Baseball, Basketball, Football, MLB, NBA, NBA Playoffs 2010, NFL, Soccer, Sports, World Cup 2010

Opening Up Pandora’s Box You Simply Don’t Want To Know What’s Inside


Opening Up Pandora’s Box You Simply Don’t Want To Know What’s Inside

As a young child were you ever told by a parent or an elder …..” never play with matches and never touch anything that doesn’t belong to you ” ? Well it’s something that I believe that in the cases of both NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and David Stern they’ve failed to heed those very warnings. Goodell seems to be delighted with the fact that the 2014 Superbowl will be held at the new $1.6 billion stadium that will be home to both the New York Jets and New York Giants in East Rutherford , New Jersey. The fact that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg seems to be clamoring over this like a young boy who’s discovered his first copy of Playboy has me even more worried. Bloomberg’s craving for the public spotlight borders if not surpasses that of the NBA Commissioner David Stern. But consider this , Bloomberg’s city will have a budget deficit approaching $1.67 billion for the fiscal year of 2011. However, he and the city’s comptroller John C. Liu hope to have the now projected shortfall reined in by 2014. However, by then it’s projected to be in excess of $4 billion . Is it any wonder Bloomberg won an unprecedented third term in office ? He’ll be creating more havoc than the pimps and drug cartel leaders could ever have wished to. You can always rely on a politician to get things done by essentially fu_king things up to begin with !

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Slide show for your perusal .

While the NFL owners are now patting themselves on the back about this latest development. have to ask why now and why the Giants and Jets ? Merely because they’ve a spanking new edifice ? OK , so we know that the economic impact of staging a Superbpowl does mean a great deal of business for the host city and that it can garner it more publicity than it could wish , had they spent the money on marketing their city. The economic impact of staging the Superbowl can mean as much $2billion to the host city over a period of six months prior to and after the event itself. And one can well understand the reason why the cities who’ve staged the event fall over themselves and clamor to re-stage the event when given the chance. But prior to this , did you realize that NFL championship games were hosted by the team who had “the best record” from the previous year ? In the era of the Superbowl all of that went right out of the window. If anything, wouldn’t that have been more of an incentive to teams than what we’ve now witnessed ?
For Jets’ owner Woody Johnson the Jets’ organization along with his counterpart from the Giants , Steve Tisch and his organization . This has to be a more than welcoming occurrence. As it immediately gives both organizations the credibility that they seek .

Now the NFL hierarchy under Goodell’s guidance merely looks at its calendar of cities that’ve successfully staged the event and then announces the winner as they would deem fit. Surreptitiously we’re told that ballots are cast to in order to create the perception of fairness. If fairness is deemed having the owners in a room locking horns and the most influential amongst them simply holding sway , then I guess you could consider it as being fair wouldn’t you Now the ramifications of which will be that all 32 teams in the NFL will feel that they too ought to be given the chance to stage a Superbowl. If the truth be told that scenario will never see the light of day under any circumstance whatsoever ! This is a Pandora’s Box that should never have been open to begin with. But you know what frankly I hope this sh_t rains down on Goodell and the rest of these damn greedy owners to begin with ! The Superbowl whenever it has been staged has never been about the fans but more so to do with the patronage of the NFL’s many corporate sponsors and major partners. Try purchasing a ticket for the very event itself better yet try purchasing a series of tickets for a group of five or six people and see how much the cost sets you back ? Goodell and the owners aren’t and never will be the least bit concerned as to what the fans may well think or how they might feel !

Pardon me for say this but I wasn’t aware that LeBron James’ father was David Stern . For some reason the NBA commissioner is now ready to levy fines upon anyone who apparently says anything as it regards the player’s impending free agency. Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban found this out to his cost and is now $100,000 lighter in his wallet. Considering a fine of that nature, is like a ripple across a pond to someone of Cuban’s wealth. I fail to see what imposing such a fine does in the first place. Cuban, in giving a statement did not go out or seek to influence James, as to making a decision about his future. But from Stern’s mere decision and candor he thought that the owner was bringing undue influence to bear upon the player. David Stern is acting like an autocratic despotic leader whose very command must be obeyed. He’s protecting James as if he were his child. I think LeBron can defend himself as and when needs be ! And in referring to David Stern , we call the likes of Hugo Chavez and Kim Jong-Il maniacal in terms of their authority and power ? Stern makes those two despotic leaders seem like mere children at play when it comes to undue use of power !

