Father Of England’s Maguire Broke Ribs In Wembley Chaos

Maguire’s family including his father, Alan (right). Photo: Daisssmaguire

 

Alan Maguire, 56, and the Manchester United player’s agent Kenneth Shepherd were trampled by unruly ticketless fans before the match between England and Italy at London’s Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

“It was not a nice experience — it shook him up. It was scary. I don’t want anyone to experience that at a football match,” Maguire told British tabloid The Sun.

Alan Maguire did not ask for medical treatment despite his injuries as England supporters overwhelmed security staff to enter the stadium and occupy the seats of paying spectators.

“My dad’s a big fan — he got on with it. He was struggling with his breathing because of his ribs, but he’s not one to make a big fuss,” the 28-year-old footballer was quoted as saying.

“He was fortunate as every game he has been to he has had my nephew or one of my kids on his shoulders.”

European football’s governing body UEFA on Tuesday charged England’s Football Association over the unsavoury scenes at the final and will appoint an “ethics and disciplinary inspector” to investigate the pre-match disorder.

The infractions included fans booing Italy’s national anthem, the lighting of a firework, a mid-game pitch invasion and supporters throwing objects.

London’s police force said it made 86 arrests and that 19 of its officers were injured in connection with managing the Euro 2020 final.

It also said it would look at reports of racist abuse of the three black England players who missed penalties, which has sparked an outpouring of support for them from fans.

A petition to permanently ban racists from football matches, created in response to the abuse, has garnered more than one million signatures in just two days.

Maguire condemned the behaviour of unruly fans at the match, calling it “totally wrong” and said his father would still go to games but would now be more aware.

“Things could have been a lot worse but we have to make sure it does not happen again,” he added.

Italy won the match 3-2 on penalties following a 1-1 draw after extra time to claim their first European Championships title since 1968.

AFP

No Need For Liverpool Panic After Wembley Loss, Says Van Dijk

Liverpool’s Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk acknowledges supporters during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Huddersfield at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on April 26, 2019. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Virgil van Dijk says Liverpool “shouldn’t panic” after their Community Shield loss, especially after they bounced back from defeat in last year’s season curtain-raiser to romp to the Premier League title.

Arsenal emerged victorious at an empty Wembley on Saturday, winning 5-4 on penalties after Jurgen Klopp’s men had come from behind to draw 1-1 in normal time.

“During the whole game we played well, dominated, pressed them well and created many chances,” the Dutch defender told Liverpool’s website.

“Obviously in the end penalties is just a lottery and anything can happen.

“We are disappointed but we have to move on. Last year we lost on penalties as well (against Manchester City) and we won the league so we shouldn’t panic, but obviously we wanted to win today.”

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the winning penalty at the end of a match that started with the Arsenal skipper scoring a superb early opener.

January acquisition Takumi Minamino came off the bench to level, with his first Liverpool goal capping a promising display by the Japan international.

Liverpool kick off their Premier League title defence at home to Championship winners Leeds on September 12, when Arsenal travel to promoted Fulham in the early kick-off.

Mikel Arteta’s men go into the campaign buoyed by August’s FA Cup and Community Shield wins, with Kieran Tierney excited by the way things are going.

“The spirit is one of the main things in the changing room, belief and spirit, and we’ve got that, we’re building on it,” he said.

“We’re just looking to continue and keep building this way.

“I think that comes from the manager and the staff. It’s continued from what we’ve done last season and building on it. ”

He said the fans and the club deserved Champions League football.

“They deserve to be top four and we want to do as well as we can, as best as we can and put up a fight in every single game we come up against this year,” Tierney added.

AFP

Tottenham Extend Wembley Stay While Awaiting New Stadium

Tottenham’s plans to move into their new stadium next month have been derailed CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES

 

Tottenham announced on Wednesday they will stay at Wembley until at least the end of February as their frustrating wait to move into their new stadium goes on.

