FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) The Bundesliga says it will be ready to use video review next season.
[ MORE: Fonte’s strange situation ]
FIFA’s rules making panel, known as IFAB, is working with leagues to introduce Video Assistant Referees (VARs) ahead of likely approval for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
FIFA wants video review only for potential “clear errors” in four situations: Goals being scored, penalties being awarded, players being sent off, and cases of mistaken identity.
[ MORE: Latest Bundesliga news ]
IFAB should decide early next year on using VARs at the World Cup.
Germany’s top league kicks off next season in August.
A Bundesliga statement says it opted for a system “where all VARs will be assembled at a single location on the day of play,” as the NBA and MLB use.
In Russia, FIFA could opt for VARs working at the stadium as part of each referee’s support team.
The latest Premier League player Power Rankings are here and we have a new man on top.
Players from Tottenham and Chelsea dominate the list, plus there are plenty of new entries from across the league. In the video above I break down the reasons for picking my top five.
[ MORE: Power Rankings archive ]
Remember: this is a list of the top 20 performing players right now in the Premier League.
Let us know in the comments section below if you agree with the selections of the top 20 players in the PL right now.
- Harry Kane (Tottenham) – Up 11
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Man United) – Even
- Dele Alli (Tottenham) – Down 2
- Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal) – Up 4
- Michail Antonio (West Ham) – New entry
- Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) – New entry
- Adam Lallana (Liverpool) – Down 1
- Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal) – New entry
- Christian Eriksen (Tottenham) – Even
- Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea) – Even
- Kyle Walker (Tottenham) – New entry
- Danny Rose (Tottenham) – New entry
- Kevin De Bruyne (Man City) – Down 1
- Marcos Alonso (Chelsea) – New entry
- Abel Hernandez (Hull City) – New entry
- Marko Arnautovic (Stoke City) – New entry
- Romelu Lukaku (Everton) – New entry
- Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham) – New entry
- Hugo Lloris (Tottenham) – Down 1
- Tom Heaton (Burnley) – New entry
Jose Fonte was linked with moves to Manchester United and Liverpool throughout the summer transfer window and for most of the January window.
Now a move to West Ham or West Bromwich Albion seems more likely.
[ MORE: Vertonghen injury update ]
Multiple outlets are reporting that Fonte, 33, has agreed terms with the two Premier League clubs, while West Ham are believed to be in the driving seat for Southampton’s skipper who they will pay $11 million for.
Fonte, who has been with Saints since 2010, handed in a transfer request earlier this month and is unavailable for selection until he is either sold by Southampton or the transfer window closes without him leaving.
The latter does not look likely, even if West Ham manager Slaven Bilic refused to comment specifically on Fonte in his press conference on Thursday. If the move to the Hammers does go through then it would end a strange, and sad, final chapter in Fonte’s career at St Mary’s.
He joined Saints in the third-tier in January 2010 and the center back is the only player remaining from their League One days. In seven years he has risen with Southampton and has become one of the most reliable center backs in the PL, plus got his chance with the Portuguese national team and started every game in the knockout stage as Portugal won EURO 2016 this summer.
After that triumph Fonte’s head seemed to have been turned and with his new agent Jorge Mendes (the same “super agent” who looks after Fonte’s compatriots Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho) he seemed to be eyeing a move away.
[ LONGFORM: Jose Fonte, baby ]
I was at a preseason game for Saints against Espanyol in August where Fonte turned up late (he had arrived late for preseason after his summer exploits with Portugal) and all of Southampton’s fans stood on their feet to applaud him for his success with Portugal at EURO 2016 and chanted for him to stay at St Mary’s. He rather sheepishly gave a wave but it all looked rather staged. It just didn’t feel right and there was no real surprise that the rumors about him leaving didn’t end until the end of the summer transfer window.
No clubs seemed too interested in taking him from Saints and anyway he had 18 months to run on his current, plus Southampton offered him a one-year extension and a pay raise without him even asking.
Fonte, for some reason, declined that offer and ever since then then there have been reports about him being a negative influence in the locker room and despite his play on the field not dropping dramatically he has put out cryptic message on Instagram, plus he didn’t play a single second of Southampton’s landmark UEFA Europa League group stage campaign for unknown reasons.
This situation is really nothing to do with current manager Claude Puel. He is caught in the middle and Executive director of football Les Reed finally came out and spoke about Fonte’s future two weeks ago as he revealed the Portuguese defender wanted out.
The way this has ended is messy for everyone involved but what more can Saints do?
