Football News: Review Of The Day 23rd March 2018

 

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Review Of The Day 23rd March 2018
Image from: putti.ca

Review of the Day


Kipre Red Downgraded

Motherwell defender Cedric Kipre's red card received against Celtic in the SPFL has been downgraded to a yellow on appeal. The 21 year old had been sent off twice this season against the same opponents by the same referee Craig Thomson. 'Well manager Stephen Robinson said: "It is a sensible outcome, something that all parties agree with. Cedric is now available for our upcoming games, which are hugely important as we try and reach the top six. We can now draw a line under things and move on." Kipre was called up by his national team, the Ivory Coast, for the first time on Wednesday.


Sturrock Returns To Coaching

Former Dundee United manager Paul Sturrock has returned to coaching with the club on a short term basis, following an invitation by current manager Csaba Laszlo. Sturrock had been working for the club as a scout. Laszlo said: "I have been working with Paul since his appointment as chief scout for England and his knowledge and passion for this club is deeply-rooted and infectious. He has not been scared to voice his opinions and his football experience and knowledge are significant. Having him around the squad will be a great benefit over this vital period."


Robinson Quits Charlton For Oxford

Following former MK Dons manager Karl Robinson's decision to step aside from managing Charlton Athletic, as deeply unpopular owner Roland Duchatelet remains in charge despite numerous promises to sell, he has stepped straight into the Oxford United hotseat. Oxford have recently gone through a takeover, unlike the Addicks, where Duchatelet, who is the subject of numerous protests from the fans, has stalled every potential takeover deal.


EFL Backs 'Correct' Derby Decision

Despite fury from the opposition manager Neil Warnock (but then when is he not furious?) over the postponement on Sunday, the EFL has backed Derby County's decision to call off their Championship match with Cardiff City, despite the pitch being perfectly playable. Derby had claimed that heavy snow in the area made their stadium unsafe, to the ridicule of the entire rest of the country as it was one of only two games that were called off and 'just happened' to coincide with an injury crisis which saw the Rams reduced to just ten fit first team players. An EFL statement read: "We remain satisfied that the decision to postpone the fixture was the correct one in the circumstances. From the information that has been assessed, it is clear that the decision to postpone the match was taken by the club but was reached following earlier consultation with the police, other emergency services and Derbyshire Council. The EFL was subsequently provided with a comprehensive report including a full risk assessment by Derby County as to the steps taken in the build-up to the decision being made. The safety and security of supporters attending matches has to be paramount." Cardiff have made their unhappiness with the EFL's decision clear as their CEO Ken Choo said: "Today's findings don't acknowledge the wasted efforts and expenditure incurred by those who travelled to the game last weekend. It was our contention that the very least we could expect from this investigation was that our supporters would be recompensed by Derby County: not as an admission of wrongdoing on their part, but as a simple human gesture and in the spirit of the game. For this not to be forthcoming has disappointed us more than anything." Cardiff owner Vincent Tan has pledged to reimburse all those fans who were on the officially organised coaches.


Transfers

AFC Wimbledon have signed free agent winger Lloyd Sam on a short term deal. The 33 year old former Charlton player was released by MLS side DC United in November. "He's shown us in training that he has ability and he just needs to get the physical side of his game up to speed," said Wimbledon manager Neal Ardley.

As the real Dons make a signing, so too do the franchised version, as MK Dons have also added a free agent to their ranks. This time it is Nigel Reo-Coker, who has been out of work since June when he was released by Norway's IK Start. "We are light in the midfield having lost Alex Gilbey to injury so he provides us with another option there," said MK Dons manager Dan Micciche. "He brings huge experience and great leadership qualities, which will be invaluable to us - we have some big games coming up and he has that experience of how to handle high-pressured situations."

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been granted a mutual termination of his Man Utd contract so the Swede can join Major League Soccer side LA Galaxy. "It is time to move on after two fantastic seasons with Manchester United," Zlatan wrote on Instagram. "Great things also come to an end. Thank you to the club, the fans, the team, the coach, the staff and everybody who shared with me this part of my history."

