9
Apr

Ex-Valencia president arrested in plot to kidnap successor

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Trouble with the law: Former Valencia president Juan Soler (R) was arrested on Wednesday.

Former Valencia president Juan Soler has been arrested in connection with an attempt to kidnap his successor at the club, Vicente Soriano.

According to multiple reports from Spain, Soler spent the night in prison after facing magistrates over his alleged involvement in the plot, but was released on bail.

Under the terms of his bail, Soler, 58, cannot leave Spain while the investigation continues and must go to court every two weeks. He has also been issued a restraining order forbidding him from coming with 15 meters of Soriano.

Soler and Soriano’s contentious relationship escalated in 2009, when Soriano purchased Soler’s shares with the Spanish Primera Division side. Claiming he was still owed money in the transaction, Soler then took Soriano to court.

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In happier times: Vicente Soriano (L) purchased Juan Soler’s club shares in 2009.

Investigators believe the kidnapping plot, which Soler is suspected of hiring hit men to carry out, was an attempt to recover the funds in question. Police foiled the plot, however, and instructed Soriano to remain in his home.

Although both men are no longer associated with the Club — Amadeo Salvo is Valencia’s current president — it’s certainly a bizarre turn of events that we’ll be sure to monitor.

Images provided by Getty.

1
Oct

Steaua Bucharest owner makes Champions League prediction… from back of prison van

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(Photo: 101GreatGoals)

Usually when we see the owner of a football team, they’re sitting comfortably in an owner’s box or relaxing on the deck of a yacht somewhere in the Mediterranean. Gigi Becali, however, isn’t your typical owner.

Steaua Bucharest’s front man is serving a three-year prison sentence for illegal land-swap dealings. Ever the good owner, however, Becali was confident his side would emerge the victors in Tuesday’s Champions League tilt against Chelsea.

Seen here in the back of a police van flashing “2-0,” we can’t help but think the Romanian politician was being a bit brash. In reality, it was Chelsea who would hold that lead by halftime, before finishing Steaua off 4-0 after the full 90.

Perhaps he was predicting the scoreline in Chelsea’s favor?

(h/t 101GreatGoals)

27
Sep

Stockholm police speed up escalator to clear out hooligans

That’s one way to send the fans home!

Sweden’s fiercest soccer derby between Stockholm clubs AIK and Djurgården (both were formed just weeks apart in 1891) ended in a 2-2 draw Thursday, but angry fans from both sides weren’t quite ready to go on with their lives after the match.

Looking to shout as many Swedish obscenities at one another as possible, rather than peacefully going on their way, the hooligans left the police with little choice but to turn to plan B: Speed up those escalators from hell!

There’s really only one way to put it:

H/T Pies

5
Jul

Brazilian referee butchered by fans after killing player

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Octavio da Silva Catanhede Jordan was killed by a violent mob last week (Photo: FOXSports.com).

An amateur soccer match turned barbaric, leading to the deaths of a match referee and player in northeastern Brazil.

The Public Safety Department of the state of Maranhao said in a statement that it started when referee Otavio da Silva expelled player Josenir Abreu from a game last weekend. The two got into a fist fight, then Silva took out a knife and stabbed Abreu, who died on his way to the hospital.

After witnessing the attack, fans invaded the field to attack the referee, who was stoned to death and quartered. Local news media are also reporting that the spectators decapitated Silva and stuck his head on a stake in the middle of the field.

In an official statement, Valter Costa, police chief of Santa Ines in Maranhão, confirmed the ongoing investigation and assured the public that suspects were being questioned.

“Reports of witnesses have indicated some people that were in place at the time of the fact. We will identify and hold accountable all those involved. A crime will never justify another. Actions like this do not collaborate with the legality of a state law.”

Read more here.

