Barca seat safe: Vilanova
Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova on Friday insisted he would still be in charge of the newly crowned Spanish champions next season, despite media rumors saying otherwise. Vilanova missed two months of the current season after heading to New York for treatment and was replaced by his assistant, Jordi Roura. However, the 44-year-old said reports of his imminent professional demise are grossly exaggerated. Vilanova was diagnosed with cancer of the saliva glands in December last year for the second time. Barcelona’s form dipped during his absence, although they still cantered to the Spanish La Liga title. Upon his return, Vilanova insisted he would honor his contract until the end of next season, but press rumours suggest he will be replaced either by former Barca youth team manager Luis Enrique or Valencia manager Ernesto Valverde.
‘Caxirola’ ban confirmed
The caxirola, the country’s percussion answer to South Africa’s vuvuzela, will be banned from stadiums during the Confederations Cup and the 2014 World Cup for safety reasons, authorities said on Friday. The ban will become effective from today when Brazil and England clash in a friendly match at Rio de Jainero’s Estadio do Maracana. The decision followed an April 28 incident in which irate fans hurled dozens of caxirolas on the pitch during a match between Esporte Clube Bahia and Esporte Clube Vitoria.
Jail sought in linesman case
The public prosecutor on Friday sought six years in jail for a father and up to two years’ youth detention for six teenagers who allegedly kicked an amateur soccer linesman to death last year. “The prosecution maintains that all the suspects who hit Richard Nieuwenhuizen in the head or body are responsible for his death,” it said in a statement after a court heard from witnesses and studied photographs of the attack. The prosecution wants two years in youth detention units, with six months suspended, for five boys aged 16 and 17 at the time, and one year with two months suspended for a 15-year-old. The 51-year-old father should be jailed for six years, the prosecution said. An eighth suspect, aged 15, should serve 30 days in a youth detention unit — 13 days suspended — because he only hit an opposing player, the prosecution said.
Fiorentina get Marcos Alonso
ACF Fiorentina have signed wingback Marcos Alonso from the Bolton Wanderers on a three-year deal, the Serie A club said on Friday. The 22-year-old Spaniard made 26 appearances for Bolton last season, scoring four goals in the Championship. Fiorentina finished fourth when Serie A ended last week, two points behind AC Milan and the third possible Champions League spot. Vincenzo Montella’s side will play in next season’s Europa League.
Djuricic transfers to Benfica
Serbian international midfielder Filip Djuricic has completed his transfer from Dutch side SC Heerenveen to SL Benfica in a deal worth 6 million euros (US$7.8million), the Portuguese club revealed. It was first announced in February that the talented 21-year-old would be on his way to Benfica at the end of the season. Benfica are looking to rebuild after a disastrous finish to this season saw them miss out on the Primeira Liga title to Porto on the final day, lose to Chelsea in the Europa League final and then lose 2-1 to Vitoria Guimaraes in the Taca de Portugal final