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Fans invade pitch to stop Real Madrid-Roma match

Young fans cause stoppage in largely good natured invasion.

Real Madrid’s International Champions Cup game against Roma was interrupted for several minutes when the pitch was invaded by about 20 fans, one of whom was carrying a flag of Palestine.

The pitch invaders, mainly men and largely very young, ran on to the field in the 87th minute of Roma’s 1-0 win over the European champions.

The match was staged at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas and, despite the presence of the young man waving a Palestine flag, the invasion appeared spontaneous and apolitical.

Players and officials waited patiently as the visitors were rounded up and removed from the scene. Isco, who seemed unperturbed by the intruders, was even prepared to allow some of the fans to take selfies with him.

Dewsnip on Dutch double

Neil Dewsnip has praised the “first class” attitude of his England U18s squad as he aims to assist them in reaching the next level of their development.

The head coach met up with the squad for the first time on Sunday at their team hotel in Leigh in preparation for the double-header against Holland on Wednesday and Friday, the latter match taking place at Bury’s JD Stadium.

Although he says he knew he would be working with a “talented group”, Dewsnip admits he has been impressed with the standard shown by his youngsters in their short time with him.

England v Holland

International Match
3pm, Wednesday 3 September 2014
Leigh Sports Village

He said: “We’ve had a fantastic two days.

“Obviously I knew they were a talented group after what they achieved last year and me and the staff were really looking forward to working with them – and we haven’t been disappointed whatsoever.

“The tempo of the training was first class and they have really impressed me. If they can carry that over into the games I’ll be delighted.”

Despite having 15 members of the European U17 Championship-winning side included in his squad, the boss echoed the words of captain Ryan Ledson and said it’s time to move forward from that success and push on with their development. 

“That was kind of the meat and drink of our first meeting,” he added. “We congratulated them on what they achieved, and I think that is only right, and everyone at The FA is really proud of what they did.

“But what Ryan said was absolutely right and we put that to bed the other night. Individually they have to improve and as a group. Very often, the two go hand in hand and that process is ongoing.

“I think this year it’s important that the group are challenged"

Neil Dewsnip

“I think this year it’s important that the group are challenged. It’s a non-competitive UEFA year, but that does not mean to say that the fixtures we put on for the players will not be highly-competitive.

“Holland will be a real good test of where they are at.”

Two good performances against the Dutch is obviously the target of the week according to Dewsnip, but he also hopes to maintain the “winning aura” within the squad and see the players with a smile on their face.

“It’s great for England to win at every age group, so we can develop an aura that leads up into the first-team – but winning isn’t the only thing.”

He continued: “Equally important is that they play in a manner that we want them to, and that they feel comfortable in our environment – which hopefully is a good and happy one, where they all have smiles on their faces as that helps them to develop as players.

“If we get that bit right, they’ll develop individually, as a group and they will continue going forward.”

Tickets are available for England v Holland on Friday at Bury FC. Prices are £3 adults and £1 concessions.

The Cup comes to Fairford

The world famous FA Cup trophy will be at Fairford Town's Cinder Lane ground for The FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round tie against Knaphill this weekend.

Gloucestershire side Fairford kicked-off their Hellenic League Division One West campaign with a 5-4 win over Shortwood United last weekend, ahead of Saturday's FA Cup meeting with Surrey-based Knaphill, who are entering the competition for the first time.

Fairford Town v Knaphill

The FA Cup
Extra Preliminary Round
3pm, Saturday 16 August 2014
Cinder Lane, Fairford Town FC
Winners receive £1500

And fans attending the game will have a fantastic opportunity to have their picture taken alongside one of the most famous pieces of silverware in world football.

"It is a huge day for the club," said committee member Chris Tanner. 

"Everyone at Fairford is looking forward to the game and to have The FA Cup coming to Town is quite special. 

"The FA Cup generates tremendous interest for clubs both in the professional game and non-League and Saturday will be no different. Perhaps some won't have realised The FA Cup starts in August! 

"I would urge fans to come along and enjoy the day as well as showing their support for both the cup competition and grass roots football."

Tickets are £5 per person, available on the day, and gates open at 12pm before the big kick-off at 3pm.

You can find more information on the game by clicking here or on Twitter @FairfordTownFC

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Sir Bobby Robson

Sir Bobby Robson, one of English football’s most loved personalities, passed away after a long battle with cancer five years ago. 

To mark the anniversary there will be football events as part of The FA’s ‘Love Football, Play Football’ campaign in Ipswich, where Bobby managed so successfully, and other tributes paid all over the country. 

As a top-class player Bobby was a wing-half or inside-forward who could both create and score goals. He began with Fulham and was at West Bromwich Albion when he won the first of his 20 England caps in 1957. 