Tonight the Eastern Conference Final ___ series resumes between the Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic . With the Magic still steering elimination in the face being down 3-1 in the series . It will be interesting to see the resolve being shown by this Stan Van Gundy coached team . Their play through much of this series has been un-inspirational and lackluster to say the very least. And the fact that there’s not been much of a sighting of Dwight Howard in the series until game four’s explosive output of 32 points and 16 rebounds on the way to the team’s 96-92 victory over the Celtics. You had the impression that the team would bow inauspiciously out the conference finals , making history as the first team that swept their opponents in the opening two rounds of the playoffs and were then swept themselves. In staving off that scenario they still have to force a game five if they’re to at least have a chance of erasing the deficit and playing themselves back into contention.

The one thing we do know is that the Celtics led by Rajon Rondo and their veteran coach Doc Rivers aren’t going to let a one game slide get to them either mentally or physically. And if anything they’ll be looking to close out the series in front of their home crowd at the TD Banknorth Garden Center in Boston , Massachusetts.

If the Magic were the presumptive favorites to win their match-up against the Celtics. Then the Los Angeles Lakers had to have been considered the overwhelming favorites against their opponents , the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference Finals . Now with the series tied at two games apiece. This contest has now become one of intrigue and suspense. And any thought it would be the Lakers now dictating the pace and structure of the contest. Well, let’s just say the most ardent of Lakers’ fans are by no means certain their team” will come out of this series unscathed. This is becoming a dog-fight that I’ve got to believe that the Lakers’ players and their fans want no part of ! Do you think that Lakers’ coach Phil Jackson has Michael Vick’s number on speed dial ?

So the rallying cry has begun to support the US men’s national soccer team as they begin their buildup to the World Cup . Unfortunately, the cry was lost on the players as they got off to an inauspicious start by being completely outplayed and trounced by the Czech Republic team 4-2 . What one ought to consider however , is that the Czechs failed to qualify for the upcoming event to held in South Africa. If this display is a sign of things to come then there’s a distinct possibility that the US team mightn’t make it out of the opening round of the competition.

Coached by Bob Bradley the roster of the squad set to open up their tournament play against fellow qualifiers in Group C ____ England on June 12th ,the day after the opening day ceremony. And that game is being met with a great deal of anticipation as whomever comes out of it with a victory will essence be in the driver’s seat within Group C. A great deal is expecte of the team but I think it best to be realist as it concerns the US team. Ranked 14th in the FIFA World Rankings their play of late has hardly exhibited that. And Bradley knows if they are to indeed to prevail then they’ll have to raise the level of their play on all fronts.

“Respect” is what US soccer says it is looking for . Well , before you get respect you’ve got to go out and earn it and at the same respect others on the same foreboding journey as yourselves. Thus far Bradley hasn’t instilled that into his team and the players have shown very little of that from the outset. Which doesn’t augur well for this team and its fortunes in South Africa. Suffice to say that they had better get it together before they fall at the very first obstacle placed in front of them.

Sooner or later you knew it just had to happen. And for the Tampa Bay Rays all of a sudden that streak that they were on has suddenly become yolk around their neck. Having lost their series to the Boston Red Sox . They look to take the third and final leg of the contest and put themselves back on a winning roll. Now don’t get me wrong when you’re still able to maintain a 5 game lead over the New York Yankees in the AL East , that is certainly no mean feat. The thing is , maintaining the consistency of play will be what really matters at this juncture. Any slip ups and it could prove to be costly for the team and in particular the coaching staff of Joe Maddon .

As good as this Rays’ team has been playing and they’ve been playing exceptionally well that their record (32-14) clearly bears this out and why many consider them to be the best team in the majors this season . I get the feeling that if they start to lose their rhythm and concentration then things could suddenly begin to spin out of control. Maddon and his coaching staff certainly has got the players to believe in themselves and each other. And that may well be the sole reason why we’ve not really seen the team go on a prolonged losing streak as of yet. Certainly when this happens to a number of teams we see them inexplicably wilt under the pressure. Not so as of yet for this team and I’m not so sure that we’re liable to see that scenario rear its ugly head. But for the moment we just ought to merely appreciate and relish what it is that they’re doing at present.

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

Opening up Pandora’s Box can fill you with either a few surprises , things to savor or things that you simply loathe. Here I’ve placed a few scenarios for you to discuss or perhaps you could suggest one or two yourself ? Either way simply chime in with a comment as to what you think as to what’s now happening in the realms of sports as you view it .

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ……………………………

Aaliyah ……………”Rock The Boat”

Champions League, Cristiano Ronaldo, FC Real Madrid, Soccer, Sports

Under Pressure To Perform And Succeed …………..


