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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application Developer

£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Service Engineers - Doncaster / Hull

£27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Service Only Engineers are requ...

Recruitment Genius: Employability / Recruitment Adviser

£23600 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Employability Service withi...

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...