World Cup 2014

Mid-day Ticker: Scolari set to be named Brazil coach, possible UCL expansion, and more


Brazil’s soccer federation has moved quickly toward replacing fired national team coach Mario Menezes, with Luiz Felipe Scolari expected to be hired for the high-profle job, according to reports.

Scolari has coached Brazil before, leading the national team to its most recent World Cup title in 20o2. Since then he’s coached Portugal in the 2006 World Cup and also at Euro 2004 and 2008.

The CBF, Brazil’s federation, opted to make the hire now in advance of this weekend’s draw for the Confederations Cup, which Brazil will host next year as the leadup to World Cup 2014. It’s going to be an important next couple of years for soccer in Brazil, and Scolari will be front and center as the sporting world focuses on the South American nation.

Scolari, a native of Brazil who managed Chelsea in 2008-2009, is expected to be introduced Thursday. The decision didn’t come without some drama; national teams director Andres Sanchez resigned citing his opposition to the termination of Menezes.

More from around the world of soccer after the jump…

End of Europa League imminent? 

Reports out of Europe say that UEFA is considering enlarging the field of 32 teams in the UEFA Champions League to 64, thereby eliminating the Europa League.

A decision, however, isn’t likely until 2014. Four teams currently qualify for the UCL from the English Premier League, but that could rise to seven if the proposal is approved.

Critics say the UCL field is already watered down with teams from non-competitive leagues in other parts of Europe. But the UCL is the big money-making tournament in Europe, where Europa League draws significantly less attention.

Platini considering offside replay technology

UEFA president Michel Platini, in a change of heart, seems to be considering introducing the use of video replay to help officials with offside calls.

Platini has expressed opposition to goal-line replay technology in the past. FIFA is already open to video replay; UEFA’s Platini appears to be saying that if there is replay technology for offside calls, then there should be technology to determine goals and handballs in the goal area.

His point is that at some point, too much help slows down the game and is overused. But Platini did say that ruling on offside is difficult for officials and that technology “might” be needed for that.

List published of 30 highest-paid soccer coaches in the world

A firm in Brazil has apparently published its list of highest-paid managers around the world, similar to what Forbes Magazine does annually in ranking the monetary value of NFL franchises.

Jose Mourinho of Real Madrid tops the list with an annual salary of 12.3 million pounds. Carlo Ancelotti (Paris St. Germain), Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United) and Arsene Wenger (Arsenal) are in the top five.

National team coaches are part of the list, including Joachim Low of Germany (27th) and Roy Hodgson of England ( 30th). Fabio Capello of Russia is the highest-paid national team coach at 6.3 million pounds.

Huge AIDS ribbon set for unveiling at Liverpool match

Liverpool will display what is believed to be the world’s largest AIDS ribbon at halftime of its match with Southampton at Anfield on Saturday.

The red ribbon is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest. It was made in India and will be unveiled on World AIDS Day.

  • steveo

    Europa League-why not enlarge it even more to a competition that would include all teams in all leagues… to make it simple, just have everyone playing in their own Domestic leagues and then the champions of those leagues get to play each other in the Champions League…seems simple enough….and the way it was done 20+years ago….

    but of course, money-grabbing wins and just like ever expanding number of college bowl games, this blaoted monster will grow….before too long, they’ll start adding Maryland and Rutgers to Champions League


    • Frank

      It wasn’t that long ago that there were three international competitions–they then eliminated the Cup Winners’ Cup.

      You’re absolutely right though, it is about the money. The problem is that nobody is going to pay CL type money to watch Molde or Limassol, whether they play in the EL or CL. Everyone wants to see Madrid or Barcelona but not a lot of people will care about the Romanian champions.


  • biff

    Just want to note that Shawn Parker is the talk of Germany today after his starting debut Tuesday for Mainz against Eintracht Frankfurt. Parker had an assist and scored a goal in Mainz’s surprising 3-1victory over Frankfurt. When Klinsmann was in Germany before the Russian friendly, he was at a game in Mainz against Nurnberg and I believe spoke with Shawn Parker, who is a huge young talent.

    Mainz-Shootingstar Parker


    • biff

      Also, Joe Gyau not starting for St. Pauli, which is now in the second half against 2. Bundesliga leader Braunschweig, with St. Pauli down 0-1 and down to 10 men after Fin Bartels got a red.

      Clint Dempsey vs Liverpool in two hours and Fabian Johnson vs Timothy Chandler…


  • Adi from Oregon

    In regards to the difficult off-side rule, why not get rid of this anti-offense and goal-reducing regulation versus using cameras to judge these infractions more accurately? Even the NASL tried using a better off-side regulation (35 yards out from the goal line), which worked somewhat better until FIFA banned it.


  • THomas

    Really going to be salty during the ConfedCup next summer. 2-0 up…Oh what could have been.


    • USAmr

      Thank you for bringing up that painful memory. While you’re at it, why don’t you give me a paper cut and pour lemon juice on it.


  • Henry (Hal)

    UCL expansion would be a terrible idea.

    7 clubs qualifying in the EPL would make the push for that 4th spot pretty undramatic.

    for the EPL i’ve always liked the idea of having the top 3 qualify for UCL and then the 4-7 spots go into a playoff for that final 4th spot into UCL.


  • slowleftarm

    I think getting rid of the Europa league is a great idea. Most of the big teams in it treat the competition like a burden. If they were in an expanded Champions League they’d take it seriously. Probably time to change the name though. Actually it was time to do that a long time ago.


  • Tiny

    now the stars will finally come back to the national team ronaldinho, robinho,….. and we will see sexy futbol again, Dunga imo ruined the national team up to this point


  • Georges Jean

    Let’s be real! The possible favorites to win the World Cup 2014 are: Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, England. Home soil in Brazil will bring enthusiasm, but good players are needed! Scolari in 2002 had strong strikers and midfielders: Remember Ronaldo? See the “Prognosis” in http://www.22222.webs.com and you may see what I mean. In this respect, the last chance that Brazil have to show that they can flatter winning the World Cup 2014 is the Confederations Cup 2013. But, again, can they pass over Spain, Mexico [with which they always relegate], Uruguay? Pele had expressed himself frankly in stating that Brazil are not the favorites for the World Cup 2014…Whether you’re a fan or not, be objective and you’ll see what I mean; I’m a fan of good football, not a team in particular. It’s never too late to balance soccer views!


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