Posts Tagged ‘football’

Todd Carney Gives First Interview for Catalan Dragons

Todd Carney. Image:

Troubled footballer Todd Carney has fronted his first press conference since the infamous ‘bubbler’ that led to his sacking from the Cronulla Sharks.

Carney admitted being angry over his treatment by the NRL, but has pledged himself to the Catalan Dragons for the rest of his career.

Carney’s first training session with his new club was on Monday. He will be given the five-eighth spot, a position he has made his own.

Carney, still only 28, has had a chequered career. He was sacked by Canberra, the Sydney City Roosters, and the Sharks. But he has vowed not to repeat the mistakes of the past and hopes for a long career with the Dragons.

Rooster’s coach Trent Robinson, was instrumental in facilitating Carney’s move. Robinson coached the dragons in 2011 and 2012 and was a mediator between the two when Carney received his marching orders from Cronulla.

At the press conference Carney said, “I’ve obviously done the wrong thing. I may not have deserved the punishment I got, but to be here in France … I’m not looking back. That’s past me now.

Catalan Dragons 2009. Image:

Catalan Dragons 2009. Image:

“The goals I’ve set myself are pretty high and I’m confident that the Catalans are going to help me achieve that.

“As soon as I get settled I’ll be taking (French) lessons.” Carney is currently living with Ben Pomeroy, a former Cronulla teammate.

“I’ve signed a three-year deal and I’d like to finish my career here and go on longer, after three years.

“I’m really going to get into that and the culture and make this my home for the rest of my career.”

FIFA Ethics Report Slams Australian 2022 World Cup Bid

In what must surely be one of the worst cases of ‘the pot calling the kettle black’ a FIFA ethics report has attacked Australia for its tactics in attempting to secure the 2022 World Cup. The report specifically pointed to Australian “efforts to conceal certain key relationships in the process.”

It found “potentially problematic facts and circumstances” in the bid. However, the report curiously said these findings didn’t affect the integrity of the vote.

Australia initially attempted to secure the 2018 World Cup; but withdrew to focus its attention on the 2022 Cup.



After spending $46 million wooing the FIFA delegates the hosting rights were given to Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022.

The report found a “prima facie case” of two Australian consultants violating bidding and ethics rules. They allege connections existed between a financial syndicate hiding behind the dubious banner of “football development” and the bidding process.

“The Report concludes that the Australia 2022 bid team did undertake specific efforts to gain the support of a particular then FIFA Executive committee member. It suggests that there have been efforts to conceal certain key relationships in this context.

“Certain devices employed by the bid team and its consultants were seemingly aimed at hiding ties with individuals close to the Executive Committee member concerned, while taking advantage of their influence over the member to further the bid strategy.

“According to the Report, there have been communications between one particular consultant of the Australia 2022 bid team that show the relevant consultant executed his strategy of using his purported relationship with high-ranking FIFA officials to create the appearance he was influencing the bidding process.”

The report also found FIFA itself made “certain payments” to the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF).These payments were comingled with personal funds of the then CONCACAF President, who was also a FIFA Executive committee member.

But FIFA were more concerned with pointing the finger at the Australian delegation. They cited the report finding: The Australian 2022 bid team had diverted federal government funds set aside for relief in Africa “towards initiative in countries with ties to FIFA executive committee members with the intention to advance its bid to host.”

The report glossed over the suspended OFC representative Reynard Temarii and attempts by Mohamed bin Hammam to fund his legal fees in return for depriving Australia of a vote:

“According to the report, Mr Bin Hammam met with Mr Temarii on November 25, 2010, encouraged Mr. Temarii to appeal the FIFA Ethics Committee’s decision, and offered to arrange for the payment of Mr. Temraii’s legal fees incurred in this respect.

Further, this was an attempt to persuade Mr. Temarii to appeal the Ethics committees’ decision and thus eliminate a vote for Qatar’s competition in the FIFA World cup bidding process.

“Mr Temarii’s conduct and correspondence with Mr. Bin Hammam, shortly after he received the one-year suspension, suggest that Mr. Temarii was aware that his appeal would benefit Qatar’s bid.

“However, there is no direct link between Qatar 2022 and any payments of Mr. Bin Hammam to Mr. Temarii.



“Still, it is evident that Mr. Bin Hammam supported Qatar’s bid and that his actions with respect to Mr. Temarii influenced the voting process by eliminating votes for Australia (a direct Qatar 2022 competitior) and England.

“Notwithstanding this, it should be noted that, given the outcome of the December 2, 2010 vote, the difference it would have made if Mr. Temarii would have participated in the vote would not have been significant. Therefore, the occurrences presently relevant did not affect the outcome of the FIFA World Cup 2018/2022 bidding process as a whole.”

Baltimore Ravens Cheerleader Injured in On-Field Stunt

Injured Ravens Cheerleader. Image:

A cheerleader for the Baltimore Ravens has been seriously injured after a fall mid-routine. The cheerleader, whom the Ravens have refused to identify, was flipped in the air but missed being caught during the Baltimore vs Tennessee game.

