Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 16th 2013 Contents A50
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, July 16, 2013
club Coton Sport won t be allowed
to play in the African Champions
League this weekend because the
country s football federation is still
suspended for government inter-
ference, Fifa said yesterday.
Coton Sport's ineligibility adds
to the complications surrounding
Africa's top club competition with
Egyptian rivals Zamalek and Al Ahly,
the defending champion, without
a venue for their meeting because
of the political turmoil and threat
of violence in their country.
The eight-team group stage,
which will ultimately decide Africa's
Champions League semifinalists, is
due to have its first round of games
on Saturday and Sunday.
Fifa said that it was in contact
with various parties in Cameroon
but conditions had not yet been met
for the suspension to be lifted after
the country was banned on July 4.
For Cameroon's clubs and national
team to be allowed to compete inter-
nationally again, a temporary "nor-
malization committee" needs to be
formed and take over the running
of the federation, Fifa ruled.
"We confirm as well that as the
Cameroonian FA is suspended the
(Coton Sport) game can't take place,"
the world body said yesterday.
Cameroon's suspension followed
a contested June 19 election in which
Mohammed Iya was re-elected as
head of the federation despite being
under arrest and facing a possible
trial for alleged financial misman-
agement while in charge of the
Cameroon Cotton Development
Corporation---ironically the company
that finances the Coton Sport club.
Coton Sport will not be able to
play against Ivory Coast's Sewe
Sport on Saturday, Fifa said, and
might not be able to take part as
one of the last eight teams in the
Champions League altogether
despite Antoine Depadoue Eyenga
Essomba, a vice president of the
Cameroon federation, saying that
the ban was a "blunder" by Fifa
and that the federation would
challenge it at the Court of Arbi-
tration for Sport.
Africa's ruling body, the Confed-
eration of African Football, has not
yet made public any decision over
Coton Sport's participation despite
there being just five days to go until
the first round of group matches.
CAF also hasn't ruled on the
venue for the Zamalek-Al Ahly
game on Sunday, although the
Egyptian federation has proposed
that it take place in the Red Sea
resort of El Gouna after authorities
couldn't guarantee security in Cairo
or the Mediterranean city of Alexan-
dria because of spiraling violence
Tens of thousands of protesters
rallied in Cairo, Alexandria and other
cities last week to protest the
removal of Mohammed Morsi as
president, and prolonged unrest in
Egypt has caused major disruption
to domestic football.
African football has suffered from
a catalog of problems this year,
including countries being forced to
forfeit matches in World Cup qual-
ifying for fielding ineligible play-
ers.Cameroon's ban and the violence
in Egypt also could affect the World
Cup qualifiers, which will return
for a final round of group games in
September ahead of the decisive
ten-team playoffs at the end of the
year for Africa's five places at Brazil
Fifa: Cameroon ban still stands
tain Steven Gerrard yesterday
signed a two-year contract
extension with the Premier
League club where he has
spent his entire career.
The 33-year-old midfielder
has scored 159 goals in 630
appearances since making his
debut in 1998.
"It's great news," he said. "It
lets me know the club thinks
an awful lot of me and want
"I'm glad it's all done and
it's happened at the right time
before the season, so I can just
focus on playing as well as I
The England captain's
Anfield career could extend
beyond his 35th birthday.
"We're pleased today to add
an extension to his existing
agreement and that keeps him
here until the end of his career,"
Liverpool managing director
Ian Ayre said. "We've said what
we'll do in two years' time is
review it again and see how
happy Steven is. We seem to
always be happy with him, so
hopefully we'll just continue
in that vein." (AP)
League spot in
NYON---Fenerbahce has lost its
appeal to Uefa against expulsion
from this season s Champions
League for match-fixing, and the
Turkish club can now ask sports
highest court for an emergency
Announcing verdicts yesterday,
Uefa said its appeals panel upheld
an earlier disciplinary verdict that
club officials helped fix matches in
its 2010-11 league title run.
Fenerbahce finished runner-up
in the Turkish Super Lig last season
and would have entered the Cham-
pions League third qualifying round,
needing to beat two opponents to
advance to the lucrative group stage.
The draw is scheduled for Friday
and Bursaspor should now take the
second Turkish entry. Champion
Galatasaray goes directly into the
32-team group stage being drawn
Fenerbahce, which was also
expelled from the Champions
League two years ago, can challenge
Uefa's verdict at the Court of Arbi-
tration for Sport.
Club officials, including president
Aziz Yildirim, deny wrongdoing and
are appealing their criminal con-
victions in Turkish courts.
