International News - Issue 204

Moyes Gven The Sack By United
David Moyes’ nine-month spell at Manchester United is all but over after being sacked on Tuesday. Reports emerged on Monday afternoon that Moyes would be dismissed, with United’s board deciding enough is enough after a miserable campaign. Moyes, who officially took over last July from long-serving manager Sir Alex Ferguson, has presided over the club’s worst campaign in a quarter of a century. Winners of the Premier League by 11 points last season, the Reds are languishing in seventh, with the final straw for United’s board the insipid performance and defeat at Moyes’ former club Everton on Sunday. - Full Story via Metro

Premier League giants Manchester City and French outfit Paris Saint-Germain are two of the 76 clubs being investigated for the possible breach of financial fair play rules, which could see the sides receive transfer sanctions or possible European competition bans. The Club Financial Control Body's (CFCB) investigatory chamber had a meeting to look into the cases of 76 clubs across Europe. Those considered to be in serious breach of UEFA’s financial fair play rules will be referred to the CFCB's adjudicatory panel for a final verdict, with UEFA set to announce any punishment issued in the first week of May. - Full Story via Kickoff

Mikel Arteta played through the pain barrier to make sure Arsenal had enough bite in midfield to see out a 3-0 win over Hull – despite having one of his teeth knocked out. The Gunners midfielder was caught by a Shane Long shoulder in the first-half and had to be taken off the pitch for treatment to a bleeding mouth. He returned to action but was later spotted celebrating a goal minus one of his front teeth. Arsenal managed to win the game thanks to Aaron Ramsey and a Lukas Podolski double. - Full Story via Metro

Jose Mourinho’s sarcastic ‘praise’ for referee Mike Dean’s performance at Stamford Bridge on Saturday left everyone in no doubt what he thinks of the standard of officiating in the Premier League. Dean awarded a marginal 82nd-minute penalty – adjudging Cesar Azpilicueta to have fouled Jozy Altidore – which Fabio Borini scored to earn basement boys Sunderland a 2-1 victory that severely hit the Londoners’ title hopes. The decision infuriated the Chelsea bench at the time, with Mourinho having to restrain assistant coach Rui Faria on the touchline. - Full Story via Metro

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure believes he would get more recognition if he were not African. The Ivorian, who has won the continent's top individual playing award three years in a row, was on Friday shortlisted for the English Professional Footballers' Association’s Player of the Year prize. Following City's Capital One Cup triumph in May, Samir Nasri claimed Toure would be considered the best midfielder in the world were he not African. - Full Story via The Guardian

Manchester City kept the pressure on log leaders Liverpool with a 3-1 win against West Bromwich Albion on Monday night, but looked to have lost another key player to injury. Goals from Pablo Zabaleta, Sergio Aguero and Martin Demichelis secured the three points for Manuel Pellegrini’s side, but star midfielder David Silva looks certain to miss the rest of the season after being stretchered off with an ankle injury. This comes less than two weeks after Yaya Toure hurt his groin against Liverpool. - Full Story via Kickoff

Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard has signed a two-year contract extension that will keep him at the club until 2018. Howard has been at the Toffees since 2006 and has made 343 appearances for the club. "To have Tim Howard performing as he has been this season, I cannot see past him to choose the best goalkeeper in the League," manager Roberto Martinez told the club's website. "For him, in such an important year with the World Cup around the corner, to commit his future for the long term is an incredible moment for the dressing room," he added. - Full Story via Reuters

Barcelona’s woes show no signs of dissipating following news that Neymar has been ruled out for four weeks. The Brazilian playmaker picked up the foot injury in the Copa del Rey Final defeat to archrivals Real Madrid, having also missed a gilt-edged chance at the death to force extra-time. “The player suffered a concussion that caused an edema in the fourth metatarsal in his left foot that will require specific treatment. Recovery time is approximately four weeks,” a club statement read. - Full Story via Kickoff

Argentina striker Carlos Tevez has revealed that he will not watch his country participate in this year’s Fifa World Cup in Brazil, but will travel to Disney World with his family instead. “I don't think I will watch my national team play at the World Cup," Tevez told "I've already bought tickets to go with my wife and my three children to Disney World. They deserve that trip and I have very clear in my mind where my place is.” The Juventus forward, who has scored 18 League goals for his Serie A club this season, has not featured for his country since 2011, having not received a call-up since new coach Alejandro Sabella took charge of the Albiceleste. - Full Story via Kickoff