Paramedics rushed to her aid on the sidelines. However, the girl was taken to hospital where she received treatment for head back and neck injuries.

A spokesman told waiting reporters the woman was given the all-clear to leave hospital. She walked out under her own power.

This is the second controversy this month for the Baltimore cheerleaders.

Last week NFL cheerleader Molly Shattuck, 47, was indicted by a grand jury on two counts of third-degree rape, for counts of unlawful sexual contact, and three counts of supplying alcohol to minors. Ms Shattuck was arraigned in Sussex County Superior Court, in Georgetown, on Wednesday and released on a bond of $84,000.

The charges were laid on September 26 when a 15 year-old boy told police Shattuck had begun a relationship with him. He alleged the relationship culminated with sexual activity at a vacation rental home in August of this year.



The Paul Gallen Embarrassment Continues

Confessed drug cheat and NRL embarrassment, Paul Gallen , has apologised for an expletive laden tirade on social media.

The embarrassment continues with Paul Gallen. Image:

The embarrassment continues with Paul Gallen. Image:

Gallen has been nothing but an embarrassment for Australian sport and the NRL in particular. His poor sportsmanship on the field, confessed use of banned substances and childish outbursts on social media have even his most ardent supporters wondering whether he is the man to lead Australia in the upcoming Four Nations competition.

Inexplicably, the NRL are standing by Gallen. While Chief Dave Smith is outraged at Gallen’s behaviour reporters have been told nothing will be done. Chairman of NRL Dr George Peponis (a former Kangaroos captain himself) has said there has been no thought of stripping Gallen of the Captaincy.

73% of respondents in a current poll disagree.

There was outrage at the slap-on-the-wrist bans offered by ASADA in the long-running and ultimately disappointing investigations into doping. Gallen was at the centre of the scandal and admitted his involvement. His career has been mired with ugly off-field incidents including, but not limited to, an ugly and very public Tweeting brawl with then coach Brian Smith, racism, public urination, gouging at the surgical stitches of an opponent, punching  opponents, and confessing to performance enhancing drug use.

For the NRL to take no action is appalling.

The Tweet was sent to colleague David Riccio in the wake of the sacking of chief executive Steve Noye:

“@DaveRic1 Steve Noice (sic) actually cared about players from Cronulla’s feelings. Couldn’t say that about any other [email protected]*! From Nrl.’

Soccer player dies in bizarre post-goal celebration

Backflip image:

Backflip image:

In a bizarre incident a young footballer has been killed after injuring his spine in a post-goal celebration.

Peter Biaksangzuala, 23 was performing a series of somersaults after kicking home an important equaliser. The local crowd of Khawzawl (a town near to India’s eastern border with Myanmar) went into raptures at the goal.

But Biaksangzuala missed a flip and landed on his head. As he lay on the ground his team mates jumped on top of him.

It soon became apparent the prostrate Biaksangzuala wasn’t moving and something untoward had happened. The players were peeled off him and a stretcher was called.

Biaksangzula was rushed to hospital. Doctors attempted to repair the damage done to his spine. But the young soccer star’s condition deteriorated and he died on Sunday.

While there is a long history of soccer players injuring themselves in post-goal celebrations, this is the first recorded death.



I Support Women in Sports Awards Upstaged by Topless Models.



The fall-out from the Women’s Health magazine’s I Support women in Sport awards hasn’t been confined to social media. The outrage came when the magazine hired three topless models covered in body paint resembling the uniforms of a gymnast, swimmer and netballer.

Lisa Wilkinson, from the Today breakfast show, posted on Twitter, “What was @WomenHealthMag thinking when it dressed topless models in body paint at their Women In Sport awards?”

While former NSW Premier Kristina Keneally, once chief executive of Basketball Australia, declared it “one of the daftest moves ever to promote women in Australian sports.”

Both women seem to feel they have the right to tell Australians how they should enjoy women’s sports – as if there is a right and a wrong way.

Studies have shown that both women and men look at each gender the same way. Men are viewed as a while, women as the sum of their parts. Evolutionary psychologists have said humans have evolved to do this. In evolutionary terms those, for instance, who quickly determined a guy was too big to fight against, and ran away would get to pass on their genes. While those who spent time registering the bits that made up the guy wouldn’t. The reverse is true of women. Identifying the bits that made up a woman would lead both women and men to make an educated guess about the state of her health and her chances of successfully producing children.

So when men and women go to sporting events they are looking at male and female athletes in different ways. Therefore how they look does matter and does contribute to the reasons why men and women watch sport.

Sierra Leone Football Team Spurned by Fans

The Sierra Leone football team is suffering from the stigma associated with the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in their home country.

In August of this year the team were banned from playing home matches – effectively exiling the team. Since that time the Leone Stars have played all their games in other countries as they battle to qualify for the 2015 African Cup of Nations.

Unfortunately the team have had to put up with “Ebola” being chanted by hostile fans in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Cameroon. They have also received similar treatment while training in host nations.

