Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 31st 2013 Contents A59
Wednesday, July 31, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
QUITO---Officials were preparing
yesterday to repatriate the body of
Ecuadorean soccer star Christian
Benitez, who died in Qatar a day
after playing a game for local soccer
team El Jaish.
Autopsy results have not been
released, but Ecuadorean soccer chief
Luis Chiriboga said he was told the
27-year-old was taken to a hospital
with sharp stomach pains, developed
peritonitis and died Monday of car-
Efforts to repatriate Benitez s body
to his homeland were being held up
by paperwork yesterday, but soccer
officials said the funeral for the star
was planned for tomorrow in Quito
and that a tribute would be held in
the General Ruminahui coliseum,
which holds 16,000 people.
"The burial will be Thursday in
the Monte Olivo cemetery, near the
home of our National Team," said
Francisco Acosta, secretary for the
Ecuadorean Soccer Federation.
Chiriboga had earlier said the fed-
eration was planning to fly the chief
doctor for Ecuador s national team
as well as Benitez s father and mother
to Qatar to accompany the remains.
Christian Benitez led the Mexican
soccer league in scoring last season
and helped his club America win the
championship last season.
He had just played his first game
for his new Qatari club when he died.
El Jaish played Qatar Sports in the
Sheik Jassim Cup, a warmup tour-
nament for the upcoming season.
The club said Benitez did not
complain about his health on Sun-
The game was played in hot and
humid conditions typical of the Per-
sian Gulf this time of year. Qatar
will host the 2022 World Cup and
the searing heat has prompted many
in soccer to call for the tournament
to be moved to winter.
Ermen Benitez told Futbolizados
radio station in Ecuador on Monday
that his daughter-in-law told him
the soccer star "had pain in his
stomach and took a pill. They took
him to a hospital and later came the
news that we have all heard."
"We are destroyed," he said. Ben-
itez left behind three children.
Benitez had 24 goals in 58 appear-
ances for Ecuador and was on its
2006 World Cup team. He also spent
a season in England with Birming-
"He was a very special human, so
noble, so loyal to his team and to
us. His human quality was luminary
and catalysing," said the coach of
Ecuador s national soccer team,
JOHANNESBURG---South African organ-
isers made a slim profit of US$366,000
from the African Cup of Nations in January
and February, way behind the huge com-
mercial success of the country s historic
2010 World Cup.
Delivering the final report and financial
results for the African Cup, the local organ-
ising committee said late Monday that it
also had exceeded its own expectations on
the three-week tournament by about
US$305,000 having initially expected to
make just US$60,000.
The report "clearly depicts a positive
financial position for the tournament," LOC
chairman Mwelo Nonkonyana said.
More than anything, it underlined the
massive gap between Africa s top tourna-
ment and the money-spinning World Cup,
and showed how far the Cup of Nations
lags behind in commercialising its product.
The African Cup was never expected to
rival the success of the World Cup, but the
large gap between the two was significant.
South African football was left with about
US$80 million from FIFA to develop its
grassroots game following the hosting of
the 2010 World Cup. That figure also did
not include the money local organisers made
off ticket sales. FIFA generated revenue of
US$3.655 billion from the 2010 World Cup
and made a profit of nearly US$2.5 billion,
the world body said in its financial report
for that year.
The Confederation of African Football
hasn t made public its earnings from its
biennial showpiece, but it projected in Jan-
uary revenue of just US$10 million from
the latest African Cup.
African football tournaments struggle
with the continent s economic factors, where
fans are generally poorer and with far less
disposable income. Some of Africa s less-
er-known teams also have little appeal for
The LOC said the total attendance for
the 32-game tournament was just over
750,000 with an average attendance of about
23,000 per game, less than half the average
attendance of the World Cup. However, it
was better than the last African Cup.
MUNICH---German prosecutors filed tax
evasion charges against Bayern Munich
president Uli Hoeness yesterday.
Hoeness reported himself to authorities
earlier this year over a previously undeclared
Swiss bank account. News of the case against
Hoeness, long one of the most prominent
figures in German football, emerged in April.
It caused an uproar in Germany, with
even Chancellor Angela Merkel s spokesman
saying that the country s leader was dis-
appointed in him.
