Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

October 15, 2004

ESPNsoccernet – World Cup – Owen to lead from front

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 10:51 am

The News Review:

* Fans want Strachan in charge
* ESPNsoccernet – World Cup – Portugal v Russia Report
* World Cup 2006 | Record-breaker Robbie | eleven-a-side.com
* ESPNsoccernet – World Cup – Owen to lead from front
* Hatchet jobs put Beckham foul in shade
* JJB shares slump after takeover talks fail
* Resignation isn’t an issue, it’s a necessity
* Time for a new leader
* Hughes deserved a better farewell
* The club is king
* Humiliated by loss to Andorra, Macedonia’s coach offers resignatio…
* Minnows make it on major league stage
* Top scorers thrive in European World Cup qualifiers
* Sampdoria goal is football survival
* ESPNsoccernet – World Cup – France v Ireland Report
* It’s a conspiracy, I tell ya
* Porto considering Benfica boycott
* Lippi struggling to revive Italy’s fortunes

Fans want Strachan in charge
Telegraph.co.uk – Oct 14, 2004
Some at the SFA, though, wonder if he is a man who could be relied upon to take on a difficult job for the long term. Most Scotland supporters are not Celtic or Rangers fans and tend to harbour an active dislike of the Glasgow clubs, so the appointment of Walter Smith would be less popular. As assistant to Graeme Souness and manager in his own right, Smith guided Rangers to nine successive Scottish titles, but he is not regarded as charismatic. He is, however, considered by his SFA advocates as a safe pair of hands. As for the incumbent, although Vogts has repeatedly asked to be judged on his results, he has been equally reluctant to offer his resignation. Having declared beforehand that Wednesday’s Group Five qualifier against Moldova in Chisinau was a “must win” game, Vogts reacted to… We need to sit down and consider the situation. Obviously any consideration is a matter for the SFA board but we know the consequences of failing to qualify for the World Cup. ”Before the Scots opened their campaign with a goalless draw at home to Slovenia in September, Taylor said the manager’s remit was to qualify for the finals and not simply to achieve a play-off place as they did in the Euro 2004 qualifying ties. He added that the time to assess progress would be at the end of the competitive autumn fixtures. That time has come. Although they will not cite it as a reason to get rid of Vogts, the SFA know that, although Hampden Park was full for Norway’s visit on Saturday, the attendance for the friendly against Sweden on Nov 17 will probably be dismal. “That is a business consideration and we are primarily concerned with decisions which affect the fortunes of the football team,” Taylor said.

ESPNsoccernet – World Cup – Portugal v Russia Report
go.com – Oct 13, 2004
Portugal pressed Russia from the first minute and strikerPauleta opened the scoring after 26 minutes, tapping in afterbeing set up by Ronaldo. The unstoppable Ronaldo notched his first after 39 minutesfollowing a goalmouth scramble. Russia, who lost 2-0 to Portugal in Lisbon during Euro 2004when they were eliminated in the first round, went 3-0 down onthe stroke of halftime when Deco curled in from outside thearea. Ronaldo made it 4-0 with a powerful strike in the 69thminute before Russia, who were missing several key playersincluding first-choice goalkeeper Sergei Ovchinnikov, pulled oneback through Andrei Arshavin. However, Portugal were not finished and Simao Sabrosa madeit 5-1 from another Ronaldo pass before substitute Petitcompleted the rout with a late double. FEW ERRORSRussian coach Georgy Yartsev, who left the bench minutesbefore the end of the game, complained that the players were notmotivated or following directions and said he may resign. The mood in the Portuguese camp was a complete contrast… Russia, who lost 2-0 to Portugal in Lisbon during Euro 2004when they were eliminated in the first round, went 3-0 down onthe stroke of halftime when Deco curled in from outside thearea. Ronaldo made it 4-0 with a powerful strike in the 69thminute before Russia, who were missing several key playersincluding first-choice goalkeeper Sergei Ovchinnikov, pulled oneback through Andrei Arshavin. However, Portugal were not finished and Simao Sabrosa madeit 5-1 from another Ronaldo pass before substitute Petitcompleted the rout with a late double. FEW ERRORSRussian coach Georgy Yartsev, who left the bench minutesbefore the end of the game, complained that the players were notmotivated or following directions and said he may resign. The mood in the Portuguese camp was a complete contrast. ‘Today we committed few errors. It was one of the betterperformances,’ Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said.

