Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

March 19, 2003

Israeli soccer to continue despite war threat

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 5:04 am

The News Review:

* SOCCER: Sven speaks from heart
* England fans turn to touts
* Cool-hand Wenger facing Arsenal crunch
* Israeli soccer to continue despite war threat
* France drop Desailly for Euro qualifiers
* Forget Australia: Sven
* GENERAL Sport prepares for war impact
* UEFA EURO 2008™ – News
* Sweden comeback for Larsson
* Diouf escapes with two-game ban for spitting
* Wenger risks Campbell’s fitness
* Speed injury boost for Wales
* England get sponsorship boost
* Madagascar reckon B team can take on Bafana
* UEFA EURO 2008™ – News
* Threat of war disrupts sporting life
* UEFA EURO 2008™ – News
* UEFA EURO 2008™ – News

SOCCER: Sven speaks from heart
U.TV – Mar 17, 2003
“The Swede, who names his squad on Sunday for the Euro 2004 qualifying double-header against Liechtenstein and Turkey, said: “I`ve not been talking to or negotiating with any clubs – you can ask my agent. “And if Athol Still (the agent) had talks with United, he never talked to me about it. “If I say something I have to stand up to it. So how many times shall I say no?“Eriksson disclosed Ferguson telephoned him on the day the story broke to discuss the matter. “The last time I spoke to him was after what came up in the papers.

England fans turn to touts
Telegraph.co.uk – Mar 18, 2003
England have been given just 900 tickets for the game at Vaduz’s 3,548-capacity Rheinpark Stadium and fans without tickets have been urged not to travel. Speculation over security had grown after the Serbia and Montenegro FA said last week they were considering playing league games behind close doors because of concerns following last week’s.

Cool-hand Wenger facing Arsenal crunch
SI.com – Mar 17, 2003
Home draws against Chelsea and AS Roma and a shock 2-0defeat at Blackburn Rovers have undermined Arsenal’s confidenceand Wenger will need all his experience to keep his team oncourse for a repeat domestic double and a first European Cuptriumph. “I feel the players will respond in the next game,” Wengertold Arsenal’s official Web site. “Since the defeat at ManchesterUnited [on December 7] we had not lost for 20 games so theplayers have shown considerable strength in the past and theywill again in the future. “I don’t think it is a problem of confidence, we were fivepoints ahead before this game. The players were simply not assharp as usual. We never found our flow in the game. Arsenal looked jaded at Blackburn, lacking their usualattacking inspiration and looking vulnerable defensively afterMartin Keown limped off to join Sol Campbell on the sidelines… “We will go for every trophy but right nowthe Champions League is on my mind. England coach looks forward rather than backLONDON (Reuters) — England coach Sven-GoranEriksson looked to the present and the future rather than thepast on Monday after the prospect of striker Alan Shearer comingout of retirement to play for his country ended. Eriksson, preparing for two critical Euro 2004 qualifiersagainst Liechtenstein and Turkey, said he would obviously haveconsidered picking Newcastle United’s Shearer if he wasavailable again — but the story was now closed. There were widespread reports over the weekend that Shearer,who played the last of his 63 matches for England three yearsago was considering a return to the national side — but thein-form striker said on Sunday he was not changing his mind. “With the way he plays his football, he could maybe havebeen in the squad,” said Eriksson. “But I can’t pick a playerwho doesn’t want to play. And the first thing you need to hearis a player saying he wants to play.

Israeli soccer to continue despite war threat
SI.com – Mar 18, 2003
When soccer resumed, games were played at first only during the early daylight hours as Iraq launched most of the Scuds after dark. Foreign players based in Israel are worried about the situation, according to the report in Haaretz. Some of the players do not have their own gas masks and have said that they will leave the country if the threat of an attack increases. “If there’s a war, I’m leaving,” said Maccabi Haifa’s Lithuanian defensive midfielder, Raimondas Zutautas. Hapoel Tel Aviv’s Hungarian defender, Gabor Halmai, was equally worried. “I have to look after my family,” he said. Croatian international Giovanni Rosso, Maccabi Haifa’s flamboyant playmaker who has asked to become an Israeli citizen, also voiced his concern… The Final Four of the Adriatic League, which includes teams from the former Yugoslavia and Maccabi Tel Aviv, is set to be held in Tel Aviv on April 3-5. Apart from two friendly internationals against Armenia and Moldova, there has been no international soccer in Israel for over a year since UEFA barred foreign teams and clubs from visiting the country because of the threat of terror attacks. Israel has made Palermo, Italy its home base for the Euro 2004 qualifiers set for the end of this month, while clubs hosted their opponents in Cyprus, Bulgaria and Italy earlier this season. France coach calls for postponement of Israeli game PARIS (Reuters) — France’s European championship qualifier against Israel should be postponed because of the impending war against Iraq, coach Jacques Santini said Tuesday. “A postponement would be a wise decision,” he told journalists when he announced his squad for France’s Euro 2004 qualifiers against Malta on March 29 in Lens and Israel on April 2 in the Italian city of Palermo. “I’m talking as a citizen. We have to think about the players’ families.

