Essien Agitated With Issues On Appearance Fees

Michael Essien is seriously miffed with the very publicized row regarding appearance fees of the Ghana team. In a recent interview with Dzamefe Commission, the famous midfielder from Black Stars has remarked that the problem with appearance fees o would not have been a huge deal had the authorities been actually straight with the footballers,

Dzamefe Commission have been entrusted with the responsibility to investigate Ghana football team’s appearance in recently concluded 2014 World Cup

“Our appearance fee wasn’t exactly the problem. The main issue was the promise & failure to fulfill whatever assured”, stressed the star midfielder while speaking to the Commission over camera.

“We players score for pride & it’s a great honor to be on field for Ghana”, continued the much revered midfield maestro. “I have sacrificed in spite of 9 surgeries whilst playing for my country.”

Essien had a prolonged interview with Dzamefe Commission in camera through Skype, spanning for an hour. The interview has been described as “fruitful” for both sides by the Commission.

“These & other explanations, recommendations, denials, revelations would assist the Commission in reaching to recommendations and conclusions post fact-finding. Other players would be heard very soon”, read a statement from Dzamefe Commission.

As per the reports from Justice Dzamefe Commission PRO Thomas B Agyemang, Essien has denied all accusations regarding refusal to warm up ahead of Portugal match. Speaking on the issue he noted that as per his knowledge, substitutes won’t need warming up always prior to the games.

“They only warm up while changes seem potential for the games”, explained Essien. The star midfielder , whose sole game during World Cup 2014 was as substitute in USA-Ghana 1-2 loss match, also expressed discontent on having “too many of people around squad & this must be checked.”

Webb Makes Statement

For the past few years Howard Webb has been a name that kept on buzzing around but for the wrong reasons as the English referee is a constant subject of criticism due to his decisions in the pitch which generally favor Manchester United and of those matches was back in 2012 when Chelsea played against Manchester United in a Premier League match that saw Chelsea having a comfortable 3-0 advantage but Howard Webb allowed Manchester United on taking 2 penalty set-pieces which had a huge impact on the game that ultimately concluded in a 3-3 draw.

He has made questionable decisions not only in the Premier League but also during FA Cup and Champions League matches but now the Englishman has decided to step down and take up a new job as he announced his retirement from refereeing in order to become the technical director of the Professional Game Match Officials Board. This is an organization that has the task of appointing officials for Premier League matches in England.

Throughout his career of being in charge of matches in the high tier league of England, Webb has officiated over 500 games as well as having the privilege of officiating matches in World Cups.

When Webb was asked about his decisions which usually favor Manchester United in big matches, he went on saying:

‘’There’s no element of truth in it. It’s not something that affected me or played on my mind at all. It wasn’t hurtful. Much of it is tongue-in-cheek, of course. What does play on my mind is when I’ve made a mistake, particularly an influential one that has affected the outcome of a game. I’d be dishonest if I said it didn’t bother me. I am very excited to start this new chapter in my career. Refereeing has given me so much and I think it’s important that match officials who have had the rewards remain in the game to pass on their knowledge,” Howard Webb said.

WENGER SLAMS TV COMPANIES

Arsene Wenger has once again launched a criticism of the TV companies by saying that they never seem to help Arsenal. The club has once again failed to win the Premier League this season, while they are also in danger of losing the top four spot to Everton.

This has been widely due to the packed fixture schedule, which gives opponents a lot of advantage according to Wenger. He says that the club has been given little recovery time between matches. Since they are involved in four different competitions over the season, this gives an advantage to the likes of Everton who are involved in only three. Continue reading WENGER SLAMS TV COMPANIES

La Liga 2014 Looks Nasty

The title race for La Liga 2014 seems to turn dirty this time given constant stunts & spats among the member clubs. The Spanish league is definitely excellent for heightening Spain standards but the ill-tempered scuffle might lead to a carriage of grudges right to the national soccer club.

And if the nasty feel actually continues in Spain’s World Cup party, it’s feared that the defending World champions might not be able to maintain their title in Brazil this time.

The Spanish World Cup players need to let go of their grudge especially to welcome their freshman Brazil-born Diego Costa into the team as he voluntarily chose to represent Spain from now on. Costa’s new team-mates usually reckon him as the prolific pugnacious spearhead of Atletico Madrid but they need to alter their mindset about him to ensure a friendly bond between the team. This is mostly needed from the Real Madrid side given Ramos’ bitter interaction with Costa.

