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Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Mussenden Suspends Barcelona Transfer Ban

FIFA suspended a ban on Barcelona transferring players while the club makes an appeal against the sanction. You may say what does that have to do with Bermuda?

Well, FIFA Appeal Committee chairman Larry Mussenden agreed that the appeal meant the ban should be suspended.

Football’s World Body, which this month banned Barcelona from buying players for 14 months for breaching rules on the registration of minors, announced the suspension in a statement.

Barcelona has appealed against what would be a dramatic restriction on its operations and asked for the sanction to be suspended, the FIFA statement said.

The Spanish club are desperate to find a new goalkeeper and replacements for veterans such as Carlos Puyol.

Mussenden “took into consideration the sanctions imposed against the club, the complexity of the matter, the start date of the next registration period —July 1st, 2014 — and the fact that the FIFA Appeal Committee does not seem in a position to take a decision on the main issue early enough so that an eventual appeal of the club against its decision before the Court of Arbitration for Sport would still be decided before the beginning of the next registration period,” said FIFA.

Mussenden “assures that proper and adequate appeal proceedings will take place and, at the same time, that all rights of the club will be respected.” FIFA’s disciplinary committee imposed the transfer ban on April 2 after finding Barcelona guilty of “serious” breaches of rules on under-age players.

It also fined the Spanish Football Association (RFEF) for allowing the deals.

The Spanish champions were given 90 days to regularize the situation of 10 minor players.

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu described the ban as a “grave injustice” and insisted the club intend to make moves in the transfer market this summer.

There are two transfer windows in the 14 month ban, one starting in July and running to the start of the new Spanish season. The second would be in January 2015.

In 2010, FIFA imposed a similar transfer window ban against Chelsea over the signing of French youngster Gael Kakuta. It was overturned after Chelsea reached an agreement with the player’s former club Lens.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Bragging Rights for a Great Cause

North Village Community Club will be hosting a fundraiser game this Saturday, April 26th in an effort to help raise much needed dollars to help defray the hefty medical expenses of Cancer stricken patient Kamala Smith. At 31-years-old, the mother-of-two is battling cancer for the second time.

North Village President, Stephen Coddington said, “Kamala is part of the North Village family. Her husband Nakia played for our Premier Team, our Corona Team and now plays for our Masters Team. Her son Kenori plays for our Under 10 Age Group and her son Nakai plays for our Under 8 Age Group. Our hearts go out to the whole family and we sincerely hope that this fundraiser will help relieve some of the financial burden they now face due to Kamala’s illness”.

The friendly game will showcase North Village’s Masters vs. Corona teams in a battle for bragging rights. The game will take place this Saturday, April 26th at North Village’s home field of Bernard’s Park at 3:00p.m. Players will pay $20 each to play and donations will be collected.

“This promises to be a fun event and we encourage everyone to dig deep into their pockets and come out to support this very worthy cause” concluded Coddington.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Bell & Hitchin Return to Winning Ways

This was a case of the result being all that mattered as an uneventful game saw Tahj Bell and his Hitchin Town teammates grab the three points with an 84th minute Gary Wharton goal.

Manager Mark Burke has often said that there are occasions when we need to win ugly and this was just such a game. A rock hard pitch meant unpredictable bounce and it was hard to play good football.

On top of this Hitchin were playing their 8th game in 17 days and it would be unfair to have expected anything other than a tired performance. Also Bedford has improved recently and they competed very strongly but to Hitchin's credit Bell was rarely troubled.

The team news was mixed with Lewis Rolfe fit to return and Simon Martin available but Michael King was missing and Garry Jones and Callum Donnelly suspended. Rolfe shot wide in the first minute and Martin headed over the bar after Dan Webb had headed across goal. For Bedford Jordan Davis shot wide while Bell made a good save from Kelvin Osei-Addo but in truth the first half was scrappy with too many misplaced passes from both teams.

Martin thought he had scored after 38 minutes when his shot was cleared off the line but half time arrived with the game goalless. Hitchin made a good start to the second period as Matt Lench and Charlie Smith both shot over the bar but neither keeper was being seriously tested. Nick Burtenshaw replaced Stuart Pearson after 78 minutes and soon after Sam Barker shot over the bar. Bedford did not look like scoring as Hitchin defended comfortably.

It seemed a goalless draw was inevitable but man of the moment Wharton added to his two goals recently with a fine strike from the edge of the box after Webb's cross had been cleared off the line with six minutes left. Hitchin looked in control to the end and made it six points in two games completing the double over Bedford.

So while the game will not live long in the memory the win is all that matters and Hitchin now have the luxury of no game for five days! The last game of the season will be really significant with Stourbridge needing a result to guarantee their play-off place and Hitchin aiming to finish as high in the league as possible.