France drop Desailly for Euro qualifiers
abc.net.au – Mar 19, 2003
Posted: 09:12:41 (AEST)
France drop Desailly for Euro qualifiers. “Marcel has been having physical problems for several weeks and I need players who are perfectly fit to play,” French coach Jacques Santini told reporters on Tuesday. The 34-year-old defender has been sidelined by a hip injury since France were defeated 2-0 by the Czech Republic in a friendly at the Stade de France on February 12 when he equalled Deschamps’s appearances record. He only played for eight minutes for premier league Chelsea on Sunday, coming on as a substitute towards the end of their 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion. Desailly said on his website he understood Santini’s decision which he described as “logical… “”I’ve got four matches coming up in two weeks and if I come through okay I hope to become competitive again. “In other few changes to the team that lost to the Czechs, Santini dropped midfielder Emmanuel Petit who has only played twice for Chelsea since February 12 and called Monaco’s Jerome Rothen into his squad for the first time. “Petit was not really available for selection. I can assure you that his omission and Desailly’s have nothing to do with our defeat to the Czech Republic which was a freak result. They are only due to injuries and form,” said Santini. “I’m sure both players will be very disappointed. I tried to talk to them but could only reach their voice mail.

Forget Australia: Sven
abc.net.au – Mar 19, 2003
“I think our focus must be to qualify for 2004 and forget Australia, even if that’s difficult as we lost badly,” he said. Eriksson was heavily criticised after the defeat to Australia and is now hoping his side can bounce back and bury the memory of that loss, along with that of a miserable 2-2 home draw with Macedonia in their last qualifier. “We will qualify for Euro 2004 and I hope automatically,” Eriksson said. “The draw against Macedonia was worse than losing against Australia because you should win against them, so now we must take points in another game. But if you lose a football game, you can’t be worried. “Eriksson came under fire for changing almost his entire side midway through the 3-1 loss to the Australians – but he will not change the tactic of using players for just 45 minutes in friendlies. “You can’t play 45 minutes of league, Champions League and UEFA Cup games – but you can if you play a friendly… “The draw against Macedonia was worse than losing against Australia because you should win against them, so now we must take points in another game. But if you lose a football game, you can’t be worried. “Eriksson came under fire for changing almost his entire side midway through the 3-1 loss to the Australians – but he will not change the tactic of using players for just 45 minutes in friendlies. “You can’t play 45 minutes of league, Champions League and UEFA Cup games – but you can if you play a friendly. I think you should do that. “Eriksson indicated Everton’s teenage sensation Wayne Rooney, who won his first cap against Frank Farina’s men, could keep his place in the squad for the qualifiers. “It’s a pity for me he plays very little – but every time he comes on, he makes headlines,” he said.

GENERAL Sport prepares for war impact
U.TV – Mar 17, 2003
Wales and Scotland have home games against Azerbaijan and Iceland. UEFA have no general plans covering all the Euro 2004 qualifiers – which also include the Republic of Ireland travelling to Georgia – but will respond to local advice. “We always keep a very close eye on the international security situation and, obviously, we hope that all the games will go ahead as scheduled,“ UEFA spokesman Mike Lee told the Press Association. “We`re evaluating the situation but at this stage the games are to go ahead as planned. “However, UEFA does consult with the relevant police and security forces and also we discuss matters with representatives of the diplomatic community. “While security arrangements are handled by national associations, UEFA have the final say on whether or not a game goes ahead… “While security arrangements are handled by national associations, UEFA have the final say on whether or not a game goes ahead. Lee added: “Of course, safety and security is, as always, paramount and if we feel there is any threat around a game we would intervene but at this stage we cannot start cancelling or changing games. “Although he did not name individual countries, Lee did concede that UEFA would be particularly concerned about those nearest to Iraq. These include Turkey, whom England play in Sunderland on April 2, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. “The countries close to the potential area of war, they are more likely to be in the frontline,“ he added. UEFA have had experience in dealing with a terrorist attack on a football match after an ETA bomb detonated next to the Bernabeu which disrupted the Champions League semi-final between Real Madrid and Barcelona. The explosion happened just hours before kick-off but UEFA took the decision to go ahead with the match as planned.

