Rescinded Red

Oh the media monkeys and their junket junkies will invite you to their plastic pantomime. Throw their invites away.

FA and Premier League to Reopen Tevez Affair

carlos-tevez-1The FA and Premier League’s initial reluctance to act decisively has returned to bite them, as, nearly two years later, they must reopen the Tevez case.

West Ham signed Argentine starlets Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano under suspicious circumstances in Aug. 2006.  Both players were third-party owned, which should have prohibited West Ham from signing them under Premier League rules. 

West Ham filed dodgy paperwork to register the players, for which the club was later punished.  West Ham received a £5.5 million fine but escaped a points deduction, customary in such cases.  Carlos Tevez, remaining eligible, starred down the stretch in a miraculous run to avoid relegation.  Had West Ham been docked three points, they and not Sheffield United would have gone down.

Sheffield United already won a legal claim against West Ham, which could cost the club up to £50m.

New evidence has forced the FA and the Premier League to open another inquiry.  West Ham chief executive Scott Duxbury allegedly provided third-party owner Kia Joorabchian a series of “oral cuddles” that kept a de facto third-party agreement in place, despite assurances to the Premier League the deal had been terminated.

West Ham already faces financial peril due to the compensation payment and to their owner’s personal financial problems.  Finding a buyer could be unlikely, given the state of international credit markets.  This could see West Ham sent into administration this season and penalized ten points.  Should the club face further sanctions, it may seal their relegation.  

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Filed under: Football, Premier League, Soccer, , , , , ,

Gay Rights Advocate Criticizes Chelsea for Scolari Hiring

big-phil

English gay rights advocate Peter Tatchell has attacked Chelsea for hiring manager Luiz Felipe Scolari.

“The appointment of Phil Scolari to manage Chelsea should have been vetoed by FA and Chelsea bosses,” Tatchell said.  “He had previously said he would refuse to have a gay player in his team.

“The FA should have not allowed him to take up his post until he renounced discrimination and gave an undertaking to abide by the FA’s equality policies.”

“If Scolari had said that black players were banned from his team, there would have been uproar.  He would have been immediately ruled out of running for the Chelsea managership.  Why the double standards?”

I support gay rights, marriage and full legal equality.  I hold neither malice nor intended prejudice.  Homophobic comments at football matches disgust me.  I applaud the work of Kick it Out and other organizations.  But, I don’t see how Tatchell’s comments are appropriate or productive.

Loving whoever you want is or should be a fundamental right in a free society, as should be the right to express that love in a public forum and receive the associated benefits. 

However, freedom of worship is equally fundamental.  Scolari is a devout Catholic.  As odious as it may be, one of the tenants of hard-line Catholicism is that homosexuality is immoral.  The FA and Chelsea have no right to impose upon the man’s religion or conscience.

Tolerance works both ways.  Truths that are self-evident to some may not be to others.  Homosexuality is a political issue, but for many, on both sides, it’s also a moral one. 

The FA should behave with sensitivity, but sensibly.  Scolari’s personal views on matters religious and moral should not face an inquisition from interest groups before being allowed to manage a football club.

Agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts below.

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Arsenal Will Claim Walcott Injury Pay from FA

Arsene Wenger corroborated reports that Arsenal will seek compensation from the English FA for Theo Walcott’s wages, as he recovers from a dislocated shoulder suffered during England training.  Walcott will likely be out until February.  Reports rumor the sum at seven figures.

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Premier League Will Target Thirty Players for Extra Drug Testing

rio_ferdinand_2004In compliance with the Football Association and UK Sport, the Premier League will place thirty players into a special big-brother-like drug testing regime.

The thirty players, chosen by the FA based on previous patterns, will report their location to officials 365 days per year.  They will face suspension if not in their designated place.  The FA will test these players five times per year, along with normal, random post-match testing.

The league has no evidence that players are circumventing the drug testing regime.  However, they have concerns about players’ activities during their six-week summer holidays and during extended injury layoffs.

Doping concerns are certainly valid.  If feasible, the Premier League should institute more stringent, universal testing.  However, arbitrarily preselecting players based on suspicion and crawling up said players’ nether regions with a speculum hardly seems the most-efficient, sensible method to curb potentially dangerous drug use.

Update: Not surprisingly, the Professional Footballers Association does not approve of the plan, citing an invasion of privacy.

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FA to Become Thought Police

The English FA is investigating a claim made in Didier Drogba’s autobiography to determine whether he “brought the game into disrepute.”

Discussing his sending off in the Champions League final, Drogba wrote: “I have seen the match on video and I believe I should not have been sent off with three minutes to go.  If I had punched (Vidic), I would have understood.  Now I wish I had.”

How does the FA regulate someone’s feelings or intentions?  

If wanting to punch someone is akin to punching them, should we start showing red cards because someone wished they had raised a boot on a tackle?  Should we allow goals because the striker wanted to score?  Will the FA institute a Minority Report-style regime to monitor players’ thoughts?

Is the alleged infraction the thought itself, or admitting it to the public?  Does freedom of speech not exist in England?  Does the FA really want a precedent that being honest means bringing the game into disrepute?

John Terry can rugby-tackle someone with impunity, but Drogba thinking, in an offhanded manner, about punching someone is “disreputable”?  Absurd.

The worst part is that this forces at least one poor FA flunky to have to read Didier Drogba’s autobiography.

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More English Match-Fixing Investigations

In the wake of the Norwich v. Derby investigation, the City of London’s fraud unit is exploring three other English matches for match-fixing, based on suspicious Asian betting patterns.

The specific matches have not been released, but they are reported to be Premier League matches from 2001 and 2007, as well as a League Two match from 2006.

The fraud unit will evaluate the evidence, before launching a full investigation.

Thanks to EPL Talk

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FA Investigating Suspicious Championship Match

The English FA is investigating a Championship match between Derby County and Norwich City on Oct. 4 for match-fixing.

An abnormal flood of Asian bets at half-time aroused suspicion, predicting Norwich, then trailing 1-0, to win the match.  Derby goalkeeper Roy Carroll saw a red card five minutes into the second-half, with Norwich converting the penalty.  Derby eventually won the match 2-1 after a Norwich defensive lapse.

The FA has not yet contacted either club, despite, apparently, alerting the media.  They will enforce the Gambling Act, requiring British bookmakers to cooperate with the investigation.

Filed under: Football, Soccer, , , , , ,

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