Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 1st 2014 Contents A66
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, July 1, 2014
SALVADOR---US coach Jurgen Klins-
mann is worried about the Algerian ref-
eree assigned to the Americans second-
round World Cup match against Belgium
FIFA announced Sunday that Djamel
Haimoudi will work the game. Haimoudi
is a veteran of the last two African Cups
of Nations and worked a pair of group-
stage matches at this year s World Cup.
Klinsmann said yesterday the French-
speaking referee will be able to commu-
nicate better with the Belgians, comes
from a nation that was in the same first-
round group with Belgium and is from a
country eliminated by the US at the 2010
"Well, we hope it s not a concern,"
Klinsmann said at a news conference. "Is
it a good feeling? No."
Belgian coach Marc Wilmots dismissed
Klinsmann s comments.
"If we start going into this, it is looking
for excuses ahead of the match," Wilmots
said. "So to us, if it happens, too bad.
We will shut up and return and try to get
qualified again. This is football.
"I rarely talk to referees. That is one
thing. The three referees in the group
stage, I never talked to them. And a referee
is not there to talk, but to referee."
Haimoudi, 43, worked at the Africa
Cup of Nations in 2008 and 2012 and
refereed Italy s third-place win over
Uruguay at last year s Confederations
Cup. At this World Cup, he officiated the
Netherlands 3-2 win over Australia and
Costa Rica s 0-0 draw with England.
"We know that he did already two
games so far, and he did them very well,
so we wish that he continues his refer-
eeing the perfect way he s done so far,"
"I understand FIFA. It s difficult always
to choose the right referee for the right
games, and it s always being kind of tricky
for FIFA, but it is what it is," he added.
"We give it absolutely the benefit of the
doubt. We respect the decision, and we re
going to be spot on in the game and hope
that everything works well."
US Soccer Federation President Sunil
Gulati, a member of FIFA s ruling exec-
utive committee, did not want to discuss
Klinsmann s thoughts, saying merely:
"I think he said everything that needs
to be said on that."
Two years ago, the Court of Arbitration
for Sport said Haimoudi "claimed to have
been assaulted" by Al-Hilal team pres-
ident Mohammed Al-Birair during an
African Champions League semifinal.
The CAS upheld Al-Birair s appeal and
overturned a four-year suspension
imposed by the Confederation of African
Football in January 2012, ruling "it is not
convinced to the standard of comfortable
satisfaction that the appellant was the
assailant responsible for the incident."
The last time an African referee worked
a US match at the World Cup, the Amer-
icans complained when Koman Coulibaly
of Mali disallowed an apparent go-ahead
goal in the 85th minute of a 2-2 draw
against Slovenia four years ago.
Coulibaly never explained his decision.
Dutch players argue with referee Djamel Haimoudi from Algeria after Haimoudi awarded
Australia a penalty shot for a handball infraction during the group B World Cup soccer
match between Australia and the Netherlands at the Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre,
Brazil, Wednesday. AP PHOTO
about Algerian referee
RIO DE JANEIRO---After a few days
of reflection, Luis Suarez acknowl-
edged what millions saw on TV---
he did bite an opponent during a
game at the World Cup. In addition,
he said he s sorry about it, and
promised it will never happen again.
Ending a unified protest in Uruguay
by everyone from Suarez to team-
mates, fans and even the country s
president that the star striker had
done nothing wrong, the Liverpool
player yesterday offered an apology
to Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini.
"I deeply regret what occurred,"
Suarez said in a statement posted on
Twitter. "I apologise to Giorgio
Chiellini and the entire football family.
... I vow to the public that there will
never again be another incident like
The Uruguay striker was banned
for four months from all football by
FIFA for biting the shoulder of Chielli-
ni during the team s 1-0 win over
Italy in their group-stage game in
Brazil. The incident was not spotted
by the referee, and the Uruguayans
victory sent them through to the sec-
ond round while Italy was eliminated.
It is the third time Suarez has been
banned for biting an opponent, after
similar incidents at both Ajax in the
Dutch league and Liverpool in the
English Premier League.
Chiellini responded on Twitter
shortly after Suarez posted his state-
ment, accepting the apology.
"It s all forgotten," the Italian wrote
in English. "I hope FIFA will reduce
Suarez had originally denied
wrongdoing in a written response to
FIFA, and had been staunchly defend-
ed by teammates and Uruguayan offi-
cials. His apology could be taken into
account by FIFA when it considers
an appeal of the ban, which the
Uruguayan federation has said it will
"After several days of being home
with my family, I have had the oppor-
tunity to regain my calm and reflect
about the reality of what occurred
during the Italy-Uruguay match," the
statement said. "(The) truth is that
my colleague Giorgio Chiellini suffered
the physical result of a bite in the
collision he suffered with me."
Suarez was also suspended from
Uruguay s next nine international
matches --- the first of which was a
2-0 loss to Colombia in the round of
16 on Saturday.
Suarez had already returned home
to Uruguay by then, and has received
an outpouring of support from
Uruguayan fans and even the coun-
try s president, who blasted FIFA over
President Jose Mujica referred to
FIFA as "bunch of old sons of whores"
as he welcomed Uruguay s team back
from the World Cup on Sunday.
He also referred to FIFA s stiff ban
as "fascist," though he said that Suarez
could have been sanctioned with a
Suarez was named the player of
the year in the Premier League this
past season after scoring 31 goals to
lead Liverpool to a second-place fin-
ish. He led the league in scoring
despite missing the first five matches
of the season for serving the last part
of a 10-game ban for biting Chelsea
defender Branislav Ivanovic. (AP)
Suarez apologises for biting opponent
Uruguay's soccer player Luis Suarez, centre, with his children Benjamin,
left, and Delfina, waves to fans from his home, before the start of his
team's World Cup round 16 match with Colombia, on the outskirts of
Montevideo, Uruguay, Saturday. FIFA banned Suarez from all football
activities for four months for biting an opponent at the World Cup, a
punishment that rules him out of the rest of the tournament. AP PHOTO
Greece s World Cup
players want their
bonus money to be
used to build a new
training site for the
national team in the
Yiannis Andrianos, the government s general sec-
retary for sports, said yesterday that players had
written to Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras
asking that the money be used to fund a new training
site and that he had promised to do "everything pos-
sible" to respond to that request.
Greece was eliminated from World Cup late Sunday,
losing a penalty shootout with Costa Rica in the
round of 16.
A seaside training facility near Athens is due to
close next year due to a major redevelopment project.
Public spending on sports has been drastically reduced
since Greece was struck by a major financial crisis
It was not clear how much money the team mem-
bers would give up, and officials making their return
journey to Greece could not be reached for comment.
But earlier in the week, Greek football federation
officials said a bonus for reaching the last 16 at the
World Cup would total 1 million euros ($1.37 million),
with additional money for participation and prepa-
ration also due to the players and federation.
Playing at its third World Cup, Greece rebounded
from a 3-0 opening loss to tournament standout
Colombia, holding Japan 0-0 and defeating Ivory
Coast 2-1 to reach the last 16 for the first time.
The Greeks headed home without Portuguese
coach Fernando Santos, whose contract ends after
And Giorgos Karagounis, Greece s 37-year-old
captain, also ended his international career in Recife,
with 139 games that included Greece s stunning 2004
European Championship victory. Despite his age, he
outran every other player on the Greece squad, cov-
ering 13.6 kilometers (8.5 miles) in Sunday s game.
Costas Katsouranis is the last member of the 2004
squad still in the national team, but at 35 also is likely
to have played at his last major tournament. (AP)
giving up bonus
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