Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Footballers aim for EU food goal

Some of Europe's top footballers have published a recipe book - to encourage children to eat more healthily and help tackle the continent's obesity problem.

Health experts say that in the EU some 20% of children are overweight and the rate of increase of childhood obesity is ten times higher than in the 1970s.

Eat for Goals! aims to address this, by trying to persuade children that healthy food can also be tasty food.

The book was created by the football body Uefa and the European Commission.

The suggested dishes range from the straightforward: Scotland and Rangers captain Barry Ferguson goes for fresh fruit salad; to the ambitious: Steven Gerrard, the Liverpool captain and England star sets out the recipe for his favourite, aromatic sea bream.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Lawrence hit by freak dog injury

Stoke City midfielder Liam Lawrence could miss Sunday's trip to Portsmouth after tripping over his dog and injuring his ankle.

X-rays have revealed the the 26-year-old has not broken a bone and he is set to undergo further scans to discover the full extent of the injury.

Manager Tony Pulis said : "Liam's gone over on his ankle stepping over the dog.

"Nothing's broken but he's not been able to train, it's disappointing."

The last time Hull beat Arsenal

Hull have only beaten Arsenal three times and only once before in the league, in the old Second Division in 1915 when the teams last met outside cup competitions.

That was 11 years after Hull were founded and in that year Herbert Asquith was Prime Minister, beer cost 3d per pint and the Women's Institute was founded.

Arsenal had just moved from south London to north and dropped the Woolwich element of their name.

Sheffield United beat Chelsea 3-0 in the 'Khaki Cup Final', so called because so many soldiers went to the game, the last before competitive football was suspended due to the First World War.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Gazza's death exaggerated

Wild rumours that footballing ace Paul Gascoigne had died were discredited yesterday when he was pictured out and about in Newcastle with a mystery blonde.

The 41-year-old was definitely alive and had a smile on his face as he helped his companion into a waiting car.

Police in Northumbria said they had been inundated with calls about the troubled England ace.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Pavlyuchenko shocked by Spurs training regime

Tottenham Hotspur striker Roman Pavlyuchenko has admitted his surprise at the intensity of training under Juande Ramos, revealing how he wanted to stop during one weights session.

Pavlyuchenko, the £13.8million signing from Spartak Moscow, arrived at White Hart Lane on the back of a full season in the Russian league and Euro 2008, with head coach Ramos suggesting last week that it is difficult to rest the forward as Spurs are short in attack.

''In England they have a different system of training,'' the 26-year-old said.

''Right now the games are on Wednesday, Sunday, Wednesday, Saturday. The training is like this - those who played get to recover, and the rest do light training with the ball. It's not that tough.

''But when there is a week's gap between games, training is serious. I barely survived it when I'd just arrived. I looked at my watch and saw that the training session had gone on for exactly two hours! Then another half an hour in the gym. Two and a half hours. Can you imagine that?

Ballboys sent off

At Real Betis's recent La Liga game at home to Atlético Madrid, all of the ballboys were sent off.

With Betis clinging to a 1-0 advantage as the game entered six minutes of added-time, referee Miguel Ángel Ayza Gámez became incensed by the ballboys refusing to return the ball (allegedly following orders from club officials).

After the Atlético players complained, Gámez's patience eventually snapped, brandishing red cards to all 14 of them.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Leopard takes World Cup spotlight

A cuddly leopard with a green afro has been unveiled as the mascot of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

The character, called Zakumi, has been given his own biography and name to reflect the country's aims and hopes.

Organisers said the character was 'born' on 16 June, 1994 - the year in which apartheid ended.

The date is celebrated as Youth Day to mark the 1976 Soweto uprising when young protesters struck a blow against white rule.

The first two letters of Zakumi are the country's initials in Afrikaans - one of South Africa's 11 official languages. 'Kumi' means 10 - for the year of the tournament - in many African languages.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Linesman in firing line after "ghost goal"

A leading official has claimed that the linesman who gave a goal instead of a corner for Reading in the Championship clash at Watford "will regret'' his mistake.

Linesman Nigel Bannister farcically flagged for a goal after the ball crossed the goalline wide of the goal following a challenge between John Eustace and Royals striker Noel Hunt.

Despite not a single Reading player appealing for the 'goal', 25-year-old referee Stuart Attwell gave Steve Coppell's men a 1-0 lead.

Watford eventually rallied to claim a 2-2 draw at Vicarage Road but assistant referee's manager for Professional Game Match Officials, Paul Rejer, admits that Bannister will be given some "operational advice''.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Footballer cautioned over assault

A Newcastle United footballer has been arrested in connection with a late-night assault on a woman.

Police were called to Pudding Chare, near the Bigg Market in the early hours of 14 September, and striker Andy Carroll was arrested.

The 19-year-old later accepted a police caution.

The England under-19 footballer has not yet scored in a competitive fixture for Newcastle but is reported to be sought after by other clubs.

