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Monday Kickoff: Spanish officials speak out following fan death; BVB ‘stuck’ in relegation fight; and more

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By RYAN TOLMICH

The death of a Spanish fan has prompted some of the country’s most powerful soccer executives to speak out against the country’s most violent fan groups.

A fan was killed in a pre-arranged fight ahead of Sunday’s clash between Deportivo and Atletico Madrid in a brawl that involved more than 100 supporters. Despite the connections to Sunday’s match, Atletico manager Diego Simeone and president Enrique Cerezo insist that the issue is one that needs to be addressed by society as a whole.

“We are hurt by what has happened,” Simeone said. “But it’s a social problem, not a football problem.”

“This has nothing to do with football,” Cerezo added. These are radical groups.”

Meanwhile, Deportivo manager Victory Fernandez expressed his sadness regarding Sunday’s events.

“Today is one of the saddest days for Spanish football in recent years,” Fernandez said Sunday. “It is a despicable and reprehensible occurrence.”

Here are some more news and notes to kickoff your Monday morning:

BORUSSIA DORTMUND SPORTING DIRECTOR PREPARED FOR RELEGATION BATTLE

With yet another loss added to their record over the weekend, German powers Borussia Dortmund find themselves in unfamiliar territory.

Currently stationed in last place in the Bundesliga, BVB are now in a relegation battle, according to sporting director Michael Zorc, whose side is now stuck at the bottom of the table for the first time in 29 years.

 “It’s just like Lindenstrasse [a German soap opera]. It’s on every week,” Zorc said following the team’s 2-0 loss to Frankfurt Sunday. “We are stuck in a relegation battle. In the last few weeks, we paid attention to the gap to the top — but that’s over now.”

Zorc went onto confirm his backing of manager Jurgen Klopp despite the poor run of results.

“Jurgen takes on the responsibility,” Zorc said, “and we are 100 percent convinced that we’ll get out of the situation together.”

BLATTER REMAINS INSISTENT ON QATAR WORLD CUP

When it comes to the 2018 World Cup, Sepp Blatter remains as confident as ever.

The FIFA president once again stated his backing for the Qatar-hosted tournament Sunday at the Asian Football Confederation’s 60th anniversary celebration in Manila, just hours after a new report revealed potential vote-trading and vote-buying.

“Believe me, with all what has been said, what is told around the world, by whom? By those… not involved exactly [with] what has happened or what happens in football,” Blatter said. “The World Cup 2022 will be played in Qatar.”

QUICK KICKS

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini voiced his support for Sergio Aguero after the forward was booked for diving. (REPORT)

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is considering signing a new deal with the club. (REPORT)

Massimo Cellino may be forced to sell Leeds United after failing the Football League’s Owners’ and Directors’ Test. (REPORT)

Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola remains unconcerned over talks regarding a new contract. (REPORT)

Comments

  1. I’m not a big fan of Aguero and hate Man City but you should watch the video of his “Dive”. Literally a two foot hack down no where near the ball in the box. Makes MLS reffing look positively quality.

    Reply
  2. By those… not involved exactly [with] what has happened or what happens in football,” Blatter said.

    Those pesky third party investigators and their seek for transparency and truth. How dare they for not being on the corruption payroll (yet).

    Reply

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