Monthly Archives: October 2017

Serie A: fans protest against Holocaust tributes

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Fans of Serie A protested across Italy as they showed their dissatisfaction against tributes towards the Holocaust.

There had been disrepute in the Italian top flight after Lazio supporters were said to have defaced their Stadio Olimpico home in Rome with antisemitic graffiti and stickers showing images of Anne Frank wearing a jersey of their rivals Roma.

Frank was the teenager emblematic of Jewish victims during Holocaust, who was killed at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945.

The Italian football federation (FIGC) responded towards the incident by announcing plans to observe a minute’s silence and read out a passage from Anne Frank’s diary before Serie A fixtures mid-week, with Lazio players also training in jerseys with an image of Frank and the words “No to anti-Semitism”.

“I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness, I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too, I feel the suffering of millions,” the passage read. “And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquillity will return once more.”

However, fans across the nation responded severely against the steps taken by FIGC, with the minute of silence observation being turned into applause.

Some supporters brought it further; Juventus fans were seen turning their backs and singing the Italian national anthem while fans at the Roma-Crotone match drowned out the reading with Curva Sud team chants.

Leicester appoints ‘perfect fit’ manager Claude Puel

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Leicester City have appointed the former Southampton head coach Claude Puel as their manager following their summary dismissal of Craig Shakespeare laster week.

Puel, 56, has signed a contract with the Foxes until June 2020 and was described by the club’s vice-chairman, Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, as “a perfect fit” for his team.

It was also reported that Leicester’s board of directors interviewed several candidates beforehand, with Puel being selected to lead the club now standing at 14th in the Premier League, one point above the relegation zone.

Michael Appleton, interim manager who oversaw two games for the club, will revert to his assistant’s role, as Puel will be introduced to the media on Friday and will take charge of Sunday’s home match against Everton, who are without a full-time manager after Ronald Koeman’s dismissal.

Puel himself was released by Southampton in June despite decent results such as leading the club to an eighth-placed finish in the Premier League and the final of the Capital One Cup. The Saints flopped in the Europa League and decent domestic results were deemed not good enough to compensate for a style of play that many supporters decried as too defensive, with players unhappy about his rotation policy.

Without a club since, the Frenchman was said to have impressed Leicester during more than one set of talks.

“Upon meeting Claude, his attention to detail, knowledge of our squad, understanding of our potential and his vision to help us realise it were extremely impressive,” Srivaddhanaprabha said. “He quickly emerged as the outstanding candidate.”

Puel described it as “a great privilege” to take the Leicester job. “The opportunity to help the club build on its remarkable recent achievements is a truly exciting one, and I’m looking forward to working with the owners, players, staff and supporters to deliver further lasting success,” he said.

Prediction:

Leicester City 2 – 0 Everton

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.