Whyte unrepentant

Rangers disgraced owner, Craig (not whiter than) Whyte, showed no sign of remorse after he was banned from football for life by the Scottish Football Association (SFA).

A tribunal found Whyte in breach of two disciplinary rules between May 6, 2011, and March 6, 2012 and fined him £200,000 and confirmed his lifetime ban from the game.

The SFA tribunal also found Rangers guilty and fined the Glasgow club £160,000 as well as imposing a 12-month transfer embargo on the club.

Whyte’s response was, as we have come to expect in recent weeks, forthright and contemptuous.

“I couldn’t care less. It makes no difference to my life whatsoever – and good luck collecting the money. It’s a joke.”

The punishments imposed upon Rangers will not improve the club’s prospects of finding a buyer. Although, according to reports in Scotland, the principal obstacle to a sale remains Whyte and his unreasonable demands.

The Scottish Daily Record claims Whyte wants to retain a 20 per cent shareholding in the club, presumably in the event the club’s shares will one day be worth something.

He is also reportedly holding out for the right to appoint two directors on to the next board. And he is also looking for two season tickets. Every season. For life. Seats in the directors’ box would you believe.

The brass neck of the man is scarcely credible.

Chinese water torture

The former head of China’s football association has alleged he was tortured into confessing to bribe-taking as he and other officials faced trial in a crackdown on match fixing in Chinese football.

Xie Yalong, former head of the Chinese Football Association (CFA), went on trial in the northeast city Dandong for allegedly receiving bribes, state media said.

His successor, Nan Yong, was to go on trial a day later in a court in the city of Tieling, also for accepting bribes.

Xie told the court he was tortured with electric shocks, beaten, and doused with water while being interrogated and according to his lawyer, he only confessed because “because he wanted to stay alive.”

Xie, 56, is charged with 12 counts of accepting bribes, which amounted to more than 1.7 million yuan ($273 000).

The stakes are high for Xie and his fellow defendants: a court in February sentenced two top former CFA officials to more than a decade in jail each for their part the scandal.

After success, Victory beckons

Ange Postecoglou has resigned as coach of the Brisbane Roar, two days after guiding the club to their second consecutive A-League title.

Postecoglou will be a tough act to follow at Brisbane. He took over at Brisbane in October 2009, replacing Frank Farina. During his time in charge the Roar embarked on an Australian record 36-match unbeaten run and they also became the first club to retain their championship crown in the A-League era.

“I would like to express my gratitude to the owners, players and football staff of the Brisbane Roar,” Postecoglou said in a statement. “Their commitment and belief has created history for this club.

“I have been very proud to lead such an outstanding group of men, and I wish the club every success in the future.”

His departure was not entirely unexpected as he has been linked to the vacant Melbourne Victory job in the build-up to the Grand Final.

His purported move to a $750,000 a year deal with Melbourne may seem strange considering the success he has enjoyed with Brisbane. But, despite their recent travails – failing last season to even reach the end-of-season play-offs – Victory, with the biggest support in Australia, remain a big draw for any ambitious coach.

Dance of the day

Senegal celebrated their 2-0 victory over Oman and resultant qualification for this summer’s Olympic football tournament with a choreographed Lady Gaga dance routine.

Olympic draw

That victory for Senegal secured them a place in the Olympic football tournament for the first time. In London they will face the hosts Great Britain, as well as UAE and Uruguay.

The football tournament is one of the few undersubscribed events for London 2012, with up to 1.5 million tickets still unsold. But, now the draw’s been made, how will the public be able to resist the lure of seeing Gabon U-23 v South Korea U-23 or New Zealand U-23 v Belarus U-23?


Group A: Great Britain, Senegal, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay

Group B: Mexico, South Korea, Gabon, Switzerland

Group C: Brazil, Egypt, Belarus, New Zealand

Group D: Spain, Japan, Honduras, Morocco

Women’s draw:

Group E: Great Britain, New Zealand, Cameroon, Brazil

Group F: Japan, Canada, Sweden, South Africa

Group G: USA, France, Colombia, Korea DPR

Goal of the day

Stefan Ishizaki’s goal for Elfborg in their 2-0 way win at Orebro was a stupendous volley from his own half.

Danish players told not to tweet

The Danish football federation has told its players not to send updates on their private social media during the European Championship in June.

Denmark goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen has called it “a shame” that players can not tell fans what they do “without revealing tactics.”

DBU spokesman Lars Behrendt said coach Morten Olsen wants players to focus on the tournament and has requested “the 24-7 open microphone” to be shut down.

Sports Minister Uffe Elbaek said it was the DBU’s decision, but said his first thought was “a violation of the freedom of speech.”

His second thought, one hopes, was: ‘Did I really say that?’

Genoa fans banned

Eleven Genoa fans responsible for interrupting a Serie A game against Siena have banned by police from stadiums for five years.

“This measure hits people we already knew and whom we identified through camera footage,” Genoa police official Sebastiano Salvo said.

“In the next hours we plan to identify other people who took part in the violence, but are not known to our officers. They will be hit by similar measures.”

Sunday’s game at the Luigi Ferraris stadium was held up for 45 minutes when about 200 fans threw flares onto the pitch with Gemoa trailing Siena 4-0.

They then forced Genoa players to take off their jerseys, claiming they were not worthy of wearing them.

The Italian football federation FIGC has punished Genoa by forcing them to play their remaining two home games behind closed doors.

FIGC is also investigating the Genoa players and club president Enrico Preziosi, who appeared to ignore police advice by negotiating with the hooligans.

Bundesliga feud ends

Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has called Borussia Dortmund general manager Hans-Joachim Watzke to congratulate him on the club’s second consecutive Bundesliga title.

Hoeness had earlier ridiculed Dortmund’s fortunes in Europe in recent years, claiming their lack of success on the continent undermined their claims to be regarded as a big club.

But the Bayern chief has now called Watzke to congratulate his side on their second consecutive title triumph, secured with Saturday’s 2-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach.

“It’s true, Mr Hoeness called me yesterday morning and personally congratulated me on the title,” Watzke told Bild.

“I found that a very noble gesture.”

Bayern’s chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has also delivered his praise to Dortmund with a note on his club’s website.

“Dortmund played a very good season and their team showed class and consistency, and therefore they deserve to be 2012 Bundesliga champions,” he said.

“Congratulations to their team, their coach and all of the bosses at Borussia Dortmund.”

Van Persie wins double award

Robin van Persie may not have much silverware to show for his eight years at Arsenal, but at least when he looks back on his time at the club, he can reflect on one hugely successful season from a personal perspective.

The 28-year-old has been named England’s Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers’ Association; the award coming just two days after he was voted Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year.

Van Persie topped the poll of journalists by a huge margin ahead of Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney in second place and his Old Trafford team-mate Paul Scholes third, and Fulham’s Clint Dempsey fourth.

Without wishing to detract from what has been a fantastic season by van Persie, the presence on the podium of Scholes, who only came out of retirement in January and has started just 11 league games this season, indicates that this year was hardly a vintage crop.