Saturday, June 29, 2013

Louisa Necib - The Female Zidane

Gibson’s wife shows up hubby with football skills

Her husband is a millionaire Premier League footballer, but Darron Gibson’s wife Danielle has shown she’s not the only one with good ball skills after strutting her stuff on holiday.

Gibson, who is gearing up for a third season with Everton after leaving Manchester United, is with his partner in Barbados soaking up the rays.

But while he opted to lounge around on the beach, Mrs Gibson picked up a football and enjoyed a kick-about near the sea.

Hagi’s son Ianis, 15, curls perfect free-kick

GIF : Candreva Panenka penalty

Friday, June 28, 2013

Muamba becomes a dad again a year after 'dying' on the pitch

Iniesta digs deep to save hometown club

Andres Iniesta has come to the rescue of his hometown club by handing them a loan of over £200,000.

The Barcelona midfielder, used to showing his class on the field, has shown it off the field this time by dipping into his own pocket for the club he was a youth team player at.

Iniesta is a shareholder at the club, and the money he has put in will pay off the outstanding wages the club owes to its players.

Even more importantly, it has prevented the club from administrative relegation to Spain's fourth tier.

The deadline for the payment was Thursday night but Iniesta's money has saved the club.

It's not the first time the 29-year-old has dug deep into his pocket, as in 2011 he injected over £300,000 into the club.

The inventor of the bicycle kick

Leonidas da Silva made his first-team debut for Sao Cristovao, Brazil in 1929, at the age of 15.

He played in the 1934 and 1938 World Cups, winning the Golden Boot at the latter with eight goals and being crowned Player of the Tournament.

They called him "Rubber Man" for the elasticity and trickery in his legs and "Black Diamond" for the majesty and elegance of his movement.

For the Europeans who saw him in Italy in 1934 and France in 1938, he became an instant legend.  

He is credited with inventing the bicycle kick, a feat so unfamiliar when he performed it at the 1938 World Cup that newspaper accounts talk of women fainting and Parisians injuring themselves the following day trying to emulate it.

UEFA Euro 2016 logo unveiled

The UEFA Euro 2016 logo was launched in Paris, drawing together the Henri Delaunay Cup and the national colours of hosts France around the theme 'Celebrating the art of football'.

Player sent off for dragging ‘injured’ opponent from field

Luiz hair

Messi launches own brand of anti-mosquito net

Lionel Messi flew to Senegal yesterday to dole out a few of his new anti-mosquito/anti-malaria bed nets that will hopefully save thousands of lives across Africa.

Bubble football

FIFA Announce Official Champagne Of The 2014 World Cup

High-end champagne brand Taittinger have confirmed they have signed a commercial partnership deal with FIFA that will see them provide the official champagne for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Neymar’s Street Fighter cameo

Monaco punishment

Monaco will be forced to start the season at a disadvantage to the rest of Ligue 1, with the French League authorities (LFP) docking the club -2 points for the pitch invasion that followed their final home league match of last season.

Having wrapped up the title, Monaco fans stormed the pitch at the Stade Louis II after the game against Le Mans on May 17th to celebrate their title win and promotion back to the big league.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Daniele De Rossi's tattoo

Fantasista animation - Maradona vs England

Tévez faces community service hitch

Carlos Tévez brought an end to a largely successful seven years in the Premier League by joining Juventus on Wednesday, but the Argentina international will still have to return to England to complete 250 hours of community service.

Tévez was sentenced to community service for driving offences earlier this year and has not completed his time.

He stayed out of prison back in March after he pleaded guilty to a charge of driving while disqualified by accepting the terms of the community service sentence and a £1,000 fine.

That could mean the striker is ordered back to Manchester to complete the punishment, even though he will be living in Italy.

Swiss base in Brazil has broken goals and goats

Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld was greeted with broken goal posts and goats grazing on the pitch when he visited the team's planned World Cup training pitch in Brazil on Wednesday.

Swiss television showed Hitzfeld struggling to keep a straight face as he described conditions at the run-down Antonio Fernandes Municipal Stadium in Guaruja, an hour-and-a-half drive from Sao Paulo.

The stadium appeared completely abandoned with terraces in a filthy condition and the dressing rooms locked.

Hitzfeld said he had been promised the venue would be completely renovated in time for next year's tournament.

"We mustn't get too upset about the state of the place and we are convinced that those responsible will keep their promises," he said.

Ferguson's first first team sheet sold for £19,000

The official team sheet from Sir Alex Ferguson's first game in charge of Manchester United has been sold at auction for £19,000.

United stars of the time, including Paul McGrath, Kevin Moran and Frank Stapleton, played in the 2-0 defeat at Oxford United in 1986.

The hand-written list was given to an Oxford fan by former player Peter Rhoades-Brown.

Auctioneers had expected it to fetch in the region of £3,000.

