Archive | December 11, 2015

UEFA considers using goalline technology….

Referee's watch

Goalline technology could be used at Euro 2016 and in next season’s Champions League and Europa League. If approved, UEFA’s system of positioning an additional assistant referee behind each goal would remain. European football’s governing body discussed the issue on Friday and said it would make a decision in January. Goalline technology was introduced in the Premier League for the 2013-14 season, and FIFA used it for the first time at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. At a news conference in Paris, UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino said there was a “positive” attitude towards its implementation, despite “logistical challenges”. “This has been on the table for quite some time,” he added. “If it happens for Euro 2016 then it will also happen for the club competitions for next season, the Champions League and Europa League. This will be in addition to the five assistants. “The final decision will be made in January but the executive committee was pretty positive in its mindset.”

Yaya Toure is the 2015 BBC African Footballer of the Year….

Cote d’Ivoire captain Yaya Toure has been voted the BBC African Footballer of the Year 2015. Football fans voted for Manchester City’s Toure, who first won in 2013, ahead of Yacine Brahimi, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Andre Ayew and Sadio Mane. “I am very proud. To receive this dedication from the fans is unbelievable,” Toure told BBC Sport. “Also I want to pay tribute to the other nominees. African football is growing up, becoming much better and we have fantastic young players coming through now.” Toure described all five nominees as “champions”. He added: “I am delighted and very happy. And as an African player, I want to lead all my younger brothers to be successful in the future. “When I was a kid I was always dreaming of being an important player. I have sacrificed a lot. “I will continue to try to win a trophy every year, I will fight to win a personal trophy.”

Previous winners

2014: Yacine Brahimi (Algeria) 2009: Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast) 2004: Jay-Jay Okocha (Nigeria)
2013: Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast) 2008: Mohamed Aboutrika (Egypt) 2003: Jay-Jay Okocha (Nigeria)
2012: Chris Katongo (Zambia) 2007: Emmanuel Adebayor (Togo) 2002: El Hadji Diouf (Senegal)
2011: Andre Ayew (Ghana) 2006: Michael Essien (Ghana) 2001: Sammy Kuffour (Ghana)
2010: Asamoah Gyan (Ghana) 2005: Mohamed Barakat (Egypt) 2000: Patrick Mboma (Cameroon)

Januzaj not sure about Man United return….

Adnan Januzaj

Manchester United winger Adnan Januzaj says that he does not know if he will return to Old Trafford from his loan spell with German side Borussia Dortmund. “I don’t know,” the 20-year-old Belgian replied when asked about his future beyond the end of the season. “I wanted to join somewhere I could play and there were a few things behind that were a problem but I’m happy here. I just need more games to play and then I’ll be fine.” Januzaj started his first game since October in Dortmund’s Europa League defeat to PAOK and was rated a humiliating 1/10 by German newspapers WAZ and Ruhr Nachrichten.

Ranieri and Vardy win November EPL awards….

Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri and  striker Jamie Vardy have helped their team to top of the Premier League.

Leicester’s Claudio Ranieri and Jamie Vardy have won November’s Premier League Manager and Player of the Month awards respectively. Vardy wins the accolade for the second successive time after sealing October’s prize, having continued his scoring run in consecutive games to break Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s Premier League record and extend it to 11 matches. The 28-year-old forward, who recently made his England debut, has been in superb form this season with 14 goals in all competitions. Ranieri, meanwhile, took Leicester back to the top of the Premier League with victory over Swansea last weekend a position they hit during an impressive unbeaten November which saw them record wins away to Newcastle, at home to Watford, and a 1-1 draw with Manchester United.

Stephen Keshi’s wife dies….

Former Super Eagles captain and coach, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi has lost his wife, Kate to the cold hands of death on Wednesday night. In a statement from family spokesman Emmanuel Ado, Kate battled with cancer for three years but finally succumbed to it in the United States of America. A condolence message released by the NFF through its website described the death of the wife of the former coach as a big loss.  “This is devastating. To lose a spouse is the equivalence of a tragedy. I pray that Almighty God will give you and the children the fortitude to bear this huge loss,” NFF president Amaju Pinnick said. “Keshi is a Nigerian hero and we mourn deeply with him at this time. This has come like a big blow, but we pray that he receives divine strength to cope with the situation, and we also pray that the Almighty God will grant the departed eternal rest.” Keshi and Kate were married for 33 years. She is survived by her husband, four children, her mother, brothers and sister.

Prince Ali campaigns in Nigeria ahead of FIFA election….

