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He's pushed the ball on and left his legs in for the keeper to come and foul him. When the keeper hasn't fouled him he has gone to ground. Possibly because he was anticipating the contact and had no intention of carrying on for the ball because of this. There is a big difference between doing this and intentionally throwing yourself to the floor under no contact.

He wasn't primarily trying to trick the referee by diving under no contact, he was trying to draw the foul from the keeper. It doesn't have to be either a foul or a dive. When the goalie comes out and misses him, just play on and give the goal kick.

Any half decent footballer would try and draw the penalty once they see that goalie rushing out at that speed. The high profile of Rooney and also the pundits reactions have made this into a bigger deal than it really should be.

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He's pushed the ball on and left his legs in for the keeper to come and foul him. When the keeper hasn't fouled him he has gone to ground. Possibly because he was anticipating the contact and had no intention of carrying on for the ball because of this. There is a big difference between doing this and intentionally throwing yourself to the floor under no contact.

He wasn't primarily trying to trick the referee by diving under no contact, he was trying to draw the foul from the keeper. It doesn't have to be either a foul or a dive. When the goalie comes out and misses him, just play on and give the goal kick.

Any half decent footballer would try and draw the penalty once they see that goalie rushing out at that speed. The high profile of Rooney and also the pundits reactions have made this into a bigger deal than it really should be.

I agree with Rooney's status and the level the pundits are giving it has blown it out of proportion but he could have easily jumped over the keeper's arms and got a corner kick. Instead he becomes a laughing stock (for at least a couple days) because he chose the route of dive (easy way out), vice working hard for the ball. He probably would have gotten more credit for him jumping over the keeper's arms and fighting for the ball to score in the dying minutes. I agree that it doesn't have to be a foul or a dive, just play on and give a goal kick. But Rooney like usual was all in Dowd's face trying to fight for that penalty. And like usual, Dowd crumbled under pressure.

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So the first two UCL Round of 16 matches took place today. Chelsea has the all important away goal from their encounter with PSG. Bayern were held off the scoresheet for only the fourth time this season in all competitions by Shakhtar. To top things off Bayern has to play a man down for the last 25 mins. In my eyes, Bayern got lucky out of that one.

Tomorrow: Basel v Porto & Schalke v Real Madrid

So what is everyone's predictions for the Rd of 16 ties?

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But Rooney like usual was all in Dowd's face trying to fight for that penalty. And like usual, Dowd crumbled under pressure.

That didn't actually happen though. Dowd was running over brandishing a yellow card to the keeper before Rooney was even back on his feet.

It's important to judge each incident on a case by case basis and not on past events and your own perceptions (plural/general form of "you", I'm not singling you out VG). This is another reason why it has been blown out of proportion as each person/pundit adds fuel to the fire. No doubt when England's next matches come along at the end of March, this incident will be discussed again.

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A minority of Chelsea fans show how not to behave on the Paris metro before last nights game.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-31514168

The video is pretty shocking to watch it all play out. The Guardian reporting the following:

"Chelsea have strongly condemned a group of their supporters who have been caught on video singing a racist song and preventing a black man from boarding the Paris Métro. The footage, obtained exclusively by the Guardian, shows the man repeatedly trying to squeeze on to a busy train only to be forcefully shoved out of the door and back on to the platform at the Richelieu – Drouot station before Chelsea’s Champions League tie against Paris Saint-Germain at Parc des Princes. The fans on the train are then heard chanting a song that appears to be celebrating what has just happened and includes the line: “We’re racist, we’re racist and that’s the way we like it” while a black woman is standing directly in front of them. The club said: “Such behaviour is abhorrent and has no place in football or society. We will support any criminal action against those involved, and should evidence point to involvement of Chelsea season-ticket holders or members the club will take the strongest possible action against them, including banning orders.”

http://www.theguardian.com/football/2015/feb/18/racist-chelsea-fans-push-black-man-paris-metro (video embedded in article)

I'm wondering if The FA and possibly UEFA will get involved. I know the incident occurred outside of the ground on public transit and not on the pitch or in the stands. I know Scotland Yard is said to be asking for the public's help to ID suspects. Let's hope they catch them. This is not needed neither in football or in society.

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But Rooney like usual was all in Dowd's face trying to fight for that penalty. And like usual, Dowd crumbled under pressure.

That didn't actually happen though. Dowd was running over brandishing a yellow card to the keeper before Rooney was even back on his feet.

It's important to judge each incident on a case by case basis and not on past events and your own perceptions (plural/general form of "you", I'm not singling you out VG). This is another reason why it has been blown out of proportion as each person/pundit adds fuel to the fire. No doubt when England's next matches come along at the end of March, this incident will be discussed again.

