Reuters Soccer Blog

World Soccer views and news

Hand of Henry goal makes strong case for video evidence

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France’s decisive goal against Ireland in their World Cup play-off will only add further weight to the case for using a video ref, or extra goal-line officials, at least in the biggest matches.

The controversial extra-time strike from William Gallas took France through to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, while leaving the Irish barely able to contain a sense of frustration and injustice.

It was goal which should not have stood, as TV pictures made plain. French captain Thierry Henry clearly handled the ball, not once, but twice before crossing for Gallas to score from close range.

Once again, fans are wondering how a mistake of such magnitude, in such a high-stakes game,  could be allowed to happen.

Is Eduardo’s two-match ban too harsh?

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UEFA’s decision to hand Arsenal striker Eduardo da Silva a two-match ban for diving has infuriated the Croatian media, many fans and national team coach Slaven Bilic.

“It is a shameful decision, especially in view of the fact that Eduardo personifies everything that’s decent in professional sport,” Bilic told Zagreb daily Vecernji List after learning the verdict.

Champions League draw … Kaka, Ibrahimovic back to Milan

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The draw for the group phase of the 2009-10 Champions League has just finished in Monaco and it’s thrown up a couple of groups to savour especially.

Real Madrid getting drawn in Group C means they will face AC Milan … and that means a return to the San Siro for Kaka, who made the switch over the close season. Likewise, Barcelona’s big signing Zlatan ibrahimovic will be on his way back to Milan, after Inter joined the holders in Group F.

Time to take minnows off the international menu

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SOCCER-WORLD/Now that the dust has settled on the Ronaldo story (at least until he actually signs) I wanted to go back to something that bothered me about last week’s on-field action.

Former England striker Jimmy Greaves summed it up quite well at half-time during England’s 6-0 thrashing of Andorra in a World Cup qualifier.

Will UEFA be haunted for good by Euro 2012?

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Yet again I find myself asking the question: why did UEFA award Euro 2012 to Poland and Ukraine?

Questions marks have again been raised over the decision by European soccer’s governing body after it was yet again forced to set another deadline for Ukraine to meet is criteria for a number of its venues.

Are UEFA’s rules on red cards too harsh?

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Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher will miss the Champions League final in Rome later this month after UEFA said there was no chance of overturning the red card he received against Arsenal on Tuesday.

Fletcher conceded a penalty in United’s 3-1 semi-final second leg win in London after he brought down Cesc Fabregas, but replays showed he touched the ball first.

A Super League is a non-starter

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Comments by UEFA officials that the body’s president Michel Platini is “dead set” against a European Super League must come as a huge relief to a vast majority of Europe’s clubs.

“People should not mix up philosophy and reality. As far as the president is concerned, such a proposal is a non-starter,” a senior official close to Platini told Reuters.

Transfer fee and salary caps edge closer

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Manchester City’s failed 100 million euros plus bid for AC Milan’s Kaka now begs the question: should there be a limit on the amount of money a club can pay for a player or should there be a salary cap?

Some of Europe’s top soccer clubs and the game’s European governing body UEFA seem to think so, with the news that they have started talks on curbing the amount of money that can be spent on player transfers or wages.

What Messi thinks of Ronaldo

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UEFA’s teams of the year feature is irresistible reading for lovers of footballing gossip, particularly in Spain and Argentina.

Javier Zanetti, Leo Messi and Kun Aguero have all published their best XIs of 2008 on uefa.com and there are a couple of conspicious absentees…

Please Mr Platini, don’t close the transfer window

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CassanoMichel Platini makes a perfectly reasonable point about the transfer system when he points out the absurdity of a player scoring against a team one week and for them the next.

It is patently daft that a club can buy a player from one of their rivals halfway through the season and put him to work for them. It distorts the competition in several ways and is clearly unfair.

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