Saturday, July 31, 2010

Korean girl forgets you can't use your hands in football

High profile handballs are trendy right now. Starting with Thierry Henry's against Ireland last year and peaking with Luis Suarez's goal-saving effort against Ghana in the World Cup, both sparked outrage and debate, but both also helped their respective teams. South Korea defender Jeong Yeonga's handball in their 5-1 semifinal loss to their German hosts in the Women's U-20 World Cup did not help her team, though. Granted, it didn't really hurt her team, either, since they were already losing 4-1 at the time. But was weird.

Here's how described the scene:
[Germany's Alexandra] Popp hammered in a shot that crashed back off the crossbar. The ball flew out to a defender [Yeonga] but instead of clearing it she chose to catch it even though she was standing inside the area.
She must have thought that play had been stopped for some reason or that the ball had gone out because she caught it as if it were the natural thing to do and then just dropped it on the ground. Maybe she thought the rules of the game were suddenly changed mid-match or maybe she just watched Inception and it totally messed with her head. I don't know. These things are better left unexplained and delightfully odd.
A penalty was given, but Yeonga wasn't booked for her blatant and befuddling offense. Now, Spain's is calling this "the world's dumbest penalty," which is more than a little harsh given that it appeared to be an honestly absent-minded moment. Hooray for hyperbole.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dhoni entering a trough?

I may be completely wrong about this, but just recently, a few indications have been available to suggest that MS Dhoni may not quite be the most complete cricketer we sometimes imagine him to be. His record compels us, and in limited overs cricket, he is indeed a master - both with the bat, and tactically. In Test Cricket, so far, I have tended to be less convinced about his captaincy than his batting. He seems to chase the game quite often, and sets defensive fields too easily, but then again, with the bowling he has at his command, it's hard for him to look good.

But just recently, he's been playing too far in front of his pad too early in his innings. I suspect Dhoni might be entering the first real test of his career, which so far, as been an uninterrupted success. He has looked like he belongs, everywhere he has been placed. With the World Cup next year, this is worth watching i think. At some point the utter mediocrity of underperforming bowlers and incessant fitness troubles must catch up with a captain and shake even the most assured confidence and character.

As I said, I could be wrong, but let's watch.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Top 10 Transfers That Never Were

Some stories are just too good to be true as we rank 10 of the greatest moves which failed to happen. Oh, what might have been...

10) Frank Worthington: Huddersfield Town - Liverpool (1972)

Worthington followed in the footsteps of George Best by combining peerless footwork on the pitch with an equally voracious appetite for all the good things in life off it. He was all set to sign for top dogs Liverpool in 1972 but failed a medical due to high blood pressure, mainly as a result of to his legendary prowess in the bed hopping stakes. Manager Bill Shankly remained keen on the player and told him to take a rest and come back for another medical afterwards. True to form Worthington went on holiday and partied hard for a few weeks. He came back and failed the medical again. The move fell through with Worthington quipping: "I just saw it as their bad luck." Still, he did score this beauty some years later.

9) Ronaldinho: Paris Saint Germain - Real Madrid (2003)

Ronnie nearly signed for Scottish minnows St. Mirren in 2001 to get used to European football before a fake passport scandal intervened. Two years later he was close to joining Manchester United until he eventually plumped for Barcelona. The Brazilian was considered to be too 'ugly' for Real Madrid's Galacticos, who signed David Beckham instead. Ronaldinho won everything in sight with the Catalans, even earning a standing ovation from the Bernabeu after a virtuoso display in 2005.

8) Preben Elkjaer: Lokeren - Arsenal (1984)

A star of Denmark's 1986 World Cup side, Elkjaer was being lined up for a switch to England two years earlier. The Gunners hesitated and took a punt on the more industrial Paul Mariner, who was already 31 and the former Ipswich player did precious little in his time at Highbury. Elkjaer meanwhile moved to Serie A and played a huge part in Verona's unlikely Scudetto triumph in 1984-85.

