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Aug 21, 2014

Zenit, Porto close in on group stage with away wins

BERNE (Reuters) – Zenit St Petersburg and Porto both put a foot in the Champions League group stage with 1-0 away wins in the first leg of their respective playoff ties on Wednesday.

Oleg Shatov’s first-half goal gave Andre Villas-Boas’ Zenit a 1-0 win at Standard Liege and a second-half effort from Hector Herrera was enough for the Portuguese coach’s former team Porto at Lille.

Aug 20, 2014

Soccer-Zenit, Porto close in on group stage with away wins

BERNE, Aug 20 (Reuters) – Zenit St Petersburg and Porto both put a foot in the Champions League group stage with 1-0 away wins in the first leg of their respective playoff ties on Wednesday.

Oleg Shatov’s first-half goal gave Andre Villas-Boas’ Zenit a 1-0 win at Standard Liege and a second-half effort from Hector Herrera was enough for the Portuguese coach’s former team Porto at Lille.

Aug 20, 2014

Italy federation chief faces UEFA racism probe

BERNE (Reuters) – Italian football federation (FIGC) president Carlo Tavecchio is to face a disciplinary investigation by European football’s governing body over allegedly racist remarks made during his election campaign, UEFA said on Wednesday.

Tavecchio, who was elected FIGC president last week, made a speech in the run-up to the election in which he referred to a fictitious player he called Opti Poba who, he said, “previously ate bananas and then suddenly becomes a first team player with Lazio.”

Aug 20, 2014

Soccer-Italy federation chief faces UEFA racism probe

BERNE, Aug 20 (Reuters) – Italian soccer federation (FIGC) president Carlo Tavecchio is to face a disciplinary investigation by European soccer’s governing body over allegedly racist remarks made during his election campaign, UEFA said on Wednesday.

Tavecchio, who was elected FIGC president last week, made a speech in the run-up to the election in which he referred to a fictitious player he called Opti Poba who, he said, “previously ate bananas and then suddenly becomes a first team player with Lazio.”

Aug 20, 2014

Barca appeal against transfer ban rejected – FIFA

ZURICH (Reuters) – Barcelona have lost an appeal against a decision to ban them from the transfer market for two consecutive windows, football’s world governing body FIFA said in a statement on Wednesday.

As a result, Barca, who were found guilty of breaching rules on the international transfer of under-18 players, will be banned from registering players during the next transfer window in January as well as the 2015 summer window, FIFA said.

Aug 20, 2014

Soccer-Barca appeal against transfer ban rejected-FIFA

ZURICH, Aug 20 (Reuters) – Barcelona have lost an appeal against a decision to ban them from the transfer market for two consecutive windows, soccer’s world governing body FIFA said in a statement on Wednesday.

As a result, Barca, who were found guilty of breaching rules on the international transfer of under-18 players, will be banned from registering players during the next transfer window in January as well as the 2015 summer window, FIFA said.

Aug 19, 2014

Ba strikes bar from kickoff, Napoli held at home

BERNE (Reuters) – Besiktas hit the bar straight from kickoff as they were held 0-0 at home by Arsenal in Tuesday’s Champions League playoffs while a superb Gonzalo Higuain goal rescued Napoli in a 1-1 draw with visitors Athletic Bilbao.

Jonatan Soriano struck the woodwork three times and scored in Salzburg’s 2-1 win over visiting Malmo, Bayer Leverkusen won 3-2 at FC Copenhagen and a late goal gave Steaua Bucharest a 1-0 home win over Ludogorets Razgrad in the other first leg ties.

Aug 19, 2014

Soccer-Ba strikes bar from kickoff, Napoli held at home

BERNE, Aug 19 (Reuters) – Besiktas hit the bar straight from kickoff as they were held 0-0 at home by Arsenal in Tuesday’s Champions League playoffs while a superb Gonzalo Higuain goal rescued Napoli in a 1-1 draw with visitors Athletic Bilbao.

Jonatan Soriano struck the woodwork three times and scored in Salzburg’s 2-1 win over visiting Malmo, Bayer Leverkusen won 3-2 at FC Copenhagen and a late goal gave Steaua Bucharest a 1-0 home win over Ludogorets Razgrad in the other first leg ties.

Aug 18, 2014

Napoli in at the deep end with Bilbao clash

ZURICH (Reuters) – Napoli’s first game of the season could be also be one of their most difficult and important as they host Spain’s Athletic Bilbao in the first leg of their Champions League playoff tie on Tuesday.

Arsenal, who visit Besiktas, will be aiming to reach the lucrative group stage for the 17th consecutive season while, at the other extreme Slovan Bratislava, Ludogorets Razgrad and Malmo are all trying to qualify for the first time.

Aug 18, 2014

Soccer-Napoli in at the deep end with Bilbao clash

ZURICH, Aug 18 (Reuters) – Napoli’s first game of the season could be also be one of their most difficult and important as they host Spain’s Athletic Bilbao in the first leg of their Champions League playoff tie on Tuesday.

Arsenal, who visit Besiktas, will be aiming to reach the lucrative group stage for the 17th consecutive season while, at the other extreme Slovan Bratislava, Ludogorets Razgrad and Malmo are all trying to qualify for the first time.