Canon "Little Big Shots" commercial

Game played by 1858 rules

Players at a tournament yesterday revived historic rules of football that haven't been in use for over 100 years.

The Sheffield Rules, which allowed players to catch the ball and push players, were devised in 1858 and out of favour two decades later.

Yesterday four schools from across Sheffield competed under the 1858 rules at Sandygate Road, home to Hallam FC.

However, to meet modern health and safety standards, no 'hacking' or 'charging' was allowed.

Uriah Rennie, former Premier League referee and current president of Hallam FC, refereed wearing a top hat.

He said: "I have refereed around the world but I have always been drawn back to Sheffield where I grew up.

"Football is loved right across the globe but not many people realise the game actually originates from Sheffield.

"It's been a real eye-opener learning the original rules to referee this competition."

The event was the culmination of a community project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund to investigate the origins of the modern game.

Messi’s new signature Adidas F50 boots

Macclesfield Town cancel ‘Pay To Play’ Offer

"The ‘pay to play’ proposal was one of many innovative ideas that have been considered in the last few weeks to raise both funds and interest in the club. It was intended to be a light-hearted idea that would be of interest only to our local media.

"We now recognise that it creates a possibility of altering the outcome of a competitive fixture and clearly crosses an important line with respect to the integrity of the game.

"We are therefore withdrawing the offer and would like to apologise unreservedly to the football authorities and to the Football Conference for our error of judgement in this matter."

Lillestrom Fans Accuse Valerenga Ultras Of ‘Beheading’ Statue Of Club Legend Tom Lund

Lillestrom fans are up in arms today after a photo of the statue of club legend Tom Lund which sits at the entrance to their stadium circulated  showing that Lund had been “decapitated” by unknown vandals under the cover of darkness last night.

The headless sculpture has caused a (minor) scandal to break out in Norway, as Lillestrom supporters are adamant that the desicratition is the handiwork of Valerenga ultras, with the two teams set to meet in the Tippeligaen.

Tahiti FA ask Arsenal to play friendly match on Twitter

Kacaniklic keep-ups

Arsenal fans create ‘Build your own Gervinho’ kit

GIF : Neymar flop against Uruguay

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Ronaldinho endorses his own line of condoms

Peruvian coach sent off for fouling opposing player

Macclesfield Town offer fan chance to play 10 minutes in competitive match for £20,000

Macclesfield Town are hoping to raise a bit of money by offering one fan the chance to play 10 minutes of competitive, first-team football in return for a very reasonable £20,000.

A fortnight ago, Macclesfield almost slipped into administration but were saved by Cheshire East Council, who bought the club’s Moss Rose stadium in order to provide the cash to keep the wolves from the door.

Unfortunately the club will need to raise a further £50,000 a month for the next two months if they are going to stay in business next season.

That’s where the "fan package" comes in, with one fit male aged between 18-35 being offered the chance to be assigned with their very own squad number for the 2013/14 season as well as a set of home, away and training kits.

They will also be allowed to train with the first team, managed by club legends John Askey and Efe Sodje, for a whole week with access to all areas and receipt of usual player privileges including a place in the official club photo.

The fan is guaranteed a ten-minute appearance in either a Blue Square Bet Premier or a cup game at some point during the season.

New app summons 5-on-5 laser pitch whenever you need one

Wolves fan attempts to sell Jamie O’Hara on eBay

FC Koln retro kit advert

Norway’s Elise Thorsnes posts cheeky injury snap on Twitter

Norwegian international Elise Thorsnes caused quite the stir on Twitter after posting an intimate picture of her injury.

Blonde babe Thorsnes, 24, picked up an abdominal problem last week which put her place at the upcoming European Championship finals in Sweden at risk.

However, the striker, who has bagged 110 goals in 143 club games, refused to let the injury get her down, and instead posted a cheeky shot of a heat pack down her skimpy purple knickers to kindly let fans know she was on the mend.

‘Thank you for all inquiries regarding my vagina the report on TV 2. I’m doing fine without warm hands and the like,’ tweeted Thorsnes.

Mystery market worker shows amazing football skills

Chairman slams striker, saying: 'I don't want a guy who plays DJ in bars!'

QPR are still struggling to reduce their massive wage-bill with Djibril Cisse failing to secure a move away from the club back to Monpellier.

The French striker was on loan at Al-Gharafa from Qatar during the second half of the season and doesn't see his future at the London club.

Montpellier chairman Louis Nicollin told regional French paper Midi Libre: 'Cisse? No, it is out of the question. I don’t want a guy who plays DJ in bars.

Sharapova shows off superb football skills

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Thiago pictured in Manchester United strip

Old Trafford target Thiago Alcantara has been pictured wearing a Manchester United shirt.

In a recent interview with Thiago's father and Brazil World Cup winner Mazinho, the £15million rated star can be seen wearing a United shirt from the famous treble winning campaign of 1999.

