Four English players and one Australian official in the Australian second division have been banned from soccer worldwide for over two years by FIFA. The world governing body announced on Wednesday that it had decided to honor Football Federation Australia’s ban until at least Dec. 31, 2015.
Pending criminal trial, FFA passed down its ruling a week earlier. FIFA’s confirmation of extension of the ban came on its website.
All four players — Joe Woolley, Reiss Noel, Nick McKoy and David Obaze — joined the Melbourne Stars in the Victorian Premier League from non-league clubs in England. (Their coach, Zaya Younan, is the other person charged with match-fixing by FFA). Their charges caused a stir in their home country, where officials have been calling for investigations into match-fixing at the non-league level.
(MORE: Former FA man lambasts ‘dereliction of duty’ regarding match-fixing)
“When I saw the names involved I was shocked,” Isthmian League Premier Division club Billericay Town chairman Steve Kent told the BBC. “The names I was reading I was so familiar with. Last season, they were all playing at our level. We played against them. That’s what shocked me the most.”
Woolley, Noel and McKoy played for AFC Hornchurch, which was in Conference South in 2012. Both Hornchurch and Billericay were relegated at the end of the 2012-13 season.
Despite sitting at the top of the table in the Premier League, things are not going well for Manchester City.
Star striker and leading goalscorer Sergio Aguero suffered a torn hamstring while playing for Argentina, and now he is joined by David Silva on the injured list.
Silva lasted nine minutes in Spain’s EURO qualifying match against Luxembourg, forced off after taking a bad challenge from behind. Silva went down in pain and tried to play on, but asked for a substitution just minutes later.
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Spanish news outlet AS is reporting that Silva has suffered “lateral internal ligament damage in his right ankle,” and could face 2-3 weeks on the sidelines.
With Aguero set to miss at least a month, Silva’s injury could leave Manchester City without two of their top players in the coming weeks.
Silva has arguably been the best player in the Premier League this season, the quarterback of the City attack, which has scored a league-leading 19 goals through eight matches.
City travels to Old Trafford for the Manchester derby on October 25, which falls into that 2-3 week range for Silva’s recovery. In a match that could decide who sits top of the table, Manuel Pellegrini would be very shorthanded without Silva and Aguero.
Alejandro Bedoya will not feature for the United States in the CONCACAF playoff against Mexico on Saturday, and has been replaced on the roster by Bobby Wood.
Bedoya traveled to Los Angeles from his club team Nantes in France, but Jurgen Klinsmann has announced he will be unable to play after falling ill.
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Without Bedoya, Union Berlin midfielder Bobby Wood has been added to the USMNT side. Wood scored the first two goals of his international career this summer in wins over the Netherlands and Germany, and has scored four goals in ten matches for Union Berlin this season. Wood has been training with the U.S. camp throughout the week for the upcoming friendly against Costa Rica.
Bedoya has played well for the USMNT, discounting his short performance against Brazil in September. In that match, Klinsmann played Bedoya out of position against a potent Brazil attack, and he was substituted before halftime. However, playing in his more natural role as a winger or attacking midfielder, many believed Bedoya could be in line for a start against Mexico.