Fan suffers retribution after attacking player

Two Steaua Bucharest players suffered injuries after being attacked by fans during their match at Petrolul Ploiesti on Sunday, which was abandoned just before half-time.

Defender George Galamaz suffered a fractured cheekbone after a Petrolul fan invaded the pitch and punched him.

“He (Galamaz) suffered a cheekbone fracture and he’ll be recovering for six weeks,” Steaua sporting director Narcis Raducan confirmed.

Reserve keeper Ciprian Tatarusanu suffered severe burns after he was hit by a firecracker, thrown from the stands, forcing the match to be abandoned.

The Petrolul supporter ran onto the field after being angered by referee Robert Dumitru’s decision to award Steaua a penalty.

Steaua’s Serbian defender Novak Martinovic and keeper Razvan Stanca were sent off for attacking the fan after his assault on Galamaz.

When you view the initial attack, Martinovic’s – admittedly violent – reaction seems entirely understandable.

Bad blood

LA Galaxy’s Landon Donovan has described the New York Red Bulls as the most unsporting team he has played against in MLS. The United States international was speaking after unseemly melee blighted Galaxy’s first leg play-off win over the Red Bulls.

When the final whistle went Red Bulls’ Mexican defender Rafa Marquez threw the ball at Donovan, hitting the winger on the leg. In the fracas that followed Galaxy’s Brazilian midfielder Juninho appeared to elbow a Red Bulls’ player. After the game MLS said that both Marquez and Juninho had been given red cards and would miss the return leg at Galaxy’s Home Depot Center on Thursday.

“There were a few plays where they took some cheap shots at us,” Donovan said. “In all my years in this league, I’ve not played against a cheaper team, and they’ve been doing it all year.

“We saw it a few weeks ago with (Thierry) Henry kneeing someone in the back. We’ve seen that stuff all year. You just deal with it, and at the end of it, the cream rose to the top, and the better team won.”

If anyone ever wondered whether it was possible to convey anything worthwhile in the 140 characters permitted by Twitter, former US international Eric Wynalda has the answer.

“Marquez needs to leave,” he wrote. “Disgrace. Let’s spend the money on some people. Good people. Not over paid punks who make a mockery of the sport.”

Transfer frenzy

In an announcement that is sure to spark a transfer scramble over the coming months, Lille’s in-demand striker Eden Hazard has confirmed that he will leave the French champions at the end of the season.

“I feel ready to make it to the next level in a great club,” Hazard said. “I stayed in Lille this season because there were still things I had to work on, things to prove. But now, I’m ready.”

Hazard has decided that his future lies outside of France, and given that PSG were reportedly prepared to make Lille a €50million offer for the Belgian striker,  it’s clear that his value will rule out all but the wealthiest of clubs.

Goal of the day

Felipe Souto’s effort in Atlético-MG’s 2-1 win over Palmeiras is a sweeping counter-attack which includes the deftest of backheels.

Hungary legend dies

Former European Footballer of the Year Florian Albert has died, the Hungarian Football Association said in a statement.

The former Ferencvaros forward, who turned 70 last month, won Europe’s top individual award in 1967 and made 75 appearances for his country, scoring 31 goals.

Albert’s son, Florian Albert Jr, also played for Ferencvaros and Hungary and the club’s stadium is named after him.

Van Persie denies making Nazi salute

Arsenal striker Robin van Persie has played down claims he used a Nazi salute to celebrate one of his goals in Saturday’s 5-3 win over Chelsea.

“It has been brought to my attention of some ridiculous allegations concerning my celebration of one of my goals yesterday,” Van Persie said on Twitter.

“It is totally ludicrous to suggest that my action of brushing my shoulder and pointing to my fans could be construed as anything else but of a showing of joy and celebration.

“To suggest this meant anything to the contrary is insulting and absolutely absurd as nothing else came into my mind.”

Here’s the footage in question.

For his part, Chelsea captain and controversy magnet, John Terry, has denied claims that the recent furore over his alleged racist remarks is causing him to mentally disintegrate in the manner of William Foster in the film, Falling Down. Apparently, he didn’t fall down, he just slipped.

FIFA-watch

Oliver Camps has announced his resignation as president of the Trinidad & Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) blasting the “current climate” that exists within FIFA.

Camps was last week named as one of 10 officials being investigated by FIFA as it steps up its campaign to determine exactly what occurred at May’s infamous Caribbean Football Union (CFU) meeting.

Needless to say, like all the others found guilty of corruption, he has proclaimed his innocence.

“I have truly enjoyed working with the football fraternity and appreciated the opportunities which have been given to me through football, but when the price one has to pay includes the sullying of one’s name and the denigrating of one’s character without a justifiable reason, then I must confess that this is not the place that I would want to be.

“It is certainly a sad day for me and this is far from what I had expected. The changing of the guards was never meant to engender the bitterness that I feel or the pain which has replaced the pleasure of service.

“History will not judge me for being a part of that meeting neither will it condemn me based on association.  Rather history will applaud all the football leaders of the Caribbean.”

I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one if I were you.

Concerns over Cassano

Milan forward Antonio Cassano will undergo neurological tests in order to diagnose the mystery illness that left him hospitalized following Saturday’s 3-2 win over Roma.

Upon his team’s return to Milan from the Italian capital, Cassano reportedly had difficulty speaking and moving and was taken to hospital, but tests proved inconclusive, and he will now see a neurologist to further investigate the problem.

Staying put?

Anzhi Makhachkala have moved swiftly to dismiss reports that striker Samuel Eto’o was contemplating a move to Paris Saint-Germain.

“When we contacted him Eto’o said these rumours are completely false,” club spokesman Alexander Udaltsov said. “He didn’t say anything about this move. He will confirm it later on the Anzhi official site.”

The denial comes in the wake of yet another interview in which Eto’o expresses his love for all things Russian.

“A lot of people criticized me when I opted to leave Italy for Russia. However, I’m convinced that I made the right decision to leave Inter,” Eto’o said in an interview with Canal Plus.

”I am feeling very well in Russia and don’t have the intention to return to west Europe.”

All well and good, but when quizzed about the possibility of playing at the Parc des Princes, the Cameroon striker admitted: ”If the opportunity arises, we will see.”

Finally…

There was a time when a goal from one’s own half was a novelty, but these days they have become relatively commonplace. So, how about a headed goal from one’s own half?

In the second division in Japan, Fagiano Okayama centre-half Ryujiro Ueda scored a 58-yard header against Yokohama FC.

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