Comment & analysis round-up
Quote of the day: “I find it hard to wear a T-shirt after what happened last year. I think people feel let down by what used to be called Let’s Kick Racism Out of Football. I’m totally committed to kicking racism out of football but when there’s a movement I feel represents the issue in the way that speaks for me and my colleagues, then I will happily support it.” – Jason Roberts.
Runner-up: “Winning any league is extremely difficult but going through it unbeaten is also extremely difficult. Which is more difficult — winning the Champions League or remaining unbeaten in the league? Remaining unbeaten in the league.” – Andre Villas-Boas
Serbia Go On The Offensive Against Danny Rose (& the mainstream media recognise 101 Great Goals!)
Serbian FA appear to post video accusing Danny Rose of lying (Guardian) The Serbian Football Association appears to have posted a video on YouTube aimed at discrediting Danny Rose’s claim that he was the victim of monkey chants from home supporters “every time” he touched the ball during England Under-21s’ 1-0 victory over Serbia in Krusevac on Tuesday… The video, which was brought to the attention of the Guardian by 101greatgoals.com, contains a strung-together package of Rose in action against Serbia Under-21s in which it is hard to detect any monkey chants.
‘Danny Rose is lying to whom?’ Serbian FA’s bizarre video bid to smear England Under 21 star amid racism storm (Mail) The Serbian FA have shamefully tried to discredit Danny Rose’s claim that he was racially abused by fans during England’s Under 21 European Championship play-off win on Tuesday. Just 24 hours after the Serbs insisted there had been no racist chanting during the ill-tempered clash in Krusevac, their official YouTube channel posted a bizarre video mocking the Tottenham player’s accusation… Below the Serbian FA video clip, which was brought to the attention of Sportsmail by www.101greatgoals.com, a caption read: ‘Danny Rose said: “Every time I touched the ball, they were doing the monkey chanting again”
John Terry Accepts Racism Charge, Keeps Chelsea Captaincy, Gets Slammed
The FA will learn lessons from John Terry affair which has damaged the reputation of English football (Football Association chairman David Bernstein, Telegraph) The decision by John Terry not to appeal his Football Association charge hopefully brings to a close a difficult period for the domestic game in this country in which, unfortunately, the reputation of English football has been damaged.
Final warning: Chelsea to get rid of Terry if he’s found guilty of racism again… but critics say ban too lenient (Mail) John Terry has been warned he will be booted out of Chelsea if found guilty of racial abuse again… Despite Terry’s apology, in which he said he wanted ‘to apologise to everyone for the language I used in the game against Queens Park Rangers’, he has been criticised by the Kick It Out Campaign again.
Hypocrites (Sun) Chelsea today stand accused of blatant hypocrisy and posturing in football’s fight to kick out racism. The club made a mockery of their boast of a “zero tolerance” approach by only fining John Terry for his racial rant at Anton Ferdinand. Terry will not even be stripped of the captaincy — despite putting Chelsea in the middle of a racist storm for almost a year.
Blues are a bunch of chickens (Steven Howard, Sun) So when it came to it, Chelsea chickened out. They had a wonderful chance to set new standards when it came to race issues by stripping John Terry of the club captaincy. But, of course, they declined to set any sort of example at all.
Chelsea had a chance to show they understood the damage the Terry case has done – and they Blue it (Martin Lipton, Mirror) Chelsea flunked it. Completely, totally and utterly… In allowing the defender to remain a symbol of the club, it is not just anti-racism campaigners who will question Chelsea’s integrity.
Kicking Out The ‘Kick It Out’ Campaign
Revolt over racism: Roberts leads players’ boycott of weekend’s Kick It Out campaign in Premier League (Mail) Reading striker Jason Roberts is refusing wear a Kick It Out shirt at Anfield on Saturday in protest at what he says is the organisation’s lack of action against racism in football in the last year. Kick It Out are planning a week of action in response to several high-profile recent incidents of racism in football, most notably John Terry’s abuse of Anton Ferdinand, Luis Suarez’s comments to Patrice Evra and the abuse suffered by England Under 21s defender Danny Rose in Serbia on Tuesday.
