Daily Archives: October 25, 2017

Serie A: passages in diary of Anne Frank to be read before games

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The Italian football federation (FIGC) has announced plans to read out a passage from Anne Frank’s diary before Serie A matches this week following reports of antisemitism behaviour by Lazio fans.

The FIGC has ordered a minute of silence to be observed before Serie A, B and C matches this week, plus amateur and youth games over the weekend, with a passage from Frank’s diary entry on 15 July, 1944 being read out over loudspeakers.

Lazio supporters were said to have defaced their Stadio Olimpico home in Rome during Sunday’s Serie A encounter against Cagliari with antisemitic graffiti and stickers showing images of Frank, the teenager who was killed at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945, wearing a jersey of their rivals Roma.

Their actions have been widely condemned since then, with Lazio’s president, Claudio Lotito paying a visit to Rome’s main synagogue on Tuesday to lay a wreath to remember victims of the Holocaust.

Lotito also promised a new education campaign culminating in an annual trip to Auschwitz with 200 young fans at a club who has a history of antisemitic behaviour, including a Lazio banner in the city derby nearly 20 years ago aimed at Roma supporters that read: “Auschwitz Is Your Homeland; The Ovens Are Your Homes.”

Additionally, an image of Frank will be put on Lazio’s shirts for Wednesday’s game at Bologna, the club said, to demonstrate their fight against “all forms of racism and antisemitism”.

“The president of SS Lazio, Claudio Lotito, has decided that tomorrow the team will be coming to the stadium at Renato Dall’Ara Stadium in Bologna with an image of Anne Frank on the Biancoceleste shirt, demonstrating the club’s commitment to fighting all forms of racism and anti-Semitism,” a statement on Lazio’s official website read.

 

Koeman sacked after Everton falls to Premier League drop zone

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Ronald Koeman was sacked on Monday after a dismal run of form with Everton left the Toffees third from bottom of the Premier League and with just two wins in 13 games.

The manager was sacked after just 16 months in charge and spending £140 million on new players this summer. He had also been vocally criticised by many for making decisions unhelpful towards the club.

The Dutchman’s tenure as Everton manager culminated with a 5-2 defeat by Arsenal on Sunday. His dismissal was a decision taken by the Everton major shareholder, Farhad Moshiri, who three weeks ago, insisted that Koeman retained his total support despite a home defeat against Burnley.

However, Everton made no improvements since then, first needing a 90th‑minute penalty to draw at Brighton & Hove Albion before losing at home against Lyon in the Europa League and subsequently being routed at home by Arsenal.

An Everton club statement read: “Everton football club can confirm that Ronald Koeman has left the club. Chairman Bill Kenwright, the board of directors and major shareholder Farhad Moshiri would all like to express their gratitude to Ronald for the service he has given to the club over the past 16 months and for guiding the club to seventh place in last season’s Premier League campaign.”

In the meantime, David Unsworth, Everton’s academy and under-23s manager, was given temporary charge of the Merseyside club after also taking charge in one Premier League game after Roberto Martínez’s sacking in 2016.

While Unsworth has requested a run of games to show he can be the winning manager Everton need to replace Ronald Koeman, he is expected until the international break to demonstrate his mettle in order to impress the Goodison hierarchy, a spell of four games that includes visits to potentially difficult opponents in Chelsea, Leicester and Lyon.

Everton will also be the third Premier League club to lose part ways with their manager this season, after Craig Shakespeare who was fired as Leicester City manager after the Foxes lost six Premier League games in a row, and Frank de Boer who left after only 77 days as manager of Crystal Palace.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane take top honours at FIFA awards

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Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo and coach Zinedine Zidane were named FIFA men’s and men’s coach of the year respectively at the governing body’s annual ‘The Best’ football awards.

Ronaldo will retain the title he won in 2016 — again finishing ahead of Lionel Messi in a vote between national team players, coaches, media and fans — earning his fifth award as FIFA’s top male footballer.

The Portuguese captain took 43.16% of the total vote, earned in a fruitful year in which he won the Champions League and La Liga with Real and extending his form in longevity. He scored two goals against Juventus in the Champions League final to help Real achieve continental supremacy for the 12th time, along with a hat-trick against Atlético Madrid in the semi-finals.

When asked how long he could keep up this level of form, Ronaldo said: “I don’t know, I just enjoy the moment, the moment is great. I feel happy, I’m 32 and have won best player in the world and I’m so glad. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the next year. I just try to focus on the moment.”

The was also little doubt that Real coach Zinedine Zidane would claim the award for best men’s coach after concluding last season as the champions of Spain for the first time since 2012 and champions of Europe for the second successive season.

Zidane won the award ahead of Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, who won the Premier League title in his first season, and Juventus’s Massimiliano Allegri, who led his team to a league and cup double in Serie A and Coppa Italia.

Meanwhile, Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud was awarded the Puskas for best goal that came in the Premier League match against Palace on New Year’s Day, with the France forward converting a superb ‘scorpion’ kick volley in which he flicked an Alexis Sanchez cross from behind him over his shoulder and into the goal with his left heel.

Also, in addition to awarding the best players and best coaches of different categories the FIFA ceremony also included the Fair Play Award, which recognised the gesture by Togolese player Francis Kone, who performed life-saving first aid on Bohemians 1905 goalkeeper Martin Berkovec during a Czech League game in February.