The Premier League home games against Watford, Newcastle and Leicester will all be at the national stadium as the finishing touches are put on their new 62,000-seater home.

The Champions League last-16 home leg with Borussia Dortmund on February 13 will also be played at Wembley.

Chairman Daniel Levy has apologised to supporters and hopes to provide a further update in the next few weeks.

The club are working with contractors and local authorities to determine a schedule for further testing and sign-offs, including the official test events.

Spurs are confident they will move into their own ground this season, with the home game against Crystal Palace in the middle of March a potential date.

“I should like to apologise to our fans and thank you for your continued patience,” Levy said in a statement on the club’s official website.

“The response from those who attended the familiarisation event was great to hear and reinforced our commitment to deliver an exceptional match-day experience for everyone.”

Spurs, currently third in the Premier League, were originally due to move into their new home for the start of this season before putting that back to September.

They have an agreement with Wembley to stay there for the rest of the campaign if necessary.

AFP

Wembley ‘Best Place’ For Football, Says Spurs Boss Pochettino

Wembley Stadium in west London/ AFP

 

Mauricio Pochettino says Wembley is the “best place in the world” to play football despite the frustrations of Tottenham’s long wait to move into their new stadium.

Spurs full-back Danny Rose this week voiced his frustration at the club’s extended tenure at the national stadium and many Tottenham fans seem to agree, with just over 33,000, rather than the permitted capacity 51,000, turning up to watch the midweek win over Southampton.

But Pochettino, who played at the old Wembley for Argentina in 2000, has launched a passionate defence of the club’s temporary home.

“If you ask me, I am so, so happy to play at Wembley,” he said. “I was born in Argentina. When I heard about England for the first time it was with all the problems in the Falklands.

“Then when I arrived in Europe, when I played in the World Cup against England, when we arrived in Southampton six years ago, of course, I changed completely my mind in the way I saw and now see this country.”

Pochettino, whose side are third in the Premier League, said it was always a dream to play at Wembley.

“We say ‘one game more, how lucky we are’,” he said. “For me, it’s the best place in the world to play football.

“Of course after we’ll share that with our new stadium — they’re going to be the two best places to play, our new stadium White Hart Lane, and Wembley.”

Kieran Trippier will miss Saturday’s trip to Leicester after aggravating a groin problem that forced him off against Southampton.

The England full-back suffered the injury during the World Cup semi-final but still played in the third-fourth place play-off a few days later.

Pochettino will take no such risks, saying: “For me a player that asked to come off the pitch, it’s common sense that after three days it’s impossible to play because, if not, there’s something wrong in that situation.”

AFP

Spurs Lucky To Play At Wembley, Says Pochettino

Tottenham coach Mauricio Pochettino                                                             Credit: Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino said Thursday that the club are lucky to be playing their home games at Wembley even as they wait for their new stadium to be finished.

Spurs have been in the national stadium since the beginning of last season and recently committed to staying there until at least January following significant delays to their new ground.

Fans are beginning to suffer from “Wembley fatigue” and are voting with their feet, with crowd numbers dipping in recent weeks, though midweek games and capped attendances have contributed to those figures.

The state of the pitch is another factor to contend with. Spurs had to play on a poor surface 24 hours after an NFL game last week and it was still not in pristine condition for their Champions League game with PSV on Tuesday.

Pochettino, though, said the club are grateful to have Wembley as an option.

“We need to be grateful for Wembley because without Wembley now we play where?” he said.

“Of course, we cannot blame Wembley and I think we need to be grateful because we can compete in London, close to White Hart Lane, close to our training ground and that is a massive advantage for us.

“Of course, after that you feel disappointed because it’s not your home, it’s not your house.”

Tottenham’s new 62,000-seater home, which was due to be open for the start of the season and then put back to September, still has no official opening date.

Frustrations among fans are rising despite a solid start to the season but Pochettino has again urged them to see the bigger picture.