Anton Postupalenko has left home country Ukraine's Olimpik Donetsk to sign for Belarus side Torpedo Zhodino on a free transfer.

One of MLS's Canadian teams, Montreal Impact, have signed French defender Rudy Camacho from Waasland-Beveren in the Belgian Jupiler Pro League.

HJK Helsinki have taken Egyptian striker Amr Gamal on loan from Al Ahly.


Norn Iron Lose Quartet

Four players are set to be missing from the Northern Ireland team for their friendly on Saturday against South Korea. Southampton midfielder Steven Davis has withdrawn from the squad with a hamstring injury and has now been followed by Hearts forward Kyle Lafferty, who has a thigh problem, Leeds United wideman Stuart Dallas, who also has a thigh issue, and Niall McGinn of Aberdeen, who suffered a groin injury.


Sanchez Initially Asked To Be Left Out Of Chile Squad

Since joining Manchester United in the January transfer window, Chilean superstar Alexis Sanchez has struggled badly to get any kind of form going and has managed just one goal in his ten appearances for the Red Devils. Because of the difficult start to life in Manchester, the 29 year old had asked to be excused from Chile's squad for their friendlies against Sweden and Denmark, until a chat with fellow Manchester-based Chilean Claudio Bravo changed his mind. Sanchez said: "I had asked permission to miss these games but then I thought better and spoke with Claudio and told him that we should all be united." Chile failed to qualify for this summer's World Cup in Russia.


PSG Face Partial Stadium Closure In European Match

UEFA have handed out a partial stadium closure punishment to Paris Saint-Germain following fan disturbances by PSG fans during their Champions League clash with Real Madrid. The North Stand of the Parc des Princes will be shut for their next home European tie and they were also fined £37,000 (is that nearly an hour's wages for Neymar?) by UEFA.


Jose Continues His Lengthy Rant In New Interview

Man Utd manager Jose Mourinho has continued to rail against all that dare to criticise his negative tactics in his latest interview: "I understand the sadness of being knocked out in the Champions League, but I don't understand anything more than that. In the history of football all around the world, not just in England, you had the biggest clubs with the moments of transition, you have the biggest clubs with moments of continuous and permanent victories, and these are phases in the club. Looking to us in the Premier League we have one team, one club clearly better prepared than us in the past few years to be first and we have 18 clubs behind us. One in front of us, 18 behind us. Of course, in the future we want to have 19 clubs behind us but this is the reality, and the reality is for people with a brain, with common sense, with knowledge of what sports is, we are in a moment of transition. And being in a moment of transition and still managing to do what we did last season, and win trophies, and to do what we are trying to do this season, which is still trying to win a trophy and trying to be second... I think we are in a good position." So there we have it, the manager who always claims he does not need time and laughed at managers who talked about transition is asking for more time and says his team is in transition.


Wilshere Out Of England Friendly

I am not sure this actually qualifies as news, it probably would be more newsworthy if Jack Wilshere was fit to play, but Wilshere is set to miss England's friendly with the Netherlands due to an injury. It is amazing that he has managed to amass 34 caps so far.


Sampaoli Sets Out His Tactical Plan

Argentina manager Jorge Sampaoli has revealed his tactical plan for the summer's World Cup in Russia as he reveals Lionel Messi will carry the team on his shoulders. Perhaps that might just be a ploy for dealing with high balls into the box on setpieces? "This is going to be his team," Sampaoli said. "Messi is the best of all and is in a stage of maturity that can he can carry the team on his shoulders. It is more his team than mine."


