Fifa boss Sepp Blatter is making his maiden trip to the southern African country of Zimbabwe next week to officiate at a regional women’s football competition in Harare.
According to Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) president Cuthbert Dube, the supremo arrives on Monday en route to South Africa to help them enhance the game after several allegations of match-fixing scandals in Asia.
“I can confirm he is arriving at 6:55 am (0455 GMT) on Monday,” Dube told AFP. “We will discuss issues to do with professionalising the game and how we are making sure that there is fair play in our football in view of all those match-fixing allegations that tainted our game.”
The world’s football governing body’s chief will then move to neighbouring South Africa to attend a meeting of the International Olympic Committee.
It will be recalled that past ZIFA head Henrietta Rushwaya led the Warriors to Thailand, Syria and Malaysia in 2009 for unsanctioned friendlies linked to a betting syndicate. The development caused her dismissal.
New Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea has said that he hopes to spend “a great number of years” at Old Trafford.
The 20-year-old was confirmed as United’s third offseason signing on Wednesday and has been sent on holiday by manager Sir Alex Ferguson in order to rest up ahead of his first season in England.
De Gea has stated that he wants to have a long career with the Red Devils and surpass the achievements of his predecessor Edwin van der Sar.
“The manager said that I should enjoy the holiday I’ve been afforded now but of course I’m more excited about getting started in training and meeting my future team-mates,” De Gea told MUTV.
“Edwin has been the best goalkeeper in the world whilst here at United.
“I hope to emulate him and spend a great number of years here. Hopefully I will equal or even surpass the performance and contribution he made to the club.”
De Gea acknowledged that there are differences between la Liga (where he featured for two seasons with Atletico Madrid) and the Premier League, but is confident that he will be able to acclimatise to the new environment.
“The Premier League is known to be a more physical style of play,” said de Gea.
“There are a lot of high balls and a lot of play in the air but I hope to adapt fairly quickly and with my own style hope to contribute to it being an all-round success.”
After leading Barcelona and Santos to continental glory in the Uefa Champions League and Copa Lbertadores respectively, Lionel Messi and Neymar will now have to reproduce their phenomenal club form for Argentina and Brazil in the quest for Copa America glory, to be shown live on SuperSport.
Having turned 24 just two weeks ago, Messi has achieved it all in club football and is already being considered in the same breath as football greats Pele and Maradona.
In some quarters he is considered to be much better than these two. But senior national team honours have so far eluded the ‘Atomic Flea’ as his affectionately known.
The Copa America, which is exclusively live on SuperSport from July 2-24 and in High Definition, will offer the diminutive forward a chance at a first senior national team title.
And after an electrifying season in which he found the net on 53 occasions in all competitions, the Copa is set to come alight.
Argentina who are in Group A along with Costa Rica, Colombia and Bolivia, open the tournament on Saturday against Bolivia, live on SS 3 from 2:40am (SA, CAT, GMT+2).
Neymar, the latest sensation in a long list of Brazilian football phenomenons, has become world football’s most coveted asset, and legends of the game can’t stop ranting and raving about him.
After being the toast of the recently concluded Copa Libertadores, the lanky striker has now set his sights on dazzling on an even bigger stage, the Copa America.
Defending champions Brazil have been grouped with Paraguay, Ecuador and Venezuela in Group B and get their title defense under way on Sunday against Venezuela, live on SS 3 from 8:55pm (SA, CAT, GMT+2)
BROADCAST DETAILS (all times are SA, CAT, GMT+2)
Saturday, July 2
Argentina vs Bolivia – SSHD2, 3, 3A, 3N, 10, Maximo (02.40am)
Colombia vs Costa Rica – SSHD2, 3, 3A, 3N, 10, Maximo (20.45pm)
Sunday, July 3
Brazil vs Venezuela – SSHD2, 3, 3A, 3N, 10, Maximo (20.55pm)
Paraguay vs Ecuador – SSHD2, 3, 3A, 3N, 10, Maximo (23.25pm)
Tuesday, July 5
Uruguay vs Peru – SSHD1, 3, 3A, 3N, 10, Maximo (00.10am)
Chile vs Mexico – SSHD1, 3, 3A, 3N, 10, Maximo (02.40am)
Thursday, July 7
Bolivia vs Costa Rica – SSHD2, 3, 3A, 3N, 10, Maximo (00.10am)
Argentina vs Colombia – SSHD2, 3, 3A, 3N, 10, Maximo (02.40am)
Friday, July 8
Peru vs Mexico – SSHD2, 3, 3A, 3N, 10, Maximo (00.10am)
Saturday, July 9
Uruguay vs Chile – SSHD2, 3, 3A, 3N, 10, Maximo (02.40am)
Brazil vs Paraguay – SSHD2, 3, 3A, 3N, 10, Maximo (20.55pm)
Venezuela vs Ecuador – SSHD2, 3, 3A, 3N, 10, Maximo (23.25pm)
Sunday, July 10
Colombia vs Bolivia – SSHD2, 3, 3A, 3N, 10, Maximo (20.55pm)
Tuesday, July 12
Argentina vs Costa Rica – SSHD2, 3, 3A, 3N, 10, Maximo (02.40am)
Wednesday, July 13
Chile vs Peru – SSHD2, 3, 3A, 3N, 10, Maximo (00.10am)
Uruguay vs Mexico – SSHD2, 3, 3A, 3N, 10, Maximo (20.40am)
Thursday, July 14
Paraguay vs Venezuela – SSHD2, 3, 3A, 3N, 10, Maximo (00.10am)
Brazil vs Ecuador – SSHD2, 3, 3A, 3N, 10, Maximo (02.40am)
Saturday, July 16
Quarterfinal 1 – SSHD2, 3, 3A, 3N, 10, Maximo (20.55pm)
Sunday, July 17
Quarterfinal 2 – SSHD2, 3, 3A, 3N, 10, Maximo (00.10am)
Quarterfinal 3 – SSHD2, 7, 7N, Maximo2 (20.55pm)
Monday, July 18
Quarterfinal 4 – SSHD2, 3, 3A, 3N, 10, Maximo (00.10am)
Wednesday, July 20
Semifinal 1 – SSHD2, 3, 3A, 3N, 10, Maximo (02.40am)
Thursday, July 21
Semifinal 2 – SSHD2, 3, 3A, 3N, 10, Maximo (02.40am)
Saturday, July 23
3rd/4th Place Playoff – SSHD2, 3, 3A, 3N, 10, Maximo (20.55pm)
Sunday, July 24
Final – SSHD2, 3, 3A, 3N, 10, Maximo (20.55pm)
Mexico have excluded eight players from their squad for the Copa America (July 1-24) for indiscipline, the Mexican Football Federation announced on Tuesday.