World Cup 2006 | Record-breaker Robbie | eleven-a-side.com
eleven-a-side.com – Oct 13, 2004
Another Irish player was booked before the finish, skipper Kenny Cunningham sliding in with a mistimed tackle on John Petersen. Taking place around the half-way line with little immediate threat at hand, it was a poor decision by the captain. It is to be hoped that he will not rue it later in the campaign, as anyone who remembers the shambles in Basel last October, when Cunningham was forced to sit out the final Euro 2004 qualifier, will surely testify. So a job done by the Irish, and Kerr is right to be pleased with eight points from the first four games of the campaign. There is a long road yet to travel, and pitfalls await in Tel-Aviv and in the home games against the three qualification rivals, but the Ireland can be happy with top spot in Group Four until the serious business begins again next March. Republic of Ireland: Given ? Carr, Cunningham, O?Brien, O?Shea (Miller, 56) ? Finnan, Kilbane, Roy Keane, A. Reid (Doherty, 75) ? Robbie Keane, Duff… Another Irish player was booked before the finish, skipper Kenny Cunningham sliding in with a mistimed tackle on John Petersen. Taking place around the half-way line with little immediate threat at hand, it was a poor decision by the captain. It is to be hoped that he will not rue it later in the campaign, as anyone who remembers the shambles in Basel last October, when Cunningham was forced to sit out the final Euro 2004 qualifier, will surely testify. So a job done by the Irish, and Kerr is right to be pleased with eight points from the first four games of the campaign. There is a long road yet to travel, and pitfalls await in Tel-Aviv and in the home games against the three qualification rivals, but the Ireland can be happy with top spot in Group Four until the serious business begins again next March. Republic of Ireland: Given ? Carr, Cunningham, O?Brien, O?Shea (Miller, 56) ? Finnan, Kilbane, Roy Keane, A. Reid (Doherty, 75) ? Robbie Keane, Duff.

ESPNsoccernet – World Cup – Owen to lead from front
go.com – Oct 13, 2004
world –>Updated: Oct. 13, 2004Owen plans to lead from the frontStand-in captain Michael Owen vowed to lead by example again tonight as he insisted England could still cope in the enforced absence of David Beckham. Owen steps into the breach in Baku as Beckham is absent not only through injury but also suspension after supposedly having got himself booked on purpose against Wales last Saturday. The last time Owen captained England, when Beckham was banned for the Euro 2004 qualifier in June 2003 against Slovakia, he led a second-half fightback to score twice in a 2-1 victory. The Real Madrid striker is hoping for similar success in the role this time around as England take on Azerbaijan in their latest World Cup qualifier. ‘I’m sure there was a percentage of me inside, thinking that someone had to take that game by the scruff of the neck,’ recalled Owen of the tie against Slovakia. ‘I had an opportunity to do that and it filled me with confidence for the rest of the game… 13, 2004Owen plans to lead from the frontStand-in captain Michael Owen vowed to lead by example again tonight as he insisted England could still cope in the enforced absence of David Beckham. Owen steps into the breach in Baku as Beckham is absent not only through injury but also suspension after supposedly having got himself booked on purpose against Wales last Saturday. The last time Owen captained England, when Beckham was banned for the Euro 2004 qualifier in June 2003 against Slovakia, he led a second-half fightback to score twice in a 2-1 victory. The Real Madrid striker is hoping for similar success in the role this time around as England take on Azerbaijan in their latest World Cup qualifier. ‘I’m sure there was a percentage of me inside, thinking that someone had to take that game by the scruff of the neck,’ recalled Owen of the tie against Slovakia. ‘I had an opportunity to do that and it filled me with confidence for the rest of the game. Maybe being captain gave me that extra percentage to push myself even harder.