Ken Heidenreich, a spokesman for Munich
prosecutors, declined to comment on details
of the indictment, citing tax secrecy laws.
"We have filed the charges to the Munich
state court," Heidenreich said. "The defense
now has one month to pronounce itself."
The court will then either set a date for
the trial, reject the charges or ask for further
investigations before making a decision,
The court said in a statement that a deci-
sion shouldn t be expected before the end
of September "in view of the volume of
documents in the investigation."
In May, Bayern s supervisory board backed
Hoeness to remain in the job despite the
investigation against him. The club said
then that Hoeness apologised and offered
to temporarily give up his functions pending
the outcome of his case but the board unan-
imously asked him to stay.
Bayern spokesman Markus Hoerwick said
the club is "not saying anything about" the
Bayern won the Bundesliga, the Cham-
pions League and the German Cup last sea-
son. It is a strong favourite again this season
under new coach Pep Guardiola.
As a player, Hoeness was a Bayern star
who won the 1972 European Championship
and the 1974 World Cup with West Germany
and three straight European Cups---the pred-
ecessor of the Champions League---before
retiring in 1979 with chronic knee problems.
He became Bayern s general manager and
built the most influential career in German
football. Under his guidance, Bayern built
financial reserves rarely seen in debt-ridden
European club football.
AC Milan signs
Silvestre on loan
AC Milan has signed defender Matias Silvestre on
loan from city rival Inter.
Milan vice president Adriano Galliani confirmed
the two clubs had reached an agreement yesterday
for the 28-year-old Argentine. Details of the loan pe-
riod were not immediately available.
Silvestre has failed to impress at Inter since arriv-
ing from Palermo last season.
RIO DE JANEIRO
Fluminense hires former
Brazil coach Luxemburgo
Brazil champion Fluminense has hired coach Van-
derlei Luxemburgo to try to put the team back on
track after five straight losses in the Brazilian
The signing of the former Brazil and Real Madrid
coach was announced yesterday, a day after Abel
Braga was fired following a 2-0 loss to Gremio that
left the team in the relegation zone with only nine
points from as many matches.
The 61-year-old Luxemburgo signed a contract
with Fluminense until the end of the year. Financial
details were not disclosed.
Luxemburgo is the coach with the most Brazilian
league titles---five. He led Brazil to the 1999 Copa
America title but left the national team in 2000.
Bini replaced by Bergeroo
as France women's coach
Bruno Bini has been fired as France women's team
coach and replaced by Under-18 boss Philippe Berg-
French Football Federation president Noel Le
Graet said yesterday "we have a lot of respect for
Bruno ... but it was time to change."
Bini's departure follows France's disappointing
quarterfinal exit to Denmark in the European Cham-
pionship earlier this month.
The 58-year-old Bini took charge of the women's
team in 2007. He steered France to the Euro 2009
quarterfinals and the 2011 World Cup semifinals,
where it lost to the United States.
Bini has twice finished third in FIFA voting for
women's coach of the year.
UEFA punishes Dinamo Zagreb
for fans' racist abuse
Dinamo Zagreb has been punished for fans' racist
chants and must close one section of its stadium for
a Champions League match next Tuesday.
UEFA says its disciplinary panel also ordered the
Croatian champion to pay a fine of 25,000 euros
The panel judged that Dinamo fans chanted racist
abuse last week during a Champions League qualify-
ing match against Fola Esch of Luxembourg. Dinamo
won 1-0 to advance 6-0 on aggregate.
Holden has torn ACL
Bolton Wanderers' Stuart Holden has a torn right
anterior cruciate ligament, yet another major knee
injury for the unlucky midfielder.
Holden was hurt early in the United States' 1-0
victory over Panama in the Gold Cup final on Sunday.
He will consult with the medical staffs of Bolton and
US Soccer to formulate a treatment plan.
Holden took a knock on his left knee, but grabbed
his right knee after he hit the ground. Trainers
worked with him both on and off the field.
Bayern president charged with tax evasion
Ecuador plans tribute to
player who died in Qatar
Christian Benitez celebrates after scoring against
Queretaro during a Mexican soccer league match in Mexico
City. Benitez, from Ecuador, died Monday, a day after
playing in a match for Qatari club El Jaish, the team said.
Slim US$300k profit from African Cup
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