FIFA Bans Suarez For Four Months After Biting Chiellini

suarezWorld football governing body, FIFA, have suspended Uruguay star, Luis Suarez, from all football-related activity for four months for biting Italy defender, Giorgio Chiellini, and have also being expelled from the World Cup.

Suarez flew back to Montevideo in disgrace last night after being told his participation in the ongoing 2014 World Cup was over following an unprecedented FIFA punishment.

The Liverpool striker was evicted from Uruguay’s team hotel on Thursday as part of his immediate four-month ban, which would see him miss the opening 13 games for Liverpool next season as well as the next nine competitive Uruguayan international matches

The independent FIFA disciplinary committee, chaired by Claudio Sulser of Switzerland, reached the decision to hand Suarez a World Cup record ban after 10 hours of talks spread over Wednesday night and Thursday morning before it was announced at FIFA’s daily briefing at the Maracana.

The committee took into account that this was the third time Suarez had bitten an opponent, the first, PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal in 2010, for which he received a seven-match ban, and then Chelsea defender, Branislav Ivanovic in 2013, which he got a 10-game ban.

Sulser said: “Such behaviour cannot be tolerated and in particular not at a World Cup when the eyes of millions are on the stars on the field. The disciplinary committee took into account all the factors of the case and the degree of Mr Suarez’s guilt in accordance with the relevant provisions of the code.”

The player and the Uruguay FA had been informed minutes beforehand and the suspension starts with immediate effect.

The Uruguayan Football Association are preparing an appeal against the severity of the sentence, which they describe as an “excessive decision” for which “there was not enough evidence” and also includes a £64,000 fine. But there is no chance of Suarez appearing at Brazil 2014 again and his future at Liverpool is also plunged into uncertainty through the length of the suspension.

Uruguay FA President, Wilmar Valdez, said: “We are preparing our appeal to present to FIFA in the next few hours. It’s an extremely excessive punishment, there was not enough evidence and I have seen more aggressive incidents.

“It feels like Uruguay has been thrown out of the World Cup. We all know what Suarez means to Uruguay and to football around the world. Luis will travel home to recover with his family.”

FIFA’s strict regulations,  barring him from any involvement in football means he cannot even watch Liverpool or Uruguay in action as he is banned from football stadiums and must train alone away from Liverpool’s Melwood training ground.

Even in football exile, Suarez can be sold, which pundits thinks is a strong possibility, but cannot personally join in negotiations in mooted moves to Barcelona or Real Madrid.

The news was greeted with dismay by the Liverpool owners in Boston and the club are taking specialist legal advice before deciding what to do about Suarez.

Given the length of his ban, the Merseyside club, who have not been contacted by FIFA or the Uruguay FA, feel they are being punished for an offence they had no part in.

Chief Executive, Ian Ayre, said: “Liverpool Football Club will wait until we have seen and had time to review the FIFA disciplinary committee report before making any further comment.”

Uruguay face Colombia in the last 16 on Saturday and Central defender, Jose Maria Gimenez, said that the team were “more united than ever”, while the country’s Sports Minister, Liliam Kechichian, commented: “We are hurt by this excessive sanction. Now let’s see how we can help this human being and whether the group can show its class and its love for La Celeste.”

Britain’s FIFA Vice-President, Jim Boyce, said: “The punishment is fully justified. Hopefully he will realise now that behaviour of this type will not be tolerated.”

Under the terms of the ban, Suarez cannot train with Liverpool and is prohibited from entering the confines of any stadium during the period of his suspension.

But Liverpool would not be prevented from selling the former Ajax player this summer should they decide to offload him to another club.

 

 

Is Keshi Brave Enough To Drop Mikel? Obanya Asks

Mikel Obi“The Super Eagles (seem to) choose how to play depending on their opponents and the sight of Di Maria, Higuain and Messi made them raise their game on Wednesday, except for Mikel Obi.”

Sports Journalist, Nnamdi Obanya, said this on Thursday in a conversation with Channels Television’s Chamberlain Usoh on Sunrise Daily.

Providing a post-mortem of Nigeria’s last group game versus Argentina at the World Cup which ended in a 3-2 loss, Obanya said that despite the Eagles’ shaky start in the game they did well by responding quickly to Argentina’s goals.

With Nigeria having qualified for the second round despite the loss, his only fear, however, is if the Super Eagles would be able to repeat the same impressive performance against France because in the Argentina match “there were fortunate moments for us (although) there were unfortunate moments for us (as well).”

