Sudan lose appeal over ’14 World Cup qualifier Liverpool’s debts increase

BERNE, March 4, (RTRS): Sudan have lost an appeal against FIFA’s decision to overturn their 2-0 World Cup qualifying victory over Zambia in June and award a 3-0 win to their opponents.
The ruling, announced by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Monday, means Zambia go top of Group D in the second round of the African qualifiers and leaves Ghana struggling to qualify for the finals in Brazil next year.
World soccer’s ruling body FIFA found Sudan guilty of fielding an ineligible player after Saif Ali was included in the team. He scored the second goal despite having been sent off in their previous competitive game.
CAS rejected Sudan’s argument they had not been “properly informed” of Saif Ali’s suspension from the match.
The player was dismissed in the African Nations Cup quarter-finals, coincidentally against the same opponents, the previous February.


“The Confederation of African Football had indeed informed the Sudan Football Association (SFA) the player ... would be suspended during the next official match of the national team,” said CAS.
“The CAS also noted that, following the sending-off of the player during the last match of the African Nations Cup, the SFA couldn’t be unaware of the fact the player was suspended and, in the case of doubt, it should have confirmed the player’s eligibility.”
The decision means Zambia, who beat Ghana 1-0 in their other match, go top of the group with six points from two games.
Ghana, Africa’s best performers in the 2010 World Cup when they reached the quarter-finals, are three points behind while Sudan are level with Lesotho on one point.
In London, Liverpool’s debts have increased by 21.8 million pounds ($32.72 million), according to their accounts published on Monday, as prolonged absence from the money-spinning Champions League takes its toll.
The Premier League side’s latest accounts, which run from Aug. 1, 2011 to May 31, 2012, show the club recorded a loss of 40.5 million pounds and debts increased to 87.2 million pounds.
The club said the cost of rebuilding their squad during a period without European soccer played a large part in the debt increase and said revenue actually increased by five million pounds.


Liverpool, five times European and 18 times domestic champions, have been out of the lucrative Champions League since 2010, while they even failed to qualify for the Europa League, Europe’s second-tier competition, for the 2011-2012 season.
They did, however, enjoy success in both domestic cup competitions, winning the League Cup and finishing runners-up to Chelsea in the FA Cup.
“If you think of the period that this concerns — in that year we didn’t play in European competition but we had great success in both domestic competitions. That made up some of the revenue and, in addition, areas like our commercial partnerships continued to grow, despite a global recession,” managing director Ian Ayre said on the club website (www.liverpoolfc.com).
“Everyone at the club is working hard to ensure that we continue to transition our day-to-day operations and we have made good progress on this journey. This is testament to the hard work and dedication of our staff who work diligently every day to do the right thing for the club.”
Liverpool are seventh in the Premier League after 28 games and are 10 points off fourth place and Champions League qualification.
 

Former Scottish champions Rangers should be integrated into English club soccer in the next few years alongside perennial Glasgow rivals Celtic, Rangers chief executive Charles Green said on Monday.
Green said Wales were likely to have two clubs in the English Premier League next season if Cardiff City were promoted to join Swansea City.
He said he believed that the two big Glasgow clubs should be admitted to the English game — although not straight into the Premier League — and leave their junior sides to play in Scotland.
“The parents would play in a different league, I believe that would be England,” said Green, when asked where Rangers saw themselves in five years’ time.
The alternative for Rangers would be a place in a cross-border European league, he added.
The idea of Glasgow’s “Old Firm” clubs playing in England has been around for a number of years and has been rejected in the past by Premier League clubs. Although bringing big crowds, it would mean a couple of English teams risked being squeezed out of the lucrative top flight.
Rangers, who still draw crowds of 45,000, are rebuilding from the fourth tier of Scottish soccer under new owners after their former parent went bankrupt last year.


The club, listed on London’s junior AIM stock market in December, said they had made an underlying loss of seven million pounds ($10.5 million) in the seven months to end-December.
Rangers have recently agreed a new five-year kit supply deal with German sportswear company Puma and a one-year shirt sponsorship deal with C&C’s Blackthorn Cider. The club expect to make an operating loss this season but move into profit the following year.
In the short-term, a planned restructuring of Scottish soccer should give Rangers a quick route back towards the top of the Scottish game, Green said.
The demise of Rangers has added to the sense of crisis in Scottish soccer and various options are being examined for the 42 clubs in the professional structure.
Rangers are on course for promotion to the third tier but Green said they could be invited to join a new 12-team second tier from next season.
“If there is a cherry-picking of the twelve, there is no way they wouldn’t pick us,” he said.

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