What can say you about a team that goes out and spends to its heart’s content ? It’d be remiss not to the think that Spanish soccer giant, Real Madrid CF is under pressure to succeed. They’ve spent in excess of $350 million to acquire a cabal of world class soccer stars. That being said , it’s by no means a guarantee of success in the often volatile world of domestic soccer. Much less, for the premiere club soccer tournament in the world – the Champions League.

Cristiano Ronaldo  celebrats  his  first  goal in European  club  competition  for  Real  Madrid.  The  Portuguese  player  would add  a  second  goal  to  his  tally  in  his  side's  5-2  defeat  of   FC  Zurich  in the  Champions  League  competition.   picture  appears  courtesy  of  getty  images ....................
Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his first goal in European club competition for Real Madrid. The Portuguese player would add a second goal to his tally in his side's 5-2 defeat of FC Zurich in the Champions League competition. picture appears courtesy of getty images ....................

Having had a thorough display in the European club competition in defeating FC Zurich 5-2 in somewhat of a competitive but lopsided match in part. The Swiss side were never really that bold on offense but they made use of the legitimate chances that came their way.

FC  Zurich's  Xavier  Margairaz   and  Real  Madrid's Raul  contest  a   loose  ball   during  the   Champions League  Group  C meeting.    Real  Madrid  would   go  on  to defeat  their   opponent   5-2 .    picture  appears  courtesy  of   ap/keystone/ photo/  Steffen  Schmidt  ......................
FC Zurich's Xavier Margairaz and Real Madrid's Raul contest a loose ball during the Champions League Group C meeting. Real Madrid would go on to defeat their opponent 5-2 . picture appears courtesy of ap/keystone/ photo/ Steffen Schmidt ......................

And with the game now out of the way. They can now return to the rigors of the Spanish League domestic competition. There’s no doubt that this victory has given the team a definite boost of confidence. And now comes the sterner test for the team and that’s to maintain that consistency shown in their defeat of the Swiss side. There’s nothing more telling than when a team coming off a resounding win then falls back to earth with a lackluster display. With the team’s triumvirate of stars all having solid performances. It’s hoped that they’ll be able to replicate that form in their return to domestic competition in the league.

The two goal outburst by Cristiano Ronaldo to go with his allround display, was all that the Real Madrid fans could ask for. And it paid off in with the dividends of also seeing Kaka and Raul ably abetting the Portuguese , World Player of the Year, in Cristiano Ronaldo. The glaring talk when one deals the precocious talent of Ronaldo , has been that he’s never been able to produce on the grandest of stages. But if anything it has been the player’s complacency and the fact that he doesn’t always challenge himself to do better. We’re in awe with those moments dazzling brilliance. But then soon after we’re wanting to lambast the player for sometimes not trying harder. But were he on your team would you be willing to sell him in the expectation of getting something better ? There aren’t many players today with the talents of Ronaldo playing the game at his level of consistency. Isn’t any wonder that the Spanish giants were willing to pay Manchester United in excess of $140 million to avail themselves of his services ? His compensation package with Real Madrid makes him amongst the highest paid soccer players in the world. And the untold riches in terms of endorsements will almost certainly make him amongst the highest earning sport’s personalities on the planet.

Santiago Bernabeu  Stadium     home  to  Spanish  soccer   giant   Real  Madrid  of  the  Spanish  first  division.     picture  appears   courtesy  of  afp/  reuters  /   Jose  Etcheverria  .................
Santiago Bernabeu Stadium home to Spanish soccer giant Real Madrid of the Spanish first division. picture appears courtesy of afp/ reuters / Jose Etcheverria .................

La Liga (Spanish Primera) as the Spanish first division is often referred to , is one of the most competitive leagues in all of European soccer. It sits alongside that of the Barclays Premier League in England -being viewed as claiming that mantel. Though many believe it to be the Premiership that is far in a way the most competitive in terms of talent and the number of elite teams on display week in and week out..That case cannot made for La Liga.

Courtesy of AP Yahoo Sports :

Real Madrid , Man United win in Champions League

By Stuart Condie AP Sports Writer

Cristiano Ronaldo had a successful Champions League debut for Real Madrid, scoring twice Wednesday night in a 5-2 victory at Zurich.

“I never feel pressure,” Ronaldo said. “I just work to score goals. I scored two and I’m really pleased for that, but the important thing is to win games.”

Manchester United, his former team, won its opener 1-0 at Besiktas, and AC Milan gained a 2-1 victory in heavy rain at Olympique Marseille.

