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Posts Tagged ‘football’

West Brom legend Cyrille Regis dies at 59

Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

Former West Brom and Coventry forward Cyrille Regis has died, aged 59.

Regis won five caps for England between 1982 and 1987, having been one of the stars of the Baggies team between 1977 and 1984.

He scored 112 goals in 297 appearances for Albion before moving on to Coventry, winning the FA Cup with the Sky Blues in 1987.

The Professional Footballers’ Association announced the news on Monday morning and wrote in a tweet from its official account: “A true gentleman and legend, he will be deeply missed. Our sympathies to his family and friends.”

Regis was born in French Guiana in February 1958 but moved to London with his family at the age of five.

He did not come through the youth ranks with a professional club and was instead spotted playing Sunday morning football by the chairman of Surrey non-league club Molesey.

View photos

Laurie Cunningham, Brendan Batson and Cyrille Regis were nicknamed The Three Degrees – and here they are with the American pop trio

But it was in the top tier of English football that his goalscoring feats were most lauded, netting 158 league goals.

In 1984 he moved to Coventry City where he continued where he left off with the Baggies, with 62 goals – and his only major trophy in football came in 1987 when he won the FA Cup with the Sky Blues.

Regis also played for Aston Villa and Wolves before spells at Wycombe and Chester where he ended his career.

Regis represented England at under-21 level and won his first senior cap in February 1982 against Northern Ireland.

His final cap came against Turkey in October 1987.

After his stint at Coventry he also played for Aston Villa, Wolves, Wycombe and Chester before ending his playing career in 1996.

He worked as an agent for the Stellar Group after his retirement from the game, and the agency’s chief executive Jonathan Barnett released a statement to Press Association Sport on Monday.

Wonderful

“Cyrille was a wonderful person to work with and his death has left everyone in the company and the players he represented with a great sense of sadness,” Barnett said.

“Cyrille was a pioneer in British football and hugely respected by everyone in the game. He was a role model to his young clients and a genuinely lovely man.”

The statement from Stellar also praised Regis for his “passion, determination and integrity, especially in the way he would champion the careers of up and coming players”.

Praising the role played by Regis in dealing with racism, he said: “In later years I was privileged to get to know him as a friend and he just didn’t carry anger with him from that time. Apart from being a powerful and talented striker, Regis inspired a generation of black players at a time when they were a rarity in the top echelons of English soccer and were regularly subjected to racial abuse from crowds.

On one occasion he received a bullet in the mail along with a threat that he would get one in the knee if he played for England at Wembley.

“The racism was quite abhorrent but I turned a negative into a positive,” he recalled. “I chased harder and played harder, I wanted to score goals and win points.”

Regis returned to West Brom as a coach before becoming a football agent.

Whether verbal or physical, rugby can’t hide from its discipline problem

Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

The old cliche about rugby being a game for hooligans played by gentlemen is still casually recycled on a regular basis.

Today’s footballers, frankly, should sue next time anyone with an oval-ball background seeks to use a superior tone. The weekend delivered more fresh ammunition: Toulon’s Mathieu Bastareaud has issued an apology for the homophobic abuse he appeared to direct at the Benetton lock Sebastian Negri but the reputational damage has been done, both to him and his sport. So much for noblesse oblige and sportsmanlike conduct.

Rugby’s noble image has, in truth, always been a subjective issue. Few who played in the south-west of France or in south Wales on a wet Wednesday night in the amateur era ever came across much in the way of soft play or kindly advice. “Do that again and you’ll live up to your name,” was the threat famously directed at Dai Young, the great Lions and Wales prop, only partly in jest. Part of rugby’s appeal used to be its twilight world, to borrow from AC/DC’s back catalogue, of dirty deeds done dirt cheap.

Plenty of people, in short, behaved badly but few beyond the participants ever heard about it, save for a few ribald after-dinner speeches a quarter of a century later. Now, with microphones and TV cameras practically inserted up the players’ nostrils there is no hiding place. A big Frenchman abuses a Zimbabwean-born Italian in the last minute of a relatively low-profile pool game and thousands have already passed judgment on social media before the pair reach the dressing rooms.

Bastareaud now finds himself staring down the barrel of a lengthy ban and rightly so. The only small consolation to which he can cling is that rugby’s sanctions are consistent only in their unpredictability. Last week Joe Marler received a six-week suspension for a shoulder to the head of TJ Ioane; some argued he should not even have received a red card. This week it is James Haskell’s turn in the dock following his sending-off for clattering high into Harlequins’ Jamie Roberts. Those insisting he was unlucky must have forgotten all the World Rugby directives last year specifically instructing referees to show zero tolerance towards players who, deliberately or not, catch opponents on the head.

Roll up, roll up: welcome to modern rugby’s moral maze. Bastareaud aside, the definition of serious naughtiness has never been more confusing. Catch a leaping player a split-second early in the air and you could receive anything from a penalty to a lengthy ban; clear out a ruck even a fraction too high and the same uneasy game of disciplinary roulette applies. You need the judgement of a Nasa scientist to be absolutely spot-on every time; either way an opponent will probably try to convince the referee otherwise.

The Bastareaud case, whether he was provoked or not, clearly belongs in a different category but imagine you are a member of rugby’s judiciary. Is abusing someone verbally a worse sin than attempting to gouge their eyes out? Is swearing at the referee a significantly more serious crime against the game’s core values than, say, faking injury or attempting to get an opponent sent off? Maybe the answer is a new catch-all offence, beyond mere unsportsmanlike conduct, carrying an entry-level punishment of six weeks for anyone guilty of tarnishing rugby’s good name, whether by word or deed.

The worsening picture is not all about money’s corrupting influence, either. Only last November the Scottish Rugby Union dished out a record 347 weeks of suspensions to 14 players, a coach and an official from Howe of Fife RFC following a grim initiation ceremony on a team bus which reportedly left one player with internal injuries. In September an 18-year-old Australian received a 10-year ban after striking the referee in the face during a local under-19s final.

No sport can ever be immune to bad publicity but rugby, given its physical nature, treads a more precarious line than most. The game’s traditional code of respect between players, coaches and officials – “Scrum please, sir” – has certainly never felt more frayed. To castigate everyone for the bigoted language of one individual might feel unfair but, when they look themselves in the mirror, rugby’s guardians should be honest enough to admit there is a growing problem. Never mind the moral high ground; rugby is on an increasingly slippery behavioural slope.

Taoiseach, FAI call on FIFA to hold replay

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

RTÉ.ie News: Paris French players celebrate  RTÉ.ie News: Keane & Andrews Dreams dashed by handball

RTÉ.ie News: Damian Duff Gutted after loss

more about the replay here

Articles in the Irish press

Réactions des téléspectateurs / auditeurs

Anti-Racism campaign

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

this video is part of an anti-racism campaign in football

YouTube Preview Image

The business of football

Saturday, June 13th, 2009

ON TUESDAY June 9th Real Madrid, a Spanish football club, sealed the transfer of Kaká from Italy’s AC Milan for €65m ($90m), the second-priciest deal in history. Real will also pay the Brazilian player over €200,000 a week. However, Spain’s top league spends less on wages, measured as a proportion of its revenue, than counterparts in France and Italy.

AFP

 

read more about it here

This man can save English football

Monday, October 27th, 2008

Are you a soccer/football fan ? Read this interesting article about Michel Platini and his vision of the game in the Observer, a British newspaper. The journalist evokes his career , his values and his views on  English football.