Monday, April 21, 2014
Smith Scores in PS Kemi Win

Smith Airborne
Jonte Smith and his PS Kemi took on AC Oulu in a game of two halves, with AC Oulu winning the first half battle and the host team felt the rhythm of entering in the second half.

PS Kemi was also at a numerically dis-advantage that they were able to overcome.

Early in the match which was dominated by the Oulu transferred to 0-1 lead after 25 minutes when Dritan Stafsula bombed a shot from 20 yards out past the PS Kemi goalkeeper Jusa Impiön.

A couple of minutes later Impiö brought down Stafsula outside the penalty area and got a deserved red card.

Moments before the break PS Kemi had an opportunity to level the score, but AC Oulu’s goalkeeper saved Smith's penalty.

The second half began with PS Kemi taking a different approach, and it paid off in the 50th minute, a AC Oulu error in the middle of the field saw Smith go on a run taking on several defendders before finding teammate Lonsille Billy, who put the ball into the empty net.

In the 66th minute, PS Kemi went in front Thomas Tyystälä fought for the ball on the touchline and his pass found Jon Dollerylle, which saw him pull off the marker before blasting the ball pass a stranded goalkeeper.

Minutes before the end of the match Smith got his name on the score sheet. Smith stole the ball from a defender and drilled a shot from just inside the box making the final score 3 – 1.
Sunday, April 20, 2014
Hall on the Bench As Burton Albion Win

Freddy Hall was an unused substitute as his Burton Albion teammates bounced back from their disappointing defeat at Northampton Town by sweeping Hartlepool United aside at the Pirelli Stadium in an entertaining 3-0 win. It was something of a landmark day as they fired in three goals at home for the first time this season and after Billy Kee had swept home the first midway through the first half Jimmy Phillips curled home just his second league goal of the campaign before Lee Bell lashed in his first of the season from a free kick just under 25 yards out.

Dean Lyness, as expected, replaced the injured Rob Lainton in goal with Hall taking his spot on the bench. Lee Bell returned in the center of midfield as Matty Palmer was rested to the bench. Alex MacDonald returned to the side on the right hand side of midfield as Jimmy Phillips switched to the left and Gary Alexander also slotted back in to the attack with Adam McGurk suffering with a groin problem.

Burton was quickly out of the blocks with Phillips putting an early chance wide after good work from Edwards. The ever reliable full back then had to do some excellent defending as a free kick came into the danger area and as it looked to be dropping for a Hartlepool player to drill home Edwards was there to complete a vital clearance.

Hartlepool were forced into an early change when their talented forward Luke James hobbled off after failing to shake off an earlier knock and that offered an opportunity for the experienced Marlon Harewood to return to the side after a spell out with injury.

After a few probing efforts Albion had the lead on 27 minutes. A long ball from his own half by Ian Sharps dropped just over the head of Alexander and fell beautifully for Billy Kee to sweep the ball under the body of Rafferty from six yards.

Kee was handed a chance to double his tally for the afternoon when Robbie Weir was bundled over just outside the box by Bradley Walker but he was just unable to get it up and over the wall and back under the crossbar.

Hartlepool were given the chance to exert some early pressure on the Burton defense when Phillips carelessly brought Duckworth down just outside the area and although the original free kick was cleared for a corner by Robbie Weir the resulting delivery was glanced wide by Sam Collins.

Again Albion did not have long to wait for a goal to come their way after a close miss and they had the comfort of a second goal on 57 minutes. Kee did well to hold the ball up inside the box and when the ball didn’t quite run for Weir he laid the ball into the path of Phillips who, from just outside the box, curled a superb shot past Rafferty who had no chance to stop it.

A slip at the back from McFadzean almost allowed Harewood in for a chance but he was forced to cross in low and Shane Cansdell-Sherriff on the cover was able to make sure that Lyness was able to clear things up.

Kee was close to a third for the Brewers on 65 minutes when he turned superbly inside the box but this time couldn’t get the connection he wanted sending the ball wide and the striker quickly sent a volleyed effort straight at a relieved Rafferty.

A quick double change for Albion came with ten minutes to go. Shane Cansdell-Sherriff limped off with what appeared to be a calf injury giving the opportunity for Marcus Holness to see out the clean sheet and Robbie Weir took a well-earned rest with Matty Palmer replacing him.

Gary Alexander earned his side a free kick twenty two yards out and up stepped skipper Lee BELL to rifle home an unstoppable effort for his first goal of the season.

A late shot from Pools substitute Jack Barmby almost threatened to ruin Albion's clean sheet but Lyness was able to hang on to the ball under his crossbar to complete a comprehensive win for Rowett's promotion chasers.
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