The young players were suspended for six months and fined $4,170 after incidents at a hotel in Quito, Ecuador following a friendly match last Saturday.
The eight unidentified players “broke the rules” and “were suspended for the next six months,” said national team director Hector Gonzalez Inarruti.
According to the management of the hotel, the players invited women into their hotel rooms, where thefts subsequently occurred.
Mexico, whose senior team defeated the United States in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final on Saturday, had decided to send a squad of players aged under 22 to the tournament in Argentina, supplemented by five older players.
Zanzibar’s Ocean View became the first team to qualify for the quarterfinals of the on-going Kagame- Castle Cup by beating Eritrea’s Red Sea by 2-0 in a match played at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam, Monday afternoon. The Islanders are making their first appearancein this regional tournament.
Ocean View will have to play their last group match later in the week but with six points already at hand.. In their opening match they beat Etincelles of Rwanda 3-2. The team’s Egyptian head Coach Abdulfatah Abass refers to his boys as ‘being young but ready to take instructions and learn’. The team comprises six players that feature for the National Zanzibar Heroes. Defender Sabri Mzee, Ismael Khamis, Salum Shebe, Mohamed Hamudun, Said Rashid and Haji Hassanform the basis of the club with vast experience from the national team
Suleiman Haji got his second goal of the the tourney as he broke the deadlock for Ocean View with a crisp shot from outside the box that found Red Sea keeper Abbas Nassor Ali with his back facing the pitch after a quick counter attack that found the Red Sea defense napping.
Substitute Said Rashid put matters beyond Red Sea in the 84th minute after missing several chances as he found acres of space on the box before unleashing an unstoppables hot past a hapless Daniel Goitom in Red Sea’s goal to make the scores 2-0.
Red Sea suffered a set back in the74th minute as Aron Zekaria,s was given a straight card by referee Ronnie Kalema from Uganda after elbowing Ocean views Salum Sheba . In the post match interviews Red Sea coach Efriem Tewelde said: “we lost our first match due to poor mistakes but we cannot loose hope since we have to be more vigilant in our next match”
Ocean Views coach Abdulfatah Abbas was elated with the team’s performance as he told SuperSport.com “I am happy we have won our second match in a row and this just makes things easy forus as we prepare for the quarter finals”
Highly-rated French defender Raphael Varane signed for Spanish giants Real Madrid from French Second Division side Lens the selling club’s president Gervais Martel told AFP on Monday.
The 18-year-old – who has played just 23 Ligue 1 matches in a season that saw Lens relegated – signed a six year contract after passing his medical, Real announced when they confirmed the signing later on Monday.
“Real Madrid and Lens have reached agreement over the transfer of the French player Raphael Varane, who will wear the Real shirt for the next six seasons,” Real said in a statement.
Varane, regarded as one of the most promising young defenders in French football, cost Real 10million euros according to sources close to the deals.
The young defender – who will be as good as a defender as former great Laurent Blanc according to Zinedine Zidane who is an advisor to the Real Madrid president – had been closely linked wth a 10million pounds move to English champions Manchester United last month.
Manchester United winger Nani has insisted he is “not going anywhere” despite the arrival at Old Trafford of England international Ashley Young and reported interest from abroad.
The 24-year-old Portuguese said he would fight for his place with the Premier League champions after Young, who also plays on the wing, completed a transfer from Aston Villa worth about $25-32 million last week.
“Of course, I’m not going anywhere,” Nani told the Straits Times during a visit to Singapore.
“There’s going to be more competition for places and, at a club like United, you always have to be on your toes to stay hungry for trophies.”
Young’s arrival has sparked intense speculation about Nani’s future after he was linked with moves to Real Madrid and Inter Milan.
He said he has not discussed his role next season with manager Alex Ferguson, who is rebuilding the team after their 3-1 mauling by Barcelona in last month’s Champions League final.
“No. Why should I?” he said, according to Singapore’s MyPaper on Tuesday, adding that Young’s signing should bolster the team.
“The club know what’s good for the team when they signed him,” Nani said.