x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Cassano on his way out from Sampdoria

An argument with the club president costs the temperamental striker dear. That and a recap of other important developments in the world of football.

GENOA, Italy // Sampdoria has decided to terminate its contract with Italy striker Antonio Cassano following an argument with club president Riccardo Garrone, news agency ANSA reported.

The argument between the pair began on Tuesday after Cassano refused to accompany Garrone to a dinner where he was due to receive an award. Cassano claims he was looking after his pregnant wife.

Garrone was reportedly not won over by an apology from Cassano at Friday's training and the club sent him a telegram early Saturday saying he had been suspended and that the team had requested to terminate his contract. If Cassano objects, the league will have to rule on the case.

The suspension also rules the 28-year-old Cassano out of the Italian team as, new coach Cesare Prandelli has said he will not call up players who are suspended by their clubs.

It is not the first time that Cassano has fallen out with management. Former Italy coach Marcello Lippi continually overlooked Cassano in the buildup to the 2010 World Cup because he felt he was a bad influence in the squad.

At AS Roma he clashed with coaches Fabio Capello and Luigi Delneri before he was sold to Real Madrid for US$6.9 million (Dh25.3m).

During his time at Real Madrid he was criticised for his poor eating habits and was fined for every gram he was over his playing weight. He eventually returned to Italy with Sampdoria in August 2007, where he returned to form and cited his recent marriage for helping him curb his temper. Sampdoria's next match is away to Cesena on Sunday.

Uefa to initiate action against former Cyprus official

UEFA have launched legal action over allegations of corruption surrounding the appointment of Poland and Ukraine as Euro 2012 hosts, the governing body announced today.

They have lodged a compliant in the Swiss courts against Spyros Marangos, a former treasurer of the Cyprus Football Association who made the allegations in German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung before telling Italian daily La Gazzetta dello Sport that he had proof to back up his claims.

Marangos, who left the CFA in 2007, claimed that money had changed hands before Poland and Ukraine won the race to stage the European Championships in two years' time.

UEFA have branded the claims "unsubstantiated" and "damaging", and in addition to their action in the Swiss courts have also lodged a parallel complaint with the Cypriot Attorney General.

Blatter admits to bidding mistake in hindsight

Sepp Blatter has admitted FIFA may have made an error by running simultaneous bidding processes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

The Fifa president Blatter yesterday confirmed the votes to decide who will host both tournaments will take place as scheduled on December 2, despite two executive committee members currently being suspended following allegations of corruption.

England are competing for the right to host the 2018 tournament with Russia and joint bids from Spain/Portugal and Netherlands/Belgium.

Australia, Qatar, Japan, South Korea and the United States are bidding to host the 2022 World Cup.

The Spain/Portugal bid to host the 2018 World Cup have denied claims of alleged collusion with Qatar, who are looking to stage the 2022 competition.

Fifa are currently investigating "rumours" of an agreement between two countries to exchange votes, something explicitly forbidden by the regulations.

Against a troubled background, Blatter reflected: "We have asked ourselves whether it has been wise to have a double bid for the two World Cups.

"I have expressed my concern that the decision to put the World Cups together was a good decision. I take responsibility for that and it was not the right thing to do.

"We are in a situation now where we have to go on."

* Agencies