A Northumbria police spokeswoman said: "On Sunday 14 September police were called to the Pudding Chare to a report that a woman had been assaulted.

"Officers attended and a 19-year-old man was arrested and later accepted a police caution for assault."

Friday, September 19, 2008

Beckham lego

David and Victoria Beckham have had some serious plastic surgery, and been transformed into Lego figures.

Posh and Becks are among the stars immortalised in toy bricks to celebrate the 30th birthday of Lego people.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Congo soccer riot over 'witchcraft' - 13 dead

Accusations that a soccer player was using witchcraft during a match in eastern Congo sparked a riot that killed 13 people, a U.N.-funded radio station reported Monday.

Most of the victims were between the ages of 11 and 16, Radio Okapi said.

They were suffocated as panicked crowds ran for the exits during the mayhem Sunday in Butembo in eastern Congo's North Kivu province.

Radio Okapi said police tried to control the violence at Matokeo stadium by firing into the air to protect their commander, who was hit in the head and wounded by fans.

The two local clubs involved were Socozaki and Nyuki System, the radio said.

Dozens of teenagers marched through Butembo's dirt streets Monday in protest, and the regional governor, Julien Mpaluku, paid a visit to the hospital.

Mpaluku said the government was investigating.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Middle Eastlands

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Lib Dems to debate safe standing

The Liberal Democrats are set to back a fan-led campaign to return standing areas to all British football stadia.

A motion on the controversial subject will be debated at the Lib Dems' autumn conference in Bournemouth on Sunday.

Stadia in England's top two tiers have had to be all-seater since the Taylor Report into the Hillsborough disaster.

"If fans want to stand, and clubs want to let them, we should at least explore safe ways of achieving it," said Lib Dem sports spokesman Don Foster.

"This is a sensitive issue but we cannot ignore the large numbers of fans who want to stand and are doing so in seating areas, despite the existing regulations and the danger it causes.

"Given the seeming impossibility of policing existing regulations, and recognising that some passionate fans want to be able to jump up and down, then we need to look at technologies that allow them to do that safely.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Newcastle boycott

Preston chairman urges Beckham to buy the club

Preston chairman Derek Shaw has urged David Beckham to look no further than Deepdale if he is looking for a football club to buy.

Beckham made his Football League debut as a teenager on loan at Deepdale and has a personal fortune estimated at around £100million.

He has expressed interest in investing in a club when he finally hangs up his boots and Shaw would welcome his arrival at Preston.

"We all remember David and I'm sure he remembers the time he spent here - even though it was only a month," Shaw said.

"If he has still got our phone number then we'd be delighted to hear from him. We have always made it clear that we would be prepared to talk to anyone who has a genuine interest in this club and would like to invest.

"I know David has spoken well of Preston North End over the years. And if he is looking for a club to get involved in, then what better club than the one he made his league debut for?"

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Keegan plane gets black nose cone

An aircraft named after Kevin Keegan is to have its nose cone painted black after his abrupt departure from Newcastle United.

The plane, part of low cost airline Flybe's fleet, was dedicated to the former Magpies boss in July.

But the company said it believed Keegan had been treated "very badly" by the club over player movements.

The newly-decorated plane will make its first scheduled flight on 14 September.

Flybe's Tyneside-born chief commercial officer Mike Rutter said: "We honoured Kevin because he was a great player and a great manager at Newcastle.

"He has been treated very badly by the club, and like many supporters, we wanted to show our support for him."

The Bombardier Q400 aircraft, which has the registration KKEV, will have a weekend paint job, before going into service between Newcastle and Gatwick.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Football and philosophy

A new football academy in France is aiming to turn its pupils not just into star goalkeepers, but top-class thinkers and citizens.

The academy hopes to do more than make great goalkeepers.

Drawing inspiration from two illustrious predecessors - World Cup-winning keeper Fabien Barthez and goalkeeper/philosopher Albert Camus - the unique institution aims to instill the values of citizenship in 11-16-year-olds from around the world and from all walks of life.

That means mutual respect, discipline, understanding and a sense of team spirit are as important in football, say organisers, as in the communities where they live.

One of those behind the project is Barthez, the former Manchester United and France goalkeeper who, despite a long and lucrative career at the top, never lost sight of where he came from.

"We're trying to get away from the idea of producing champions - we're more interested in promoting good morals among young adults," he says.

"It is important for our pupils to learn to become men, just as much as it is for them to learn to become goalkeepers.

"I want to give back to football what it has given to me."

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Rumanian player sold for a chunk of meat

Romanian second division soccer club UT Arad once sold a player in exchange for 15 kilograms of meat.

However, fourth division Regal Horia made a bad deal because defender Marius Cioara decided to end his footballing career and take off to Spain to find a job in agriculture or construction.

