Sports

Around Global Football in 7 Days

La Liga president, Javier Tebas is quoted thus “The Super League is the wolf, who today disguises himself as a granny to try to fool European football, but his nose and his teeth are very big,” 

With unreserved apologies to Jules Verne for the heading, it has been a fairly eventful week in the world of the Beautiful Game. Here’s a brief rundown with some music references along the way. 

Let’s start with “Money, Money, Money.” Swedish quartet, ABBA is to be thanked for this. Very few will doubt the power of money in modern football, indeed across most major sports. Remember the Super League Fiasco about two years ago? Episode 2 seemed to rear its head with the announcement of a blueprint that proposed a European Super League that would have between sixty and eighty clubs across different divisions, all clubs needing to qualify via domestic competitions and assured of fourteen matches per season. 

One of the reasons for revisiting a European Super League is reportedly the distrust about an over-dominant English Premier League. La Liga president, Javier Tebas is quoted thus “The Super League is the wolf, who today disguises himself as a granny to try to fool European football, but his nose and his teeth are very big,” 

Also Read: Premier League Managers of the Decade

This came in the same week that saw the release of UEFA’s European Club Footballing Landscape report. It highlights the positive development of the increase in revenues of top clubs. These are higher than pre-covid pandemic figures. There is also an increase in commercial and gate revenues. However, UEFA’s Director of Financial Sustainability and Research, Andrea Traverso says, “many of the figures paint a “concerning picture” that “should act as a call for more financial discipline” even amid encouraging signs”, seeing as wages rose by 16%.

Not compromising economic stability remains the theme as Premier League accused Manchester City of over 100 alleged breaches of financial regulations between the 2009-10 and 2017-18 seasons. They have been referred to an independent commission. Potential penalties include points deduction or expulsion from the Premier League.

Cue permutations from rival fans – if City were expelled, Manchester United and Liverpool stand to claim a few more premier league titles. However, the legal process is expected to be relatively lengthy, with some reports suggesting a minimum of four years. Quote of the week comes from the Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola, “We live in a marvelous country where everyone is innocent until proven guilty. We didn’t have this opportunity to defend ourselves. We are already sentenced by others.”

A deal is in the offing between The Premier League and video game company, EA Sports worth nearly £500 million. This is to continue the existing partnership that allows premier league players to be used by the company.

“Money, money, money, must be funny, in the rich man’s world.”

This time in 2013 – 10th February in Johannesburg, Sunday Mba scored the lone goal against Burkina Faso in the Africa Cup of Nations final, giving the Stephen Keshi-led Super Eagles the ultimate prize. 

FIFA Best award series nominations in women’s football: The Best FIFA Women’s Coach Award 2022 (Sonia Bompastor (Lyon) and Pia Sundhage (Brazil) and Sarina Wiegman (England.) The Best FIFA Women’s Players England’s Beth Mead (England), Alex Morgan (USA), and Alexia Putellas (Spain.)

Uruguay–Argentina–Chile–Paraguay launch a joint bid for the 2030 FIFA World Cup. Being the 100th anniversary of the World Cup, Uruguay as the 1930 hosts will hope to win the bid to co-host.

Also Read: Premier League Managers of the Decade

Non-league Wrexham was not to be given a potential Hollywood script in keeping with the star status of their owners, Ryan Reynolds and Robert McElhenney. Despite being the lowest-ranked side left in the FA Cup, they forced Championship side, Sheffield United to a replay but lost 3-1.  

2021 Ballon d’Or nominee, Super Falcons, and Barcelona Femeni striker, Asisat Oshoala scored her third hat trick in four games, coming off the bench to do so against Real Betis. She leads the race for the 2022/23 Pchichi trophy for La Liga F’s top scorer.

“Another one bites the dust,” giving credit to the Queen classic. The sacking of Leeds manager, Jesse Marsch makes him the eighth Premier League Manager to be relieved of his post this season. Leeds lies 17th on the Premier league table following a loss to Nottingham Forest and faces a relegation battle that Marcelo Bielsa’s American successor could not put the brakes on. 

They will now seek their third manager in under a year. Across the other European Leagues this season, La Liga and Serie A and Bundesliga have each parted ways with six managers, France’s Ligue 1 boasting nine. It’s still only February. The sack race remains a staple of the modern game, with varying opinions on whether this is the best way to guarantee an upturn in results for the associated clubs.

Managers go and managers come, Diego Cocca, an Argentine was appointed head coach of the Mexico men’s national side, succeeding Gerardo Martino who was at the helm when the side went out in the group stages of the Qatar World Cup.

Real Madrid Manager, Carlo Ancelotti “has not heard anything” from the Brazil FA about taking over the manager job at the end of the season and a Brazil spokesperson was said to respond that the reports were “unfounded.” We wait in anticipation to determine whether there was smoke without a fire.

Staying on Ancelotti, he oversaw Real Madrid’s win at the Club World Cup Final held in Morocco. They played an eight-goal thriller with Al-Hilal, the first team from the Middle East to reach the final of an international club competition. Nigeria’s Odion Ighalo, Al Hilal striker was introduced at 85 minutes but the European side prevailed 5-3. It was reported that Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal gave Al Hilal’s players the equivalent of $266,500 for reaching the final.

The world is watching in disbelief as the death toll rises following the earthquake in Turkey and Syria. Over 28,000 have lost their lives. The Premier League players have pledged a £1million donation for disaster relief and will wear black armbands for the weekend’s games while the English Football League will support the Disasters Emergency Committee Appeal leveraging on their partnership with the British Red Cross. We add our prayers and support to those affected by the disaster and wish them a smooth rebuilding process.

Lande Abudu

Lande Abudu (aka Miss Football) is the Component Lead for Standalone Solar Home Systems on the World Bank Nigeria Electrification Project

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