No worries mate, I know you weren't singling me out. I agree with you marble. I normally judge each incident on a case by case basis, not by past events. But I am referee here in Canada and clear cut that was a dive. I have given bookings for that same incident here in matches I have officiated. I am just calling it as I see it. But that is why football is so great because of the debate that occurs after each match among the supporters. Nothing like it really.

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I'm wondering if The FA and possibly UEFA will get involved. I know the incident occurred outside of the ground on public transit and not on the pitch or in the stands. I know Scotland Yard is said to be asking for the public's help to ID suspects. Let's hope they catch them. This is not needed neither in football or in society.

“UEFA condemns all forms of discrimination and we are appalled by the incident which took place in the Paris Metro on Tuesday.

“However, as it occurred away from the stadium, it is outside UEFA’s remit to act. It is a matter for the local authorities to investigate further and UEFA supports any action that is taken."

Because it is not in the Stadium they can't take any action whatsoever.

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Another crazy day in the FA Cup with Liverpool coming from behind to beat Palace, West Brom and Blackburn thrash West Ham and Stoke respectively, and struggling Reading beat high flyers Derby County to all make it into the Sixth Round Proper draw on Monday.

As well, Bayern demolish Hamburg 8-0 today with Muller, Gotze and Robben all scoring a brace...not even close!

Bayern fans also held out the banner in relation to the new EPL domestic TV rights contract.

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Washington Post story on the rights deal which is 70% more than the current one.

I saw the banners being shown on live telecast and have to say the Bundesliga model is working just fabulously for the top flight and many of the regional leagues. Maybe some english clubs should take a page out of their books and adopt it for their operations. They would probably see an improvement.

I'd argue that the Bundesliga model is working absolutely miserably right now.

There's one club just keeps buying/signing the top players from their title competitors. It's an incredibly unbalanced system right now and it works towards the benefit of Bayern supporters.

Of course they're going to object to more €€€ coming into the league. Because maybe they wouldn't get to win it every year.

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So I'm a noob when it comes to European football and one of the things I find confusing is how fans rank the importance of the different titles. Is the FA Cup or UEFA Championship greater than winning the Premier League or does the Premiership hold more weight or is there really no consensus? My thinking would be the Premiership would be the most sought after title since it's suppose to be pitting the best of the best against each other, but from different surveys I've seen in news stories, it looks like the FA Cup is more coveted.

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So I'm a noob when it comes to European football and one of the things I find confusing is how fans rank the importance of the different titles. Is the FA Cup or UEFA Championship greater than winning the Premier League or does the Premiership hold more weight or is there really no consensus? My thinking would be the Premiership would be the most sought after title since it's suppose to be pitting the best of the best against each other, but from different surveys I've seen in news stories, it looks like the FA Cup is more coveted.

It depends on the clubs, to a degree. Winning the Premier League makes you the champions of England and therefore the best team in the land, but for the vast majority of teams we're not going to get anywhere near winning it - it's the exclusive property of a select handful of very rich clubs. The only chance we have of silverware is one of the cup competitions. Indeed, for lower league clubs a good cup run is not only exciting for fans and players alike but can generate more than their yearly turnover in a game or two.

Mind, the other side of the coin is that some supporters of lower ranked Premier League clubs value their place in that division above anything else - even success in other competitions, lest they become 'distractions' from the all important prize of finishing 17th and thus retaining their top flight status for at least another season. Money plays a part in that too, the financial rewards of the Premier League massively outstrip those available from any cup or European competition, which is why the league is seen as such a huge priority.

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I'm wondering if The FA and possibly UEFA will get involved. I know the incident occurred outside of the ground on public transit and not on the pitch or in the stands. I know Scotland Yard is said to be asking for the public's help to ID suspects. Let's hope they catch them. This is not needed neither in football or in society.

“UEFA condemns all forms of discrimination and we are appalled by the incident which took place in the Paris Metro on Tuesday.

“However, as it occurred away from the stadium, it is outside UEFA’s remit to act. It is a matter for the local authorities to investigate further and UEFA supports any action that is taken."

Because it is not in the Stadium they can't take any action whatsoever.

Well then lets hope both Chelsea and The FA do something and not come out with egg on their face with this one. They have clear facial photos of the perpetrators. Yes I know Chelsea have come out and condemned the action of these select few but their actions toward punishment for racism in past (two players in particular and other supporters) have been less than objectionable. But time will tell.

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It's happened; the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar will now take place in November/December. Let all hell from the Euro leagues and FOX Sports ensue now.

http://screamer.deadspin.com/the-qatar-world-cup-will-be-held-in-the-winter-1686591704/+GregHoward1

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It's happened; the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar will now take place in November/December. Let all hell from the Euro leagues and FOX Sports ensue now.

http://screamer.deadspin.com/the-qatar-world-cup-will-be-held-in-the-winter-1686591704/+GregHoward1

Oh course Grant Wahl is the one being quoted saying from "sources". I will believe it more when I hear it from other people. Sorry, Wahl is not really reputable in my books. But if it is true, there will be a quite a few domestic leagues (more than the one that Wahl states) will be affected by the announcement of November-December 2022 fixture schedule.