"We are upset because we lost twice -- firstly because we lost a good player and secondly because we lost our team's food for a whole week," a Regal Horia official was quoted as saying by the daily in its electronic edition.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Ashley beefs up security

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley is beefing up his personal security in the wake of the backlash from Newcastle fans following Kevin Keegan's resignation.

Former SAS men and Gurkhas are being lined up to safeguard both him and his home.

Meanwhile, the Keegan issues may well be tested in court, with Newcastle apparently determined to get the £2 million they claim Keegan's contract says he must pay in the event of his resignation, and Keegan considering a case for constructive dismissal.

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Brazil coach attacked

Brazilian coach Emerson Leao was attacked and beaten by a group of old foes during a visit to his former club.

Leao, a former Brazil coach and goalkeeper, was attacked by eight men at the entrance hall of Santos' headquarters on Thursday after meeting with directors to negotiate past payments owed by the club.

Leao, who was not seriously injured, said among the men who beat him was a security guard he fired during his tenure as coach of the two-time Brazilian champions earlier this year.

Leao also said members of a fan group that constantly opposed him at the club were involved.

Security cameras captured images of the men charging toward Leao and throwing punches at him as he raised his hands to protect himself.

At one point, he fell on his back while trying to escape from the attackers.

One of the assailants used an iron bar to try and hit the coach, who eventually was able to run back inside the club until police arrived.

"I wouldn't be here talking to you if he had hit me with that," Leao said.

Leao, who currently coaches Qatari club Al-Saad, had to leave the coastal city of Santos escorted by police cars.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Fuller had Bolt's trainer

Stoke star Ricardo Fuller has a fair turn of pace... he once had the same coach as Olympic superstar Usain Bolt.

But Fuller used to duck out of athletics training back in Jamaica because his first love was always football.

Fresh from cheering on his compatriot as he swept up the 100m and 200m gold medals in world record times, Fuller recalls: "Yeah, his coach was my coach, a man called Glenn Mills.

"But I used to hide when it came to training because I wanted to do football, not track and field. Over time, they just started to forget about me.

"I've known Usain since he was running in high schools championships back in Jamaica.

"Seeing him beat both world records makes you feel good as a Jamaican, but his best event is actually the 400m."

And now the pair have become an integral part of the Jamaican glitterati, though Fuller insists celebrities over there are treated nothing like celebrities in Britain.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Napoli fans travel ban

Napoli fans will not be allowed to travel to their club's away games this season after violence marred Sunday's Serie A opener at AS Roma.

The Italian railway said supporters of the Naples club caused 500,000 euros damage after fighting with police and railway workers and boarding a Rome-bound train without tickets on Sunday.

'Tomorrow I'll send a directive to the prefects to identify all those who were part of the other day's mob so that they will be prevented from attending sporting events for two years and reported to magistrates,' Italy's Interior Minister Roberto Maroni told Rai television.

'Secondly, Napoli fans will be banned from away matches for the whole championship.'

The fans effectively occupied the train in Naples and, after they refused to get off, police advised regular passengers to disembark and take other trains.

There were also scuffles outside Rome's Olympic stadium between police and Napoli fans and more incidents on the supporters' return journey after the match, which ended 1-1.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Police warn Toon owner over beer

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley was spoken to by police after he was seen by millions of TV viewers downing a pint in the stands, Scotland Yard said.

The billionaire "received words of advice" after cameras caught him sinking a pint of beer in less than 15 seconds at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium.

Police said a complaint was received from a member of the public during his team's 3-0 defeat on Saturday.

Newcastle United said Mr Ashley thought he was drinking non-alcoholic beer.

Premier League licensing laws prohibit the consumption of alcohol in view of the pitch.

Michael was offered a drink which he was told was non-alcoholic and he took it in good faith

He was sitting with travelling supporters wearing a King Kev replica shirt when he was caught by television cameras.

The 45-year-old left five minutes before the end of the game.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "We received a complaint from a member of the public during the Arsenal v Newcastle Premier League match.

"Following this complaint a man received words of advice for consuming alcohol in a prohibited area."

A Newcastle United spokesman said: "Michael was offered a drink which he was told was non-alcoholic and he took it in good faith."

An Arsenal spokeswoman confirmed the stadium does not sell non-alcoholic beer.

She said: "In line with club policy, Mr Ashley was taken from his seat, at which time he was not in possession of alcohol, and into the concourse area of the stadium where he was spoken to and formally warned about his actions.

"If the respective supporter is not viewed first hand it is difficult to prove the contents of the container by watching television footage and as a consequence, we feel the action taken on Saturday was satisfactory and a proportionate response to the incident."

Monday, September 01, 2008

Sent off after 12 seconds

After being sent-off after just 12 seconds a few weeks ago, Dortmund striker Bajram Sadrijaj had the following response in his post-match interview :

“Yeah it was quick. Bloody quick,” he said.

“At least I’m not that quick with women. With women I take 13 seconds.”

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