Olympics football: GB beaten by South Korea on penalties

Daniel Sturridge reacts after GB beaten on penalties by South Korea

     Great Britain were knocked out in the quarter-finals of the Olympic football tournament by South Korea after losing a dramatic penalty shoot-out.
Daniel Sturridge saw his penalty saved by substitute keeper Lee Bumyoung as GB lost the shoot-out 5-4 in Cardiff.
Ji Dong-won had earlier given South Korea a deserved lead with a long-range strike before GB were awarded two first-half spot kicks.
    Aaron Ramsey scored with the first but saw a second saved by Jung Sungryong.
Following the elimination of the women's team on Friday it means there will be no football medals for GB at the 2012 Games, while the future of a unified GB team at other Games remains uncertain.
It was a disappointing end to a campaign that had seen Stuart Pearce's team top their group and show signs of improvement through the tournament, but their defeat means they miss out on a semi-final tie against Brazil in Manchester on Tuesday.
Pearce had opted to stick with the same XI that defeated Uruguay in Cardiff on Wednesday but it was a less than convincing performance for long periods by GB, especially during the first half.
Jack Butland did well to make a one-handed save to turn a 20-yard strike from Ji around the post and Park Chu-young should have headed his team in front but missed the target after rising above Joe Allen at the far post.
But their promising start was rewarded when Butland failed to stop a powerful strike from Sunderland's Ji shortly before the half-hour mark after the 21-year-old had taken one touch to control a pass from Ki Sung-yueng.
In contrast, GB had offered virtually nothing going forward as they struggled to generate any kind of attacking momentum.
However, they were handed a chance to equalise when a low strike from Ryan Bertrand hit the arm of substitute Oh Jae-suk as he tried to block the shot.
Ramsey was fortunate to see his penalty squeeze under the dive of Jung 10 minutes before the break but his luck ran out shortly afterwards when GB were awarded another spot kick after Hwang Seok-ho was adjudged to have bought down Daniel Sturridge.
Once again Ramsey had a lengthy wait to take his penalty. The Wales captain this time sent his spot kick to the keeper's left but Jung got down low to save.
    If GB struggled to open up their opponents in the first half, they ran at their opponents with a lot more conviction from wide areas after the restart.
Tom Cleverley was inches away at the near post from converting a low Craig Bellamy cross and later turned provider, with a free-kick from out wide that saw Micah Richards clash with Jung in the South Korea goal.
Both players were injured as they went for the ball and were substituted after failing to respond to treatment.
There were half chances and promising moves that broke down for both teams but the next clear-cut opening came shortly after the start of extra time and GB were once again spared by poor Korean finishing.
Butland parried a strike from Koo Ja-cheol and Ji rose above the static Neil Taylor to head at goal, but missed the target from eight yards.
There was a further chance for Ji before he was withdrawn, but he once again missed with a header after a corner found him unmarked on the edge of the six-yard box.
There was an inevitability as the match crept towards a shoot-out - and even more so about the result.
The first eight penalties were converted before Lee dived to his left to deny Sturridge and Ki sealed victory with his spot kick.

Olympics football: Brazil overcome stubborn Honduras

Leandro Damiao scores two for Brazil

    Leandro Damiao helped Brazil to a 3-2 win over nine-man Honduras that set up a semi-final with South Korea.
Honduras led twice through Mario Martinez and Roger Espinoza but Damiao produced one equaliser and after Neymar scored another, Internacional striker Damiao grabbed the winner.
Japan recorded a 3-0 victory against Egypt at Old Trafford to progress.
They will face a Mexico team that reached the last four after a 4-2 extra-time win over Senegal.
Honduras took a surprise lead at Newcastle's St James' Park, when Martinez volleyed in following a fine move but, after Wilmer Crisanto was sent off for two bookable offences, Damiao touched in after Honduras failed to clear Hulk's cross.
Espinoza cut in from the right to curl home but Neymar scored with a penalty after Damaio had been fouled by Jose Velasquez.
Damiao then scored a third with a powerful finish before Espinoza was sent off.
Brazil now face South Korea, who beat Team GB on penalties, at Old Trafford on Tuesday (19:45 BST).
Japan coasted to victory against Egypt with Kensuke Nagai, captain Maya Yoshida and Yuki Otsu scoring the goals.
Jorge Enriquez and Javier Aquino put Mexico ahead but Moussa Konate and Ibrahima Balde forced extra-time before Giovani dos Santos and substitute Hector Herrera sent Mexico through.