Police launch raids on Italian clubs

The offices of Lazio and Serie A champions Juventus are among 41 clubs to be the subject of police searches in relation to tax evasion and money laundering in player transfers, according to the Associated Press.

In addition to the 41 Italian clubs, there are said to be another ten foreign clubs under investigation after a court in Naples ordered searches and seizures as part of an investigation into crimes of criminal conspiracy, international tax evasion, money laundering and invoice falsification.

In total 18 of the 20 Serie A clubs were searched by Italian police, along with 11 from Serie B and another 12 from lower divisions but no other club has been named.

No statement has been issued by either Juventus or Lazio.

A dozen agents, said to represent Italian and foreign players, have also been implicated.

Kinsella banned for two years for taking steroids

A League Two player has been banned for two years by the Football Association after failing a drugs test.

Gerard Kinsella, of Fleetwood Town, admitted an FA charge after a sample he gave in February contained the anabolic steroid Nandrolone.

The 21-year-old midfielder has been hit with a 24-month suspension, backdated to the date the sample was collected, and will be banned from football until February 2015.

An FA statement read: "Following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing, Fleetwood Town's Gerard Kinsella has been suspended from football and all football activities for two years, subject to any appeal, after he admitted an FA charge in relation to a breach of its anti-doping regulations.

"Kinsella was charged under FA Rule E25 for a breach of Regulation Three after he gave a sample following an out-of-competition test which contained the presence of a prohibited substance, namely Nandrolone, listed as an anabolic androgenic steroid in the 2013 Prohibited List of the World Anti-Doping Code.

"The player, who requested a personal hearing, will serve a 24-month suspension commencing 5 February 2013 (backdated to the date of sample collection) until 4 February 2015 [inclusive]."

GIF : Tahiti goal celebration

Cardiff postpone trip to Malaysia because of air pollution

Cardiff City have postponed a promotional trip to Malaysia because of the poor air quality in the country.

Manager Malky Mackay, captain Mark Hudson and striker Craig Bellamy were among the club representatives due to fly to Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.

But the capital has been shrouded in smog, triggered by fires in Indonesia, and the trip has been called off on health and safety grounds.

The club are hoping to rearrange the trip for a later date.

Cardiff's Malaysian chairman Vincent Tan said: "It's with disappointment that the planned visit to Malaysia this week by Malky, David, Mark, Craig and other club delegates has been postponed.

"A schedule of events had been put in place ahead of the opening Premier League fixtures, further raising awareness of Cardiff City Football Club in Malaysia.

"However, due to the current poor air quality in Kuala Lumpur, it has been decided for the welfare of all concerned to delay the trip, re-establishing plans in the future when the manager and players can better interact with Malaysian-based supporters in a suitable environment."

Poyet sacked as Brighton manager live on t.v.

Cruyff says Barcelona should consider selling Messi

"No, I wouldn’t have signed Neymar [but] with Neymar on board, I would have planned for the possibility of selling Messi - and some would agree with that, others not.

"You are talking about a team, its players, the things around it. There are too many things at stake. That’s why it’s so difficult to manage such a top class squad.

"It’s like the free kicks. Neymar is very good at taking them, and Messi has already shown he is. Who’s going to take them?

"Or the fact that Neymar and Barcelona are with Nike while Leo is with Adidas. These are situations that could cause problems. We’ll have to wait and see - it could turn out well or badly. It’s a risk."

Leyton Orient sign player after Twitter approach

Boa Morte penalty

Hibbert catches a 42lb carp and is featured in the Angling Times

Everton's longest-serving player Tony Hibbert is featured in the Angling Times this week after catching a huge 42lb carp.

Hibbert, who has never scored a competitive goal for the Toffees' in over 250 appearances, is a keen fisherman and purchased his very own carp farm last year.

Barca youth keeper saves six penalties and hits the winner

Sterling gets duaghter's birthday wrong

Friday, June 21, 2013

Great amateur goal

Celtic’s new shirt - so hoopy even the hoops are hooped

Beckham uses dirty tactics after being embarrassed by kid

Uruguay footballer continues to train with broken leg

Nothing makes Fabricio Formiliano miss training - not even a broken leg.

For the Uruguay Under-20s footballer even turned up to try to join in with a session at the Under-20 World Cup with his leg in plaster.

The tournament, which is taking place in Turkey, sees the Uruguayans take on Croatia in their opening match on Sunday.

Centre-back Formiliano fractured his right leg in the build-up to the competition and will sadly miss out but demonstrated he is a team man through and through by sticking with the squad rather than return home to his native South America.

Toon hero Shearer won't let bar name snub keep him away from St James'

Alan Shearer has shrugged off Newcastle's decision to rebrand the bar named after him, saying: 'It won't stop me from buying my season tickets.'

Signs at Shearer's Bar were removed hours after the Magpies' record goalscorer criticised the club over the appointment of Joe Kinnear as director of football and the resulting fall-out.