7) Luis Figo: Sporting Lisbon - Parma/Juventus (1995)

At the age of 22 Figo was all set to make his move from Portugal to the top league of the 90s - Serie A. He made the mistake of signing deals with both Juventus and Parma, who were both chasing his signature, and it didn't go down well with the authorities. Figo was slapped with a two-year ban on moving to Serie A so he had to switch to Barcelona instead. The Portuguese maestro would move to the peninsula a decade later with Inter after succeeding with Barca and Real Madrid.

6) Johan Cruyff: Ajax - Dumbarton (1982)

Along with Ronaldinho's crazy transfer to St.Mirren, Cruyff was another legend who almost ended up in Scotland. The Dutch master was wooed  in the early 80s, when he was in the midst of a contract dispute with Ajax, by the plucky second division outfit. Sadly for headline writers the transfer didn't happen, ensuring 'Cruyff's Dumb Move' never made the front page.

5) Alan Shearer: Southampton - Manchester United (1992 & 1996)

Premier League history could have been very different had Shearer signed for the Red Devils instead of Blackburn Rovers in the summer of 1992. United would never have needed to buy Eric Cantona and Shearer would have added more than his solitary Premier League medal to his mantelpiece. Turned down Alex Ferguson again in 1996 when he made the record switch from Rovers to boyhood club Newcastle United.

4) Cristiano Ronaldo: Sporting Lisbon - Juventus (2003)

This nugget only recently came to light when it was revealed Luciano Moggi had done a deal to take the teenage Ronaldo to Turin in 2003. Sadly for Bianconeri fans the move failed as Marcelo Salas refused to move the other way as the Chilean baulked at transferring to Portugal. Manchester United stepped in and the rest is history.

3) Diego Maradona: Argentinos Juniors - Sheffield United (1978)

A move which has since entered legend thanks to brazen Blades coach Harry Haslam. According to who you believe, and there are many who have waded their two cents on this, a young Maradona was lined up for the move to Sheffield for the mighty sum of £600,000, which was an absolute fortune in 1978. Perhaps predictably the move never happened as the money couldn't be found and the Blades shelled out £160,000 instead for fellow Argentine Alex Sabella.

2)  Pele: Santos - Real Madrid/Juventus (1960s)

Unlike his rival for the title of greatest player in history, Diego Maradona, Pele never played club football in Europe. He came close twice to making the switch as Real Madrid and Juventus hovered when he was in his prime during the 60s. The great man himself revealed last year that he almost made Turin his home.

"Real Madrid wanted me, along with Manchester United and Juventus," he told Eurocalcio.

"In fact, the Juventus president almost reached a deal with Santos which included support from Fiat. I thought about coming to Europe a lot, but I preferred to stay with the team in my heart, Santos."

Brazil's then government intervened, ensuring their 'national treasure' would never be able to kick a ball outside his country for a club until he joined the New York Cosmos in 1975 aged 35.

1) Alfredo di Stefano: Millionarios - Barcelona (1953)

If you're looking for another major reason for the bitter enmity that exists between Real Madrid and Barcelona, consider the events of 1953 when di Stefano made the move to Spain. Barcelona agreed a deal with the player's former club River Plate as Colombian outfit Millionarios weren't recognised by FIFA. The Colombian side declined to accept but di Stefano walked out and joined the Catalans, even playing in a few friendly games.

Things then got really complicated as the Spanish League announced that both Millionarios and River Plate had to agree to the move before it could be sanctioned. There was also a row over unpaid debts between the player and his former club in Colombia. Real Madrid waded in, giving Millionarios 1.5m pesetas while Barca gave 4m to River Plate, at which point the Spanish league decided to ban foreign imports altogether.

