Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

January 4, 2003

Blair calls for Zimbabwe cricket tour boycott | Special reports |…

Filed under: World Cup 2006 — Ivan @ 1:26 pm

The News Review:

* North Africa challenges SA 2010 cup bid
* Brazil still sans coach
* NFA AGM Now Holds in Abuja
* Blair calls for Zimbabwe cricket tour boycott | Special reports |…
* Extra boost for Oceania
* Champion Brazil set to end 2002 without a coach
* Gimme a break

North Africa challenges SA 2010 cup bid
Independent Online – Dec 31, 2002
“For the moment our bid is independent,” he said on the BBC website. “We’ll study this with the Mahgreb Soccer Federation and we may organise the event jointly. ”

At this stage, however, South Africa, who so narrowly missed out on World Cup 2006, still have the best facilities in Africa, and must be slight favourites to host the 2010 event.

Brazil still sans coach
Calcutta Telegraph – Jan 1, 2003
The South Americans have yet to find a replacement for Luiz Felipe Scolari, who stepped down in early August, five weeks after leading his team to seven straight wins at the Japan and South Korea tournament. Brazil have played two friendlies since, losing 0-1 at home to Paraguay in Scolari?s farewell match and then winning 3-2 away to South Korea. Veteran Mario Zagallo, who led Brazil at the 1970, 1974 and 1998 World Cups, was brought back for that game as a tribute. Although the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) has a reputation for making important announcements out of the blue, nobody is expecting Scolari?s long-term replacement to be named in a hurry.

NFA AGM Now Holds in Abuja
This Day – This Day (subscription) – Jan 2, 2003
It had previously been scheduled to hold in Ilorin and then Calabar before the latest development. THISDAYSports checks reveal that the board of NFA, which is aware if the implications of allowing the AGM to drag for too long, on the country’s football development summarily, scheduled the event for Abuja. Among the major issues on the agenda of the AGM is the official signing of the Globacom Pro League, which will see the communications giant formally taking over the sponsorship of the league. Apart from the fact that the two parties would be defining the do’s and don’ts of the contractual agreement, Globacom will also seize the opportunity offered by the occasion to release the first instalment of the four-year sponsorship deal to NFA… Apart from the fact that the two parties would be defining the do’s and don’ts of the contractual agreement, Globacom will also seize the opportunity offered by the occasion to release the first instalment of the four-year sponsorship deal to NFA. Besides, the Abuja AGM will equally look into the thorny issue of hiring a Team Manager for the Super Eagles, who will head current coach of the national team, Christian Chukwu, whose performance the Glass House seems not to satisfied with. Speaking recently, NFA board member, Barrister Chive Kaave said that NFA would certainly engage the services of a foreign Team Manager for the Super Eagles to handle the campaign for the Tunisia 2004 Nations Cup and World Cup 2006 qualifiers. However, THISDAYSports checks reveal that the NFA, which has been having a running battle with the Federal Government on funding of the Foreign Technical Adviser, will begin the active search next month
Other issues on the AGM agenda, are the ratification of both the Professional and Amateur League final result to determine the teams to be promoted and the ones to be relegated. But the event would not close shop without the NFA addressing the crucial matter of budget for football development in the country, as the Federal Government maintains she could not fund the game alone.

Blair calls for Zimbabwe cricket tour boycott | Special reports |…
Guardian Unlimited – Dec 30, 2002
However, in the light of the deteriorating political and humanitarian situation in the country, ministers have made clear that if the decision were for them, England should not play in Zimbabwe. ” Mr Blair added that Foreign Office officials had been in contact with cricketing officials since October and “ministers would be happy to discuss this further with the ECB”. Ministers have been privately urging that the World Cup matches scheduled for Zimbabwe in February be switched to South Africa. Mr Duncan Smith backed his party’s call for tougher action against Mr Mugabe by writing to Mr Blair yesterday demanding details of any pressure mounted by Downing Street. Accusing the government of neglecting its responsibilities for months, he wrote: “It is not good enough for the government to try to jump on a bandwagon as political, media and public criticism of the decision to play World Cup matches in Zimbabwe grows. It is time for you to take charge. ” After a weekend call for a boycott from Downing Street and from Clare Short, the international development secretary, cricket authorities angrily pointed out that no minister had made such a proposal directly to them.