He opined that the two goals scored by Ahmed Musa were down to his personal instinct and not necessarily products of the team’ s strategy.

He explained that the team’s coach, Stephen Keshi, usually places Musa on the right but “because of the counter attack and the way it happened, Musa instinctively ran into the left channels which is his (desired) space and credit must go to Emenike and Babatunde for the assists on those goals.”

Speaking further, he said: “Mikel once again did not show up to the party, it’s not enough to play 2 inch passes to the left or to the right or to the player nearest to you.”

Analysing the goals scored by the Argentinians, Obanya said that the Eagles must work on their technical disciple as regards defending set pieces because the lapses could be costly as the second round match against France beckons. However, Obanya cautiously expressed belief that Nigeria could beat the French, “not because Nigeria is so good but because France have their own personal self-destruct buttons.”

Obanya referred to game between France and Ecuador and the inability of the French team to take their chances and take advantage of the Ecuadorians being one man down for a massive period in the game.

He added that Nigeria must not be too happy, however, as the French Coach has said that his team would fight in their next game, obviously upset at the outcome of the last group game in which they played a frustrating scoreless draw.

Making suggestions on how to stop France, Obanya posited that the full backs would have to help in attack but must master the art of tracking back to defend when they lose the ball, as in the Argentina game, both Ambrose Efe and Juwon Oshaniwa got caught out a number of times; again he put the blame on Mikel Obi.

“The reason you have holding midfielders is that when your wing backs go forward, your holding midfielder should drop in-between your two centre-backs, allow them to spread and give your fullbacks time to come back. Now you have a standing 3-man defence at least to cope with whatever is coming.

“If Mikel is going to be so static and sit just in front of the defence, and Onazi has to be the water carrier in the midfield, it means that when there’s an attack, Mikel needs to come back and sit but he’s not marking, he’s not going forward.”

Chamberlain drew attention to the attacking forays of Mikel in the recent games but Obanya believes that “he gets lost just before the final third.”

“As a number 10 or a playmaker, your job is to get in that role and play triangles between the wide man and the striker, so that whoever is the third person in the three behind the striker can act as a second runner into the box or can also hover around.

“(And) If you’re going to sit so deep as a Pirlo, you had better have perfect passes and you have to help out the defence. If you’re not going to sit between the defence when Nigeria is being attacked then it does not pay Nigeria to have you sit in so deep; against France, we can’t afford that.

“I’ve been asking, is Keshi brave enough to drop Mikel?” Obanya said, naming Michael Babatunde as the possible option to come into the number 10 role and let Onazi sit.

Babatunde’s injury in the game against Argentina, however, seemed to have put an end to the role of the midfielder in the 2014 World Cup after being hit by a shot from his teammate, Ogenyi Onazi; an incident Obanya blamed on the non-tactical but more physical nature of the Eagles’ training.

“You’re going to need as much mobility against France; I’m not sure Mikel is that mobile”, Obanya said.

He also suggested the return of Victor Moses to the team as he could be deployed as an attacking midfielder. He noted, “Some players need to be given that liberty to roam.”

Nigeria Qualifies For Round Of 16 Despite 3-2 Loss To Argentina

Nig vs ArgentinaNigeria has qualified for the round of 16 in the on going Brazil 2014 FIFA Wold Cup  despite losing gallantly to Argentina by 3-2 in Port Alegre.

Lionel Messi scored in the 3rd minute to give Argentina the lead but Ahmed Musa got a much needed equaliser to level up for the African champions.

Messi then scored a wonderful free kick at the stroke of half time but the Super Eagles never gave up, as Musa scored a perfect goal after a nice run of play from the Nigeria midfield.

Argentina were not done as they got a goal from a corner kick by  Marcos Rojo after a sloppy defending by the Nigerian defence.

Thus, Nigeria became the first African country to qualify for  the 2014 World Cup round of 16 while Joseph Yobo made history as he became the first Nigerian to get 100 caps for the Super Eagles.

In the other group F match, Bosnia-Herzegovina bowed out of the World Cup with a 3-1 win over Iran. Goals from  Edin Dzeko, Miralem Pjanic and  Avdija Vrsajevic ensured that they beat the Carlo Quieroz led side who scored a consolation goal by  Reza Ghoochannejhad.

