Monday Kickoff: Galatasaray seal Sneijder transfer, Ferguson and Wenger fume at referees, and more

Monday Kickoff: Galatasaray seal Sneijder transfer, Ferguson and Wenger fume at referees, and more

South American Soccer

Monday Kickoff: Galatasaray seal Sneijder transfer, Ferguson and Wenger fume at referees, and more

BY DAN KARELL

The long drawn out transfer of Inter Milan midfielder Wesley Sneijder is nearly finished, as Turkish club Galatasaray announced on their club website last night that Sneijder and the club had agreed upon personal terms.

The transfer, for a reported £8 million, will become official upon completion of a medical today in Istanbul. The Holland international has not played a competitive match since the end of September due to a contract dispute with Inter.

Now, Sneijder gets a chance to play Champions League football with Galatasaray. His new team will take on FC Schalke in the Round-of-16.

Here are some more stories to get your Monday started

FERGUSON AND WENGER RUE REFEREE DECISIONS

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger both criticized the decisions of referees Simon Beck, and Martin Atkinson, respectively, after the close of their Premier League matches yesterday.

The controversy surrounds a penalty not given in the 62nd minute of the United match vs. Tottenham at White Hart Lane, as Spurs defender Steven Caulker made contact with Wayne Rooney in the box. Assistant referee Beck waved the play on, much to the disgust of Rooney and Ferguson.

Meanwhile, earlier in the day at Stamford Bridge, Arsenal’s Francis Coquelin was in the middle of a strong challenge that was not called, with Juan Mata scoring the opening goal for Chelsea soon after. Not too long after, Chelsea were awarded a penalty when Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny was adjudged to have tripped Blues midfielder Ramires in the box, which lead to Chelsea’s second goal. Wenger was critical of both decisions, even going as far as to say the latter was simulation.

FOUR GOAL THRILLER HIGHLIGHTS DAY TWO OF AFCON

After an opening day with no goals, the floodgates opened, with the first match of the day seeing a 2-2 draw between favorites Ghana and darkhorses Democratic Republic of Congo, followed by a 1-0 win by Mali over Niger.

In the first match, Ghana took a two-goal advantage on the match, after goals on both sides of the half, a 40th minute finish from Emmanuel Agyemang Badu, followed by a 49th minute header from Kwadwo Asamoah. But DRC refused to give in, and as we see so often in football, a 2-0 lead is never safe.

Tresor Mputu cut the deficit in half with a cool finish in the 53rd, and then a Dieumerci Mbokani penalty kick goal completed the comeback for the Leopards.

In the second match, former Barcelona midfielder Seydou Keita snatched an 84th minute winner for his nation, giving them three points and a seat atop Group B.

Today there is action in Group C, as defending champions Zambia faces Ethiopia, followed by Nigeria against Burkina Faso.

XOLOS, AMERICA, AND TIGRES STILL PERFECT

Week three of the Liga MX clausura has come and gone, but Club Tijuana, Club America, and Tigres UANL have kept on their winning ways.

The Xolos, defending Liga MX champions, have continued their good form, beating Pumas 2-1 over the weekend, while America took down Atlante 4-0, and Tigres dispatched Atlas 1-0.

Meanwhile, the financially struggling Chivas sit 13th in the league table, with just two points from three matches.

QUICK KICKS

Queens Park Rangers forward Djibril Cisse has been loaned to Qatar side Al-Gharafa until the end of the season. (REPORT)

Former Real Madrid defender Michel Salgado has revealed there is a massive rift in the Bernabeu dressing room between the manager and the players. (REPORT)

A friendly between Lionel Messi’s former club Newell’s Old Boys and rivals Rosario Central has been suspended due to fan violence with police. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you think Sneijder is making the right decision to go to Galatasaray? Are Wenger and Ferguson correct in thinking the referee’s made key mistakes during their respective matches? How much longer do you see Xolos going before their first loss?

Share your thoughts below.

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