Southgate Points Out England's Own Problems With Racism

England manager Gareth Southgate has refused to be drawn into public criticism of Russia's problems with racism, instead using the opportunity to point out England's own problems with the blight of racist abuse towards players. Southgate said: "I don't think we should just talk about racism in Russia." Southgate then explained how he had been speaking to education and development manager of Kick It Out, Troy Townsend. "He showed a picture of our under-17s on social media," Southgate continued. "The comments about that team were disgusting. They're part of our England family. We have a club environment at St George's Park. It is our training ground. Our teams mix and the youngsters look up to the senior team. I know most of those young players really closely and I've seen them come through. To see them abused in that way is absolutely disgusting. When we speak about other countries, I find it difficult to deflect what we've seen there. I don't think we should just talk about racism in Russia. We have got to get our own house in order. There are still things going on in our own country around racism that aren't correct. We keep pointing the finger at Russia, where we are going to be guests in the next couple of months, but we haven't resolved the issue in our own country and until we do I think we should stop firing those things off elsewhere."


FIFA Concerned Over Samara Stadium

Russia has been told by FIFA to hurry their World Cup preparations at Samara Arena, which is yet to have a pitch installed. The 45,000 seat stadium has suffered a number of delays due to a complex roof design. Instead of grass, there is an open area covered with tarpaulins and snow due to freezing weather. "Obviously we would expect further progress than this," FIFA's chief competitions official Colin Smith said. "We don't yet have a pitch, and obviously we need to wait for some warmer weather conditions in order to get this pitch installed. There's a huge amount of work still to be done. From the information we've received there's nothing stopping all these areas being completed on time. It just requires commitment and more manpower to get it done on time, and when we talk about on time, we're talking about the commissioning date of the end of April."


Plea First In Ligue 1 To Donate 1%

OGC Nice forward Alassane Plea has become the first player in Ligue 1 to follow Man Utd's Juan Mata in giving 1% of his annual salary to charity, though not through Mata's Common Goal initiative. Instead Plea's club will decide which charity the estimated 14,000 euros will go to. Plea said: "It is partly what Mata has done that made me thinking about the possibility of giving away a percentage of my salary. Simply, from my side, I would prefer to undertake the process through my club because I have complete confidence in the way the money will be used. Which is reassuring."


Guinea-Bissau Hit By Bonus Row

Players for African nation Guinea-Bissau boycotted training on Wednesday, at their training base in France, due to a long-running battle with the national association over unpaid bonuses related to the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.


Germany Keeps 50+1 Rule

Clubs in the top two flights of German football have voted to maintain the 50+1 rule that is coming under increasing scrutiny in recent years. A DFL statement read: "A majority of the members of DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga e.V. voted in favour of a fundamental debate accompanied by the retention of the 50+1 rule. In establishing the prevailing opinion, 18 of the 34 clubs with voting rights approved a proposal by FC St. Pauli on a "process for improving legal certainty and further considerations concerning changes in conditions while retaining the 50+1 rule". Four clubs voted against this formulation of the proposal, with nine abstentions. Three voting clubs in attendance refrained from participating in the vote. The DFL Board will consult on the next steps in the agreed process in the near future and will inform the clubs, followed by a public announcement." They also approved the continued use of the video assistant referee after this season's test ends.


Schalke Unhappy With Meyer's Agent

Schalke have been trying to persuade midfielder Max Meyer to sign a new contract, with his current deal ending in the summer, but the player has rejected two offers of an improved contract. The president, Clemens Tonnies, has claimed that Meyer's agent cancelled a planned meeting at the last moment. Tonnies said: "I had an appointment with Max and his advisor, which was cancelled by his agent on short notice."


Juve To Be MLS All Star Opponents

Juventus have agreed to be the opponents for the forthcoming summer's MLS All Star game, in Atlanta, Georgia on August 1st. Juve president Andrea Agnelli said: "It's an opportunity to get to closer to the passionate American soccer fans. For many years, Juventus has considered the United States and Canada as a crucial market for growing our presence as shown by our opening of our new academics and our digital strategy that has greatly expanded the possibility to connect with fans on this continent. The first team and the game however, will be the main show that Juventus offers and we are proud to be in Atlanta."

Written by Tris Burke



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