Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

January 31, 2005

Liverpool deny Gerrard move claims

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 8:41 am

The News Review:

* Opinion: A Shadow Over German Soccer
* Fifa may pay dearly for early release of tickets
* FA agrees to look at spring break
* Liverpool deny Gerrard move claims
* Peter Schmeichel: Unstoppable Rooney can wreck Gunners
* Rooney back with a bang for United
* Partridge rules the roost
* Daily Times – Leading News Resource of Pakistan
* Officials gather in France

Opinion: A Shadow Over German Soccer
Deutsche Welle – Jan 29, 2005
As Bundesliga teams flounder in Europe, the national side is trying to rebuild after a devastating Euro 2004. German referees were the only thing considered world class… German referees were the only thing considered world class. Germany may have become runner-up to Brazil in the last World Cup, but since then not much has gone right for German soccer. Last season, Bundesliga teams exited early from Europe’s top club competition the Champion’s League and the national side was humiliated during the Euro 2004 in Portugal last summer. On top of that, German soccer has long had an image problem. None of the flash of Italian, Spanish or Brazilian incarnations of the game and lacking the grit and determination of the English variant was the most common assessment. At best, German soccer, which has undeniably had its moments, was considered ‘workmanlike’ and efficient.

Fifa may pay dearly for early release of tickets
The Observer – Jan 30, 2005
‘This happened in Japan [at the 2002 World Cup] and at France 98. They are not learning from their mistakes,’ said Kevin Miles, international co-ordinator of the Football Supporters’ Federation. ‘It inevitably means people are buying blind. It’s presumably because Fifa wish to sell tickets for matches that are less popular. ‘They are selling tickets on false pretence, putting their own financial and organisational needs ahead of the fans, who ultimately make the tournament what it is. The least Fifa can do is set up a system where fans can exchange tickets at face value so they can watch their team… ‘This has been done to further establish the link between our brand and the Fifa World Cup. ‘ If England qualify, the FA will receive eight per cent of the total ticket allocation for each stadium the team play in – all of which will be available solely to members of the England Supporters Club once the draw for the tournament has been made. ‘At the France-England game at Euro 2004, there were 40,000 England fans,’ said Miles. ‘Only 10,000 of those bought tickets through the FA. So for the World Cup, most will have to go to Fifa. ‘ World football’s governing body have also introduced a new rule limiting the number of matches that can be attended to seven. Fifa argue that this allows more fans to attend the tournament and, through the TST scheme, they could follow their team all the way to the final.

FA agrees to look at spring break
BBC News – Jan 29, 2005
The Premiership is scheduled to end next season on 13 May, the date on which Fifa wants all domestic leagues to finish ahead of the 2006 World Cup, which starts four weeks later on 9 June. However, while the Champions League final will be on 17 May, the FA was also given permission to hold the FA Cup final – the first competitive game at the new Wembley – on 20 May. This would nevertheless have ensured that Eriksson could not have his way, especially if two leading clubs were involved in the showpiece occasion at Wembley. Eriksson, who has already given up his call for a winter break to make room in the fixture calendar, argued his case publicly earlier this month. He had said: “I really hope that the football people in this country will give us the chance to have a four-week break between the end of domestic football and when the World Cup starts. “That’s what we really need and it was one of the reasons why we only had a quarter-final in Portugal and Japan. Three weeks was too little… ”

Fifa president Sepp Blatter had imposed the 14 May deadline on all European leagues after several leading players under-performed at the Euro 2004 finals following exhausting club seasons. Blatter insisted last month: “We have taken a historical and courageous decision. We saw player burn-out in 2002 and also at Euro 2004.

