Syria strive for Asian Cup
Syria head manager Anas Makhlouf yesterday vowed that the strife-torn nation will press on with its Asian Cup qualifying campaign in a bid to lift the spirits of fans back home. Makhlouf’s side face Singapore today and need a crucial win to remain in contention to qualify for the prestigious regional tournament, which will be hosted by Australia in 2015. Syria have one point from two games so far, in a group that also includes Oman and Jordan. Makhlouf said the team, who play home ties in Tehran due to security concerns at home, sorely missed the “comfort” of playing in front of a home crowd. “But we will … try to do and play well for them because they wait [for] us and ask about us and worry about us, and it is most important thing to make a result, a good result for them,” Makhlouf said in English at a pre-match conference in Singapore. Team captain Senharib Malki said fans have been making up for their absence by sending the players notes of encouragement through social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. “We can’t play at home and it is difficult for them to come to Tehran to watch the game. For these kind of people, we need to give everything,” said the 29-year-old forward, who plays for Turkish Super League side Kasimpasa. Syria are ranked 143 in the FIFA/Coca-Cola world rankings.
Ashley gets ‘upset’: Pardew
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has said that controversial club owner Mike Ashley can become confused and upset about the game. “Mike is a strong character who has been a success in his whole business life and is a genius in that world, but when you come to football, the logic doesn’t quite fit,” he said in an interview on Sky television. “He loves football, but he sometimes can’t understand how it works and it confuses and upsets him, and when he is upset, he does things that aren’t brilliant for the football club.” Pardew added: “That’s just Mike and he has funded the club, made sure we have no debt — other than to himself — and supported me, but unless we get a billionaire from deepest Russia, we are probably not going to be able to compete with the likes of Man United, Man City and Chelsea, which is what our fans want.” Media-shy Ashley, who made his fortune through his sports goods empire, has upset fans on a number of occasions since taking over the club in 2007. Most recently, he appointed former manager Joe Kinnear as club director, a move that saw only one player arrive at St James’ Park in the last transfer window.
Kansas fans loudest in world
Kansas City football fans were “loud and proud” of their undefeated Chiefs on Sunday, cheering the home team to victory in a display of eardrum-splitting support that scored the loudest crowd roar on record at an open-air stadium, according to league officials. A Guinness World Records official on site pegged the noise at Arrowhead Stadium in the fourth quarter at 137.5 decibels, as the Chiefs defeated the Oakland Raiders, the NFL and Chiefs officials said. The Chiefs won their sixth straight, remaining undefeated, as they took down Oakland. “Every win is a great win. When you can win with a crowd like this, it makes it even better,” Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said in a post-game news conference. “It was loud, I mean real loud. Ground-shaking loud.” The sold-out crowd shattered the stadium’s previous noise level record of 116 decibels and broke past the previous world record of 136.6 decibels set by Seattle Seahawks football fans at home, according to officials.