Football Association

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Opposition to Wembley sale ‘bizarre’ and led by ‘old men’

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Greg Dyke sees Shahid Khan’s capsized bid to buy Wembley Stadium as a massive missed opportunity for English soccer, and the former Football Association chairman is quite displeased by the “bizarre” opposition of the “old men” on the FA council.

[ MORE: What did we learn in the Premier League, Week 9? ]

With an offer of more than $780 million on the table, Dyke believes that unprecedented — and otherwise impossible — investments could have been made to grassroots soccer that might just create a brighter future for the English game. If only it wasn’t for those meddling kids “the council is living in the past, as it always has done,” as he put it — quotes from the BBC:

“If I’d been chairman, I would have said it is the board’s decision.

“I don’t think the council is equipped to make this decision — that is what the FA board is for.”

Most notably, England is in desperate need of artificial playing fields up and down the country, as well as a tidal wave of newly licensed coaches to begin working at younger and younger age groups.

“The FA has only owned Wembley for 10 to 15 years, before that it was a private business.

“The idea you are going to lose something of value to Britain because it is not owned by the FA is the wrong one compared to spending [$784 million] doing what is desperately needed in this country and that is to spend money on grassroots facilities.

“If you want to have a step change in grassroots facilities in this country, you need this sort of money to be spent.

“It’s bizarre that the old men of the FA Council have stopped this.

“One of the tragedies of English football in recent years is that all the extra money that has come into the Premier League has by and large gone to players or agents, and not to football generally.”

Oftentimes, tradition and history come at the expense of revolution and progression, only to later realize that a golden opportunity has come and gone.

Rodriguez racial abuse charge found “not proven”

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West Brom striker Jay Rodriguez will not face punishment for an alleged racist incident against Brighton and Hove Albion.

The Gulls’ Gaetan Bong claimed that Rodriguez racially abused him during a Jan. 13 match, and Rodriguez was charged by the Football Association.

[ PL PREVIEW: Spurs vs. Man City ]

Fired manager Alan Pardew reportedly spoke up for Rodriguez at the hearing, after which the charge was found to be “not proven.”

The club released a statement following the verdict, with West Brom director of football administration Richard Garlick saying:

“Everyone at the Club is delighted for Jay because this has been a trying period for him. He has always maintained his innocence and we are naturally pleased the Commission has dismissed the charge.”

West Ham fallout: Multiple closed door home matches considered

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It seems the fallout from West Ham’s wild weekend is only beginning, as the English Football Association reviews its options to punish the Premier League club following a chaotic 3-0 loss to Burnley at the London Stadium on Saturday.

[ RECAP: West Ham 0-3 Burnley ]

Fans clashed with stewards and there were multiple pitch invasions highlighted (or lowlighted) by Hammers players Mark Noble and James Collins coming together with protesting fans.

Sky Sports says playing multiple matches behind closed doors is an option being considered by a three-person committee.

There was initial concern West Ham could suffer a points deduction for Saturday’s incidents, with the Irons just three points clear of the drop zone.

“The atmosphere was horrible,” said West Ham’s Mark Noble. “To be honest we know a lot of it isn’t aimed at the players, it’s other reasons, but we got to be men enough to be able to play in that atmosphere. It’s hard don’t get me wrong when you’ve got 50, 60-thousand here and a big percentage are not happy with where the club is, so the players take the brunt of it.”

Report: Guardiola to accept FA yellow ribbon charge

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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has reportedly accepted his Football Association charge for wearing a yellow ribbon in support of his home state of Catalonia’s fight for independence.

Some Catalan believers have been imprisoned for protesting Spain’s refusal to hold a Catalan independence vote, and the yellow ribbon is viewed as solidarity with the prisoners.

[ MORE: Palace-Man Utd recap | Matic, Mourinho react ]

Guardiola previously said he will continue to wear the ribbon regardless of the FA — “They can suspend me for doing that but the other people are in jail” —  and the report says he’s been wearing it under his coat but did not in Sunday’s 1-0 win over Chelsea.

As for the change of heart, Sky Sports says Man City’s “position is that by accepting the charge, Guardiola is not apologising for wearing the ribbon, but instead observing the rules of the FA.”

Like UEFA’s problem with the poppy for Remembrance Day, this one just seems so odd.

FA charges Man City for incident after Liverpool awarded PK

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The FA has charged Manchester City for its protestations following a penalty awarded to Liverpool on Sunday.

[ MORE: Top relegation battles ahead ]

Referee Michael Oliver pointed to the spot when Roberto Firmino hit the deck following a high boot from Man City’s Gael Clichy.

Here’s what JPW said after the call in his “3 things” post for PST:

Then, at the start of the second when Oliver should’ve waved away a penalty kick call he awarded it. Gael Clichy slipped and then launched into a challenge on Roberto Firmino. Yes, it was a clumsy tackle but Clichy got the ball first. Milner stepped up to score the PK and put Liverpool ahead and perhaps Oliver got out of jail because City equalized and both managers will be fairly happy with the point.

City was not amused by the call, and you can see what earned them the charge in the above video. The flashpoint was one of several penalty shouts in the contest, which ended 1-1.