Chaos interrupts semi-final
Thirteen people were arrested after about 40,000 people stormed the 35,000-capacity Darulmakmur Stadium during the Malaysian Football Association Cup second-leg semi-final between Pahang and Johor Darul Takzim, forcing the game to be called off amid chaotic scenes, police said yesterday. Fans threw water bottles and stones, and stormed the pitch on Tuesday night in Kuantan, Pahang State. The outburst was apparently sparked when some spectators were denied entry, district police officer Aziz Ahmad told reporters. Thirteen men were arrested and were being investigated for damaging property, he said, adding that several people sustained slight injuries.
Monaco to sign Spain stars
Atletico Madrid’s Colombian striker Radamel Falcao was in the principality on Tuesday negotiating a transfer to AS Monaco as Real Madrid’s Portuguese defender Ricardo Carvalho completed his move to the Ligue 2 champions. Sources said the duo were set to undergo their medicals later that day, but added that Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes was not present, despite also being close to making a move to the Stade Louis II. Monaco are believed to have agreed a fee of about 60 million euros (US$77.2 million) for Falcao, which would make him the most expensive player in French soccer history. Falcao, 27, won last year’s Europa League and has netted 28 goals this season for Atletico, who he also helped to glory in Spain’s Copa del Rey. Carvalho, 35, has signed a one-year contract with the option of a further year after his deal with Real Madrid expired. Valdes, 31, was believed to be in the principality on Monday, but Barcelona are yet to finish their season and he has one year remaining on his contract.
Reds acquire Kolo Toure
Liverpool on Tuesday revealed they have agreed to sign Ivory Coast defender Kolo Toure when his Manchester City contract expires on July 1. The 32-year-old joined City from Arsenal in a deal reported to be worth ￡16 million (US$24.1 million) in 2009 and was joined at the club by his younger brother and fellow Ivory Coast international, Yaya Toure, a year later. Kolo Toure was initially installed as City captain, but he lost his place in the starting lineup after being handed a six-month ban for failing a drugs test in March 2011. Despite his ban, he leaves City with FA Cup and Premier League winners’ medals. Kolo Toure’s arrival at Anfield will provide Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers with experience at centerback, following Jamie Carragher’s retirement.
Neymar nervous about Barca
Barcelona-bound forward Neymar has been feeling nervous ahead of his blockbuster transfer to the Spanish champions from Santos Futebol Club once he has finished playing in the Confederations Cup next month. Before Barca finally clinched a deal last weekend, other major European teams had for the past two years sought to lure him away from the Brazilian club where he started his career. “What I feel are chills in my stomach,” the 21-year-old forward said, referring to his impending move, though he added: “Right now, the focus is the Confederations Cup.” Neymar will have to live up to a price tag estimated at about 74 million Brazilian reals (US$35.82 million) by media. A national soccer federation spokesman said Neymar was expected to fly to Spain next week for his official presentation with Barca before returning by midweek, to train with Brazil for the Confederations Cup.