With the league season approaching the authorities relented and issued a bizarre proposal. Both Barcelona and Real Madrid could have the player and would have to share di Stefano on a season by season basis. Barca had had enough of the nonsense and settled for the 4m pesetas Los Blancos had given River Plate in exchange for the player.

Two weeks into the season di Stefano made his El Clasico debut for Real against the reigning league champions. He bagged four in a 5-0 thumping as Madrid cantered to the league title. Di Stefano would play a key role in Real's five successive European Cup wins. Barcelona would have to wait until 1992 to land their first crown. It remains a hot topic in Catalunya...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Murali vs Warne - Who is the best?

 In another week, one of the greatest spin bowlers in the history of cricket will retire from Test Cricket, bringing to end an era of titanic spin bowlers. If the 80s were marked by all-rounders, the 1990s and 2000s have been marked by brilliant spin bowlers - Warne, Muralitharan, Kumble, each with over 600 Test wickets. Of these, Warne and Murali have been statistically superior to Kumble, were able to spin the ball more and were more effective on varied wickets.

The shadow of chucking has always hovered over Muralitharan's career. It originated in Australia, and Umpire Emerson, who called him for throwing in Australia in the 1990s still claims that he throws. Darrell Hair , who also called Murali for chucking in Australia argues that when he called him, he was right, and that the law has since changed. Hair is partially right, in that bio-mechanical analysis has revealed that nearly all bowlers in cricket bend their elbows to a lesser or greater extent, and that the bowling law, which was revised after the chucking controversies of the 1950s, and came to define a legal delivery, rather than defining explicitly the illegal delivery, was flawed. A really good way to present this analysis to the cricket following public, especially the boorish, ignorant Australian fans who would yell "No Ball" everytime Murali ran up to bowl in that country, would have been to subject every top bowler - Warne, McGrath, Gillespie, Kumble, Zaheer, Srinath, Gough etc etc to the very same bio-mechanical analysis that Murali underwent, and publish these results. I suspect that people would have been surprised by the results produced by some bowlers, especially McGrath and Gough. But this never happened, and Murali continued to be serially abused Down Under.

As a result, the Sri Lanka's most illustrious Tamil son has repeatedly had his quality questioned in influential circles. The sheer volume of Murali's wickets has bothered some people, who point to the large number of wickets that the Sri Lankan has taken against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe (181 wickets in 26 Tests, Home and Away), as something that might count against Murali. I have excluded results against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe in the chart below, and the record shows that Murali at least holds his own against Warne.

In fact, it would not be an exaggeration to say that Murali has been the more effective bowler. He takes an average 3.4 wickets per innings at 24.83 in Tests against Test opposition excluding Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. The corresponding figure for Warne is 2.6 wickets at 25.52. Murali takes a 5 wickets hauls once every 3.4 innings. The corresponding figure for Warne is 7.4 innings. Remember that Murali takes his Test wickets cheaper than Warne. The one area where Warne surpasses Murali is in their performance Away from home.

All of these statistical quirks can be explained by the relative strengths of the bowling attacks Murali and Warne played in. If you have a preference for sly leg breaks over more methodical off breaks, you may favor Warne. If you prefer sharp off-breaks, you may prefer Murali. Both Warne and Murali struggled in India, but both have troubled India on their home grounds. Both Warne and Murali hated bowling bad balls and I have watched both bowlers bowling for entire sessions without giving a batsman anything to cut. Murali was a more defensive bowler. He hated conceding boundaries, and often bowled with a deep-midwicket. Warne was more attacking. This might also be seen as indicative of their respective bowling attacks.

I hope Murali has a good match at Galle. It will be one of the great occasions in modern Test Match history. There have been only a handful of cricketers in Test Match History who belong in the same class as Muttiah Muralitharan. A man who almost single handedly improved Sri Lanka's fortunes in Test Cricket, and made them a force to be reckoned with. Would Sri Lanka have won at the Oval in 1998, even with the brilliant batting of de Silva and Jayasurya? Murali took 16 wickets in that game, including 9/52 in Englands second innings.