UEFA EURO 2008™ – News
uefa.comUEFA.com – Mar 17, 2003
Apology requiredOne notable absentee is Andrey Movsesyan. The FC Saturn Moskovskaya Oblast forward is omitted after refusing to take part in the 2-0 qualifying defeat by Greece and the friendly in Tel-Aviv. AFF president Ruben Hayrapetyan said of the player: “Movsesyan will not appear for Armenia until he apologises publicly to the fans for not turning up when called upon. ” One pointArmenia have one point from two EURO 2004™ qualifying matches. They began their campaign with a home 2-2 draw against Ukraine before going down 2-0 in Greece. The Northern Irish also have one point, though they are bottom of the section. The match in Spain takes place on 2 April… The FC Saturn Moskovskaya Oblast forward is omitted after refusing to take part in the 2-0 qualifying defeat by Greece and the friendly in Tel-Aviv. AFF president Ruben Hayrapetyan said of the player: “Movsesyan will not appear for Armenia until he apologises publicly to the fans for not turning up when called upon. ” One pointArmenia have one point from two EURO 2004™ qualifying matches. They began their campaign with a home 2-2 draw against Ukraine before going down 2-0 in Greece. The Northern Irish also have one point, though they are bottom of the section. The match in Spain takes place on 2 April. Armenia squadBerezovski, Hambartsumyan, Hovsepyan, Vardanyan, Artur Mkrtchyan, Dokhoyan, Bilibio, Petikyan, Tadevosyan, Hakobyan, Petrosyan, Mkhitaryan, Khachatryan, Sargsyan, Voskanyan, Melikyan, Agvan Mkrtchyan, Aleksanyan, Partsikyan, Artavazd Karamyan, Arman Karamyan, Ohanyan.

Sweden comeback for Larsson
Telegraph.co.uk – Mar 18, 2003
But, with forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic suspended and other striking options not playing regularly, Swedish management duo, Tommy Soderberg and Lars Lagerback, wanted the in-form Hoops man to return. A Sweden management statement read: “With Zlatan Ibrahimovic suspended and other forwards out of form we have asked Henrik Larsson if will help us in this very important game in Hungary and, happily, Henrik said ‘yes’… But, with forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic suspended and other striking options not playing regularly, Swedish management duo, Tommy Soderberg and Lars Lagerback, wanted the in-form Hoops man to return. A Sweden management statement read: “With Zlatan Ibrahimovic suspended and other forwards out of form we have asked Henrik Larsson if will help us in this very important game in Hungary and, happily, Henrik said ‘yes’. “Aston Villa forward Marcus Allback is not playing regularly in the first team and the Swedish season has yet to begin.

Diouf escapes with two-game ban for spitting
Telegraph.co.uk – Mar 18, 2003
As far as I understand, there were no charges brought against the fans either so it is a bit bizarre that UEFA have fined Celtic. It seems a strange decision. “Houllier had already decided not to play him on Thursday anyway so, effectively, it is a one-game ban. “Brazil will stage the World Cup finals for the first time since 1950 after the South American Football Confederation’s decision yesterday to offer the world champions as their sole candidate to host the 2014 tournament. Celta Vigo are believed to be prepared to make a bid in the summer for Juan Pablo Angel, the Aston Villa striker. Angel is at home in Columbia after a knee operation. Glen Johnson, the West Ham defender, has signed a four-year contract… Angel is at home in Columbia after a knee operation. Glen Johnson, the West Ham defender, has signed a four-year contract. Henrik Larsson, the Celtic striker, will play in Sweden’s Euro 2004 qualifier in Hungary on April 2. The 31-year-old had retired from internationals after the World Cup in the summer. Former Tottenham manager Peter Shreeves has resigned as manager of Nationwide Conference side Barnet. FIFA are reconsidering their policy of imposing automatic suspensions for red cards. The Football Association have been ignoring the directive and, instead, players serve suspensions 14 days after the offence, allowing them the right of appeal.