Sir Bobby Robson

Bobby during an England training session

It was a dream debut, Bobby scoring twice as France were beaten 4-0 in a Wembley friendly. He linked up superbly with Blackburn right-winger Bryan Douglas and it was a partnership that promised much with the World Cup in Sweden only a few months away. 

Tommy Taylor gave England an early lead before Bobby made it 2-0 on 24 minutes, converting Douglas’s low cross with aplomb. He notched the fourth too on a grey November afternoon. 

The England star had a disappointingly short spell as Fulham’s manager before commencing a glorious 13 years as Ipswich Town boss in 1969. The Suffolk side were FA Cup semi-finalists in 1975 before finally making it to Wembley three years later. 

Bobby’s Final team included five full internationals but it was the little-known Roger Osborne who scored the goal that beat Arsenal. 

Bobby’s Ipswich were Champions in Europe in 1981, winning a two-legged UEFA Cup Final against AZ 67 Alkmaar from Holland. 

Goals by John Wark (penalty), Frans Thijssen and Paul Mariner as 27,000 fans wedged into Portman Road gave them a 3-0 advantage going into the second leg. They lost 4-2 in Holland but it was Mick Mills who lifted a major trophy for the second time. 

Bobby was appointed England manager the following year. His team missed out on qualification for the 1984 European Championship but there were better times to come. Eight days after a Wembley defeat to USSR, England faced Brazil in the opening match of their South American tour. 

Sir Bobby Robson

Bobby with ex-England skipper Bryan Robson

The Brazilians were said to be ‘on a different planet’ but a John Barnes wonder goal, dribbling from the halfway line, and a powerful Mark Hateley header inflicted on Brazil their first defeat in the famous ‘Maracana’ for 27 years. 

England suffered a traumatic start to the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, dropping points against Portugal and Morocco, and Bobby delayed announcing his team until an hour before the all-or-nothing clash with Poland in Monterrey. 

But England, and Gary Lineker in particular, gave everything that their manager could have asked for and pride was restored after a 3-0 win. 

England qualified for the next European Championship in style. The match with Yugoslavia in the Red Star Stadium had to go down as one of the best away victories ever achieved by an England team. 

The Yugoslavs were thought to be difficult opponents but they were blown away as the inspired visitors netted four times in the first half through Beardsley, Barnes, Robson and Adams. 

With a battling point won against the Swedes in Solna, England edged towards the 1990 World Cup. Terry Butcher famously finished the match with a bloodied head and another England stalwart, goalkeeper Peter Shilton, stood firm as Sweden pushed hard for a late winner. 

Sir Bobby Robson

Barcelona days with Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola

Bobby’s charges went on to reach the semi-finals, still England’s best performance on foreign soil, and there was a memorable climax to their match with Belgium in Bologna. 

Two tired teams were dragging themselves through to the end of extra-time, the match still goalless, as Paul Gascoigne chipped a long free-kick into the Belgian box with a minute to go. 

David Platt, a substitute, allowed the ball to drop over his shoulder before hooking it across the flat-footed Preud’homme and into the net. Cue delirium. 

After leaving the England job, Bobby had great success at club level in Holland, Portugal and Spain. He managed Barcelona to the European Cup Winners’ Cup Final in 1997, when Ronaldo’s 37th-minute penalty was enough to beat Paris Saint-Germain in Rotterdam. 

Bobby had five years in charge at Newcastle United, the club he had supported as a boy, and then put his name and efforts into the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, a cancer research charity which has collected millions of pounds. 

The ultimate ‘Football Man’ was created a Knight Bachelor and inducted as a member of the English Football Hall of Fame.

Sir Bobby Robson

A statue of Sir Bobby in Ipswich

Chile 3-1 Australia

Chile survive a second half onslaught to secure an opening game victory over Socceroos.

alexis-sanchez

looked like they were

Date: June 13, 2014

Result: Chile 3-1 Australia

Goalscorers:

Chile:

  • Alexeis Sanchez 12
  • Valdivia 14
  • Beausejour 92

Australia:

Venue: The Arena Pantanal stadium, Cuiaba

Attendance: 40,275

Match overview: Australia have only ever kept 1 clean sheet in their 10 previous World Cup matches. That came in a 0-0 draw with Chile back in 1974. They are are the lowest-ranked nation in the FIFA World Rankings competing at the 2014 World Cup. Chile’s 6 defeats in qualification was more than any other nation competing in Brazil suffered.

Key moment: Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo produced a fine save to deny Mark Bresciano midway through the second half. At the time, Chile were floundering and Australia, led by a typically combative Tim Cahill were sniffing an equaliser.

Man of the match: Alexis Sanchez. The Barcelona man opened the scoring and was at the heart of much of Chile’s best work.