Muralitharan bowling in a Test Match has for over a decade been one of the great sights in cricket. It will be to Australia's eternal shame that they offered him their worst and not their best. But these little slights don't matter in the long run. Future historians and statisticians of the sport will look back at Murali's record with the same awe that is reserved today for Sydney Barnes and Don Bradman. Shane Warne revived leg spin bowling, but Muralitharan invented the Test Match victory for Sri Lanka.

Eight wickets? Even at the cost of an Indian defeat, I hope he gets them.

Srilanka vs India - Test History

 India vs Sri Lanka: Looking Back

An India-Sri Lanka Test series may not sound that mouth-watering a contest like the Ashes, but it no doubt, has its own aura. The battle between the two neighbours is not just about skills but also about patience. History is testimony to the fact that it tests the players’ endurance to the hilt. 

Considering the hot and humid conditions in the island nation, the series is bound to be a test of character for players from both sides.

For the record, India were the first country to play Sri Lanka after the ICC granted the Islanders Test status in 1981. Since then, the two cricketing superpowers have locked horns 32 times and produced some classical contests.

If India boast of players like Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag, Sri Lanka has the great Muthiah Muralitharan and the elegant Mahela Jayawardene.

Statistics suggest that India has had the upper hand more often than not against the Islanders but, beating Sri Lanka in their own den has always been tough. 

Sri Lanka have the upper hand at home with five wins from 15 Tests, with India securing three victories. Seven matches have ended in draws. 

Of the 32 matches played between the two sides, India have won 13 while Sri Lanka prevailed on five occasions.

Sri Lanka, once considered the underdogs, have transformed themselves into a major cricketing force and have earned the reputation of giant killers – a tag they acquired during the 1996 World Cup triumph under Arjuna Ranatunga.

Going into the series, the two teams are evenly poised, despite India being the numero uno Test side. The spin-friendly tracks of Sri Lanka are bound to help the spinners from both sides. If Sri Lanka have Muralitharan in their side then India will bank on Harbhajan Singh. 

Watch out for contests like Murali versus Sehwag and Harbhajan versus Jayawardene.

Srilanka vs India - 1st Test - Interesting Facts

India will seek to end a 17-year-long series drought in Sri Lanka when they go into the three-match Test series against the island nation on Sunday with a depleted bowling attack and dodgy form of some of their famed batsmen.
The last time India won a Test series in the island nation was in 1993 under Mohammed Azharuddin with a 1-0 scoreline and their track record has not been too impressive.

Approaching milestones
- Muttiah Muralitharan (792) needs just eight wickets in his farewell Test to become the first bowler to complete 800 Test wickets.

- Muralitharan, who is the leading wicket-taker against India with 97 wickets at an average of 33.34 in 21 Tests, requires just three wickets to complete a century of wickets.

- Having registered four hundreds in his previous four Tests - 105 not out & 143 against Bangladesh and 100 & 106 against South Africa, Sachin Tendulkar, with another century, would be equalling Gautam Gambhir's Indian record of most hundreds (5) in successive Tests.

- VVS Laxman (3959 in 60 Tests) needs 41 runs to complete his 4000 runs away from home.

- Virender Sehwag (19), in case of a hundred, would take his tally to 20.  He would become the fifth Indian batsman to post 20 centuries or more in Tests.  Sachin Tendulkar (47) heads the table, followed by Sunil Gavaskar (34), Rahul Dravid (29) and Mohammad Azharuddin (22).

Kalas - No to Arsenal, I love Chelsea

Chelsea's new wonderkid Tomas Kalas has revealed he rejected a move to Arsenal in favour of Stamford Bridge.