The reigning FIFA player of the year, Ronaldo scored on free kicks in the 27th and 89th minutes of the Group C match, with the second going in off goalkeeper Johnny Leoni, who tried to clear it with a punch. Real Madrid, a nine-time champion, also got goals from Raul Gonzalez in the 34th, Gonzalo Higuain in first-half injury time and Jose Maria “Guti” Gutierrez in second-half injury time.

“We must not lose concentration,” Real Madrid coach Manuel Pelligrini said. “There are always things to improve on but I’m happy we scored five goals.”

Xavier Margairaz converted a 64th-minute penalty kick for Zurich, which also got a goal on Silvan Aegerter’s header one minute later.

“Real was for sure a little bit in fear of us. At 3-2 anything is possible,” Leoni said. “If they want to win the Champions League they will have to play better.”

At a Group B match in Istanbul, Paul Scholes scored with 13 minutes remaining for Manchester United, the 2008 champion.

“It was difficult,” United captain Gary Neville said. “They create an atmosphere over here like no other country.”

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Official   presentation of  the  Brazilian international  player  Kaka  to  the  fan  at  the  Santiago Bernabau  Stadium  ,  Madrid  ,  Spain.   There  was  in  excess  of   50,000   fans  in the  stadium  to  greet  the  player  at the  official presentation.  picture  appears  courtesy  of  photo  agency  -photo  ..............................
Official presentation of the Brazilian international player Kaka to the fan at the Santiago Bernabau Stadium , Madrid , Spain. There was in excess of 50,000 fans in the stadium to greet the player at the official presentation. picture appears courtesy of photo agency -photo ..............................

And with the Spanish domestic league season just underway. It’ll be interesting to see how Real Madrid fares in domestic competition. As of late this team hasn’t won anything of merit on either level. With untold tens of millions of dollars at their disposal they’ve gone out of their way to try and buy themselves out of trouble. It has seemingly left the club in something of a financially precarious situation. Although club president Florentino Perez has tried to allay those fears by publicly addressing the issue. Stating that the club is financially sound and that they can meet all of their financial obligations.

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Soccer, Sports, World Cup 2010

Where There’s A Will There’s A Way ………..


The qualifying process is winding down as to the 2010 World Cup , which will be held in South Africa. It is only the second major international sporting event to be held in the country since the removal of apartheid .

Former South African President  ,  Nelson  Mandela  ,  not only  a  supreme  humanitarian  but also  an  avid  sports  fan.  Mandela    alongside  his  successor   Thabo  Mbeki    fought  long   and  hard  to  bring  the   World  Cup   to  South  Africa . Despite   at  times   there  being  prominent  opposition  from  a  number  of   soccer  bureaucrats  across  the  globe.     picture  appears  courtesy  of   ap/photo/  Marcus  Nash  .......................
Former South African President , Nelson Mandela , not only a supreme humanitarian but also an avid sports fan. Mandela alongside his successor Thabo Mbeki fought long and hard to bring the World Cup to South Africa . Despite at times there being prominent opposition from a number of soccer bureaucrats across the globe. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Marcus Nash .......................

And for the country’s former president, Nelson Mandela. This is something that he and many of the country’s politicians have fought long and hard for , in bringing such a prestigious sporting event to the country. The World Cup , alongside the Summer Olympics are the most eagerly watched and anticipated sporting events in the world. A quadrennial event that’s anticipated and will be watched by in excess of 1 1/2 billion people across the globe , once the event gets under way. And for those qualifying nations it does bring a sense of pride for the players, as well as its citizenry. The event itself, is seen as fostering a sense of competition as well as sportsmanship among the participants. But above all , it’s an extraordinary way of getting athletes together to meet on the field of competition at the international level. Something that’s not often seen with regards to any of the major sports within North America. Granted ,the NHL does have the Stanley Cup and there’s also the international governing body’s very own international competition , with its own version of the World Cup. But bearing that in mind in terms of its importance on the international stage , it pales in comparison to soccer’s World Cup.

Soccer  city   in  Johannesburg,  South  Africa.  One of   thirteen  venues  that'll  be   used  to  host   the  games  of the  2010  World  Cup  being  held  in  South  Africa  ,  next  June.    picture  appears  courtesy of   getty  images/   ....................
Soccer city in Johannesburg, South Africa. One of thirteen venues that'll be used to host the games of the 2010 World Cup being held in South Africa , next June. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ ....................