Rubin Kazan recruit Rondon from Malaga

Rubin Kazan have signed Venezuela striker Salomon Rondon from troubled La Liga side Malaga, the clubs said on Sunday.
Rondon has signed a four-year contract, Russian side Rubin announced on their website.
"The 22-year-old player has a bright future ahead in the Russian league," Malaga added on their official website wishing their former player well.
Rondon's departure comes after Malaga announced last week they were conducting an "internal restructuring" amid reports owner Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nassar Al-Thani, a member of the Qatar royal family, wanted to sell up after only two years.
Midfielder Enzo Maresca confirmed after their 2-0 friendly defeat by Juventus on Saturday that the club had also agreed to sell Spain playmaker Santi Cazorla, whose probable destination is English Premier League side Arsenal.
Maresca also warned that losing coach Manuel Pellegrini, who media reports say is also poised to jump ship as his expensively assembled squad crumbles around him, would be a huge blow.

Fiorentina sign Aquilani from Liverpool

Fiorentina signed Italian midfielder Alberto Aquilani from Liverpool on Friday with media reports putting the fee at seven million euros.
"Fiorentina announces the aquisition of Borja Valero Iglesias and Gonzalo Javier Rodriguez from Villarreal Club and Alberto Aquilani from Liverpool Football Club," the club said on their official website.
Italian media suggested that Liverpool will pay part of Aquilani's salary, which has been put at as much as 1.7 million euros a season.
Aquilani has had a troubled time since signing for Liverpool from AS Roma in 2009, failing to establish himself as a dominant midfield presence in a team that struggled for form.
He has been sent back twice to Italy on loan over the last two years, first to Juventus in 2010 and then to AC Milan at the start of last season.
Despite good performances for both teams, in particular during his time at Juventus, neither club took up the offer to buy him and he returns to Serie A as a member of Vincenzo's Montella's new-look Fiorentina.
The former Roma striker excited Serie A as Catania boss last season and is hoping that Aquilani can help the Tuscan outfit improve on last season where they narrowly avoided relegation.

Dinamo Zagreb to face hearing over fans

DinamoZagreb Fans
Dinamo Zagreb are to face a disciplinary hearing following a protest by Bulgarian champions Ludogorets over their controversial Champions League qualifier last week, UEFA said on Thursday.
Ludogorets, who won their maiden league title in May, said club officials were the victims of racial abuse and offensive chants while cups of beer and other objects were thrown at them in the main stand of Maksimir stadium.
Croatian champions Dinamo won the second qualifying round tie 4-3 on aggregate after they scored in the eighth minute of stoppage time to win the second leg 3-2. A draw in that match would have sent the Bulgarians through on away goals.
"Dinamo are to face charges for improper conduct by their supporters," said UEFA in a statement, adding that the disciplinary board would hear the case on August 23.
Razgrad-based Ludogorets, whose protest was backed by the Bulgarian Football Union, were also angry at the performance of German referee Felix Zwayer.
Dinamo beat Molodvan champions Sheriff Tiraspol 1-0 away in the first leg of the third qualifying round on Wednesday.