Kalas, who hails from the Czech Republic, is one of the most promising young defenders in the world.
Given Arsene Wenger's love for signing starlets and Arsenal's paucity of defenders, it is no surprise that the Gunners were interested in the 17-year-old.
However, Kalas himself revealed that he had been most impressed by the facilities at Chelsea after making a tour of the Blues and Gunners as well as German sides Bayer Leverkusen and Hoffenheim.
In comments reported by, he said: "There were rumours flying around already during the spring, but at that time there were more clubs around me.
"It became more specific only after the U-17 European Championship in Liechtenstein in May. Chelsea scouts were present there.
"Then I, my dad and Olomouc (Kalas' former club) were proposed a specific offer. But Mr [Frank, Chelsea's sporting director] Arnesen told me I had been on the list already before the Euro and they had been following me for two years."
Kalas penned a deal that takes him to London from Czech club Sigma Olomouc until 2016.
Commenting on interest in him from elsewhere, Kalas revealed: "Bayer Leverkusen and Hoffenheim from the Bundesliga and apart from Chelsea also Arsenal.
"I have been to both German clubs and also Arsenal, but the best impression was left on me by Chelsea.
"People say that Arsenal are famous for their academy, but from what I could see during my days at Chelsea, that really impressed me.
"Even my dad thought of Chelsea as the best option. Moreover, I have been a Chelsea fan since I was a little kid.
"I am convinced I have made the right decision by joining Chelsea. After all, by this I am making my dream come true."
Kalas goes to a club populated by world-class defenders who have a wealth of experience. Carlo Ancelotti will be hoping the likes of John Terry, Alex and Ricardo Carvalho take the youngster under their wing.

Chelsea make £50million Torres bid

Chelsea have made a staggering £50million bid for Liverpool striker Fernando Torres according to press reports in England.

The move comes only days after the Anfield side rejected a £40million offer for the Spain international and despite Liverpool's hierarchy making it clear that they would not welcome any further approaches for the Kop favourite.
Despite Liverpool's stance, The Sun has quoted a Stamford Bridge insider as saying that neither Liverpool's reluctance to sell Torres, nor the hefty asking price, will deter Blues boss Roman Abramovich from landing his man.
"It's true Liverpool have knocked back the first bid of £40m but it's highly unlikely that will be the end to it," the source said.
"Let's see what happens when an offer of £50million lands on (Liverpool managing director) Christian Purslow's desk."
New Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson has already held talks with Torres in a bid to persuade the 26-year-old to stay at Liverpool.
However, with the Reds deep in debt and not playing in the UEFA Champions League this season, a massive bid from Chelsea may yet tip the balance in favour of the London outfit.
Those close to Torres have nevertheless reiterated that the former Atletico Madrid star is in no rush to decide his future and that they are optimistic the World Cup winner will remain on Merseyside.
"The club were quick to reject Chelsea's £40m bid and tell them Torres is not for sale," one source told the tabloid.
"But the worry is it still won't be the end of it and that Chelsea will be back.
"Fernando could kill the deal stone dead by coming right out and committing himself to the club.
"Hopefully he'll do that sooner rather than later."

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Arsenal Captain Cesc Fabregas Celebrates Spain Glory In Barcelona Jersey

Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas has been pictured in a Barcelona jersey during Spain's World Cup celebrations.

The 23-year-old former Barcelona canterano has been a long term target of the Catalan club and this latest image, published by Spanish publication Marca is sure to heighten speculation of a summer move to Camp Nou.

Barcelona's centre half pairing of Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique were responsible for putting the shirt on Fabregas, while Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina was also in on the prank as la Furia Roja celebrate World Cup glory in Madrid. Fabregas had earlier declared that he is proud to be an Arsenal player while Gunners boss Arsen Wenger is reported to have refused to meet with Barca officials to discuss a possible transfer.

Another Version -

AS Spain celebrated their historic World Cup victory back home in Madrid, a few members of the squad had the perfect prank planned. While over 200,000 fans looked on in the Spanish capital, defenders Carles " Puyol and Gerard Pique snuck up behind Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas and forced a Barcelona jersey on him.

