Besiktas punished as police target fans

The Turkish Interior Minister says police have raided homes and detained 72 football fans suspected of involvement in blackmail, threats and other crimes.

Muammer Guler says fans of Fenerbahce, Galatasaray and Besiktas are suspected of blackmailing their clubs with threats of violence at games that would cause the teams to receive fines or other penalties.

Guler says the detained fans are suspected of 16 criminal acts that also include armed threats, raiding venues and attacking security officials.

The raid comes the day after Besiktas was ordered to play four games behind closed doors after fans ran onto the field during a weekend match against Galatasaray.

Beşiktaş coach Slaven Bilic, the former Croatian national team coach, has also been hit with a three-game touchline ban for his outburst towards the officials.

Beşiktaş fans invaded the pitch in stoppage time with Galatasaray leading 2-1. The referee was forced to take both sets of players off the field and abandoned the match. Known as the Black Eagles, Besiktas had won all four of previous league matches and were chasing a fifth in front of a record 76,000 crowd.

In addition to the ban, Beşiktaş were ordered to pay TL 70,000 (25,000 euros) for violating security rules by failing to have enough security guards at the stadium and also for allowing too many fans into the ground.

Meanwhile, Youth and Sports Minister Suat Kılıç announced a four-step plan to combat football hooliganism, making it clear that the law titled Law to Prevent Violence and Disorder in Sports, which came into effect in 2011, would be comprehensively implemented.

The most significant measure of the plan is the re-introduction of police officers to oversee the security at games, instead of private security.

“We have seen the inadequacy of private security again at Sunday’s derby,” Kılıç said. “For that reason, replacing private security with the police will be an important step toward the solution. We aim to tackling hooliganism.”

Other steps included the use of CCTV footage to identify fans who were involved in crowd trouble and the e-ticket system. According to the e-ticket ruling, fans will only be able to buy and use games tickets by providing their personal ID number.

The ministry planned to launch the project in six stadiums and to fully launch it at the start of the new year.

Mario Balotelli apologises for outburst

Milan striker Mario Balotelli has apologised to his team-mates and the club’s fans for his red card after Saturday’s 2-1 defeat by Napoli.

He was sent off for using “intimidating and insulting” words to referee Luca Banti and now serves a three-match ban.

“I am sorry for my team-mates,” the 23-year-old told Gazzetta dello Sport.  “They train and work hard with me. What I did hasn’t helped our cause.

“I also feel guilty for the fans, who care so much for the team.”

Not a word about the referee, who according to reports, Balotelli threatened to kill.

However the former Manchester City striker added: “I made a mistake when I was provoked… but I’m not going to apologise to everyone. It’s not as if I killed someone.”

Not, that’s true, you just threatened to do kill someone.

Qatar 2022 slave trade in animation

In response to the shocking revelations about the treatment of migrant labourers working on World Cup projects for Qatar 2022, Next Media Animation a.k.a The Taiwanese Animators, have produced a brilliant video to highlight the conditions endured by the workforce.

Jose Mourinho in tears at Manchester United snub

Jose Mourinho is alleged to have broken down in tears at the news that David Moyes had been given the Manchester United job. The allegation comes in a book by the Spanish journalist Diego Torres, who writes for El País.

In the book, Prepare to Lose: the Mourinho Era, Torres claims Moyes appointment “provoked an earthquake” and that Mourinho felt badly let down by Sir Alex Ferguson, who he mistakenly believed to be a friend.

“Mourinho … thought that Ferguson was, besides his ally, also his friend and godfather,” Torres wrote. “He was convinced that they were tied by a relationship of genuine trust. He thought that his fabulous collection of titles constituted an ‘endorsement’ unreachable to any other contenders. When he knew that Ferguson had chosen Moyes, the Everton coach, he was struck by a terrible disbelief. Moyes hadn’t won absolutely anything!”

Torres said that Mourinho was on the phone constantly to his sports agency Gestifute. “Mourinho wouldn’t stop calling them. His ‘interlocutors’ had heard him sob loudly and they were spreading the word. The most feared man in the company was crushed.”

The book goes on to describe the Portuguese spending a sleepless night in a hotel in Madrid, “the most unfortunate hours of Mourinho’s phase as Real Madrid coach. He endured them between dozing and waking, glued to his mobile phone in search of clarifications, on the night of the 7th and the morning of the 8th of May, tucked into the Sheraton Mirasierra hotel.”

Moyes’s appointment was made official on 9 May.

Mourinho, according to the book, was sure that Ferguson would call with an explanation but he heard nothing. He recalled reading comments from the United director Sir Bobby Charlton pouring scorn on the idea of him getting the job.

“He was tormented by the memory of an interview of Sir Bobby Charlton in the Guardian in December. His judgments gave him a big uncertainty. ‘A United coach wouldn’t do what he did to Tito Vilanova’, stated Charlton, evoking the finger in the eye, when asked if he saw Mourinho as a successor for Ferguson. In regards to the admiration that Ferguson professed towards him, the veteran footballer implied that it was a fable: ‘He doesn’t like him that much’.

“In the morning he called Mendes so that he urgently got in touch with United. Until the end he wanted his agent to pressure the English club as an attempt to block any operation. It was an act of desperation. They both knew that Mendes had put Mourinho in the market a year earlier.”

The book says that “Mendes had already been told in the autumn of 2012 that Ferguson’s first option was Pep Guardiola. He had been explained the reasons. In Gestifute, the message from a United executive rumbled like a drum: ‘The problem is that when things don’t work for Mou, he doesn’t do club politics. He does José politics.'”

