Argentine Crespo sacked by Sao Paulo

Argentine Crespo sacked by Sao Paulo
Sao Paulo’s head coach, Argentine Hernan Crespo, left the Brazilian Club on Wednesday. (AFP)
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Updated 13 October 2021

Argentine Crespo sacked by Sao Paulo

Argentine Crespo sacked by Sao Paulo
  • Crespo, 46, took over the Sao Paulo reins in February amongst much fanfare
  • Decision to part ways "was taken by mutual agreement following a conversation between the coach and the 'Tricolore' board of directors"

SAO PAULO: Sao Paulo have sacked former Argentina striker Hernan Crespo from his role as coach following a string of poor results, the Brazilian club announced on Wednesday.
Crespo, 46, took over the Sao Paulo reins in February among much fanfare, just three weeks after leading modest Argentine side Defensa y Justicia to the Copa Sudamericana title.
The decision to part ways “was taken by mutual agreement following a conversation between the coach and the ‘Tricolore’ board of directors,” said the club in a statement.
Crespo enjoyed a positive start in Brazil, leading Sao Paulo to their state title in May, ending a nine-year trophy drought.
The former AC Milan and Chelsea forward played an attacking style but things took a turn for the worse at the start of the Brazilian championship this season, while his side bowed out of the Copa Libertadores, the South American equivalent of the Champions League, in the quarter-finals.
Crespo also had to deal with the sudden departure of veteran fullback Dani Alves in September due to a dispute with the club over unpaid wages.
Sao Paulo have drawn their last five matches and sit 13th in the 20-team league.
They are just three points above the relegation zone with 14 matches to play.


Falcao rolls back the years to pile on misery for Barcelona

Falcao rolls back the years to pile on misery for Barcelona
Updated 27 October 2021

Falcao rolls back the years to pile on misery for Barcelona

Falcao rolls back the years to pile on misery for Barcelona
  • Memphis Depay missed a penalty in the second half at a bouncing Vallecas
  • Falcao continues to roll back the years at Rayo, this his fourth goal in six games for his new club

VALLECAS, Spain: Radamel Falcao’s remarkable return to La Liga took its most dramatic twist yet on Wednesday as the 35-year-old fired Rayo Vallecano to a surprise 1-0 victory over Barcelona in La Liga.
Memphis Depay missed a penalty in the second half at a bouncing Vallecas as Barca’s miserable start to the season under Ronald Koeman took another turn for the worse.
Falcao continues to roll back the years at Rayo, this his fourth goal in six games for his new club and surely the sweetest, coming against Barca, whom he last scored against in 2013.
After losing the Clasico at home to Real Madrid on Sunday, Barcelona now sit ninth in La Liga, six points off the top and, most concerningly for the board, the gap growing between them and the top four.
Barca president Joan Laporta was squeezed in among the home crowd and cannot have been impressed by another limp display that hardly suggested this team’s form is about to improve.
Rayo stay above Barca, and only two points off fourth, maintaining their perfect record at home this term with a fifth win out of five.
Falcao joined on a free transfer in the summer and after shirts with his name on the back sold out, he has so far lived up to the hype.
Only Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have better goals per game ratios in La Liga than Falcao, who replaced Sergio Aguero at Atletico Madrid in 2011 after the Argentinian left for Manchester City and now faced him again.
The last time Aguero and Falcao were on the same pitch together they scored two goals each in a 5-3 win for Manchester City against Monaco, but this was Falcao’s night.
At 35 years and 220 days, he is the oldest player to score four or more goals in his first six games for the same club in La Liga this century.
Aguero was making his first start for Barca on the back of his first goal for the club against Madrid and he was sent through early on by Nico Gonzalez, only to topple over without enough contact for a penalty.
Falcao went closest for Rayo too in the 19th minute as a deflected shot from the edge of the area dipped just wide of the post but the Colombian was more precise for the opener.
Sergio Busquets was at fault for the goal, robbed of the ball in midfield and giving Oscar Trejo the opportunity to free Falcao, who looked to have let the moment pass, only to twist past Gerard Pique and finish into the far corner.
Barcelona had been sloppy, with Philippe Coutinho and Depay particularly wasteful in possession, but they should have levelled when Depay’s cross found Sergino Dest six yards out but he ballooned over.
Dest missed a similar chance in the Clasico on Sunday.
Rayo came under pressure in the second half. Nico fired wide and then Aguero blasted just past the post. Coutinho skewed a close-range finish after some quick footwork from Busquets.
With 20 minutes to go, it looked like Barca finally had the breakthrough as Depay had the back of his leg clipped by Oscar Valentin.
Depay put the ball under his arm, despite interest from Aguero, but Marko Dmitrovic dived the right way and pushed away the shot.
Barca squandered more chances late on.
Aguero missed after being allowed to stroll through when the Rayo defense thought the flag had gone up.
Luuk de Jong miscued an attempted lob and Gavi mishit a simple finish in injury-time.