The NBA, for its part and MLB , despite their popularity haven’t fully caught the public’s imagination at the international level the way soccer has. But they are slowly getting there. Albeit, that if anything baseball has fallen by the wayside in terms of Olympic recognition. But the World Baseball Classic for all of its pecularities and the ill-conceived notions of MLB and the sport’s international governing body has done. It hasn’t caught the imagination of the fans globally. Especially when based on viewership of the event domestically and on the global level.

The NBA despite its immense popularity globally-goes out of its way to market its stars individually, rather than their teams. And even with the popularity of its stars at the Olympics and Team USA’s winning of the gold medal in Beijing. It primarily came down to more a marketing of the game’s stars, rather than foistering the popularity of the game and further broaden its base and appeal. And you’d be hard pressed to name but a handful of international players on any of the teams that participated in the games other than those we already know playing in the NBA.

 Nelson Mandela  Stadium  in  Port  Elizabeth ,  South Africa  .   picture  appears  courtesy of  afp/photo/  Pieter   Houizehenhaus  ............................
Nelson Mandela Stadium in Port Elizabeth , South Africa . picture appears courtesy of afp/photo/ Pieter Houizehenhaus ............................

As the host nation, South Africa is an automatic qualifier for next year’s event. And while the fans there are eagerly awaiting the event’s kick-off. The team itself has already began its preparations by hosting a pre World Cup tournament , as well several friendlies against international competition. There is expected to be the usual plethora of teams that are hoping to make their presence felt once the competition gets under way. Brazil as expected are the presumptive favorites for the competition. And as a five time winner of the Jules Rimet trophy (World Cup), they are expected to raise it again, for an unprecedented sixth time. Which would be a record amongst World Cup winners.

Ricardo  Clark  of  the  US  celebrates  after  scoring the  team's   lone  goal  to  secure  a  1-0 victory  over  Trinidad  & Tobago  ,  in  Port  of Spain ,  Trinidad.    picture appears  courtesy  of   ap/photo/ Fernando  Llana   ..............................
Ricardo Clark of the US celebrates after scoring the team's lone goal to secure a 1-0 victory over Trinidad & Tobago , in Port of Spain , Trinidad. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Fernando Llana ..............................

The aspirations of the US soccer team cannot be understated, as they seek respectability amongst the game’s international elite. Qualifying for the event in South Africa would do a great deal to raise the profile of US soccer , domestically , as well as abroad. And with the growing confidence of many of their younger stars , such as Jozy Altidore , Ricardo Clark and the veteran experience of such players as Tim Howard , Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan. It is hoped that the team will, fare well , in the event next year. It has a clear goal , and that’s at least to reach the latter stages of the event. Anything short of that , would be considered a failure .

Courtesy of Yahoo Sports and AP :

US moves to the verge of 6th straight World Cup berth

Port of Spain-Trinidad and Tobago-(AP)

Just one more win will give the US its sixth straight World Cup berth.

Ricardo Clark scored in the 62nd minute, and the United States beat Trinidad and Tobago 1-0 Wednesday night to move into first place in World Cup qualifying.

“It’s huge. It’s huge. It gives us a little bit of space when things are getting tight in our group.” Clark said. ” We knew we had to come out in this game and get a win.”

The United States failed to win its first three road qualifiers this year and played a listless first half. The Americans went ahead when Clint Dempsey played the ball wide to Landon Donovan, who cut the ball back to Clark.

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Those teams that’ve already qualified can now set about looking at what may well lie ahead for them. Inasmuch, as the tournament may well seem a long way off. Many of the players are still within the midst of their respective domestic competitive calendars. And any type of a serious injury could very well place their dreams in jeopardy. Coaches and players asides, the fans globally will be cheering on their teams with a great deal of patriotism. Needless to say the more vocal amongst us will most certainly let our voices be heard.

The event itself begins on the 11th June with the preliminary rounds. And ends with the finals being played on the 11th of July. The 32 participants that will be in the tournament , all have aspirations making it to the finals. But as we all know only two can ever make it there. And as of September 10th , there are eleven known qualifiers for the tournament. In no discerning order they are, South Africa as hosts, Japan, Korea (Rep), Netherlands, Korea DPR, Brazil , Ghana , England , Spain and Paraguay.

As an avid soccer fan , albeit that I now reside in the United States and being English by birth. I , for one am hoping that the best and brightest that the soccer world has to offer can exhibit their profound skills with grace. And show the fans across the globe why it is this is the most beloved of all sports, not just in terms of the passion shown, but also when it comes to its popularity and participants worldwide at every level.

