By JOSE M. ROMERO
It’s an ugly day for soccer in Guatemala, with three national team players banned for life by FIFA for match-fixing, according to an Associated Press report.
Guillermo Ramirez, Gustavo Cabrera and Yoni Flores were all handed lifetime bans after an investigation found that the three were involved in fixing friendlies against Venezuela in 2011 and Costa Rica in May of this year, plus a CONCACAF Champions League group-stage match in October 2010 between CSD Municipal of Guatemala and Santos Laguna of Mexico.
Guatemalan sides lost all three matches, including a 6-1 defeat to Santos.
Ramirez and Cabrera both had at least 100 caps for the national team and had served as captains. The Guatemalan football association imposed a national ban last month; FIFA made it worldwide Wednesday in Zurich.
Here are more stories from around the world of soccer:
England’s players union drafts anti-racism plan
The Professional Footballers Assocation, led by chief executive Gordon Taylor, announced a plan to deal with racism in the sport. The plan features six points.
The PFA, the players union in England and Wales, seeks tougher penalties for incidents of racism that could include firings, according to this Telegraph report.
One part of the plan includes a “Rooney Rule” provision, adopted from the NFL’s hiring policy that must include minority candidates.
Report: Bolton’s new manager still not in place
Bolton seeks to hire former Crystal Palace manager Dougie Freedman, but apparently those negotiations have not concluded, and interim coach Jimmy Phillips will guide the Wanderers Saturday against Middlesborough.
Phillips managed the team in Tuesday’s draw against Wolverhampton. He had American Tim Ream in the starting lineup, while fellow U.S. international Stuart Holden, who recently re-joined the team after surgery rehab, was not on the active roster of 18.
Kagawa injures knee in UEFA Champions League match
Manchester United midfielder Shinji Kagawa needed tests on an injured knee he suffered in Tuesday night’s UEFA Champions League win over SC Braga.
Kagawa “twisted his knee,” Sir Alex Ferguson said, but continued to play for 20 minutes after getting hurt. Kagawa could miss Man U’s next match against Chelsea on Sunday if the injury is deemed serious.