wasl, where he coached for 14 months until last July, to take up the Iraqi post.

Replacement: Brazil legend Zico quit the post earlier this year

Replacement: Brazil legend Zico quit the post earlier this year

Iraq have played at one World Cup finals, in 1986 in Mexico where Maradona led Argentina to their second title.

The Middle Eastern nation are third in Group B in the fourth round of Asian World Cup qualifiers. Japan lead with 13 points from five matches, while Iraq are equal on five points with second-placed Australia, who have a match in hand, and Oman.

The 52-year-old Maradona, one of the greatest players, has a modest record as coach.

Although he led Argentina to the World Cup finals in 2010, his side lost 4-0 to Germany in the quarter-finals.

Ronaldo sheds an incredible 37lbs on reality TV show

(Not so) Fat Ronaldo sheds an incredible 37lbs in three months to play in former Real team-mate Zidane's charity football match

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UPDATED:

17:00 GMT, 19 December 2012

Since the emergence of Real Madrid superstar Cristiano, as a point of distinction, one of the great strikers of our time became harshly known as ‘Fat Ronaldo’.

But not only has the Brazilian legend of the game lost over two-and-a-half stone, he should also have shed this cruel moniker.

Since September, Ronaldo shifted a remarkable amount of weight after taking part in a reality television show to repair his ‘bad relationship with the scales’.

VIDEO: Take a look at Ronaldo's new slimline frame

Ronaldo, who stepped onto those pesky scales once more live on TV on Sunday, spent three months rigorously exercising on the Medida Certa show and lost 37 pounds as a result.

His fitness regime included three months of Gangnam Style dancing and topless pilates, helping him slim down from 18st 6lbs to an incredible 15st 9lbs.

He has also cut a few inches off his waitline, trimming his 42 inches to 36 in the 12 week period.

Ronaldo, who has won the FIFA Player of the Year award three times, wanted to shift the weight in time for former Real Madrid team-mate Zinedine Zidane’s charity match in Porto Alegre on Wednesday.

Before and after: Ronaldo shed a remarkable 37lbs in three months

Before and after: Ronaldo shed a remarkable 37lbs in three months

Before and after: Ronaldo shed a remarkable 37lbs in three months to be fit for a charity football match

Paunch: Ronaldo had a protruding belly before he lost some of the weight

Paunch: Ronaldo had a protruding belly before he lost some of the weight

Svelte: Ronaldo showed off his new figure in Cesar Sampaio's farewell match

Svelte: Ronaldo showed off his new figure in Cesar Sampaio's farewell match

In the latter years of Ronaldo’s illustrious career, and after his retirement, the two-time World Cup winner simply ballooned.

This, coupled with the rise to prominence of his namesake at United and Real Madrid, meant that football fans used his now incongruous nickname to distinguish between the Brazilian and Portuguese Ronaldos.

Most notable was during his farewell match for Brazil in 2011. Ronaldo, sporting a huge paunch, played for his country one last time against Romania in Sao Paolo.

A trimmer Ronaldo played in another farewell match last week for Cesar Sampaio in his final game between past and present Palmeiras club players.

Mohamed Bin Hamann resigns as FIFA issue life ban

Bin Hamann resigns from all positions in football as FIFA issue new life ban to disgraced former Blatter rival

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UPDATED:

17:17 GMT, 17 December 2012

FIFA has imposed another life ban on former presidential challenger Mohamed Bin Hammam, who has resigned from all his positions in football.

The world governing body said the 63-year-old Qatari had been banned for life by FIFA's new adjudicatory chamber of the ethics committee.

The ban is not in connection with allegations of bribery while campaigning against Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency but for 'conflicts of interest' while president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

Banned for life: Bin Hammam was the president of the Asian federation

Banned for life: Bin Hammam was the president of the Asian federation

FIFA said in a statement: 'Mr Mohamed Bin Hammam, FIFA executive committee member and AFC president, has resigned from all his positions in football with immediate effect and will never be active in organised football again.

'This results from a resignation letter of Mr Bin Hammam addressed to FIFA and AFC dated December 15, 2012.

'In view of the fact that under the new FIFA code of ethics, the FIFA ethics committee remains competent to render a decision even if a person resigns, the adjudicatory chamber decided to ban Mohamed Bin Hammam from all football-related activity for life.

Rival: Blatter (centre) was present at the Club World Cup final on Sunday

Rival: Blatter (centre) was present at the Club World Cup final on Sunday

'This life ban is based on the final report of Michael J Garcia, chairman of the investigatory chamber of the FIFA ethics committee.