Jason Roy praises bowlers for England’s second T20 World Cup win, Namibia cruise past Scotland

England's captain Eoin Morgan, left, congratulates teammate Liam Livingstone after taking the wicket of Bangladesh's captain Mohammad Mahmudullah during the Cricket Twenty20 World Cup match between England and Bangladesh in Abu Dhabi. (AP)
England's captain Eoin Morgan, left, congratulates teammate Liam Livingstone after taking the wicket of Bangladesh's captain Mohammad Mahmudullah during the Cricket Twenty20 World Cup match between England and Bangladesh in Abu Dhabi. (AP)
Updated 27 October 2021

Jason Roy praises bowlers for England’s second T20 World Cup win, Namibia cruise past Scotland

England's captain Eoin Morgan, left, congratulates teammate Liam Livingstone after taking the wicket of Bangladesh's captain Mohammad Mahmudullah during the Cricket Twenty20 World Cup match between England and Bangladesh in Abu Dhabi. (AP)

ABU DHABI: Opening batsman Jason Roy on Wednesday credited the England bowlers for helping set up a second successive victory at the Twenty20 World Cup with an eight-wicket drubbing of Bangladesh.
Roy smashed 61 off 38 balls as England romped to their victory target of 125 in 14.1 overs in the Super 12 clash in Abu Dhabi.
He reached his seventh T20 half-century with a straight six in his 50th match during a partnership of 73 with Dawid Malan, who made an unbeaten 28.
“We bowled extremely well. Take nothing away from the bowlers,” Roy told reporters after his man of the match performance.
“We took our catches and fielded and bowled really well. We got off to a great start with the bats and then just capitalized on a lower total.”
England left-arm quick Tymal Mills took three wickets and combined with spinners Moeen Ali and Liam Livingstone to restrict Bangladesh to 124-9 in the two nations’ first ever meeting in the format.
Eoin Morgan’s England, the world’s number one-ranked T20 team, top Group 1 with two big wins after a six-wicket thrashing of holders West Indies in their tournament opener.
Roy said England’s loss to Bangladesh in the 2015 50-over World Cup knocked them out of that tournament but helped build a strong bond between the players and change their brand of cricket.
“Our camp has been together since 2015 like,” he said. “We’ve created bonds outside of cricket and on the field, which I think plays a huge part in traveling the world and playing good cricket.”
“We understand our roles in the team as individuals and as teammates.”
Bangladesh, who lost their opening Super 12 match to Sri Lanka, lost regular wickets after electing to bat first.
After giving away 10 runs in the opening over, Moeen hit back and was on a hat-trick in his second over, only to be denied by Mushfiqur Rahim, who top-scored with 29.
Moeen, an off-spinner, had Liton Das caught at deep square leg for nine and then sent Mohammad Naim trudging back to the pavilion for five.
Bangladesh found themselves in trouble at 26-3 when Chris Woakes claimed Shakib Al Hasan’s key scalp with Adil Rashid taking a good catch running backwards. Shakib fell for four.
Mushfiqur and skipper Mahmudullah Riyad, who made 19, tried to repair the damage in a 37-run partnership before Livingstone broke through.
Livingstone trapped Mushfiqur lbw, but England had to use the umpire referral after the onfield official ruled it not out.
Bangladesh kept faltering as a run-out cost Afif Hossain his wicket for five and Mahmudullah departed, for 19, soon after as Livingstone’s second wicket.
“Definitely, we were disappointed with the batting, it was a good wicket but we didn’t start well and didn’t have any partnerships in the middle either,” said Mahmudullah.
“We are more skilled hitters than power hitters, we don’t want to change that because we believe we can post good totals. We need to reassess and come up with a good plan.”
Bangladesh’s batting effort was well below par and the England batsmen having little trouble in their batting reply despite losing Jos Buttler for 18.
Roy smashed five fours and three sixes in an attacking knock that took the steam out of the Bangladesh bowling.
Malan, who did not bat in the first match, got useful batting time
Both team stook the knee before the start of the game with much focus on the anti-racism gesture after South Africa’s Quinton de Kock pulled out of a match against West Indies on Tuesday because he refused to obey the national cricket board’s orders.
Roy said, “Our team is extremely diverse with people from all over the world. It’s only right that we support that and we support what they are going through.”

