Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

April 21, 2003

Todorov strike seals Portsmouth promotion

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 12:26 pm

The News Review:

* Desailly eyes Euro 2004
* SI.com – Soccer – Portugal: Santos reported as new Sporting coach -…
* FIFA suspends Azerbaijan from competing
* Todorov strike seals Portsmouth promotion
* ScottishFitba – the definitive Scotland website. Independent news and…
* ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2004 – Uefa punish Georgia
* More strange but true dispatches from around the sporting globe …
* Slovakia’s running prime minister
* BBC SPORT | Football | World Football | Pole position
* Daily Times – Leading News Resource of Pakistan
* Kerr disappointed by UEFA decision
* FA pins hopes on new TV deal
* Wenger leads head-to-head race with Ferguson for Rustu
* Wenger ahead of Ferguson in race for Recber

Desailly eyes Euro 2004
Telegraph.co.uk – Apr 18, 2003
“It’s logical for me to stop in 2004,” said Desailly, 34, “but why talk about retiring now, when I’m having so much fun?” Desailly has not played for France since February and was dropped by coach Jacques Santini for the team’s recent Euro 2004 qualifying wins against Malta and Israel. Real Madrid’s Zinedine Zidane was handed the captain’s armband in Desailly’s absence. Desailly won his 103rd cap for France in a 0-2 home loss to the Czech Republic on February 12.

SI.com – Soccer – Portugal: Santos reported as new Sporting coach -…
CNN International – Apr 14, 2003
Union officials have said most clubs in the first andsecond division are facing financial difficulties. Farense are 11th place in the second division, 14 pointsbehind Alverca. Heavy investment made for European championshipsLISBON, Portugal (AP) — European soccer may be going throughlean times in some countries, but not in Portugal. The nation is gladly shelling out about $4. 3 billion to hostnext year’s three-week European soccer championships, the biggestinternational sports event ever in the country. Ten of Portugal’s 18 first-division teams are getting new orrenovated stadiums to provide first-class venues for Euro 2004. The splurge also includes new highways and high-speed trainlines, enlarged airports, upgraded hospitals, and training and newequipment for the police… “This is a remarkable piece of architectural work, even inworld terms,” Braga Mayor Mesquita Machado said. The $86 million stadium will hold 30,000 spectators. But it willbe used for just two of the 31 games at Euro 2004, and Braga soccerclub’s average attendance for Portuguese league games last seasonwas just 6,000. Despite the concerns, officials were eager to get the event,which was overwhelmingly endorsed by the soccer-loving Portuguese. The prestigious tournament, held every four years in differentEuropean countries, is a great opportunity for Portugal tomodernize its soccer infrastructure in the same way the countrygenerally has been overhauled since joining the European Union 17years ago. “We’ve got a new country. Now we’re getting new stadiums,”soccer federation president Gilberto Madail said.

FIFA suspends Azerbaijan from competing
SI.com – Apr 15, 2003
FIFA reconfirmed its support for the Executive Committee elected by the AFFA and insisted that the nation’s government honor its agreement. In Baku, AFFA spokesman Lyatif Novruzov said the organization had not been notified of the decision and could not comment. FIFA said the ban meant Azerbaijan would not be allowed to play any of its Euro 2004 qualifying matches, but it was up to UEFA to determine how it would resolve the issue. Azerbaijan is in Group 9, along with Finland, Serbia-Montenegro, Italy and Wales. “It’s too soon to tell. We have to wait and see,” a UEFA spokesman said. “We will confirm that UEFA will adhere to FIFA’s decision.

Todorov strike seals Portsmouth promotion
SI.com – Apr 15, 2003
UEFA meets May 1 to decide on any punishment. The England Football Association said in a statement Tuesday that ticket sales for the June 11 qualifier at Middlesborough were “delayed. ” The FA apparently does not want to start selling tickets if the match must be played without spectators. Slovakia was forced to play its Euro 2004 qualifier against Liechtenstein on April 2 in an empty stadium as punishment for its supporters racially abusing England players last October. Slovakia won 4-0 in Trnava. Report criticizes Wimbledon moveLONDON (AP) — Wimbledon’s controversial move 50 miles (75 kilometers) away from its traditional home should not be allowed to happen again, a report said Tuesday. Wimbledon, a first division club based in southwest London, is relocating to Milton Keynes next season despite fan protests after three attempts to get permission to move.

