Tue, Oct 07, 2008 - Page 18 News List

Soccer Shorts

AGENCIES

■ENGLAND

Owen overlooked again

Michael Owen was overlooked once again by England manager Fabio Capello when the squad for the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Belarus was announced on Sunday. Capello admitted the Newcastle striker had given him a decision to make by scoring three goals in his last four matches. But the Italian boss overlooked him, opting to stick with Wayne Rooney, Emile Heskey and Jermain Defoe and bring in the latter’s Portsmouth teammate Peter Crouch, who has scored four in his last three games. In other changes to the squad, Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, back from a groin injury, returns to the England midfield ranks, while Joe Cole, injured in Chelsea’s 2-0 defeat of Aston Villa on Sunday, misses out. Fellow midfielders Jimmy Bullard of Fulham and Tottenham’s David Bentley are replaced by Crouch and Manchester City winger Shaun Wright-Phillips. West Brom goalkeeper Scott Carson replaces calf-injury victim Paul Robinson of Blackburn.

■POLAND

FIFA drops sanction threat

World soccer’s governing body FIFA has dropped its threat of sanctions on Poland after reaching an agreement with the country’s government, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said yesterday. “We have received letters and documents that there has been an agreement between the FA and the Polish government,” Blatter told reporters in Brussels. “If this agreement comes into force tomorrow it is sufficient for us. We will not impose any sanctions once the agreement comes into force.” FIFA last week warned the Polish government that it was facing the possible suspension of its national team after it decided to remove the FA’s leadership and install a government-appointed administrator. European soccer’s governing body UEFA also said that Poland would likely lose its right to host the 2012 European Championship unless an agreement was reached before FIFA’s deadline.

■SAMOA

Oceania suspends Samoa

The Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) yesterday suspended the Samoan Football Soccer Federation (SFSF) for “seriously and repeatedly violating their obligations.” It followed concern over Samoa’s handling of funds from world body FIFA. In a statement, the OFC said the suspension took effect immediately and would be confirmed at their next Congress by a two-thirds majority of the votes taken. “If it is not confirmed, the suspension is automatically lifted,” it added. OFC general secretary Tai Nicholas said his organization imposed the suspension as “a last resort” after attempts to solve the SFSF’s financial problems.

■NETHERLANDS

Groningen regain top spot

FC Groningen regained the top spot in the Dutch league on Sunday with a 3-0 win over ADO The Hague. Petter Andersson, Evgeniy Levchenko and Marcus Berg scored for Groningen to give them 13 points after five rounds, one point ahead of PSV Eindhoven. PSV held the overnight lead after a 3-0 victory over De Graafschap on Saturday. Also on Sunday, NAC Breda scored twice in the first 19 minutes to beat FC Volendam 4-2 and stay third with 12 points, while Feyenoord dropped to 14th after losing 2-0 to NEC Nijmegen. SC Heerenveen pulled off a 5-2 victory over 10-man Ajax to move up to fourth place. FC Twente lost 3-0 at FC Utrecht to hand former England coach Steve McClaren his first Eredivisie defeat.

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