Stats: Goal attempts

  • Chile 11
  • Australia 14

On target

  • Chile 9
  • Australia 6

Corners

  • Chile 3
  • Australia 1

Matter of fact: Tim Cahill has now scored at three separate World Cup tournaments – the first Australian to do so. His header against Chile extends his record as Australia’s leading goalscorer to 33.

Talking point: Chile, tipped by many as the dark horses of Brazil 2014, showed no signs of first night nerves, racing onto a two-goal lead. But, when a youthful Australia settled, weaknesses began to appear in the Chile defence, most notably when the Socceroos utilised the aerial threat of Cahill. Jorge Sampaoli has constructed a potent attacking force, but better sides than Australia will exploit their defensive vulnerabilities.

Line-ups:

Chile:

  • 01 Bravo
  • 04 Isla
  • 02 Mena
  • 21 Díaz
  • 17 Medel
  • 18 Jara
  • 20 Aránguiz
  • 10 Valdívia (Beausejour – 68′ )
  • 11 Vargas (Pinilla – 88′ )
  • 07 Sánchez
  • 08 Vidal (Gutierrez – 60′ )

Australia:

  • 01 Ryan
  • 02 Franjic (McGowan – 49′ )
  • 03 Davidson
  • 05 Milligan
  • 22 Wilkinson
  • 06 Spiranovic
  • 07 Leckie
  • 15 Jedinak
  • 04 Cahill
  • 23 Bresciano (Troisi – 78′ )
  • 11 Oar (Halloran – 69′ )

Goals:

Chile:

  • Alexeis Sanchez 12
  • Valdivia 14
  • Beausejour 92

Australia:

Yellow cards:

Chile:

  • Aranguiz 86

Australia:

  • Cahill 44, Jedinak 58, Milligan 67

Referee: Noumandiez Doue (Ivory Coast).

CAS upholds Luis Suarez ban, but he can now train with Barcelona

Uruguayan striker will be allowed to train with his new club, but the four-month ban, imposed for his latest biting outrage, remains in place.

Luis Suarez’s four-month biting ban has been upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), but the forward will be allowed to train with new club Barcelona.

The Uruguayan took his appeal to the CAS, the final recourse in the appeals process, in a bid to overturn the four-month ban from all football activity he was given for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup.

The first match Suarez will be eligible to represent his new club will be the first El Clasico of the season at Real Madrid on 26 October.

The Uruguay striker will continue to serve a nine-match international ban but, having previously been banned from all “football-related activity”, he can now train and attend matches.

“The sanctions imposed on the player by Fifa have been generally confirmed,” Cas said in a statement, meaning the earliest the striker can return for Barcelona is 26 October.

“However, the four-month suspension will apply to official matches only and no longer to other football-related activities (such as training, promotional activities and administrative matters).

“The CAS Panel found that the sanctions imposed on the player were generally proportionate to the offence committed. It has however considered that the stadium ban and the ban from ‘any football-related activity’ were excessive given that such measures are not appropriate to sanction the offence committed by the player and would still have an impact on his activity after the end of the suspension.”

Suarez was a Liverpool player at the time he bit Chiellini but has since left Anfield to join Barcelona in a £75m deal.

The 27-year-old has been suspeneded three times for biting opponents. He was banned for seven matches by the Dutch FA in November 2010 for biting Otman Bakkal of PSV Eindhoven.  In April 2013 he was banned for 10 matches after biting Branislav Ivanovic in a Premier League match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield.

He was also banned for 8 matches in 2011 for racially abusing the former Manchester United left-back Patrice Evra.

Barcelona’s season starts at home to Elche on 24 August, meaning Suarez will miss eight games before he can make his debut for his new side.

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Scotty Cam

See what it is like to prepare for a World Cup qualifier through the eyes of an England international with Alex Scott's video diary.

As she and her team-mates prepare for their key fixture against Wales, the England and Arsenal star has been recording the week's action on the team's GoPro.

Wales v England

2015 FIFA Women's World Cup qualifier
Cardiff City Stadium
7.05pm, Thursday 21 August
Live on BBC3

You will go behind the scenes like never before. 

Inside the England dressing rooms at St. George's Park, the team bus from the National Football Centre to Cardiff, training at the matchday stadium and much more...she even calls out a fellow England international to go public with his guitar skills...

Alex has been with England all week as they prepare to take on Wales in Cardiff. 

The Lionesses need a single point to book their place at the finals in Canada next summer.

England fans wishing to attend the game can buy their tickets at the stadium at the ticket booth located between gates three and four. 

They should request the away end in blocks 202 and 203.

Tickets cost £5 for adults and £2 for concessions. It will also be broadcast live on BBC3 with coverage starting at 7pm.