The Soccerphile World Cup 2002 Archives Click here to go to the current Soccerphile.com
World champions Brazil came down to earth in their first game since lifting the World Cup in Yokohama. In coach Luiz Felipe Scolari's last match in charge, Brazil lost 1-0 to Paraguay in Fortaleza in the north east of Brazil, in a game marked by numerous substitutions and a carnival atmosphere. Ronaldo lasted only half an hour before going off clearly not fit.
In other international friendlies, Italy lost again to lower-ranked opposition going down to Slovenia in Trieste in a match marred by crowd disturbances among the visiting supporters.
World Cup finalists Germany salvaged a 2-2 draw away to Bulgaria, France were held 1-1 in Tunisia, Scotland lost 1-0 at home to Denmark while Irland beat Finland 3-0 in Helsinki and Holland won 1-0 against Norway in Oslo.
It was another Lennon who imagined a heaven without religion, but Celtic and Northern Ireland's Neil Lennon, who is a Catholic, was forced to retire from international football after receiving death threats from Protestant extremists before his country's friendly international against Cyprus in Belfast.
The start of Italy's first and second division soccer leagues has been delayed
two weeks in a dispute over TV rights.
Serie A and Serie B will now kick off on September 15 as currently eight Serie A and three Serie B clubs have yet to finalize broadcast arrangements with pay-per-view stations Stream and Telepiu - the others clubs are Serie A's Atalanta, Chievo, Coma, Empoli, Modena, Perugia and Piacenza, and Serie B's Venezia, Verona and Vicenza.
The clubs are seeking around US$9.84 million for the rights to coverage of their home games while the broadcasters have offered a little over US$4 million. In Italy clubs make individual deals with TV companies for rights whereas in other countries such as England a collective package is negotiated.
The Italian state broadcaster RAI has also failed to reach a financial agreement with the Italian League for a free-to-air highlights program. The League is holding out for US$87.4 million - the same as last season - whereas RAI are looking at halving that figure for Italy's most popular sports program.
Ronaldo's wish to leave Inter Milan and join Real Madrid appears to have
The two clubs could not reach agreement on a fee or which players would leave Real for Inter as part of the cash-plus-players deal.
European champions, Real were prepared to pay US$12 million plus two players valued at US$30 million for the Brazilian striker, whereas Inter wanted more than US$60 million. Although Ronaldo's wife Milene Domingues, who plays semi-professionally for nearby Monza, is happy for her husband to stay in Italy, it seems Inter fans have had enough. Anti-Ronaldo banners have been unfurled in the San Siro and chants of 'Ronaldo bastardo' heard on the terraces.
The player faces a difficult season as he seeks to win over his manager and disgruntled Inter fans who feel betrayed by the player's actions in seeking a transfer.
Maurizio Giorgetti filed a lawsuit for corruption with Italian magistrates against Ecuadorian World Cup referee Byron Moreno who was in charge of the controversial Round of 16 game between Italy and South Korea, which the home team won 2-1 in extra-time after Italian playmaker Francesco Totti was red-carded for simulation. Giorgetti plans to call AS Roma's Totti as a witness.
Songnam Chunma stay top of the K.League after a 4-3 home win over Pusan I.cons. In Japan the annual J.League All Star game saw the East beat the West 2-1 in Saitama in front of a capacity crowd of 57,496.
Manchester United captain Roy Keane may be investigated by local police following a complaint by a British politician, the Liberal Democrats' spokesman on sport MP Bob Russell, following Keane's admission in his autobiography that he deliberately set out to injure Manchester City's Alf Inge Haaland.
The Soccerphile World Cup 2002 Archives
Click here to go to the current Soccerphile.com
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