Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 23rd 2015 Contents A58
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, July 23, 2015
AP Sports Writer
GENEVA---Potential Fifa presidential
election rivals Michel Platini and Prince
Ali bin al-Hussein met for the first time
yesterday since Sepp Blatter announced
Spokesmen for both men declined to
comment on details of the talks held in
the south of France, where Platini has a
Prince Ali was publicly supported by
UEFA president Platini before losing a
133-73 vote to Blatter in May. Four days
later, under pressure from American and
Swiss corruption investigations, Blatter
said he would leave within months.
Neither possible contender has yet
declared his intentions for the Fifa ballot
on February 26. Would-be candidates
must apply by an October 26 deadline.
Still, there is already one clear policy
difference between the former Fifa vice
Later, Prince Ali opposed Platini s view
on Fifa reform plans.
Platini said Monday that an in-house
task force announced by Blatter was an
important step and should act "in a swift
and effective manner."
The Jordanian prince takes a longer
term view of an 11-member panel which
was told to report to the next Fifa exec-
utive committee meeting on September
24-25 in Zurich.
"How can this task force address
change in any meaningful way within
such a short timeline?" Prince Ali said
in a statement.
"It is the role of the new president to
put in place the necessary systems to
implement the changes that Fifa so des-
perately needs, not a Task Force trying
to rush this through in less than 60 days,"
the prince said.
Platini will also have a role, along with
Blatter and Fifa s five other continental
presidents, in selecting the task force
chairman, who will be joined by ten foot-
Fifa said the chairman should be "neu-
tral" rather than the fully independent
"eminent" leader suggested by World
Cup sponsor Coca-Cola and former Fifa
advisers Transparency International,
which are supported by Prince Ali.
Fifa s definition suggests the job will
go to Domenico Scala, the current audit
and compliance committee chairman,
who endorsed Blatter s reform project
in their speeches on June 2.
Scala, a Swiss industrialist who has
monitored Fifa s finances since 2012,
declined to comment yesterday.
"Having a neutral chairman is not
enough to guarantee the independence
of this task force," Prince Ali said. "Inde-
pendent oversight is what is required
right now to restore confidence in Fifa.
Window dressing isn t enough."
Proposed reforms include term limits
for top officials, publishing their pay and
stricter vetting of their integrity, and
Changes must be voted in by Fifa s
209 member federations on the day they
elect their new president. (AP)
signed Belgium striker Chris-
tian Benteke from Premier
League rival Aston Villa yes-
terday in a 32.5 million pound
($50.7 million) deal to
strengthen the club s attack
for next season.
A week after selling winger
Raheem Sterling to Manches-
ter City for 49 million pounds,
Liverpool met the release
clause in Benteke s contract
with Villa and signed the 24-
year-old forward to what it
called "a long term contract"
Benteke, who joined Villa
from Genke in 2012 and scored
49 goals in 101 appearances
for the Midlands club, passed
a medical in London earlier
this week and completed the
paperwork in Liverpool yes-
"I think it was the right club
for me because I had a good
chat with the manager and I
wanted to be part of his proj-
ect," Benteke told Liverpool s
Web site. "I know Liverpool
is a big story. They ve won
league titles and the Cham-
pions League five times and
of course the UEFA Cup and
a lot of trophies.
"I m very happy to be part
of the Liverpool family now
and I will do everything to
make them happy and work
hard for them and my team-
Benteke will not meet most
of those new teammates until
they return after tomorrow s
match against a Malaysia XI
in Kuala Lumpur. However, he
already knows a couple of
them - goalkeeper Simon
Mignolet and forward Divock
Origi - from the Belgium
The signing gives manager
Brendan Rodgers a strike force
with real potential next season
if Daniel Sturridge can remain
fit.Two seasons ago, Sturridge
formed a prolific partnership
in the Premier League with
Luis Suarez before the Uruguay
striker moved to Barcelona and
the England forward was hit
by a series of injuries last term.
football s handling of racism
cases faced renewed criti-
cism ahead of Saturday s
2018 World Cup qualifying
draw after a player received
a two-game ban for his
angry reaction to alleged
Spartak Moscow, whose
fans were accused of taunting
FC Ufa midfielder Emmanuel
Frimpong, were not punished
by the Russian Football Union
"For the Russian FA to say
they didn t hear or see any
evidence of racism is beyond
a joke," Frimpong, who is
black, wrote to more than
750,000 Twitter followers.
Frimpong, a Ghanaian who
has played for Arsenal in the
English Premier League, said
he had "no problems" with
being banned for the actual
finger gesture to Spartak fans,
around 30 minutes into their
opening game of the season
in the Russian top-flight.
The RFU, which said Frim-
pong was banned for an
"offensive gesture to specta-
tors," did fine Spartak 20,000
rubles ($350), but only
because objects were thrown
onto the pitch.
