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Mid-day Ticker: Al Wasl hires Maradona, Busquets cleared of racism and more



Diego Maradona is headed back to the dugout.

After a tumultuous reign as the manager of the Argentinian national team, the Argentine legend has accepted an offer to become the manager of UAE club Al Wasl. The Dubai-based club has been without a manager since firing Segio Farias in March and announced Maradona has signed a two-year deal beginning in September. The details of the contract were not disclosed

The move should peak interest not only Al Wasl, which sits fourth in the domestic league, but in the struggling league, which is in its fourth season. Under Maradona, Argentina advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2010 FIFA World Cup before bowing out with a  4-0 defeat to Germany. Al Wasl is also the current club of former Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro.

Here are some more stories to get you through your Monday afternoon:

Busquets cleared of racism charge

UEFA has cleared Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets of racial abuse and the Spanish international has been cleared to face Manchester United in the Champions League Final.

Busquets was accused of racially abusing Real Madrid defender Marcelo during the semifinals of the Champions League.  Marcelo, who is black, claimed Busquets had called him a “monkey” during the game. Television replays seemed to confirm Marcelo’s claims but UEFA cited a lack of convincing evidence in its decision to dismiss the case.

West Ham fires Grant following relegation

West Ham United has dismissed manager Avrahm Grant following Sunday's 3-2 defeat to Wigan that confirmed the club’s relegation to the Championship next season.

Grant joined the Hammers at the beginning of the season after overseeing Portsmouth’s last-place finish the Premier League last season. Grant has served only one year of a four-year contract. West Ham returns to the Championship after a six-year tenure in England’s top flight.

EPL gets additional Europa League spot, Fulham likely recipient

UEFA has awarded an additional Europa League spot to the Premier League as winner of the Fair Play table, with Fulham the likely beneficiary.

England, Norway and Sweden were awarded the additional spots. Fulham is currently tied with Tottenham for second place behind Chelsea in the English Fair Play league. With Tottenham likely to finish fifth and Chelsea already securing a Champions League berth next season, Fulham would receive the bid.


What do you think of today's stories? Is managing Al Wasl a good move for Maradona? Should Busquets have received punishment? Think Grant deserved to be fired?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I’ll back EastBayGrease on this one in regards to Italy. I lived there for a while. In my personal experience, not only are they racist as a whole, but they are extremely Xenophobic as well (more the northern Italians than southern). Not all of them, mind you, but the vast majority of them that I met were.

  2. he did pretty well when he had good players at Chelsea..

    I think West Ham had the quality to stay up, so it’s tough to say this time wasn’t his fault, but to blame him for Portsmouth going down seems a bit unfair..

  3. Did anyone tell Diego that “being stoned to death” for cocaine posession in the middle east is probably not as good as thinks it is?

  4. Wait, what happens if Spurs finish 6th? As a Spurs fan, I’m really hoping that we miss out on Europa. For a team with Champions League aspirations, it’s just a waste of time.

  5. Are you guys getting that worked up over a spelling error in a soccer post? I guess this is what this board has come down to. Trolls.

    Omar, you are right about racism in Europe. Go to Russia sometime (yes, I’ve been there) – should be a fun World Cup.

  6. It’s not entirely clear. “Moro” is a common insult in Spain, meaning “dumbass”… It also has racist roots, but more in the vein of “Indian giver”, as opposed to the highly offensive termm “mono”.

    That said, Spain and Italy are somewhere between the colonial age and modernity when it comes to racist beliefs. I recall watching Real matches in small cafes outside Madrid, and hearing the racist comments ring out from the men every time a black Madrid player touched the ball.

  7. it’s Colombia, or Colombian. not Columbian, not talking about the university, i take it. sorry, it’s just seems most n. americans can’t seem to get the spelling correct, ever.

  8. It’s frustrating that FIFA tries to take a stance against racism, but it seems like players, coaches are getting exonerated in the face of evidence left and right. There was another story just like this earlier this week… quite sad.

  9. I’m not sure what more evidence is needed. A handwritten, notarized note signed by Busquets and handed to Marcelo? Racism in European soccer is a huge thing, and manifests itself in ways that are absolutely shocking.

  10. So replays show he said something of a “racist” nature yet they still don’t do anything? Not shocking, this is Barca… Gotta love European style governing bodies.

    Funny though, I had a good friend go to Spain for a year and he is Columbian. He said that Barcelona folks on the whole treated him very fair and they were open and tolerant while in Madrid, they were constantly calling him names and what not.

  11. He should have never been hired by West Ham in the first place – he’s a complete waste of bench space. Could you look at him and get fired up for your games?

    Yeah, let’s do it for Grant! He makes me want to run like a madman all over the field! Grant looking at the team with that dour expression that is permanently etched on his face. What a loser.

    I hope West Ham don’t make it back to the Prem for a long time.

  12. That’s two straight last-placed finishes and relegations from Avram Grant. Makes me wonder if any Premier League team will ever hire him on as head coach again.

  13. I saw the Busquets video and it was pretty clear what he said. What more evidence do you need? The guy is a disgrace to the sport.

  14. Agree. Television replays seem to confirm the charge, but there is no “convincing” evidence. The pro-Barca bias is scary. I wouldn’t be surpried to see Manchester United get 2 players sent off for bogus calls in the CL final and see Barca get 2 or more PK’s from their shameful diving and theatrics. No respect for Barca if they can’t play without that nonsense.

  15. I don’t know one way or another if he really did racially abuse Marcelo. One thing I do know is that the Busquets is Catalonian and there have been issues with racism there for quite some time. My gut says that he did it. As a player, he is pretty good, yet I find myself hating him with all his antics on the pitch.If he did this and UEFA are turning a blind eye to it, they are proving all the Barcelona conspiracy theorists right….


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