Getty Images

After being racially abused, England’s players want hefty sanctions

Leave a comment

England’s players were subjected to racist abuse in Montenegro on Monday, as monkey chants and other racist comments were directed at several black players in the Three Lions squad.

[ MORE: UEFA charge Montenegro ]

Speaking after the game, Raheem Sterling and Callum Hudson-Odoi both hit out at the racist abuse of Danny Rose as Hudson-Odoi (making his full England debut at the age of 18) was also subjected to monkey chants from sections of the home fans.

“It’s unacceptable. I don’t think there should be discrimination no matter where you go, no matter what. It’s not right in football, at all,” Hudson-Odoi said after the 5-1 win for England. “We should be all playing fair, have a good game and enjoy ourselves but to hear that it’s not right and hopefully UEFA deal with it properly.”

England manager Gareth Southgate spoke passionately and eloquently on the topic, as his main aim is to protect his players and help them any way he can.

“I’m reflecting on ‘should I have done more?’ In the end, I think I tried to protect my players as much as I possibly can. I’m not the authority on the subject. I’m a middle-aged white guy speaking about racism,” Southgate said. “It’s not something I really have… I’m just finding it a really difficult subject to broach. I want my players to enjoy playing football and not be scarred by the experiences.”

What can be done to eradicate the racist abuse England’s players, and sadly, many others, have suffered on the pitch?

Small fines and one-game stadium bans are clearly not working, as UEFA have dished them out on multiple occasions in Russia, Slovakia, Romania and Serbia in recent years. Sterling is calling for longer stadium bans to punish all fans.

“It’s now time for the people that are in charge to put a real stamp on it because you can fine someone but what’s that going to do?” Sterling said. “You’ve got to make it harder – you’ve got to punish all the fans so they can’t come to the games, you’ve got to do something that’s really going to make them think twice. Because if their team can’t play with fans it’s going to be difficult for them and make them think twice about it.”

Southgate added that education of young people in societies across the globe — he was keen to point out that English soccer must get their own house in order too — is the only way to truly halt the shocking racist abuse.

“Sanctions are only of any use if they lead to education. Sanctions are worthless if there is nothing alongside that to help educate people,” Southgate added. “My kids don’t think, for one minute, about where people are born, what language they speak, what color they are. There’s an innocence about young people that is only influenced by older people. So we have to make sure the education is right for everybody, in our country the same.”

Back on the pitch, many believe that players subjected to racist abuse should simply walk off the playing field and the game should be forfeited. Stadium bans of 12 months would do plenty more damage than the current one-game bans dished out halfheartedly. Southgate is 100 percent correct.

This is not just about sanctions, it is about society and educating people. UEFA and FIFA are custodians of the game and must use their vast resources, along with national associations and clubs, to put programs in place to educate youngsters. This will not be a problem that is solved overnight in soccer or society. The future generations must know that this kind of behavior is abhorrent and the likes of Sterling is leading the calls for authorities to come down hard on anybody found guilty.

Small fines and minimal stadium bans haven’t worked. There has been some progress, but not enough. Heavier sanctions are needed. Now.

UEFA in particular have stood still for too long. We are in 2019. England’s players should not be the ones taking this sickening abuse head on.

Champions League wrap: PSV strikes late to win thriller (video)

Photo by Photo Prestige/Soccrates/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Five first legs of the UEFA Champions League’s second qualifying round are in the books, including a thrilling back-and-forth with a show-stopping stoppage time winner.

[ MORE: Rodgers talks down Maguire sale ]


PSV Eindhoven 3-2 FC Basel

Bruma scored a debut opener for the Dutch hosts, who fell behind 2-1 in the 79th minute before Sam Lammers and Donyell Malen struck in the 89th minute and second minute of stoppage, respectively, to put PSV ahead.

Basel will be okay taken two away goals home via Albian Aljeti and Omar Alderete.

Lammers came in for Mexican star Hirving Lozano in the 79th minute to score the leveler within 10 minutes before Malen, who went the full 90, kept his focus to deliver this clever winner.

The New Saints 0-2 Copenhagen

Pieros Sotiriou and Robert Skov scored on either side of halftime to give the Danish powers a healthy advantage heading into the second leg.

