Zlatan facing potential ban, Neymar’s poker future, Foden social media saga & more weird stories from the week
The UEFA Champions League and Europa League semifinals are now set after this week’s action with Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City and Chelsea left standing in the UCL and Manchester United, Arsenal, Villarreal and AS Roma in the UEL.
However, while those quarterfinals were finishing up, there was plenty going on across European soccer that you might have missed, and we are here to ensure that nothing flies under the radar with a pick of this week’s alternative headlines.
Zlatan in potential gambling suspension
Zlatan Ibrahimovic faces a fine and a maximum ban of three years as FIFA and UEFA do not allow players with financial motives in betting companies to compete in their competitions and the 39-year-old has been a part-owner of Bethard in Malta since 2018 while participating in competitions.
Neymar plans poker future
PSG and Brazil superstar Neymar is already planning for the future with an eye on moving into poker once his soccer career comes to an end: “It is true,” he told CNEWS. It is one of the things that I love most. I think that after soccer I will travel for tournaments as I have always wanted to.”
Foden takes action over Mbappe post
Phil Foden helped Manchester City to the Champions League semi-finals earlier this week and appeared to swiftly lay down the gauntlet to PSG superstar Kylian Mbappe in a stunt that has now cost his former social media company their position.
Spurs forgive Dulux for trophy cabinet gaffe
Tottenham Hotspur saw the funny side of their social media issues earlier this week when they announced Dulux as their official paint supplier, only for mocking tweets from the company’s Twitter account to appear regarding Spurs’ relatively modest success in the modern soccer era in terms of trophies won.
Hutter and Bobic to leave Frankfurt
Eintracht Frankfurt have confirmed that coach Adi Hutter and sporting director Fredi Bobic will both leave the club at the end of the season with the Austrian Borussia Monchengladbach-bound to replace Marco Rose when he joins Borussia Dortmund and Bobic expected to join Hertha Berlin.
Funkel tasked with keeping Koln up
Fellow Bundesliga club Koln have replaced Markus Gisdol with Friedhelm Funkel in the hope that the veteran coach can keep them in the German top-flight this season after a run of eight league games without a win to drop to 17th in the 18-team table.
Saint-Etienne up for sale
One of France’s most decorated club’s is on the market after AS Saint-Etienne owners Bernard Caiazzo and Roland Romeyer declared in an open letter that they are looking to pass the torch at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard after 17 years of co-ownership of Ligue 1’s record 10-time winners.
Oostende and Mouscron denied Belgian top-flight licenses
The Belgian Football Association (KBVB) have rejected Oostende and Mouscron’s applications for Pro League registration for next season with questions over the Pacific Media Group-owned club’s financial situation and transparency and solvency questions over Pini Zahavi-backed Mouscron.
Austria Vienna also in financial trouble
Austrian giants Austria Vienna are also in a similar situation with their Austrian Bundesliga license for 2021-22 refused due to financial insecurity which could see the club responsible for over 25% of all top-flight titles and over 30% of Bundesliga and cup wins to their name drop into regional obscurity.
Heinrichs and Lopez complete permanent moves
Two bits of transfer news were confirmed earlier this week with Benjamin Heinrichs completing his move to RB Leipzig from AS Monaco after an initial loan and signing a contract until 2025 while Sassuolo signed Maxime Lopez from Olympique de Marseille on a permanent basis.
Serie A clubs demand Dal Pino resignation
Seven Serie A clubs, including Juventus, Inter Milan, SSC Napoli and SS Lazio, have demanded that Lega President Paolo Dal Pino is removed from office via a vote of no confidence after the chief mismanaged negotiations with private equity funds for the media company and the issue of TV rights.
Three Hertha games rearranged due to COVID-19
Hertha Berlin’s German Bundesliga clashes with Mainz 05, SC Freiburg and Schalke 04 have been rearranged due to a major outbreak of COVID-19 cases with the Old Lady’s ranks, including coach Pal Dardai.