ScottishFitba – the definitive Scotland website. Independent news and…
Scottish Fitba – Apr 15, 2003
Middlesbrough

England ticket delay

Story by Reggie Holdsworth
15 April 2003

Tickets for England’s Euro 2004 qualifier at the Riverside in June will not now go on sale this Sunday. The game is due to be played on June 11th and it will be the first time that a full England international has been played on Teesside for over 60 years. Tickets for the showdown with Szilard Nemeth’s Slovakia were due to go on sale at 10am on Easter Sunday but the FA have announced that the sale of tickets will be delayed. There was no official explaination from the FA, but it is thought that they will wait to see the outcome of UEFA’s disciplinary panel on May 1st. The hearing follows a complaint by the Turkish FA, regarding rascist chanting, at the recent Euro 2004 qualifier at the Stadium of Shite.

ESPNsoccernet – Euro 2004 – Uefa punish Georgia
go.com – Apr 15, 2003
euroq –>Updated: April 15, 2003Georgia punished for knife incidentGeorgia will have to play a match behind closed doors following the knife thrown on to the pitch during the Republic of Ireland’s visit to Tbilisi. UEFA ordered the punishment today in response to crowd trouble at the matchwhich saw a number of missiles hurled from the stands and Irish midfielder KevinKilbane hit by a pen-knife. The penalty will apply to Georgia’s Euro 2004 qualifier against neighboursRussia on April 30 which was expected to be a tense affair anyway, although theGFF have until midnight on Friday to appeal against punishment. The Irish won the game 2-1 with goals from Damien Duff and Gary Doherty securing Brian Kerr a win in his first competitive match in charge since taking over fromMick McCarthy. The ban may not do Irish ambitions any favours, however, as Georgia are bottomof the group with just one point from three games. Russia, who beat Ireland 4-2 during McCarthy’s tenure, are two points ahead ofKerr’s side in second having played a game fewer. Ireland are second bottom, four points adrift of first-placed Switzerland… The penalty will apply to Georgia’s Euro 2004 qualifier against neighboursRussia on April 30 which was expected to be a tense affair anyway, although theGFF have until midnight on Friday to appeal against punishment. The Irish won the game 2-1 with goals from Damien Duff and Gary Doherty securing Brian Kerr a win in his first competitive match in charge since taking over fromMick McCarthy. The ban may not do Irish ambitions any favours, however, as Georgia are bottomof the group with just one point from three games. Russia, who beat Ireland 4-2 during McCarthy’s tenure, are two points ahead ofKerr’s side in second having played a game fewer. Ireland are second bottom, four points adrift of first-placed Switzerland. Your views on this story?.

More strange but true dispatches from around the sporting globe …
Pittsburgh Post Gazette – Apr 16, 2003
But executive producer Al Jean said today that he was barely known to audiences in the United States, where the series is made. Speaking in London today, Jean said: “We thought about Becks, but soccer isn’t as big over there. He’s not really famous enough. “We thought about it, we didn’t ask. I’ve heard of him because my daughter plays soccer,” Jean said. Beckham, who is married to Victoria Adams, a k a Posh Spice of the defunct band the Spice Girls, also was the inspiration for the recently released movie “Bend It Like Beckham,” a British film which has become something of a sleeper hit in the United States. The most famous athlete in the United Kingdom, he is a mainstay in British tabloids… He attributed the injury to stumbling over a curb during the election campaign. Udder rubbish
Farmers in Romania are refusing to buy cows from Denmark because the Danes triumphed in a key football match against their country, BBC Sports online reports. The farmers were unhappy with Romania’s 5-2 defeat in the Euro 2004 qualifier and decided to show the Danes exactly what they thought of their performance. An order for Danish livestock was immediately canceled, even though the animals had already been transported and the Romanian government had paid half the cost. As a result, Virgil Narita, the mayor of Rosia Montana in Romania, has been left with a herd of 10 cows on his hands. The two teams play again Sept.

Slovakia’s running prime minister
BBC News – Apr 14, 2003
His office said he was running to express support for the struggle against global terrorism and for the US-led coalition fighting in Iraq. There are some echoes with the 2001 New York marathon, which Mr Dzurinda ran in order to express his solidarity with the city, in the wake of the 11 September attacks. Mr Dzurinda had hoped to meet England footballer Ashley Cole during his visit to the UK, to apologise for racist abuse from Slovak fans during a Euro 2004 qualifying match in October – but Cole could not fit it into his schedule. Doughnut fan

Mr Dzurinda also has a taste for sporting metaphors. He saw his party’s years in opposition as the early part of a long-distance race, claiming – correctly as it turned out – that he and his allies would win in the end. He has also likened the battle for membership of the EU to a game of football – one which will be approaching extra time when he travels on to Athens next week to sign the EU accession treaty. On his website, Mr Dzurinda describes his favourite food as doughnuts from his native Spis region, in eastern Slovakia – fatty and sugary, with jam in the middle.