'That report showed repeated violations of Article 19 (conflict of interest) of the FIFA code of ethics, edition 2012, of Mohamed Bin Hammam during his terms as AFC president and as member of the FIFA executive committee in the years 2008 to 2011, which justified a lifelong ban from all football-related activity.'

Chelsea beat Monterrey: Graham Chadwick video blog

Graham Chadwick's video blog: Chelsea face Corinthians in final after Blues cruise

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UPDATED:

18:54 GMT, 13 December 2012

Sportsmail
photographer Graham Chadwick has travelled to Japan with Chelsea as they
take part in the FIFA Club World Cup.

Watch Graham's latest video blog of the Blues in Yokohama.

Chelsea have sealed their passage through to the FIFA Club World Cup after seeing off Monterrey on Thursday.

The Blues will now face Brazilian giants Corinthians in Sunday's final.

Our man has been with them all the way and, in his latest brilliant video blog, he caught the anticipation of the Chelsea fans before the west London club's opener in Yokohama and during the game as Juan Mata, Fernando Torres and a Hugo Chavez own goal saw the Blues seal a 3-1 win.

Watch the video…

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Pele and Franz Beckenbauer FIFA group wound up

FIFA put Pele and Beckenbauer in charge of sexing up football… and all they came up with was a handshake

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UPDATED:

22:42 GMT, 30 October 2012

A FIFA working group featuring Pele and Franz
Beckenbauer has been wound up after their discussions on how to make the
World Cup more exciting produced little more than a suggestion on
handshakes.

'The FIFA Task Force Football 2014, which started in
May 2011, has concluded its work following discussions on possible
reforms of the game,' said FIFA.

'Several members of this task force, including its
chairman Franz Beckenbauer, will now integrate with the FIFA Football
Committee, a permanent standing committee which will continue to present
proposals to improve the game.'

No results: Pele (left) was unable to come up with any revolutions

No results: Pele (left) was unable to come up with any revolutions

The task force, also featuring several other former
international players, was asked to find ways of making World Cup
matches less defensive after a number of lacklustre games at the 2010
edition in South Africa.

The committee made an inauspicious start when former
Germany captain and coach Beckenbauer and England 1966 World Cup winner
Bobby Charlton missed the first meeting in May last year while former
Brazil great Pele never took part.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter initially said he wanted
the task force to examine the possible return of the 'golden goal' and
the abolition of extra time after drawn matches in the knockout stages.

During this year's FIFA Congress in Budapest, Blatter
suggested Beckenbauer's group could even consider the abolition of
penalty shootouts.

Closed down: Sepp Blatter (left) had expected better from the group

Closed down: Sepp Blatter (left) had expected better from the group

Chairman Beckenbauer, however, was reluctant to suggest anything that drastic.

At the group's last meeting in February the German spoke mostly about the importance of players shaking hands.

He suggested footballers should line-up in the centre
circle and shake hands after a game as he did in his schooldays, and
that teams should take the field together for the second half.

The task force put forward a proposal that teams be
allowed to make a fourth substitute during extra time but this was
turned down in March by the International Football Association Board
(IFAB), the sport's rule-making body.

Another suggestion to abolish the so-called triple
punishment – where a player who gives away a penalty is also sent off
and automatically suspended for the next match – was put on hold by the
IFAB.

Frank Lampard and Ryan Bertrand ruled out of Poland v England

Lampard and Bertrand hand Hodgson fitness blows ahead of Poland clash

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UPDATED:

13:33 GMT, 14 October 2012

Chelsea duo Frank Lampard and Ryan Bertrand have both been ruled out of England's World Cup qualifier with Poland in Warsaw on Tuesday.

The pair missed Friday's win over San Marino but boss Roy Hodgson was hoping they would be available for the crucial second game of the current double-header.

Calf problem: Frank Lampard (left) has not recovered in time to face Poland

Calf problem: Frank Lampard (left) has not recovered in time to face Poland

Under the weather: Ryan Bertrand

Under the weather: Ryan Bertrand

However, after reporting to England's Watford training base on Sunday afternoon, it has been decided neither player could feature.

'Frank Lampard and Ryan Bertrand have been ruled out of England's FIFA World Cup qualifier with Poland,' read an England statement. 'Lampard (calf) and Bertrand (illness) did not take part in England's 5-0 win over San Marino, and will not be ready for Tuesday's game.