The Sierra Leone team were insulted when Seychelles forfeited a match against them. The forfeit came only shorty before the match was due to start and no reason was given.

According to a report in the Times newspaper Sierra Leone players have their temperatures taken each morning and night – Even though none of them have set foot in their own country since July.

Sierra Leone Football team. Image:

Sierra Leone Football team. Image:

The constant innuendo is taking its toll. Sierra Leone forward Kei Kamara told reporters, ”We’re treated like we’re walking around with the disease.”

Michael Lahoud (Midfielder) admitted lying when asked about where he was from, telling a stranger who asked that he was an American basketball player.

“We felt it was for our protection, Lahoud told reporters.

Defender Abdul Bangura agreed, “they think all of us have Ebola.”

The Ebola virus has swept through Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in recent months, killing more than 4000 people. The West African health system has been unable to contain the virulent and deadly disease.

Match-Fixer Lands Five Year Jail Term

With the growing evidence of doping in a variety of sports it is easy to forget about the ever-present threat of match-fixing.

Sanel Kulijic. Photo:

Sanel Kulijic. Photo:

Recently a court in Austria sentenced international soccer player Sanel Kuljic to five years prison for his part in in manipulating the outcome of 18 domestic league games in Austria’s first and second divisions.

The trial that has sent shock waves through the European sports community. Kuljic was one of eight defendants to be given a prison sentence. Another player, Dominique Taboga, received a 3-year prison sentence for his role. Two other players were lucky to be released because of lack of evidence.

Lawyers alleged the offenses took place between 2004 and October of last year. Players were paid between 7,000 and 25,000 euros ($9,375 and $33,485) per game for their part in orchestrating the desired outcome.

Betting syndicates throughout Austria, Albania, Serbia, and Chechnya turned huge profits betting on the rigged outcomes.

Investigators are pursuing them.

Duped fans and clubs are outraged. Many predict the damage to European soccer will be tarnished for a long time to come.

Qatar World Cup Receives Another Blow

Overnight Qatar World Cup officials received another blow. Theo Zwanziger, a German member of FIFA  the sport’s world governing body, said in an interview with Sport Bild Plus: “I think that at the end of the day the 2022 World Cup will not take place in Qatar.”

Zwanziger’s comments come after medical officials refused to clear the stadium to host fans in the scorching summer heat. Temperatures can reach dangerous 45 degrees centigrade.

“Doctors say,” continued Zwanziger, “and I had insisted on this point in the protocol, that they cannot guarantee that a World Cup can be held in summer in these conditions.”

Should someone die from heat stress it is unclear what FIFA’s legal culpability might be.

Mohamed Bin Hammam. Photo:

Mohamed Bin Hammam. Photo:

Qatar officials say they have developed a cooling system able to maintain a temperature of 22 degrees Centigrade.

Even if this is true it does the problem of heat remains a factor for fans once they leave the stadium.

The Qatar bid for the World Cup was dogged by allegations of bribery. The Times newspaper in Great Britain alleged former Qatari football executive Mohamed Bin Hammam paid more than $5.6 million  to further his country’s chances of winning the Cup hosting rights.

Qatar strongly denies this.

Other reports are predicting up to 4,000 migrant workers may possibly die from the heat as they work on the stadium in the years leading up to the 2022.

The most damning indictment came from the top however. With FIFA President Sepp Blatter proclaiming in May of this year that awarding the World Cup to Qatar was a “mistake.”

But Qatari officials are desperate to keep the event.

This will be the first World Cup in any Middle Eastern country. They believe their state-of-the-art cooling system will protect sports fans, and that the event will serve to unite a region torn by politics, war and exploitation.

Opposition to Carney’s Bid to Play in European Super League

Disgraced Australian footballer Todd Carney may have been signed by the French side the Catalan Dragons, but his move to Super League is being vehemently opposed.

Leeds Rhinos rugby league boss Gary Hetherington believes allowing Carney into Super League will tarnish the game for all players. The UK newspaper the Sun has reported that Hetherington has emailed the bosses of other clubs in an attempt to block Carney from playing at the top level.

The Sun alleges Hetherington’s emails included: “We’d be appalled if his application was granted because it would damage the integrity and profile of Super League.”

Hetherington opposed the signing of Greg Bird to Catalan in 2009. Bird had recently been released from Cronulla over alleged assault charges. “It is disappointing that a club should want to sign him,” Hetherington said at the time. “Our competition cannot become a dumping ground for other people’s problems.”

10419978_822161377815941_602083928083827657_nCarney has been sacked from three NRL clubs and yet, incredibly, he has been offered the captaincy at the Dragons – pending his approval to play Super League.

Bernard Guasch, chairman of the Catalan Dragons, describes the signing of Carney as a coup. The club has in the past recruited players such as Stacey Jones, Steve Menzies and Greg Bird.

Carney, meanwhile, is clutching at a three-year deal with the Dragons in a last ditched effort to reviving his shattered footballing career.