European Soccer

Mid-Day Ticker: Bale faces ban, Chelsea sign Oscar and more

Bale getty

Gareth Bale raised more than a few eyebrows when the midfielder, who denied a call up to Great Britain's Olympic team due to injury, took the field for Tottenham against the LA Galaxy on Tuesday. Now the authorities are beginning to ask questions.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter added to the controversy this morning when he said Bale could be banned for the duration of the Olympics should the Football Association lodge a formal complaint. 

"The principle is that if a club does not release a player then this association can come to FIFA and we will then ban this player during the duration of the Olympics," said Blatter. "So far nobody came to FIFA to say we should, but it is a possibility we could ban these players if they are not at the disposal of the national team."

Tottenham has hit back against the accusations saying Bale only returned to fitness this week and Bale told Spurs TV that his rehab was "well ahead of schedule." Should FIFA step in and institute a ban, Bale will be unable to play in any games for Tottenham until the conclusion of the games on Aug. 12.

Here are a few more stories from around the soccer world:


Chelsea is getting set to take on the MLS All-Stars Wednesday night, but they'll take the field knowing that they have another young playmaker on the way to Stamford Bridge.

The club's transfer saga involving Brazilian playmaker Oscar came to an end, with the Blues paying a reported £25 million to Internacional for the 21-year-old Olympian's services. Hazard joins the likes of Eden Hazard and Marko Marin as young attacking options that Chelsea has gone out and added in an attempt to fortify their place in England and Europe for years to come.


Lucas Moura could yet become a Manchester United player as the Brazilian's agent, as per Moura's request, is still negotiating with the club.

The deal appeared dead when Manchester United refused to add $8 million on to their initial offering of around $38 million for the 19-year-old. Moura is currently in Cardiff, Wales, preparing for Brazil's London 2012 campaign. Moura is currently contracted by Brazilian club Sao Paulo.


The transfer saga surrounding Luka Modric isn't getting any prettier.

The Tottenham midfielder returned to the club's London training facility and apologized for refusing to accompany the team on their pre-season tour through the United States. Modric will not join Spurs for the two friendlies on the east coast but will instead train with the reserves for the immediate future. Real Madrid have yet to match Tottenham's $62 million asking price for the Croatia international with Paris St. Germain also interested, although Modric has said he doesn't want a move to France.

On Tuesday, Modric was fined an undisclosed amount for his absence.


Manchester United got a positive contribution from brand-new signing Shinji Kagawa on Wednesday as the Japanese midfielder scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over Shanghai Shenhua.

Kagawa converted a volley from close range after Bebe delivered a beautiful cross into the penalty area in the 68th minute. Kagawa arrived from Borussia Dortmund for a reported fee of up to $26 million.

Both Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka were rested for Shanghai as the Chinese league becomes congested with fixtures. 


Despite not being picked to play for Team Great Britain, David Beckham will still be part of the 2012 Olympics.

Beckham is currently in Philadelphia preparing for the MLS All-Star game but will fly out to take part in Friday's Olympic opening ceremony. The 38-year-old declined to specify what role he will play.

"It is some kind of role in the opening ceremony which I am honored to be involved in because obviously I was involved in the start process with this seven years ago," Beckham told The Associated Press. "And for Seb (Sebastian Coe) to have kept me involved, I'm very proud of that."

Beckham was in London earlier in the week and appeared beside boxing great Muhammad Ali, who is also rumored to be part of Friday's festivities.


Do you think Bale should be banned for playing the friendly? What do you think of Chelsea adding Oscar to its cast of young stars? Hope to see Moura end up with Manchester United? Do you see Modric staying at Spurs? Excited Beckham will be part of the opening ceremony?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Roberto

    No…the association will not complain to FIFA Im sure…this is
    levy getting back to the FA for all the Redknapp to England circus that ultimately caused Tottenham all kind of distrctions and to miss Champions League this year. If the FA has a conscience, then they should keep their mouth shut


  • b

    Friendly vs LA Galaxy more important than team GB at the London Olympics confirmed.


  • Bryan

    “HAZARD joins the likes of Eden Hazard and Marko Marin as young attacking options..”
    Think you mean Oscar. ;p


  • bryan

    i hope Madrid don’t sign Modric. we don’t need him, he is too expensive. we’ll be fine without him. save the money.


  • bryan

    you know, it’s funny because Chelsea actually did sign another Hazard (his younger brother). but clearly SBI meant Oscar in that sentence.


  • blacksmith

    The other issue concerning Bale is that he is Welsh. England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland all play individually in international competition except for these Olympics. Many of the players did not want to help set a precedent for a team for Great Britain.


  • Uncle Menno

    Seriously, didn’t Steven Gerrard make a career out of missing important national team commitments due to “injury”?

    This is making an issue out of nothing. Happens all the time.


  • Brain Guy

    Maybe I don’t understand the situation, but is there some requirement that you must play for your nation’s Olympic team if invited? If, instead, he tried to hide behind the club’s refusal to release him because of a claimed injury (“I’d really like to play, but my club thinls it would be too risky”), that might change the situation.


  • Uncle Menno

    There’s really no proof that Bale wasn’t actually injured. Sure, it looks a little fishy, but that’s all it really is. Who’s to say that Bale’s back flared up (which was and continues to be a problem for him) and he smeared some horse placenta on it and made a quick recovery?

    This is a story about Blatter opening his big mouth with a flashy, tabloidish headline. I’m not sure why it’s such a big deal.


  • CSD

    Clearly the pinnacle of every young Welch lad’s career is to play a friendly against an MLS side. There will be many opportunities available for him as he plays for the imaginary country of Wales in finals of international tournaments if he starts playing Rugby.


  • SilverRey

    Sepp stepping in is all about Club power vs Country power. Who has the right to the player.

    If Bale decided, for whatever reason, that he didn’t want to play then there really isn’t any issue (other than the ire of the GB fans wanting him to play.)

    If Tottenham demanded he drop off the team, that’s where things get dicey. At that point, Tottenham is required by FIFA to let the player play.

    Can’t really tell from this article who’s choice it was to drop out.


  • Joamiq

    Isn’t it obvious what happened with Bale? Look at the photo folks. Doesn’t he look a little less elvish to you? Clearly he was with Spurs in LA instead of with Team GB because he was getting cosmetic surgery – to get his ears pinned back.


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