Tuesday Kickoff: Beckham to make first PSG start, Inter Milan fined for racist chants, and more

BY DAN KARELL

On the heels of an impressive 15-minute debut for Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday, David Beckham has been handed a place in the starting XI in advance of his new club’s match against Marseille in the Coupe de France.

Beckham’s flick pass on Sunday in the 90th minute helped lead to the second goal of PSG’s 2-0 Ligue 1 win over Marseille, with the two powerhouses now facing off once more in the cup competition. This will be Beckham’s first start since the MLS Cup Final last December, which was his final match for the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Manager Carlo Ancelotti announced the news of Beckham’s inclusion in the lineup at his press conference ahead of Wednesday’s encounter. The 37-year-old Englishman will be replacing the Italian youngster Marco Verratti, who is suspended for the match.

Here are some more stories to get your Tuesday started:

INTER MILAN, AC MILAN, AND BALOTELLI ALL FINED

Inter Milan have been fined €50,000 for racist acts from their fans towards former player Mario Balotelli, during the 1-1 draw between Inter and AC Milan on Sunday night.

Numerous fans shouted slogans, brought inflatable bananas to the match, and held up signs with racist intent, leading to the fines from the Italian football federation. Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti apologized about the fans behavior following the match, but was still fined on Tuesday for what transpired at the San Siro

Balotelli was also fined €10,000 for his reactions to the events, while AC Milan was fined €10,000 as well for three banners “insulting oppositions fans and players”.

HUTH CHARGED WITH VIOLENT CONDUCT

Stoke City defender Robert Huth has been charged with violent contact by the FA, following a clash with Fulham defender Philippe Senderos during Fulham’s 1-0 win on Saturday.

The German native is no stranger to controversy, as he has previously been charged by the FA for an incident involving Matthew Upson, during a match against West Ham, when Huth punched Upson in the face. Huth was later handed a three-match ban as punishment.

In the current case, Huth has until 6pm GMT on Wednesday to appeal.

QUICK KICKS

Steve McClaren, former England manager, has resigned as manager of FC Twente, just one day after receiving a “vote of confidence” from the chairman. (REPORT)

Former AC Milan mainstay Gennaro Gattuso has been promoted to player-coach for Swiss club FC Sion. (REPORT)

Franz Beckenbauer says that only a meteor striking the Bayern Munich training ground can stop them from winning this season’s Bundesliga. (REPORT)

Arsenal have announced a pre-tax profit of £17.8 million based on the club’s half-year valuations, culminating in November 2012. (REPORT)

Diego Maradona has returned to Italy to clear his name in a tax evasion scandal that has kept him out of the country for eight years. (REPORT)

A 17-year-old Corinthians fan has admitted to being the thrower of a deadly flare, which fatally struck a 14-year-old fan last week during a Copa Libertadores match. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see Beckham staying in the starting lineup the rest of the season? Do you believe that the fine’s levied on Inter Milan are fair punishment? Do you see Robert Huth being suspended for three or more games?

Share your thoughts below.

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24 Responses to Tuesday Kickoff: Beckham to make first PSG start, Inter Milan fined for racist chants, and more

  1. patrick says:

    god help me if I ever get a vote of confidence from my boss….

  2. 33223 says:

    I wanna visit Italy someday, well Rome particularly for the historical value, but the excessive outbursts of racism have really put me off. why can’t they put a hamper on it? Does Dr. Phil need to go council thousands of football fans>

    • vipero says:

      Come and enjoy the eternal city.
      Just promise not to have lunch at Planet Hollywood, McDonald’s or Burger King.
      When in Rome, eat as Romans eat ;o)

      • KenC says:

        The McD’s in Rome is very nice! It’s near the Spanish Steps and has gelato. If you eat as Romans eat, it might take you three hours!

      • GW says:

        The Romans love Mickey D’s.

        Go there it ain’t your grandfather’s Mickey D’s.

  3. Original Aaron says:

    I can’t believe they fined Balotelli. Disgraceful

    • Gnarls says:

      I didn’t see the game or the events that unfolded. Any idea why – or how – Serie A can justify fining Balotelli?

      • Matt C in Tampa says:

        How’s this for speculating. I didn’t see the game and haven’t see what Mario did. When i offer this opinion for the rationale behind the fine, i’m not saying i agree with him being fined.

