Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

December 19, 2006

Asian soccer heroes bet on Australia for 2007 AFC Asian Cup

Filed under: World Cup 2006 — Ivan @ 1:17 pm

The News Review:

* Brazil bid for 2014 World Cup
* Mixed fortunes for Asian football in 2006
* Daily Times – Leading News Resource of Pakistan
* Asian soccer heroes bet on Australia for 2007 AFC Asian Cup
* Now we’re stunting Tiny Tims
* Woodward: win gold, win £2m
* Mapletoft takes on development role
* RTÉ Sport: Ex-Ireland boss set to take charge of England
* FIFA to lift competition ban on Iran
* Barthez makes retirement U-turn
* ESPN.com – GOLF – Balky back forces Howell to reduce European schedule
* BBC SPORT | Other Sport… | Winter Sports | Mancuso nets maiden…
* Get ready to gorge on feast of football
* Stars only getting over World Cup – Rafa
* ESPN.com – NCF – BC hires former assistant Jagodzinski as head coach

Brazil bid for 2014 World Cup
Telegraph.co.uk – Dec 17, 2006
“We have formally expressed out desire to stage the 2014 World Cup,” Teixeira, a member of Fifa’s Executive Committee, said. “It will be a unique opportunity for the Brazilian people. “Fifa will announce the host of the finals next November. The 2014 tournament is scheduled to take place in South America as part of Fifa’s continental rotation policy, but although Brazil are expected to be the only South American country to bid, it is not a foregone conclusion… “We have formally expressed out desire to stage the 2014 World Cup,” Teixeira, a member of Fifa’s Executive Committee, said. “It will be a unique opportunity for the Brazilian people. “Fifa will announce the host of the finals next November. The 2014 tournament is scheduled to take place in South America as part of Fifa’s continental rotation policy, but although Brazil are expected to be the only South American country to bid, it is not a foregone conclusion. Last week Fifa president Sepp Blatter said that if a bid from South America did not meet Fifa’s exacting requirements, the World Cup could be “moved north.

Mixed fortunes for Asian football in 2006
Pakistan Dawn – Dec 17, 2006
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Mixed fortunes for Asian football in 2006
SINGAPORE, Dec 16: Asian football suffered mixed fortunes in 2006, with the traditional heavyweights failing to shine at the World Cup offset by some major breakthroughs including Australia’s joining the AFC. Once again corruption reared its ugly head with Vietnam at the forefront. Eight players, including seven from its under-23 national side, are due to be tried for a huge match-fixing scandal. Vietnamese football was under intense scrutiny all year, with police also investigating fraud allegations implicating dozens of players, referees and coaches for alleged involvement in separate match fixing cases. On the upside, Asian players continued to make their mark in the world’s best leagues, led by Park Ji Sung at Manchester United and Shunsuke Nakamura at Celtic, while projects to popularise the game at the grassroots gathered steam.

Daily Times – Leading News Resource of Pakistan
Daily Times – Dec 18, 2006
Sepp Blatter said emergency talks had yielded a deal with authorities in Iran, which was suspended last month over government meddling. ?We reached an agreement with the football federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran and we will say yes, Iran can participate in the draw for the Asian Cup of Nations,? Blatter told a press conference. ?This is a good outcome where football has shown its intentions when it comes to interference,? Blatter said. The news, to be formally announced on Monday, will come as a huge relief to Iran after its ban for political interference and not adhering to FIFA?s statutes on football associations? independence.

Asian soccer heroes bet on Australia for 2007 AFC Asian Cup
International Herald Tribune – Dec 18, 2006
Sixteen national teams will play in the July 7-29 tournament in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia. The final would be hosted by Indonesia. Fan said “the entire environment of Chinese football is not very good,” and cited problems in the coaching and administration of the team… He added that he does not know much about the young Chinese team. “As an ex-national team player, I wish them all the best and hope they reach the final, but I don’t think China can reach the final because they are so young,” said Fan, who is best remembered for playing a key role in China’s qualification for the 2002 FIFA world Cup. “Unfortunately, the young players of China are not as good as my generation was,” he added. China was the runner-up at the last AFC Asian Cup in 2004, as well as in 1994. Addressing the news conference with Fan were Khodadad Azizi, a former Iranian striker, and Kim Joo-sung, an ex-player for South Korea. All three agreed that Australia, which will be participating in the AFC tournament for the first time, is the hot favorite.

