Barcelona In Cup Danger Over ‘Ineligible Player’ Complaint

Barcelona could be thrown out of the Copa del Rey amid claims B team player Juan ‘Chumi’ Brandariz (left) was suspended and ineligible to play against Levante. Credit: Getty Images


Barcelona face being thrown out of the Copa del Rey after Levante’s president confirmed they will complain the Catalan club fielded an ineligible player in the first leg of their last 16 tie.

Levante won the opening match 2-1 last week and believe Barca defender Juan Brandariz ‘Chumi’ played illegally as he should have been serving a suspension.

“Whatever happens on the field of play today, Levante are going to take this situation to the Federation tomorrow,” Levante president Francisco Javier Catalan said, shortly before the second leg at the Camp Nou on Thursday.

“We feel that there is a solid enough precedent to back up the club’s decision to do so.”

Chumi was given a ban after receiving a yellow card while playing for Barcelona’s B team in the Segunda B division.

Barcelona insist a change in the rules, made in November, means the suspension does not carry over into the Copa del Rey.

A source at Barcelona had told AFP Sport earlier on Thursday: “There has been no improper conduct nor a complaint from either Levante or the RFEF.”

Real Madrid were disqualified from the Copa del Rey in 2015 for fielding Denis Cheryshev, despite the player being suspended.

Cheryshev had received three yellow cards while playing for Villarreal in the competition in the previous season.


Rising Stars Of Akure To Recruit New Players

Football Legends Beat Iraq Team In Basra
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Rising Stars Football Club of Akure says it will hold trials on Monday to recruit players below the age of 19 for the club.

The Manager of the team, Seun Betiku, gave the hint during a press conference on Saturday in Akure, the Ondo State capital.

According to him, the emphasis on players at the U-19 level was to ensure that talents were discovered and nurtured in their prime.

Betiku, however, noted that the trial was for young footballers residing in the state.

“The team is being refocused to discover talents, sell to Europe and promote to the main team, Sunshine Stars.

“This is also a way to generate IGR for the state from the sale of players to clubs outside the country,” he said.

Betiku informed that the club’s decision followed the disbandment of the players who represented the club in the last season’s Nationwide League One (NLO).

“The players we will be needing amongst our old players will be re-invited to the team in due course,” he said.

Santos Star;Neymar Launches Comic Book

[highlight]Brazilian football star Neymar was on hand for the launch of his own comic book.[/highlight]

The 68-page comic ‘Neymar Jr.’ is scheduled to be released monthly.

The Santos star joins the ranks of Pelé and Ronaldinho in an elite group of soccer stars to have been drawn by Brazilian cartoonist Mauricio de Sousa.

The strip follows in the tradition of comics such as Roy of the rovers, a British comic about the life of a fictional footballer named Roy Race.

Speculation is rife over whether a heavily-pocketed European club could lure the highest paid Brazilian player away from his native country continue ahead of the 2014 world cup.

Siasia Looking Forward To Harambee Stars’ Coaching Job

Former Super Eagles Coach Samson Siasia has indicated his interest in the Kenyan National Team Coaching job which is presently vacant.

Siasia expressed excitement in getting the coaching job, describing it as an ‘exciting opportunity’ if he gets the Harambee Stars job as he is looking forward to an invitation by the Kenyan Federation.

Kenya is in the same group as Nigeria in the FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifiers – both teams will meet on the 22nd of March 2013 in Nigeria.

Siasia who started his career in the game of football as a player of the National Team; the Super Eagles of Nigeria paid his dues as a player and has been through the rudiment as a player, growing into a team coach from the  Nigerian club sides into managing the several national Team of Nigeria in the different cadres.

Siasia started in 2004 as an assistant coach to the Nigeria national team; the Super Eagles and he was later appointed coach of the Nigeria U-20 team; the Flying Eagles in 2004, and he was victorious with the Flying Eagles having Won the U-20 African Youth Championship in Benin in 2005.

In the same 2005, Siasia Qualified the Nigeria U-20 team Flying Eagles for the U-20 World Youth Championship and led the squad to the championship but finished second after leading them into the finals.

He was later appointed the coach of Nigeria’s U-23 dream team in 2007 and 2008 he and the Dream Team won the inaugural Intercontinental Cup in Malaysia.

The U-23 dream team also qualified for the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and ended playing second to Argentina after reaching the finals of the Olympics football tournament, he was later appointed the Head Coach of the National team the Super eagles in 2010, a position he stepped down from a dismal performance.

Siasia reacted saying “Managing the Kenyan national team would be an exciting opportunity for me. They have such enormous talent, with players in the local leagues and in Europe. It would not take so long before they become a formidable force in football,” the tactician said.


Partizan Belgrade Denies Markovic’s Sale To Chelsea

Reports making the rounds in England is that European Champions Chelsea have landed themselves a news signing, Serbian Lazar Markovic from Partizan Belgrade as Partizan and Stamford Bridge club are close to signing a deal on the youngster from Serbia.

The club’s management openly denied this move, saying the player is not due to leave the club until 2016 as the 18 year old signed professional forms with Partizan Belgrade in 2011 on a five year deal, which has made it impossible for the player to leave the club until July 2016.

Despite being only 18 years old Markovic has already represented his country. He made his debut early this year and became the youngest player ever to represent the Serbian national team. He currently has five caps to his name.

Markovic is represented by LIAN Sports and that’s the same agent group who brought Matija Nastasic and Marko Marin to the Premier League last summer. They also have Stevan Jovetic and Adem Ljajic as clients and both have been rumoured to be a targets for Chelsea several times. Linking the players with moves to Chelsea helps increase their profile and availability and is often followed by interviews in the press from the agency.

The rumours of a deal have been followed by a denial from Partizan and their sporting director Ljubisa Tumbakovic is quoted by as saying “I swear on my mother, I know nothing about it. On Saturday I spoke with the president Dragan Djuric and he confirmed that he knew nothing of a transfer of Markovic to Chelsea. Perhaps journalists are better informed than us.”

And right on queue his agent has been quoted by the same outlet as saying a deal won’t happen in January “Markovic has a contract with Partizan. Move in January? I can assure you that [a move] will not start in the next session of the market and then we’ll see.”

LIAN Sports are increasingly seeking out opportunities in England for their players and the reported interest in Markovic coincides with a growing awareness of young talent in Serbian football.

Arsenal has also been linked with both Markovic and Ljajic recently.

Juventus return very possible – Fabio Cannavaro

Former Juventus player Fabio Cannavaro has revealed that if the Italian club calls for his return to the club to replace banned coach Antonio Conte,it will be difficult for him to turn them down.

Now Al Ahli adviser Cannvaro who is 38 years old played 127 games for his former club and scored just seven goals in his double spell with Juventus as a player and if what is making the round is true he will be a possible replacement for Conte who was banned for match-fixing and has commenced a ten-month ban.

Conte, 43, was suspended on Friday by the Italian Football Federation for allegedly failing to alert authorities to an attempted fix while he was coach of Sienna.

Cannavaro will be counting himself lucky for this offer as he only obtained his coaching licence last week.

Conte’s assistant Angelo Alessio was also banned, leaving another member of the coach’s coaching staff Massimo Carrera to oversee Juventus’ 4-2 win over Napoli in the Supercoppa Italiana in Beijing on Saturday.

In the meantime, Cannavaro’s potential interest in the Juve job, along with his newly acquired coaching credentials, could signal an end to his two-year association with Al Ahli.