And for the people of South Africa and their government . I wish them well in their endeavor of hosting the event. Those who doubted that they could pull this off. Well they can only but witness the passion , grace and hospitality shown when the country hosted the CONCACAF Federations Tournament earlier this year. Hosted in South Africa , the event proved to be an immense success and as a precursor of things to come next year. The nation of South Africa proved to be courteous , graceful and wonderful hosts to all of the participants. When one considers what the country has undergone under previous regimes , prior to Mandela’s ascent to power as President. The changes during and after his reign makes this more than a welcoming sight for a country on the African continent to be hosting such a prestigious event.

* List of teams that’ve qualified for the World Cup as of the 10th September 2009 Click here ………..

Soccer, Sports

There Are Rules And Then There Are Rules So Why Break Them ?


There are rules and then there are rules, that are meant to be obeyed. And in no way should a team be able to obfuscate the responsibility of upholding those rules. Even when it’s not to your liking. And in light of this one has to ask what it is that Chelsea FC of the English Premiership League (EPL) , thought it was doing by luring away a young player from his team , causing him to break his contract ?

Chelsea  FC  and  members  of   its   first  team  and  reserves on  the  roster.     picture  appears  courtesy  of  premierleague.com/clubs/chelsea fc      @ copyrighted  material  All  rights  reserved  ..................
Chelsea FC and members of its first team and reserves on the roster. picture appears courtesy of premierleague.com/clubs/chelsea fc @ copyrighted material All rights reserved ..................

To some this may not seem to be an important issue. But it goes to the integrity of the game. And how one goes about conducting themselves in an orderly business fashion. A contract, is a contract , be it oral , implied or written. As was the case , herein.

Galel  Kakuta  of   Chelsea  FC .  The  young  player   was  signed  originally  from the  French  first   division  club  Lens  in  2008.  But  it has  now  been  alleged  that he  was  lured  away  by  the  Premiership  club  Chelsea  ,  whilst  still   under   contract  with  the  French  club  side.  An  infraction  of  not  only  UEFA  rules  but  aslo that  of  FIFA and   that  of  the  Premiership as  well.       picture  appears   courtesy   of   premierleague.com/teams/club/chelsea -fc     @    copyrighted  material   All  rights  reserved  ......................
Galel Kakuta of Chelsea FC . The young player was signed originally from the French first division club Lens in 2008. But it has now been alleged that he was lured away by the Premiership club Chelsea , whilst still under contract with the French club side. An infraction of not only UEFA rules but aslo that of FIFA and that of the Premiership as well. picture appears courtesy of premierleague.com/teams/club/chelsea -fc @ copyrighted material All rights reserved ......................

And while this is not the first time that FIFA , the governing body for world soccer , has come down harshly on a club in this regard. It does send a serious message. That actions such as Chelsea’s will not be condoned or go unpunished. And though the team has the right of recourse, to lodge an appeal with the Court Of Arbitration For Sports (CAS). It’s hard to imagine that the team’ll have a case as to the veracity of its argument.

Russian  billionaire  oil  tycoon  Roman  Abramovich    the  owner  of   Premier  League   team  Chelsea  FC.    He's  seen  here  with  his companion   fashion  model  Daria  Zhukova at  a  UEFA  game  in  2007.     picture  appears  courtesy  of   ap/photo/  Matthias Zoening  .........................
Russian billionaire oil tycoon Roman Abramovich the owner of Premier League team Chelsea FC. He's seen here with his companion fashion model Daria Zhukova at a UEFA game in 2007. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Matthias Zoening .........................

And it’s unlilkely that the club’s owner, Roman Abramovich , would knowingly let his executives and management act in such a way. But there’s cause for concern if , in-fact the owner and anyone within the team’s management hierarchy willingly allowed this to happen. It’s also somewhat surprising that FIFA in this respect only imposed a ban and a small financial penalty. One would’ve thought that a much stiffer financial penalty ought to have been incurred by the team. In this case they’ve been ordered to pay the French team, Lens , a sum of $1.2 million , with an additional sum of $186,000 to be paid to the team in terms of financial expenditure in providing training for Gael Kukuta , the player at the center of the uproar.

Courtesy of Yahoo Sports and AP:

FIFA gives Chelsea 1-year transfer ban

Zurich-(AP) Chelsea was banned from signing any new players for a year because it encouraged a teenager to break his contract with a French team and sign with the English soccer power.

The sport’s governing body Thursday barred Chelsea from taking part in the next two transfer windows-January 2010 and the next offseason. The next time the Premier League team would be able sign a new player-nationally or internationally would be January 2011 .