“I think for our fans, they need to start to create in their minds and think that one day more in Wembley is one day less to being in our new stadium,” he said ahead of Saturday’s away match against Crystal Palace.

“And that starts to create your motivation and inspires you to feel happy, optimistic and to translate a very good energy.

“That is the most important thing. If we’re capable of arriving and starting to play in our new stadium in a very good position, being involved in all competitions, I think our fans in our new stadium are going to be key and decisive maybe to try to win something.”

AFP

Collapse Of Wembley Sale ‘A Blow For Grassroots Game’

In this file photo taken on April 27, 2018, outside Wembley Stadium in west London, on April 27, 2018. Fulham owner Shahid Khan has withdrawn his offer to buy London’s Wembley Stadium, England’s governing Football Association announced on October 17, 2018.
Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP

 

The collapse of the proposed deal to sell Wembley stadium has been described as a “huge disappointment” and a missed opportunity by two of the biggest sponsors of grassroots facilities.

Fulham owner Shahid Khan had offered the English Football Association £600 million ($787 million) for the national stadium, as well as letting it keep the Club Wembley hospitality business, worth around £300 million.

But the American businessman withdrew his controversial offer on Wednesday.

FA chairman Greg Clarke and chief executive Martin Glenn were both strongly in favor of the deal and wanted to use the money to fix England’s dilapidated changing rooms, waterlogged pitches and stretched 3G facilities.

They hoped Khan’s £600 million could be the catalyst for a total investment in community facilities over the next 20 years of £3.3 billion.

But in separate statements, Glenn admitted the proposed sale had been “more divisive than anticipated”, while Khan said it had become clear “there is no definitive mandate to sell Wembley”.

The UK’s largest sports charity, the Football Foundation, would have been the vehicle the FA used to pick, manage and fund the projects, as it currently does with the funding it receives from the FA, Premier League, and government.

“News that Mr. Khan has decided to withdraw his offer to buy Wembley should come as a huge disappointment to community footballers everywhere,” it said in a statement.

“Football participation in this country is huge. Unfortunately, those who play the game, simply for the love of doing so and for the health benefits, are having to put up with a stock of community football facilities that is in a shameful state.

“This would have been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make considerable inroads into probably the most pressing issue facing football in this country.”

Nick Bitel, the chairman of Sports England, the government agency that funds grassroots sport, also expressed his disappointment.

“We agree with the view that the Wembley Stadium offer was a huge opportunity to boost funding into the development and maintenance of artificial and grass pitches up and down the country,” he said.

“Now that this deal is off the table, we hope the football family will now consider other ways the much-needed additional funds for grassroots facilities can be generated.”

Former FA chief executive Mark Palios described the collapse of the sale as a “massive concern” for the grassroots game.

AFP

Video Referee To Be Used For England Vs Germany

This file photo taken on September 30, 2017 shows referee Marco Fritz checking the Video assistant referee (VAR) during the German first division Bundesliga football match between FC Augsburg and Borussia Dortmund in Augsburg, southern Germany.

A video referee will be used in England’s friendly against Germany at Wembley on Friday, half a century after one of the most controversial decisions in the history of the game at the 1966 World Cup final.

Last year the International Football Association Board approved a two-year trialling of the video refereeing (VAR) system.

It is being used in Italy and Germany this season but Friday’s match will see it used for the first time in an official game in Britain — during a fixture that has been seen its fair share of controversial goalline incidents.

The debate over whether Geoff Hurst’s goal in the 1966 World Cup final crossed the line during England’s 4-2 win at Wembley has never gone away while Frank Lampard’s disallowed strike during England’s 4-1 defeat at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa was shown to have crossed the line by technology.

Video assistant referees, watching the game on TV screens, are available to review four types of situation — goals, penalty/no penalty decisions, straight red cards, and cases of mistaken identity.

It is only to be used “to correct clear errors and for missed serious incidents” in those “match-changing” situations, the IFAB has said.