BBC SPORT | Football | World Football | Pole position
BBC News – Apr 15, 2003
Imagine then the excitement and expectation which greeted their qualification for the 2002 World Cup. With stars like Liverpool goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek and Panathanikos striker Emanuel Olisadebe, all the talk was of a return to the glory days – but Poland were eliminated in the group stages. Now, two coaches on , the man with the task of taking Poland to the Euro 2004 finals is Pawel Janas – another veteran of that legendary 1982 team. Excitement over the new coach is heightened by Wisla Krakow’s success in this season’s Champions League and the impressive form of players like Kamil Kosowski and Maclej Zurawski. Pawel Janas himself is also cautiously optimistic. “I think there is the beginning of a renaissance in Polish football” he says. “I think Wisla have played excellently abroad against strong European opponents… “The infrastructure is the biggest problem in our country” says Daniel Olkowicz. “Most of the stadiums we have in Poland were built after the second world war, and in many there are no lights or seats. There are not many stadiums which meet the standards of Uefa, and this is a very big problem for our football”. The future may lie in clubs like Groclin Groszisc. It’s an example of what can happen when investment money and enterprise meets talent and enthusiasm. “We have a company that takes care of all our financial matters” says Joanna Drzymala, one of a new generation of smart, ambitious young Poles. She’s Groclin’s team manager and daughter of the businessman whose capital has transformed the small provincial side and the stadium they play in.

Daily Times – Leading News Resource of Pakistan
Daily Times – Apr 19, 2003
England could have to play their next Euro 2004 qualifier against Slovakia in an empty stadium as punishment for the racist abuse and violence perpetrated by some of their fans at the last game against Turkey in Sunderland. The decision on the game, scheduled for Middlesbrough?s Riverside Stadium on June 11, rests with European governing body UEFA but England officials appear to be fearing the worst and have delayed putting tickets for the match on sale. Beckham told the European edition of Time magazine that it was a sanction he would not welcome but one that might be justified. ?If we had to play a qualifying game behind closed doors, that would be sad for football, sad for England and sad for the proper England fans who have to suffer because of the small minority of fans that are doing this,? he said. ?It shouldn?t happen, but it might just have to happen to stop this… England could have to play their next Euro 2004 qualifier against Slovakia in an empty stadium as punishment for the racist abuse and violence perpetrated by some of their fans at the last game against Turkey in Sunderland. The decision on the game, scheduled for Middlesbrough?s Riverside Stadium on June 11, rests with European governing body UEFA but England officials appear to be fearing the worst and have delayed putting tickets for the match on sale. Beckham told the European edition of Time magazine that it was a sanction he would not welcome but one that might be justified. ?If we had to play a qualifying game behind closed doors, that would be sad for football, sad for England and sad for the proper England fans who have to suffer because of the small minority of fans that are doing this,? he said. ?It shouldn?t happen, but it might just have to happen to stop this. ?Of course players notice it (the violence) and worry about it ? we?ve got friends and family in the stands that come to games. There was a period when most of it had stopped but it seems to be creeping back into the game.

Kerr disappointed by UEFA decision
rte.ie – Apr 16, 2003
Georgia will have to play their Euro 2004 qualifier against Russia on April 30 in an empty stadium after Sunderland midfielder Kevin Kilbane was hit by a pen-knife thrown from the crowd. The knife was just one of a number of missiles thrown from the crowd on a hostile night in the Georgian capital. The Irish went on to win the game, Kerr’s first competitive match in charge since taking over from Mick McCarthy, with goals from Damien Duff and Gary Doherty. The ban follows a precedent set by UEFA during the qualifying campaign for next year’s European Championship as they continue to show their determination to get tough on crowd trouble. But Kerr is unhappy because the decision may not do Irish ambitions any favours… The Irish went on to win the game, Kerr’s first competitive match in charge since taking over from Mick McCarthy, with goals from Damien Duff and Gary Doherty. The ban follows a precedent set by UEFA during the qualifying campaign for next year’s European Championship as they continue to show their determination to get tough on crowd trouble. But Kerr is unhappy because the decision may not do Irish ambitions any favours. “The decision saddens me greatly,” Kerr told the Football Association of Ireland website, www. “Ourselves and Switzerland have had to go there and play in front of a partisan and volatile crowd and this decision gives Russia an unfair advantage.

