Zamparini faces action
US Citta di Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini is facing disciplinary action after being reported to the Italian Football Federation for “harming the reputation” of FIFA president Sepp Blatter and UEFA president Michel Platini. In an interview last week with Radio Kiss Kiss that was widely reported in the Italian press, Zamparini labeled Blatter a racist. “When we [Italy] won the World Cup, he didn’t want to give us the award. What do you call someone who hates Italians? He is the racist,” Zamparini said. He also criticized Platini over the possibility of SSC Napoli having to play their next Champions League home games elsewhere because they need to complete renovations to earn the UEFA license for the games. “That the bureaucrats can decide over the stadium issue is absurd,” he said. “If the [Stadio] San Paolo is fine for league games, why is it no good for the Champions League? The presidents of FIFA and UEFA could both do with a kick up the arse.”
Player sent off for stripping
Macedonian international Mario Gjurovski stripping down to his underwear after scoring in a Thai Premier League match at the weekend earned him laughs from fans, but a sending-off from an unimpressed referee. Midfielder Gjurovski had just fired Premier League leaders Muang Thong United into a 2-0 lead with a neat chip after 35 minutes at TOT in Bangkok on Saturday when he took off his shorts and put them on his head. Fans howled with laughter at his impromptu act, but it cut little ice with the match official, who brandished a yellow card and then a red. Gjurovski had been booked earlier in the match. Last year’s league champions Muang Thong held on with 10 men to win 2-1 and lead the standings by four points.
Ferguson gets coach award
Outgoing Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson heads into retirement with the Premier League manager of the year award. Ferguson picked up the League Manager Association’s honor on Monday. At the reception in London, 24 hours after his last match in charge of United — Sunday’s 5-5 draw at West Bromwich Albion — the 71-year-old said he was relieved celebrations to mark his retirement were over. “The club has been fantastic and congratulations to West Brom with the way they handled yesterday. In a way I am glad it is all over now because it has been a very hard week,” Ferguson said. “I think [West Brom manager] Steve Clarke should get an award because anyone who scores five against United deserves it.”
Grasshoppers win 19th Cup
Grasshoppers ended their longest-ever wait for a trophy when they beat Basel on penalties after a 1-1 draw to win the Swiss Cup final on Monday. The Zurich-based side, who have won a record 27 Swiss Super League titles, had not lifted a trophy since they won the league 10 years ago. Markus Steinhoefer fired Basel ahead with a deflected shot off Stephane Grichting in the 70th minute. Basel, who won the league and cup double in two of the past three seasons, looked set to continue their domination until Izet Hajrovic leveled five minutes later, snapping up a rebound after Michael Lang’s shot was parried by Yann Sommer. Fabian Frei and Raul Bobadilla both hit the post for Basel as Grasshopprs won the penalty shootout 4-3 to win the cup for a record 19th time and the first since 1994. However, the final was marred by vandalism, withpolice saying in a statement that rival supporters threw fireworks and stones at each other, injuring six people.