However, the development was a coincidence and the start of a major redevelopment programme which will see the bar reopen next month as Nine, a move about which finance director John Irving claimed the club had 'liaised' with Shearer.

United and Chelsea may have to cancel pre-season trip to Bangkok because of a fourth division Thai club

Manchester United and Chelsea's pre-season plans are in danger of being thrown into chaos - by a fourth-tier team from Thailand.

Pattaya FC successfully won an injuction that prevented a vote of the Football Association of Thailand (FAT) taking place at the weekend which should have confirmed amendments to their rules in line with FIFA requirements.

The world governing body has taken a dim view of the development and warned the FAT they risk being suspended from international competition should a resolution not be reached by the beginning of next week.

Whilst the internal machinations of Thai football do not normally generate much interest in the UK, in this instance the impact of any suspension would affect both United and Chelsea,who are due to visit at the start of their pre-season campaigns next month.

United - who have learned Italian superstar Alessandro del Piero looks certain to be in the A-League All Stars side that faces them in Sydney on July 20 - are due to face the Singha All Stars XI on July 13 in David Moyes' first game in charge.

Chelsea, back under the guidance of Jose Mourinho, are set to meet the same opposition, also in Bangkok, on July 17.

Given the prestige of the two games it seems unconcievable Pattaya would be allowed to derail them over what appear to be relatively minor complaints about the make-up of the Thai FA.

FIFA insist Confederations Cup will go ahead

FIFA have been forced to assure football fans that the Confederations Cup will go ahead after local media reports claimed the competition was in danger of being cancelled due to the ongoing protests in Brazil.

CBN radio and the website of the Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper, both respected, mainstream media, carried reports that the eight-team tournament, considered a dry run for next year's World Cup, was in danger.

'FIFA will claim compensation from Brazil if the Confederations Cup has to be suspended,' said a headline on CBN's website.

Protesters are demanding an end to government corruption and demanding better public services while claiming too much money is being spent on the competition, next year's World Cup and the 2016 Olympics that are costing almost £26billion combined.

'On the legal side, there's a certain degree of confidence on FIFA's part that if the tournament is cancelled, it can launch a claim from the Brazilian government, if there are no safety guarantees for the competition or the World Cup,' said the report by Juck Kfouri, a veteran Brazilian sports journalist.

'There is strong speculation, which won't go away,' he added, referring to rumours that the competition was in danger.

The Estado said that FIFA was negotiating with the teams to try to persuade them to stay.

'The protests in the streets of Brazilian cities have forced FIFA to negotiate with the teams to keep them in the Confederations Cup," it said.

'By law, if there is no guarantee of safety, it could force the tournament to be cancelled.'

But governing body FIFA have since moved to allay fears the tournament could be prematurely brought to a halt.

The best female freestyler ever

Liverpool new away kit

Whey aye man

Yohan Kebab

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Henrik Larsson makes comeback, plays upfront with his son

Police probe Spain team robbery

Brazilian police are investigating after Spanish national football team players were robbed at their hotel in the northern city of Recife, football officials said Thursday.

FIFA confirmed the investigation after Spanish media said players had money stolen from their rooms while in Recife for a Confederations Cup match against Uruguay on Sunday.

"We know that there was a police report and this was being dealt with by the relevant authorities," FIFA spokesman Pekka Odriozola said. "We have also been in touch with the team."

Six Spanish players, including Gerard Pique, reported that goods, including money, had been stolen from their rooms, according to Spanish daily newspaper Marca and the EFE news agency.

The players reportedly discovered their money was missing as they prepared to leave Recife on Monday after the 2-1 win over Uruguay the previous day.

Security has long been a major problem in Brazil, where knife- and gun-point muggings, carjackings and armed robberies continue to be facts of daily life.

Paris St Germain logo

The badge combines the silhouette of the Eiffel Tower with a cradle and the fleur de lis, or lily.

The Tower represents Paris, while the cradle and fleur de lis are the symbols of the quiet suburban town of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, where PSG train and are headquartered (about 15 miles west of Paris).

A similar design features on the town's crest.

Saint-Germain is nicknamed 'le berceau de Louis XI' (the cradle of Louis XIV), as the town happens to be the birthplace of the Sun King in 1638, hence the cradle.

The lily is also a longstanding royal symbol in France.

The pram is an emblem for Paris, more exactly, it was the emblem of the 'Water Merchants', a merchants' guild in Paris in the Middle Ages.

Beckham fans hurt in stampede at Chinese university

At least seven people have been injured in a stampede after fans stormed a stadium gate to get a glimpse of David Beckham at a Chinese university.

Three police officers, two university security guards and two students were injured, Shanghai police said.

The state-run Xinmin Net news site said nearly 1,000 fans had gathered at the university stadium, where the retired footballer was scheduled to meet the university's football team.

