Tuesday 16 January 2018

Fan's incursion 'unacceptable'

FIFA is to tighten match-day security after an England fan slipped into the players' dressing room following the side's Group C goalless draw with Algeria.

"It is of course totally unacceptable for Fifa that a fan finds his way up to the dressing rooms of any participating team at any Fifa competition," a Fifa spokesman said. "Security will be tightened so this never happens again."

England spokesman Mark Whittle said the fan was apprehended and ejected by England's security forces. "We reported the incident to Fifa. That is all there is to it," said Whittle, who added that the fan was on his own.

The South African organising committee has insisted that security at all the matches would be top-notch despite strikes from private security companies, which forced the police to take over.

Many England fans were clearly disappointed with their team's display in the draw, which dented their hopes of securing a place in the second round and they roundly booed their team off the field. England, who drew their opening game with the United States 1-1, need to win their final group game against leaders Slovenia to make sure of going through to the last 16.

Ronaldo yellow appeal rejected

FIFA has rejected an appeal to cancel the yellow card Cristiano Ronaldo received against the Ivory Coast, a Portuguese spokesman said yesterday.

The decision means that if Ronaldo receives a yellow card against North Korea tomorrow he will be suspended for Portugal's final Group G game against Brazil on Friday.

Portugal midfielder Raul Meireles criticised the decision. "Cristiano is an important player for us," he said. "It was a situation in which he did absolutely nothing and got a yellow, and it's that type of yellow card that hurts the most."

Anelka sent home after coach insult

Striker Nicolas Anelka was kicked out of France's World Cup squad yesterday after a report that he had insulted coach Raymond Domenech, a French Federation official has confirmed.

Anelka insulted Domenech at half-time of France's 2-0 defeat by Mexico on Thursday in Polokwane, according to French sports daily L'Equipe.

"The decision [to remove Anelka] has just been taken," French football federation vice president Noel Le Graet told a French radio station yesterday.

Eriksson ready to renew Dunga ties

Brazil coach Dunga faces his former mentor Sven-Goran Eriksson today when the five-times world champions meet Ivory Coast in a mouthwatering World Cup Group G clash at Soccer City .

Former England and Mexico coach Eriksson, now in charge of the west Africans, was Dunga's coach for a season at Fiorentina in 1988-89 and said recently that even then he could see that Dunga, 25 at the time, was leadership material. "I know the manager very well, I brought him to Fiorentina and had him there for a year," said the Swede. "Even as a player, he knew tactically everything about football. He's one of the best footballers I ever had, he was fantastic, defending, attacking, he knew exactly everything."

Weiss lashes out at foreign media

Grouchy Slovakia coach Vladimir Weiss warmed up for today's Group F match against Paraguay with an irritable outburst at visiting media yesterday.

The 45-year-old, who wore a grumpy face even before sitting down for the Free State stadium conference, wrapped up proceedings with an abrupt evaluation of the press before him.

"I would like to thank the Slovak journalists who are a lot better than the foreign ones," he said, ripping off his headphones after being asked if he respected Paraguay. Slovakia have eluded international press since letting slip a win in Tuesday's 1-1 draw against New Zealand with Weiss apparently wanting his squad to concentrate on being a team.

Renowned for his mood swings, he said his side had put that result behind them and were ready to face an "organised and hard working" Paraguay buoyed by a 1-1 draw with Italy.

Sunday Independent

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