Samba beatings ruining game

Football around the world

BRAZIL

In the land of the beautiful game, football is becoming ugly. While the Brazilian national team have long been a divine presence, the domestic scene has become a brutal, violent affair that would render Saturday's Hearts vs Rangers skirmish - when the Edinburgh side were reduced to seven men - a picnic by comparison.

Some teams have even been accused of employing a rota system, allowing their defenders to take turns to kick the opposition's best player. This reduces the chances of the same player picking up two yellow cards.

One recent match-cum-melee was that between Flamengo and Corinthians. In the first minute, the Flamengo striker Savio was bowled over by a vicious challenge from behind by Corinthians' Alexandre Lopes, for which he only received a yellow card. The lightly built Savio has been advised by the national coach, Mario Zagalo, to cut down on dribbling to save his shins from further punishment.

Some coaches have been accused of perpetuating the violence by ignoring the conduct of their own players. Throughout the Corinthians match, the Flamengo coach, Joel Santana, was heard to berate the violence of his opponents and the leniency of the referee. But when asked about a challenge by Alejandro Mancuso that dispatched Corinthians' Souza to the treatment table before half-time, Santana replied: "Mancuso is macho."

Incidentally, Flamengo's latest signing is the defender Junior Baiano, sacked by Werder Bremen after receiving a 10-match ban for punching an opponent in a Bundesliga match.

UKRAINE

Dynamo Kiev, who won the Soviet championship 13 times, the Soviet cup nine times and the European Cup-Winners' Cup twice, have imposed a "state of emergency". The club have granted their coach, Yozhef Sabo, sweeping powers "to establish order and discipline" after a series of dismal results. Dynamo were knocked out in the qualifying round of the European Champions' League last month by Rapid Vienna, and they could only manage a 0-0 draw at home in the Uefa Cup against Neuchatel Xamax.

Sabo, empowered to cut pay of players and other coaches and cancel bonuses, was particularly unhappy about the forward Viktor Leonenko. Last year Leonenko was demoted to Dynamo's second team after being accused by his coach of lack of discipline, gaining weight and excessive beer drinking. Speculation that Leonenko is a transfer target of Arsene Wenger is unfounded.

FRANCE

Michel Platini, the former French captain and coach, now the president of the World Cup 98 organising committee, was yesterday extolling the virtues of the green stuff that will be crucial to the tournament - grass, not money.

"The grass is the image 27 billion television viewers will keep in mind. I'm very fond of lawns," he said. "I remember Atletico Madrid's pitch at the 1982 World Cup in Spain. I did not play against Austria that day, but I walked on the grass barefoot because it was so beautiful."

The grass earmarked for the new Stade de France will be an English brand noted for its robustness along with a French type renowned for its hard- wearing qualities.

Andrew Martin

Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
News
people
News
Campbell: ‘Sometimes you have to be economical with the truth’
newsFormer spin doctor says MPs should study tactics of leading sports figures like José Mourinho
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey VC
voicesBeware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
Alexander McQueen's AW 2009/10 collection during Paris Fashion Week
fashionMeet the collaborators who helped create the late designer’s notorious spectacles
Sport
football
News
i100
News
Perry says: 'Psychiatrists give help because they need help. You would not be working in mental health if you didn't have a curiosity about how the mind works.'
people
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

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?