My Soccer World

Footbuzz: Bafana Bafana Only Seeds

Posted on: November 22, 2008

JOHANNESBURG: Hosts South Africa are the sole seeds for the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup draw here today despite being the lowest ranked of the eight qualifiers.

The benefit for Bafana Bafana (The Boys) will be considerable as it means dodging two-time winners Brazil and either World Cup holders Italy or European champions Spain in the mini-league first round next June.

That can only help a national team ranked 80th in the world this month behind Spain (1), Italy (3), Brazil (5), Egypt (21), United States (24), New Zealand (60) and Iraq (75).

Another boost for the hosts is a decision to keep apart nations from the same continent so while South Africa go into Group A, African champions Egypt will be in the other pool.

Outsiders Iraq complete the line-up for the draw. — AFP
Atletico fine halved

GENEVA: The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Thursday halved a fine for Atletico Madrid to E75,000 (RM342,000) after their fans chanted racist insults during a Champions League fixture against Marseille last month.

But the court said that Atletico’s Champions League match in their Vicente Calderon stadium against PSV Eindhoven on Tuesday will still have to be played behind closed doors.

“I did not expect this sanction because we believe that Atletico have not committed any crime and when you haven’t done anything, there is no reason to sanction you,” said Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo in comments published on the club’s website. — AFP

Wenger urges crackdown on truancy

LONDON: Arsene Wenger has called on Fifa, the world governing body, and UEFA, its European equivalent, to clamp down on players who pick and choose which international matches they play in by pretending that they are injured.

The Arsenal manager said this after he discovered he will be without Theo Walcott for up to four months after the winger dislocated his right shoulder on Tuesday.

New Straits Times

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