Mourinho, the book says, “felt betrayed by Ferguson and feared that someone might stop taking him seriously. For years the propaganda machine acting at his services had divulged the idea of a friendship that now was revealed as a fantasy image. To give coherence to the facts in the public light, Gestifute’s advisers recommended he should say that he already knew because Ferguson had called him to inform him.

“On the 9th of May someone from Gestifute got in touch with Record newspaper to say that Ferguson offered his crown to Mourinho four months ago but that he refused it because his wife preferred to live in London, and that was why he ended up choosing Chelsea. At the same time Mourinho offered an interview to Sky in which he declared that Ferguson kept him in the loop about his decisions but that he never made him the offer because he knew perfectly well that he wanted to coach Chelsea. The contradictions were not planned.”

Mourinho went on to take up the offer of a second spell at Chelsea from the owner, Roman Abramovich. When he took up the job in June he claimed to have known of Ferguson’s plans to stand down but said he was always intent on returning to Stamford Bridge.

“I knew that Ferguson was retiring many months ago,” he said. “I would have turned down every job in the world – the Manchester United job, every one – for Chelsea.”

Mourinho’s adviser Eladio Parames has denied the book’s account. “This story does not have any sense,” he is quoted by the Portuguese newspaper O Jogo. “It is completely false. It has no head or tail.”

It’s difficult to know what to make of the story. It’s one that many people would like to believe, not least those he alienated in Madrid, and Torres would definitely fall into that category. And yet, it seems so very plausible. Mourinho’s muted reaction when Madrid knocked United our of last season’s Champions League, his suggestions afterwards that the best team lost, all seemed like the actions of a man who had set his heart on the Old Trafford job.

One thing’s for certain, it does make Ferguson’s forthcoming autobiography, which is expected to detail his bust-ups with Wayne Rooney, even more of a must-read.

Goal of the day

Esteban Cambiasso with his back to goal scored with an acrobatic overhead kick for Inter against Fiorentina.

Quote of the day

“The problem is deeper than just saying there are too many foreigners. The methods in England haven’t changed as much as the game has changed.”

Responding to Greg Dyke’s claim that there are too many foreign players in the English game, Manchester City’s reserve team manager, Patrick Vieira, believes the problem is much more fundamental.

Andre Villas-Boas has no love for Jose Mourinho

Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas has said he does not dwell on the breakdown of his relationship with Chelsea’s José Mourinho, his former mentor, as he prepares to face him for the first time on Saturday at White Hart Lane.

The pair are no longer on good terms and Villas-Boas has traced the beginning of the friction to their time at Internazionale.

Villas-Boas had worked under Mourinho at Porto and Chelsea as the opposition scout but he wanted greater involvement in first-team coaching at Inter, only for Mourinho to deny him

Further spice to Saturday’s fixture comes with the fact that Villas-Boas endured a failed spell as the Chelsea manager in 2011-12.

“I don’t care about Chelsea,” he said.

Villas-Boas was sacked after only eight months in charge by the club’s owner, Roman Abramovich, whom he has since accused of broken promises and “quitting on me”.

Of Mourinho, the Spurs boss said: “We had a great personal and professional relationship before, that we don’t have now.

“I don’t think we need explanations on friendship and personal relationships. But our relationship broke down. I think we have the mutual respect for each other and we understand what we have been through cannot just disappear but it’s not like it was before. I don’t lose any sleep [over it].

“Our break-up point was because I was full of ambition to give him something extra [at Inter] and I wanted further involvement for the job I was doing at the time, which was scouting and match preparation. I felt I could give him much more so my initial idea was to keep working with him. But he didn’t feel the need for somebody near to him or in another position as an assistant and, because of that, it was decided it was time to continue our careers [apart].”

Villas-Boas was asked whether he talked to Mourinho. “No,” he replied. “We talked at the Premier League managers’ meeting when we were there on the 4th or 5th of August but not since then.”

Deco given year ban for doping

Former Barcelona and Chelsea star Deco has been given a one-year ban from football for doping by Brazil’s Superior Court of Sport Justice.

The Portugal international tested positive for hydrochlorothiazide (a diuretic) and carboxy-tamoxifen (a hormone drug) in March after Fluminense’s 2-0 win over Boavista.

Although originally sentenced to a 30-day ban in the first trial, his suspension has been increased significantly. Deco claimed at the time that the positive test was the result of a contaminated vitamin supplement.

However, the decision is unlikely to inconvenience the 36-year-old too much as he announced his retirement from playing professional football in August.

Diego Costa considering a change of country

When FIFA introduced their rules allowing players to switch allegiance at international level, it’s unlikely they had in mind a 24-year-old who earlier this year played two international friendly matches for his native country.

But, Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa has admitted he could switch allegiance and play for Spain instead of his native Brazil.

The forward is in the form of his life and has hit seven goals in six Liga games for Atletic this season, but was left out of the Confederations Cup by Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari in the summer and excluded again from the Selecao squad for the forthcoming friendlies against South Korea and Zambia.

Costa has appeared just twice for his country (in friendlies against Italy and Russia back in March) and having recently received Spanish citizenship, would be eligible to turn out for La Roja.

Coach Vicente del Bosque appears unconvinced by his side’s striking options, and the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) have contacted FIFA to negotiate a possible switch.

“If Del Bosque calls me up, how could I say no?” Costa told Brazilian site Lance! “I am going to choose the national team with which I feel most comfortable, I am not going to be false. I am relaxed and if the offer comes one day, then I will think about it.”

And he added: “It would be an honour if Spain looked at me, but I am not thinking about that – I am only focused on the derby on Saturday [against Real Madrid].”