Not only did the two Barca players put the Barcelona jersey over him, but Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina shouted into the microphone: "The future of Barcelona!" The prank comes fresh after newspapers and football pundits have linked the Arsenal midfielder with a move back to the Camp Nou.
Fabregas himself has said time and time again that he'd one day like to return to his boyhood cfub, but Arsene Wenger insists that he is not willing to negotiate a price for his star player.

This incident is the second in recent memory where an Arsenal player linked with Barcelona has had a Barca jersey forced upon him. In the 2006 UEFA Champions League semifinals a pitch invader interrupted the Arsenal v Villareal clash to put an "Henry 14" Barcelona jersey on the Frenchman's shoulder. Gunners fans will remember all too well that their former captain went on to move to La Liga.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Will Octopus's Prediction come true tonight?

Now, in Football World Cup Octopus has came into light, just giving forecast regarding finalist
of the World Cup Football.

As per Paul Octopus's prediction, Spain will come in the final match of the World Cup football.
After this forecast, German fans are looking with trapped heart.

Paul Octopus was kept in Oberhausen’s water organism school of West Germany.

It is said that, during this World Cup, whatever forecast was predicted by 'Paul Octopus',
which have proved its correctness.

Not to say, but today, this Octopus has achieved a star status in Germany.

Now, will this Octopus's forecast break the elaborated efforts of German Football team?

But my experience says, the winners will be those ones, who never gets frustrated
despite any up-down Global forecasts.
There is always justice in the court of God, which may come late but will be
true with respect to time.
My best wishes goes to those team, who makes elaborate efforts
uptill the last breath of game.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Maradona clashes with German fans

Immediately after Argentina's 4-0 quarterfinal loss to Germany on Saturday, Maradona was understandably upset. And according to Argentina's Diarios y Noticias, he let a group of German fans know it. A translation of their report:

Argentina national team coach Diego Maradona had an altercation with German fans after the end of the match that marked the elimination of said team from the 2010 South Africa World Cup.

Apparently upset over post game celebrations by fans located behind the Argentinean bench, Maradona approached and scolded them, until Dalma, one of his daughters, entered the field and contained him.

It's a shame the man who has entertained us all over the last few weeks with his exuberance and delightful antics had to get involved in something like this. He would go on to say that this loss was "the most disappointing moment in my life" which shows just how devastated he must have been as he walked off the pitch and saw German fans in red and yellow wigs partying like it's Oktoberfest in July right behind him. A sad end for the most interesting man of the tournament. Or anywhere else.

Sign reads: "Bye, Maradona" (I don't think they mean that sincerely.)

Ronaldo Tells Felipe Melo - Don't Come Back To Brazil

Legendary Striker Ronaldo Tells Felipe Melo - Don't Come Back To Brazil

Melo receives the elbow from former ace after stamping his feet on Brazil's World Cup dream...

Former Brazil striker Ronaldo has told Felipe Melo not to return home for his summer holidays following his part in the Selecao's World Cup exit.

Melo scored an own goal and then got himself sent off after stamping on Arjen Robben to leave Brazil's hopes of a sixth World Cup triumph in tatters.

And his actions have been met with a regiment of criticism back home. Ronaldo warned Melo not to bother heading back to Sao Paulo with the Brazil squad when they return home later fearing a backlash from fans.

"Felipe Melo better not come to Brazil for his holidays," Ronaldo said via his Twitter. 

"I don't understand the lack of communication between Melo and Julio Cesar. When he comes out Julio always shouts, but this time both men went for the ball," added Ronaldo commenting the own goal.

"To my friends with sympathies, it's a difficult time, but you guys are warriors. [World Cup] 2014 will be he soon and we will have a great one," concluded 'O Fenomeno'.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Nadal new king of Wimbledon

Rafael Nadal blows away 12th seed Tomas Berdych in straight sets to regain the Wimbledon crown and claim his eighth Grand Slam title.
This is Nadal's second Wimbledon Title.

