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SHARES
23 March 2008
"Not everybody who sleeps up a mountain is a great sportsman!"
SHARES
22 March 2008
SHARES
20 March 2008
So, Real Betis Balompié will not play the final 19 minutes of their match against Athletic Bilbao after a bottle thrown from the stands hit visitors’ goalkeeper Armando and led to the game being abandoned with the score at 2-1 to Athletic. It has been decided that instead the game will be awarded to Athletic, the 2-1 scoreline being allowed to stand. Betis will also get a record fine and have their ground closed for two matches, forcing them to play in exile as they fight to stave off relegation.
SHARES
20 March 2008
“There’s an exhibition of football photos on in town, shall we go on Sunday?”
SHARES
20 March 2008
I was going to write about the magic of the FA Cup – specifically about how the magic of the FA Cup will, if it keeps producing semi-finals containing the likes of Barnsley, Cardiff, Portsmouth and West Brom, destroy the magic of the FA Cup – but this seemed a bit churlish.Then I was going to suggest that Gary Megson should be locked in a bedsit, forced to sit on the floor, with a single dingy lightbulb swinging above his head and told he will not be released until he has read the whole of Hunter Davies’ The Glory Game, can recite the Danny Blanchflower remark that football is about doing something with style and has admitted that, even as Bolton manager, he should aspire to higher things than 17th in the Premiership.
SHARES
19 March 2008
In the wake of two deaths related to football violence, a new fight amongt the highly orgaanised Boca Juniors barra brava 'El Doce' has broken out, resulting in the non-fatal stabbing of a 44 year old barra member.
SHARES
19 March 2008
Corriere dello Sport have scooped Tuttosport on Juventus and the never-ending saga of whether Frank Lampard will be joining the Turin club in the summer.According to the northern editions of the Rome-based daily, the Chelsea man has had enough of empty promises over a new contract and is ready to jump on the next Ryanair flight to fall into the arms of the Old Lady.A cool 700,000 euro a month would make the England international the club’s highest earner and begin the process of easing Alex Del Piero towards retirement within the next two seasons.Lampard would lead a revamped midfield along with Werder Bremen’s Brazilian playmaker Diego who has already sat down for some top-notch nosh with Juve powerbrokers to ensure Inter don’t scupper the deal.AC Milan have also been in London claims La Gazzetta dello Sport although it’s not down the Kings Road to land Didier Drogba but up to Seven Sisters to prise Dimitar Berbatov away from Tottenham.However, the notoriously tight-fisted Rossoneri owner Silvio Berlusconi would have to stump up a reported 23 million euro for the Bulgarian plus he’s only 27 and much too young to join a grown-up club like Milan.Apart from the wads of cash, Spurs would acquire Dario Simic who claims he has forgotten what it’s like to be a footballer, having made all of two appearances this season.Meanwhile, any Manchester United players in need of some political debate when they are in Rome next month can always call on Alberto Aquilani.The AS Roma midfielder informed La Gazetta dello Sport that although his didn’t know much about the finer points of politics he had very firm views on Italy’s emigration policy.“There are too many foreigners in the country and most of the violence and trouble you see is caused by them,” he claimed. The 23-year-old also harked back to the times when the trains ran on time and revealed: “I have a few photographs and portraits of Mussolini at home. My uncle gave them to me as a present.”
SHARES
19 March 2008
Most Primera club presidents carry chips on their shoulders the size of Strasbourg. They are some of the paranoid men on the planet, primed to come over all Kenneth Williams and declare, "infamy, infamy, they've all got in for me", at any perceived slight from those nominally in charge of the game in Spain. And considering those pulling the footballing strings in La Liga are often men of a certain age with generations old axes to grind or bury in each other's spines, some of them may have a point. On Monday, Zaragoza boss - and the meanest looking mutha in the game - Eduardo Bandrés, decided to discount his alarming turnover in coaches as the cause for his club's troubles this season and blame referees. "You can't cry to mummy about it," he whined, "sometimes the only way of being heard is to give a thump on the table", or complain endlessly in the press, perhaps. But this whinge was topped - and then some - by the rant from Betis puppet president, José Léon, who donned a silver foil beanie hat and went before the media, on Tuesday, to declare that the LFP boss, Angel Villar "wants to send us to the second division". The reason for this pique of paranoia is the decision taken by the league competition committee on what to do with the suspended Betis v Athletic Bilbao game from Saturday night. The organisation have decided to award the 2-1 win to Athletic, taking into consideration that there was only 19 minutes of the game left to play and the visitors were down to ten men with no substitutes left. Betis have been ordered to close the de Lopera stadium for two matches - a punishment that would have been four had it not been for the actions of home fans in apprehending the culprit. Marca agree with the decision admitting it is a harsh punishment on the remaining 40,000 fans but argue that a club is responsible for what happens in their ground. Betis, meanwhile, continue to feel that having Javier Tebas, "an intimate enemy of Villar", says Marca, as their representative in the league is the reason for the strong action. Athletic Bilbao, aside from having their first two keepers out of action, are pleased as punch with the arbitration which moves them into 10th at the expense of Valencia. "Justice has been done", confirmed Fernando García Macua, president of the Basque club. There is still trouble at t'mill in the Kingdom of Catalunya concerning the declaration by Barça's medical staff that there is nothing wrong with Ronaldinho. El Pais report that the striker has declared that he wants to play Thursday's cup tie against Valencia, "with or without problems". Only 40% of Sport readers agree, in their latest on-line poll. Sunday's edition of El Periódico wrote that Ronaldinho was out disco-dancing, last Wednesday night, and was in no fit state to train the following day, hence Frank Rijkaard's cover story that the fallen star was injured. Mundo Deportivo have gone a step further and risked annihilation by Joan Laporta's android army by declaring that this is just one of many occasions when the players aren't injured, but fancy a break and get a sickie - a policy that the coach is complicit in, apparently. "The most guilty in these episodes that are so common in the dressing room is Rijkaard", j'accuse's the Barcelona sports daily. Marca are continuing to hound Diego until either he or one of his family admit that he is desperate for a move to Madrid in the summer. Having failed with his father, a lacky has been sent to Bremen to track down the striker, but all the Brazilian would say is that "what's been published is a lie. I've not signed for another club". If Real Madrid are to lure Diego to the Spanish capital they are going to have call in Predrag Mijatovic's black ops wet work team to do so, it would appear. "If someone wants to buy Diego, they have to kill me first", warned Werder Bremen president, Jurgen Born.
SHARES
19 March 2008
Two young fans killed in seperate incidents, bringing the total number of football violence related deaths to 224.

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