Xinmin said the event was cancelled after the stampede.

Messi summoned to testify on alleged tax fraud

Lionel Messi and his father Jorge have been summoned by a Spanish court for questioning as part of an investigation into tax fraud allegations.

A court in the town of Gava near Barcelona accepted a state prosecutor's complaint alleging that Messi and his father defrauded the Spanish tax office of €4m (£3.4m).

Messi and his father have been called to appear for questioning on 17 September.

That will form part of an investigation to determine whether there exist grounds to officially charge them with tax evasion.

Razak sent home in disgrace

Manchester City’sAbdul Razak has been sent home in disgrace by the Ivory Coast - for fighting with a team-mate.

The City midfielder, 20, was punished for a furious training-ground bust-up with Jean-Jacques Gosso ahead of Sunday’s World Cup qualifier against Tanzania.

Gosso was also given his marching orders over the fight in Abidjan, which was witnessed by City star Yaya Toure.

Razak left Crystal Palace’s youth set-up to join City in 2008, but has yet to break through at the Etihad Stadium.

He has made just five league appearances as a sub and was shipped out on loan to Charlton last season.

Fanny ditches Belgian roots to show support for Mario

Yaya Sanogo: I nearly quit football to work in a post office

Arsenal new boy Yaya Sanogo has revealed he nearly quit football to work in a post office before completing his surprise switch to the Gunners.

Sanogo is expected to formally complete his transfer to the Emirates in the next few days, having passed a medical in north London last month.

But his road to stardom has not been easy, with the 20-year-old suffering a string of injury problems including a fractured tibia that ruled him out for nine months in 2010.

And according to the French hitman, the injury problems have got so bad he nearly quit his playing career recently - in order to go and work in his mum’s post office.

‘I told my mum that because of my injuries I wanted to quit,’ said Sanogo.

‘I told her that I was ready to give up and go and work in the post office.’

de Gea leaves cheeky note for Manchester United target Thiago Alcantara

‘Nos Vemos en Manchester’ or ‘see you in Manchester,’

Rival fans march on Premier League HQ

Angry fans of rival Premier League clubs joined forces in London on Wednesday to protest against expensive ticket prices.

Supporters of Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham marched from Regent's Park to the Premier League headquarters in Gloucester Place, London.

A delegation was due to meet with chief executive Richard Scudamore to discuss the rising cost of season tickets, prohibitive match days prices for away supporters and moving fixtures to accommodate TV demands.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Ukrainian footballer sent off for headbutting teammate

Bosnian goalkeeper plays 90-minute match with 9mm bullet lodged in his skull

Amateur keeper Duško Krtalica was playing in a tournament in the Sarajevo suburb of Boljakov Potok recently when he complained of a headache.

The shot stopper assumed it was the result of striking his head on a post while making a save, so ignored the pain and carried on playing.

According to Sarajevo newspaper Dnevni Avaz, the 51-year-old completed the match, but soon complained of a stiff arm and had difficulty speaking.

He was driven to a local hospital, where doctors were shocked to see that a 9mm bullet was clearly lodged in his skull.

Krtalica was immediately transferred to the department of neurosurgery and the bullet was removed.

A hospital spokesman said the operation was a success and he is now in a stable condition.

GIF - Spain U21 goal

Manchester City claim that their scouting database has been hacked

Manchester City have today caused something of a stir by formally revealing that the club believes it’s Scouting Performance System has been hacked, possibly by a rival Premier League club.

The program lists details and reports on all potential signings and opposition players, and is hosted online. However, the club has announced that they believe that the software has been infiltrated.

Somewhat comicallty the club also stated that ‘espionage experts’ had been recruited to discover the culprits.

England U20's crossbar challenge

Zimbabwe set to field two goalkeepers in a match after flight blunder

Zimbabwe are set to field two goalkeepers in their starting lineup for a crunch World Cup qualifier with Guinea this week - after a mix up over flights.

The incident occurred when the country’s cash-strapped Football Association decided to leave it until the last minute to book flights to Conakry for the game, in the hope of getting them at a bargain price.

But their bungling officials didn’t count on there not being enough seats left, which is exactly what happened when they eventually booked the tickets this week.

Zimbabwe’s FA did secure 14 seats but not enough to take the full squad - meaning a squad of just 12 made the journey, along with their manager Klaus Dieter Pagels and the team doctor.

The drama didn’t stop there though, because one player lost his passport during a change of plane in Nairobi and was not allowed to continue with the team.

It means that coach Pagels has just 11 players to choose from ahead of the game this Sunday - two of which are goalkeepers.

Shot stoppers Washington Arubi and Maxwell Nyamupangedengu are set to battle it out to decide who will go between the sticks, and who plays in an outfield position.

In the meantime, work is frantically going on to sort out the transportation of the rest of the squad to Guinea, but no flights are currently scheduled.

