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July 23, 2017
Monday, March 20, 2017

All of a sudden, the money for local soccer appears

The head of the Argentine Football Players’ Union, Sergio Marchi, walks down the street with top-flight players before a meeting with representatives from AFA
By Eric Weil / For The Herald


As always happens — when there is no other way out — the money owed to soccer professionals suddenly appears. The head of the Argentine Football Players’ Union, Sergio Marchi, said that the 305 million pesos paid by the government for cancelling the contract it had for the Fútbol para todos broadcasting scheme, which ran until mid-2019, should go directly to the players. Instead, especially as our so-called soccer officials always seem to make things more complicated, it went to the Argentine Football Association (AFA) and then onto the clubs.
In any case, it was not enough cash. But as always happens, the money to pay the rest of the players, which they said was not there before, suddenly appeared. The players will be paid until the end of January and this will be monitored closely. But then, most likely, unpaid salaries will mount up again and the same problem will be back.
But it is not all over. A senator took the government to court to stop paying any money (paid in taxes by you and me) for soccer. She was right, of course, but judges here are not real judges but politicians. They decide whatever the party which they adhere to wants.

AND NOW THE COACHES
Following the players’ strike, coaches are also claiming money is owned to them by clubs. When coaches are thrown out by clubs, as well as the salaries they are owed, they should be paid for the rest of their contracts, but they seldom are. They are complaining that they are not properly protected by the Asociación de Tecnicos del Futbol Argentino (ATFA). Although some coaches from big clubs were missing, there were 60 coaches at a recent meeting of the 213 affiliated to the ATFA.
It will be remembered that during the players’ strike coaches refused to train the youth players. A strike would only have been successful if the many coaches looking for a job would not accept offers from other clubs to take over when others are protesting.

LOCAL SEASON UNDERWAY
League leaders Boca Juniors found a new star in Darío Benedetto and they usually play with him in attack or Gustavo Bou, but they could be a lethal attacking duo if they played together.
Second-placed San Lorenzo have sold some leading players and have not adequately replaced them. The result of their decisions can be seen in their recent games.
River Plate seem to be out of it, 11 points behind leaders Boca Juniors now. While they have been more successful in international cup games, they have a glaring problem. They often play too slowly but they are are precise. When they speed up, they lack precision.
Estudiantes de La Plata president and former player Juan Sebastián Verón has signed on again as a player. He is the oldest one in the top division at 42 years.

GOALS OR NO GOALS
PSV Eindhoven’s goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet, in a game against Feyenoord, stopped a shot with his hand on the goal line. Then he pulled the ball to his chest get up and continue the game, but the referee awarded a goal as the ball had been pulled over the goal-line. Feyenoord won 2-1.
Was it a goal or not? This columnist says that, according to the spirit of the law, it should not have been a goal.
In the National B Division, Los Andes complained that Mendoza’s Independiente scored when there were two balls on the field. The referee must stop the game in this case. The question is which ball went into the goal. This columnist says it should not have been a goal.

FANCY THAT
Leonel Messi said that his father always criticised his performances. He was not satisfied, even when Messi playing as a kid for a Newell’s Old Boys junior team scored four goals.
Former referee Pablo Lunatti confessed the other day that he was a River Plate fan and said that he did not sanction Matìas Almeyda, who had accumulated four yellow cards and was facing a potential suspension, so that he would be available for River Plate in their relegation playoff against Belgrano in 2011.

GERMANY HAS
THE BEST LEAGUE
A recent survey by World Soccer magazine found that Germany’s Bundesliga was the best in the world, taking into account attendances, stadiums, goals per game, finance, star players and managers. Germany topped a table with 60 points, with England’s Premier League second on 55. Argentina’s league were 10th with 20 points.

DAVIS CUP DOWN TO 3 SETS
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) is discussing the possibility of reducing matches in the Davis Cup from the best of five sets to three. They are also thinking of playing the tie over Saturday and Sunday instead of three days and to have the final at a neutral venue.
These changes should get top players back into Davis Cup matches, which has not been the case of late. It would be less tiring for them and more attractive for spectators.
All this would be decided at a meeting in August so any changes would not come into force in time for this year’s competition.

STRANGE RUGBY TACTICS
Last month England beat Italy 36-15 to practically tie up the European Six-Nations Championship which they have since won. But England complained that the Italians used strange tactics. Italy refused to engage in rucks and the plan left no offside rule after a tackle and its backs then crowded an unsettled England’s back line. The World Rugby Board said it would clarify the law rather than change it, but they do not.                              
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