By DAN KARELL
Radamel Falcao’s race against time to be fit for the World Cup came up just short.
Only a little more than four months into recovery from a torn anterior cruciate ligament, Falcao announced along with Colombia National Team head coach Jose Pekerman that he would not be taking part in the 2014 World Cup due to the injury. The news is certainly a blow to Colombia’s hopes but not a death knell, as Los Cafeteros have plenty of other options up top.
“Today I am in good condition but I’m also aware that I still have a bit to play and would not take the place of a teammate who was 100 percent fit,” Falcao told reporters at a press conference to announce the squad. “I did not want to do something reckless to go against my health. I think this is the most sensible thing I can do. ”
Falcao however confirmed that he would be going to Brazil to support the team from outside the locker room.
“I will support the team from the outside and wish the best to all my teammates because we have to have a good World Cup.”
Thanks to nine goals in 13 World Cup qualifying matches, “El Tigre” Falcao helped lead Colombia to their first World Cup place since 1994.
Here are some more stories to start off your Tuesday:
PLATINI HAD SECRET MEETING WITH BIN HAMMAM PRIOR TO WORLD CUP
It seemed to be only a matter of time before UEFA president and FIFA vice president Michel Platini’s name was drawn into the scandal surrounding FIFA and Mohamed Bin Hammam.
According to a new report in the London Daily Telegraph, Platini met privately for breakfast in Switzerland with Bin Hammam, just days before the World Cup vote. A night before the vote, Platini had dinner with former France Prime Minister Nicolas Sarkozy and the son of the Emir of Qatar, which many believe led to the former French international selecting Qatar for the 2022 World Cup.
The report states that Bin Hammam in that meeting asked for Platini to run against Blatter in the 2011 FIFA presidential elections as well as talking about the upcoming World Cup vote. The Telegraph also reported that “Mr. Bin Hammam personally lobbied Mr Platini to support the Emirate’s bid.”
Since the report was published, Platini has denied the claims, saying that the reports are “tarnishing his image.”
“I’m no longer astonished by the spreading of unfounded rumors aimed at tarnishing my image at an important moment for the future of football,” Platini told AFP. “Nothing surprises me any longer.
“I find it incredible that talks with a FIFA executive committee member colleague at the time can be transformed into a state conspiracy.”
Platini admitted that he had met with Bin Hammam several times but on that occasion the only topic of discussion was the then-upcoming FIFA presidency.
BARCELONA COMMITTED €9 MILLION IN TAX FRAUD FOR NEYMAR TRANSFER
The Spanish tax authorities have come to the conclusion that Barcelona did commit tax fraud in Neymar’s infamous transfer to the club in June 2013.
According to reports in Spain, Barcelona have incurred tax fines of more than €9 million in the acquisition of the Brazilian star. The report made by the Spanish tax authorities has been handed over to a judge, and the prosecution will bring charges against Barcelona and former president Sandro Rosell.
The reports add that although Barcelona paid a fee of €13.5 million already to the tax authorities, that fee isn’t being considered because it came after legal proceedings had already begun.
With all the payments made to several parties, Neymar’s transfer to Barcelona has reportedly cost more than €100 million.
Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal admitted that he was very close to taking the Tottenham job before being offered a position at Old Trafford. (REPORT)
Real Madrid could sell young forward Alvaro Morata to Juventus in a deal that includes a buy-back clause. (REPORT)
Real Madrid have also revealed their jerseys for next season, including an all-pink away kit. (REPORT)
Claudio Ranieri is expected to become the next coach of the Greek National Team after the World Cup concludes. (REPORT)
Former Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness began serving his 3.5-year prison sentence on Monday for tax evasion. (REPORT)
Japan took down Costa Rica, 3-1, in a World Cup tune-up in Tampa, Fla. (REPORT)
Galatasaray goalkeeper Fernando Muslera has signed a three-year extension. (REPORT)
What do you think of these reports? Sad to see Falcao miss out on the World Cup? Do you believe Platini was complicit in Bin Hammam’s bribery allegations? Do you see Barcelona having to pay up more money?
Share your thoughts below.