Wenger risks Campbell’s fitness
BBC News – Mar 19, 2003
The Arsenal boss has said he is prepared to risk Sol Campbell aggravating his Achilles injury in the crucial encounter. If that happens, the central defender will almost certainly miss England’s Euro 2004 qualifiers against Liechtenstein [28 March] and Turkey [2 April]. Wenger said he will leave it late before deciding whether or not to play Campbell in Wednesday’s game. The Frenchman admitted: “We will push Sol to the limit because we want him in the team. “I can’t see him playing for England at the moment. ”

Bleak assessment

Arsenal need at least a draw against the Spanish champions to be certain of joining Premiership rivals Manchester United in the Champions League quarter-finals… The Arsenal boss has said he is prepared to risk Sol Campbell aggravating his Achilles injury in the crucial encounter. If that happens, the central defender will almost certainly miss England’s Euro 2004 qualifiers against Liechtenstein [28 March] and Turkey [2 April]. Wenger said he will leave it late before deciding whether or not to play Campbell in Wednesday’s game. The Frenchman admitted: “We will push Sol to the limit because we want him in the team. “I can’t see him playing for England at the moment. ”

Bleak assessment

Arsenal need at least a draw against the Spanish champions to be certain of joining Premiership rivals Manchester United in the Champions League quarter-finals. They are already without defender Ashley Cole, out for six weeks after a hernia operation, and goalkeeper David Seaman, who has a hamstring injury.

Speed injury boost for Wales
BBC News – Mar 17, 2003
“It’s nearly two weeks to the Wales game so I’ll definitely be right for that,” he told BBC Sport. Speed limped out of Newcastle’s 2-0 Premiership win over Charlton on Saturday. Magpies manager Bobby Robson described the injury as “disturbing”, prompting fears that Speed would miss Wales’ crucial games against Azerbaijan and Serbia-Montenegro. But Speed has played down the severity of the injury, and Newcastle say they have not given up hope of him being available for Wednesday’s Champions League match with Barcelona… Speed limped out of Newcastle’s 2-0 Premiership win over Charlton on Saturday. Magpies manager Bobby Robson described the injury as “disturbing”, prompting fears that Speed would miss Wales’ crucial games against Azerbaijan and Serbia-Montenegro. But Speed has played down the severity of the injury, and Newcastle say they have not given up hope of him being available for Wednesday’s Champions League match with Barcelona. The 33-year-old will have a fitness test on Tuesday to determine if he is fit enough to play. Speed added: “I’ve had an injection just to settle the injury down. “My groin has been tightening up since I had my hernia operation, but hopefully this injection will sort it out. “I think I’ll be out for a couple of days and then I’ll be back for Saturday (against Blackburn).

England get sponsorship boost
BBC News – Mar 17, 2003
Pepsi have joined Umbro, Nationwide, Carlsberg and McDonalds as an official FA sponsor, with a partnership that will last until the 2006 World Cup. The American drinks company will focus their sponsorship on youth football and also supply the England team with soft drinks, while helping choose the Euro 2004 song should the national team qualify for the finals. FA commercial director Paul Barber confirmed talks had been under way since the start of the season and that the company were not put off by the resignation of chief executive Adam Crozier in November… Pepsi have joined Umbro, Nationwide, Carlsberg and McDonalds as an official FA sponsor, with a partnership that will last until the 2006 World Cup. The American drinks company will focus their sponsorship on youth football and also supply the England team with soft drinks, while helping choose the Euro 2004 song should the national team qualify for the finals. FA commercial director Paul Barber confirmed talks had been under way since the start of the season and that the company were not put off by the resignation of chief executive Adam Crozier in November.

Madagascar reckon B team can take on Bafana
Independent Online – Mar 19, 2003
First it was Portugal who snubbed South Africa’s football team in favour of Macedonia and now there’s the ignominy of little Madagascar looking set to do the same. Bafana were invited to play Euro 2004 hosts Portugal in Geneva on April 2, but the Portuguese informed the South African Football Association that Macedonia had been quicker to the draw in responding to their invitation. Bafana have a friendly scheduled against Madagascar at the FNB Stadium on March 29, but it’s emerged that the Indian Ocean islanders have also accepted an invitation to play in a four-nation tournament in Tunisia from March 27-30, involving the hosts, as well as Cameroon, Ghana. Safa were apparently aware of the problem last week, but had been assured by Madagascar that they were not going to Tunisia… Safa were apparently aware of the problem last week, but had been assured by Madagascar that they were not going to Tunisia. “We are speaking to Madagascar to verify the situation,” said Mokoena on Tuesday night, adding that Safa would shed light on the matter at a press conference on Wednesday at which Bafana’s squad for the game is also set to be announced. With the weekend set aside for international fixtures on the co-ordinated Fifa calendar, Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba is likely to call on many of the country’s European-based stars. Reports from Madagascar don’t look promising though. Madagascar have apparently picked two squads for their respective assignments and are set to send their first-choice squad to Tunisia, under the guidance of head coach Hans Heiniger, and a B side to South Africa, led by Auguste Raux, coach of the champion club AS Adema.

