A round-up of today's other stories in brief
Ireland arrest slide while Nigeria and England move on up
The Republic of Ireland’s win last week over Poland has halted the team’s slide in the Fifa World Rankings with Giovanni Trapattoni’s side climbing two places, to 39, in the latest list, issued by the game’s governing body yesterday.
The progress, however slight, will come as a relief to the Italian, who likes to point to the progress in relation to ranking made since he took over but whose side had recently actually been slipping back to very much where they were at that point.
Ireland move up at the expense of Turkey and Zambia, both of whom fall back, but the month’s big winners are Nigeria who hurtle 22 places up the list from 52 to 30 in the wake of their African Cup of Nations success at the weekend.
England move up to fourth after beating Brazil with the top three – Spain, Germany and Argentina respectively – unchanged.
Ireland’s main World Cup rivals, Sweden and Austria, both fall with the former down two to 21 and the latter down eight to 76 in the wake of their defeat last week by Wales. Northern Ireland, meanwhile, have slipped out of the top 100, to 102.
Selected rankings: 1 Spain, 2 Germany, 3 Argentina, 4 England, 5 Italy, 6 Colombia and Portugal, 8 Netherlands, 9 Croatia, 10 Russia, 18 Brazil, 21 Sweden, 39 Republic of Ireland.
Sneijder claims Inter blocked his move to Manchester United
Galatasaray midfielder Wesley Sneijder has claimed that he wanted to join Manchester United last summer but that Inter Milan blocked the move.
Sneijder, who joined Galatasaray from Inter in the January transfer window, told Turkish website Fanatik: “Manchester United had offered €20 million for me and the club rejected it.
“I wanted to go to United but Inter didn’t let me.”
The player further claimed that Inter asked him to accept a new contract at a reduced salary, which he rejected. After being left out of the Inter team for a long period, he was eventually sold to Galatasaray for €8.5 million, a fee far lower than United’s first offer.
Former Czech international Milan Baros has left the Turkish club after his contract was terminated by mutual consent.
Chip could warn of medical problems
Football lawmakers will be asked next month to allow trials of an electronic chip in players’ shirts which could potentially warn of medical problems such as the heart attack suffered by Fabrice Muamba on the pitch.
The laws of the game currently ban any electronic communication between the players and staff in the technical area.
Now the International FA Board (IFAB), the body which draws up the laws, have been asked to consider making an exception for chips contained in the collar of a player’s shirt which can feed back data such as heart performance, body temperature and the distance being covered.
The issue is being brought before its annual meeting in Edinburgh on March 3rd.