Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

March 18, 2002

Ferguson’s groin a worry for Vogts

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 5:45 am

The News Review:

* UEFA deny 2004 doubts
* Portuguese Communist Party united as left fights right
* FA give Eriksson the perfect excuse to quit
* Ferguson’s groin a worry for Vogts
* Probe over Adams’ spat with fans
* Wales begin Euros in Finland
* Eriksson’s kids strengthen a healthy marriage

UEFA deny 2004 doubts
sportbusiness.com – Mar 18, 2002
14m) plans have run into rows over how much of the bill should be borne by central government and how much by local authorities. Porto chairman Jorge Pinto da Costa said last weekend that rebuilding work on his club’s Antas stadium – Portugal’s second biggest ground – might have to stop amid a row with the city council over planning permission for a shopping centre to finance the project. Benfica have also said they could not afford to revamp Lisbon’s centrepiece Luz stadium without additional city council financing. Earlier this month, UEFA president Lennart Johansson sent Portugal a warning that it could lose the right to stage Euro 2004 and needed to show the problems were being resolved. But Portugal’s soccer federation played down the remarks and later said they had received assurances from UEFA that there was no danger of the country losing the tournament. Aigner said on Friday that UEFA had been monitoring the progress of the stadiums and were quite happy. “I think it just needs some talks to get everyone back together and we have had guarantees from the Portuguese government right from the beginning… We know from our experience that such situations can arise. It is not the first time, we had the same situation at the last European championships, but this is normal practice and I don’t think we should be too worried about it. The problems surrounding Euro 2004 overshadowed the start of campaigning for Portugal’s general elections, which are being held on March 17. Portugal, which has a population of just 10 million people, sustains three sports dailies and party leaders have mixed soccer issues with their proposals for tackling the country’s slowing economy.

Portuguese Communist Party united as left fights right
Pravda – Mar 10, 2002
In a country where football is front-page news of even the erudite newspapers on many occasions, the coming of Euro 2004 and the bickering between the local authorities and the football clubs has dominated the past few weeks. In this small country, no less than 10 stadiums are to be built to host the Euro 2004 championship and suddenly, municipalities have discovered that they might not be able to pay. With the spectre of historic enemy Spain snatching the championship from across the border, nationalistic spirits run high. The mayor of Oporto, Rui Rio, had to be escorted out of the city to spend the weekend in an undisclosed place due to the fact that his decision to alter the plans for the construction of FC Porto?s new stadium had gained the hostility of FC Porto president, Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa, and the fans of the club. The mayor of Oporto is a member of the main opposition party, PSD (Social Democrats), currently leading the polls. The issue was taken up by the Socialist Party (PS, in government), while the president of Benfica, after a dinner, made a ridiculous claim that it was the official policy of Benfica football club to support the PSD.

FA give Eriksson the perfect excuse to quit
Telegraph.co.uk – Mar 11, 2002
I wouldn’t be surprised if Eriksson had a new job by the time England play Liechtenstein in March. The removal of Crozier takes away a crucial part of Eriksson’s strength and influence at the FA. It also gives him the perfect excuse to leave before the qualification campaign for Euro 2004 gets any uglier. Don’t forget that he is a coach who is still held in the very highest regard in Europe. Getting a job over there would hardly be a problem for a man who is perceived as having turned round an ailing football nation. Crozier did a marvellous job at earning the FA a fortune from the England team when football was still being mined for all it was worth. Now the Premiership have to count every penny there can be little doubt that they are not about to lend out the players whose image rights and contracts cost them so dear… Stuart Baxter, who coaches England Under-19s, has been mentioned. Now, who did he play for? Not all coaches have to be great players but they have to convince a dressing room of internationals that they know what they are talking about. For every badge or UEFA qualification, I need to know that a coach can capture the hearts and minds of his players. Bob Paisley never took a coaching session in his life but he was a fabulous motivator of players. Baxter, a Scot, might know his stuff, but the fact that he is relatively unknown will count against him. Peter Taylor is well regarded at the FA but his record at Leicester was not great.

Ferguson’s groin a worry for Vogts
Telegraph.co.uk – Mar 11, 2002
The Rangers captain missed Scotland’s first four games under Vogts last season because of a persistent rib injury, but this season he has played in a friendly and two Euro 2004 qualifiers. However, he is now the victim of a recurrent groin injury which is likely to need surgery sooner or later. After Rangers’ 3-0 victory over Dundee at Dens Park on Saturday – a win which keeps them one point ahead of Celtic in the Scottish championship race – Ferguson revealed that he requires painkillers before every game and feels a reaction for up to two days afterwards. “The medical staff will leave it until after the Old Firm match on Dec 7 and then decide if I should have an operation,” said the midfield player. “The injury hasn’t got any worse, which I suppose is positive, but I can’t train for a couple of days after a game… I feel it most after a midweek match because it doesn’t give me much time to recover. This has alarmed some SPL managers, already concerned that the squad will not arrive in Portugal until late on the evning of Sunday Nov 17, many after playing in league matches that afternoon. The matches played this weekend altered the complexion of life at the foot of the SPL. Dundee’s defeat did not leave them materially worse off in mid-table but Motherwell find themselves the latest side to occupy bottom spot after their 2-0 defeat by Partick Thistle at Firhill, where Martin Hardie and Alex Burns were the scorers. Livingston are ahead of Thistle on goal difference, after they fell behind to Craig Brewster’s goal for Dunfermline Athletic but equalised through Cherif Toure-Maman.