Liverpool deny Gerrard move claims
CNN International – Jan 30, 2005
Gerrard was ready to move to Stamford Bridge during Euro 2004 but eventually committed his future to Liverpool. On Sunday a newspaper report alleged that Parry had met Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon last week to agree the deal. "I did not meet with Peter Kenyon, nor did I agree a deal for Steven Gerrard," said Parry in a statement released on the Liverpool official website. "Both Rafa Benitez and myself have made it clear to Steven that we want him to stay and we see his future at Anfield. "Parry and Benitez have constantly said Gerrard is not for sale, although it is clear the situation will be reviewed in the summer when the Liverpool skipper knows whether the club are in the Champions League next season and Benitez’s team re-building plans… Gerrard was ready to move to Stamford Bridge during Euro 2004 but eventually committed his future to Liverpool. On Sunday a newspaper report alleged that Parry had met Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon last week to agree the deal. "I did not meet with Peter Kenyon, nor did I agree a deal for Steven Gerrard," said Parry in a statement released on the Liverpool official website. "Both Rafa Benitez and myself have made it clear to Steven that we want him to stay and we see his future at Anfield. "Parry and Benitez have constantly said Gerrard is not for sale, although it is clear the situation will be reviewed in the summer when the Liverpool skipper knows whether the club are in the Champions League next season and Benitez’s team re-building plans. "Of course it is flattering that some top clubs around Europe are showing an interest in me but I am at a top club at the moment," Gerrard told the BBC on Saturday. "I’ll sit down at the end of the season and assess my future.

Peter Schmeichel: Unstoppable Rooney can wreck Gunners
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Jan 30, 2005
Rooney might not have done as many spectacular things as people expected when he hit that hat-trick against Fenerbahçe on his debut for United, but he’s contributed enormously. United have lost only once in the League since he arrived and their attacking football has been magnificent. Rooney has spent much of his time playing out of position on the wing. Has he moaned? Not at all. He’s worked his socks off and made a success of things… To go to Old Trafford and crack it straight away at his age is some achievement. He deserves more credit for what he’s done. He was, by a million miles, England’s best player in Euro 2004 and yet he gets so much criticism from his country’s media it’s unbelievable. If he has a bad game, his £30m transfer fee and the size of his weekly wage are thrown in his face, and there are comments about how much he paid for the car he’s driving. Reporters think they can follow his fiancée Coleen around shopping in Manchester, and slag off the type of boots she ’s wearing. I feel sorry for them. They’re a young couple who’ve come into a bit of money and are trying to enjoy their life together — there’s no crime in that, is there? Yet whatever criticism Rooney faces, you never see it affecting his performances.

Rooney back with a bang for United
Telegraph.co.uk – Jan 31, 2005
Rooney’s goals followed an early breakthrough by John O’Shea, and brought a predictably grateful response from the United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, who badly needed this victory after a painful elimination from the Carling Cup last week at the hands of Chelsea. The assessment of the opposing manager, Steve McClaren, was perhaps more pertinent, though, as he has worked closely with Rooney at England level and admits to being excited at what he might produce in the forthcoming World Cup campaign. “When he went off injured against Portugal [at Euro 2004] it was the defining moment for England,” said McClaren, Sven-Goran Eriksson’s part-time assistant. “Who knows what we might have achieved had he stayed fit? You can see in training with England that he is a special talent. The frightening thing is that he can only get better. That is good news for England and Manchester United but maybe not for teams like us. “Having worked with him I believe you can’t set boundaries for his ambitions… “Who knows what we might have achieved had he stayed fit? You can see in training with England that he is a special talent. The frightening thing is that he can only get better. That is good news for England and Manchester United but maybe not for teams like us. “Having worked with him I believe you can’t set boundaries for his ambitions. He wants to be the best player he can possibly be and he is clearly well on the way to achieving that aim. “McClaren, who was missing several of his key players through injury, feared a United backlash after their defeat by Chelsea. “That was the last result we wanted,” he reflected.

Partridge rules the roost
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – Jan 30, 2005
“Here at Celtic Park,” the commentator said last weekend, “John Toshack, the Wales manager, is in the stands to watch John Hartson and David Partridge. ” He could not have been more proud that his son, the Motherwell defender, was being considered for an international call-up. Then he heard something that took him by surprise. “And we have it on good authority,” the voice on the radio continued, “that David Partridge has an England tattoo on his leg. ” A what? Partridge is an Essex boy, raised in Ilford by his Welsh father and Scottish mother, a committed West Ham fan as a youth who has an accent so rooted in East London that in the past his teammates have nicknamed him Alf Garnett and Del Boy. Last summer, he joined his friends in the stands to watch England play France at Euro 2004… “And we have it on good authority,” the voice on the radio continued, “that David Partridge has an England tattoo on his leg. ” A what? Partridge is an Essex boy, raised in Ilford by his Welsh father and Scottish mother, a committed West Ham fan as a youth who has an accent so rooted in East London that in the past his teammates have nicknamed him Alf Garnett and Del Boy. Last summer, he joined his friends in the stands to watch England play France at Euro 2004. But a tattoo? Terry Partridge waited until the game at Celtic Park was over and then phoned his son. “Have you got an England tattoo on your leg,” he demanded to know. “Nah, nah, nah,” his son insisted, and the two shared a laugh. By last Wednesday, Toshack was referring to the tattoo when he named his first squad as Wales manager, for the friendly against Hungary on February 9, having called up the uncapped Partridge.