Chelsea called the penalty “without precedent” and “totally disproportionate” and said it would appeal to the Court for Arbitration of Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The French club Lens had complained that Chelsea lured 18-year old Gael Kakuta to break his contract with the club and join the English team in 2008.

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And whilst the feeling may well be that Chelsea’s actions aren’t egregious. One first has to look at the message this now sends across the game. Especially in light of the smaller clubs involved in the game and their very own existence .

What are your thoughts on the matter ? I look forward to reading your comments with a great deal of interest.

AC Milan, David Beckham, EPL, La Liga, Los Angeles Galaxy, Manchester United, Philip Anschutz, Real Madrid, Serie A, Soccer, Sports

Just When You Thought There Was Sanity Within Sports Something Leads You To Believe Otherwise …………..


 
 

Now I know that  for  a  fact that there aren’t that  many soccer  fans  amongst the  throngs  who congregate  within  this  forum.   So I  won’t  prevail  upon  you my inherent  love of  the sport. Other than  to surmise that growing up  in the UK it played  a  great part  in my upbringing. That being  said  I  also  had  other  recreational  activities that I  pursued  with a  passion . Namely  the martial  arts  where  I  obtained  a  black  belt  in  karate.

 

 

 

 

 

On  however  to the  bare  bones  of this  article . As  many  of  you  know the  global  soccer icon   known  as  David  Beckham was  lured  here  to the  United  States  to increase the  profile  of the game of soccer(football).  Having  played  much  of his career in  the  United   Kingdom  for the  much  heralded  Manchester United  and  continent of  Europe  for  Real Madrid  of Spain.   Beckham  was  able  to  parlay  his  inimitable  skills  into a   formidable  fortune  and  worldwide  notoriety.  After a  somewhat  untenable  situation  with the  Spanish  soccer   giant  Real Madrid  came   to  a  head  he  came  to  the  United   States with all of  the  unabashed  publicity  one  would  expect of a  superstar. 

 

 

David  Beckham  and his wife  Victoria     picture appears courtesy  pf  afp/reuters/ Tim Keeley  ...........
David Beckham seen here accompanied by his wife Victoria inthe principality of Monaco picture appears courtesy of afp/reuters/Tim Keeley ...........

 

 

David  Beckham  and his  wife  Victoria  Beckham  seen here  in the  principality  of Monaco .   picture  appears  courtesy of  afp/reuters/Tim Keeley  ………..

 

 

 

 

 

Also  accompanying   him  were  his  publicity  seeking  wife  and  some time  pop  group  vignette  member   Victoria  Beckham and  their  three  children.  As  to her  own  actual claim  to fame that’s  something  I’m  still   trying  to   figure  out.   Well  Beckham  was  welcomed  with  open   arms   by  MLS (Major League Soccer)  and  offered  a  contract   befitting  of  a  king.   All   told  it’s   said  to  be  worth  upwards  of  $250m  over  a  period  of  ten  years.  The   vast majority  of  this  sum  would  be  earned  by  the  player   through  marketing and  branding  his   name  on almost  everything  associated  with  the   game  here  in the  US.   And  if that  wasn’t  enough  a  David  Beckham  Soccer  Academy  would  be  opened up  as well  on  both  coasts.

 

 

 

 

 

Now  it’d be  remiss  of  me  not to  opine on  this   further . But I  feel  that  it’s  best  not  to. Philip  Anschutz  the  multi billionaire  financial ,  media  mogul  and  owner  of  a  number  of  several soccer  franchises   within  the  MLS    would  be  the  main   architect  of this exercise.  And  it  would  be   the  Los  Angeles   Galaxy  where  Beckham  would  be  seen  and  hopefully  be  able  lure  the  more   curious  of  fans  to their   home  facility   at  the  Home  Depot  Center  in Carson, California. The hullaballoo which  followed  all  but  assured  us  that this  exercise  would  either  sink  or   swim  on  Beckham’s presence within  the  league.   The team  itself  was  marginal  at  best  and once  the  player got under  way   with  showing us all  his abilities. It  was  something  of  a  letdown. 

 

 

 

Beckham  shows his  fleet  of  foot  with an  intended pass  for a  teammate  for  his  new  club ............
Bekcham shows that he is fleet of foot with an intended pass for a teammate at his new club AC Milan . picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Luciano Pozzolli ..................

 

 

Beckham shows  that he is fleet  of  foot  with  an  intended pass   for  a  teammate  at  his  new  club  AC  Milan.  picture appears courtesy  of  getty  images/Luciano  Pozzolli  ……………..