FA pins hopes on new TV deal
go.com – Apr 17, 2003
But the fact remains that broadcasters are wary of overspending on the acquisition of sports rights, even football, and that without a lucrative deal the FA could be faced with further difficult decisions in order to balance its books in the coming years. On the positive side, one thing all broadcasters are interested in is ratings, and so far this season the England national team and the FA Cup have proved to be big hits with the viewing public. Earlier this month the BBC drew the largest television audience for a sporting event so far this year when over 12 million viewers watched England’s 2-0 win over Turkey in the Euro 2004 qualifying match. The game also drew the BBC’s largest audience for that particular slot since September 2001 when almost 13 million watched England’s home 2002 World Cup qualifier against Albania. The FA Cup’s reputation was severely damaged in 2000 when holders Manchester United elected not defend their title and instead compete in FIFA’s inaugural World Club Championship, but since then ‘the romance of the cup’ has returned, and with it has come ratings. BBC coverage of the quarter-final in early March between Arsenal and Chelsea attracted 7. 3 million, the largest FA Cup television audience since the 1999 final between Manchester United and Newcastle United, while last weekend’s coverage of the FA Cup semi-final clash between Arsenal and Sheffield United drew 5… Earlier this month the BBC drew the largest television audience for a sporting event so far this year when over 12 million viewers watched England’s 2-0 win over Turkey in the Euro 2004 qualifying match. The game also drew the BBC’s largest audience for that particular slot since September 2001 when almost 13 million watched England’s home 2002 World Cup qualifier against Albania. The FA Cup’s reputation was severely damaged in 2000 when holders Manchester United elected not defend their title and instead compete in FIFA’s inaugural World Club Championship, but since then ‘the romance of the cup’ has returned, and with it has come ratings. BBC coverage of the quarter-final in early March between Arsenal and Chelsea attracted 7. 3 million, the largest FA Cup television audience since the 1999 final between Manchester United and Newcastle United, while last weekend’s coverage of the FA Cup semi-final clash between Arsenal and Sheffield United drew 5. 3 million viewers, equal to 50 per cent of the available UK television audience at the time. BSkyB has also enjoyed success with its coverage of the FA Cup, with its ratings up 30 per cent compared against the same period in 2002.

Wenger leads head-to-head race with Ferguson for Rustu
Telegraph.co.uk – Apr 15, 2003
Arsenal staff were assigned to meet her when she came to England to watch her husband play and I understand that while Rustu stayed with his team-mates in Gosforth, Newcastle, to prepare for the game at Sunderland, Isil was shown at least three homes in the north London area. Negotiations between Wenger and Rustu have reached an advanced stage… The American goalkeeper Tim Howard, 24, who plays for the Major League Soccer side New York Metro Stars, confirmed yesterday that he had been approached by United. He would cost around £3 million. “I’ve spoken with people at Manchester United, though I’m not at liberty to say who,” Howard said. Ferguson said that Roy Keane would be fit for tomorrow’s game but that Ryan Giggs, John O’Shea and David Beckham all faced fitness tests. Arsenal’s Patrick Vieira is rated as a 50-50 chance to play in the title showdown after injuring both knees during the FA Cup semi-final victory against Sheffield United.

Wenger ahead of Ferguson in race for Recber
Calcutta Telegraph – Apr 16, 2003
Wenger, the Arsenal manager, took the opportunity of Turkey?s visit to England for this month?s Euro 2004 qualifier to personally court the goalkeeper who will leave Fenerbahce this summer on a Bosman free transfer. Until recently, the main obstacle in luring Rustu, who will be 30 in May, to the Premiership had been the opposition of his wife, Isil, to leaving mainland Europe. Arsenal staff were assigned to meet her when she came to England to watch her husband play and I understand that while Rustu stayed with his team-mates in Gosforth, Newcastle, to prepare for the game at Sunderland, Isil was shown at least three homes in the north London area. Negotiations between Wenger and Rustu have reached an advanced stage. The goalkeeper?s Turkish agent is Saffet Sancajli, but any deal with Arsenal would also involve Pini Zahavi, an Israeli valued for his connections in England and whose best known client is Rio Ferdinand… The American goalkeeper Tim Howard, 24, who plays for the Major League Soccer side New York Metro Stars, confirmed Monday that he had been approached by United. He would cost around ? 3 million. ?I?ve spoken with people at Manchester United, though I'm not at liberty to say who,? Howard said. THE DAILY TELEGRAPH.

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