The last Real & Atletico match saw a charged bad-tempered afternoon at the Vicente Calderón where Real topped over Atletico by 3 points. The match which resulted in 2-2 produced 5 yellow cards &  a red one for German Burgos, the assistant coach for Atletico Madrid.

Costa is justified to demand a penalty of Ramos, which the freshman in Spain did along with his several other Atletico colleagues quite noisily as the when the very rugged Ramos tripped the Atletico Madrid striker who fell down immediately. But unfortunately, Delgado Ferreiro, the referee did not approve of penalty of the Real defender.

The Costa V Ramos stunt is surely not one of the best advertisements of in-field ethics at La Liga which can not only hamper the esteemed status of the race but of the Spain team in general.

MOYES NOT HAPPY

David Moyes suffered his 6th lost in charge of Manchester United when they had to face off against Tottenham Hotspur and it was the side guided by Sherwood that came out on top with a 2-1 triumph.

Adebayor and Christian Eriksen gave Tottenham the lead but Welbeck rescued 1 goal for Manchester United at the 67th minute. David Moyes and his men searched for the equalizer but were unable to find it, but a controversial moment arrived when Ashley Young raced for the ball that was inside the area and the French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris charged his way into it as well.

Young managed to get to the ball first but was later brought down by Lloris and despite the contact that was made between the players, Howard Webb rejected the claims of the Manchester United fans and players that wanted a penalty awarded because of the foul that the goalkeeper committed.

The match ultimately concluded with Tottenham snatching the victory and the pressure continue on emerging for the Scottish coach David Moyes who keeps on having negative results and just does not seem to gain the confidence and trust with his fellow fans.

“It was scandalous, a scandal. If you follow through on a player anywhere else on the pitch with your foot high, it would be a sending-off and a red card. You couldn’t do that anywhere else’’.

“The goalkeeper comes out, Ashley Young gets the ball before him and he follows through. It’s an incredible decision which didn’t go our way, in fact probably the one of the worst I think I saw.”

“That is a stonewall penalty kick. If that isn’t given as a penalty kick, I don’t think we will get any more in the league this season. You can’t give him the benefit of the doubt at all. It’s reckless, it’s late, and it’s in the penalty box. I don’t know what else you can say’’.

David Moyes’ chances on getting hold of the Premier League title with Manchester United is slipping through his hands and if things continue going as they are right now, they will even fail on securing a Champions League spot for next season which will be very disappointing.

WEBB OF ERRORS

Howard Webb is regarded as one of the finest referees in the world. He has recently been awarded the status to referee high-profile matches like the World Cup final and the Champions league final.

However, he has proven in the recent West Brom vs Stoke City match that even he may be prone to some errors. West Brom made the trip to the Britannia stadium looking to continue the good run of form that has seen them take points off clubs like Manchester United and Arsenal in recent weeks. They could only take a point away from the Britannia stadium after the 0-0 draw.

However, this match could have easily seen a winner had it not been for the numerous misses from Stephane Sessegnon when put through in front of goal. West Brom could also easily have heard a penalty after Charlie Adam brought down Youssouf Mulumbu in the box. It was a clear penalty, but referee Webb waved away the appeal from the away side. After the match, though, Webb has seen the replays and he has accepted that it was a penalty after all. He has issued an apology for West Brom for his decision that has cost them three points and the chance to maintain their position in the top half of the table.

“The word for the penalty appeal is stonewall. How the officials missed it is beyond belief. Sometimes you get them and sometimes you don’t. If Youssouf wanted to con the ref he would have gone down on the first push. Charlie Adam ran down the back of his foot and took his boot off. But we also had some terrific, clear chances – at least three. Their keeper was probably man of the match which tells you about the game,” said West Brom manager Clarke after the match.

ONE OF THE BEST

Premier league referee Howard Webb is regarded as one of the best in the world. He has received several acclaims over the last few years including being the referee at the FIFA World Cup final. He has said that the respect shown by players towards referees has increased substantially over the years. Webb has been a Premier league referee for the last 10 years, and he has sent from his own personal experience that players are now respecting referees more than ever. He has also pointed out to the statistics that show a decrease in the number of yellow cards shown for dissent.

Webb, however, has acknowledged that there are occasions when emotions get the best out of a player and it is difficult to control in such a situation. The Premier league will see the introduction of goal-line technology from this season onwards. There have been several goals disputes due to the lack of this technology and the Premier league has finally accepted the inclusion. Webb has said that he is someone who welcomes technology in the game, as it would help them give out better decisions. Webb has also recalled the stamina and physical fitness required in order to become a Premier league referee.

