Nine teams face probes
Nine clubs remain at risk of punishment for over-spending under UEFA’s financial fairplay rules, the European governing body announced on Friday. Although the identity of the teams was not revealed, big-spending Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are widely believed to be among those facing possible sanctions. UEFA’s Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) Investigatory Chamber said that 76 out of the 237 clubs that entered European competitions, and were subject to the new break-even requirements, requested to submit additional information. “From that group, the examination as regards 67 clubs has come to an end and continues only in relation to the nine remaining clubs,” a UEFA statement said. UEFA is expected to impose heavy fines, and a wage cap on the squads to appear in next season’s Champions League. However, they are not expected to include a tournament ban.
Hopfner Bayern president
Karl Hopfner was voted in as Bayern Munich president on Friday, succeeding Uli Hoeness, who could be welcomed back by the German giants once he has served a prison sentence for fraud. The 61-year-old Hopfner received the backing of 1,593 club members at an extraordinary general meeting, but Hoeness spiced up the occasion by insisting that he has no plans to retire once he is a free man. “I made a huge mistake and I will accept that. When I return, I am not going to retire,” said the 62-year-old Hoeness, who is still waiting to start serving his three-and-a-half-year jail term. Hoeness, who was convicted of cheating the state out of 28.5 million euros (US$39.5 million) in unpaid taxes, received a standing ovation from the club members. “I am leaving with a clear conscience with no worries for the club,” he added. Hopfner has spent more than 30 years at Bayern filling positions such as vice-president and serving on the executive committee.
Pope warns on money
Pope Francis on Friday warned money “risks contaminating” soccer and called for a return to “sporting dignity” at a Vatican meeting with players from Italian Cup finalists Fiorentina and Napoli. “Football is a big business now because of advertising, television, et cetera, but the economic factor must not prevail over the sporting one because it risks contaminating everything,” he told them. “As a boy I used to go to the stadium a lot, I have happy memories. Joyful moments, on Sundays, with my family. I hope football and sports in general regains that sense of a celebration,” he said. He also said footballers had “a great responsibility” because young people looked up to them, telling them: “Your behavior has a resonance, for better or worse.”
Cash boosts Beckham dream
David Beckham’s dream stadium project for his new Major League Soccer team in Miami took another step on Friday toward becoming reality. The Florida state legislature approved a bill that allows professional sports teams to receive up to US$2 million in annual subsidies to build or renovate stadiums or infrastructure. Florida Governor Rick Scott must now enact the law. Former England and Manchester United star Beckham reportedly traveled to the state capital, Tallahassee, to push the measure. Beckham wants to build a stadium for 25,000 fans at a cost of US$250 million in the port of Miami, but has faced resistance from a coalition of business groups.
‘CRIMINAL ACT’: The UCI said it ‘strongly condemns’ Dylan Groenewegen’s ‘dangerous behavior,’ which left Jakobsen in critical condition and injured other cyclists Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen was in a coma on Wednesday, in “serious” condition, after he was thrown into and over a barrier at 80kph in the conclusion to the opening stage of the Tour de Pologne. Footage showed 23-year-old Jakobsen, of the Deceuninck-Quick-Step, racing elbow-to-elbow with fellow Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen of Jumbo-Visma as both men frantically tussled in a tight sprint to the line in Katowice. However, Jakobsen came off worst, somersaulting over the barriers before colliding with a photographer after Groenewegen had veered suddenly to the right, squeezing his rival into the security wall. “His condition is very serious. His life is
Taiwan Steel on Sunday grabbed three points with a narrow 1-0 win against Hang Yuan FC, to move into the No. 2 spot on the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) log, while Taipower FC beat NTUS 2-0 to maintain first place. Taking advantage early in the match of opposition defenders who had not yet settled down, Taiwan Steel’s attacking trio of Wu Chun-ching, Marc Fenelus from the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Benchy Astama from Haiti pushed forward with good passes. After only one minute of play, Fenelus dribbled from the right flank, feeding a short pass inside the penalty area to
STAYING COOL: Hamilton said that his ‘heart nearly stopped’ when he noticed the puncture, but he kept going to beat Alain Prost’s total of six home wins in France Lewis Hamilton said he feared he might not make it home when a last lap puncture almost derailed his charge to a record seventh British Grand Prix victory on Sunday. “I didn’t think I would make it round the last two corners,” the world champion said. The front left tire of his Mercedes had delaminated and deflated on his final lap, leaving the six-time world champion to nurse his vehicle to the finish as second-placed Max Verstappen hunted him down. “I just can’t believe it,” Hamilton said. “It was heart-stopping. I backed off and stayed chilled and was so glad it happened on
Growing concern over health standards in e-sports has prompted a new federation to pledge to address the problem, as players fall victim to conditions ranging from wrist injuries to obesity, stress and diabetes. The retirement of top Chinese player Jian Zihao, better known by his gaming handle “Uzi,” sent tremors through the booming sport, whose revenues are predicted to reach US$1.1 billion this year, according to industry analyst Newzoo. The 23-year-old, hailed as an “icon” of the League of Legends game, stepped away from e-sports in June, saying that “chronic stress, obesity, irregular diet, staying up late and other reasons” had given