Soccer Shorts


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

Germans may mobilise army

Germany's top security official has pledged his country will do everything "humanly possible" to ensure a trouble-free World Cup.

Interior minister Wolfgang Schaeuble also renewed a heavily-criticised call for a change in the constitution to enable the government to deploy troops to bolster security inside Germany if needed.

Asked how officials planned to prevent trouble from hooligans, Schaeuble said: "We will do what is humanly possible, and work closely with the security authorities of all participating states."

He insisted that "I don't want to put tanks in front of stadiums" but suggested that the military could, if needed, protect embassies and other buildings.

Josemi was lost in translation

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez yesterday revealed language problems prompted him to swap Spanish full back Josemi for Netherlands defender Jan Kromkamp.

Benitez confirmed he had reached an agreement with Villarreal over the swap deal, which is expected to go ahead after the holiday programme.

Benitez said: "Josemi is a right back with some problems here with English, and Kromkamp has problems with Spanish at his new club.

"Maybe this swap will be good for both of them. Josemi is happy here, he's a good professional, but he sometimes prefers to talk in Spanish and to do that when he is with the Spanish players here.

"Kromkamp has the same problem at Villarreal with the Spanish language. We still need to talk to both players, but in a few days maybe he will be here training with us."

Benitez also confirmed yesterday that striker Djibril Cisse would not be leaving Anfield during the transfer window.

Di Stefano on the mend

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has expressed optimism that the club's record goal scorer Alfredo Di Stefano will make a full recovery after quadruple heart bypass surgery two days ago.

"I think our honorary president is going to stay with us for a long time to come," Perez said after visiting the 79-year-old Argentine in hospital.

In a statement yesterday, La Fe hospital said Di Stefano's breathing and heartbeat were good and they were keeping a close watch on chronic kidney deficiencies caused by diabetes.

Di Stefano led Real Madrid to five consecutive European Cup triumphs between 1956 and 1960 and was named European Footballer of the Year in 1957 and 1959. Born of Italian parents in Buenos Aires, he played for Argentina and Spain during a 22-year career before retiring at the age of 40 in 1967.

In brief . . .

West Brom manager Bryan Robson has rejected a second transfer request from striker Robert Earnshaw, who is frustrated at his lack of first-team opportunities . . . English Championship leaders Reading have completed the signing of former Republic of Ireland international goalkeeper Graham Stack from Arsenal . . . Brighton have extended the loan period of 19-year-old Manchester United defender Paul McShane, who is from Wicklow, for the rest of the season.