Romanian match suspended as armed police storm pitch to arrest a player

Tartan Army free to play the bagpipes at Wembley

The Football Association insists talk of it banning the Tartan Army from taking bagpipes into Wembley Stadium when England face Scotland later this summer is just a load of hot air.

The friendly international, scheduled for August 14, will be the first time the two nations have met in 14 years and Scotland’s first visit to the rebuilt national Stadium.

Reports had suggested that, due to health and safety concerns, bagpipe wielding supporters would be turned away at the gate if they attempted to enter the ground with the reed-based, puff-powered instruments tucked under their arm.

However, the FA has said as long as fans apply to the proper channels for permission to bring bagpipes into the ground there should be no reason to turn them away.

A spokesman said: ‘The FA would listen to any specific requests from the proper channels, and look to make provisions where possible.’

Kinnear gets Newcastle players’ names wrong in bizarre interview

Tahiti go wild despite 6-1 Confederations Cup thumping to Nigeria

FA Cup final to take place after League season's end for the first time since 2010

The FA Cup final will be played after the conclusion of the Premier League next year, restoring the Wembley showpiece to its rightful place as the last game of the English season.   

In a victory for traditionalists, the 2014 Cup final will be staged on Saturday May 17, six days after the end of the Premier League season.

It will be the first time since 2010 the Cup final has been played after the end of the league campaign.

Italian television network make graphic gaffe during Italy v Haiti

Monday, June 17, 2013

Hearts to enter administration and start next season with a 15-point penalty

The financially-stricken Scottish Premier League club are in the process of lodging papers at the Court of Session in Edinburgh and have approached accountancy firm KPMG to act as their administrators.

The club was faced with a winding-up order last week after Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs threatened action over an unpaid £100,000 tax bill, although the majority of that sum has been paid.

Hearts were also hit with an immediate transfer embargo by the Scottish Premier League last Friday after admitting they could not afford to pay their players.

The news came just 24 hours after the Gorgie board released a statement saying they had entered a 'critical' stage in their battle to pay off debts of £25million as well as financing tax and running costs.

The entire Jambos squad was put up for sale in a desperate bid to raise the reported £500,000 needed to see the club through to the start of the new season.

Ronaldo is Johnny Bravo

If Anderson Silva played soccer

Fouls in Premier League have dropped by 22% since 2006

The number of fouls committed by Premier League players has dropped by 22% since 2006, according to figures released for the first time.

"The gradual decline in free-kicks has made the game more fast flowing, more exciting and more entertaining," said referees' chief Mike Riley.

Top-flight players committed 8,562 fouls in the 380 matches of the 2012-13 season at an average of 22.5 per match.

In 2005-06, 10,886 fouls were committed at an average of 28.6 per match.

However, last season's total is a slight increase from the 2011-12 campaign, when a total of 8,307 fouls were awarded at an average of 21.9 per match - the lowest figure in the past 10 years of top-flight football.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

GIF : Goal saved by a puddle

Messi denies tax fraud claims

Barcelona striker Lionel Messi has denied any wrongdoing after it was reported that both he and his father are being sued by the Spanish authorities for millions of euros in unpaid taxes related to the player's image rights.

Barcelona's El Periodico said the attorney involved has told the newspaper that Messi and his father Jorge deliberately hid commercial revenues from the Spanish authorities from 2006 through to 2009 by channelling the income through front companies in tax havens.

The paper reports the amount owed as €13 million, though other media has the figure being sought by the authorities as €4 million.

But now Messi has issued a statement on his Facebook page to deny the claims.

It read: "We have just known through the media about the claim filed by the Spanish tax authorities. We are surprised about the news, because we have never committed any infringement. We have always fulfilled all our tax obligations, following the advice of our tax consultants, who will take care of clarifying this situation."

Argentina ban away fans after fatality

Away fans have been banned for the next two rounds of matches in Argentina following the death of a supporter in La Plata on Monday.

One Lanus fan was killed and another man badly injured after police and hooligans clashed before a top-flight match against Estudiantes at the Estadio Cuidad de La Plata.

Officials called the match off at half-time after news of the death and injury emerged.

Local authorities had already announced a ban on travelling fans in the wake of the tragedy, and that has since been extended nationwide across all divisions by the Argentina Football Association.

"The measure will remain in place until the football authorities take action to curb violence in football," regional security minister Ricardo Casal said.

A joint statement from the AFA and the government confirmed that they "have decided jointly that the next two rounds in Argentine football be played without the attendance of the visiting public".

Manchester City named as the best paid team in global sport

Manchester City have been named as the best paid team in global sport after Sportingintelligence released a Global Sports Salaries Survey.

They pay each player £100,764 per week on average which equates to an overall wage bill of around £5,239,750 on a weekly basis.

FIFA 14 ‘Next Generation’ gameplay trailer

Man City club cat ‘Wimblydon’ dies of old age

The flags at Man City’s Carrington training ground are all flying at half mast today after it was announced that long-serving official club cat "Wimblydon" had died, aged just 14 (estimated).

