Metalist face UEFA probe
Champions League participants Metalist Kharkiv are to face a disciplinary hearing, UEFA said on Tuesday, four days after the Ukrainian side lost an appeal over a match-fixing case. European soccer’s governing body said Metalist, who are already playing in the third qualifying round of this season’s competition, would face a hearing on Tuesday next week. Metalist, runners-up in last season’s Ukrainian Premier League, won 2-0 at PAOK in the first leg of their third-round qualifying tie last week and were to host the return yesterday. On Friday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld a Ukraine Football Federation decision to fine Metalist Kharkiv and Karpaty US$25,000 each over the manipulation of a match played in April 2008. It also upheld the federation’s decision to strip Metalist of their third-place finish that season. The court also confirmed a five-year ban on one Metalist player involved in the game and three-year bans on another five, while Metalist director Yevhen Krasnikov was banned from any soccer-related activity for five years.
Trio on UEFA award shortlist
Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Franck Ribery will contest the title of Best Player in Europe when journalists across the continent cast their vote on Aug. 29 in Monaco, UEFA said on Tuesday. The three emerged on the shortlist after a second preliminary vote whittled down an interim 10-strong list. UEFA president Michel Platini began the initiative two years ago in partnership with the European Sports Media group, with Messi and his Barcelona teammate Andres Iniesta winning the first two editions.
United draw AIK in friendly
Manchester United were far from their best on Tuesday as they drew 1-1 with Swedish outfit AIK in a friendly in Solna, Sweden. The Premier League champions are still 11 days away from the start of their title defense and were made to look mediocre at times by opponents who are flying high in their domestic league midway through their season. Missing Wayne Rooney, who is at the center of ongoing transfer speculation, but was left out due to a shoulder injury, David Moyes’ side needed two good saves from Anders Lindegaard to deny Kennedy Igboananike and keep them on level terms in the first half. AIK did take the lead shortly after the restart at the Friends Arena thanks to a superb strike by Robin Quaison, but United had Angelo Henriquez to thank for netting the goal that earned them a draw midway through the second period.
Gomis could stay at Lyon
Olympique Lyonnais president Jean-Michel Aulas has not ruled out Bafetimbi Gomis staying at the club after the striker’s proposed move to Premier League side Newcastle United was thrown into doubt on Tuesday. The two sides agreed a reported 8 million euro (US$10.6 million) fee for the 27-year-old last week, but the move apparently hit a hitch over solidarity payments and agents’ fees. “My biggest wish is for us to qualify for the Champions League and to settle the case of Bafetimbi Gomis,” Aulas told OLTV following the club’s 1-0 win at Swiss side Grasshoppers Club Zurich on Tuesday that cemented a spot in the Champions League play-off round. “If he doesn’t want to leave, he should re-sign and not pass us off as people who aren’t capable of solving human problems,” Aulas said, adding that he was “very pessimistic” that a deal with Newcastle would go through.