Football: Around The World: Palmeiras relish living up to their bad-boy image
Wednesday 30 December 1998
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mountain goats miraculously survive avalanche in the French Alps
Skyfall's Ben Whishaw confirmed for Freddie Mercury film
A cautionary tale for ambitious would-be authors
Latest in Sport
Roy Keane omits Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs from 'greatest' Manchester United team
Ashes 2013-14 comment: England need to learn from Australia and master art of avoiding 'the creep'
Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira relive rivalry - after the former Manchester United and Arsenal captains shared ice cream in Warsaw
Ashes 2013-14 match report: Alastair Cook future in jeopardy after another woeful display sees England lose to Australia by 218 runs to go down 2-0
Manchester United player ratings: The best (and worst) performers for David Moyes during the season so far
- 1 Gurdwaras-turned-food banks: Sikh temples are catering for rise in Britain’s hungry
- 2 TK Maxx and discount stores: If it looks too good to be true, it probably is
- 3 Teenage girl convicted of robbery after taking pre-crime selfie wielding knife
- 4 Government delays EU immigration report because it is too positive
- 5 'I'm experiencing austerity as well', says Princess Michael of Kent
£50000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Manager - Tailor ...
£33000 per annum + benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Audit Senior - Birmingham ...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + attractive benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Senior...
£70000 - £80000 per annum + Commission Package: Harrington Starr: Due to winni...