“I’ve been involved in the Premier League for 10 years. If you look at the records for cautions for dissent, the numbers are down. Speaking from personal experience, the relations I have with players is by and large positive. Of course, football is an emotional game and sometimes emotions spill over in a way that is not acceptable, but most of the games that I am involved in pass off without that sort of incident. It’s our occupation. We have to be athletes – we have to be totally physically and mentally prepared for the challenge,” said Webb.

REFS BACK GOAL-LINE TECHNOLOGY

The referees all around the world have appreciated FIFA’s decision of implementing goal-line technology in the football matches being played these days.

In the recently played Confederations Cup, the referees had the luxury of using this technology, but, they didn’t need that. All the 68 goals scored in the tournament were clear.

This technology will be used in the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil as well.

One of the leading match referees in the World Howard Webb seemed to be very impressed with this technology. When asked how good this technology is, Webb said, “It’s great for the referees. It will help them make more correct decisions. It’s a very reliable technology.”

“It doesn’t really take the decision out of the hands of the referees. It just helps them to be more certain.”

“Also, it has worked well in the matches in which it has been implemented. So, it’s quite obvious to use it in the World Cup finals.”

Webb has a huge refereeing experience. He has been in this field since the last 20 years. He has refereed matches in all the big competitions including the Premier League, Champions League, World Cup and Euro Championships.

In the final match of the 2010 World Cup which was played between Spain and Holland, it was Webb who was the referee. He has been selected again for the 2014 World Cup finals.

Webb officiated a few matches in the recently played Confederations Cup as well which was played in Brazil. The host nation ended up winning it.

When asked how it was like officiating matches in Brazil, he said, “It was wonderful. The passion that the people of Brazil have for soccer is just amazing. They keep singing their national anthem right through the games.”

WORRIES OVER ROONEY’S ATTITUDE

Ahead of the crucial World Cup qualifying match with Montenegro, England defender Joleon Lescott feels that it will be hard to provoke the Manchester United striker, Wayne Rooney. Rooney was sent off in the last time he faced Montenegro after being provoked by some of the opposition players. Hence, there is a fear that the striker may repeat his actions once again, which would be a major catastrophe for England.

The national team comes into the match two points behind Montenegro in the group stages. As a result, they need a victory from this encounter in order to make sure that the prospect of qualifying automatically to the World Cup remains in their hands. As a result of that card received against Montenegro, Rooney was absent for the first matches of the Euro 2012. This proved to be a major reason for England crashing out of the competition.

However, Lescott feels that the 27-year-old has matured a lot during this period to know that he should control himself in such situations. Manchester City defender Lescott, who has not been a first-team regular with his club team, is expected to be one of the defenders for Roy Hodgson’s men against Montenegro. This is due to the defensive crisis being faced by the national team after injuries to key players.

“They might play on his temperament but Wayne has matured now. He is older and more experienced and I’m sure he will be professional. There will be a lot of expectation on Wayne but I don’t think he will let that faze him in any way. I don’t think he will be drawing on any negativity from previous performances, he will just be focused on producing the goods. The backlash could be just that – it could enhance his performance,” said Lescott.

WEBB REFS CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Howard Webb had to go to Donetsk to referee the Champions League match between Shakhtar Donetsk and Borussia Dortmund. His plane was about to take off from the Munich runway yesterday, but, suddenly, the operators discovered that the plane has become too heavy to take off because of snowfall.

The plane couldn’t take off with that much weight. At least 10 people had to come out of the plane to make the aircraft light enough to take off. But, nobody was ready to come out of the plane.

At last, the operators announced that the passengers who would leave the plane would be given 400 Euros. A few Dortmund fans accepted the offer and came out of the plane. When they were going out, the rest of the passengers including Webb gave them a big round of applause.

Those people who left the plane stayed in Munich yesterday night. Today, they were put on a different plane to Donetsk in the morning.

Webb has to referee a very important match tonight. Both the teams are very strong and it is expected to be a very close game.

Borussia Dortmund is struggling with a few injury problems. Two of their vital players i.e. Lukasz Piszczek and Marcel Schmelzer are currently unfit. Schmelzer is not likely to get fit before the match, while, Piszczek might play after taking injections.

In its last match, Dortmund was surprisingly beaten by Hamburg SV by a big margin of 4-1. So, their confidence is not that high before this important encounter.

On the other hand, the Shakhtar team is currently on a winter break. However, they have played a few friendly matches recently and they have performed well in those matches. But, they will also be a bit nervous before such a big match.

It’s going to be an exciting clash. Both the teams are equally matched. So, neither of the two teams is favourite.