With Fenerbahce banned, third-
placd Beziktas could have taken its
Istanbul rival's vacant Champions
League place. However, Uefa has
also dismissed Beziktas's appeal
against suspension for fixing the
2011 Turkish Cup final, leaving the
entry clear for fourth-place Bur-
saspor. Besiktas could also appeal
Fenerbahce also remains banned
for an additional year of Uefa's club
competitions when it next quali-
Uefa said Fenerbahce's appeal was
partially admitted because a deferred
suspension for a third season was
annulled following the hearing held
last Wednesday. Uefa took several
days to confirm the judgments. (AP)
Gerrard signs new 2-year
reached an agreement yester-
day to send midfielder Rafinha
to Celta Vigo for one season.
The 20-year-old Brazilian has
come up through Barcelona's
youth ranks since he was 13.
Rafinha holds dual nationality
and has played for Spain in the
Under-16, U-17 and U-19 levels.
But last year he switched to
Brazil, where he played in its U-
20 team at the 2013 South
American Youth Championship
The attacking midfielder
made his debut with Barcelona's
senior team in November 2011,
coming on for Cesc Fabregas.
Rafinha extended his contract
with Barcelona until 2016 in
June, just before being sent to
Celta on loan.
Rafinha's older brother,
midfielder Thiago Alcantara,
who also came up through
Barcelona's youth ranks,
moved from the Spanish
champions to Bayern Munich
on Sunday to be reunited with
coach Pep Guardiola.
Bayern agreed to pay 25 mil-
lion euros ($32.75 million) for
the 22-year-old Thiago, a son
of Mazinho, who was a member
of Brazil's 1994 World Cup
Thiago helped Spain's U-21
team win the European cham-
pionship last month, scoring a
hat trick in the final against Italy.
He was born in Italy to Brazilian
parents and debuted for
Barcelona's first team in 2008.
referee serving time in a Sin-
gapore jail has given evidence
at the start of the corruption
trial of accused match fixer
Eric Ding Si Yang.
Ali Sabbagh, dressed in pur-
ple prison overalls, avoided eye
contact with Ding as he entered
the courtroom yesterday before
revealing details of plans to fix
Sabbagh said he first met
Ding, who was calling himself
James Zen,' at Beirut in June,
2012, and was lured by the
promise of rich pay days.
"I was told I could stop any-
time but most don't," Sabbagh
told a Singapore court. "If I did
a job' for James, linesmen
would also be involved to make
it easier for me."
He identified James Zen as
Ding, a 31-year-old nightclub
owner who is accused of trying
to rig matches in Kuwait,
Indonesia and Jordan.
Sabbagh said Ding wanted
him to help fix results of match-
es, and sent him 35 links to
YouTube videos about match
fixing with instructions to study
them and then delete the e-
"He wanted me to under-
stand and learn how to make
such decisions for matches in
future," Sabbagh said.
Ding was arrested in April
and charged in May with three
counts of corruption for
allegedly supplying prostitutes
to the three Lebanese match
officials, in hopes of swaying
them to fix the Asian Football
Confederation match between
Rovers and India's East Bengal.
He denies all the charges and
is expected to face a nine-day
trial. If found guilty, Ding faces
a maximum of five years in jail,
a fine of up to 100,000 Sin-
gapore dollars ($79,000), or
both, on each count of cor-
Sabbagh was last month
sentenced to six months in jail
by a Singapore court after
pleading guilty to influencing
two linesmen to help fix a
match in Singapore in April.
All three men were arrested
before the match and charged
with "corruptly receiving grat-
ification in the form of free
sexual service" arranged by
Barcelona to send Rafinha to Celta Vigo
Lebanese ref gives evidence in corruption trial
pursued by Manchester
United bids for
LONDON---Manchester United submitted a bid for
Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas yesterday, a
person with knowledge of the situation said.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity
because they were not authorised to publicly discuss
the bid, which was submitted by United executives
from Sydney where the team is currently on its pre-
Despite Barcelona offering no public indication
that Fabregas is for sale, United has offered 30 million
euros ($39 million) to bring the former Arsenal captain
back to the Premier League, as David Moyes looks
to make his first major signing as manager of the
The transfer bid comes two years after Fabregas
left Arsenal after pushing to rejoin boyhood club
Barcelona for 29 million euros.
There are three years remaining on his Camp Nou
deal, and Arsenal is reported to have first refusal if
Barcelona chooses to sell Fabregas.
At Old Trafford, the Spain midfielder would be re-
united with striker Robin van Persie, who joined from
Arsenal a year ago.
The 26-year-old Fabregas would help to fill the
void left by the retirement of Paul Scholes and Darren
Fletcher, who is continuing to recover from a bowel
Last month, Fabregas expressed a desire to stay at
Barcelona despite struggling to establish himself as
a regular in the starting line-up for the Spanish cham-
Links Archive July 15th 2013 July 17th 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page