VARs and other match officials are able to recommend reviews but the only person who can initiate one is the referee, who will then have the final say on whether their original decision should stand or be changed.

They have the option to review footage themselves on a pitch-side monitor before making a final decision.

A trial of the system passed without incident during last month’s 2017 Wembley Cup charity match.

FIFA have yet to confirm whether VARs will be used at next year’s World Cup in Russia, but the fledgling system has had a mixed start in Germany.

There has been furious debate over when the VAR should intervene and how long it takes for decisions to be reviewed.

AFP

Real Will Get Back On Track In First Wembley Visit – Zidane

 

Zinedine Zidane insists Real Madrid will shake off their recent struggles and deliver a performance worthy of their first ever appearance at Wembley when they face Tottenham in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Zidane’s side have endured stinging criticism after their spluttering start to the season hit a new low with a shock 2-1 defeat at La Liga minnows Girona on Sunday.

Real trail eight points behind leaders Barcelona after losing two and drawing two of their opening 10 games and Zidane has faced pointed questions about his tactics and motivational abilities for the first time.

Against that troubled backdrop, a trip to London to face Tottenham at their temporary Wembley home could provide a tricky test of Madrid’s morale.

But Zidane sees it differently and the Madrid manager believes his club’s first appearance at one of the world’s most famous arenas can have an uplifting effect on his team.

“Wembley is an important place in the football world. It’s a great stage to play on against great opposition,” Zidane told reporters at Wembley on Tuesday.

“It’s not been without its complications in the build-up, but we are very much prepared to do our job.

“For me I played in the old stadium and it was a fantastic experience.

“Unfortunately I won’t be able to play tomorrow, but it’s a beautiful stadium and it will be a great spectacle.”

The opportunity to break new ground at Wembley is a welcome distraction for Zidane and his squad given their erratic form.

Crowned European champions for a 12th time last season, Madrid have been unusually error-prone this term.

A 1-1 draw at home to Tottenham earlier this month was the latest unconvincing display from Zidane’s team.

But Zidane denied spirits are low in the Real camp and he is confident they will use the criticism as motivation to silence the doubters.

– ‘Bad moment’ –

“Perhaps some people might think that after a defeat we are down in the dumps but that’s not the case,” he said.

“We all know how football works, sometimes you are going to lose matches and it’s obviously frustrating.

“The important thing is we don’t dwell on that. Nothing will change in our approach, we are going out to win.

“After a defeat people aren’t happy but in some ways, I like this. I like that we have a big game coming up.

“I feel I work my best in these situations.”

Although Real are stuck in a rut, they remain level on points with Tottenham at the top of Group H and can qualify for the last 16 with two games to spare if they beat the Premier League side, who have their own problems after successive losses to Manchester United and West Ham.

Asked to explain his side’s problems, Madrid defender Marcelo claimed a lack of motivation for the more mundane La Liga fixtures might be to blame.

“Perhaps it falls to the motivation of each player, it’s normal that for the Champions League we have very high motivation,” he said.

“To win La Liga you have to perform well all year. It’s very difficult to play a match every three days and keep that level.

“Obviously when you lose it’s never good, the whole dressing room is going through a bad moment in that sense, but in fact, we can use that as motivation to bounce back and end the little stumbling run we’ve had.

“We have to take the criticism at Real Madrid. There is always pressure, but despite that we’re not going to lose our heads.

“We’re going to be cool and calm and work hard to put things right.”

AFP

Willian Stars As Chelsea Trash Tottenham In FA Cup

Premier League leaders, Chelsea on Saturday humbled Tottenham Hotspurs 4-2 to book a place in the FA Cup final.

Brazilian star Willian set the Blues ahead of their opponent with a stunning free kick in the fifth minute of a much-anticipated game played at the Wembley.

Determined Spurs levelled the score 13 minutes later, when Harry Kane made good use of Christian Eriksen’s beautiful cross.