'Roy Hodgson and his squad of 23 players travel to Warsaw on Monday morning.'

The news comes less than 24 hours after it was confirmed Theo Walcott was returning to Arsenal after sustaining a chest injury in a heavy challenge early in the San Marino game.

Lampard's absence is a blow as it robs England of a huge amount of experience for such an important game.

However, Hodgson was impressed by the performance of Michael Carrick on Friday and the Manchester United man would appear to be an automatic replacement.

Theo Walcott injury latest: Arsenal star to miss Poland game with chest injury

England winger Walcott ruled out of crucial Poland qualifier by chest injury

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UPDATED:

16:55 GMT, 13 October 2012

Theo Walcott has been ruled out of England's World Cup qualifier in Poland on Tuesday due to a chest injury.

The Arsenal winger Walcott was injured in the opening minutes of Friday's 5-0 win over San Marino after a collision with goalkeeper Aldo Simoncini.

Pain game: Theo Walcott will miss England's crucial qualifier against Poland on Tuesday

Pain game: Theo Walcott will miss England's crucial qualifier against Poland on Tuesday

'Theo Walcott has been ruled out of
the FIFA World Cup qualifier with Poland on Tuesday with a chest
injury,' said the Football Association in a statement.

'The Arsenal forward was taken to
hospital following a collision with the San Marino goalkeeper on Friday
night, he was monitored overnight as a precaution and following scan
results will return to his club for further treatment.'

Walcott was admitted for tests on his
chest as he suffered breathing difficulties amid fears he may have
broken ribs. He was also said to have been coughing blood.

England boss Roy Hodgson was furious with a 'fierce' challenge which left the Arsenal winger in hospital.

Theo Walcott collides with Aldo Junior Simoncini of San Marino

Collision: San Marino goalkeeper Aldo Simoncini charges into the Theo Walcott

Theo Walcott

Theo Walcott collides with Aldo Junior Simoncini of San Marino

San Marino goalkeeper Aldo Simoncini
charged into the Walcott in the fifth minute as the Arsenal ace tried to
get on the end of a through ball. He needed five minutes of treatment
on the field before going off to be replaced by Tottenham Hotspur's
Aaron Lennon.

'If I described it as reckless I'd be kind,' said
Hodgson. 'It was a fierce challenge. I don't believe
there was any malice but it's put Theo Walcott in
hospital. It was a very poor challenge.

'We have to wait to find out the extent of his injury. It doesn't look
good. If your goalkeeper does that, you're lucky to have your goalkeeper
on the field and not concede a penalty.

San Marino manager Giampaolo Mazza said:
'It was just an accident. The goalkeeper didn't do it on purpose. We're
sorry for Walcott and we hope he's going to recover quickly.'

Brazil 6 Iraq 0: Oscar, Kaka, Hulk, Neymar and Lucas on target

Brazil 6 Iraq 0: Oscar gets two as Kaka nets after two-year hiatus from international duty

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UPDATED:

00:09 GMT, 12 October 2012

Kaka shone on his first international appearance for over two years as Brazil humbled Iraq in a friendly in Malmo, Sweden.

This was the Real Madrid attacking midfielder's first match for his country since the 2010 World Cup, and he capped a fine performance by scoring the third goal after Chelsea's Oscar had bagged a brace.

Hulk added the fourth on the hour
mark while Neymar and Lucas completed the rout against their overmatched
opponents, who are coached by former Brazil playmaker Zico.

On-song: Kaka was on target in Malmo

On-song: Kaka was on target in Malmo

The South Americans dominated from the off and Oscar put them ahead in the 21st minute after slotting home from Neymar's assist.

The former Internacional playmaker then doubled his and Brazil's tally following some great interplay from Neymar and Kaka.

Brazil continued to dominate and only
Iraq goalkeeper Sabri Noor stopped them from running riot, excellently
saving from David Luiz's header, a one-on-one from Kaka and Hulk's
long-range effort.

All together now: Brazil players - including Chelsea's David Luiz and Ramires - congratulate Kaka

All together now: Brazil players – including Chelsea's David Luiz and Ramires – congratulate Kaka

Even when Noor was finally beaten, the crossbar thwarted Adriano's effort.

However, Mano Menezes' men were not to
be denied and Kaka showed he still has plenty to offer with a fine solo
effort two minutes after the interval.

The 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year
and Ballon d'Or winner avoided the challenges of two defenders before
finishing past a helpless Noor.