 

 

 

 

 

 

Granted  there  was  an  upswing   in  ticket   sales  across   the league   and  the  television  made  its presence   felt  in the  guise  of  ABC  and   cable  entity  ESPN.  But  it  became  short lived  once we   saw  that  the player   wouldn’t  be  on  the  field  on  a  regular basis  because of  recurring   injuries   suffered  prior  to  his  introduction   to the league.  That  of itself  was  enough    was enough  to suggest  that this  would  a  disaster  of  monumental  proportions. Especially   for  the  fans  who  may  well  have  felt  that  they  were  being   short  changed.    His  inauspicious   start  only led  to  further   ridicule  of  the  sport   and  the league itself.   And   much  of  it was  thoroughly  deserved.

 

 

Beckham  in a publicity  pose  after his  loan  agreement  is  confirmed .  The  player is  now  on  loan  to  Italian  soccer  giants  AC  Milan ............picture appears  courtesy of  getty  images  ..........
Beckham seen here in a publicity pose after his agreed loan to Italian soccer giants AC Mlian ..... picture appears courtesy of Luciano Pozzolli ...........

 

 

Beckham  in  a publicity  pose  after  his  loan agreement  is confirmed  to  Italian  soccer giants  AC  Milan.  picture appears  courtesy  of  getty images/Luciano  Pozzolli …………………..

 

 

 

 

 

Now  enjoying   something  of a  rejuvenated  career  with  Italian  soccer  giant   AC Milan  where  he’s now  on  loan  to  the  team.  The  player  is  now  said to  be  interested   remaining   with the  club and  making   the  move  a  permanent  one.  Albeit   denials   have  come thick  and  fast  from  all  parties  concerned  other  than  the  player  himself  directly with the  press. As to  what  this’d  mean  for  the  fans   of  the  Galaxy   much  less  the  domestic  league  here  in the  US remains  to  be  seen.  It  oughtn’t  to  come  as  a  surprise  to  anyone  at all.  The  league is  barely  surviving  now keeping  its  head  above  water with the  all  too   fiscal  conservatism  that’s to be   expected   in  these   dire   economic   times.   As  for  the  management  and  ownership    of  the  franchise   what   started   out   as  an  extravagant  publicity  gimmick . It  now  seems   that  everything  could  come  crashing  down  around  its  ears.  The  player   probably  relishes  the competitive  zeal  of playing   in  Italy in  one  of  the  best  soccer leagues  in the  world in  Serie’A.   When  compared   to  that  of  the Western  Conference of  Major League  Soccer  and  the  league  in its  entirety. The  difference  is  as  clear  as  day  is  to  night.  Why  eat a  rib  roast   when  you  can  have   filet-mignon  instead  ?   

 

 

 

Beckham  in action  for  AC  Milan  ..........
Beckham in action for AC Milan ..... picture appears courtesy of ap/Arturo Emigliano................

 

 

Beckham in  action for  AC Milan.  picture  courtesy  of  ap/Arturo Emigliano ………….

 

 

 

As  to what  may  transpire  between  all of  the   parties  concerned. In  this  case  the  Los Angeles Galaxy  , MLS  and  that  of  AC  Milan  itself. It  has  to be  said  that  it  will be  very interesting  to  see  how   things  will   unfold. Clearly the  loss of  the player  will  be  significant  to  the fortunes  of  not  only the league  but  also  the  Los  Angeles Galaxy itself.  Barely   two  years  into  this   ten  year  agreement  it  would seem that  there is  a  stark   reality   that  Beckham  feels  that  he’d  be  better  served elsewhere  playing in  Italy.  Rather than  suffering  the  ignominy  of   toiling   in  the  US even  though  for  a  large  sum  of  money.  But  nowhere  near the  recognition  and  notoriety   that  he’s  usually  accustomed  to  when  playing   in  other  parts  of  the  world.  It  appears  that  when   money  doesn’t  always   buy   you a great deal of  happiness . But  in  some  cases   it  doesn’t  hurt  to   try   your  hand   at  it. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Beckham , Anschutz  and   all  concerned  in this  particular   fiasco  it has  been  all   about the  money  and  rarely  anything  else.  Who’d  have   thought it  ? For  $250m Beckham  was   brought  in   to make the   statement   that   the   exercise was a  worthwhile  endeavor    and  that  the  game  would  be   better  for  it  here  in  the  United States.   All   the  money   in  the  world  it appears  can’t   make  up   for  the  futility , stupidity  and  overall    just  downright  lack  of  common  sense.