Wimbledon Final in Pics..

Manchester City Make Yaya Toure The Highest-Paid Premier League Player In History

Manchester City have made Yaya Toure the highest earning Premier League player in history, according to theNews of the World.

The newspaper claims the 27-year-old, who joined City in a £24 million deal from Barcelona last week, signed a five-year-deal worth a staggering £55.6m.

Toure will be picking up a basic wage of £185,000 a week before tax but that figure will increase to £221,000 when the Government's 50% tax bracket comes into force.

On top of his unbelievable basic wage, the Ivory Coast international will also be getting an image rights payment of £1.65m a year plus an additional £823,000 bonus each time City qualify for the Champions League.

Toure will also collect a £412,000 bonus should he win the Champions League with City whilst there are also additional bonuses for winning the Premier League and FA Cup - all tax-free.

The midfielder, who will be playing alongside brother Kolo at Eastlands, made just 13 starts in all competitions for Barcelona last season.

Toure is City's third summer signing so far after David Silva signed from Valencia for £24m and the £11m capture of Hamburg defender Jerome Boateng.

The club are also reportedly still aiming to complete a £25m deal to buy England midfielder James Milner from Aston Villa.

The Post Wanted The Ball To Enter - Spain's David Villa

With his goal having secured Spain's passage to the World Cup semi-final to face Germany, David Villa was smiling ear to ear after La Roja beat Paraguay. 

The Spain striker was in a high mood after his solitary goal led La Roja into the World Cup semi-final...

In comments reported by Marca, El Guaje spoke about the goal that took 83 minutes to come. "The post wanted the ball to enter," said the World Cup's leading scorer, recalling the ball thudding off the far post before nestling into the net. 

"The match was the most difficult we [Spain] have had to play. Our rivals pressured us a lot and did not allow us to circulate the ball among our players who like touches".

As for the semi-finals against Germany on Wednesday, Villa was clear: "Every match is different. I don't think Germany will be pleased that we have progressed".

'Hand of God-2' Suarez banned for one match

FIFA has suspended Uruguay forward Luis Suarez for one match for his deliberate handball to deny Ghana the winning goal in the teams' World Cup quarter-final match.
FIFA's disciplinary committee ruled Saturday that Suarez was guilty of “denying the opposite team a clear goal-scoring opportunity” as it imposed the one-match suspension.
The penalty means Suarez will be out when Uruguay meets the Netherlands in the semifinals on Tuesday, but would be available for the final if his team advances.
After Suarez's goal-line handball in the last minute of extra time at Soccer City on Friday, Ghana forward Asamoah Gyan missed the ensuing penalty kick and time ran out with the score tied at 1-1. Uruguay won the penalty shootout that followed, 4-2, to advance.
Forward will serve the ban when Uruguay meets the Netherlands in the semi-finals
Suarez's actions spurred debate about sportsmanship, and whether he should be given a more stern penalty.
Uruguay Coach Oscar Tabarez said earlier Saturday that Suarez should be allowed to play in the tournament final if Uruguay gets there.
“It's not my business. The disciplinary committee will look at it,” Tabarez said Saturday. “But I think it (a two-match ban) would be extremely exaggerated.”
“I think (calling him a cheat) would be too far-fetched and too twisted,” he added.
Suarez, who has three goals in the tournament, said it was “complicated” to be ejected from a World Cup game.
“But the way in which I was sent off — truth is, it was worth it.”

Two Kenyans Die In Ghana Game Fight

Two Kenyans lost their lives in a row over last Friday night’s World Cup match involving Ghana and Uruguay. 

According to the Saturday Nation, one of the men was stabbed by his colleague before a crowd intervened and stoned the culprit to death in the densely populated Githurai Kimbo Estate in the capital Nairobi.

The report said trouble started when a group of youths differed on predictions of results after Ghana's opener.