Nigeria will be joined by table-toppers Argentina in the knock out stages while Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iran will be booking the next flight to their various countries.

 

Del Bosque Must Take The Blame For Spain’s Exit – Obanya

Del bosqueSports Journalist, Nnamdi Obanya, admits that the exit of world champions, Spain in the first round of the World Cup had become a trend but not an excuse for a talented team.

Speaking on Channels Television, Obanya said that the older generation of the Spanish team had been pushed to remain in the squad for too long when their bodies could no longer cope at the highest level.

He explained that Chile’s first goal sums up the sad story of Spain, with 3 defenders escorting 2 Chilean attackers all the way to their own goal territory and eventually allowing the goal.

On the view that the “tiki-taka” style of play having been found out by other teams could be the reason for Spain’s failure, Obanya said that the style had always been what the team was built around.

He noted that as much as the likes of Ramos and Torres – who aren’t Barcelona players – may want to ditch the tiki-taka style of play, the engine room of the team has been tiki-taka and they do not have a choice.

He blamed the Spanish Coach, Vicente Del Bosque for failing to inject younger players into his team for the tournament, as this has been the major reason they have failed.

He noted, however, that nothing should be taken away from the Chilean players as they had a lot of quality in their team. They, according to him, out-muscled Spain on every part of the pitch and ended up putting Iniesta under the pressure of trying to do too much.

Obanya also expressed satisfaction at the way Australia played against Holland. He noted that their attacking style against a good Dutch team was good for the tournament. He also had good words for the goal scored by Tim Cahill, refereeing to it as one of the best. “They should hold their heads high”, he said.

Obanya, however, had tough words for the Nigerian Super Eagles.

“Unlike Iran, Bosnia is more ruthless”, he said, wondering if Nigeria could handle the fire power of the Bosnians.

He, however, said that Nigeria has the habit of playing to the strength of their opponents, a statement which meant they could up their game against Bosnia.

He suggested that the best way for Nigeria to stop Bosnia was to get a physical midfielder to break up the Bosnian attack and also one who could play behind the striker, Emmanuel Emenike, to knock down services for him.

Obanya also wants to see Osaze Odemwingie starting the next match with Ramon Azeez benched as he lacked the physicality needed against the tall and bullish Bosnians.

On allegations that Osaze did not play to instructions given by Coach Stephen Keshi in the first game, Obanya asked “What instruction?”

 

World Cup Opening Ceremony Was Flat – Analyst

Nnamdi Obanya,Nigerian Sports Journalist, Nnamdi Obanya, believes that the Brazil World Cup Opening Ceremony was bright, colourful but boring.

He was a guest on Channels Television where he spoke about the mundial less than 24 hours after it kicked off at the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo.

He cited several factors that created the view that this was not a befitting opening for the competition of such magnitude. He said that while the theme song had failed to impress, the sound problem experienced during the performance also added to his disappointment.

“It was Brazil, we expected all the capoeira, and carnival atmosphere…It was a very flat opening ceremony.

“South Africa’s Opening Ceremony made this look like a high school play. It was fantastic and this was flat”, he said.

The compensation for him, however, was that immediately after the ceremony, “the real fireworks” started with the hosts, Brazil defeating Croatia in an exciting and tense opening match.

The Real Super Eagles

Obanya also responded to Nigerian Attacker, Ahmed Musa, who was quoted in the dailies to have promised that Nigerians would see the real Super Eagles when the competition starts in Brazil.

“They are just saying the right things. We’ve had Emenike and Mikel fight, we’ve heard that Ahmed Musa is not fit to play, there is a lot of news coming that is not too good.

“Perhaps they’re trying to keep their spirit up. They are doing the right thing and saying the right things, if they can translate that unto the pitch, all good for them, but we will wait and see if the real Super Eagles as they claim would show up.”

Obanya, who admitted that he had always maintained blind loyalty towards Nigeria, noted that if he would be analytical and pensive, he was really worried.

He also confirmed the unavailability the team’s regular left-back, Elderson Echiejile, whom he said had already been replaced by Ejike Uzoenyi, who has already landed in Brazil and taken over the number 3 jersey vacated by Echiejile after the injury that ruled him out of the competition.

“Realistically, we can qualify from the group; we’ll most likely qualify second behind Argentina and we’ll be immediately thrown up against France. That’s a free scoring, very fast and young France. I haven’t seen France this agile since France 98”, he feared.