Hatchet jobs put Beckham foul in shade
Telegraph.co.uk – Oct 14, 2004
If England had beaten France in the first game of Euro 2004 and found themselves four up against Switzerland with 20 minutes left and a place in the next round assured, how would you feel about Beckham ‘taking a yellow’ then? If all it meant was him missing the dead rubber against Croatia to return for the quarter-final against Portugal or Greece? Would you still be able to work yourself into a froth of moral indignation or would you applaud a smart move?His mistake was the first tackle on Thatcher that cracked his ribs in the pursuit of a silly vendetta. If he was to apologise for anything it should have been that, but then if every rush of blood in the Premiership had to be accompanied by an apology, our sports pages would read like one long admission of guilt. Sorry to break it you but our captain is not Charles ‘Charlie’ Charles, that Harry Enfield pastiche of the Corinthian, turn-of-the-century footballer. Most of the time we do not expect him to uphold as nebulous a concept as The Ancient Spirit Of Association Football any more than we expect him to go up for the toss wearing an Oxford Blue blazer. It’s more than 14 years now since Paul Gascoigne ruled himself out of a possible World Cup final with a stupid challenge on Germany’s Thomas Berthold in the semi-final… If England had beaten France in the first game of Euro 2004 and found themselves four up against Switzerland with 20 minutes left and a place in the next round assured, how would you feel about Beckham ‘taking a yellow’ then? If all it meant was him missing the dead rubber against Croatia to return for the quarter-final against Portugal or Greece? Would you still be able to work yourself into a froth of moral indignation or would you applaud a smart move?His mistake was the first tackle on Thatcher that cracked his ribs in the pursuit of a silly vendetta. If he was to apologise for anything it should have been that, but then if every rush of blood in the Premiership had to be accompanied by an apology, our sports pages would read like one long admission of guilt. Sorry to break it you but our captain is not Charles ‘Charlie’ Charles, that Harry Enfield pastiche of the Corinthian, turn-of-the-century footballer. Most of the time we do not expect him to uphold as nebulous a concept as The Ancient Spirit Of Association Football any more than we expect him to go up for the toss wearing an Oxford Blue blazer. It’s more than 14 years now since Paul Gascoigne ruled himself out of a possible World Cup final with a stupid challenge on Germany’s Thomas Berthold in the semi-final. But we did not condemn him, far from it. Instead we sobbed along with him and laughed at the fake plastic breasts he wore on the open-top bus ride from the airport.

JJB shares slump after takeover talks fail
Guardian Unlimited – Oct 13, 2004
Last year, its annual profits dropped for the first time since the company floated a decade ago. Shortly after those results were reported, the JJB chairman, Dave Whelan – the group’s 68-year old founder and a former Blackburn Rovers footballer – announced plans to take JJB private. However, the proposals were scuppered after non-executive directors decided not to recommend his 220p-a-share offer. Mr Whelan, whose family controls 40% of the company, has said he will not again attempt to take the group private, and Mr Knight today said such a move was “unlikely”. Mr Knight also told the City that like for like turnover had fallen by 0. 6% in the 11 weeks to October 10, with the company’s margin down from 49… JJB has, however, maintained the interim dividend at 3p. Mr Whelan expressed disappointment that the results had “have fallen short of original market expectations”. “The success that we anticipated from the Euro 2004 tournament was largely fulfilled, but the poor weather experienced during the summer had an adverse impact upon turnover levels in summer clothing, which also continues to be affected by very strong competition within the clothing sector,” he said. Mr Whelan added that he had been disappointed by the recent adverse decision of the competition appeals tribunal on the action taken against JJB in the price fixing of replica kits, brought by the Office of Fair Trading. He said JJB was considering taking the case to the court of appeal, but had decided to make a provision of ?2m against a fine in the latest accounts.