The Black Stars missed a last minute chance to become the first African side to make it to the semi-finals as Asamoah Gyan’s penalty kick hit the crossbar to force the game into a penalty shootout.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Super Eagles dissolved for 2 years

The president of west African nation Nigeria Dr Goodluck Jonathan has withdrawn the Super Eagles from international competition until 2012 following their disappointing performance at World Cup 2010 in South Africa. According to a government adviser the withdrawal is to help restructure the team.

Speaking to reporters, Ima Niboro - a special adviser to the president - confirmed the two-year withdrawal which would allow a restructuring of the national set-up.

He said: "Mr President has directed that Nigeria will withdraw from all international football competition for the next two years to enable Nigeria to reorganize its football.

"This directive became necessary following Nigeria's poor performance in the ongoing FIFA World Cup."

The ban will prevent Nigeria from partaking in qualification for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, which will be co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

Rotimi Amaechi, governor of a key oil-producing state, Rivers, who heads a special presidential task force on the World Cup campaign, said Nigeria would write to football's world governing body FIFA to explain its decision.

"We went to the World Cup and found all sorts of problems and we felt we should sit back and look inward," said Amaechi.

Jonathan also ordered an audit into how the funds allocated for the team at the World Cup were used.

Nelson Mandela hosts Black Stars

The Former South African President Nelson Mandela, has extended a special invitation to the Black Stars of Ghana at his home for an interaction. Mandela is said to be impressed with the team's performance so far at the tournament, and has therefore invited the team to call on him on Saturday July 3 in Cape Town.

Ghana’s Minister of Youth and Sports, Akua Sena Dansua, has confirmed the news saying the Black Stars would be transported to Cape Town in a chartered flight organized by authorities of Port Elizabeth.

She said: “I am informed that the municipality of Port Elizabeth has offered to bring the Black Stars to Cape Town on Saturday where they would have an interaction with the former President of South Africa, Mr Nelson Mandela”.

The sports minister again revealed that the ruling ANC in South Africa has also invited the Black Stars on Thursday July 1 for a presentation.

“We understand also that the ANC has also invited the Stars for a presentation on Thursday but we don’t know whether it is in the form of a citation or cash”

The Black Stars of Ghana are the sole survivors participating at the ongoing FIFA World cup in South Africa following the exit of the other five nations Nigeria, Cameroon, South Africa the host nation, Algeria and Ivory Coast.

The Black Stars qualification to the 1/8 stage after beating the U.S.A 2:1 makes them the third African Nation finals in the history of the World Cup after Cameroon and Senegal.

Meanwhile South African fans and several South African provinces have announced that their citizens from today wear the national colours of Ghana and expressed eagerness to turn out in their thousands on Friday night to support the Black Stars quarter final match against Uruguay.

“It is fantastic to have the Black Stars in the Quarter Final, especially in the World Cup hosted here in South Africa. All we need is one African team in the quarters, not all six, to fly the flag for Africa.”

“I have a ticket to the game,” said Tebogo Mutlanyune. “Ghana is representing Africa for all of us and I want to support that. Black Stars all the way.”

Ghana players bag $45, 000 each

Ghana players are taking $ 45,000 each for advancing to the second round of the 2010 World Cup.

“We are maintaining what pertained at the Africa Cup of Nations in Angola where we paid the players only after they moved on from one stage to another instead of paying bonus per match,” Ghana FA Vice President Fred Pappoe told the Graphic Sports.

“The players prefer this incremental bonus module and I think it has the added advantage of linking incentives with progress of teams. We could have paid winning bonus against Serbia and that would have been it. But since the players knew they could get their money only if Ghana progressed they had to work hard for it,” he added.

The players have already been paid US$ 70,000 as an appearance fee at the World Cup.

Ghana meet Uruguay on Friday and a win would create a new record among the African teams, the 1st to play in a World cup semi final.

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