FIFA and UEFA won’t recognize Polish ‘administrator’

FIFA and UEFA today released a joint statement, saying that neither body recognises the appointment of an ‘administrator’ by the Polish football association.

The Polish FA appointed this administrator on Monday, targeting a more organised and mostly a less corrupt football environment in Poland.

But in their statement, FIFA and UEFA said not to agree with this decision:

“FIFA and UEFA do not recognise either the decision by the arbitration court of the Polish National Olympic Committee, or the appointment of an ‘administrator’ of the PZPN.”

The two governing bodies went on to say that they continue to recognize the current leadership of the PZPN, chaired by Michal Listkiewicz. Any correspondence that is not signed by the recognised leadership, will be “ignored and considered irrelevant”.

FIFA and UEFA will also contact the International Olympic Committee to assess the situation.

Tue 30 September, 2008
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No comeback yet for Totti

Francesco Totti hoped to be on his way back but it looks like AS Roma’s captain needs some more time to recover from his knee injury.

Totti missed four months of last season as result of his injury, and hasn’t been able to make a real comeback since the summer. He did play in the Super Cup final and made two appearances as a substitute , but none of these events were a success.

Today, the forward tried his luck again in training, but had to abandon the session earlier than expected.

Totti is considered Roma’s key player, having started his career at the same side in 1992. Since then, he score 205 goals in 510 appearances.

Tue 30 September, 2008
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Lucho Figueroa joins Boca Juniors

Argentinian forward Luciano “Lucho” Figueroa returns to his home country to join Boca Juniors on loan.

Figueroa has been playing for Italian side Genoa since 2006 and was close to a deal with Boca a month ago. However, the Argentinian giants then decided against it.

But following the serious injury of Martin Palermo, Boca needed a quick replacement. The Argentinian FA gave permission to attract Figueroa, and a loan agreement was soon arranged.

Figueroa, 27 years old, played for Rosario Central before moving to Europe in 2003. Since, he represented Birmingham, Cruz Azul, Villarreal, River Plate and finally Genoa.

Tue 30 September, 2008
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Stoke’s Lawrence suffers freak ankle injury

Stoke City player Liam Lawrence might have to miss his side’s next Premiership game after trying to step over his dog.

The incident happened at home on Monday, as Lawrence came down the stairs and planned to step over his dog. Instead, he hurt his ankle and a hospital visit was needed to point out what damage had been caused.

“The initial scan has shown no break but we have sent him back for another X-Ray to make sure,” the club announced on its official website.

“It could be a big blow for us, but hopefully it isn’t too bad.”

The 26-year-old joined Stoke City in 2007, initially on loan from Sunderland. He played an important role in the side’s promotion to England’s top flight.

Tue 30 September, 2008
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Ashley slashes Newcastle sale price: BBC

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley, who is attempting to find a buyer for the club, has cut his asking price from 450 million pounds to somewhere between 280 million and 300 million, the BBC reported Tuesday.

Ashley bought the club for 133 million pounds last year and subsequently paid off some of its debts, so would still make a profit at the lower asking price.

He announced that he was selling up earlier this month after fans turned on him in the wake of Kevin Keegan's resignation as manager, which was reportedly triggered by a dispute with Ashley's director of football, Dennis Wise, over control of transfer policy.

Joe Kinnear started work this week as an interim replacement for Keegan but has been guaranteed employment only until the end of October, by which time Ashley hopes to have completed a sale.

Keegan's continued popularity on Tyneside means that new owners would be under intense pressure to reappoint him to the manager's seat.

The boardroom turmoil has not helped Newcastle's cause on the pitch with the club currently second from bottom of the Premier League and confidence in the squad “lower than a snake's belly”, according to star striker Michael Owen.

Tue 30 September, 2008
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Eriksson sought foreign fix, Davies says

Former manager Sven Eriksson considered selecting four foreign-born players for his England squad in the wake of the failed Euro 2004 campaign according to David Davies, the former executive director of the Football Association.

In a Daily Mail serialisation of his book FA Confidential, Davies claimed that Eriksson drew up a shortlist of Premier League imports who were uncapped by their countries and could legally be brought into the England side due to FIFA's residence rules.

The four names he suggested were Chelsea's Italian goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini, Brazilian midfielder Edu, then of Arsenal, and French pair Steed Malbranque and Louis Saha, who played for Fulham and Manchester United respectively.

None of the four ever went on to play for England, with Edu and Saha subsequently capped by their own nations.

“'I like Carlo Cudicini', Sven told me – an opinion which led to a very serious consideration being given within Soho Square to recruiting Chelsea's Italian goalkeeper.