Resignation isn’t an issue, it’s a necessity
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Oct 15, 2004
After the 1-1 draw with Moldova — ranked 113th in the world — Vogts refused to countenance the idea of of quitting. “Ask my employer,” he said in an act of sheer stubbornness. If the former Germany coach wishes to retain any shred of dignity, not to mention his fading reputation, resignation is not so much an issue as something he simply must do with indecent haste. He has taken it further than anyone ever dreamt — but in the wrong direction… Perhaps, because he was foreign, perhaps because he came a CV that saw him win Euro 96 at Wembley. Yet, he has shown virtually no ability to influence a modest team. True, he managed to get Scotland to the Euro 2004 play-offs, but deep down Scots knew they had sneaked in through good fortune. For every occasion like the defeat of Holland at Hampden Park, there was the 6-0 thumping in the return in Amsterdam. A gritty draw against Germany in the group was offset by the nadir of scrambling a 2-2 draw in the Faeroe Isles, or defeat by Lithuania. Or being whipped at Hampden in friendlies by such mediocrities as Austria and Hungary. Or losing 4-0 to Wales in Cardiff.

Time for a new leader
go.com – Oct 13, 2004
“I am sure some people think that I have not got the brains to be that clever, but I do have the brains ”— David BeckhamThe following day, a number columnists decried Beckham’s running battle with Thatcher. All of which, it seems, annoyed Beckham and, in response, he chose to claim that the second clash with Thatcher was a ‘deliberate’ action to win a second yellow, saying: ‘I am sure some people think that I have not got the brains to be that clever, but I do have the brains. ‘But it seems ‘the brains’ were not there to keep his mouth shut and risk disciplinary action for bringing the game into disrepute by lifting the lid on an underhand practice of gamesmanship. Two years ago, former Manchester United team-mate Roy Keane received an additional nine-match ban for admitting malice and intent in a foul that had already seen him banned for three games. And though Beckham’s folly was nowhere near the outrage that Keane perpetrated, the 29-year-old’s profile could yet mean that action is taken against him by a governing body. The dread presence of Sepp Blatter is circling already and he may yet be made an example of. Nor could ‘the brains’ have been fully functioning when he chose to take on Thatcher for a second time when already injured… His storming start to his Real Madrid career has faded as the short-sightedness of the galacticos approach became clear to all and his shortcomings as a central midfielder became exposed. And for England, the talismanic figure that swept England to the Far East with that free-kick against Greece in 2001 looks to be a hero of days gone by. Euro 2004 saw him play as pallidly as he had at the World Cup, with recovery from serious injury no longer an excuse. The explanation used by an increasingly defensive Beckham was excessive weight training and, more tellingly, that for the first time off-field matters had affected his performances. A brave manager may well have taken the decision to hand the armband to another player to either provoke a positive reaction or even take the pressure off a struggling talent. “A captain must be a player who the others are prepared to listen to. If they’re not, then everything is wrong.

Hughes deserved a better farewell
BBC News – Oct 13, 2004
Essentially his remit when he took over from Bobby Gould in 1999 was to qualify for either the World Cup or European Championship finals. He came close – arguably closer than any of his predecessors since 1958 – but yet again Wales failed at the crucial final hurdle. But the Euro 2004 play-off defeat to Russia almost a year ago to this week was the culmination of a qualifying campaign which brought pride, respect, hope and, above all, enjoyment back to Welsh international football. And for that, only the most hard-nosed of critics would label Hughes’ five-year reign a failure. On paper, Hughes’ record in competitive matches is far from impressive. Six wins from 26 is hardly a statistic to earn a job in the English Premiership. But four of those wins came in the opening four games of the Euro 2004 qualifying campaign, ensuring Hughes a place in the history books by setting a new record of 10 matches without defeat… Away draws in Poland and Ukraine had given evidence that the days of conceding four, six and even seven goals on their travels was a thing of the past. But when the onus was on Wales to attack – particularly in the second half against Russia – Hughes seemed unwilling to budge from his rigid 4-5-1 formation. He was accused of being tactically naive for not turning to Robert Earnshaw, whose pace would surely have tested the Russian defence down the middle.