22
Jun

Trecker’s Brazilian Travels: Unknown Utopia

Photo: Jamie Trecker/FOX Soccer

By Jamie Trecker, FOXSoccer.com

OLINDA, BRAZIL

The gunship flew low over the beach, heading north to Recife’s Derby Square. The protests would soon start, blocking the bridges in this city and snarling traffic to and from the set of interconnected islands.

Recife is a strange city. For two blocks along the coastline, you could be in Miami or Santa Monica, albeit with far fewer strip malls. But walk a block further inland, and you are in the favelas. Crossing the Avenue Domingos Ferreira puts you into a different city altogether. Here, the streets are unpaved, there are no windows on the cinderblock shanties, and laundry flaps from the telephone lines. There is sewage in the street, and the residents collect rainwater to wash in.

The city makes its money on tourism and textiles, and lately, it hasn’t been doing much of either. The beaches here, from Pina to Boa Viagem and beyond, have been virtually empty. The vendors who patrol up and down the sands have found few takers for the buckets of shrimp on their shoulders. The umbrella chairs were empty, and there was but one set of players on the vast tennis courts that stretch up and down the boardwalk. The beach soccer field was flooded, a product of the prior week’s rains.

Read More

14
Jun

Brazilians protest outside stadium prior to Confederations Cup

This is not what the Confederation Cup hosts were hoping for the day before the tournament kicks off.

Several hundred protestors were in action, lighting tires on fire outside of Brazil’s Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha and blocking police and firefighters from extinguishing the flames.

Our Jamie Trecker was on the ground to give a full report of the protest.

13
Apr

FA investigates Millwall fans, violence

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Photo: REUTERS/Darren Staples

Following the disturbing scenes from Wembley Stadium on Saturday, England’s Football Association launched an official investigation after Millwall fans fought among themselves during an FA Cup semifinal loss to Premier League side Wigan Athletic.

Reaction quickly spilled to Twitter, with many blasting the 30,000-plus Millwall section after images on television showed police being outnumbered against the unruly fans while trying to defend themselves with batons (read more here).

image@TelegraphSport

6
Mar

A step too far…

It was the game that the world watched, and the moment that the world had an opinion on when referee Cuneyt Cakir sent off Nani during Manchester United’s tie against Real Madrid.

One fan took the outrage a little too far though, calling the police to report what he thought was a literally criminal sending off!

The call was made just moments after the sending off by an incensed 18-year-old from Nottingham, England in response to the incident.

Nottinghamshire Police say, in an article seen below, that, “he later apologized for his actions, claiming to have been caught up in the excitement.”

Must have been an awkward conversation!

http://www.nottinghamshire.police.uk/newsandevents/news/2013/march/06/police_tackle_time_wasters_after_football_999_call/

25
Sep

Madrid police brutalize City fans.

Video has emerged of Madrid police brutalizing seemingly innocent Manchester City fans ahead of the English side’s epic 3-2 loss to Real last on Sept. 18.

In it, you can clearly see a few overzealous cops – overdressed in riot gear, in contrast to the City fans armed with nothing more than their beers – whacking several fans with their batons, who don’t look like they instigated any sort of confrontation. When their peers are rightly outraged, a few more of them get clubbed.

It’s unclear if anything has been done with this footage, if charges of police brutality or indeed disorderly conduct by the fans have been pressed.

What is clear is that the atmosphere was entirely unthreatening. It looks for all the world like a small gaggle of English fans, enjoying a few days out in Madrid, were attacked without cause. Video can be deceiving, mind, and something may have gotten lost in translation. An ITV presenter, however, claimed there was absolutely no cause for the police to act.

If I may proffer a theory, based on nothing more than this context-free footage, I would suggest that English fans are still stigmatized and feared by police forces around Europe. Never mind that hooliganism has been largely rooted out and the bulk of the few thugs that do remain can’t afford to go to European away games anymore. Even a small assembly of Englishmen, singing and drinking beer in the sun as though they may be, makes the local police nervous.

Either way, what happens in this video is inexcusable.

If we got the whole picture, that is.