“However, our goalkeeping coach Ray Clemence was particularly concerned, insisting to Sven it would destroy our keepers.

“'Can you also find out about Malbranque, Edu and Saha?' Sven asked me. I wasn't sure what the public reaction would be to an Italian, a Brazilian and two Frenchmen coming into the squad but I did Sven's bidding.

“However, all my discreet enquiries to clubs and agents led to nothing. Miraculously, the moment our interest became known Saha and Edu were called up by their own nations, making them ineligible.”

Tue 30 September, 2008
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Berbatov to blame for Spurs plight, Venables says

Tottenham's abysmal start to the season is largely due to the selfishness of striker Dimitar Berbatov, former manager Terry Venables has said.

Venables said that the Bulgarian star had been a “poisonous presence” at White Hart Lane as he tried to clinch a transfer deal to Manchester United.

Speculation over Berbatov's future dominated Spurs' early matches as manager Juande Ramos wrestled with whether or not to select the striker, who eventually signed for Alex Ferguson's outfit for 30million pounds..

With two points from six league matches so far Spurs lie bottom of the table and Ramos is under intense pressure.

But Venables, who last week turned down an opportunity to take over as manager at Tottenham's fellow strugglers Newcastle, believes the club's current problems stem from Berbatov.

“Berbatov kept telling us he had 'a dream'. Well, good for you Dimi. You had a dream with a few extra noughts added to your bank balance,” he told The Sun.

“But did Spurs have a dream too? You got your way but your poisonous presence at the start of the season – the brooding and the reluctance to play – has cost the club that believed in you.”

Venables also said that Spurs were wrong to sell Berbatov's strike partner Robbie Keane to Liverpool before they had a replacement.

“They thought they were going to get Andrei Arshavin,” said Venables.

“This was a massive managerial blunder by Spurs, especially when they had allowed Keane to leave. But letting Berbatov and Keane go without having Arshavin in the bag was a boardroom blunder.”

Tue 30 September, 2008
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Toronto’s playoff hopes still alive

Toronto FC’s playoff hopes remain alive for another week, following their 1-1 draw with the Dynamo at BMO Field on Saturday.

New York, D.C. United and Kansas City, who are all in front of Toronto, lost on the weekend, keeping the Reds hopes of reaching the playoffs alive.

Toronto FC coach John Carver said: “It’s going to be tough and we need results to go [our way] because usually you’d like it to be in your own hands and just worry about yourself.

“But the way the results have gone, who’s to say we can’t go and get the three wins or four wins or whatever it needs to get us in there? Everybody is beating everybody, everyone is taking points off each other and nobody’s taking the initiative.”

Carver continued: “I’ve sat down with the guys and said look at this, there’s 12 points to play for, we’re six points behind it, we have to go to New York next week, one of the sides that are just above us, so that’s a six-pointer again. We’ve seen what happened over the weekend — [New York] get beat 5-4 against Colorado and we did a double over Colorado.

“If I can take what I got in the second half [against Houston] and get it for 90 minutes in New York, we’ll win the game.”

[Source: MLSnet.com]

Tue 30 September, 2008
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Giovinco set to sign new Juventus deal

One of Europe’s most exciting youngsters, Sebastian Giovinco, is  set to sign a contract extension with Juventus.

It is believed his new contract will see him earn £650,000 plus bonuses a year and extend his stay with Juventus until 2013.

“I am really happy, the problems regarding the renewal have all been resolved,” said Giovinco.

Reports have suggested Giovinco wants guarantees of first-team football from Juventus, something the club is not prepared to offer.

“We will have to see what happens,” agent Alessandro D’Amico said.

“There has been no direct contact with any other club in Italy or overseas and there’s no problem with Claudio Ranieri – Giovinco will get his chance and he has shown that he can stay at Juve.”

Giovinco has been linked with several clubs recently, including Premier League side Arsenal.

[Source: Tuttosport]

Tue 30 September, 2008
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Fergie support for Styles as he gets another top match.

Following that dreadful penalty decision given by referee Rob Styles for Manchester United against Bolton on Saturday, the referee has apologised to Bolton and to the head of the referees, admitting that he got it wrong.

A very understanding Sir Alex has given Rob Styles some much needed support;

“It’s good that Rob’s done that. I think it presents him in a different light. said the Scottish tactician. It shows character. It presents him that he’s big enough to do that. So I think he takes all the credit for that.”

I wonder if Fergie would have been quite so generous if the penalty had been given against United rather than for them?

The punishment for Rob Styles? Another Premier League game next week.

(Source – Sky Sports)

Tue 30 September, 2008
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