The club is king
go.com – Oct 13, 2004
champions –>Updated: Oct. 13, 2004The club is king Steve WilsonArchive Whisper it in Athens, but the numerous reviews of Euro 2004 seem to have struck a consensual cord. It really wasn’t up to much. The traditional power houses of European football, most notably Spain, Italy, Germany and France, despite being blessed with some of the finest footballers on the planet, simply did not perform. Even Greece’s journey to the final and ultimate success has quickly been condemned as a victory for pragmatism and negative football that has done little to polish the shine of the beautiful game. Some kind of Cinderella fairytale? More like the pantomime villains coming out on top… There is a certain logic, however, to Gill’s statement. In any other business, should someone else make use of your ‘assets’ and make money in the process, it is only right and proper than you should benefit too. But football, despite the best efforts of Gill and his cronies, is not ‘any other business’; not just yet anyway. Representing your country – at anything, not just football – should be a source of pride and fans (sorry, customers) invest more than just money into the process. The sense of joy, or more often in England’s case, despair, that comes with following your team cannot be quantified in terms of pounds and Euros. Even indulging Gill and his peers in their desire to turn sport into just another business, he is way off the mark. A successful national team raises interest in the game and that has an economic impact at all levels.

Humiliated by loss to Andorra, Macedonia’s coach offers resignatio…
San Diego Union Tribune – Oct 14, 2004
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The Wednesday loss was impounded by the fact the match was Macedonia’s 100th soccer game as a national team since the former Yugoslav republic gained independence in 1991. Andorra’s 1-0 win in Group 1 was a blow to Macedonia, which had tied 2-2 with the Dutch on Saturday. For the tiny principality in the Pyrenees, which had lost every qualifying game for the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004, this was the first major international win. It was not immediately clear whether the resignation offer would be accepted. Macedonia’s national soccer league president, Haralampije Hadziristeski, demanded a detailed report from Kanatlarovski, to be reviewed at the next league meeting. After the loss to Andorra, Macedonia dropped to fifth place in Group 1.

Minnows make it on major league stage
San Diego Union Tribune – Oct 15, 2004
"The problem remains at home – there are no more players to leave. "

Ukraine is no minnow, but the nation of 50 million is finally starting to deliver. Narrowing missing a place in Euro 2004, Ukraine is emerging as a strong contender in 2006 World Cup Group 2 that also includes established nations Denmark and Turkey – and Albania. Ukraine is home to 1999 Champions League semifinalist Dynamo Kiev, but the country has been slow to make its mark internationally, suffering from a lack of money following the breakup of the Soviet Union. But recent results make Ukraine, led by star striker Andriy Shevchenko of AC Milan, a threat, as European champions Greece and Denmark found out first hand when they only managed draws against the former Soviet republic. "Now we have every chance to make it to the World Cup finals," said Oleksiy Buzov, spokesman for the Ukrainian soccer federation. "We’re not outsiders in soccer any more – we’re quite confident we’ll catch up with the powerhouses soon… But recent results make Ukraine, led by star striker Andriy Shevchenko of AC Milan, a threat, as European champions Greece and Denmark found out first hand when they only managed draws against the former Soviet republic. "Now we have every chance to make it to the World Cup finals," said Oleksiy Buzov, spokesman for the Ukrainian soccer federation. "We’re not outsiders in soccer any more – we’re quite confident we’ll catch up with the powerhouses soon.

