Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 5th 2015 Contents A59
Thursday, February 5, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
BATA---Favourite and star-
studded Ivory Coast will be aim-
ing to end 25 years of agony at
the African Cup on Nations after
its 3-1 win over Congo yesterday
saw it advance to the final.
Captain Yaya Toure and Gerv-
inho scored for the Ivorians which
will be aiming to go one step fur-
ther in Sunday s final after it lost
the 2006 and 2012 finals in penal-
Toure hammered a half-volley
into the net in the 20th minute
for Ivory Coast s early lead in the
first semifinal. Congo won a
penalty three minutes later and
Dieumerci Mbokani converted for
1-1.Gervinho scored with a sweet
first-time shot a minute after he
had a header cleared off the line.
Defender Wilfried Kanon bun-
dled in the third from close range
in the 68th to make sure the Ivo-
rians progressed to their third
African Cup final in the last six
Ivory Coast lost its last two
finals and is desperately seeking
a first title since 1992.
Ivorian captain Toure powered
his thunderous shot into the net
for the first goal as he latched on
to a bouncing ball at the top of
Congo came straight back and
earned a penalty when defender
Eric Bailly handballed. Mbokani
put the spot-kick in the bottom
right corner and just beyond the
dive of goalie Sylvain Gbohouo.
Gervinho was a constant men-
ace for the Congo defense as he
continually swapped between the
left and right wings.
His header was cleared off the
goal-line via the crossbar in the
40th minute, but fellow forward
Wilfried Bony found him
unmarked on the left side of the
box a minute later and Gervinho
swept a sweet right-foot shot into
the far right corner for 2-1.
Congo chased in the second,
with Yannick Bolasie going on a
weaving run into the area and
having a low shot blocked by
Gbohouo.Ivory Coast didn t just
protect its lead, though.
Toure drove forward, forcing
Robert Kidiaba to scramble to
save his low angled shot in the
Kanon killed off Congo s hopes
of a comeback when he scored
with just over 20 minutes to go,
pouncing on a rebound after Kidi-
aba saved Serge Aurier s header.
The defender ran all the way to
the dugout, punching his chest,
to celebrate with coach Herve
Renard and teammates on the
Ivory Coast will play Ghana or
host Equatorial Guinea in the
final. They meet in the second
semi in Malabo today.
Ivory Coast blasts past
Congo into African Cup final
Mbokani, right, is
challenged by Ivory
Coast's captain Yaya
Toure, right, during
their African Cup of
soccer match in Bata,
yesterday AP PHOTO
BARCELONA---Hours after being
named a suspect in a tax fraud case
regarding the signing of Neymar,
Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu
said the club was the victim of an
"attack" involving fierce rival Real
Madrid and the Spanish state.
Bartomeu said late Tuesday in an
interview on Catalan television that "all
this comes from someone who did not
want (Neymar) to come to Barca."
"All we have done is bring a player
like Neymar (to the club). Barca, its exec-
utives, its employees nor its directors
have done anything wrong," Bartomeu
said. "Neymar s father said that he had
a better offer from Madrid, and that did
not go down too well."
Bartomeu added that the probe, which
started by National Court judge Pablo
Ruz investigating whether former pres-
ident Sandro Rosell misappropriated
funds to hide the transfer cost paid for
Neymar, was also motivated by
Barcelona s links with the regional inde-
pendence movement in Catalonia.
"I don t have any evidence but there
are facts," he said. "Last year we allowed
the stadium to be used for the Freedom
Concert, and we played a game wearing
the Catalan national flag kit. (A) Catalan
independence march passed through
Camp Nou (Stadium) and so perhaps
that was not to everyone s taste. ... I am
convinced that there are certain powers
of state that are not happy that Neymar
came to Barca."
Real Madrid said it had no com-
ment when telephoned by The
The Spanish league president said he
didn t believe Madrid had any part in
the court investigation, but he also said
he had his doubts about the legal stand-
ing of Ruz s decision to name Bartomeu
"(Ruz s) writ contains juridical errors,"
Javier Tebas said. "But I don t see Real
Madrid s hand behind this."
On Tuesday, Ruz said he would inves-
tigate whether Bartomeu, as club pres-
ident, defrauded Spain s Tax Office of
€2.8 million (US$3.2 million) in 2014.
Prosecutor Jose Perals said Barcelona s
unpaid taxes---including the amount
attributed to Bartomeu s oversight---
amounted to more than €12 million.
Bartomeu insisted the transfer cost
paid by Barcelona to secure Neymar s
move from Brazilian club Santos in 2013
was €57 million.
This is the latest blow to Bartomeu
since he took over when Rosell resigned
in January 2014 after being named a
suspect in the Neymar investigation.
Last month, Bartomeu was forced to
call for early elections to be held this
summer---the date is still not set---fol-
lowing the club s failure to overturn
Fifa s one-year transfer ban for violating
rules on signing youth players. That led
to Bartomeu firing sports director Andoni
Zubizarreta and announcing he would
cut his mandate short by one year to
hold elections he hoped would stabilize
the club until the end of the season.
Bartomeu reiterated on Tuesday his
intention to run for another term.
Barca president: Madrid
behind Neymar tax case
mund s relegation worries
mounted yesterday when it lost
1-0 at home to 10-man Augs-
Juergen Klopp s team remained
bottom of the table, two points
behind Hertha Berlin, which lost
1-0 to Bayer Leverkusen.
Dortmund, twice champion and
twice runner-up in the past four
seasons, has now failed to score
in two matches since the season
resumed over the weekend.
More worryingly, it hardly cre-
ated any chances even after Augs-
burg was reduced to 10 men in
the 64th minute when Christoph
Janker was sent off. Raul Bobadilla
scored the winner for Augsburg
in the 50th which moves into
fourth place as a result of that
Elsewhere, Hamburger SV won
3-0 in Paderborn, Werder Bremen
beat Hoffenheim 2-1 and Cologne
and Stuttgart drew 0-0.
Dortmund loses to 10-man Augsburg at home
MILAN---AC Milan unveiled
tentative plans for a new
48,000-seat stadium with a
retractable roof to open for
the 2018-19 season.
The club posted a video fea-
turing a model of the two-tier
arena to be built next to the
club s recently opened headquar-
ters in the Portell-Fiera area of
Costs will be €300 million to
320 million (US$340 million to
Milan currently shares the
city-run 80,000-seat San Siro
Stadium with rival Inter Milan.
The new stadium will be run
by Milan, and it will be sur-
rounded by a hotel, parking
areas, and restaurants.
The stadium plan, Architect
Emilio Faroldi said on Wednes-
day, was inspired by Arsenal s
Emirates Stadium in London,
plus arenas in Basel and Neucha-
tel, Switzerland, and Bilbao,
Final approval is expected in
AC Milan unveils plans for new 48,000-seat stadium
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