Cruyff set to leave Ajax

Johan Cruyff is set to lose his role on the supervisory board at Ajax.

The Ajax members’ council have called on the five-man board to resign following a dispute between Cruyff and his four fellow supervisory board members.

Cruyff will now be expected to make way, together with Edgar Davids, Steven ten Have, Paul Romer and Marjan Olfers, after the council gave the supervisory board a vote of no confidence.

Cruyff said on Monday that he and 10 club coaches intended to take legal action over the appointments of the former manager and long-time Cruyff adversary, Louis van Gaal, Danny Blind and Martin Sturkenboom as directors of Ajax.

No truth in the rumours that when told of Cruyff’s departure, van Gaal could be heard cackling maniacally in the background .

Footballers try to save Italy

Italy’s ailing economy has been offered assistance from an unlikely source. The country’s footballers have joined a grassroots campaign to buy up Italian government bonds as foreign investors bail out of the country amid fears of an Italian default.

“We want to be an example,” said Damiano Tommasi, a former Italy player and now director of the Italian footballers’ association, which has sent a letter to members urging them to buy bonds.

“In Italy we are seen as people with no interests whatsoever outside football, but we see a parallel between representing your country on the pitch and doing something for the nation down at the bank.”

Good news for the Italian economy, not so good news for Porsche or Ferrari and possibly terminal for Cristal.

Political football

The ramifications of Japan’s 1-0 World Cup qualifying defeat by North Korea continue to rumble on, with the match and the circumstances surrounding it being debated in parliament.

At Pyongyang airport, immigration and customs officials held up the Japanese team for four hours while berating them for laughing and confiscating “contraband” such as bananas, chewing gum, and instant noodles.

The parliamentary committee was dealing with North Korea’s abductions of Japanese nationals in the 1970s and 1980s, but also covered the subject of the recent World Cup qualifier between the two countries.

“I presume that, if Japan won by 2-0 or 3-0, our players themselves would have been abducted,” conservative opposition lawmaker Tetsushi Sakamoto told a lower house committee on Monday.

“The lion’s share of the credit should go to manager Zac (Alberto Zaccheroni) as he let the team lose by 1-0,” Sakamoto added.

“Judging from the way he used the players, I presume he was resolutely prepared for a draw or defeat by the narrowest of margins.”

I’m not too well versed in the nuances of the country’s politics, but would it be unfair to suggest that Sakamoto’s party might be the Japanese equivalent of the UK’s Monster Raving Loony Party?

Dive of the day

From Romania comes footage of CFR Cluj goalkeeper, Beto, fooling the referee into disallowing a perfectly legitimate goal by Vointa Sibiu.

Drogba to leave Chelsea

Didier Drogba is highly likely to leave Chelsea at the end of the season and his agent has revealed that he his client open-minded about his next club.

The 33-year old Ivory Coast striker will turn down a one-year contract offered by the Blues, according to his agent Thierno Seydi.

“Didier has had the offer of a one-year extension from Chelsea. That does not suit us,” Seydi told The Sun.

“At Didier’s age, he has nothing left to prove as a player. He will go where he is offered the most money.

“It could be the United States, Russia, Qatar or somewhere else in Asia.”

Full marks for honesty I suppose. If Drogba does eventually pitch up in some footballing backwater, I wonder whether he will be quite so candid. Somehow I doubt it.

Mancini jailed for rape

Brazilian winger Mancini has been found guilty of rape by an Italian court and sentenced to two years and eight months in jail.

The former Brazil international, now with Atletico Mineiro, was accused of sexual assaulting a woman in December of 2010 while playing for Milan on loan from city rival Inter.

According to the Gazzetta dello Sport, he met a woman who got drunk, complained of feeling unwell and asked to be taken home. Mancini offered to give her a lift, but took her instead to his apartment where he raped her while she was unconscious.

Mancini’s friend and business associate Gerardo Eugenio Do Nascimento was jailed for 10 months, after he attempted to persuade the woman to withdraw the allegations.

Tabarez wife a victim of acid attack

Police believe that an ex-domestic worker was responsible for an acid attack on the wife of Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez.

Silvia Martinez had a substance sprayed in her face as she left her house in Montevideo. She suffered injuries on 25 per cent of her body including her neck, face and throat and is being treated for first and second-degree burns, according to El Pais.

The suspect was released from prison last Tuesday after being involved in a robbery with her brother, in which the pair stole $500,000 (€375,000).

Beckham’s star waning?

Fresh from their MLS Cup success you’d think that LA Galaxy would be a big draw on the international friendly circuit. Apparently not. Ticket sales for the friendly football match between the Galaxy and an Indonesia Selection team at Bung Karno Main Stadium have not exactly been flying off the shelves.

“The ticket sales are not making me happy because they are still below the target,” Mahaka Sport director Hassani Abdul Gani is quoted by tribunnews.com.

At the time of writing, only 15,000 tickets had been sold for the 75,000 capacity venue, which will come as a shock to veteran David Beckham-watchers. If he can’t flog tickets in Asia, what precisely is the point of him?

Poles apart

An MP and former national side football player, Roman Kosecki, has said that proposals to abolish the board of the Polish FA (PZPN) following corruption allegations would “exclude Poland from Euro 2012”.

The call comes as Sports Minister Joanna Mucha is preparing a report to be sent to UEFA president Michel Platini in the wake of allegations of corruption against PZPN chief Grzegorz Lato, involving the construction of a new headquarters.

Lato has denied any wrongdoing and he has received support from the man who allegedly provided the evidence to PZPN.

Grzegorz Kulikowsk, who made secret video recordings of Lato negotiating contracts for the building of the sporting body’s new HQ building, said that the intended target of his sting was in fact Zdzislaw Krecina, PZPN’s Secretary-General.

“I wanted to show the true face of Krecina, and Lato became involved in the whole affair quite by accident,” Kulikowski told the Polish Press Agency.

“The conclusion that Lato is involved in corruption is a manipulation,” he insisted.

Kulikowski said he wanted to reveal “the very important matter” of “the lack of transparent rules on tenders.”

The allegations come just seven months before Poland co-hosts the Euro 2012 football championships with Ukraine.

Finally…

Some of Sepp Blatter’s best friends really are black. The FIFA president is the recipient of a letter of support from the Confederation of African Football Executive Committee.

“In Africa, we know what kind of President you are, but we also know the man: a citizen of the world, driven by a desire to bring an increasing number of people together across the globe, irrespective of their roots, religion or skin colour,” said the letter.

“…The CAF would like to pass on its heartfelt thanks for the constant resolve you show in serving our continent and developing this great sport.”

Blatter responded: “I am very happy and proud to be able to count on your support and that of your Executive Committee in the fight against racism and all types of discrimination in football and in society.”

“Together, we must continue to combat this evil both on and off the pitch, so that we can be rid of it once and for all.”

Presumably, with a handshake.

  • rOY cHESHIRE

    wHY DONT TEAM DO THE rESPECT HANDSHAKE after THE GAME INSTEAD OF BLAMING REFEREES.