Soccer isn’t just a game…it’s a PASSION!

Wenger leads calls for African Cup to continue

Posted by kwame on January 10, 2010

LONDON — Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes calling off the African Cup of Nations would be a victory for terrorism, even though Togo is pulling out after an attack on the team bus.

Most of the biggest clubs in Europe, including Barcelona, Chelsea and Arsenal, have several stars playing in the 16-team competition in Angola, where gunmen opened fire on the Togo team bus on Friday, killing the assistant coach, a team spokesman and the Angolan bus driver and injuring several players.

Although the players said they wanted to play on to honor those who died, Togo’s prime minister called the team home on Sunday, one day before the competition is due to start.

Arsenal’s Alex Song is playing for Cameroon and Emmanuel Eboue is with the Ivory Coast but Wenger believes that calling the tournament off would reward the terrorists and might even threaten other competitions. This year’s World Cup will be held in South Africa in June.

“I do not believe you can just stop any competition at any incident, because that will reward people who provoke the incidents,” said Wenger. “That means any competition in the world will be stoppable at any time.

“The international federation has to make sure the security is good enough for the competition and maybe you have to leave it to some individual players that if they feel scared then there is the possibility they could move out of the competition. I personally feel that the competition has to go on.”

Although there is no link between the Angola terrorist attack and World Cup host South Africa, fans from Europe, Asia, North America and South America might reconsider making the long journey to see their teams play in football’s biggest tournament if there are more terrorist threats.

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Adebayor says Togo will go home

Posted by kwame on January 10, 2010

Togo captain Emmanuel Adebayor has told French radio his team will return home from the Africa Cup of Nations following advice from their government.

Although the team initially wanted to leave the tournament after a gun attack on the team killed three people, they then said they would stay on in Angola.

But Togo Prime Minister Gilbert Houngbo insisted the team leave the country for security reasons.

Tournament organisers have said the event will still go ahead as planned.

The attack on Togo’s convoy in the northern enclave of Cabinda killed an assistant coach, press officer and bus driver, and injured several other players.

Adebayor, who plays in the Premier League with Manchester City, had previously said the team thought that life should go on and they did not want to be seen as ruining the Nations Cup which begins on Sunday.

However, following further consultation with government officials, he accepted the authorities knew best.

He said: “This Friday at 1430, we were all dead on that bus. We sent our last messages to our families. We called our family to say our last words. I told myself: ‘If you’re still there on the ground in Angola, why not (play)?’

“The authorities decided we should return (home), so we will return.”

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Kaka edges closer to Madrid move

Posted by kwame on June 8, 2009

AC Milan playmaker Kaka moved a step closer to joining Real Madrid after undergoing a medical, according to the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF).

The 27-year-old was examined in Recife, where Brazil face Paraguay in a World Cup qualifier on Wednesday.

A CBF statement said: “The Brazilian team’s technical staff agreed to a request from Kaka and the directors of Real Madrid and released the player.”

A press conference is reportedly planned for 0100 BST on Tuesday.

The fee is reported to be £56m which would be a new world record, surpassing the total Madrid paid for Zinedine Zidane in 2001.

Returning Real president Florentino Perez was previously in charge of the Spanish club from 2000 to 2006 – during the famous Galacticos era.

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Barcelona vs. Man Utd

Posted by kwame on May 26, 2009

Who will win?

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Uefa charges Drogba and Bosingwa

Posted by kwame on May 22, 2009

Uefa has charged Chelsea players Didier Drogba and Jose Bosingwa for insulting the referee after their Champions League exit at the hands of Barcelona.

Disciplinary proceedings have also been initiated against Chelsea for the improper conduct of their players and the throwing of missiles by their fans.

Uefa has asked for a response by 29 May and will deal with the case on 17 June.

The Blues lost their semi-final after a series of controversial refereeing decisions by Tom Henning Ovrebo.

The Norwegian turned down a host of strong penalty appeals from Chelsea during their 1-1, second leg game at Stamford Bridge on 6 May that saw Barca go through on away goals.

Drogba and several team-mates surrounded Ovrebo after the final whistle to remonstrate with the Norwegian official over several of his decisions.

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Ferdinand faces ‘toughest battle’

Posted by kwame on May 21, 2009

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand says the race to be fit for the Champions League final in Rome is “the toughest battle of his career.”

Ferdinand has missed three games with a calf injury and has been told he must prove his fitness against Hull on Sunday to have any chance of playing.

“It’s perhaps the most important injury battle of my career,” he said ahead of next Wednesday’s clash with Barcelona.

“I’ve not thought about not playing in the final. It’s as simple as that.”

Ferdinand last played for United in the Champions League semi-final, second-leg victory over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on 5 May, shortly before suffering his calf injury in training.