No mistake: Hulk adds to Brazil's tally

No mistake: Hulk adds to Brazil's tally

Shortly afterwards, Hulk further extended Brazil's advantage with an excellent individual goal.

Manchester City and Real Madrid striker Neymar got on the scoresheet 15 minutes from time and substitute Lucas completed the scoring.

Despite several players on-song, it was Kaka who was on everyone's lips at the full-time whistle.

'He gave some high-class assists and also scored one goal. With continuity he can be a crucial player for the team,' said Oscar.

Close range: Neymar beats Iraq keeper Noor Sabri

Close range: Neymar beats Iraq keeper Noor Sabri

Former AC Milan man Kaka hopes this is just the start as he bids to retain an international berth.

'I'm very happy for this game, for the goal and for living again the spirit of being in the national team,' he said.

'Mano used this game as a test and, in my case, I felt it like a training session and I tried to do everything the best as possible to continue in the team in the future.'

England Ukraine referee made correct decisions – Graham Poll

Football is back and referees are the scapegoats…

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UPDATED:

08:32 GMT, 12 September 2012

Roy Hodgson showed the football public that the Olympic spirit certainly does not extend to football.

He berated Turkish referee, Cuneyt Cakir, after the game at Wembley on the pitch and bemoaned his decisions again in his post-match interview.

Just 24 hours previously, a million fans had flocked to London to celebrate a summer of achievement by our fantastic Team GB Olympians and Paralympic athletes.

Have a word: Hodgson held the referee culpable for a number of decisions at Wembley

Have a word: Hodgson held the referee culpable for a number of decisions at Wembley

But that was all forgotten as England salvaged a late draw in our first home qualifier for the FIFA World Cup 2014. I watch England like most, full of hope but little expectation; urging us to play as I know we can.

There were plenty of big decisions and I thought Cakir got every one of them right.

First we saw a fantastic effort from Jermaine Defoe ruled out for a foul in the build-up; I had heard the whistle long before Defoe unleashed the unstoppable shot.

Replays showed that Ukraine player Andriy Yarmolenko was pushed by Defoe – a rugby style hand off which is not permitted in Association Football.

Yarmolenko's reaction was pathetic but not uncommon on our Premier League pitches: clutching his face as if struck by Defoe and rolling around as if in agony.

Hand off: Defoe's strike (below) was chalked off for pushing his opponent in the face (above)

Hand off: Defoe's strike (below) was chalked off for pushing his opponent in the face (above)

Hand off: Defoe's strike (below) was chalked off for pushing his opponent in the face (above)

It is the Ukrainian who should have incurred the wrath of Hodgson and indeed the ITV commentator whose condemnation of Cakir was ill-informed and monotonously repeated.

FIFA referees are instructed to protect players with particular offences highlighted, one of which is the illegal use of the arms and elbows. Cakir was consistent and correct in his application of these instructions.

Careless use of the arm in an aerial challenge resulting in an opponent being struck should be a yellow card. Violent use of the arm, often raised with a clenched fist indicating intent to harm, must result in a red.

James Milner and Steven Gerrard were clearly guilty of the first category offence and were rightly cautioned.

Knowing that, England captain Gerrard, who had played superbly, was taking a massive gamble by committing a late, lunging challenge which had to result in a second yellow and red card.

Clumsy: Gerrard was handed his marching orders after committing two yellow card offences

Clumsy: Gerrard was handed his marching orders after committing two yellow card offences

Clumsy: Gerrard was handed his marching orders after committing two yellow card offences

To commit the offence in such an advanced position on the field was rash at best and left Cakir with no option but to dismiss.

Finally onto the penalty claims of which there were two and both for England. The second was clear enough as Danny Welbeck shot and Ukraine defender Yevhen Khacheridi blocked with an unnaturally positioned arm – clear enough as it was in England's favour.

The first appeal was fascinating as on first viewing and at full speed it looked as though Welbeck had been tripped when trailing 0-1.

Replays though showed that Cakir, superbly positioned, was absolutely correct to wave aside appeals as Welbeck simulated contact. Welbeck should have been cautioned for diving.

Had a Ukrainian done the same he would have been condemned but as Welbeck is English there was no mention of his duplicitous act.

Football is back and referees are the scapegoats – how I enjoyed the summer of sport.

Handball! England drew level late in the game courtesy of Lampard's penalty

Handball! England drew level late in the game courtesy of Lampard's penalty