Now we’re stunting Tiny Tims
Telegraph.co.uk – Dec 17, 2006
Six months after Sven-Goran Eriksson led England to World Cup glory and having reached the midway point of his year long severance payments, the FA are to invoke the clause that will see his daily handouts cut in half. So, from next month, he will be asked to struggle along on a measly £6,500 a day, hardly enough to keep him in stacked heeled shoes or sun cream. What a way to treat a great and loyal servant to the English game. Eriksson, happily sunning himself while advisors are using all their imagination to link him to new jobs on a daily basis, had another wobbly moment last week when it looked as though he might finally be offered gainful employment. In fact, it was Alan Curbishley who was asked to take over at West Ham but you can imagine Sven rubbing the back of his hand across his sweaty brow in relief… “Radio Five Live presenters could hardly suppress their on-air chortles the other day when it was confirmed that, yes, Sir Alex Ferguson had indeed growled a few words into one of their reporter’s microphones. Nothing strange about that, you might think, except that, on a point of principle, Ferguson stopped talking to all BBC outlets in May 2004 after Panorama said some nasty things about his son Jason regarding his alleged role in Manchester United transfers. In football, of course, principle cannot hope to defend against the tricky forward play of book publishers. So Fergie put on his best smile and happily chirruped to Five Live about the wonderful new Opus publication on Manchester United, which is not so much a coffee table book as a tome so enormous and hefty that it could double as a coffee table. It is on sale for £3,000, with all 10,000 copies signed by Fergie and other United luminaries. United’s Wayne Rooney, a notable author himself, is believed not to be one of the purchasers. He is waiting for the paperback.

Woodward: win gold, win £2m
Telegraph.co.uk – Dec 17, 2006
He arrived at a boisterous London cafe in the full knowledge that, any minute now, his name would be as trashed as a downtrodden hooker under the boots of an All Blacks front row. In the event, a Rugby Football Union press conference taking place elsewhere passed off fairly peacefully and there were no serious attempts to assassinate his character after his recent and virulent criticism of that august body. He beamed and exuded his trademark amalgam of Peter Pan enthusiasm and entrepreneurial fight. English rugby (and his despair of) had been last week’s story, now he was battling on another front… You do things that people don’t understand. You do get aggressive and annoyed. If every member of that squad that won the Rugby World Cup in 2003 had been paid £1. 5 million, people in the RFU and beyond would have started to understand why we were behaving that way. It wasn’t the money in our case. It was the will, but it would have helped the wider world to understand.

Mapletoft takes on development role
Telegraph.co.uk – Dec 17, 2006
He will also serve as Nigel Redman’s assistant coach in preparing the England Under-19 and U-20 teams and help out with the development squad and England Saxons team. As well as attending various national squad sessions Mapletoft could, fittingly, be a frequent visitor to Kingsholm, where he achieved something approaching cult status during his long and successful spell with the Gloucester club… Dominici scored two first-half tries against the English champions last weekend, but failed to appear for the second half and Stade coach Fabien Galthie intends to rest him until the new year. Australia’s utility back, Mat Rogers, is poised to return to rugby league 12 months ahead of plan. Rogers, who switched codes in 2002, had been expected to fulfil his contract and play through to the World Cup in France next autumn, but has asked to be released early to join the new rugby league franchise, the Gold Coast Titans. Bobby Skinstad, the former South Africa captain who has been playing for Richmond in London South-East Division One, will return to the elite level for the Durban-based Sharks in the Super 14 next year. Skinstad, 30, hopes to earn a place in the Springboks squad for the World Cup.

RTÉ Sport: Ex-Ireland boss set to take charge of England
rte.ie – Dec 18, 2006
Ashton’s probable appointment should be confirmed for the 2007 RBS 6 Nations Championship and Rugby World Cup campaigns. Earlier on Wednesday, Rugby Football Union management board members will be presented with a recommendation for Andy Robinson’s successor by RFU elite rugby director Rob Andrew. And assuming there are no last-minute hitches, 60-year-old Lancastrian Ashton is favourite to land the role, starting with England’s opening Six Nations game against Scotland at Twickenham on February 3. Ashton would then have nine further games before England launch their World Cup defence against the USA in Lens on September 8, with France (three times), Wales (twice), South Africa (twice), Ireland and Italy all on the agenda. Ashton’s anticipated promotion from his current job as England head attack coach should ensure a relatively seamless transition as England desperately seek stability and continuity following three miserable years. England have won just 12 from 30 Tests since Martin Johnson held aloft the Webb Ellis Trophy at Sydney’s Telstra Stadium… Ashton’s anticipated promotion from his current job as England head attack coach should ensure a relatively seamless transition as England desperately seek stability and continuity following three miserable years. England have won just 12 from 30 Tests since Martin Johnson held aloft the Webb Ellis Trophy at Sydney’s Telstra Stadium. World Cup mastermind Clive Woodward presided over three of those victories, then Robinson’s failed 22-game reign produced only nine wins as England plummeted down the International Rugby Board official world rankings. Ashton’s only previous experience as an international head coach hardly set pulses racing. He oversaw a forgettable period in charge of Ireland in 1997 and 1998, having initially replaced Murray Kidd before another New Zealander – Warren Gatland – stepped in after Ashton resigned. Ireland’s results during that spell included a record 46-6 home defeat against England, and Ashton went on to join the English coaching staff under Woodward in 1998 for four years, then land an appointment as RFU national academy manager before linking up with England again seven months ago following a short second period in charge at Bath. Ashton’s coaching team for 2007 will include current colleagues John Wells (forwards) and Mike Ford (defence), while it is understood an addition to the trio could come in scrummaging specialist Phil Keith-Roach, who was part of the England 2003 World Cup support staff.