Extra boost for Oceania
The Age – Jan 2, 2003
The game’s governing body, FIFA, is leaning towards a long-term commitment to two other tournaments with huge benefits for the region. Lost in the drama that surrounded the allocation of places for the 2006 World Cup at last month’s FIFA executive meeting in Madrid was agreement to extend the Confederations Cup past 2007, while at the same time resurrecting the dormant world club championship, perhaps as early as 2005. While both tournaments are largely viewed with disdain by the European confederation, the other five confederations hold them in great stead. For Oceania, in particular, they are a lifeblood, not just because of the lucrative prizemoney, but also because of the dearth of meaningful competition within the region. The inclusion of the Confederations Cup in the official FIFA international calendar in 1997 provided a massive boost for the struggling Oceania Nations Cup, which now acts as the qualifying tournament. Australia and New Zealand have since qualified twice each for the Confederations Cup, and the All Whites will represent Oceania in this year’s tournament, in France in June.

Champion Brazil set to end 2002 without a coach
SI.com – Dec 30, 2002
Although the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) has areputation for making important announcements out of the blue,nobody is expecting Scolari’s long-term replacement to be namedon the last day of the year. But the world champions are running out of time. The road to Germany 2006 is expected to start next August toallow time for South America to fit in its marathon qualifyingtournament in which the 10 teams play each other twice. And with FIFA having reduced South America’s World Cup slotsto four, the contest will prove tougher than ever for Brazil,who have often found the qualifying competition harder work thanthe World Cup itself. CBF president Ricardo Teixeira had been hoping this year’sBrazilian championship would point him in the right directionbut its outcome has not helped him in the least. The competition was won by a young Santos team brilliantlycoached by Emerson Leao – who was unceremoniously sacked byTeixeira in June 2001 after only eight months in charge ofBrazil. Not again Asked if he wanted the Brazil job back, Leao — who learnedof his dismissal as he was about to board a flight at Tokyoairport after the Confederations Cup — replied: “No, not withhim [Teixeira] in charge… But the world champions are running out of time. The road to Germany 2006 is expected to start next August toallow time for South America to fit in its marathon qualifyingtournament in which the 10 teams play each other twice. And with FIFA having reduced South America’s World Cup slotsto four, the contest will prove tougher than ever for Brazil,who have often found the qualifying competition harder work thanthe World Cup itself. CBF president Ricardo Teixeira had been hoping this year’sBrazilian championship would point him in the right directionbut its outcome has not helped him in the least. The competition was won by a young Santos team brilliantlycoached by Emerson Leao – who was unceremoniously sacked byTeixeira in June 2001 after only eight months in charge ofBrazil. Not again Asked if he wanted the Brazil job back, Leao — who learnedof his dismissal as he was about to board a flight at Tokyoairport after the Confederations Cup — replied: “No, not withhim [Teixeira] in charge. The other obvious candidate would have been Carlos AlbertoParreira, whose Corinthians team won the Rio-Sao Paulotournament and the Copa Brasil and finished as runners-up toSantos in the Brazilian championship.

Gimme a break
go.com – Dec 29, 2002
If you believe everything you read and hear about the ‘calciomercato’, Juventus will go into the second part of the season with a first team squad of 3,000, while Milan and Inter – poor chaps – will have to make do with about 2,500. All this speculation has grown even more intense this year and – for the press – the first few days of dealings will be an explosion not unlike the opening of a champagne bottle. As the Soccernet faithful will have read many times here, football comes third to ‘talking about football transfers’ and ‘finding a scapegoat when you lose’ in the rating of real Italian passions, and one can imagine the orgasmic delight of many fans when they open the papers or surf the Web and find out that some of the dealings have actually taken place. Some clubs have given their players a few days off, rest which will be wiped out by double sessions once training resumes. Others, such as Milan and Juventus, have embarked on tours of the Middle East (at no taxpayers’ expense, just like Tony Blair), which will help get the players retain their sharpness. All this should wipe out any ‘we play too many matches’ excuses – but expect managers to empty their cliche bags with this kind of talk as soon as one of their players drops to his knees when the Champions League and Serie A battles hot up. “ The San Siro stadium pitch is owned by the city council but has been turned over to a consortium for day-to-day care – not enough of it, apparently… Oddly enough, the pitch of the San Siro stadium (which is owned by the city council but has been turned over to a consortium for day-to-day care – not enough of it, apparently) might damage both teams’ chances of winning the Scudetto. The turf, you see, is going through its annual crisis. Ever since the stadium was expanded and partially covered for the 1990 World Cup, the height of the stands has prevented it from getting enough light. New sods were laid down in November, and when Inter take the field on January 12 they will step upon another newer layer of grass. With so many matches being played in the stadium and the bad weather which has been plaguing northern Italy recently, the latter stages of the season will be played on a barely passable paddock. Even Inter president Massimo Moratti – in a interview to the daily Tuttosport – revealed they’ve been working on a plan for a new, Inter-owned stadium which would become a focus for Inter-mania, hosting offices and shops. In Turin, meanwhile, Juventus have been given complete control of white elephant Stadio Delle Alpi, one of the worst in Europe for fan sightlines and gameday atmosphere.

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