andyedwardsmls

Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

FOLLOW LIVE — Berhalter’s USMNT taking on Chile

Leave a comment

The U.S. men’s national team, without a pair of prominent youngsters and building blocks for the future, is set to take on Chile at BBCA Compass Stadium in Houston.

[ FOLLOW LIVE: USMNT v. Chile ]

Following the departures of Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie from camp, Gregg Berhalter has made changes up and down the squad from Thursday’s 1-0 victory over Ecuador.

Hit the link above to follow along live, and check back with PST for a full recap and player ratings after the game.

Prime minister May joins England players in calling for strong punishment

Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images
Leave a comment

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday urged soccer authorities to take strong action against Montenegro after England players faced a torrent of racial abuse during a European Championship qualifying match.

UEFA charged the Montenegro Football Association over its fans’ racist behavior in Podgorica on Monday night after England players Callum Hudson-Odoi and Danny Rose complained about being targeted with monkey chants during the team’s 5-1 victory.

UEFA’s anti-discrimination group had sent a monitor to the game because there was judged to be a “high risk” of racism and their evidence will now feed into a disciplinary case that will be heard on May 16 by European soccer’s governing body.

The treatment of England players was debated in the House of Commons between discussions about the Brexit deadlock and there was an intervention from May’s Downing Street office.

“The abuse England players were subjected to last night was disgusting and completely unacceptable,” said James Slack, the prime minister’s spokesman. “It is right that UEFA are now investigating. We urge them to do this quickly and to take strong and swift action.”

In a sign of the extent of the racism problem in European soccer, UEFA announced a separate investigation on Tuesday into abuse aimed at Hudson-Odoi while playing for Chelsea. UEFA said it appointed an inspector to assess a complaint by Chelsea that the 18-year-old winger was targeted with racist insults by Dynamo Kiev fans during the London club’s 5-0 win in Ukraine in the Europa League.

“It is a disaster,” UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said of racism in European football. “I cannot believe these people still exist.”

In the Montenegro incident, the Fare network which monitors discrimination at games in Europe will provide evidence which could lead to a partial or full stadium closure for the team’s next Euro 2020 qualifier in June against Kosovo.

“We had an observer present who picked up evidence of racial abuse,” Fare said in a statement. “Our monitoring team have been compiling the evidence we have before presenting it to UEFA.

We commend the reaction of the England players involved, no human being should have to face abuse and vilification for their race or identity, something that many Montenegrins will understand from the divisive and bloody recent history of the Balkans.”

In one unsavory incident, England winger Raheem Sterling cupped his ears after scoring England’s fifth goal and Montenegro fans responded with jeers before an object — reportedly a lighter — was thrown onto the field. It was picked up by Hudson-Odoi.

“All of us know what skin color we are,” Sterling said after the game. “It’s not like you are telling us anything new.”

Hudson-Odoi, in another post-match interview, mimicked the monkey chants he and Rose heard.

“We hope that UEFA will act decisively, the sanctions that could be applied for an offense of this kind range from a partial stadium closure to full stadium closure,” Fare said in a statement. “These sanctions are being applied regularly for offenses in UEFA competitions, often against resistance from supporter groups and football stakeholders.

“The challenge of tackling racism and other forms of discrimination in European football however remains an ongoing issue. The societal change and education that is the ultimate solution is slow to take place. Even in the countries of Western Europe where there has been investment and focus on these issues, discrimination remains a stain on football.”

The Football Association of Montenegro said it was only “alleged” there was “racist behavior of few spectators” but committed to identifying anyone deemed responsible and banning them from all matches in the country.

“At the matches played by our respective national teams until now, we have not had any incidents related to religious, gender or racial discrimination and we are fully convinced that there will not be any such incidents in the future,” the federation said. “In a multicultural and multiethnic society as Montenegro is, there is not any space for such conduct, which was the feeling most intensively experienced by our guests from England during the previous two official matches they played in Podgorica.”

The English Football Association said much work is required to eradicate racism across the game.

“The issues we saw last night are not isolated to any specific country, and despite progress English football still has its own incidents of discrimination,” the FA said.

“Our experience is that by combining both sanctions and education, whilst working alongside campaigners such as Kick It Out, real progress can be made.”

Cardiff to claim Sala’s transfer was invalid, thus fee is void

Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images
2 Comments

Cardiff City will tell FIFA this week that that Emiliano Sala’s transfer from Nantes was invalid at the time of his death, therefore they believe they are exempt from paying the $19-million fee previously agreed by the two sides, according to the Guardian.

Nantes filed a formal complaint with FIFA after Cardiff refused to pay the first installment of more than $6 million last month.

Cardiff claim that at the time of Sala’s tragic death, their soon-to-be record signing was still “subject to international clearance” and that he would not have received said clearance because his contract was rejected by the Premier League.

According to Cardiff, the contract did not comply with rules involving signing bonuses. Cardiff claim that Sala died before a revised contract — one that would have met PL standards — could be agreed.

Nantes released the following statement this week:

“FC Nantes has completed all the required paperwork to complete the Emiliano Sala transfer. Thus, Fifa registered the international transfer certificate on 21st January 2019 at 5.30pm. Nantes is fully compliant with Fifa rules.

“As for Emiliano Sala’s registration in the Premier League, FC Nantes has no information about it. And if it could be a problem for Cardiff, it is not a problem for Nantes.”

FIFA to hear Chelsea’s transfer ban appeal next month

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images
Leave a comment

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) FIFA will hear Chelsea’s appeal against a one-year transfer ban on April 11.

[ MORE: Mourinho “preparing” for next job; expects to start “in June” ]

FIFA says Chelsea has received written reasons from its disciplinary panel for the one-year ban, and why a request to freeze the ban during the appeal process was rejected.

Chelsea can approach the Court of Arbitration for Sport for an interim ruling halting the sanction pending the appeal to FIFA. CAS says Chelsea has not applied for such a provisional measure.

[ VIDEO: Spurs’ U-18s christen new stadium with goals galore ]

FIFA banned Chelsea in February from registering new players for two transfer periods — after this season and in January 2020 — for breaking rules protecting teenage players. The club denies wrongdoing.

FIFA says Chelsea violated rules in 29 cases, and imposed a fine of $600,000.

Schar to sit out next game after being knocked out, playing on

AP Photo/Shakh Aivazov
Leave a comment

Fabian Schar will Switzerland’s 2020 European Championship qualifier against Denmark on Tuesday, three days after the defender was apparently knocked unconscious in a 2-0 victory over Georgia but continued to play for more than an hour and finished the game.

[ MORE: Mourinho “preparing” for next job; expects to start “in June” ]

The Newcastle United center back was involved in a nasty clash of heads in the 24th minute. Georgia’s Jano Ananidze tried to stop Schar from swallowing his own tongue and blocking his airway while unconscious. Following nearly five minutes of treatment and evaluation, Schar was allowed to remain in the game. He has since been deemed — with the help of Schar’s club team, Newcastle United — unavailable for Tuesday’s game due to “medical reasons.”

Afterwards, Schar has the following to say about the collision and his state at the time:

“It looks awful, I can’t remember anything. I was out for a few seconds. My skull is still humming. And I’ve got neck ache and a bruise on my forehead. But it was worth it.”

Schar was directly involved in creating both of Switzerland’s second-half goals.