The case showed that
"Russian authorities remain
deaf to racism," according to
group FARE, who published
a report in February docu-
menting more than 200 inci-
dents of racist and discrim-
inatory behaviour linked to
Russian football over two sea-
The Russian government
disputes the figures but Fifa
president Sepp Blatter said
that they "concerned" the
The Frimpong incident was
followed by Zenit St Peters-
burg s striker Hulk disclosing
Monday at a Fifa-organised
media event that he encoun-
ters racism in "almost every
game" in Russia.
After expressing fears that
racism could tarnish the
World Cup in three years
time, the Brazil international
was then announced yester-
day as an assistant for Sat-
urday s qualifying draw, which
will be attended by Russian
President Vladimir Putin in
"(Hulk) was particularly
chosen because he is playing
here in Russia, he is a football
icon," Fifa spokeswoman Delia
Fischer said. "But naturally
the topic of anti-discrimina-
tion is a very important topic
for Fifa and...in May we
launched a monitoring system
for the 2018 Fifa World Cup."
Hulk, the most expensive
signing in Russian Premier
League history at 60 million
euros (then $75 million) in
2012, has repeatedly faced
monkey chants in the country
and also accused a referee of
racially abusing him. (AP)
The record Rose Bowl crowd of 93,226
largely wore scarlet and blue, chanting
and cheering on mighty Barcelona s solid
season-opening performance against
the LA Galaxy.
By the final minutes, many of those
same fans were roaring for the local team s
reserves as they stayed competitive with
a European superpower.
Luis Suarez scored in the 45th minute,
and Barcelona opened its US preseason
tour with a 2-1 victory over the defending
MLS champions Tuesday night.
Sergi Roberto also scored in the 56th
minute as the UEFA Champions League
winners largely controlled their first match
of the new year, delighting the biggest
crowd for a club soccer game involving
an MLS team in US history.
The record crowd largely supported
Barcelona despite the absence of Lionel
Messi and Neymar, who stayed home
from the International Champions Cup
tour to stay fresh for the games that count.
Dani Alves and Claudio Bravo also were
unavailable because of the Gold Cup.
Yet the Galaxy took consolation in a
solid effort despite missing several of their
own regulars---and their second-half line-
up filled with youngsters even got a goal.
Tommy Meyer scored on a header off a
pass from Mika Vayrynen late in second-
half injury time, denying Barcelona of a
Man United defeats
SAN JOSE---Coach Louis van Gaal is
mixing and matching his lineups and
found few highlights worth mentioning
from Manchester United s latest pre-
Juan Mata and Memphis Depay
scored five minutes apart in the first
half, and Manchester United drew a big
Bay Area crowd as the Red Devils beat
the San Jose Earthquakes 3-1 on Tues-
day night for another win in the Inter-
national Champions Cup.
"Nobody is secure of his position in
the team," van Gaal said. "You have to
win your position on the pitch."
Andreas Pereira added another goal on
a header off Jesse Lingard s cross in the
61st minute for Manchester United. Van
Gaal went with his second 10 players in
the field after halftime before a packed
Not even new midfielder Bastian
Schweinsteiger, among the second-half
subs, was immune to the criticism.
"He was also bad," van Gaal said.
"There was one highlight I think and
that was Pereira. Players can play bad
and certainly when you have only six
days training session in your legs and
you have to play 45 minutes, everybody
can think that it s easy to step in, but it
is not easy. The first match he played
very well and now he played bad. But
that is also a process."
Timbers 2 tops
PORTLAND---Anthony Manning s
header off a free kick from Michael
Nanchoff gave Portland the go-ahead
goal in the first half and the Timbers
2 held on to defeat Newcastle United
4-3 in an exhibition on Tuesday night.
Rolando Aarons scored two goals in
the span of about a minute late in the
second half, but Newcastle could not
catch up after falling behind 4-1.
The Timbers 2, who are in the midst of
the USL season, are the reserve squad of
Major League Soccer s Portland Timbers.
The match at Providence Park was
the third American exhibition for Eng-
lish Premier League s Magpies under
new coach Steve McClaren, former
manager of the English national team.
Newcastle defeated the Sacramento
Republic 1-0 on Saturday. (AP)
Liverpool signs Benteke
after Sterling exit
Footballer in Russia banned
for reacting to alleged racism
Possible Fifa rivals Platini,
Prince Ali meet for talks
Barca beats Galaxy before record Rose Bowl crowd
Los Angeles Galaxy goalkeeper Brian Rowe, front, makes a save in front of Galaxy's
Leonardo, left, and FC Barcelona's Luis Suarez during the first half of an International
Champions Cup football match Tuesday night in Pasadena, California. AP PHOTO
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