FIFA to lift competition ban on Iran
International Herald Tribune – Dec 17, 2006
“We reached an agreement with the Football Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” FIFA President Sepp Blatter said Sunday. “We will announce tomorrow that Iran can participate in the draw for the Asian Cup which will take place on Tuesday. ” Iran was suspended from international competition in November after FIFA accused it of government interference in the national soccer federation. The suspension was temporarily lifted by FIFA last month, allowing the team to defend its Asian Games title pending changes at the national federation… “We reached an agreement with the Football Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” FIFA President Sepp Blatter said Sunday. “We will announce tomorrow that Iran can participate in the draw for the Asian Cup which will take place on Tuesday. ” Iran was suspended from international competition in November after FIFA accused it of government interference in the national soccer federation. The suspension was temporarily lifted by FIFA last month, allowing the team to defend its Asian Games title pending changes at the national federation. Despite missing an earlier deadline to reinstate elected soccer federation president Mohammed Dadgan, Blatter said Iran contacted FIFA and pledged compliance with the sport’s regulations.

Barthez makes retirement U-turn
BBC News – Dec 17, 2006
Some 15 clubs called me but I was not ready,” he told French television channel TF1. “Nantes are a great club and their president found the right words. ”

Barthez won the World Cup with France in 1998 and the European Championship in 2000 and was part of the French team that reached the 2006 World Cup final. His acquisition could prove crucial for Nantes, who are languishing one place from the bottom of Ligue 1. “It’s an important challenge for Barthez and he is important for us,” club president Rudi Roussillon told television station Canal Plus. “Our team needs someone of his calibre. ”

As well as two spells with Marseille and his stint at United, Barthez also played for Toulouse and Monaco.

ESPN.com – GOLF – Balky back forces Howell to reduce European schedule
ESPN – Dec 19, 2006
“I’ll cut four or five events out from Europe. I can’t do that in America because I already play my minimum here [15 events]. “Howell played 30 times in 2006 and then finished off his long year at the World Cup and the Target World Challenge. He averaged nearly 28 starts a year in Europe alone his first nine years but cut that down to 19 in 2005 when he joined the PGA Tour. After leaving California, he said he planned to take seven weeks off, skipping the Middle East swing on the European Tour. “I haven’t got much choice. My body is breaking down,” Howell said.

BBC SPORT | Other Sport… | Winter Sports | Mancuso nets maiden…
BBC News – Dec 19, 2006
The 22-year-old Olympic giant slalom champion clocked one minute, 38. 93 seconds to beat Renate Goetschl into second by just 0. Last year’s winner, Lindsey Kildow, was third in a time of 1:39.

Get ready to gorge on feast of football
Telegraph.co.uk – Dec 17, 2006
Barcelona v Liverpool! 2006 champions v 2005 champions. Please Radio Five Live select me to cover at least the second leg at Anfield. I have got goose pimples already imagining the atmosphere and the singing of You’ll Never Walk Alone. I have every confidence that tactically Rafael Benitez will come up with the goods — especially in the first game at the Nou Camp.

Stars only getting over World Cup – Rafa
rte.ie – Dec 18, 2006
At one stage there was talk that Reina could return to Spain, with Valencia interested. Benitez has denied any such move and Reina is in talks over a new contract. Benitez said: ‘We are now seeing the best of our World Cup players after difficult times earlier in the season. It is clear that in the top sides important players had some problems. It depends on your squad how you handle that. If you have a good squad you can manage… ‘I have a very happy life here with my wife – there’s no problem for me. ‘
Benitez will attempt a balancing act against Arsenal, resting some key players while making sure he does not jeopardise Liverpool’s chances of reaching the last four. He said: ‘Arsenal play good football and it will be a tough game but we are playing well and I have confidence. Maybe we can use some young players in the squad but I will be selecting an experienced team because they are a good team with good players and we need to be careful. ‘I remember when we beat them 2-1 at Anfield when Neil Mellor scored the winning goal and we played very well and at a high tempo. I think this could be a similar game and I would like to see us play at the same level as we did that day. ‘
Benitez is likely to consider Robbie Fowler, Peter Crouch, Fabio Aurelio and Luis Garcia, all of whom failed to start Saturday’s 3-0 win at Charlton.

ESPN.com – NCF – BC hires former assistant Jagodzinski as head coach
ESPN – Dec 19, 2006
“He has respect for the outstanding tradition of BC football. He understands the mission of Boston College and the importance ofacademics to our program,” athletic director Gene DeFilippo saidin a statement. “He brings great personal integrity to theposition and will continue to recruit scholar-athletes who willrepresent our institution with class. He has proven that he is anoutstanding football coach, and his energy, enthusiasm and passionare contagious. ” The offer was first reported Monday but confirmed by the schoolon Tuesday.

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