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Capello: Real Madrid try to injure Messi in every Bernabeu Clasico


Sergio Ramos' two-footed lunge on Lionel Messi during Sunday's Clasico was another example of how Real Madrid try and injure the Barcelona maestro whenever he comes to the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, according to Fabio Capello.
The former Blancos boss was watching on as a pundit this time around and was left with no doubts over the malicious intent behind the centre-back's actions.
"Every time there is a Clasico at the Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid players try to injure Messi," he stated on Fox Sports Italy. 
"This foul was a clear red card.
"You just have to look at it, at the tackle. It's criminal, the player is deservedly sent off."
In the ongoing debate between Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the Italian came out in favour of the Argentine after his heroics in the 92nd minute.
"Messi is a genius and Ronaldo is a great player, but it's great to be able to see what the Argentine can do, he threw the team behind him because he's a genius," Capello continued. 
"Ronaldo is a top scorer and he's very good in the area, but tonight we have seen a genius who has managed to get his team a positive result. Today I saw Messi do things that I have never seen before."
Leaving the LaLiga title race in the balance, Capello believes the key moment for Real will come in their Champions League semi-final with Atletico Madrid.
"Real Madrid are physically well and potentially have three points to their advantage, but they have two very demanding matches in the Champions League that could drain their batteries," he noted.

2017 Beach Soccer W/Cup: Iran Captain Looks Beyond Nigeria, Other Group B Opponents


Skipper of Iran's national beach soccer team, Mohammed Ahmadzadeh,  has tipped his country to finish top of Group B which has Nigeria, Italy and Mexico at this year's FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Bahamas. The 2017 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup kicks off on Thursday, April 27 and will end on May 7. On the opening day of the tournament – in Group B, Nigeria will face Italy, while Iran and Mexico will do battle.  Ahmadzadeh, 30, says that their knowledge of Italy and Mexico especially in past meetings will be to their advantage.  “I think we’re going to win the group," Ahmadzadeh tells FIFA.com. "We’re going to do everything we can to beat Italy and Mexico. We know both of them well because we’ve played them before in competitions and friendlies.”

A veteran of five Beach Soccer World Cups, Ahmadzadeh tips Iran to make it to the semi-finals in Bahamas, pointing out that the experience he garnered in past World Cups and some of his teammates will be a factor for the team. He states: “Iran are one of the top teams in the world and we’re not inferior to anyone. I’m convinced that if we can make the second round, then we’ll go on to the last four. “There are five or six of us who’ve played at five World Cups. That’s half a team with a lot of experience.” “I’ve played in a lot of Beach Soccer World Cup matches and I’ve seen the highs and lows. The team has pulled together whenever things have gone against us, and I’m going to draw on all my experience to help my team-mates and make sure we can go as far as we can.”

Makudi wins Thai ‘forgery’ appeal and says FIFA must now lift his ban


After the net had seemingly closed in on him once and for all, former FIFA Executive Committee member Worawi Makudi could be about to stage a shock comeback. The one-time strongman of Thai football, one of those who voted in the controversial ballot for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, is determined to get his five-year FIFA ban for election forgery quashed following the lifting of his conviction in his homeland. Makudi, a longtime ally of disgraced former Asian football chief and one-time FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hammam, was a FIFA executive committtee member for 18 years until being voted off by Asian federations in April 2015.

He has faced multiple allegations of wrongdoing and was found guilty in July last year by a Thai court of forgery relating to his 2013 re-election as head of his national FA and handed a suspended 16-month jail term. FIFA’s ethics committee subsequently opened a case as a result of Makudi being convicted of forgery by the Southern Bangkok Criminal Court and ended up banning him for “forgery and falsification” as well as failing to co-operate and fining him CHF10,000 in the process. FIFA said at the time that Makudi “made alterations to the FAT statutes” without approval and it was assumed he had little hope of regaining power either domestically or on the world stage. But like the proverbial cat with nine lives, he has now won an appeal at domestic level which he believes must result in FIFA clearing his name.

“FIFA must accept the decision of the (Thai) Court of Appeals,” Makudi was quoted as saying by AFP. “I do not know why they (FIFA) were so anxious to make a decision at that time, because I told them ‘Wait for the end of the legal proceedings’.” His lawyer Narinpong Jinapak told local media: “It has been proven that Worawi Makudi, the former president of the Football Association of Thailand, is not guilty as charged. He is clean. He told me after learning of the court ruling that he is very happy.”

Jinapak  said his client would now insist that FIFA lift his ban and, if world football’s governing body refuse, he would go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. In its judgement, the court of appeal in Thailand ruled Makudi was not guilty as he acted according to the Local Administration Department and did not have any intention of commit wrongdoing. Asked if Makudi would be making a comeback, Narinpong said: “He needs time to heal his ‘mental wounds’ before making a decision.”



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