Veterans set for Brazil game
Mark Schwarzer, Lucas Neill and Mark Bresciano have been included in an experienced Australia squad for next month’s friendly in Brazil. Chelsea goalkeeper Schwarzer has 108 caps for Australia, while captain Neill, who plays for Japanese club Omiya Ardija, has 92. Midfielder Bresciano, who plays with Al-Gharafa in Qatar, will take part in his 70th international as the Socceroos prepare for next year’s World Cup in Brazil with a match on Saturday next week against the host nation. New York Red Bulls midfielder Tim Cahill (64 caps) was also included in a 22-man squad that contains only four domestic A-League players. The teams last met at the 2006 World Cup when Brazil won 2-0 in a group match.
Racism complaint filed
Malawi coach Tom Saintfiet says the country’s national federation has reported Nigeria national team manager Stephen Keshi to FIFA for racism after Keshi described Saintfiet as “a white dude” who should go back to his native Belgium. Saintfiet said on Tuesday that the Football Association of Malawi had lodged a complaint with the world body over the African Cup-winning coach’s comments. Saintfiet said they were “waiting for FIFA’s response.” The row began when Saintfiet expressed safety concerns over Nigeria’s southern city of Calabar, the venue for a decisive World Cup qualifier between the countries next month. In response, Keshi said on an African TV show: “I think the coach of Malawi is crazy... He is not an African person, he is a white dude. He should go back to Belgium.”
Hodgson adds fresh faces
England manager Roy Hodgson rewarded Andros Townsend and Ross Barkley for their strong starts to the season by calling them up for the first time on Tuesday for key World Cup qualifiers. Townsend, a 22-year-old Tottenham Hotspur winger, was selected three months after being sanctioned by the Football Association for betting breaches and pulling out of the under-21 squad for the European Championship. Barkley, a 19-year-old midfielder, has already scored for Everton this season. Southampton striker Rickie Lambert retains his place in the squad for the Moldova and Ukraine qualifiers at the start of September after scoring the winner on his England debut earlier this month against Scotland, as does Tottenham’s Jermaine Defoe. Daniel Sturridge, who has scored the winner in each of Liverpool’s games so far this season, returns after missing the Scotland friendly injured. Wayne Rooney can expect to lead the strike force against Moldova at Wembley on Friday next week and in Kiev against Ukraine on Sept. 10.
Kondogbia to leave Sevilla
Twenty-year-old midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia, who made his international debut for France two weeks ago after winning the FIFA Under-20 World Cup last month, could join French Ligue 1 club AS Monaco according to media reports. Monaco have already splashed about 150 million euros (US$200.6 million) to sign European greats including Radamel Falcao from Atletico Madrid, and Porto pair James Rodriguez of Colombia and Joao Moutinho of Portugal. Sevilla said on their Web site that Kondogbia was unilaterally rescinding his contract, which means he has agreed personal terms with a club willing to pay his clause. “French midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia is already history at Sevilla FC,” the club said. Kondogbia joined Sevilla last year from French Ligue 2 side Racing Club de Lens.