Tickets for guns
FIFA is considering a proposal to exchange World Cup 2014 tickets for guns, according to a report in The Guardian.
Brazil’s justice ministry has submitted plans to football’s governing body which would see tickets for the finals made available for people who hand in their weapons to the government.
The initiatives are part of a campaign to make the Brazil 2014 theme “For a world without guns.”
The total number of firearms in Brazil is thought to be around 17 million, with 8 million of those being unregistered. A 2005 referendum to ban guns was defeated so there appears little appetite among the public to surrender their firearms.
Although Brazil has 100 million fewer citizens than the United States, and more restrictive gun laws, there are 25 percent more gun deaths.
Brazilian Democratic Movement MP Renan Filho told Congress last month: “In [South] Africa the theme was the fight against Aids. Here we must spread the culture of peace and disarmament. We are still the country that most kills with firearms.”
One wishes him well with his campaign.
Vargas fee rises overnight
Universidad de Chile won the Copa Sudamericana after a 3-0 victory over Ecuador’s Liga de Quito gave them a 4-0 aggregate win.
Two goals from in-demand forward Eduardo Vargas helped the Santiago outfit to their first ever continental triumph.
“He’s an extraordinary player and he deserves what he is living,” Universidad’s Diego Rivarola said of Vargas. “He’s got a great future, I hope he does well. After this, he’ll surely leave.”
Certainly his agent, Mark Griffiths, believes so.
“He’s definitely a player that is attracting a lot of interest,” said Griffiths.
“Has there been an official offer from Chelsea? Their chief scout in South America is Chilean, Jorge Alvial, so it is expected that the best players from his country will be linked with the Blues.”
Here’s one of the reasons why the Chilean is attracting so much attention at the moment.
Vargas is currently valued at £12millon, a bargain for a club that paid like Chelsea who more than four times that for Fernando Torres.
However, despite failing to justify that absurd fee in the past 12 months, Torres will not be leaving the London club.
Amid reports that the Blues may be prepared to cut their losses and sell him for just £20million next month, manager Andre Villas-Boas said he was staying put.
“It’s not true, I’m sorry,” he said, adding Torres would “for sure” be at Stamford Bridge next season.
Another player linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge is midfielder Frank Lampard, but again, Villas-Boas insists that the player remains an important member of his squad.
“There are people making great efforts to get in this Chelsea squad,” he added. “Lamps is, I think, one of the top five players most used. Every player wants to be involved in every game but sometimes it’s just not possible. I treat everybody equally.”
Goals of the day
Take your pick from two of Santos’ goals in their 3-1 Club World Cup victory over Kashiwa Reysol.
Neymar justified the hype that has accompanied him to Japan with this stunning first half effort.
Equally impressive was this screamer from Borges.
Heavy price to pay
The Brazil side will face European champions Barcelona in Sunday’s final. Pep Guardiola’s side reached the final with a comfortable jetlag-free 4-0 win over Qatar outfit Al Sadd. However, they paid a heavy price for the victory when David Villa broke his shinbone midway through the first half.
“David has fractured his leg and will return to Barcelona for an operation as soon as possible,” Barca coach Pep Guardiola told reporters.
“We are all very sad for him. He’s a charming personality and it’s a massive blow for the team. He will be out for a long time.”
As for how long, no one yet knows, but suggestions that the injury could keep him out of action for six months, obviously makers the Spain forward a doubt for next summer’s Euro 2012 finals.
Quote of the day
“We won’t be complaining to anyone. We’re Stoke and we don’t complain.”
Tony Pulis, the Stoke manager, (or should that be stoic manager?) after some of his players were pelted with objects during Stoke City’s 3-1 Europea League defeat at Besiktas.
Winger Jermaine Pennant, who famously left his Porsche at a railway station in Spain for a month because he forget he owned one, considered collecting the debris and taking it home with him.
“I was about to take a corner and I was getting pelted with everything: lighters, euro coins; I was thinking of picking one up and putting it in my sock,” he quipped.
Imprisoned former Al Wasl and UAE goalkeeper Adel Anas has pleaded for help in overturning his sentence after he was jailed for defaulting on a Dh2.69 million (£497,000) debt accumulated after a business deal went wrong.
Anas was a member of the UAE side that reached the World Cup finals for the first time in their history in 1990.
“I am having a very difficult time….I have nothing…the only thing that eases my pain in prison is my strong faith and good football memories,” he told the Dubai-based Emirat Alyoum daily inside the prison.
“I entered partnership in two companies with the aim of improving my income but I have not realized this ambition will land me in jail, take me away from my family and damage my relations with friends and all others,” he added.
The newspaper said Anas is appealing for “all benevolent people to help him out.”
Lack of ambition?
Carlos Tevez has been told that if he has any ambition whatsoever he will push for a move to Milan.
“AC Milan offer a prestigious solution,” Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi told Sky Italia. ”Tevez has to choose between the prestige that AC Milan represent, with the possibility of playing for one of the biggest clubs in the world, perhaps winning the Ballon d’Or, or the money of Paris Saint-Germain, led by the sheikh of Qatar”.
“I don’t care if I have to take a wage cut. I’m tired of traveling and going back and forth. I’m not going back to England,” Tevez told Gente. “[I want to] start the pre-season with Boca and play the Copa Libertadores with them.”
Not so much a lack of ambition, just no great desire to maximise his earning potential. His agent, Kia Joorabchian, will soon knock that out of him.
Totti’s had enough
Roma forward Francesco Totti, famous for his dummy goal celebration, has decided to spit it out and threatened to leave the club with which he has spent his whole career.
The striker was jeered by supporters after missing a crucial penalty on Monday in Roma’s 1-1 home draw against Juventus.
Speaking before the club’s Christmas dinner to Sky Sport Italia, Totti stated: “I’ve thought of leaving Roma, especially recently. I’m sorry to hear some of the statements made by Roma supporters. If they have a problem with me being in Rome, I can go away.”
The four members of Ajax Amsterdam’s supervisory board whose appointment of Louis van Gaal as the club’s director was temporarily blocked by a judge on Monday, are to appeal against the decision.
A court ruled that because Johan Cruyff, one of the club’s five commissioners, was not consulted about the appointment made by the other four, it could not go ahead.
Instead, the judge ruled, the decision should be deferred for three months until the club’s shareholders meet and vote on the issue.
Cruyff believes Van Gaal, the former Ajax and Dutch national team coach, would ignore his advice which Cruyff says is vital if the club is to regain its place at the summit of the European game.