Showing Racism The Red Card

Before the start of the new English Premier League and Football League season, players will receive guidance from the Professional Footballers’ Association about tackling racist language.

According to a release by the PFA, managers of all 92 clubs have been contacted by the Association asking them to ensure the players attend the sessions that will focus on what is considered banter or acceptable jibes towards opponents and what is not.

PFA Chief Executive, Gordon Taylor confirmed the decision to educate players: “Racism is still a significant problem in football; we need to avoid any embarrassment again after recent cases.”

In the interactive sessions, players will be given scenarios where abuses can occur; either from fans or from other players and be guided on the correct response to give.  They will also be warned not to use discriminatory language referring to religion or disability.

The new FA sanctions carry a minimum five-match ban for a first offence of racist or homophobic abuse. In the last two seasons, Chelsea’s defender John Terry and Liverpool’s Luis Suarez have both received bans for racial abuse.

The letter from the PFA to the managers states that “We are looking to arrange this session in the near future and would appreciate you ensuring players attend as a matter of priority.”

CAF Champions League: Rangers Held To A Draw

[highlight]Enugu Rangers, Nigeria’s representative in the 2013 CAF Champions League could only scrape a 0-0 draw against Angola’s Recreativo Libolo on home soil at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium yesterday.[/highlight]

With this result, Enugu Rangers has boxed itself and its chances of moving to the next round of the competition as they will hold by the Angolan club for the second leg in a fortnight to end the third round tie which will determine who moves on or bow out.

It was rather unfortunate for Rangers as from the blow of the whistle, it was an attacking strategy but for the Angolan keeper Landu ensured that Rangers didn’t get the much desired win on home soil as he stopped all efforts to get the ball behind him failed even though Rangers were gifted an opportunity to lead through Emeka Eze in the dying minute but he went off target, ending the game at a drab 0-0 draw.

Goalkeeper Chigozie Agbim captained Enugu Rangers into the encounter. it would be recalled that Agbim and another Rangers players Sunday Mba were in the heat of a transfer saga that left Rangers an option of paying quickly for Agbim’s transfer fee to Warri Wolves to ensure the goalkeeper get registered for the encounter because Agbim was the only fit goalkeeper Rangers could boast ahead of the CAF Champion league clash of Sunday.

Valdes Not Leaving Barcelona –Report

Reports that Barcelona’s number one shot stopper; Victor Valdes could be leaving the Catalans for has been negated as it has been confirmed by the club management that Valdes will continue to man the goalpost for Barcelona.

He’s been the man behind the goalpost of the Catalans for over a decade now, but lately he’s been the subject of negative press, but despite the rumour mill that Valdes is no longer gaining favour from the club management and fans’ alike, the speculation was brought to rest by the club management after the rumour that the Spaniard does not have a future anymore with the Catalan club was tagged silly.

It all started when Valdes commented on his future saying he was not sure as he is yet to begin talks with the club on a new contract and the media latched on it saying he was not sure what the future held for him and Valdes’ loyalty to Barcelona was questioned.

The rumour got rife even more when Marca reported that Valdes’ agent, Gines Carvajal, stated that negotiations had not begun despite the words of Barcelona director Andoni Zubizarreta.

In fact, Valdes even stated that he would talk about his future with Barcelona when the time is right.

The pure speculation that Valdes could want a move away from the club has prompted clubs such as Liverpool to ponder a move for the Catalan keeper.

The media left out an important fact in the same interview the media claimed Valdes commented on his leaving Barca, when Valdes said that “My dream is to retire here…time will tell.” a statement that the club director; Andoni Zubizaretta had to look into after which he decided to clear the air on the speculations which had already lit up like a wild fire.

The Barcelona director clearly made known that Valdes has made no mention of wanting to leave the club.

Zubizarreta was also outspoken on the love that Barcelona has for Victor Valdes as it appears as though both parties involved want the keeper to remain at Barcelona.

Chelsea on the verge of losing Neymar to Barca

London club Chelsea may have to do without Brazilian playmaker; Neymar (possibly to replace Ivorien Didier Drogba) if nothing extra is done to lure the player to England, as his Brazilian team-mate Dani Alves urged him to join Barcelona.

Neymar a long-term target of Chelsea may move to Spain instead of the Premier League after Barcelona right back Alves said he would be a success at the Nou Camp.

Chelsea also has Brazilian stars such as Oscar who could sway Neymar to join Stamford Bridge, if the need arises.

Alves said “Obviously anybody would want to play for Barcelona,” Alves said.

“If Barcelona is interested in Neymar and if next month, next year or in two years he comes, I don’t know.

“I hope he does come here because, as I’ve already said, he would get better as a player and he would also improve the team.”

20-year-old Brazil striker would have been signed by the Blues last summer but according to report, the deal didn’t go well.

