Football: Around The World: Palmeiras relish living up to their bad-boy image

Brazil

FOR THE second time this season Palmeiras have been accused of violent and unsportsmanlike conduct. On Tuesday, Cruzeiro, their opponents in the Copa Mercosur final, left no one in any doubt as to their feelings. "Palmeiras do not play hard, they play violently, they have been kicking players off the ball for a long time," said the Cruzeiro coach, Levir Culpi.

"They celebrate goals with obscene gestures, provoke our players and, when their team is winning, the ball-boys vanish."

Vasco da Gama's preparation for their game against Palmeiras earlier this season was to take out special insurance because they claimed the team from Sao Paulo was violent.

This could be seen as an overreaction to robust play until you realise that the Palmeiras coach, Luiz Felipe Scolari, has publicly urged his team to commit more fouls.

It could also been seen as a rather foolhardy reaction from Culpi as his team's 3-1 loss in the second leg forced a decider - to be played at Palmeiras.

Russia

OLEG ROMANTSEV, the head coach of the champions, Spartak Moscow, took charge of the national team for the second time on Monday. He succeeded Anatoly Byshovets, sacked this month after five months in charge and six consecutive losses, including three European Championship qualifiers.

Romantsev previously led Russia to the finals of Euro 96 but was dismissed after they gained just one point from three games.

Spain

DESPITE A 5-0 thrashing of Nigeria last week the chances of Catalonia entering separate teams in major competitions has been quickly dismissed. The minister of state for sport, Santiago Fisas, said: "I'm not against the idea of regional selections playing friendly fixtures but I don't think it is possible given Spanish legislation, along with the regulations of the International Olympic Committee and international federations, that regional selections can take precedence over a Spanish national team."

The friendly was played before an almost capacity crowd at the Barcelona's Olympic Stadium, with banners demanding sporting independence and "Freedom for Catalonia".

Pichi Alonso, the Catalonia coach, has no doubts about his side's capabilities. "I think we are at the level of national teams like Belgium or Scotland," he said.

Swaziland

THE COUNTRY'S police force are having a wage cut to subsidise their team's participation in next year's Confederation of African Football Cup. All 2,500 policemen are to have more than pounds 5 deducted from their next pay packet so their Royal Leopards can play Nkana FC of Zambia in the first round in March.

News
Sir David Attenborough
people
Life and Style
Young girl and bowl of cereal
food + drink
News
Comic miserablist Larry David in 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'
peopleDirector of new documentary Misery Loves Comedy reveals how he got them to open up
Arts and Entertainment
Henry VIII played by Damien Lewis
tvReview: Scheming queens-in-waiting, tangled lines of succession and men of lowly birth rising to power – sound familiar?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
football
Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Ready to open the Baftas, rockers Kasabian are also ‘great film fans’
musicExclusive: Rockers promise an explosive opening to the evening
Life and Style
David Bowie by Duffy
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Hell, yeah: members of the 369th Infantry arrive back in New York
booksWorld War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel
News
advertisingVideo: The company that brought you the 'Bud' 'Weis' 'Er' frogs and 'Wasssssup' ads, has something up its sleeve for Sunday's big match
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
i100
Environment
Dame Vivienne Westwood speaking at a fracking protest outside Parliament on Monday (AP)
environment
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: This post arises as a result of the need to...

Tradewind Recruitment: Class Teacher Required ASAP In Uminster

£120 - £150 per annum: Tradewind Recruitment: I am recruiting on instruction o...

Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Director - London - £70,000

£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Wimbledon, SW London

£24000 - £28000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Wim...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea