By JOSE M. ROMERO
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.