Manchester City on Fabregas’ track

Current English Premier League Champions Manchester City is said to be on the trail of Spain and Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas possibly to launch an eye-popping bid for his signature.

This is coming after the English enquired about the player’s availability to know if it is possible to whisk the Spaniard to England.

It will be recalled the Spanish international has been a shadow of himself since joining Barcelona in 2011 compared to his days at the Emirates where day in day out he is sure of a starting shirt but it’s now the reverse at Nou Camp which in clear term Fabregas is not happy about.

As a fresh 16 year old, Fabregas moved from Barcelona’s La Masia academy to Gunners’ club Arsenal where he spent eight years.

The attacking midfielder has maintained his connection with the Gunners despite eventually returning home last year and today he revealed he would have happily stayed at Arsenal for the rest of his career had Barca not come calling.

Now though Manchester City are seemingly interested in testing his loyalty to Arsenal by approaching Barcelona over his availability according to reports, Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova is growing increasingly angry at Manchester City’s approaches for his players, and is not willing to sell anyone he considers as ‘essential’ anytime soon.

John Terry retires from international football

John Terry has announced his retirement from international football.

This was a personal and difficult decision for John to take as playing for and captaining his country was a boyhood dream.

John first represented England in June 2003 against Serbia and Montenegro.

John George Terry plays in a centre back position for the Three Lions also the captain of Chelsea in the Premier League. He was also captain of the England national football team, holding the post from August 2006 to February 2010 and from March 2011 to February 2012.

Terry was named UEFA Club Defender of the Year in 2005, 2008 and 2009. PFA Players’ Player of the Year in 2005, and was included in the FIFPro World XI for four consecutive seasons, from 2005 to 2008. He was also named in the all-star squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the only English player to make the team. He wears the number 26 shirt for Chelsea.

Terry is Chelsea’s most successful captain, having led them to three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups and a UEFA Champions League since 2004. He is one of five players to have made over 500 appearances for Chelsea and is also the club’s all-time highest scoring defender.

In 2007, he became the first captain to lift the FA Cup at the new Wembley Stadium in Chelsea’s 1–0 win over Manchester United, and also the first player to score an international goal there, scoring a header in England’s 1–1 draw with Brazil.

The 31-year-old was named England captain in August 2006 and went on to lead his country 34 times.

John also won nine caps at Under-21 level.

Champions League: Juventus 2-2 draw dampens Chelsea

European champions, Chelsea were left stunned by Italian Club Juventus last night at Stamford Bridge as the visitor rallied from a two-goal deficit for a 2-2 draw, thanks to Fabio Quagliarella’s brace in the 80th minute souring the Blues’ Champions League title defense.

Chelsea’s Oscar scored on long-range shots in the 31st and 33rd minutes, the first deflecting off Leonardo Bonucci into the corner of the net and the second a superb curler from the edge of the penalty area.

Arturo Vidal reduced the deficit in the 38th for Juventus, making its return to the competition after a three-year absence. Quagliarella tied the score six minutes after entering the match.

Chelsea Manager lamented saying “We are disappointed and a little bit deflated to get in a great position to win the game and come away with only a draw,”

The Manager said further that Chelsea should have closed the game.

AVB may join Inter Milan next season

The most recent coach butt-kicked by Chelsea owner Abramovich for non-performance in the month of March; Andre Villas-Boas will likely be resuming a new coaching role with Italian giants Inter Milan next season.

AVB will be replacing Claudio Ranieri as Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti has not been able to hide away his admiration for the former Chelsea boss as it was said that the Italian club President will be making a move on the Portuguese two weeks before he was sacked by Abramovich.

According to report,AVB has been offered the coaching job for the Italian club and if Villas-Boas accepts the offer to be the coach of Inter Milan it counts as the third step the Portuguese will be taking following that of his compatriot Jose Mourinho.

Going by records,Villas-Boas’ first steps in management came at Porto, where he also won domestic and European honours like his predecessor Jose Mourinho who left the Portuguese club to be engaged as Chelsea boss.

With Mourinho leaving Chelsea,AVB was recruited by Roman Abramovich to come over to Stamford Bridge but the difference was quickly noted at Stanford bridge where there was no happiness in the dressing room and his coaching career at Chelsea didnt end like it should.

Mourinho left Milan for Real Madrid in 2010 after winning his second European Cup with the Italain Club and by AVB’s acceptance of Massimo Moratti’s offer means the comparision continues only that a chance of career resurrection is opened again for Villas-Boas as the coaches before Jose Mourinho have all failed to carry the club high. It is now left for Villas-Boas to raise the bar of success and put his name in the record books of the club and world club football as Moratti will be willing to be very patient with the 34-year old coach form Portugal.

Can AVB change the face of history?