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Football News: Review Of The Day 10th February 2018

Review Of The Day 10th February 2018
Image from: standard.co.uk

Review of the Day

 

German Lower Leagues In Anti-Semism Row

The Northeast German Soccer Federation (NOFV) have fined Babelsburg and threatened them with exclsion from the league after they refused to pay the fine. The 7,000euro fine was imposed on Babelsburg after its fans chanted "Nazi pigs out" at the fans of opponents Energie Cottbus during a 4th tier league match between the two teams. Babelsburg have said that its fans were merely reacting to chants from the Cottbus supporters, who, being brave, were mostly masked. The chants included such delights as "Ticks, Gypsies and Jews" and "Work sets you free" references to Nazism and the concentration camp system they employed. Cottbus fans can also be clearly seen performing Nazi salutes in videos circulating online. While Cottbus was also fined, due to the use of pyrotechnics by their fans and attempts to storm the pitch, no mention was made of the chants they used, merely the response by the home supporters. NOFV are now claiming that the fine was actually for the use of pyrotechnics within the Babelsburg fan block and that mentioning the chant was a mistake in the paperwork. However this case, and Babelsburg's refusal to pay their fine, has brought to light the NOFV's attempts to ignore anti-Semitic chanting, including TV footage with clearly audible chants by Lokomotiv Leipzig fans of a similar nature to the Cottbus fans. Some clubs, such as St Pauli, have given their backing to Babelsburg as they seek to fight the ruling. Babelsburg are currently appealing for donations to help them fight their corner if the case should go to court.

 

Khedira Rejects Tunisia World Cup Chance

Rani Khedira the German-born Augsburg midfielder has rejected the opportunity to go to the 2018 FIFA World Cup with Tunisia. Khedira, the younger brother of Sami, has chosen to follow in the footsteps of his elder sibling by pledging his future to Germany. "I was honoured to be approached by them [Tunisia FA]," Khedira told the Augsburg website. "But I was born and raised in Germany and can only speak German. As my play style hinges very much on communication, I wouldn't have been able to have given the team the best of my ability. I don't think it's fair I take the place of players who have worked their socks off for the last two years to reach the World Cup, either."

 


Pulisic Admits Man Utd Support

Borussia Dortmund's young USA starlet Christian Pulisic has fuelled rumours of a move to Manchester United in the summer as he admitted supporting them and refused to rule out a move to the Premier League. When asked if it was true that he was a Man Utd supporter as a child Pulisic told ESPN: "Yeah, I was. I was definitely a big fan. Of course, right now I am under contract with Dortmund and so I'm not looking around or doing anything like that so I'm very focused there. But, yeah, it's cool to hear all this stuff!"

 

SFA Needs Restructuring Says Lawell

Celtic chief executive has added his voice to the chorus that are looking for change in the SFA since Stewart Regan stepped down. "The problems [on the board] appear to be significant," Lawell said. "I came off the [SFA] board a couple of years ago; from the outside looking in, clearly, there are problems," continued Lawwell. "The problems appear to be significant and it seems that Stewart Regan has taken the rap for that, in terms of the changes over the last couple of weeks. I think there are others in there, who have presided over the SFA for a number of years, that really need to have a look at themselves just now. I don't think it's worth personalising, but clearly there are issues that need to be addressed. On the other hand, I think there are positives. You have a board there with very capable people in Mike Mulraney, who represent the clubs, alongside Ian Maxwell. And you've got independent non-executives in Gary Hughes and Ana Stewart who are capable people. I think it's time for these guys to be given their head and maybe given a bit more authority to actually understand what is the purpose of the SFA in the modern game? And how does that relate to the SPFL and the clubs? I think there should be a process of restructuring, re-organising that allows the SFA to be fit for that purpose. There are a lot of good staff at the SFA and we engage with them at the moment. There are a lot of good people in there - that's another positive. There is an opportunity for everyone to sit down, look at what they should be doing, look at what's gone wrong, learn lessons and move on."

 

Smith Rules Out Scotland Return

Walter Smith has now ruled himself out of contention for the Scotland manager's role. The SFA had been considering a return for the 69 year old but he has now removed himself from the shortlist after talks with the SFA.

 

Bruce Hoping To Return To The Touchline For Birmingham Derby

Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce has been on compassionate leave this week following the death of his father, to be there for his ill mother. His assistant, Colin Calderwood has said they are hoping he will be there for the game against local rivals Birmingham City on Sunday. "We hope he will be here on Sunday and part of our job is to help throughout the week," Calderwood said. "Stephen Clemence, Gary Walsh, Steve Agnew and myself have to get the team to Sunday and we hope Steve will be there with us. We're in contact with him daily. He will pick the team and we will be ready without his presence this week, but his presence is always there with the players anyway."

 

Mahrez Hits Back At Critics

Riyad Mahrez has broken his silence as he returned to training with Leicester City on Friday for the first time since his transfer deadline day move to Manchester City broke down. Mahrez released a statement that claimed the Foxes knew where he was and disputed the stories attributed to a close friend of his. "Off the back of that many people and journalists have made assumptions without properly checking the story, so I would like to clarify that all those so-called assumptions of why I was absent are completely untrue," he said. "I have been a part of the Leicester City team that has achieved much success including promotion to the Premier League and being Champions of the League. My goals have always been the same and I have always given my full 100% when I play for the club the fans and my team-mates. Those goals remain the same today and in the future and when I am asked to be a part of the Leicester team, rest assured I will continue to give my all."

 

O'Neill Signs New Contract

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill is looking forward to another crack at taking them to the World Cup in 2022 after signing a 4 year contract extension that sees his contract run until 2024. The new deal is the longest and most lucrative in Northern Ireland's history. "The overriding factor was quite simply that I didn't want to leave the job," O'Neill told the BBC.

 

RIP Liam Miller

Sad news as former Manchester United and Celtic midfielder Liam Miller lost his battle against cancer at the age of just 36. A Republic of Ireland international who earnt 21 caps in a career that took him all over the world, playing for clubs as far afield as Australia and the USA.

 

Pep Continues His Crusade Against Opponents Tackling His Players

Manchester City have asked to meet the PGMOL, the body responsible for Premier League referees, citing nine tackles made against their team. Man City are looking to have the rules changed so incidents can be reviewed even if the match referee has dealt with it at the time. Considering City are the team with the most possession of the ball, it is telling that they are only the 12th most fouled team in the Prem, which suggests this is just more whining by a team that gives it out more than most. I wonder if I am the only one bored of their whining when their whole defensive system is built around fouling opponents to stop them breaking on them?

 

Laporte Transfer Saves Former Club

Aymeric Laporte's big money move from Athletic Bilbao to Manchester City has helped save his former club from liquidation. Laporte joined Bilbao from French 8th tier club Sporting Union De Agen who were struggling under debts of around £100,000 which had seen them considering bankruptcy. However they had a 1% sell on clause in the contract when they sold Laporte to Bilbao and now they can clear their debts and start afresh. Jean Claude Brunel, Agen's co-president said: "Fate knocks at our door. It is unexpected and a beautiful reward for our efforts. If the ruling had not been manifested, we were determined to close at the end of the season as we were unable to meet the operating costs."

 

Chiellini Blames Pep Guardiola For Italy's World Cup Failure

Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini has laid the blame for Italy's failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup at the door of Pep Guardiola, despite Guardiola never even managing in Italy. "Pep Guardiola spoiled and ruined the Italian defender. He is a fantastic coach with a fantastic mind but Italian trainers have tried to copy him without the same knowledge and then in the last 10 years, we lost our identity."

Written by Tris Burke February 10 2018 06:38:30