Top scorers thrive in European World Cup qualifiers
San Diego Union Tribune – Oct 13, 2004
But the big names did not entirely dominate the day – Andorra scored a 1-0 victory over Macedonia on a 60th-minute volley by midfielder Marc Bernaus. A tiny principality in the Pyrenees, Andorra had lost every qualifying game for the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004. Koller made it three goals in two games for the Czech Republic, which won 3-0 at Armenia for its second straight Group 1 victory. Tomas Rosicky had the other score. Berbatov had two goals to send Bulgaria past Malta 4-1 in Group 8… But the big names did not entirely dominate the day – Andorra scored a 1-0 victory over Macedonia on a 60th-minute volley by midfielder Marc Bernaus. A tiny principality in the Pyrenees, Andorra had lost every qualifying game for the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004. Koller made it three goals in two games for the Czech Republic, which won 3-0 at Armenia for its second straight Group 1 victory. Tomas Rosicky had the other score. Berbatov had two goals to send Bulgaria past Malta 4-1 in Group 8. Shevchenko scored Ukraine’s second goal in a 2-0 victory over Georgia to keep his unbeaten team well in contention in Group 2.

Sampdoria goal is football survival
BBC News – Oct 13, 2004
The national team, meanwhile, performed poorly at the Euro 2004, compounding a disappointing showing at the World Cup. A significant number of teams across Italy, as well as in countries such as England and Germany, are struggling in a sport that is now as much about business as it is about what happens on the field. Turn Around

Giuseppe Marotta has more than 20 years experience running football clubs and took over at Sampdoria in April 2002, hired by the current owner who had bought the team a few months earlier. Sitting in his new office on the fifth floor of one of Genoa’s few skyscrapers, Mr Marotta takes off his glasses and rubs his eyes… ”

Sampdoria expects to make a loss this season of between 10m euros and 15m euros, despite having more than 20,000 season ticket holders and annual revenue topping 50m euros. New broom?

Mr Marotta says he has “looked at the business from top to bottom” but still is unable to balance the books. The revenues from sponsors and selling television rights are just not enough, and in a league where individual clubs negotiate their own broadcast rights, the biggest always take the lions share. According to Mr Marotta, Italy’s top clubs, AC Milan, Inter Milan, Juventus, Roma and Lazio, get 70% of all TV revenues. For teams such as Sampdoria to start making money, he reckons that figure needs to drop to 40%. Hobson’s choice

Tim Parks is the author of “A Season with Verona” and has lived in Italy for more than two decades.

ESPNsoccernet – World Cup – France v Ireland Report
go.com – Oct 13, 2004
Les Bleus were held to a goalless draw at home to the Republic of Ireland on Saturday night and have now won just one of their opening three World Cup qualifiers – and that came against the Faroe Islands. They are currently one of four teams on five points from three games in qualifying Group Four. France’s squad has also been decimated by a host of retirements with Zinedine Zidane, Marcel Desailly, Lilian Thuram, Bixente Lizarazu and Claude Makelele all quitting the international scene following Euro 2004. Their departures have paved the way for a new generation but they have, as yet, failed to seize their opportunity. However Domenech insists it is not all doom and gloom in the French camp and has backed the growing team spirit to help the team secure a place in the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany. “Of course no-one sees anything, from the television people only see the team’s organisation but from the inside, we feel things,” Domenech said. “Something is happening and a new spirit is gradually emerging… France’s squad has also been decimated by a host of retirements with Zinedine Zidane, Marcel Desailly, Lilian Thuram, Bixente Lizarazu and Claude Makelele all quitting the international scene following Euro 2004. Their departures have paved the way for a new generation but they have, as yet, failed to seize their opportunity. However Domenech insists it is not all doom and gloom in the French camp and has backed the growing team spirit to help the team secure a place in the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany. “Of course no-one sees anything, from the television people only see the team’s organisation but from the inside, we feel things,” Domenech said. “Something is happening and a new spirit is gradually emerging. ”The French press have been sympathetic with Domenech so far, understanding the team is currently going through a period of transition, but their tone will surely alter should they fail to beat Cyprus in Nicosia on Wednesday. “We are going to Cyprus to win,” Domenech added.

