Inter deny Capello interest
Fabio Capello will not become the new coach at Inter, club president Massimo Moratti said. Capello walked out as England manager on Wednesday leading to rumors in the Italian press that he will be hired by the Nerazzurri. Inter were interested in Capello when Jose Mourinho left the job after winning the Champions League in May 2010, but England held firm then and kept Capello, whose side went on to crumble embarrassingly at the World Cup later that year in a 4-1 second-round thumping by archrivals Germany. “Press reports regarding a possible change of coach now or at the end of the season are lacking in any form of foundation,” Moratti said on Inter’s Web site. When their overtures to Capello were rebuked, Inter hired Rafael Benitez, only to fire him after less than six months in charge. Brazilian Leonardo took over for half a season, but then walked away. Inter turned to Gian Piero Gasperini, but sacked him after just four disastrous winless games. Claudio Ranieri then took over and dragged the team up the Serie A table to the edge of the Champions League positions.
Bystron banned for two years
Viktoria Plzen’s Czech defender David Bystron will not be able to compete even if selected in Euro 2012 after being banned for two years by UEFA for failing a drugs test. The 30-year-old failed the doping control after his side’s Champions League tie against Belarussian side BATE Borisov, his club announced on Thursday. His suspension will expire on Jan. 3, 2014. “We know what substance it is, but leave it up to the player to reveal its name because of the sensitive nature of this information,” Plzen manager Adolf Sadek said. According to press reports, Bystron consumed a methamphetamine in a nightclub a few days before the match at Borisov.
FedEx Field to host Brazil
The national team’s friendly against five-time World Cup champions Brazil on May 30 will be held at FedEx Field, the home of the Washington Redskins NFL team, US Soccer said on Thursday. The May 30 fixture had been announced last month as part of Brazil’s three-match friendly tour of the US, but the venue had not been named. Brazil will face Argentina in a battle of the South American giants on June 9 at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, the 80,000-seater stadium that is home to Super Bowl champions the New York Giants and the New York Jets. That friendly comes a week after Argentina confront Ecuador in the fifth round of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup. Brazil are also scheduled to play Mexico in the US in June.
Coach picks ‘crisis’ squad
The new coach of the national team spoke of a “crisis” as he announced an experienced 26-man squad yesterday for the crucial World Cup qualifying match against Kuwait later this month. Arsenal striker Park Chu-young is expected to lead the line for the clash in Seoul on Feb. 29, despite barely featuring for the English Premier League side. He is one of three overseas-based players in the squad. South Korea and Lebanon are level on 10 points at the top of Asian qualifying Group B, with Kuwait in third on eight points ahead of the last round of games. With the top two in the group going into the final qualifying round, South Korea’s World Cup dream would be over if they lose to Kuwait and Lebanon draw or win away at the United Arab Emirates. “We need experienced, veteran players to come through this crisis,” coach Choi Kang-hee said.