Daily Times – Leading News Resource of Pakistan
Daily Times – Jan 29, 2005
?I suppose it?s a good thing that I won?t be in contention here on Sunday,? said Draper, who plays tennis left-handed but golf right-handed. ?All in all it?s a bit disappointing but now I can concentrate on tennis. ? Stosur called Draper on the eve of the Australian Open after Todd Reid pulled out, but said she would not have asked had she known of his busy schedule. Martina Navratilova kept alive her bid for a 59th grand slam title as she and Belarussian Max Mirnyi, the seventh seeds, beat the brother-sister team of Wayne and Cara Black, the second-seeded Wimbledon champions, 7-5 6-4. They?ll meet fourth seeds Kevin Ulyett of Zimbabwe and South African Liezel Huber in the semi-finals. reutersBrown wins first stage of Malaysia?s Tour de LangkawiLANGKAWI (Malaysia): Graeme Brown of team Ceramica Panaria-Navigare (ITA) won the first stage of the Tour de Langkawi cycling race in Malaysia on Friday. Teammate Guillermo Bongiorno took second place and Oleg Grishkini of team Navigators Insurance (USA) finished third… Gatti, a former International Boxing Federation junior lightweight champion, captured the vacant WBC junior welterweight crown last January with a 12-round decision over Italy?s Gianluca Branco. Gatti made his first title defense last July, knocking out Romanian Leonard Dorin in the second round. afpPunters get chance to kick Beckham Euro 2004 blunder ball LONDON: Punters have a chance to kick the ball sent flying over the bar by David Beckham from the penalty spot in England?s Euro 2004 quarter-final defeat by Portugal. The winner of an ebay online auction will be allowed to kick the ball during halftime of a second division match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Gillingham on February 19. England captain Beckham skied his spot-kick during a penalty shootout against Portugal last June, which the tournament hosts went on to win 6-5. The match had ended 2-2. The ball, which is on a world tour raising money for charity, was caught high in the stands of the Luz Stadium in Lisbon by a Spanish fan.

Officials gather in France
uefa.comUEFA.com – Jan 30, 2005
The elite referees look back at the first half of the season with members of UEFA’s Referees’ Committee, while the newcomers to UEFA’s international list are given an all-important briefing on their duties as European match officials, while also being put through their paces in a fitness test. Review and previewThe review will serve as a basis for preparations for the second half of the campaign and the closing stages of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup. Last summer’s UEFA EURO 2004™ final round was already reviewed at the Elite and Premier referees’ summer gathering in Nyon last September. “However, the excellent refereeing performances at that tournament will still be at the forefront of the participants’ minds in Antibes,” UEFA says. Valuable recommendationsThe material used at the course will be fine-tuned and distributed to UEFA’s 52 member associations. At the end of the course, UEFA will issue valuable conclusions and recommendations, based on lectures and feedback from the participants, which will also be distributed to the national associations. Fitness workIn keeping with last year, the referees will not be required to undertake a formal fitness test… Valuable recommendationsThe material used at the course will be fine-tuned and distributed to UEFA’s 52 member associations. At the end of the course, UEFA will issue valuable conclusions and recommendations, based on lectures and feedback from the participants, which will also be distributed to the national associations. Fitness workIn keeping with last year, the referees will not be required to undertake a formal fitness test. However, their fitness levels will be monitored in a special session. The 30 European referees who are new to the international list in 2005 will take the standard fitness test, which includes sprint work and the Cooper Test, in which they have to run a minimum 2. 7 kilometres in 12 minutes. Practical work for the new referees will involve intensive theoretical work and active discussion on refereeing.

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