Brought in on a free transfer as a stray nearly 13 years ago, the cat was originally given the name "Puss" by the City staff, but all that changed shortly thereafter when the cat moseyed into reception one day just as former fitness coach Juan Carlos Osario, struggling with his pronunciation, mentioned that City were due to play "Wimblydon" later that week.

The name stuck.

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Aussie boss in sexist storm

Socceroos coach Holger Osieck is in hot water with half the Australian population after he told a press conference that 'women should shut up in public'.

Australia's German-born coach made the sexist jibe after his team's World Cup qualifying win over Jordan, which has taken them to within one win of securing their place in Brazil.

Osieck was forced to apologise for his remarks but qualified his apology by saying it was off the record and said only as a joke.

Osieck was taking his seat at a press conference following Australia's 4-0 win over Jordan on Tuesday when he jokingly accused a male Football Australia official of ordering him around 'like his wife.'

Osieck then used the Latin phrase 'Mulieres taceres in ecclesia', adding his own English translation - 'women should shut up in public' - for the benefit of non-Latin speakers.

'I say it to my wife at home, it is a private one, OK,' he added.

Looking at the waiting media he added: 'And you record that one as well? I am going to be the darling of all Australian wives.'

Osieck, who worked as an assistant coach to Franz Beckenbauer when West Germany won the World Cup in 1999, has since looked to downplay the remarks.

'To everyone who may feel offended by that, I offer a sincere apology,' Osieck said today.

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English under-21 playing time reaches new low

The playing time of English under-21s in the Premier League has fallen to its lowest level.

English under-21s made up 2.28% of the total minutes played in 2012-13 with Manchester City, Chelsea, Swansea, Stoke and Wigan failing to field an English player under 21 all season.

The new figures fall behind Italy (2.38%), Spain (3.40%), Germany (6.22%) and France (7.32%).

Brain damage and memory loss caused by heading

Footballers can suffer brain damage and memory loss by heading a ball, a study says.

Players who head a ball five times a day suffer changes like those seen in patients with traumatic brain injury, brain scans have revealed.

Heading is believed to have killed Jeff Astle, who developed cognitive problems after years of playing for England and West Bromwich Albion.

The coroner ruled that his death in 2002 at the age of 59 resulted from a degenerative brain disease caused by heading heavy leather footballs.

Although the balls used to play the game today are much lighter than those used in the 1960s when Astle was playing, they can still have a significant impact.

Footballs can travel at speeds of up to 34mph during recreational play and double that during professional play.

Using an advanced MRI scanner, US researchers studied the brains of 37 amateur adult footballers.

First goal after 91 caps and 17 years

Former Blackburn Rovers and West Ham defender Lucas Neill scored his first international goal for Australia after racking up 91 caps over 17 years in the 4-0 win over Jordan.

The Aussie captain headed home six minutes from time on a chilly night at Melbourne’s Docklands Stadium to wrap up the win.

Cantona on the back of your shirt ? Non !

Manchester United’s new home strip has been lauded for the return of the ‘Cantona collar’ - but supporters have been left baffled after the club’s official shop refused to print the iconic Frenchman’s name on the back of replica jerseys.

United supporters have been flocking to the mega store at Old Trafford since this season’s new kit was unveiled last week.

But Sfans have been denied the right to sport the name of one of the Red Devils’ greatest ever players.

Many nostalgic United supporters have asked for Cantona’s name to be printed on the back of their shirt, only to be told by Megastore staff that the club do not own the image rights to Cantona’s name and his name is therefore out of bounds. 

Pele asks Brazilians not to jeer their team

"A request to all Brazilians, to those who love Brazilian football, to respect this preparation period before the Confederations Cup," Pele was quoted as saying.

"Don’t jeer the team, and don’t bring violence to the stadiums. Let’s host a clean cup - even if the team doesn’t perform well, we should not jeer - and support the players, because they need this."

The greatest footballer you never saw

Robin Friday is widely regarded as an unsung talent; a latterly-applied nickname, "the greatest footballer you never saw", was used as the title of his 1997 biography.

On his debut he introduced himself to Fulham's Bobby Moore by squeezing his testicles.

The day before he had been arrested for taking the train from Reading to Cardiff without a ticket.

In addition, Robin played in an era when football was not subject to the blanket media coverage it endures today.

The only time Reading appeared on television for example was when the local station filmed them.

He remained a hero at his clubs but hidden from the nation.

Robin walked out of Cardiff and football in the summer of 1977.

Twelve years later he was found dead of a suspected heroin overdose and hundreds of people attended his funeral.

In the year 2000 Reading fans overwhelmingly voted him their player of the century.

Celtic striker accused of breaking Elvis impersonator’s nose

Elvis tribute-act Anthony Bradley, 49, has accused Celtic hitman Anthony Stokes of attacking him in a Dublin nightclub.

