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Mid-day Ticker: Dunga to step down, Netherlands receive injury boost and more



When Brazil arrives in the United States for the August 10 friendly against the USA, a new coach will likely be in charge of the Seleção.

In the post-match press conference after Brazil's 2-1 loss to the Netherlands, Dunga hinted that he is going to step down from his coaching position. He took over after the 2006 World Cup after Brazil was knocked out in the quarterfinals by France.

Bringing a tough, disciplined Brazil side to South Africa ended up backfiring on Dunga, as his side was bounced out of the tournament at the same stage as it was in Germany. Nevertheless, it was always anticipated that Dunga would last just four years in his position.

Here are a few other stories for Saturday:


Ahead of Tuesday's semifinal showdown with Uruguay, the Netherlands got some good news on the injury front, as both Robin van Persie and Joris Mathijsen were cleared for Tuesday's game. Mathijsen had to pull out of Friday's game against Brazil after injuring himself in the warm ups. Van Persie, who has struggled at times during the World Cup, injured his elbow against Brazil and was questionable about being fit for the semifinal. Scans done on both players showed no significant damage and both will be available to start against Uruguay.


Luis Suarez's handball could have even more serious ramifications for the Uruguayan striker. His deliberate handball saved Uruguay's World Cup campaign after Asamoah Gyan missed the ensuing penalty, but FIFA is investigating the incident and could levy an extra game ban. Suarez will already miss the semifinal against the Netherlands, but if further discipline action is taken, could also miss either the third-place playoff or the World Cup final.

(UPDATE: FIFA has handed Suarez a one-match ban, so he'll be available for either the final or third-place match.)


While the World cup continues, the drama around the French team doesn't seem to have an end. Former French defender Lillian Thuram called on the French Federation to ban captain Patrice Evra from ever representing Les Bleus again. Evra was a central figure in the team's decision not to train in the wake of Nicolas Anelka's expulsion from the team during its disastrous run in South Africa. Attention now turns to Euro 2012 qualification and new coach Laurent Blanc.


What will happen to Dunga? Can van Persie get on track in the semifinals? Think Suarez should be suspended more? Is Evra done for?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Suarez should have been banned for life. The deliberate handball to save a goal at the last moment was cowardly.

    It goes against all grains of ‘fair-play’, that FIFA wimped out with a 1 game ban tells me they have no desire to clean up the play, which is disappointing to no ends.

  2. I agree. it’s just as bringing someone down starting a break..
    And I think its less worse than deception AKA – Nuer pretending Lampards shot didn’t cross the line and less worse than all the diving going on.

  3. Sorry surrender monkeys, but I’m with the gent who would like enforcement of what’s enforceable. Maybe weasels getting away with stuff because the ref can’t be everywhere is part of the charm of the game for you. But the ref and everyone else saw that pissant plain as day changing Ghana’s duly earned W to an (eventual) L, by cheating.

    Love the goaltending rule. Rather not be a man down while trying to come from a goal down? Don’t freaking cheat. There’s no slippery slope here. If chump doesn’t slap the ball it goes right into the goal. It’s 0% speculation, 100% destiny as long as no one cheats. Good call fischy

  4. Thuram was always a class act on and off the pitch; it’s gotta be killing him that Evra performed so poorly as captain. The entire French nation can’t wait to turn the page on the Domenech disaster (hell, they wanted to in ’08, but the FFF wouldn’t fire Domenech b/c they didn’t want to pay the buyout), and I imagine that a lot of players from that generation are done.

  5. Is anyone else tired of listening to John Harkes? He f’n criticizes everything. He’s negative as hell in the booth. Just call the game you’re not a coach.

  6. Okay so….thoughts on Dunga for the US job?

    Plus: Great player, he is brazilian, tough minded.

    Negatives: Not sure about tactical acument over all, lost temper during games and that spread to team…but that might not be the case if he coached non-Brazil side,

  7. You say defenders on the line will always make the choice to hand ball off the line, but it doesn’t really happen THAT often. Usually they can’t get to it or react in time. The rule is sufficient, this isn’t basketball. Enough.

  8. I understand where you’re coming from but I think this scenario “If the player has to choose between allowing a 100% certain goal and giving the goalie a 1 in 4.5 chance of stopping a PK-they’ll always make that same choice” will only occur in relatively rare situations like yesterdays match (where the handball occurred AT 120 minutes).
    In almost every other situation the rule is appropriately severe. If this occurs at 105 minutes for example, Uruguay plays down a man for 15+ minutes which in a World Cup is a big disadvantage. So not only does Ghana get an almost guaranteed goal,but they get to play up a man, and a good pk taker for Uruguay is ineligible.
    The handball occurring at 120 minutes is an anomaly because it completely removes one of the biggest remedies (getting to play up a man).
    But see the Australlia-Ghana game (where Kewell gets a red card early and Ghana gets a score) for a situation where the rule even seems a bit harsh.

  9. Most of the time, with handballs in the penalty box that impede a goal, its a red card and a PK, which many, before this happened, thought was too harsh. You can’t have it both ways, unfortunately.

  10. Please, it’s not dirtier or more evil or cynical than tripping or holding an opponent who is starting a counter attack, standing in front of the ball to stop the opponent from taking a quick free kick etc. It’s a part of the game and all the teams, players and soccer fans know it.

  11. ….Which is why I say the rules need to be reconsidered. Put in something like basketball’s goaltending rule for defenders who deliberately handle the ball to prevent goals, especially if they’re behind the goalie.

    Penalizing Suarez is probably the right thing to do, but it missed the point — which is that he cynically knocked out a ball that was going in, preventing a certain goal. It doesn’t help Ghana any — nr does it do much to deter future plays like this one. If the player has to choose between allowing a 100% certain goal and giving the goalie a 1 in 4.5 chance of stopping a PK — they’ll always make that same choice. Risk-reward. Changing the risk isn’t enough. Just give the ref the power to remove the reward.

  12. Laurent Blanc, please make some better decisions about personel than your predecessor (won’t be hard). There were a bunch of good young attacking players left off this team.

  13. Populist Blatter is caving in for the media again. But there is no base or practice for any longer than the single match suspension.

  14. For me, the hand of Suarez was just a heads up play considering the circumstances. Even if FIFA extends his ban another game, smart players in the same circumstances will do the same. I also would think that had the PK been converted for Ghana, none of this would have mattered or would have been discussed.

  15. I can’t help but wonder if Suarez could receive a longer ban because he deliberately handballed an almost sure goal or because he did so in a very important, highly visible game.

    In any case, without him, there wouldn’t BE a next game for La Celeste.


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