Monday, 10 October 2011

World soccer notebook



Manchester City's Argentinian player Carlos Tevez runs with the ball against Wigan Athletic during the Premiership football match at The City of Manchester stadium.

Manchester City's Argentinian player Carlos Tevez runs with the ball against Wigan Athletic during the Premiership football match at The City of Manchester stadium.

Photograph by: ADRIAN DENNIS, AFP/Getty Images

Kia Joorabchian, who refers to himself as Carlos Tevez’s “adviser,” has seized upon the oldest of excuses for the player’s fight with his team — bad translation.
Tevez was accused by his manager, Manchester City field boss Roberto Mancini, of refusing to take the field as a substitute in a Champions League game two weeks ago against Bayern Munich.
The striker, who had asked for a trade in the summer, has blamed a communications breakdown for the problem.
He speaks Spanish, but little English, while Mancini, who is Italian, speaks English. Now Joorabchian says the players post-game comments on television were mistranslated by a member of City’s staff who was acting as translator.
Tevez’s post-game comment to the TV interviewer was translated as “I did not feel right to play, so I did not.”
Joorabchian claimed Tevez said “ ‘at this point in time, how am I going to be in a mental state to play?’ but the interpreter says something very different.” However, an independent translation obtained by Sky Sports News seems to confirm Tevez admitted he refused to go on the field.
“I didn’t want to warm up because I wasn’t feeling very well, so I thought it was better not to,” that translation said. “So I didn’t think I was in a good situation to come on because my head wasn’t in the right place.”
The striking striker has been suspended by City while the club investigates.
• UEFA, soccer’s European governing body, wants to spread out national-team games across the week in an effort to make international games more popular. UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino said soccer cannot leave weekends to other sports.
Under the plan, during international weeks, national teams would play Thursday, Friday or Saturday, with their second games coming the following Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.
That would mean teams would play two games in four days. The European Club Association, which wants the number of international games cut sharply, immediately opposed the plan, noting the revamped schedule would cut players’ rest periods between international games by a day or two.
• Police have arrested Manchester United star Wayne Rooney’s father, his uncle, Richie, and seven other people, including a Scottish Premier League player, over allegations of a betting scam.
The arrests relate to a Scottish league game between Motherwell and Hearts last year.
Hearts won that game 2-1 on a second-half penalty. Motherwell midfielder Steve Jennings, who was among those arrested last week, was red-carded during the game and police allege he deliberately got himself sent off.
Police were alerted to a possible scam by bookmakers, who noticed an irregular betting pattern, with large bets placed that red card would be given. One bet, made in Liverpool, home of the Rooneys, was for about $800 at 10-1 odds that a player would be sent off.
• Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has been handed a two-game suspension and fined for poking a Barcelona assistant coach in the eye during a melee when the two teams played in August’s Spanish Super Cup.
Sounds like a tough penalty, right?
But here’s the kicker: the suspension only applies to Spanish Super Cups, the annual exhibition match between the league winner and the holder of the King’s Cup.
The Barcelona assistant, Tito Vilanova, received a one-match Super Cup ban and both he and Mourinho were fined a princely $800. Real Madrid and Barcelona were fined a ridiculous $240 and $120, respectively.
• It was a tough week in the pocketbook for Barcelona.
UEFA announced the team has been fined close to $150,000 for incidents during the European Super Cup, which matches the Champions League winner (Barcelona) against the winner of the Europa Cup, captured by Portugal’s Porto last season. The Barcelona fine was handed down because the team was two minutes late coming on the field for the start of the second half, and because their fans lit several flares in their section of the stands.
• Rafael Benitez continues to fire verbal salvos against Inter Milan owner Massimo Moratti after being fired by the Italian club last January after less than four months in charge with the team slipping down the Serie A standings.
“Moratti is someone who makes a lot of mistakes, possibly too many,” said Benitez, the former Liverpool manager. “It’s no coincidence there were another three coaches after me.” He blamed an injury crisis and the lack of reinforcements on the transfer market for the failure of his spell at Inter.
• Carlo Ancelotti says he’s eager to manage another English Premier League team five months after the Italian was fired by Chelsea.
“I have a strong desire to remain in England,” the 52-year-old told the Italian newspaper La Repubblica. “For a coach, this is the ideal country. But I would only consider (coaching) top clubs, including Tottenham and Liverpool.”
I’m sure that comment thrilled current managers Harry Redknapp and Kenny Dalglish, managers at Tottenham and Liverpool, respectively.
Then Ancelotti cast an eye over faltering Arsenal.
“It’s evident that (Arsenal manager Arsene) Wenger’s bench is wobbling, and that in several months’ time, an English (national-team manager) will be appointed to replace (Fabio) Capello in the national team, which will free up a place at a club,” Ancelotti said.
“But I am in no hurry. The fact that I’m not coaching does not cause me anguish. In fact, I am enjoying life.”
Montreal Gazette

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