Elsewhere
FK Sutjeska 0-1 APOEL Nicosia
Saburtalo 0-2 Dinamo Zagreb
Viktoria Plzen 0-0 Olympiacos

Wednesday
BATE Borisov v. Rosenborg — 1 p.m. ET
Ferencvaros v. Valletta — 2 p.m. ET
CFR Cluj v. Maccabi Tel-Aviv — 2 p.m. ET
Maribor v. AIK — 2:15 p.m. ET
Red Star Belgrade v. HJK Helsinki — 2:45 p.m. ET
Dundalk v. Qarabag — 2:45 p.m. ET
Celtic v. Nomme Kalju — 2:45 p.m. ET

Rodgers says no close bids for Maguire

Photo by Harriet Lander/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Those tired of seeing Harry Maguire‘s name in the headlines, hoping his transfer saga had concluded with weekend reports that Manchester United agreed to a fee with Leicester City, well, they are going to be sorely disappointed.

[ MORE: Who is Newcastle’s new $50M forward? ]

Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers credited Maguire for his professionalism — the center back scored in a friendly win on Tuesday — and said that the club’s vice chairman Aiyawatt “Top” Srivaddhanaprabha has not received a fitting bid for the 26 year old’s services.

From The Leicester Mercury:

“There’s no big pressure to sell any player. If a player does leave Leicester City, then the player would need to be met because we have a top-level player, coveted by top-level clubs and I respect that,” Rodgers said. “Harry is on a long contract here and there’s been no valuation or near to that which would make Top have a look.”

Nooooooooooo.

Look, we’ve still got a few weeks until the close of the window, and every supporter has a target they want their club to acquire and some have some assets they hope stay in the same shirt at the deadline.

The Maguire story is getting a bit tedious now. He wants to go to Manchester United, but Rodgers is happy to keep him at Leicester. Maguire’s not the player who will quit on the club if he’s not sold, and Leicester’s hope of landing a replacement will dip as the deadline draws nearer and clubs like Burnley (James Tarkowski) realize their replacements options have been lessened by the wait.

Janssen leaves Spurs for Liga MX in $8M deal

Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
1 Comment

Vincent Janssen‘s less-than-ideal tenure with Tottenham Hotspur has come to its end, and he’s moving his way to this side of the Atlantic.

Liga MX side Monterrey has agreed to buy Janssen, Spurs announced Tuesday. The deal is for a reported $8 million.

[ MORE: Rich new deal for Hudson-Odoi ]

The Dutchman turned 25 this summer. He played just 42 times for Spurs after arriving from AZ Alkmaar for around $25 million in 2016, scoring six times, but did manage five goals and four assists in a half-year loan to Fenerbahce in 2017-18.

Janssen saw his time with the Netherlands national team peter out during his tenure at Spurs. After a red-hot start, he has not been capped since 2017. Janssen has seven goals in 17 caps.

His time at Spurs cannot be labeled as anything but a gigantic bust, but Janssen is still pretty young and has a chance to recapture his career momentum.

And he looks pretty happy about it.

Transfer gossip: Newcastle eyes 2nd Brazilian, USMNT’s Arriola on move

Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Two players from the Western hemisphere may be heading across the Atlantic, one of whom is very familiar to American eyes.

[ MORE: Rich new deal for Hudson-Odoi ]

DC United winger Paul Arriola could be leaving Major League Soccer in a return to Liga MX or a move abroad to Europe.

CBS’ Roger Gonzalez says some of the big boys in Mexico are after the former LA Galaxy youth product who got his start at Club Tijuana.

Arriola, 24, has 28 caps with five goals and five assists for the USMNT, blooded by Jurgen Klinsmann in 2016. He has 12 goals and 10 assists in 57 matches for DC United since arriving from Tijuana.

[ MORE: Who is Newcastle’s new $50M forward? ]

Next up: Newcastle United may be in for another Brazilian attacker.

Marrony is the name, and Sky Sports’ Kaveh Solhekol says the Magpies were alerted to his potential by the same source who claimed they were after Joelinton (who signed today after a $50 million deal).

The 20-year-old has a reported $37 million release clause, a left winger has a goal and an assist in two seasons with Vasco da Gama in Brazil. He also scored five times in 15 appearances for the club in the state league.

It feels a bit like a red herring or straight-up agent speak, but the Joelinton deal seemed unusual as well (albeit in a different way).