Obanya also provided expert analysis of the opening match between Brazil and Croatia. He believes that while Croatia did well by taking the fight to Brazil, they played to the strength of the Brazilian defence.

He predicts a very difficult World Cup whose winner would be hard to predict as all past winners are present at the tournament and gunning for glory.

World Cup: Police Ban Viewing Centres In Plateau

viewing centreFootball fans across Plateau State will not have the opportunity of watching the World Cup matches at designated viewing centres.

The State Police Command has placed a ban on football viewing centres across the local government areas in the state for security reasons.

In a press release signed by the Police Public Relations Officer, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Dominic Esin, the precautionary measure was aimed at forestalling warnings of impending attacks on viewing centres by any person or group of persons and to secure an atmosphere of peace and security in the state.

The statement further advised football fans to stay away from such viewing centres and watch all the matches of the World Cup in their respective homes as any violation of the order would be met with prosecution.

Earlier in June, a bomb blast targeting football fans at a viewing centre in Mubi in Adamawa State, northeast Nigeria had killed several people.

World Cup: I Already Know My Super Eagles’ Final 23 Men – Keshi

KeshiThe Head Coach of the World Cup bound Super Eagles of Nigeria, Stephen Keshi, says he already had an idea of his final 23-man list to the global tournament in Brazil.

Keshi made this revelation on Friday after the team had their first training session at the Philadelphia Eagles Stadium in Philadelphia, United States.

The world football governing body, FIFA, had set Monday June 2 as the deadline for all participating teams to submit their final list and Keshi said that he was willing to take full advantage of the time left by only revealing his list on the said date.

The Media Officer of the Senior National Team, Ben Alaiya, was said to have quoted Keshi saying, “I have an idea of those who will go with us to Brazil but we will still wait till the last minute before we announce the list.”

This deliberate delay, according to the Big Boss, would enable him do double checks on the list and the possibility of finding those who may not measure up when hostilities start in Brazil.

While expressing satisfaction at the fitness and tactical readiness of his team, Keshi noted that there was a need to be cautious.

The Super Eagles played out a 2-2 draw with Scotland in an earlier played warm up match and would be squaring up against 2004 European Champions, Greece, as well as the USA.

The FIFA World Cup, Brazil 2014, kicks off – amidst protests by citizens over monies spent – on June 12 and ends on July 13, 2014.

Nigeria has been placed in Group F alongside South American football giant, Argentina; Iran and debutant, Bosnia & Herzegovina, who boast of the most potent attack of all teams at the tournament en route qualification.

Roundup On ‘Sports This Morning’ – April 4, 2014

Sports This MorningThis is the Friday edition of ‘Sports This Morning’ on your award winning Channels Television.

Yemi Adebayo takes us on a trip starting with top stories in the world of sports.

The countdown to FIFA World Cup, Brazil 2014 continues with 69 days to the biggest football event on the planet; we look at the readiness of Brazil to host the world and also focus one of the teams that the world would be expecting to make clear statements at the tournament, the Azzurri.

Meanwhile, the question on everybody’s lips is who wins the Women’s FIFA U-17 World Cup? Is it going to be Japan or Spain? You may have found out the winner but the analysis on this edition of the show would be a delight.

In the Nigerian Glo Premier League, the League Management Company has granted Nembe City FC provisional admission into the league after the club met conditions set by the body.

We also bring you some analysis of the great boxing match-up that promises to be a classic. Timothy Bradley says he is ready to prove doubters wrong by beating Filipino boxer Manny Pacquaio in their scheduled rematch.

Let’s also take you to South America, Argentina to be precise, as Boca Juniors takes on River Plate.

 

I Have Nothing To Prove To Chelsea – Drogba

Didier DrogbaDidier Drogba will have to fight hard to control his emotions when he returns to Stamford Bridge for Galatasaray’s Champions League last-16 second leg against Chelsea, the Ivorian said on the eve of Tuesday’s (March 18) match.

The 36-year-old striker ended a glittering eight-year career with the London club by scoring the winning penalty in the 2012 Champions League shootout victory over Bayern Munich in the final at the Allianz Arena.

After a hesitant start to Galatasaray’s pre-match news conference, Drogba had the reporters in stitches.

“I’ll ask myself the first question,” he said. ‘Didier, how do you feel about returning to Stamford Bridge?