Probe over Adams’ spat with fans
Telegraph.co.uk – Mar 10, 2002
I’m a young manager with a lot to learn and I apologise to the people I’ve offended. “Adams left his dug-out seat for a place in the stands after the incident. “There was an altercation with a few fans who had not been too complimentary to me the whole game,” he said. “The fans were quite irate and I thought it was in the best interests of the fans and myself to move back. “The matter may not end there, though. South Yorkshire police have confirmed that they want to interview Adams and any action will be reported to the Football Association, who could take their own disciplinary measures. FA compliance officer Graham Bean has asked for a video of the incident and a Soho Square spokesman said: “We are investigating the matter… Don Hutchison, West Ham’s Scotland international midfielder, has returned to training after seven months out of action with ruptured knee ligaments. Martin Peters, one of England’s 1966 World Cup-winnning side, has resigned from his role as non-executive Director of Tottenham Hotspur after four years on the board. William Gallas, of Chelsea, Liverpool’ Bruno Cheyrou and Leeds United’s Olivier Dacourt are among 10 Premiership players named in France’s squad for the Euro 2004 qualifiers against Slovenia and Malta this month. Israel’s home qualifier against Cyprus, due to be played on Oct 16 has been postponed until April 30 when it will take place in Romania. The Israelis, who are not allowed to play on home soil for security reasons,.

Wales begin Euros in Finland
BBC News – Mar 11, 2002
The countries in Group Nine met in Cardiff on Monday to sort out their fixtures, and the result was a first-up trip to Finland for Hughes and his squad on 7 September. But they will face a tough opening home game with Italy at the Millennium Stadium on 16 October. Group 9 fixtures

2002

Sept 7: Azerbaijan v Italy, Finland v WALES

Oct 12: Italy v Yugoslavia, Finland v Azerbaijan

Oct 16: WALES v Italy

Nov 20:Azerbaijan v WALES

2003

Mar 29:WALES v Azerbaijan, Italy v Finland

Apr 2: Yugoslavia v WALES

Apr 30: Azerbaijan v Yugoslavia

June 7: Finland v Yugoslavia

June 11: Finland v Italy, Yugoslavia v Azerbaijan

Sept 6: Azerbaijan v Finland, Italy v WALES

Sept 10: WALES v Finland, Yugoslavia v Italy

Oct 11: Italy v Azerbaijan, WALES v Yugoslavia

Wales will also get their long trip to Azerbaijan out of the way early, travelling to Baku on 20 November. Hughes has avoided any fixtures during the summer months, and the Dragons will finish their fixtures with home double against Finland on 10 September, 2003, followed by Yugoslavia on 11 October… There will be a lot of interest in football after the World Cup and to go straight into a major championship will be great for the players. “I will be looking for some good performances from them,” he added. “We do not have to play games in June of next year, which
was a concern for me because our season is over by then. “And we do not have a double-header the week we play in Azerbaijan. I wanted
to avoid the problems of travel and tiredness that occured when we played
Armenia in the recent World Cup qualifiers. ”

Hughes added: “We also have two home games to finish off with and they are
both against the countries we have to beat if we are to qualify. “It should keep the interest going right to the end.

Eriksson’s kids strengthen a healthy marriage
Telegraph.co.uk – Mar 18, 2002
As in all healthy marriages, legitimate critical observations can be expressed without the relationship’s foundations being shaken. If Eriksson makes mistakes, they will be highlighted but only the handful of village idiots who inhabit media-ville would call for the Swede’s head. The questioning would begin in earnest only. For now, Eriksson need not worry… A creature of deep pragmatism, Eriksson can live with pious politicians, incensed pressure groups and outraged columnists but he is aware that the blizzard of negative headlines and tetchy press conferences would have a damaging effect on the rest of the squad, predominantly a blameless bunch. As for Woodgate’s club-mate Lee Bowyer, the combative midfielder does not merit selection on simple sporting grounds; even when free of suspension, fit and in form, Bowyer’s style of challenging for the ball would be given short shrift by World Cup referees. In Woodgate’s extended exile, Ledley King is worth a look but England’s most secure central-defensive partnership could prove Ferdinand and Gareth Southgate, whose exceptional form for Middlesbrough has surely elevated him above Sol Campbell. Wayne Bridge will gain another cap at full-back, although Eriksson’s plan to pair him down the left with Ashley Cole has been postponed because of the Arsenal man’s lack of match sharpness. Bridge and Kieron Dyer could be England’s left-sided starters and everyone will welcome back the gifted Dyer after all his injury woes – although never rule out another breakdown. Owen Hargreaves deserves another opportunity following his athletic display for Bayern Munich against Manchester United.

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