        I suspect he was fined be/c the league does not want players, regardless of the offense towards them, “inciting” fans. These idiots already exist on the fringe of mental stability..and actions from players could push them over the edge to riots, flares…etc….

        • WG says:

          Mario’s “incitement” consisted of him placing his index finger in front of his lips, in the near universal “be quiet” gesture.

  4. Mike V. says:

    Fines for racial abuse have zero impact on the club. It doesn’t solve the problem. It’s easy for club to write a check. If you want to make a serious statement, dock the offending team points —– 3,6,9, 12 pts. whatever and ban them from non-league (Cup, Europa, C.L.) competition the next season. When supporters realize their stupidity impacts the team’s position maybe (God willing) the absue will dry up.

    • Yusef says:

      I would also include making them play home matches in empty stadiums. These are weekly events now. Very sad.

    • drew11 says:

      Sadly I don’t think common sense will affect morons waving bananas at a soccer game.

      The clubs just need to have better stadium security. Club ID cards to buy tickets, immediately arrest these clowns with the bananas, lifetime ban for troublemakers, etc.

      • vipero says:

        Folks, please separate what racism really is from the stadium contest.
        Supporters have one target only: how can I hurt my opponents?
        Touching them where it hurts. Black, jewish, laziale, son of an unknown mother. Everything that hurts works.
        It’s not racism. It’s pure violence.
        Sadly to be said.

    • KJ says:

      It does have an impact. The club won’t take the fine lightly, and they will take steps to prevent these fans from getting them fined. It is the club’s responsibility, and eventually they will do something about it. Penalizing the players by taking away points is not the answer. And yes, the club can prevent these incidents.

      • bb says:

        With respect, I have a couple counter points.
        1. They have been fining clubs forever and it still continues. Fines don’t work (unless maybe they start making them exhorbitant)
        2. “Penalizing the players” I don’t like to use this logic to not dock points. For sake of argument one could say that fines also penalize players, who could have been paid larger salaries if the ownership didn’t have to pay.

        Bottom line is I think points is the only thing that will change anything. Clubs have the money, and they want to win. They’d rather pay the fine than drop in the table.

        It is the responsibility of the club to provide a safe atmosphere for fans and players alike. If the club fails to do that there should be a penalty (one that actually matters) I’m sure that once a couple teams lose points, you will see a massive crackdown by ownership and stadium security to prevent this from happening again. They will take the loss of those points seriously, and I don’t think it will happen again after that.

        Perhaps that’s just wishful thinking.

  5. WG says:

    I’m glad to see Huth will have to answer for that fore-arm to the face of Senderos. And before anyone accuses me of wanting my football played in tutus, there is huge difference between normal hard contact, and outright thuggery.

  6. Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

    Fining Balotelli for reacting to the chants is absolutely incomprehensible. I hope he appeals.

    • Jamie Z. says:

      It’s not often I side with Mario Balotelli, but this time, I’m in his corner.

    • Steve says:

      It’s absolutely despicable. I cannot believe that this sort of low life behavior is tolerated or given the appearance of being sanctioned by dispensing fines to the person actually being racially abused.

      What a shameful association. It’s days like this that make you feel that even though we don’t have it all figured out here in the US, there are so called bastions of civility that have much worse under their thin patina of class. Good riddance to Serie A.

  7. RK says:

    I had to look up Twente’s place in the table — not bad, 5th. I was shocked to see AZ so low at 13; with the way Jozy has been playing, I thought they were at the top.

    • WG says:

      AZ lost starters from the back-line to transfers(Niklas Moisander and Simon Poulson) who haven’t been adequately replaced, that when coupled with the injury to Maarten Martens, has lead to them giving up more goals than last season, while scoring less. While Jozy, Adam Maher, Roy Beerens and Dirk Marcellus have all showed major improvements this season, along with the intriguing potential displayed by Giliano Wijnaldum, it hasn’t been enough to win consistently..

  8. Old School says:

    McClaren should have never left Twente the first time. He was on top of the world in Holland.

  9. Al says:

    50 grand is nothing for this kind of crap. 10 points deducted, fans caught on video banned for life, game shut down and awarded to opposing club. FIFA needs to get serious about this. Why are soccer games the only place left where it is okay to taunt people with racist slurs?