World of Football

Usual and not so usual Football News from around the World

No draw?

leaguelogo.jpgThe English Football League, the oldest in the world, is to consider settling drawn matches with penalty shoot-outs following a meeting of the league’s 72 club chairmen.One idea, put forward by League chairman Brian Mawhinney, is for each team to be awarded a point for a drawn match, with the winner of the shoot-out awarded an extra point.

The proposal, discussed by club chairmen on Thursday, will be developed by a working party which will canvas views from managers and supporters groups, amongst others.

Mawhinney said: “I suggested that for drawn matches each team gets a point and then maybe the team that wins a penalty shoot-out gets an extra point. Managers may hate penalty shoot-outs but fans love them.

“Some people were strongly against it, some people were in favor of it, but on both sides people said: ‘Lets be constructive and have a broad examination of what we have to offer.'”

If the idea was ever adopted, it would not need the approval of FIFA, world soccer’s governing body, as it would not involve a change to the laws of the game but a change to the rules of the competition.

The format could be a conventional penalty shoot-out, or follow the system used in the old NASL (North American Soccer League) giving a player a certain number of seconds to score from the halfway line.

The Football League was established with 12 clubs in 1888. The last major change to its points scoring system was in 1981 when three points were awarded for a win rather than two.

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Joey Barton arrested

joeybarton.jpgManchester City star Joey Barton has been arrested on suspicion of assault and criminal damage following an alleged argument with a taxi driver in Liverpool earlier this month.

“I can confirm a 24-year-old man from Widnes was arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage and assault,” said a spokeswoman for Merseyside police. “He has been bailed until May pending further inquiries.”

Barton is no stranger to controversy. He was fined by the Football Association after baring his bottom at Everton supporters in October and  fined six weeks’ wages by Manchester City for stubbing a cigar out in the eye of young City team-mate Jamie Tandy at a  Christmas party.

He was also sent home from a pre-season tour of Thailand after becoming involved in a brawl with a teenage Everton fan.

England chef ‘shocked’to know pork and milk ban

england_crest.pngThe chef of the England international football team was “shocked” to learn that he would be banned from cooking the players food containing pork, bacon and ham when they stay at a kosher Israeli hotel this month, it has been reported.

The Football Association has booked 80 rooms at the five-star Dan Accadia Hotel in the resort of Herzilya, near Tel Aviv, when England play Israel in the forthcoming Euro 2008 match.

However in advance of their stay, the hotel has warned the England team, its officials and management, that they will have to abide by the laws of kashrut or laws of kosherness.

England’s chef usually cooks pork sausages for the players, and mixes meat with milk by serving cheese at the same time.

Captain John Terry particularly likes Parmesan cheese with every meal, the chef was reported to have revealed, and the rules of mixing meat with milk will prohibit that, the hotel has said.

“The England chef was shocked when he found out he wouldn’t be able to cook pork, sausage and cheese together,” Arik Porat, the hotel’s chef, told the Jewish Chronicle newspaper. “He said: ’What will I do with captain John Terry, who likes to have Parmesan with every meal – including meat?’”

In an official statement, the FA, however, said the restrictions would not cause any problems. “We are satisfied that we will have an enjoyable time in Israel, and we are looking forward to our visit,” a spokesman said.

For its part, the FA has handed a 13-page list of demands to the hotel with strict requirements for management to abide by in order to ensure that the team functions optimally on the playing field.

It includes removing mini-bars and restricting room service for all 80 rooms reserved for the team, it has been reported.

“We are very thorough in our preparation for matches and this is standard practice,” an FA spokesman said.

“We are doing nothing different in Israel than we do anywhere else.”

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Makaay vs Kaka (Champions league Quarters)

champstrophy-copy.jpgAC Milan have been paired with fellow European heavyweights FC Bayern Münich in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals after today’s draw in Athens, host city of this season’s final.

Milan and Bayern met most recently in the first knockout round of last year’s competition when the Italian side won 5-2 on aggregate.

