Thursday Kickoff: Schalke dispute Drogba’s eligibility, Spurs fans attacked in Lyon, and more

BY DAN KARELL

One of Wednesday evening’s Champions League sub-plots was the return of Didier Drogba to the European stage, 9 months after scoring the final penalty to seal Chelsea’s European title.

Though he didn’t score in his new side Galatasaray’s 1-1 draw with Schalke 04, the German club are considering appealing to UEFA, on the grounds that Drogba may not be approved to be a Galatasaray player, due to an ongoing dispute with the Ivorian’s former club in China, Shanghai Shenhua.

There is precedent in the case of fielding illegal players in the Champions League. In 1992, a match was ordered to be replayed between Leeds and Stuttgart after the German team used too many foreign players in the match, and in 2001, Israeli side Maccabi Haifa were given a 3-0 defeat after fielding an ineligible player during a third-round qualifying match against FC Haka of Finland.

Here are some more stories to get your Thursday started:

TOTTENHAM FANS ATTACKED IN PARIS

No less than two months after a group of Tottenham fans were violently attacked in Rome, the club’s supporters have suffered yet another violent attack, this time in Lyon, France.

It’s unsure whether the attackers were supporters of Lyon or not, but what is known is that last night a large group threw projectiles into a local pub called The Smoking Dog, where around 150 Spurs fans were spending time the night before the match. Three supporters were injured during the incident, with reportedly minor injuries. Even worse, before the group attacked the bar patrons, they reportedly made Nazi salutes.

Tottenham have announced that club officials and local police will be patrolling the city on Thursday, to make sure of the safety of their supporters.

SUSPECTED MATCH-FIXER APPREHENDED AT AIRPORT

Upon landing in Milan Malpensa Airport, Admir Suljic was arrested by Italian police and European authorities, on the suspicion of match-fixing.

Suljic, whose flight originated in Singapore, allegedly works for the well known crime syndicate leader Dan Tan, who is suspected of running the worldwide match fixing operation from his home in the Asian City-State. According to reports, Suljic had been on the run from authorities since December of 2011.

Since going public with the case, Interpol have already arrested 50 people, with over 150 more under investigation.

VELEZ AND GREMIO RUN RIOT IN COPA LIBERTADORES

Velez Sarsfield of Argentina and Gremio of Brazil each recorded 3-0 wins on Wednesday night in Copa Libertadores action, as the teams continue their continental campaign.

Velez defeated Chilean side Deportivo Iquique in Buenos Aires, scoring twice in the first half through Federico Insua and a wide-open Ezequiel Rescaldani, with former Real Madrid midfielder Fernando Gago pulling the strings all night.

Gago put the game away in the 69th minute, as his 23-yard free kick sliced through the box and past the goalkeeper, finishing it’s journey in the net.

Gremio rebounded from last week’s Copa Libertadores loss with a massive win against Brazilian side Fluminense. On-loan winger Andre Santos was in on the scoring, as the veteran Gremio side, featuring Ze Roberto, Elano, and Cris, former Brazil internationals, have moved to the top of their group.

In other action last night, Huichapito of Chile suffered a shock 3-1 defeat to Caracas of Venezuela in Group 8, while Club Deportivo San Jose of Bolivia tied defending champions Corinthians 1-1, in Group 5, though the match was marred by the death of a 14-year-old Bolivian boy who was hit by a firecracker in the stands.

QUICK KICKS

Young Sampdoria striker Mauro Icardi has stated his desire to play for his native country, Argentina, despite being eligible to play in Italy. (REPORT)

Franck Ribery was surprised how easy it was to beat Arsenal, on Tuesday night. (REPORT)

Joey Barton is at it again, claiming that French players don’t have the hard working mentality that it takes to win. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see Schalke’s appeal against Drogba’s eligibility succeeding? Do you think Tottenham fans need security around them at all times? Do you believe that Joey Barton’s comments are correct?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in European Soccer, Featured, South American Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Thursday Kickoff: Schalke dispute Drogba’s eligibility, Spurs fans attacked in Lyon, and more

  1. A says:

    Just permanently ban Joey Barton from FIFA sanctioned football and lets be done with him.

    • patrick says:

      I’m not a fan of his, but lately I get such a kick out of his statements that I want him to get a podcast or show. He’s just always trying to piss people off, it seems

      • Gnarls says:

        Agreed. Violent Joey Barton has no place in football, but pot-stirred Barton is hilarious. Every league needs a Dennis Rodman character.

        • Old School says:

          Denis Rodman was the best at his particular craft and was considered, by some, to be scandalous in his actions…not his commentary.

          Joey Barton is an embarrassment and a sad state of media/culture that we read his garbage. Obviously they’re providing sound bites because people find the entertaining.

          Reality TV is considered entertaining, too, I guess. Both are trash.

  2. biff says:

    Joey Barton also was provoking David Beckham before the big game Sunday with PSG.

    link to bbc.co.uk

  3. patrick says:

    At what point do we start looking at the Tottenham traveling fans? Plenty of other teams travel more than Tottenham and have less problems.

    • Aero says:

      Let’s see, anti-Semitic rabble attack Spurs fans because team owner is Jewish (confirmed by the Nazi antics). But someone wants to blame the Spurs fans. For what, rooting for a team owned by someone who is Jewish? Let’s just acknowledge that racist monkey chants and anti-Semitism are staples of European football fandom…

    • Evan W says:

      Tottenham have strong Jewish support which may be why the Nazi salutes were made. There has been a pretty extensive history of hate toward the Jewish population over the years to say the least so this may be why the Tottenham fans have had these problems…..

      • Dave says:

        I didn’t know that about Tottenham. Now I have another reason to like them.

      • fischy says:

        No “may be” about it. Europe is full of useless punks who think it’s cool to play “Nazi thug.” There may be more despicable people walking this planet, but I would not want to meet them.

    • fischy says:

      Amazing ignorance. At what point do you start blaming women for being raped?

      • Old School says:

        Since you wanted to go there, yes, there is a point at which you question the woman involved in multiple rapes.

  4. xias says:

    i thought Drogba was playing in China

  5. Big Chil says:

    “The Asian City-State?” Sounds like a dystopian future. Maybe it’s next to The Colony and the United Federation of Britain in the remake of Total Recall?

  6. Hogatroge says:

    If Schalke know what’s good for them, they’ll let it slide. They hold a slim advantage going into the 2nd leg with that away goal, and a replay of the away match @ Gala could end up worse.

  7. Beto says:

    Wasnt Dan Tan the bad guy in Rush Hour 2? Or was that Ricky Tan? Either way fifa needs to hire Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker to halt this match fixing Singaporian crime syndicate

  8. dan says:

    Probably muslim/arabs in France that did this. They just won’t leave anyone alone

  9. RedBull to CO says:

    These so called french, who were at one point so embarrassingly easily taken over and become such a weak puppet to support their occupiers by showing the nazi salute is disgusting.

    • Andy says:

      As the comment above says, there are a lot of Muslims in France who are anti-semitic (I’ve seen this first hand). I wonder if the people behind this attack are born and raised french, or if they’re “french” and using soccer as an excuse for violent criminal behavior. They should be arrested for this garbage. If this happened in England, UEFA would never let the English hear the end of it.

  10. Chuck D says:

    14-year-old boy killed by a firecracker in the stands? Gotta love South America. MLS doesn’t even allow smoke bombs in the stadium anymore. When I was in Jamaica for the MNT game last year they had “Machete” on the list of banned items as I entered the stadium. Good thing I left mine back at the hotel.