“Well, I’m really happy to come back and to see some familiar faces for a big game in a big competition.

“It’s very difficult to play against Chelsea but it’s not going to be difficult for me to put myself in competition with them because now I belong to Galatasaray and I need to be professional,” said Drogba.

“Of course there will be emotion playing against my ex-team mates, like there was in the first leg,” he added in reference to the opening match in Istanbul that ended in a 1-1 draw.

The big, powerful centre forward was once voted the best player in Chelsea’s history and he said he did not know how he would react if he scored a goal on Tuesday.

Drogba said if he scores against the Blues he might not celebrate the goal, adding: “I have nothing to prove to this club everything I had to prove I proved it with Chelsea. Now I come here with another team and I just want to win the game, I just want to qualify, there is nothing personal against Chelsea, there will never be.”

Drogba also won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and two League Cups at Chelsea, scoring 157 goals in 341 appearances between 2004 and 2012.

Fernando Torres gave Chelsea an early lead in Istanbul but Galatasaray equalised through Aurelien Chedjou to leave the tie delicately balanced in Chelsea’s favour.

Galatasaray Coach, Roberto Mancini used to be in charge at Manchester City and said he had good memories of his time in the English Premier league.

However, turning to the task at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday, the Italian said: “We know it is really difficult because Chelsea is one of the best teams in Europe, but in football, never say never, anything can happen if you believe in yourself and we want to do a good job tomorrow.”

Brazil: Rio Protest Over Transport Fare Rise Ends In Violence

Hundreds of people in Brazil have clashed with Police during a protest against increased fares for public transport.

Commuters were caught up in the violence at Rio de Janeiro’s central station during rush hour.

Riot Police fired tear gas and tried to disperse the crowd, while activists hurled stones and petrol bombs.

A cameraman was in a serious condition in hospital after suffering a head injury.

Six other people were also injured and at least 20 protesters were arrested.

In 2013, similar protests grew into a nationwide movement against corruption and excessive spending ahead of the football World Cup, which Brazil will host in June and July.

Super Eagles’ Coach, Keshi Optimistic Of Good World Cup Performance

Super Eagles’ coach, Stephen Keshi, has expressed optimism that his team will put up an impressive performance at the FIFA World Cup, scheduled to kick off on June 12 in Brazil.

In an interview with FIFA.com, Keshi says he believes in the technical ability of the team, pointing out that the experience from the African Nations Championship also brought some good lessons that would aid preparations for the World Cup.

“It was good to spend five weeks together. These players are doing well and that is the bottom line. They will have a chance to be called up for the World Cup, though it is too early to name any names. That will happen closer to the time. Nigerians expect a lot from the team at the World Cup, so we will have to work very hard and make sure we can make them and ourselves proud,” he said.

The former Super Eagles captain used the opportunity to assure players in the domestic league that they had a chance of making the World Cup team if they performed impressively.

“I have worked with them. They know what I want; I know the standard I want them to be at before they can play. I have studied the players and managed to instil confidence in them. Once achieving those goals, they are ready to go, just like the professional players in Europe.”

Rejecting Foreign Assistant Offer

Meanwhile, the 2013 AFCON winning coach Stephen Keshi is in disagreement with his employers, the Nigeria Football Federation, after rejecting the offer of having a foreign assistant.

Keshi made it known that he had established a working experience with his current assistants and back room staff and would even prefer the reinstatement of his former assistant , Sylvanus Okpala, who was laid off after the last year’s African Cup of Nations victory in South Africa.

The Chief Coach said: “Nigeria is such a big country, blessed with a lot of talents. There are so many competent coaches in this country. It is nothing personal.”

Santos To Sue Neymar’s Father

The controversy surrounding Brazilian star Neymar’s move to Spain is yet to stop as his father is to face legal action from Santos over his refusal to show the club details of the deal he made with Barcelona in 2011.

The club is furious that Neymar’s father would only verbally tell them details of the deal and are taking legal action against him, while criticising Barcelona’s tactics in the transfer saga.

Another unhappy party involved in the complex transfer is the DIS Group, which claims that the 21 year old had broken the terms and conditions of their deal by not telling them about Barca’s offer in 2011.

The Catalan giants paid Neymar’s father 10million pounds  up front over two years ago – with the other 30milion  pounds  to be paid following an eventual transfer – to ensure that he helped ease through the deal at the expense of other interested clubs, such as Real Madrid.