It’s a conspiracy, I tell ya
SLAM! Sports – Oct 13, 2004
For the very best in evil scheming, collusion and intrigue, look no further than Italian soccer. Elimination from the World Cup against untalented hosts South Korea? The referee “had his mind set against us,” explained striker Francesco Totti. And the real reason they were knocked out of Euro 2004 after Sweden and Denmark tied 2-2? Match-fixing, of course. Or to quote goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon: “Somebody should be ashamed and it’s not us. ”
New Italy coach Marcello Lippi might have to continue the trend if his team’s poor start to World Cup qualification continues. The 1-0 weekend loss to Slovenia left his side with the proverbial mountain to climb. To Lippi’s credit, conspiracy theories were few and far between after the shock defeat… ”
But Canada could probably use his help after falling victim to yet another dodgy ref in the 1-1 draw with Honduras, despite the apparent absence of Che Guevara banners. – You only have to look at England or Spain – two nations with an equally overinflated sense of their ability to actually win a tournament – to know that conspiracy theories aren’t just an Italian phenomenon. He might not be in Lucarelli’s league, but fallen English star Paul “Gazza” Gascoigne came up with his own conspiracy theory this week after walking out on his latest club. The 37-year-old, whose career has been blighted by alcoholism, said his name – and the connotations that go with it – are to blame for his struggles to make it as a coach. So he’s planning to do the only thing that makes er.

Porto considering Benfica boycott
go.com – Oct 15, 2004
15, 2004Porto considering Benfica boycottLISBON, Oct 15 (Reuters) – Portuguese champions Porto do not want to play an away league fixture against Benfica on Sunday because they believe their players are at risk from crowd trouble, newspapers reported on Friday. Porto officials said they were concerned that fans hadmanaged to elude security lines at the Luz stadium in Lisbon andrun onto the field, daily sports newspaper A Bola reported. During a Euro 2004 championship game against Greece in Julya fan got within touching distance of Portugal’s Luis Figobefore being tackled. ‘I won’t go,’ Secretary of State of Sports HerminioLoureiro, was quoted as saying in a headline in daily newspaperO Jogo. Herminio told SIC TV News that he had not dismissed theoption of cancelling the match… 15, 2004Porto considering Benfica boycottLISBON, Oct 15 (Reuters) – Portuguese champions Porto do not want to play an away league fixture against Benfica on Sunday because they believe their players are at risk from crowd trouble, newspapers reported on Friday. Porto officials said they were concerned that fans hadmanaged to elude security lines at the Luz stadium in Lisbon andrun onto the field, daily sports newspaper A Bola reported. During a Euro 2004 championship game against Greece in Julya fan got within touching distance of Portugal’s Luis Figobefore being tackled. ‘I won’t go,’ Secretary of State of Sports HerminioLoureiro, was quoted as saying in a headline in daily newspaperO Jogo. Herminio told SIC TV News that he had not dismissed theoption of cancelling the match. Porto managers and otherofficials were due to meet on Friday to discuss the situation, ABola reported. Your views on this story?.

Lippi struggling to revive Italy’s fortunes
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Oct 13, 2004
The 31-year-old’s last goal was a penalty against Juventus at the start of May. Filippo Inzaghi, also 31, is recovering from an ankle injury. Lippi did not call either up for the matches against Slovenia and Belarus. Alessandro Del Piero’s indifferent form has become a permanent state of affairs and Francesco Totti, 28, continues to fulfil only a fraction of his potential, as witnessed by his tally of six goals in 43 internationals. If only there were players ready to step into the breach.

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