UEFA EURO 2008™ – News
uefa.comUEFA.com – Mar 17, 2003
Jarosík recallHowever, the PFC CSKA Moskva midfield player Jirí Jarosík, who missed last month’s 2-0 victory in France to adapt to his new surroundings, has been recalled after scoring three times in two games in Russia this season. The 25-year-old arrived in Moscow during the winter break for a Russian record €3. 7m from AC Sparta Praha. Blazek’s chanceReggina Calcio defender Martin Jiránek, one of 12 foreign-based players in the party, replaces SK Slavia Praha’s Adam Petrous, while Sparta goalkeeper Jaromír Blazek returns almost three years after winning the last of his two caps to act as deputy to regular custodian Petr Cech… Fight at the topThe Czechs are currently second in qualifying Group 3 with six points from two games. They face the Netherlands, who top the group, in Rotterdam on 29 March before third-placed Austria visit Prague four days later. “Their strength does not come from individuals,” said Brückner of the Dutch. “It is not only about [Ruud van] Nistelrooij or [Patrick] Kluivert, it is about the offensive ideas of the whole team which is strongly committed to attacking. ”
Czech Republic squadČech, Blazek, Bolf, Grygera, Hübschman, Jankulovski, Ujfaluši, Jiránek, Dostálek, Galásek, Gedeon, Jarošík, Nedvěd, Poborský, Rosický, Šmicer, Baroš, Vachoušek, Koller, Lokvenc.

Threat of war disrupts sporting life
Edinburgh Evening News – Mar 19, 2003
The official explanation from the Argentinian Football Association (AFA) was that the Spanish FA denied permission because their under-21 team will face Armenia in the UEFA Championship on the same day. The game could not be moved to the next day because Spain meet Armenia in a Euro 2004 qualifier. However, an AFA statement added: “Also, the situation generated by a potential war makes it impossible to re-schedule the match in another country. ” In addition, the AFA said the Spanish organisers were not in a position to guarantee the security of both teams and preferred to postpone it. The potential outbreak of war in Iraq could also frustrate Argentina’s next three scheduled games in Libya, Japan and South Korea. Meanwhile, the Mexico FA have confirmed that their friendly internationals scheduled in the USA will go ahead.

UEFA EURO 2008™ – News
uefa.comUEFA.com – Mar 18, 2003
Excellent formThe 25-year-old, who is regarded as possessing one of the most dangerous left-footed shots in Ligue 1, is currently in excellent form for Monaco. Rothen is the only new addition to Jacques Santini’s squad. Veterans miss outChelsea FC duo Marcel Desailly and Emmanuel Petit have little to celebrate after being forced to miss both games through injury. Desailly could have outstripped Didier Deschamps by winning his 104th cap, but will have to wait longer if he is to improve on the record he shares with his former team-mate… Desailly could have outstripped Didier Deschamps by winning his 104th cap, but will have to wait longer if he is to improve on the record he shares with his former team-mate. ‘Physical problems’”Marcel has been having physical problems for several weeks and I need players who are perfectly fit to play,” said Santini. “Petit was not really available for selection. I can assure you that his omission and Desailly’s have nothing to do with our game against the Czech Republic [a 2-0 friendly defeat] which was a freak result. They are only due to injuries and form. I’m sure both players will be very disappointed. I tried to talk to them but could only reach their voicemail.

UEFA EURO 2008™ – News
uefa.comUEFA.com – Mar 18, 2003
Home challengeThe Chelsea FC midfield player has joined coach Otto Barić’s 21-man squad for two consecutive UEFA European Championship qualifiers on home territory, against Belgium in Zagreb on 29 March and versus Andorra in Varazdin on 2 April. ‘Very confident’Barić called up what he believed are the best current Croatian players, saying: “This is the best team Croatia have at this moment. I chose only the most prepared players, because this is the only way we can win. And I am very confident we will defeat Belgium… “I wasn’t really counting on Balaban because I watched his last few matches and he didn’t show much enthusiasm in his play,” said the coach. “I need to see more effort from him, but I will still keep an eye on him for the future. ” Belated call-upAS Monaco FC striker Dado Pršo has received his first call-up to the national side, having not played at international level since making an appearance for the Yugoslavian Under-16 squad in 1991. Croatia squadPletikosa, Butina, Dario Šimić, Kovač, Tudor, Živković, Tokić, Tomas, Šimunić, Babić, Leko, Rapaić, Srna, Kovač, Mornar, Rosso, Pršo, Mumlek, Marić, Olić, Stanić. All rights reserved.

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