Afternoon Ticker: FIFA calls emergency meeting, Wigan to refund fans and more

Afternoon Ticker: FIFA calls emergency meeting, Wigan to refund fans and more

European Soccer

Afternoon Ticker: FIFA calls emergency meeting, Wigan to refund fans and more

By

Blatter (Reuters)

by TRAVIS CLARK

After a week of controversy around Europe, Sepp Blatter and FIFA have taken notice, and are posturing themselves to take action. Soccer's governing body has called a meeting for December 2 in Cape Town, South Africa, in response to some of the controversies of the past week.

In the wake of the match fixing scandal that has permeated throughout several European countries, the handball in the France-Ireland match, and other gambling irregularities, a meeting has been called two days prior to the World Cup draw.

Hundreds of arrests around Europe have taken place as a result of a match-fixing scandal, after investigations into alleged irregularities had been completed. Countries suspected to be involved are Belgium, Switzerland, Croatia, Slovenia, Turkey, Hungary, Bosnia and Austria, with games in second division leagues and lower affected.

Here are some other stories for Monday:

Wigan players to refund fans

After the 9-1 loss to Tottenham in North London, Wigan players have spoken out against their horrendous performance, and offered to provide a ticket refund to all traveling supporters.

"We feel that as a group of players we badly let down our supporters yesterday, and this is a gesture we HAVE TO make and pay them back for their tremendous loyalty," captain Mario Melchiot said in a statement on the club's website. Full refunds are available to fans who contact the ticket office within 14 days of the match.

On the receiving end of one of the highest goal tallies in league history, Wigan have endured a rather up-and-down season. The Latics have beaten Chelsea at home, but have lost to Portsmouth 4-0 and Hull 2-1. How fans respond to this gesture will be interesting, seeing as how frustratingly inconsistent their club has been this season.

Henry pondered retirement after hand ball

In yet another peculiar statement in the aftermath of the handball scandal, Thierry Henry said that he considered retiring from international soccer after the horrendous reaction to the striker's hand ball against Ireland last week. Henry criticized the French Federation for not supporting him directly in the wake of harsh criticism.

"The day after the match, and the day after that, I felt alone, really alone," Henry told L'Equipe. "It was only after I issued my statement that the people from the French Federation got in touch."

It's hard to know how accurate of a statement that really is, as the 32-year-old has come out with differing opinions after setting up the winning goal. On the one hand, Henry has stated his support for a replay, but shortly after FIFA had ruled that was not a possibility.

Torres out against Debrecen

Liverpool will have to score a huge win in Hungary Tuesday without the services of Spanish striker Fernando Torres. In need of a win and some help from French side Lyon, to keep their dim hopes of qualifying for the Champions League alive. The Reds sit on four points from four games, and anything short of three points in Hungary won't be good enough.

Torres sustained a groin injury while on international duty over a month ago, and his slow recovery continues as Liverpool's form continues to dip in both the league and in Europe. The striker didn't even make the flight to Hungary, given that he'd have no chance of playing. Ryan Babel, injured in Saturday's 2-2 draw against Manchester City, is also among the missing for the Reds.
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What do you think of the news FIFA is calling a meeting? Think Wigan players are doing their fans right by giving them money? Is Thierry Henry being honest by saying he'd retire? Can Liverpool win this week against Debrecen?

Share your thoughts below.

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