Soccer Shorts


A round-up of today's soccer stories in brief

Martinez backs McCarthy for future

WIGAN Athletic manager Roberto Martinez has tipped midfielder James McCarthy to come back “stronger and better” after undergoing ankle surgery.The 19-year-old Republic of Ireland international damaged ankle ligaments during the 1-1 draw with Bolton at the DW Stadium and will be sidelined until the new year.

Wigan felt an operation would stop the injury flaring up again in the future and Martinez believes the decision will benefit the youngster in the long-run.

“It was to make sure the joint remains stable, which will allow his ankle to heal properly,” Martinez said. “The main thing was to make sure it didn’t become a chronic problem for him in the future. Ankles are joints that it’s easy to not look after properly.

“But he’s such a young man that, whatever happens in the next two or three months, we need to ensure he comes back stronger and better for the good of the rest of his career.”

Batista given full-time job

THE Argentinian Football Association have confirmed Sergio Batista as the head coach of the national team on a permanent basis.

The 47-year-old has been given a contract to the end of the qualification period for the 2014 World Cup, which will be extended to included the finals should they qualify for the tournament in Brazil.

Batista had been in caretaker charge since the World Cup finals.

Klinsmann takes up Toronto role

JURGEN Klinsmann has agreed a deal to work with Toronto FC as a consultant. The former Germany manager will help the Major League Soccer club with their restructuring in the wake of Mo Johnston’s firing in September.

Former Celtic and Rangers striker Johnston, who first joined the club in 2006, had been working as director of soccer and his departure has prompted an internal overhaul which Klinsmann will help oversee.

“We’re honoured to work with a football icon like Jurgen and to have access to his wealth of experience and expertise to evaluate our current operations and support our team’s development,” said Tom Anselmi, executive vice-president and chief operating officer of the club’s owners, Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment.

Toronto finished sixth out of eight clubs in the MLS Eastern Conference.

Domenech to seek €2.9m compensation for sacking

FORMER France coach Raymond Domenech is suing the French federation (FFF) for €2.9 million in compensation, his lawyer said yesterday.

Domenech was fired for professional misconduct following the World Cup fiasco in which France were knocked out in the first round after the players went on strike in support of striker Nicolas Anelka who insulted the coach.

Domenech’s case will he heard by an industrial tribunal, a jurisdiction that settles disputes between employees and their employers in France.

“My client has no acrimony, no resentment, no hatred. He just wants his rights to be respected,” Jean-Yves Conesson told French media yesterday.

The FFF reportedly sacked Domenech for three “grave errors”, including Nicola Anelka’s expulsion from France’s squad, the subsequent training boycott and his refusal to shake the hand of South Africa coach Carlos Alberto Parreira after the final group game.

Gascoigne represents himself in court

THE trial of former England international Paul Gascoigne, who is accused of drink driving, was adjourned yesterday following hours of legal wrangling.

At one point the ex-Newcastle and Tottenham player was representing himself after his lawyer withdrew from the case at Northallerton Magistrates Court.

Gascoigne (43) is accused of driving a Ford Transit van while more than four times the limit on February 7th in North Yorkshire.

The court was told he was found to have 467 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of urine. The legal limit is 107 milligrams. He denies the charge. He has also pleaded not guilty to driving without insurance.

Gascoigne was due to be represented by lawyer Stephen Andrews but he withdrew from the case after lengthy legal discussions. Mr Andrews told magistrates he had only recently been instructed and he needed more time to prepare his case and call witnesses.

FAI confirm cup final suspensions

THE FAI has confirmed that Matthew Blinkhorn, Richie Ryan and Robert Bayly will all miss the Ford-sponsored FAI Cup final at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday week due to suspension, reports Emmet Malone.

The news had been expected by the players and their clubs although the system, under which there can be significant delays before bans are imposed, has received criticism from both sides over the past few weeks.

  • REPRESENTATIVES of the Bohemians board will meet with players over the coming days to discuss the club’s financial situation with a meeting for members likely to be scheduled for next week.

With the club reported to be carrying debts of more than €5 million, Bohemians have already told members of their technical staff that their contracts will not be renewed and large scale other cutbacks are expected.