Presidential candidate, Prince Ali Bin al-Hussein of Jordan has promised to bring developments to African football if he wins the FIFA election next year. Hussein who flew into Nigeria to consult with NFF President Melvin Amaju Pinnick said that Africa was key in his developmental plans and would fulfill his promises if he gets elected. ‘’When I make a promise I fulfill it. I am driven by passion and love of the game. I am young and energetic and indeed we need a young man who can withstand the rigours of travelling the length and breadth of all the countries that make up FIFA. He also promised borrow a leaf from Nigeria’s Football Federation President Pinnick in building human capacity for the good of the game. ‘’I’m impressed with the work my friend Pinnick is doing with builing human capacity. It’s important we do this and give scholarships to help grow the game especially among all the developing countries’’.

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Michel Platini loses appeal….

Michel Platini

Michel Platini has lost his appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to have his 90 day provisional suspension from football overturned, but Fifa have been ordered not to extend it. In a statement, the panel said they “determined that maintaining the provisional suspension for the remainder of the 90 days does not cause irreparable harm to Michel Platini”  His longtime ambition of becoming FIFA president now seems a tall order.

French ban Benzema over sex-tape case….

Mathieu Valbuena and Karim Benzema

Karim Benzema has been suspended from the France team until an investigation into his alleged part in a blackmail and sex tape case has been resolved. The 27-year-old striker could miss Euro 2016, which starts in France in June. Benzema has been placed under formal investigation by a French judge over an alleged bid to blackmail France team-mate Mathieu Valbuena over a sex video. The Real Madrid forward denies any wrongdoing but if found guilty, could face a minimum of five years in prison. France Football Federation president Noel le Graet, who had previously supported Benzema, said it was a “heart-breaking” decision to suspend him. But he added: “I have decided that he is not available for selection.” According to French media, Benzema mentioned the tape to Lyon midfielder Valbuena, 31, during a national team training session at Clairefontaine on 5 October. Benzema, who scored a hat-trick for Real Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday, told police he was advising a friend about what to do in a difficult situation. But he could face charges for complicity in attempted blackmail and participation in a criminal conspiracy by the judge in November. When a suspect is placed under formal investigation, a judge will then determine whether there is sufficient evidence for the suspect to be formally charged.

Honduras football star shot dead….

Arnold Peralta (2012 picture)

Honduran international footballer Arnold Peralta has been shot dead while on holiday in his hometown. He was killed in the car park of a shopping centre in La Ceiba, on the country’s Caribbean coast. The motive for the attack is unclear. The 26-year-old midfielder for Olimpia, in the capital Tegucigalpa, played for Scottish giants Rangers until January. Honduras is plagued by gang violence and has one of the highest murder rates in the world. Osman Madrid, director of the Honduran football federation, said it was a “tragic death that the national sport mourns”. No arrests have been made. Police ruled out robbery as a possible motive because Peralta had not had his belongings taken. He represented Honduras at the 2012 Olympic Games in London but was ruled out of the 2014 Brazil World Cup squad through injury. He had been due to play for the national team in a friendly against Cuba next week.

Three-game ban for Man United’s Schweinsteiger….

Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger (right) clashed with West Ham defender Winston Reid

Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger will be banned for three matches after accepting a Football Association charge of violent conduct. He was charged after catching West Ham’s Winston Reid with his left arm as they waited for a free-kick in Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Old Trafford. The incident was not seen by the match officials but was caught on video. Schweinsteiger, 31, will miss games against Bournemouth, Norwich and Stoke, and return in time to play Chelsea. Referee Mark Clattenburg spoke to both players after the incident, but did not mention it in his post-match report. A panel of three former elite referees each reviewed the video footage independently of one another and unanimously decided it was a sending-off offence. “He knows what he’s done – he’s elbowed me in the face,” Reid said following the match. West Ham manager Slaven Bilic said it was “a clear red card – a straight red without any doubts”. He added: “It was a moment of madness. He deserved to be sent off, but the referee told me he didn’t see it. Fair enough, I believe it. It was an elbow.”

Real Madrid take Cup appeal to court….

Denis Cheryshev

Real Madrid have taken their appeal against expulsion from this season’s Copa del Rey to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). The 19-time winners were thrown out of the tournament for fielding the ineligible Denis Cheryshev in the first leg of their last-32 tie with Cadiz. Cheryshev scored in a 3-1 win, but he should have been serving a ban, imposed while he was on loan at Villarreal. Real Madrid claimed the winger was not personally told that he was suspended. Osasuna were thrown out of last season’s draw for a similar offence. Real’s initial appeal to the Spanish football association was rejected and after they had been thrown out of the competition, Real Madrid said they were sure “the final resolution will be favourable to the club”. They had still been advertising tickets to the return leg in the run-up to their appeal hearing.

Watmore is first class….

Duncan Watmore

Sunderland AFC’s Duncan Watmore graduated yesterday with first-class honours in Economics and Business. Amazing how he combined his footballing career with his studies to the extent he had a distinction. Congrats to him.