Five for 21st October

UAE U-17 coach accuses rivals of fielding overage players

Amid claims that the majority of players competing at the World Under-17 World Cup are overage, a FIFA spokesman has insisted that all 24 nations competing in the UAE complied with their pre-tournament testing programme.

UAE coach Rashed Amir reacted to his side’s 6-1 defeat to Brazil on Sunday night by claiming that “70 per cent” of the players in the FIFA Under-17 World Cup are overage.

The coach blamed FIFA for allowing players exceeding the age limit into the tournament.

Unfortuntely, given the gravity of the allegations, Amir was unable to name names and made it clear he wasn’t talking about Brazil or any other team specifically but did say that he will be lodging a complaint to FIFA.

Prior to the tournament kicking off FIFA said they planned to tackle the problem by undertaking MRI wrist scans randomly on four players from each team before the tournament. The tests were completed by October 16, the day before the World Cup kicked off.

“At least 70 per cent of the players we have seen here, I think, are over 17,” said the UAE coach. “We are a young team and only four players have experience of playing in other youth competitions.

“We are preparing for the Asian Under-19s Cup next year so we are getting experience for the players. I will be sending a memorandum to FIFA, who I blame for the existence of overage players.”

FIFA insist they are yet to receive any official complaint from Amir following his claim.

“We can inform you that since the final competition of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup UAE 2013 started, the Disciplinary Committee has not received any official complaints in the regard of players exceeding the age limit,” said a FIFA spokesman.

“In order to protect the integrity of the tournament and in the spirit of fair play, FIFA has conducted MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) of the wrist prior to the FIFA Under-17 World Cup UAE 2013.

“Four randomly selected players per team have been tested in the UAE under the supervision of FIFA’s medical experts.”

Brazil coach Alexandre Gallo, formerly of UAE champions Al Ain, moved to distance himself from the remarks, saying: “We don’t have any overage players, we pay so much attention to that. In Brazil, the clubs and the FA pay a lot of attention to that.

“Most of the players in Brazil start at a very young age and most of them have contracts with leading clubs.

“Their age has been verified and monitored throughout their careers.”

“And another thing is that we have 14 players who play for professional first teams so this generation just has a lot of talent.”

Match fixing referee released on bail

South African referee Clifford Malgas accused of match fixing has been bail by the Cape Town District Court.

Malgas, 26, faces charges of perjury and corruption.

He was arrested last Thursday at the school in Eldorado Park, Johannesburg, where he works as an administrator, and first appeared in the Protea Magistrate’s Court before his transfer, in custody, to Cape Town.

He allegedly “fixed” matches in the Vodacom Tournament in June 2011.

Earlier this year, former Bafana Bafana assistant coach Phil Setshedi, 57, was jailed for eight years for paying a police official, posing as the chief referee, R2,000 (£125) to manipulate the outcome of matches in the tournament.

Setshedi was arrested on June 8, 2011, after SAFA reported him to the police following representations to officials, in an alleged attempt to influence the outcome of a match.

Malgas was one of three witnesses to testify against Setshedi. It is alleged Malgas lied to the court under oath, which forms the basis for the perjury charge.

After Setshedi’s prosecution, Malgas and the two other referees who testified were suspended from the sport.

On the corruption charges, Malgas allegedly manipulated the outcome of a match during the 2011 second division play-offs in Cape Town.

Claims of lower-league corruption are common as clubs promoted to the top division bank at least R1,500,000 (£97,000) each month.

Toothy celebrations

Twente Enschede manager Michel Jansen is facing a costly dentist bill after having his tooth knocked out by his assistant as they celebrated a goal by the Dutch league leaders on Saturday.
 
Youri Mulder accidentally caught Jansen in the mouth with a fist pump as the pair celebrated Twente's opener at home to champions Ajax Amsterdam.
 
"Youri celebrated rather excitedly," Jansen told reporters.
 
Jansen's day didn't get any better as Twente gave up a late equaliser to draw the match 1-1.

Cryogenics the secrets of Ronaldo success

Cristiano Ronaldo has revealed the secret of his success – chilling out at home.

The Real Madrid star has had his own ‘ice-box’ Cryotherapy chamber fitted, just like the one Franck Ribery is usingin our picture.

Cryotherapy is the practice of exposing the body to extreme temperatures as low as -160C to provoke a process of muscle regeneration and immune-system stimulation.
 
The chamber is the size of a shower cubicle and is an update on the old post-match tub of ice cold water favoured by former Real Madrid captain Raul Gonzalez.
 
The chamber costs around €45,000 (£36,000) and according to Spanish paper El Mundo Ronaldo installed the equipment into his La Finca mansion on the outskirts of Madrid after using it in the luxury neighbourhood’s gym.

Ronaldo is not the first to have state-of-the-art technology installed at home to improve his fitness. Raul had an oxygen tank fitted at home during his final years at Madrid.
 
He would sleep in the specially sealed room occasionally,  allowing its revolutionary air-conditioning system to recreate high-altitude conditions that would increase red blood cells meaning oxygen reached the muscles more quickly, delaying fatigue and speeding his post-match recovery.
 
Ronaldo is now reliant on deliveries of liquid nitrogen canisters to his home to keep the system topped up. And if the liquid-nitrogen man lets him down he can always go back to using the local gym’s facility where €550 (£465) buys 10 private sessions.

Quote of the Day

“This result gives us the confidence to do something good. Ferguson of Genoa? There is great respect towards me, I hope to reciprocate. I know very well that every time it starts again, but I am satisfied with my choice to come back here.

After their 2-1 win over Chievo, Genoa coach Gian Piero Gasparini gets a little carried away with himself by comparing himself to Sir Alex Ferguson. When one has been sacked after five matches (as he was at Inter) and twice in the season by one club (as happened at Palermo) then three months in a job must seem like a lifetime.

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