Willian, however, regained the lead for Chelsea after a penalty was awarded against Tottenham.

After the restart, Dele Ali converted a brilliant pass from Eriksen to another equaliser to revive Spurs’ hopes of victory.

Goals from Eden Hazard and Nemanja Matic consequently fired the Premier League leaders into the next round of the competition.

Chelsea will face the winner of the second semi-final between Manchester City and Arsenal in the finals.

Chelsea Beat Man. United At Stamford Bridge

Courtesy: http://www.manutd.com
Courtesy: http://www.manutd.com

Chelsea manager, Antonio Conte, got the better part of Jose Mourinho for the second time this season, as Chelsea beat Manchester United 1- 0 at Stamford Bridge to qualify in the FA Cup semi-finals on Monday.

N’Golo Kante’s 51st minutes goal was enough for Conte’s double chasing side to break United’s resistance after the visitors had Ander Herrera sent off after 35 minutes for a second yellow card.

Mourinho’s frustration boiled over and both managers had to be separated after an angry exchange shortly after Herrera’s send off.

United, were missing the suspended Zlatan Ibrahimovic and injured Wayne Rooney and offered little threat once Kante had beaten David de Gea with a precise low shot.

Chelsea could have won by more, although United did have their moments and came close to an equaliser in the second half, when Marcus Rashford was foiled by keeper Thibaut Courtois.

The Blues would now face Tottenham Hotspur in the semi-finals at Wembley.

Poppies Display: Fifa Fines England, Scotland, Wales And Northern

Poppies Display: Fifa Fines England, Scotland, Wales And NorthernFifa has fined England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for displaying poppies during World Cup qualifiers around Armistice Day.

Though the football body’s disciplinary committee chairman, Claudio Sulser, said he “fully respected” the commemorations, he noted that the rules “need to be applied to all member associations”.

Sulser added that “the display, among others, of any political or religious symbol is strictly prohibited. In the stadium and on the pitch, there is only room for sport, nothing else”.

England and Scotland players had worn armbands featuring poppies when they met at Wembley on 11 November.

Wales and Northern Ireland also featured displays on the pitch or in the stands to mark the event in their respective games.

England’s Football Association would appeal against the fine of 45,000 Swiss francs (£35,311), with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland yet to decide.

Scotland and Wales were both fined 20,000 Sfr (£15,694) while Northern Ireland got a penalty of 15,000 Sfr (£11,770).

Rooney Injured, To Miss England vs. Spain Friendly

Wayne Rooney Injured, To Miss England vs. Spain FriendlyLiverpool midfielder, Jordan Henderson will captain England against Spain on Tuesday, with Wayne Rooney injured.

Wayne Rooney and left back Ryan Bertrand are injury doubts for the year-ending friendly as they were the only players absent from training on the eve of the meeting with Spain at Wembley.

Having started the previous game – a 0-0 draw away to Slovenia – on the bench, forward Rooney returned to lead the side in Friday’s World Cup qualifying win over Scotland.

He then missed training with a knee injury on Monday and later pulled out of the squad.

“Both are being assessed. They had minor issues this morning, so we’ll have a look at them as the game goes on,” said interim manager, Gareth Southgate, on Monday.

“Obviously, they weren’t able to train, so they must be a doubt, but until we look at them we won’t know for sure.”

Henderson, 26, captained England in their 0-0 draw in Slovenia in October when Rooney was dropped to the bench.

“I don’t think we can have just one captain,” Southgate said.

“We have several leaders. Too much responsibility has been on Wayne – we need to share that. Once you have a team of those leaders you can have a lot of success.”

Tottenham striker, Harry Kane will also not feature against Spain, having been released from the squad over the weekend as he recovers from injury.

The 23-year-old damaged an ankle against Sunderland on 18 September and only returned for 73 minutes of action against Arsenal on 6 November before joining up with the England squad.

He was an unused substitute for the 3-0 win over Scotland at Wembley.