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A minority of Chelsea fans show how not to behave on the Paris metro before last nights game.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-31514168

The video is pretty shocking to watch it all play out. The Guardian reporting the following:

"Chelsea have strongly condemned a group of their supporters who have been caught on video singing a racist song and preventing a black man from boarding the Paris Métro. The footage, obtained exclusively by the Guardian, shows the man repeatedly trying to squeeze on to a busy train only to be forcefully shoved out of the door and back on to the platform at the Richelieu – Drouot station before Chelsea’s Champions League tie against Paris Saint-Germain at Parc des Princes. The fans on the train are then heard chanting a song that appears to be celebrating what has just happened and includes the line: “We’re racist, we’re racist and that’s the way we like it” while a black woman is standing directly in front of them. The club said: “Such behaviour is abhorrent and has no place in football or society. We will support any criminal action against those involved, and should evidence point to involvement of Chelsea season-ticket holders or members the club will take the strongest possible action against them, including banning orders.”

http://www.theguardian.com/football/2015/feb/18/racist-chelsea-fans-push-black-man-paris-metro (video embedded in article)

I'm wondering if The FA and possibly UEFA will get involved. I know the incident occurred outside of the ground on public transit and not on the pitch or in the stands. I know Scotland Yard is said to be asking for the public's help to ID suspects. Let's hope they catch them. This is not needed neither in football or in society.

The 33-year-old victim has since called for the three English supporters to be punished. His name is Souleymane S, told France's Le Parisien: "These people, these English fans... should be locked up." Even PM David Cameron and Sepp Blatter both chimed in on this matter.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-31543951

In a statement, Chelsea said it had received "substantial information" following a witness appeal.

"Chelsea Football Club is suspending three people from Stamford Bridge as a result of investigations into the incident on the Paris Metro on Tuesday evening.

If it is deemed there is sufficient evidence of their involvement in the incident, the club will issue banning orders for life.

We have received substantial information to date following our witness appeal and we are grateful to the many Chelsea supporters who have provided information so far.

Our investigations are on-going and we would request any further information is sent to customer.services@chelseafc.com.

We also continue to cooperate fully with the Metropolitan and Paris police forces who lead the ongoing criminal investigation."

http://www.chelseafc.com/news/latest-news/2015/02/statement-on-paris-metro-incident.html

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Tottenham Hotspur have won their High Court case to build their new 56,000 stadium.

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Chelsea have barred two more fans from attending Stamford Bridge following the incident of alleged racism on the Paris Metro on Tuesday, taking the total to five.

http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/31560189

http://www.chelseafc.com/news/latest-news/2015/02/further-suspensions-following-paris-metro-incident-.html

In an interview with BBC 5 Live, Souleymane S. spoke of his ordeal in the Paris Metro station.

"I felt truly wounded to the bottom of my heart that I really couldn't believe it. We're in 2015 aren't we and we're in France. We're in a civilised country and when you are in a civilised country there are certain things you can't do. For me, it's a humiliation. I was humiliated in my country. I was humiliated in front of my family, humiliated in front of my mother and father. Of course it's Chelsea's responsibility. It's their supporters. Chelsea should call my lawyer. And they haven't done that yet." PSG's Director General has already called and made contact to the the victim's lawyer on Wednesday about the incident.

A Chelsea spokesman said the club were writing to Souleymane to "apologise unreservedly" and invite him to attend a game as their guest. Earlier in the day, Mourinho told his weekly pre-match news conference: "The dressing room reacted as I did - with disappointment. They condemn the situation and support the gentleman involved. "They feel ashamed but maybe we shouldn't because these people involved do not belong to Chelsea Football Club."

Wrong attitude to take Jose...there is a reason why racism and discrimination is still present in football.

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The lowest possible league position Dortmund can qualify for Europe in is 7th, a position where they are now just 4 points behind.

Wouldn't it be incredible if they just snuck into a champions league spot by the end of the season?

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The lowest possible league position Dortmund can qualify for Europe in is 7th, a position where they are now just 4 points behind.

Wouldn't it be incredible if they just snuck into a champions league spot by the end of the season?

They'll propably do that. They learned how to win again and many teams in the top region of the table are struggling too often (besides Bayern and Wolfsburg). Also Hamburg did something similar a few years back. They also were placed on the 16th or 17th place in the winter break and still made it to the top. I can't remember if they went to the EL or CL though.

I'm looking forward to the match against Juventus next week. The '97 Champions League Final rematch will be a good indicator.

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