---------

JJ Smit stood unbeaten on 32 as Namibia beat Scotland by four wickets in their first ever Super 12 match of the Twenty20 World Cup on Wednesday.
Left-arm quick Ruben Trumpelmann returned figures of 3-17 in Abu Dhabi to help restrict Scotland to 109-8.
Smit and David Wiese, who made 16, put on a key partnership of 35 to guide the team home with five balls to spare, handing Scotland their second loss of the group stage.

 

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Football’s five-substitutes option to be made permanent

Football’s five-substitutes option to be made permanent
Updated 27 October 2021

Football’s five-substitutes option to be made permanent

Football’s five-substitutes option to be made permanent
  • The decision to permanently amend football's laws came at a virtual FIFA-chaired IFAB meeting
  • The option of using 5 replacements was introduced in May 2020 to alleviate the strain on players

LONDON: Football competitions can decide to make the originally temporary five-substitutes rule permanent, the sport’s rule-making body IFAB recommended on Wednesday.
“FAP-TAP (football and technical advisory panels) today recommended that competitions should be able to decide on increasing the number of substitutes according to the needs of their football environment,” read an IFAB statement.
The decision to permanently amend football’s laws came at a virtual FIFA-chaired IFAB meeting following requests from different confederations, associations and leagues.
The option of using five replacements was introduced in May 2020 to alleviate the strain on players as the coronavirus pandemic upended sporting calendars and congested fixture lists, raising fears for player welfare.
Only three substitutes were previously allowed but coaches argued the more onerous physical demands on players competing in condensed competition formats or time periods justified the change.
Earlier this year IFAB’s board of directors extended the temporary amendment to football’s laws allowing domestic and international competitions to use five substitutes to December 31, 2022.
Teams can make five substitutes in UEFA competitions like the Champions League but England’s Premier League rejected the innovation being reintroduced last season.
Critics had said making the change permanent would disproportionately benefit wealthier clubs with larger squads.


’Dead in its tracks’ — FIFPro chief convinced biennial World Cup won’t happen

’Dead in its tracks’ — FIFPro chief convinced biennial World Cup won’t happen
Updated 27 October 2021

’Dead in its tracks’ — FIFPro chief convinced biennial World Cup won’t happen

’Dead in its tracks’ — FIFPro chief convinced biennial World Cup won’t happen
  • Opposition has been so widespread from leagues, players and supporters groups that the chances of a biennial World Cup actually happening appear remote
  • "There has been a lot of pushback. They have realised that," FIFPro's general secretary Jonas Baer-Hoffmann told AFP about FIFA's proposals