The other matches see PSV Eindhoven and Liverpool FC pitted together once more following their group-stage games in the autumn, while AS Roma face Manchester United FC, and Chelsea FC take on Valencia CF. The ties will be played on 3/4 April and 10/11 April.

If Chelsea and Liverpool advance, they will take part in a repeat of the 2005 all-English semi-final won by the Reds.

The final will be staged at the Olympic Stadium on 23 May.

Hammam re-elected as Asian Football President

mohamedbinhammamm.jpgMohamed Bin Hammam of Qatar has been re-elected unopposed for a second four-year term as president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), the AFC said here on Thursday. The 58-year-old Bin Hamman was re-elected as the only candidate for the position, the AFC said in a press release.

Bin Hammam was elected for the first term as the president in 2002, and he will be formally sworn into his second term on May 8,2007, during the XXII AFC Ordinary Congress in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Also re-elected unopposed as AFC vice-presidents were Zhang Jilong from China, Vernon Manilal Fernando from Sri Lanka and , Malaysia.

Yousuf Yaqoob Yousuf Al Serkal of the United Arab Emirates, who was elected for the first time, will be the fourth vice-president.


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FIFA lifts ban on Kenya Football Federation

kenyaff.jpgThe FIFA Emergency Committee has today decided to lift the suspension imposed on the Kenya Football Federation (KFF) on 24 October 2006 on certain conditions.

This decision,recommended by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), was made possible by the positive developments that have recently been noted in Kenya.

A delegation, comprising of two members of the CAF Executive Committee, Dr Amos Adamu (Nigeria), who is also a member of the FIFA Executive Committee, and Mohamed Hatimy (Rwanda), visited Nairobi and secured the following:

  1. a declaration from the sports minister not to interfere any further in the running of the KFF;
  2. respect for the agreements reached with FIFA (in particular, the agreement signed in Cairo in January 2006) as well as observance of FIFA’s Statutes and principles;
  3. the immediate dissolution of the normalisation committee installed by the sports minister and the assurance that the KFF will be run by structures recognised by FIFA and chaired ad interim by Mohamed Hatimy;
  4. the withdrawal of any pending legal proceedings.

A FIFA delegation will visit Nairobi from 14 to 16 March 2007 with a view to implementing a road map for the immediate relaunch of Kenyan football with amendment of the KFF statutes in accordance with the instructions sent to the 207 FIFA member associations.

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Beckham may face Chelsea on debut

becks.jpgDavid Beckham is likely to face some of his ex- England colleagues early in his new career in USA after Chelsea announced their participation in a pre-season tournament involving his new club Los Angeles Galaxy.

Beckham will leave his current spanish side Real Madrid for the USA this summer and one of the first teams he might face is Chelsea.

Chelsea will play LA Galaxy on July 21 as part of a four-team tournament which also includes Korean side Suwon Bluewings (owned by Chelsea’s shirt sponsors Samsung) and Tigres from Mexico.

‘We are very happy that we are going back to the USA for pre-season and we have done it every year since my arrival,’ said Chelsea’s manager Jose Mourinho. ‘The facilities are very good and the people very well organised, giving us the best conditions to prepare for this important work. ‘In previous seasons we have always won a trophy and although I am not a superstitious person this has something to do with the good preparation. ‘This season will be a little bit more special because we have a tournament with teams that we have a special relationship with, the Samsung Bluewings for obvious reasons and also LA Galaxy and the fact that David Beckham is there brings something extra to the tournament and to the game. ‘This gives me the chance to wish him big success in the US. He will be very important for US soccer and for the relationship between US soccer and European soccer. ‘We look forward to coming for the tournament and I know already that my players will enjoy again pre-season in the US and they are happy with our decision to go back.’

The competition has been named ‘The World Series of Soccer’, and it is the first venture in the strategic alliance between Chelsea and Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) – owners of LA Galaxy.

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