Euro 2012 Qualifying Groups announced

Here is the draw for qualification for the 2012 European Football Championships to be co hosted by Ukraine and Poland.

Group I: Spain, Czech Republic, Scotland, Lithuania, Liechtenstein
Group H: Portugal, Denmark, Norway, Cyprus, Iceland
Group G: England, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Wales, Montenegro
Group F: Croatia, Greece, Israel, Latvia, Georgia, Malta
Group E: Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Hungary, Moldova, San Marino
Group D: France, Romania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Belarus, Albania, Luxembourg
Group C: Italy, Serbia, Northern Ireland, Slovenia, Estonia, Faroe Islands
Group B: Russia, Slovakia, Republic of Ireland, FYR Macedonia, Armenia, Andorra
Group A: Germany, Turkey, Austria, Belgium, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan

Chile cleared to play in World Cup

Chilean club Rangers has dropped a court case that threatened the national team’s participation at next year’s World Cup. FIFA, the governing body of world soccer, had said it could kick Chile out of the World Cup unless Rangers withdrew the court case, which contested the club’s demotion to the second division of the national league.

Chelsea 2-0 Liverpool

Chelsea beat Liverpool 2-0 to regain their lead at the top of the Premiership after Manchester United drew with Sunderland yesterday.

Chelsea 2-0 Liverpool ( Anelka 60′, Malouda 90+1′)

Chelsea 1-0 Liverpool ( Nicolas Anelka 60′ goal)

Javier Mascherano gets caught in possession, and Didier Drogba crosses for Anelka to poke home from close range.

Chelsea 2-0 Liverpool ( Florent Malouda 90+1′)

Drogba again turns provider. He shows power and skill to get away from Jamie Carragher, and crosses for Malouda to prod home at the near post.

Keevin Keegan awarded £2m in damages

Former Newcastle United manager Keevin Keegan has won his case for constructive dismissal damages against the Championship club. An arbitration panel consisting of Philip Havers QC – who acted as chairman , Lord Pannick QC and Manchester United’s assistant secretary, Kenneth Merrett, ordered Newcastle to pay Keegan £2m ( $3.17m)

Keegan had initially sued the club for £25m ( £8.5m for the remainder of his contract and £16.5m for stigma damages). Newcastle have to pay Keegan the sum within seven days.

Newcastle signed Ignacio Gonzalez, a player Keegan said no one had seen play, as an alleged “favour” to two South American agents. Keegan said the decision was forced upon him, and he was only asked to view a couple of Youtube videos on the player. He argued that signing the player represented a fundamental breach in his contract of employment. Keegan resigned from the club four days

“Mr Wise telephoned Mr Keegan and told him that he had a great player for the club to sign, namely Ignacio González, and that he should look him up. Mr Keegan tried to locate him on the internet but could find no reference to him. Mr Wise told him that he had been on loan at Monaco but having checked out the details, Mr Keegan was unimpressed and told Mr Wise that he did not think the player was good enough.

“Mr Wise then told him that the player was on YouTube and that Mr Keegan could look him up there but he found that the clips were of poor quality and provided no proper basis for signing a player to a Premier League club. Moreover, no one at the club had ever seen him play.

“However, notwithstanding that he made it clear not only to Mr Wise but also to Mr Jimenez and to Mr Ashley that he very strongly objected to the signing of Mr González [he was to be signed on loan with an option to purchase], the club proceeded with the deal and the transfer was concluded the following day, on 31 August 2008.

“The club did so, according to its witnesses who gave evidence before us, because it was in the club’s commercial interests to do so. It was what the club described as a ‘commercial deal’ by which the club meant a deal which was in the commercial interests of the club.

“The ‘commercial interests’, according to the club, were that the signing of the player on loan would be a ‘favour’ to two influential South American agents who would look favourably on the club in the future.

“The loan deal cost the club nearly £1m in wages for a player who was not expected to play for the first team but no payment was made by the club to the agents in respect of the deal.”

Burley calls up Graham Dorrans and Gavin Rae for Dutch game

Scotland manager George Burley has called up Cardiff midfielder Gavin Rae and West Brom striker Graham Dorrans to the squad for the crucial World Cup qualifier against the Netherlands at Hampden Park on Wednesday night.

Rae’s last appearance for Scotland was against Iceland in April this year. Dorrans have 5 U-21 appearances to his name, but has never played for the senior squad.

Burley made the call ups after Scott Brown limped out of the Macedonia game with a hamstring. Influential forward James McFadden is suspended for the Holland game.

Ukraine 5-0 Andorra -WC 2010 qualifying

Ukraine crushed minnows Andorra 5-0 in a World Cup qualifier in Kiev on Saturday to keep their hopes of qualifying alive. With the result, Ukraine now have 14 points from 7 games, while second placed Croatia have 17 points from 8 games.

Andriy Yarmolenko gave the Ukraine the lead on 9 minutes, and it was doubled by Artem Milevskiy just before half time. Andriy Shevchenko scored the third from the spot on 72 minutes, and the Andorrans gave away two other penalties in second half injury time, which were converted by Milevskiy and Yevhen Seleznyov respectively.

Final score :-

Ukraine 5-0 Andorra ( Andriy Yarmolenko 9′, Artem Milevskiy 45+2′, Andriy Shevchenko 72′ pen, Artem Milevskiy 90+1′ pen, Yevhen Seleznyov 90+5′ pen)

How the Sam Vokes deal collapsed

Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Sam Vokes was supposed to go on a season long loan to Derby County, but the move collapsed on transfer deadline day. Now Wolves chairman Jez Moxey has revealed the real reasons for the deal not going through.

Mr.Moxey, while speaking to the Birmingham Mail, said that the Rams had agreed a deal to bring Vokes on loan to Pride Park as a replacement for the departing Rob Hulse, who was supposed to go to Middlesbrough.

However Hulse’s move did not go through, and Derby pulled the plug on the Vokes deal at the last minute, saying that they could not guarantee the striker first team football. Continue reading “How the Sam Vokes deal collapsed”

Bolton Wanderers sign Ricketts and Knight

Bolton Wanderers have completed the double signing of defenders Sam Ricketts and Zat Knight from Hull City and Aston Villa respectively. The duo are Trotters boss Gary Megson’s third and fourth signing of the summer transfer window after Pompey’s Sean Davis and WBA’s Paul Robinson.

Welsh international Ricketts started in 27 of Hull’s Premier League games last season. Knight was a less regular starter for Villa, as he had competition in the now retired Martin Laursen, Carlos Cuellar and Curtis Davies.

Both the defenders have put pen to paper three year deals at the Reebok.

Liverpool vs Aston Villa quiz

A quiz on the Liverpool vs Aston Villa fixture at Anfield on Sunday, 22 March 2009 ( 16.00GMT)

1.) In whose memory was a one minute silence held before the start of the match?

2.) What was the final score?

3.) What was unique about Steven Gerrard’s hat trick?

4.) Who got sent off for Aston Villa?

5.) Whom did Pepe Reina assist for the second goal? ( It was his second assist in as many games)

6.) Who was the referee for the clash?

Answers

1.) Their club secretary Bryce Morrison

2.) 5-0 to Liverpool

3.) His first Premier League hat trick at Anfield, and none of them came from open play

4.) Their keeper Brad Friedel

5.) Albert Riera

6.) Martin Atkinson