BRUSSELS: The head of global footballers’ union FIFPro is confident a plan to hold the men’s World Cup every two years is “dead in its tracks” and insists FIFA should do more to promote the women’s version instead.
FIFA will hold a summit in December with president Gianni Infantino still hoping to find consensus on plans to stage the men’s tournament more often than the current four-year cycle.
However, opposition has been so widespread from leagues, players and supporters groups that the chances of a biennial World Cup actually happening appear remote.
“There has been a lot of pushback. They have realized that,” FIFPro’s general secretary Jonas Baer-Hoffmann told AFP about FIFA’s proposals.
“It is quite clear that if you try to push this through against the interests of all these other stakeholders, and without their agreement, it is probably dead in its tracks.”
FIFPro, comprised of national member associations from 64 countries, is one of several organizations within football that has expressed unhappiness at a lack of consultation on the issue.
The proposals were put forward by Arsene Wenger, FIFA’s head of global development.
Baer-Hoffmann questioned whether holding more frequent World Cups would be sustainable economically, but said there is already a solution in place.
“When we met with FIFA for the first time, we asked them for the economic analysis, we haven’t seen that yet. I don’t think a second World Cup would just mean the current revenue times two. It’s not like you just double the value in sponsorship etcetera.
“The truth is also that there are two World Cups in every four-year cycle already. We should make the women’s one more of a priority. That is your second World Cup.”
The World Cup is expanding regardless in another way — the men’s version to 48 teams from 2026 and the women’s to 32 teams from 2023.
Other competitions like the UEFA Champions League are also expanding to feature more games, but FIFPro is concerned that footballers beyond the men’s elite do not play enough.
“If you are playing in a market that doesn’t have the economic means like the big European markets then of course you are looking at innovation in competitions, club or country, that puts more meaningful and economically viable games in your schedule,” said Baer-Hoffmann.
“We do need reforms, no question. If we just carry on like this football in many parts of the world will not evolve.”
In Brussels FIFPro announced a joint manifesto with the European Leagues organization, which represents over one thousand clubs from 30 countries.
It called for greater influence over decisions affecting the future of the sport, especially important in the wake of the failed breakaway Super League project.
That project may only be lying dormant. Three of the 12 rebel clubs — Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus — remain attached to it.
UEFA opened disciplinary proceedings against the remaining clubs but backed down after a commercial court in Madrid ruled any punishment would represent an infringement of European free trade laws.
The ruling was referred to the European Court of Justice.
“The factors that motivated this attempt to break away have not actually drastically changed,” Baer-Hoffmann said.
The plan was torpedoed in April following widespread opposition.
“But I think we have to be realistic. This is not dead, and I think this will come back, and football had better get ready to confront it again.”


'Get vaccinated' top German minister tells Kimmich

'Get vaccinated' top German minister tells Kimmich
Updated 27 October 2021

'Get vaccinated' top German minister tells Kimmich

'Get vaccinated' top German minister tells Kimmich
  • "Think again and get vaccinated," a senior figure in Angela Merkel's outgoing government told Bild in a message aimed directly at Kimmich
  • Bayern Munich star sparked a fierce debate in Germany at the weekend when he revealed he opted not to get vaccinated, because of "personal concerns"

BERLIN: Bayern Munich star Joshua Kimmich has been told to get vaccinated against Covid-19 by Germany's acting interior minister.
This happened after the footballer sparked a lively debate by revealing he had opted out of receiving jabs against the coronavirus.
"Think again and get vaccinated," Horst Seehofer, a senior figure in Angela Merkel's outgoing government, told Bild in a message aimed directly at Kimmich.
"You are a personality with exemplary character. And if you get vaccinated, other people will say, 'then I'll do it too.'"
Kimmich, who captained Germany in a recent World cup qualifier, sparked a fierce debate in Germany at the weekend when he revealed he opted not to get vaccinated, because of "personal concerns".
Medical experts have criticised his stance, accusing Kimmich of neglecting his duty as a role model in football-mad Germany.
"Joshua Kimmich is an expert in football matters, not of vaccination and vaccines," fumed Thomas Mertens, chairman of Germany's Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko).
In a video interview for German daily Bild on Wednesday, Seehofer urged Kimmich to rethink his position as "vaccination is the main weapon in the fight against the pandemic".
Germany has seen a sharp rise in numbers of those testing positive for the coronavirus with 23,212 new cases reported Wednesday.
Of Germany's population of 83 million, around 66 percent are fully vaccinated.
Kimmich appears to be in the minority as more than 90 percent of footballers and backroom staff in Germany's top two leagues are vaccinated, according to figures released Tuesday by the German Football League (DFL).
Bayern head coach Julian Nagelsmann is currently isolating at home after testing positive for the coronavirus last week.
Bayern Munich team-mates Thomas Mueller and Manuel Neuer have made it clear they feel Kimmich should get vaccinated and the midfielder has not ruled out doing so in the future.
"There is a very good chance that I will still get vaccinated," Kimmich said Saturday, "It's simply that I still have concerns."
Bayern president Herbert Hainer has said he would be happy if Kimmich gets vaccinated, but pointed out there is no compulsory vaccination in Germany.