The attack left Bradley all shook up and with a broken nose. He said:

"I had to go for surgery to correct my nose. It was an unprovoked attack. I’m still in shock.  It came from nowhere. This guy wasn’t even involved and he stepped in out of nowhere and decided to involve himself."

"I didn’t even know him because I am not a football fan."

Stokes is currently on holiday in the Carribean while his club released this statement:

"We believe the police are carrying out an investigation. We would, therefore, not be able to make any comment at this stage."

"However, when that investigation is complete, we will conduct our own inquiry into the matter."

Bristol Rovers apologise for wrongly announcing the death of their kitman

Bristol Rovers have issued an apology after wrongly announcing that the club’s long-serving kitman had died on  on their website last week.

Rovers’ kitman of the last ten-plus years, Roger Hardin, has been ill in hospital of late but the Pirates’ club website went that one step further and announced Roger had passed away on Friday evening - leading to a rather awkward statement having to be released when it turned out he very much hadn’t died at all.

A club spokesman said:

"It turns out this information was not correct. Although Roger is very ill, he is still bravely fighting for his life.

"Roger is a very important part of Bristol Rovers and our thoughts are with his family and friends as he continues his battle.

"We apologise again for any hurt our previous statement has caused."

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U.S. to host Panama on temporary field

The United States will host Panama on a temporary grass field Tuesday in its World Cup qualifier at Seattle.

The United States improved to seven points in the 10-game final round of the North and Central American and Caribbean region after winning 2-1 at Jamaica last Friday. The U.S. trails Costa Rica on goal difference and is ahead of Mexico on goals scored.

In order to bring a World Cup qualifier to America's Pacific Northwest -- where the weather makes artificial surface almost required -- putting down a temporary grass surface was a condition.

Seattle obliged, but the surface was far from ideal.

"When you talk about playing home games in World Cup qualifying, especially for us, you'd like to be playing on a field where it's cut real short and you're able to get some water on the field before the game and that creates just a fast, wet surface that is conducive to how we want to play," U.S. midfielder Michael Bradley said Monday. "Look, clearly there are a lot of things that go into making these decisions. Seattle certainly deserves a game, but I think the field unfortunately leaves a lot to be desired."

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Best nutmegs Cruyff

In 1976, British journalist Bill Elliot was traveling with the Irish squad to the stadium where they’d meet Holland.

The Orange squad, and their captain Johan Cruyff, in 1976, were synonymous with greatness.

Elliot asked Best what he thought of Cruyff. "Outstanding". "Better than you?".

George looked at the journalist and laughed. "You’re kidding aren’t you? I tell you what I’ll do tonight - I’ll nutmeg Cruyff first chance I get."

What follows is Elliot’s description :

"Five minutes into the game Best received the ball wide on the left. Instead of heading towards goal he turned directly infield, weaved his way past at least three Dutchmen and found his way to Cruyff who was wide right. He took the ball to his opponent, dipped a shoulder twice and slipped it between Cruyff’s feet. As he ran round to collect it and run on he raised his right fist into the air."

"Only a few of us in the press box knew what this bravado act really meant. Johan Cruyff the best in the world? Are you kidding? Only an idiot would have thought that on this evening."

UEFA officials left red-faced after racist lyric broadcast before racism appeal

UEFA have suffered a huge embarrassment after a DJ played a song containing racially-provocative lyrics before England's Under 21 encounter with Norway.

The tune, which contained several references to the 'n' word, was broadcast immediately before UEFA issued the message they do before every match in which they say they are against racism.

Though they have promised to conduct a full enquiry into how such music could be played, it will have left officials from the European game's governing body red-faced, given the controversies in which they have been embroiled.

UEFA had scorn poured on them after they initially fined Serbia £65,900 in December after their fans had continually racially abused England's black players during the now infamous Under 21 play-off in Krusevac last October.

Abidal says Barca considered him too risky

Defender Eric Abidal has revealed he was not offered a new contract by Barcelona because the Primera Division champions considered it to be too risky.

The 33-year-old Frenchman was released by the Catalan club at the end of the season just weeks after he made his comeback from a liver transplant.

"They considered it a risk that something could happen to me and did not want the responsibility," Abidal said in an interview with El Mundo.

Abidal spent a year on the sidelines as he recovered from the transplant last April, having previously had surgery to remove a tumor in March 2011.

The former France international claims it was worries over his health that ended his hopes of getting a new deal at Barca, but he is nevertheless determined to continue his career for another two years.

"But I will continue playing while my doctors give me permission. I think it is the right time to leave, I will try to reach 35 before I retire."

Abidal also insists he holds no grudges despite his reluctance to leave the Nou Camp.

"I wanted to continue [at Barca] and this is not what I expected, but I leave with good memories. Barcelona have been my second family," he said.

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