He had already been doubtful for that game because of a rib injury sustained in the first leg, while he has also been plagued by back and groin problems this season.

If Ferdinand is not fit for the game against Barcelona next week, his place in the team is likely to go to Jonny Evans.

However, 30-year-old Ferdinand said he was so preoccupied with thinking about his injury, he was not thinking too much about the game in Rome next week.

“I trained with the ball on Wednesday and did some running, so I’m doing all the movements I need to be doing before a game,” he said.

“I haven’t even thought much about the actual details of the final. I’ve been so engrossed in my injury that I haven’t thought about much else.

“I’ll start thinking about the actual match when I’m sitting on the plane to Rome.”

“You’ll have to ask the manager if I’m playing, but physically I’d be able to do it, no problem.”


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Barca clinch Spanish league title

Posted by kwame on May 17, 2009

Barcelona clinched their 19th Spanish league title without kicking a ball after title-rivals Real Madrid lost 3-2 at Villarreal on Saturday.

It left Pep Guardiola’s side with an unassailable lead ahead of their match at Mallorca on Sunday.

On Wednesday Barcelona won the Copa del Rey when beating Athletic Bilbao 4-1.

Barca could become the first Spanish side in history to win the treble if they beat Manchester United in the Champions League final on 27 May.

The Catalan club’s title triumph was their first in three years and is their first domestic double for 11 seasons.

Their Copa del Rey victory was the first time they had won the cup since 1998 and was their first piece of silverware in two seasons.

Barcelona currently have 86 points and a goal difference of plus 72 with three games left, while Madrid have 78 points with two to play.

Their triumph came on the same day that their Champions League rivals United claimed their third successive English Premier League title with a 0-0 draw against Arsenal.

The pair meet in Rome with United looking to defend their European title.

Barcelona’s success this year has vindicated their decision to part company with long-standing coach Frank Rijkaard at the end of last season and appoint former player Guardiola as manager.

For 38-year-old Guardiola, a Catalonian by birth, this week’s triumphs are his first as manager of the club he spent 11 years playing for.


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Ferguson hungry for four in a row

Posted by kwame on May 17, 2009

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson barely savoured winning his 11th Premier League title beforetargeting a fourth consecutive triumph.

The 0-0 draw with Arsenal gave United their 18th league crown, and equalled the record of rivals Liverpool, but the Scot is already hungry for more glory.

“The great challenge now is to try to win it next year because that would be something special,” he said.

“A 19th league title would give us a special place in the club’s history.”

Ferguson added: “I am already thinking about next year. You have to do it here. There is nothing else for it. You just drive on.

“I do take a lot of pride from equalling Liverpool. When I came down here they were the top guns. My job was to try to change that.

“I never thought we could get 11 titles – never in a million years.”

But before the 67-year-old can start to mastermind another league campaign, he will lead his team out in Rome in 10 days for the Champions League final against Barcelona.

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Ancelotti plays down Chelsea link

Posted by kwame on May 14, 2009

AC Milan boss Carlo Ancelotti has played down rumours that he is to become Chelsea’s next manager.

BBC Sport understands that Ancelotti is Chelsea’s number one target to replace interim manager Guus Hiddink, who is at the club until the end of the season.

Hiddink, who took over from Luis Felipe Scolari in February, returns to his job as Russia manager in May.

“I don’t have to give my availability. The time has not yet come for me to be replaced at Milan,” said Ancelotti.

Ancelotti also said that the constant speculation surrounding his future at the Italian giants was not something that he worried about.

“It is not a problem that concerns me,” added the 49-year-old.

Chelsea were reported to be interested in Ancelotti last year after previous boss Avram Grant left the club, but Milan prevented any approach.

Former Barcelona boss Frank Rjikaard is also thought to be a Chelsea target, although Hiddink could also decide to stay on permanently at the end of the season.

But Italian Ancelotti, who is contracted to Milan until June 2010, is committed to the Serie A club.

He is also desperate to complete a hat-trick of Champions League victories with Milan.

“It’s easier to win in Europe with Milan than with other clubs so I am staying here,” he added.

Ancelotti is the longest-serving manager in Italy’s top flight after joining the Rossoneri in 2001.

He led Milan to success in the Champions League in 2003 and 2007 and Serie A in 2004 after joining them in 2001 from Juventus.


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Should Man Utd Keep Tevez?

Posted by kwame on May 14, 2009

Tevez proved his worth when he scored for United against Wigan on Wednesday. He’s been at United for almost 2 years and after what supporters will agree has been an impressive performance by the Argentine, he still has not been offered a deal to stay. Do you think Man Utd should keep him or let him go?

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