Former French international midfielder Zinedine Zidane has heaped praise on Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, and feels the Reds skipper is deserving of the Premier League title.  Gerrard, who has turned out for Liverpool for his entire career, has never lifted the League trophy, which Zidane feels he rightfully deserves. "He [Gerrard] has had a great career winning many things -- but it would be a big shame for him if he was never to win the league with Liverpool," Zidane told the Daily Mail. "For everything that he has given - he deserves a league title.” Zidane, now an assistant coach and sporting director at Madrid, believes the England midfielder could have succeeded at any club on the continent, and feels his loyalty to his club should be rightfully rewarded. - Full Story via Kickoff

Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich sailed through their German Cup semi-final with a comfortable 5-1 victory over Kaiserslautern on Wednesday night. After suffering two consecutive League defeats, Bayern stamped their authority as five different goal scorers, namely Bastien Schweinsteiger, Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller, Mario Mandzukic and Mario Gotze all contributed in sealing the Bavarians’ passage into the final. Bayern face familiar foes Borussia Dortmund, who won their semi-final against Wolfsburg 2-0 on Tuesday night, in the German Cup decider, scheduled for 17 May in Berlin. - Full Story via Kickoff

Gareth Bale scored a sublime late winner as Real Madrid beat Barcelona in the Final of the Copa del Rey in Valencia. In a fiercely contested game, Los Meringues took the lead after just 10 minutes through Angel di Maria, who beat goalkeeper Pinto after being played in by Karim Benzema, though replays suggested there was a hint of offside. Real kept on pressing, but were unable to add to their lead before the break, allowing Barcelona to equalize on 69 minutes. The goal came from an unlikely source – young centre-back Marc Bartra left completely unmarked at a corner-kick to send a beautiful header past Iker Casillas. It looked anyone’s game after that, but on 85 minutes Bale had enough of the stalemate. The Welshman collected the ball on the halfway line, sprinted past Bartra and beat Pinto with a toe-poke. Real then closed out the game for a famous victory to lift the Copa del Rey trophy for the 19th time.

Manchester City are the highest paid team in sport, according to a survey by Sportingintelligence. The Premier League club are said to pay an average annual wage of £5.3m to its first-team players. This is more than Major League Baseball teams the New York Yankees and LA Dodgers, who are second and third in the survey.  La Liga giants Real Madrid and Barcelona take the next two spots. They both pay their first team players an average of over £4.9m a year. - Full Story via Kickoff

Barcelona defender Carles Puyol has defended coach Tata Martino, insisting he has the support of the players despite a string of poor results which has derailed the Spanish giants’ campaign. Spanish media have reported unrest in the dressing room lately, with Martino feeling the pressure after being dumped out of the Champions League and losing their grip on the La Liga. Yet Puyol insists Martino still has the respect of the squad, who are looking to finish off the season on a high. “We are behind Tata all the way,” the Spanish centre-back told the club’s official website. - Full Story via Kickoff

Concerns over Brazil’s readiness to host this year’s World Cup have escalated dramatically after the Arena de Sao Paolo was handed over to its owners incomplete. The 68 000-seater stadium, which is due to host the World Cup’s opening fixture between Brazil and Croatia on 12 June, was given to its owners Corinthians in an unfinished state by construction firm Odebrecht. The stadium was supposed to have been completed in December, and while those in construction believe the venue will be ready in time for the world showpiece, various questions have been raised over the country’s preparedness to host the event, with less than two month to kick-off. - Full Story via Kickoff

Football fans face five main threats from cyber scammers ahead of this summer’s World Cup, internet experts have warned. Illegal ticket touts, fake England shirts and unofficial Fifa apps that could infect devices have already been detected two months before the tournament kicks off in Brazil. Add to these the appearance of bogus ‘sponsor’ websites and brand protection specialists NetNames believe supporters and companies could have serious issues on their hands. Stuart Fuller, director of commercial operations, said: “The internet can be a dangerous place for football fans and big brands. - Full Story via Metro