D-day for Tevez

Carlos Tevez is facing the prospect of the heaviest fine in British football history, as he fights a Manchester City inquiry which claims he may have committed several breaches of his contract.

Tevez may receive a fine of six weeks’ wages – £1.5m – and/or a six-week ban, after the club’s investigation into manager Roberto Mancini’s allegation that he refused to enter the field of play when the club were 2-0 down at Bayern Munich last month.

In a statement, the club said: “There is a case for Carlos Tevez to answer of alleged breaches of contract.

“He will face disciplinary proceedings. The hearing will be convened shortly.

“Carlos will be required to report for training on Thursday.”

For his part, Tevez, who is sticking to his ‘mistranslation’ defence, has demanded that Mancini retract his allegation. Whatever else you might think about the Argentinian, he’s certainly not lacking in chutzpah.

Shoot the messenger

Former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner has attacked the world governing body following the leak of a video which appears to show him urging Caribbean Football Union (CFU) officials to accept cash gifts from Mohamed bin Hammam.

You’d think, that as he was caught red-handed on film advocating his colleagues accept cash gifts from bin Hammam, there might be some contrition on the part of the disgraced former CONCACAF chief. But no, this being Warner, he sees the release of the footage as further evidence of a conspiracy against Caribbean officials. The publication of the video, he argues, has been timed to cause maximum damage to the 15 Caribbean officials currently facing FIFA ethics committee hearings.

Talk about missing the bigger picture.

“The release of this video is tantamount to contempt because it seeks to influence international opinion against what is clearly a conspiracy against the delegates of the Caribbean Football Union,” Warner told the Press Association.”Moreover there are a lot more questions which the FIFA should answer from this convenient revelation.

“The Caribbean delegates are currently in Zurich and are actively involved in disciplinary proceedings established by the FIFA so this leak is clearly subjudicious and contrary to the very principles of law and justice. Regretfully, this is what defines the FIFA; a perceived right to do all in its power, right or wrong, to defend its own.”

Anyone still listening to the charlatan? Thought not.

Hamburg appoint a Fink

Hamburg have appointed a Fink as their new coach, Thorsten Fink to be precise. The 43-year-old has relinquished his post at Swiss side Basel to take up the reins with the Bundesliga strugglers.

“It now happened very quickly. I will not do the morning training (at Basel) today and will have to say goodbye to the team,” he told Sport1 broadcaster on Thursday, adding that he leaves with the blessing of the Swiss team despite having a contract until 2013.

Hamburg director of sport Frank Arnesen said: “Thorsten Fink was the coach I wanted.

“He fits in with HSV and with our philosophy. He will improve the team and develop us further.”

Political football

As if it doesn’t have enough on its plate what with trying to revive a moribund economy by printing money, the UK government has decided to poke its nose in the running of English football. It seems an odd intervention, given that the sport is one of the few areas of economic activity within the UK that has not ground to a halt in the past 18 months.

Sports Minister Hugh Robertson said: “This country is hugely passionate about our national game and there are many reasons we should be pleased with how it has progressed over the last two decades. However, I believe that there are improvements that can be made in the governance arrangements, which have failed to keep up with the changing pace of the modern game. I do not want Government to run football, so this is an opportunity for the football family to work together to benefit the game in the long-term.”

In other words: beware, or the lunatics will take over asylum.

A joint FA, Premier League and Football League statement said they were grateful to ministers for their recommendations and would now take time to consider “what the most appropriate actions might be”.

In other words: it will be brushed under the carpet and we’ll never hear about it again.

Goal of the day

Bottom of the table America Mineiro produced a shock 4-1 win over Ceara. The pick of the goals was the 4th from Leo.

Miss of the day

Staying in Brazil for Flamengo’s 1-1 draw at home to Palmeiras featuring this triple miss by the home side.

Eto’o set to return to Italy

Anzhi Makhachkala striker Samuel Eto’o could be set for a surprise return to Italy, with reports claiming he might be loaned back to his former club, Inter, during the Russian close season.

The Cameroon international wouldn’t be the first person in history to be daunted by the prospect of a long harsh winter in Russia, but he might be the first one to earn millions escaping it.

Real snub

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque is set to snub award ceremony set up by former club Real Madrid, his assistant Toni Grande has confirmed.

According to AS, the 60-year-old has reportedly declined the opportunity to receive a badge in honour of his achievements on November 3 due to longstanding grievances dating back to his time in charge of Madrid.

“I think the tribute should be to Vicente alone, and perhaps it is a little late, but more cold,” Grande told AS.

“The most logical thing would have been to have honoured him and all of the supporters around the world, because we have been very grateful to the fans, who have all made an impact in our lives.”

“He will have to make a decision on what to do because the date is approaching. We’ve talked at various points about the ceremony, but it is a very personal thing and it is he who must decide.

“I wish the tribute was more in relation to the fans, but Vicente truly deserves it, not me. Real Madrid do not have to give me any kind of tribute, as I’ve been very happy and gave my all at certain times. If they gave it to me, they’d have to recognise many more.”

Earlier this year, King Juan Carlos honoured Del Bosque “in recognition of his dedication to Spanish sport” by making him a marquis.

He is now known officially as: Ilustrísimo Señor Don Vicente del Bosque y González, Marqués de Del Bosque.

He’s not someone you would want to be stood behind when when he checks into a hotel.

Liverpool chief knew nothing

John W. Henry, the owner of Liverpool, has admitted he knew “virtually nothing” of English football or the football club before his Fenway Sports Group took over at Anfield a year ago. I think his decision to buy the debt-laden club in the first place betrayed his ignorance.

Tom Werner, the chairman of Fenway and now of Liverpool, said he too had barely heard of the club, but was aware of the “EPL” -English Premier League – and its popularity, and “certainly knew about Manchester United”.


In a fascinating article by World Soccer writer David Conn, published in today’s Guardian, Henry explains how he has tried to placate angry Boston Red Sox fans who fear that resources generated in the United States are being misspent in England.

The £35 million spent on Andy Carroll won’t have assuaged those concerns.


The International Football Association Board (IFAB) has granted companies a further year to test goal-line technology systems, and will then choose whether one company can run a system to be introduced from 2013. All being well, the 2014 World Cup could herald a new era for football.

The first test phase of testing, due to be carried in the next few months, will be conducted by the Swiss technology research institute EMPA.

“EMPA is a government-funded research institute,” project leader Martin Camenzind said.  “Our experience with football and FIFA started about 10 or 12 years ago with the quality concept of football testing.

“Thanks to our experience in football testing and long lasting collaboration we are very happy to be asked to do the goal-line technology project together with FIFA.”

The systems will eventually be compelled to inform referees within one second whether the ball has crossed the line.