Referees empowered to act against racism

July 2, 2009

“UEFA’s Executive Committee has approved guidelines for match officials to deal with serious racist incidents in stadiums.” (uefa)

Six years on… (ESPN)
“After six years with Soccernet I am moving on to pastures new. Given my impending departure and an unhealthy, nay, nerdy interest in the business of football now seems an opportune moment to assess the health of the UK game and see what, if anything, has changed in my time covering the game for ESPN.”

Fernando Torres says that Rafael Benitez has made him a better player (Times)
“Fernando Torres, the Liverpool and Spain forward, believes that Rafael Benitez has made him a better player in the two seasons since he moved to Merseyside. Torres was known as a player of immense potential when he arrived at Anfield in the summer of 2007 from Atletico Madrid, but not as a prolific goalscorer.”

The top 10 stars of the Libertadores (SI)
“The 50th edition of South America’s Champions League, the Copa Libertadores, is set for a thrilling climax, with the return legs of both semifinals scheduled for this week. With Nacional of Uruguay taking on Argentina’s Estudiantes de La Plata and an all-Brazilian affair of Grêmio up against Cruzeiro, fans will be treated to two matches embroidered with history and still wide open after the first-leg results.”

ESPN planning World Cup blowout (SI)
“It’s been said before: John Skipper is that rare American who can equally negotiate the worlds of Craven Cottage and Ricky Craven. As ESPN’s executive vice president for content, Skipper has a major hand in the programming you see on the network and his fondness for soccer is no Beckham-come-lately act. He is a devoted supporter of Tottenham, the plucky London-based English Premier League team, and has spanned the globe with his two children visiting some of soccer’s most famous cathedrals.”

The Sands of Time: Doomsday for the Original Franchise FC? (Pitchinvasion)
“While a good majority of the negative attention surrounding relocation of football clubs is aimed at McDons (Milton Keynes Dons, the franchise that replaced Wimbledon F.C.), and with good reason, many tend to forget that they were not the first in Britain. In Scotland, what is now Livingston FC did the same thing in 1995 when they, then known as Meadowbank Thistle, abandoned Edinburgh in favor of a new stadium in the new town of Livingston, West Lothian.”

ThreeMatchBan Top 10: World Cup Finalists Who Chose Mid-Table Obscurity… Or Worse (Three Match Ban)

“The Premier League has witnessed many World Cup winners in its brief but illustrious history, but only 10 players have appeared for clubs other than Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal and witnessed the humdrum of mid-table obscurity. Those brave souls who have tasted the pinnacle of football success as champions of the world, but chose to play for a club whose existence is based around more than just winning trophies every season have finally been recognised in chronological order.”

Top 10 goals from the Confederations Cup (101 Great Goals)