They have a player who is adored by the fans after rising with them from the lower leagues to a sixth-place finish and European action. He is the captain of the club but is refusing to sign a new deal and has told them he wants to leave. Out of respect for Fonte, Saints will let any reasonable offer take him away from St Mary’s. Yet, it didn’t have to end like this.
If Fonte does go to West Ham, he may get an increase in his wages for the final few years of his career but then what? He would’ve had a job for life at Southampton had he played out the remaining 18 months of his current deal or then extended it for another season to take him towards the age of 36.
This whole situation seems very strange and for everyone involved some sort of explanation would help with wading through the mess if Fonte does leave Southampton, as expected, in the coming days. It is unlikely Fonte had West Ham or West Brom near the top of his ideal destinations when he made it clear he wanted to leave Saints. Now, those are the options awaiting him. Maybe he saw so many of his former teammates leave Saints and go on to better things (look at Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Morgan Schneiderlin, Sadio Mane et al.) and fancied some of that following his success with Portugal in the summer.
No disrespect to Fonte but a veteran center back from Saints is hardly as enticing as the likes of Lallana and Mane were in summers gone by.
Amid the current situations regarding Dimitri Payet and Diego Costa in the Premier League, this one involving Fonte and Southampton has somewhat flown under the radar. It shouldn’t have. Serious questions need to be asked about what the heck has been going on.
CHAPECO, Brazil (AP) Slowly and steadily, Rafael Henzel will climb into the cramped space to broadcast Saturday’s friendly match for Brazilian club Chapecoense, the first since nearly the entire team was killed in an air crash almost two months ago.
Only six of the 77 passengers survived – and Henzel was one of them.
“The stairway at the Arena Conda is very steep, but I have extra motivation to be in that stadium again and see players wearing our shirt, the fans. It won’t be that stairway that will stop me,” Henzel told The Associated Press after his morning show on radio Oeste Capital.
Henzel has worked at Chapecoense matches since 2012, and is the voice of the team from the remote, southern Brazilian city of Chapeco. After 20 days in a hospital, seven broken ribs, multiple scars – one over his right eye- and worrisome pneumonia, Henzel went back to work at the radio station just over a week ago.
Now he’s making his second return – what he calls “Rafael 2.0” – in the match against Brazilian league champion Palmeiras, preparing to once again get behind the microphone at the tiny stadium.
His left foot is in a cast, but that won’t stop him.
“When I woke up at the crash site, I became aware of what had happened,” he said, recalling the crash. “Initially, I thought I was dreaming but then, shortly after, you start to realize that the plane had crashed.”
Three Chapecoense players survived – 19 were killed – when the plane slammed into the Andes mountains as it headed to the city of Medellin to face Colombian team Atletico Nacional in the Copa Sudamericana final – the No. 2 club tournament in South America.
All three hope to play again, in one fashion or another. And all three are expected for Chape’s debut on Saturday.
Defender Neto, who spent more than 10 hours in the plane wreckage before being rescued, recently took his first steps without support.
He’s already visited the club and will be an inspiration for Chape’s new players in a busy season. Their 2017 commitments include defending their title in the Santa Catarina state league, keeping the team up in Brazil’s first division, playing for the first time in the prestigious Copa Libertadores – the continent’s No. 1 tournament – and fundraising in a pile of friendlies, including one against Barcelona.
“If I didn’t believe I could recover, I will get depressed,” Neto told reporters. “Doctors said I might return this year, but I don’t know whether my knees are still up for it,” Neto said in a press conference. “I will be here to give support to the players that come. It’s not easy to represent all those who died, but I want to be fit to play so I can be more than a symbol. I want to make a real contribution.”
Winger Alan Ruschel is the player in best shape for a return. He expects to be back within six months, but no doctor says it will definitely happen.
“I will do all that I can to play again, and I will be patient to get there,” Ruschel said. In tears, he said he has no recollection of the accident.
“I was in the front seats, then I changed with a friend of ours that is now gone,” he said. “I am pretty sure that that made me survive, because our goalkeeper Jakson Follmann was next to me and he also escaped. It was Follmann who told me to sit next to him, so I guess he also saved my life. I will have to live with this feeling forever.”
Goalie Follmann will not play for Chape again. He had part of his right leg amputated and is still going through minor surgery. He is considering becoming a Paralympian and a member of Chape’s staff.
The goalie has avoided talking about the future, but is not as gloomy as many about his current state.
“I choose life over the leg,” he told doctors during his recovery. “We will manage this easily.”
Mauricio Savarese on Twitter: http://twitter.com/MSavarese .His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/journalist/mauricio-savarese