Millwall’s win in Saturday’s FA Cup fifth-round contest over Luton Town made news for reasons good and bad.
There was big drama around this one all along. Millwall participates in England’s second tier; Luton Town resides for now in England’s fifth tier, somewhere between a fully professional and an amateur team.
As such, many were keeping fingers crossed for yet another upset. Luton was striving to become the first non-league team – that is, a team not currently in one of England’s four Football League top tiers – to reach the FA Cup sixth round in 99 years. Queens Park Rangers was the last to do so, way back in 1914.
Luton made a little history along the way as the first non-league team to beat a club from England’s top division in FA Cup action in 24 years, getting by Norwich City in the fourth round last month.
But the dreams died as the bigger club won, with Millwall running out a comfortable 3-0 win, advancing into the final eight of England’s storied all-comers competition.
The bad memories?
There was trouble, although nothing like the violence around the previous meeting of these clubs, back during a very different time in the game, back in 1985. Police were prepared this time with a massive presence as a deterrent. Officers from six policing bodies combined to ensure security.
Good thing, too. Who knows how this might have spun out of control had police not be wisely apportioned.
As it was, police reported a “a short stand-off” between opposing fans and seven arrests following Saturday’s contest.
Play until you hear the referee’s whistle. In theory, so simple. In practice, it only takes a single second of concentration lapse to become an internet sensation for all the wrong reasons.
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Such is life for Karyn Forbes, member of the Trinidad and Tobago women’s national soccer team. In the above video, you’ll observe Forbes, a 24-year-old midfielder, giving away perhaps the most bizarre penalty kick you’ll ever see. You’ll have to watch for yourself to believe it.
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Unfortunately for Forbes, though the whole of the ball might have crossed the whole of the end line, the referee did not blow her whistle… not until Forbes picked the ball up with her hands and carried it to her goalkeeper.
BERLIN (AP) The German Football League (DFL) has given the go-ahead for the possible testing of video replays in the Bundesliga over a two-year pilot phase.
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The DFL says it will be lodging an application with FIFA to take part if the pilot phase is approved by the International Football Association Board at its next annual general meeting on March 5.
The DFL says video replays could be used by a “team of impartial match officials for the purpose of avoiding any evidently incorrect decisions” and that the pilot phase would be preceded by “intensive preparations.”
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These would include the settlement of costs among FIFA, the IFAB, the DFL and German football federation, as well as training for the candidates.
West Ham United hope Dimitri Payet is going absolutely nowhere after the club announced on Thursday the 28-year-old Frenchman has signed a contract extension through the summer of 2021.
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Payet’s current contract was scheduled to keep him at the Premier League club through the summer of 2020, but a series of standout performances (6 goals, 4 assists so far this season, mostly during the season’s opening three months) and rumors of interest from “bigger” clubs meant tacking on another year — and plenty more cash — was the best way to keep Payet in east London for the foreseeable future. The club confirmed earlier this week that negotiations over an extension were underway.
“He’s the best player I’ve signed in 25 years,” said West Ham co-owner David Sullivan. “He’s a [$43 million] player. He’s a supreme footballer. He makes every player in our side play better. On his day, he’s world class, he’s unstoppable.”
Payet, who’s been at West Ham just eight months after signing last summer, could still depart in the summer should he finish the current season strong and/or show up and show out at the European Championship, which kicks off in June. In that event, West Ham would now bag a much heftier transfer fee than they would have done prior to the extension.
Remember that Dele Alli goal? No, not that one… that one. Of course you remember it. How could you not?
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How often does a player receive the ball out of the air, flick it over his head, spin 180 degrees and hit an inch-perfect volley from 20 yards out to secure all three points for his team? The answer is, of course, not very often.
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Thus, a goal such as Alli’s stunning winner against Crystal Palace last month has been, and will continue to be, immortalized through numerous recreations in this Digital Age. Above is Alli’s goal recreated in hand-drawn crayon.