The Daily Football Diary: Gascoigne needs help
Legendary footballer Paul Gascoigne aged 45, has succumbed to alcoholism again. In an interview given by the ex-Newcastle player’s agent Terry Baker, Baker confirmed the worst. ‘His life is always in danger because he is an alcoholic. Maybe no one can save him – I don’t know. I really don’t know.’
Gascoigne’s problems with alcohol started at a young age, but deteriorated quickly after his wife Sheryl was granted a divorce back in August 1998. The ex-England international admitted himself into the Marchwood Priory hospital just two months later to receive help with his drinking problems. Despite his off the field problems, the midfielder continued to play but it wasn’t until 2001 whilst playing with Everton did the British public know he still had a problem.
Then Everton manager Walter Smith insisted that Paul admit himself into a rehabilitation clinic in Arizona to try and fight his problems. As most of us know this did not help, the troubled ex-star has had a string of run-in’s with the police and this countries mental health act.
The Professional Footballers’ Association released a statement on it’s website today stating they were aware and concerned about Gascoigne’s welfare. However, ‘The PFA recently arranged detoxification for Paul through the Sporting Chance Clinic. Regrettably Paul checked himself out and chose not to complete the programme.’ It has led many to fear the ex-England international could follow in George Best’s footsteps.
Burkina Faso and Nigeria Through to Semi-Finals
The African Cup of Nations has taken a twist in the Quarter-Finals, favourites to win the tournament, the Ivory Coast have just been beaten 2 -1 by Nigeria. This in thanks to goals by Super Eagles striker Emmanuel Emenike and midfielder Sunday Mba.
Despite the Elephants’ being favourites for the tournament again this year, they have once again failed to live up to that billing in recent years. It is the second time in three attempts that they have seen themselves go out at the quarter-final stage.
Burkina Faso also continue to impress as their 1 – 0 victory against African giants Togo send them through to the Semi-Finals for the first time since 1998, when Burkina hosted the tournament. It took a lot of hard work, with left-back Mady Panadetiguiri making a goal-line clearance from Emmanuel Adebayor the Tottenham captain. After 105 minutes of play it took a set-piece corner and Jonathan Pitroipa to head in the winner.
Real Madrid’s Jose Callejon fears football is losing racism battle
The versatile midfielder revealed at a Press Conference that the Real Madrid players are often the victims of racial abuse. This came shortly after Barcelona defender Dani Alves’ complaint over racist insults, following Wednesday’s Copa del Rey El Clasico at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Speaking on the subject at the press conference Callejon says, ‘Real Madrid is one of the clubs that has been on the receiving end of the most racist insults. It has happened to us and it is a problem that cannot be completely stamped out,’ The youngster went on to say. ‘It happened to [Kevin-Prince] Boateng in Italy and it is a matter of serious concern which we all hope will die out one day once and for all.’
Of course Fifa are aware of the problems football has with racism, following Boateng’s walk-off in Italy, Jozy Alitdore’s strife after he was abused by Den Bosch fans in a recent cup match for AZ Almaar.
After what happened with the American striker Altidore, Blatter (Fifa president), stressed that all football associations should punish racism harshly, indicating that deducting points and relegating teams would be a good sanction to impose.
Mancini slams referee after Liverpool draw
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini was highly critical of referee Anthony Taylor following the Sky Blues’ 2-2 draw at Etihad. It now leaves City 9 points behind league leaders Manchester United at the top of the Premier League table. “Before their first goal there was a big fault,” he told Sky Sports. ”If it happened against us it would be a red card but instead the referee didn’t see anything. But in the end I feel that was the right result.”
Mancini strongly insisted that the referee should have stopped play when Edin Dzeko was lying injured.
He continued: “Probably [Liverpool should have put the ball out] because after this foul there was 15 seconds, but no this can happen. I think it was a foul and probably a yellow card, the rules are the same for everyone.
“The referee was perfect for 10 minutes, all the fouls for Liverpool, every time flag, flag, flag, but he didn’t see this.”
Xavi to miss Spain friendly
Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez has been ruled out of Spain’s friendly with Uruguay on Wednesday following a hamstring injury, Spain’s football federation (RFEF) has confirmed. The playmaker had complained of discomfort in his right leg after the Blaugrana‘s 1-1 away draw against Valencia.
His Spain team-mate Xabi Alonso had already pulled out of the squad due to a groin problem following Madrid’s 0-1 loss to Granada. No replacement, however, has been announced to replace Xavi, as of yet.
West Bromwich Albion 0 – 1 Tottenham, Manchester City 2 – 2 Liverpool
Real Sociedad 3 – 0 Mallorca, Atlético de Madrid 1 – 0 Real Betis, Valencia 1 – 1 Barcelona, Sevilla 2 – 1 Rayo Vallecano, Málaga 1 – 1 Real Zaragoza
Milan 2 – 1 Udinese, Siena 3 – 1 Internazionale, Pescara2 – 3 Bologna, Palermo 1 – 2 Atalanta, Genoa 3 – 2 Lazio, Fiorentina 2 – 0 Parma, Chievo 1 – 2 Juventus
Bayer 04 Leverkusen 2 – 3 Borussia Dortmund, FC Nürnberg 2 – 1 Borussia Mönchengladbach
Marseille 0 – 1 Nancy, Montpellier 3 – 1 Reims, Ajaccio 3 – 1 Lyon