Kicked in the teeth: Frustrated Ferdinands set to refuse to wear anti-racism shirts (Mirror) Brothers Anton and Rio Ferdinand are expected lead a black player boycott of this weekend’s anti-racism campaign. They have told friends they will refuse to wear Kick It Out T-shirts in protest at the handling of the John Terry affair… Wales goalkeeper Jason Brown is also refusing to wear the Kick it Out shirt. Brown, now with Scottish side Aberdeen, said: “Kick It Out is one big smokescreen. I refuse to wear their T-shirts or do their adverts. They don’t push it hard enough.”
Uefa & Racism
UEFA hand out another paltry racism fine for Lazio fans’ monkey chants at Spurs stars (Mail) Lazio have been fined £32,500 by UEFA for the improper conduct of their fans during last month’s Europa League tie against Tottenham at White Hart Lane… Last season UEFA fined Porto £16,700 for their fans’ racist abuse directed at Manchester City’s Mario Balotelli and Yaya Toure.
Lazio fined for racism at Spurs (Sun) UEFA had the chance to flex their muscles after Lazio yobs yelled monkey chants at Jermain Defoe, Aaron Lennon and Andros Townsend during last month’s Europa League clash at White Hart Lane. But the pittance of a punishment for Lazio is the latest in a long line of UEFA slap-on-the-wrist fines for acts of racism.
Man United pin hopes on new £25m state-of-the-art medical centre to end injury nightmare (Mail) Manchester United believe that a new £25million state-of-the-art medical facility at Carrington will stop them being the most injury-prone team in the Premier League.
United steal a march on City with prophetic injury advance (Independent) Manchester United announced a scientific partnership yesterday which it is claimed will enable them to predict which players are prone to injury six to 12 months beforehand and solve injury problems which are among the worst in the Premier League.
Blow for Spurs with Parker to stay on the sidelines until Christmas (Mail) Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas has revealed that injured midfielder Scott Parker has been ruled out until Christmas.
Op-eds: Rooney & the MLS
Has Rooney lived up to the hype? (Simon Hart, Independent) When Wayne Rooney trudged off the pitch in Warsaw on Wednesday night, downcast after another largely listless display in an England shirt, it was an all too familiar sight. His career has been pockmarked by extreme highs and depressing lows and here he was again, five days after captaining his country against San Marino, departing the action early, having had the worst passing accuracy of any visiting player, to be replaced by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Who earns the big bucks in MLS? And why the players want us to know (Guardian) As the salaries of every MLS player are revealed, with Thierry Henry the top earner, the players’ union argues that it pays to be open on pay.
Arsenal boss Wenger to launch £15m raid for striker Lopez (Mail) Arsenal will make a £15million offer for Spain striker Adrian Lopez when the transfer window re-opens. Wenger will dispatch one of his scouts to watch the Atletico Madrid forward play against Real Sociedad on Sunday.
Juventus throw down gauntlet to Arsenal target Llorente, offering to make him best-paid player(Mail) Juventus have raised the stakes in the race to sign Fernando Llorente by drawing up a contract to make him their best paid player. In a declaration of intent that will test Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger’s resolve, Juventus have put together a long-term £145,000-a-week package to tempt the Athletic Bilbao striker to Turin.
Juventus and AC Milan linked with Manchester United winger Luis Nani (Independent) Reports claim Ferguson has already lined-up Nani’s replacement, and will be returning to Portugal to get his man. James Rodriguez, the Columbian international labelled South America’s Cristiano Ronaldo, plays for Porto.
Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez a £8m target for Serie A giants Fiorentina (Star) Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez is an £8m summer transfer target for Serie A big boys Fiorentina.