Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By DAN KARELL
FIFA sent a strong message across the globe on Monday to players who are found guilty of match-fixing.
The world soccer governing body announced that they had extended the lifetime bans to 14 players from the El Salvador Football Federation (FESFUT) worldwide, meaning that the suspended players cannot be involved in soccer anywhere around the globe at the professional level. FIFA also extended the bans to two additional players who were given temporary suspensions for 18 months and six months, respectively.
Included in that group of banned players were a number of former Major League Soccer players including Alfredo Pacheco (New York Red Bulls), Osael Romero (Chivas USA), Ramon Sanchez (San Jose Earthquakes), and Christian Castillo (D.C. United).
This news follows a new release last Thursday from FESFUT that found a further two players guilty of either taking part or knowing about a case of match-fixing and doing nothing. Goalkeeper Benji Villalobos was suspended for six months while the star of this past Gold Cup for El Salvador, Rodolfo Zelaya, has been banned for one year. FIFA have yet to announce whether these bans are also extended worldwide.
Here are some more stories from around the world of soccer:
EGYPT GUARANTEE SAFETY FOR GHANIAN NATIONAL TEAM
In response to a letter from the Ghanian FA to FIFA about their worry over the Ghanian National Team in Egypt, the Egyptian FA has released a statement saying that they have a security plan in place to keep everyone involved safe.
FIFA last week gave Egypt a deadline of October 28 to ensure that the Ghanian National Team will be safe when they travel to Egypt for the two nations’ second-leg encounter in the final round of African World Cup qualifying on November 19. If Egypt is unable to ensure safety, FIFA would move the match to a different venue, potentially in another country.
“Egypt is a safe nation and life goes on as normal across the country,” The Egyptian FA said in a statement via Reuters. “We have a definite security plan for the Ghana crew before and after the game, as well as for the security of FIFA members (referees and officials).”
The Ghanian FA wrote to FIFA about their worries about the team’s safety in Cairo, where the match is set to be held, after recent rioting saw more than 50 people die in clashes between protesters and police. The Egyptian and Ghanian teams are currently in Kumasi, Ghana ahead of their first-leg match on Tuesday.
GRELLA JOINS VIBORG FF IN DENMARK
Since trialing with both D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls this summer, Mike Grella had remained without a club. Until Monday, that is.
Danish club Viborg FF announced on their website that they had signed the former Duke forward on a contract through the end of the calendar year after training with the club for the last 14 days. The American forward, who also holds an Italian passport, last played for Scunthorpe United in England’s League One.
“Mike Grella has proven himself in training and did well in a couple of reserve team matches,” Viborg CEO Morten Jensen said in a statement on the club’s website. “Therefore we wanted to sign him for the rest of the year. It will give him a better chance to show what he can do when he’s in good shape and then we will at that time decide the way forward.”
Last season at Scunthorpe, Grella struggled throughout scoring just twice in 29 appearances in all competitions.
20-year-old Manchester United winger Wilfried Zaha is preparing to ask for a loan away from the club in order to find some regular playing time. (REPORT)
Los Angeles Galaxy forward Robbie Keane has called for the FA of Ireland to appoint a no-nonsense head coach to be the nation’s next manager. (REPORT)
France Football Federation President Noel Le Graet said on a radio program that he will contact FIFA over what he calls an “unfair” seeding system ahead of the UEFA World Cup qualifying playoffs. (REPORT)
Arsenal academy member and former Bethesda, Maryland resident Gedion Zelalem was sent a message on Twitter by the Foreign Minister of Ethiopia, saying that he’s welcome to represent them in the future, despite Zelalem currently in the Germany youth system. (REPORT)
FIFA announced on Monday that Zimbabwe international Devon Chafa has been banned for six months after failing a drug test. (REPORT)
What do you think of these reports? Did you expect FIFA to extend the lifetime bans? Do you believe Egypt really can guarantee Ghana safety in Cairo? Do you see Grella finding success in Denmark?
Share your thoughts below.