UEFA may review rule that hit Spurs bid

Bale Modric Dejected
The Champions League rule which has denied Tottenham Hotspur a place in next season's competition because Chelsea won Saturday's final could be reviewed by UEFA's executive committee, president Michel Platini said on Wednesday.
Chelsea automatically qualified for next season as European champions despite only finishing sixth in the Premier League.
If they had lost on Saturday they would have only qualified for the Europa League, but their victory over Bayern Munich means that they, rather than Spurs who finished fourth in the Premier League, will compete in the Champions League.
Speaking in Budapest ahead of this week's FIFA Congress, Platini said he was aware the rule was unpopular because of the potentially huge Champions League revenue a club can lose because of another's success.
But he told reporters: "Everything can be discussed - the rules, yellow cards, but not during the competition. Perhaps in the next executive committee we can speak about it".
On Tuesday, FIFA President Sepp Blatter questioned whether Chelsea should be allowed to enter next season's Champions League because he said all confederations should follow FIFA's rules on competition winners.
Blatter told Reuters: "We had this rule in FIFA that the winner of the World Cup was automatically qualified and we abandoned it, so the winner of a competition should not be automatically qualified.
"This is the FIFA rule and if we have the same rule all around the world then this should be applicable to UEFA as well."
Platini rejected suggestions that Tottenham were being unfairly punished and that by denying them a place in the competition it made a mockery of their season.
"No, they have not been punished, they know the rules, they should have been third and not fourth, they could have finished first. Did they fight for first place?"

Ivanovic: Tough to watch Chelsea triumph

Ivanovic Munich
Branislav Ivanovic has described the emotions he was put through after being forced to watch Chelsea’s Champions league victory over Bayern Munich.
The powerful Serbian was suspended for the final at the Allianz Arena after picking up a third booking during the semi-final encounter with Barcelona.
Munich looked set for victory after Thomas Muller’s headed goal just seven minutes before the full-time whistle.
However, a Didier Drogba equaliser five minutes later was enough to see the Blues through to extra time before securing the trophy in a dramatic penalty shootout.
And Ivanovic has conceded it was tougher being a spectator during the enthralling win.
"Many times it is said that some matches are harder to watch than play, and I would say that the Champions League final is at the top of the list," Ivanovic told Sportski Zurnal.
"I was so nervous that it was hard to watch. The hardest was in extra time and at penalties. If you play, you do your job. If you sit in the stadium, you are powerless. You can just watch what is going on, you can't help your team.
"But in the end everything was superb so I was as happy as a child."
Having not taken part in the finale, the 28-year-old was proud of the spirit shown by his team-mates and insisted it was the highlight of his career.
"Once again we saw that in football you have to play until the end, until the very last minute. You can't yield for even a second," the defender added.
"We won, because we believed in ourselves. Even when Bayern scored, we were sure that we could do it. This victory is the biggest one in my life. As a footballer you live for something like that.
"We completely deserved it and I will remember these pictures for my whole life."

Schweinsteiger sorry for president snub

Schweinsteiger Gauck
Bastian Schweinsteiger was "paralysed" with disappointment after Bayern Munich lost Saturday's Champions League final and did not see German president Joachim Gauck offer his hand, he said on Monday.
Schweinsteiger apologised for the incident but said he did not intentionally snub Gauck as the team collected their medals following the penalty shootout defeat by Chelsea.
"It's a misunderstanding," Schweinsteiger said on Bayern's website.
"Anyone who puts themselves in my position and looks at the photo can see that, after such a great disappointment, I was not aware of what was going on around me.
"I was desperate, disappointed, as if I was paralysed. I didn't see the president's hand.
"I'm sorry that in that moment I left the wrong impression. I would like to apologise to the president."

Cameron basks in Chelsea's triumph

Cameron Chelsea
British Prime Minister David Cameron savored Chelsea's win over German club Bayern Munich in the Champions League final on Sunday after watching the deciding penalty shootout with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a summit in the United States.
"It's not often you get the opportunity to watch a penalty shootout between an English team and a German team and watch the English team win," Cameron told reporters in Chicago before a NATO summit.
"There are many great privileges in this job but to be able to do that with the German chancellor was a great moment - but we did hug and make up afterwards," he said.
Cameron was photographed with his arms thrust aloft in triumph while watching Saturday's final on television with other world leaders during a break in the Group of Eight summit at the U.S. presidential retreat at Camp David, Maryland, on Saturday.
In the photo Cameron was next to U.S. President Barack Obama, with his mouth open in amazement, and Merkel, who looked disappointed.
Chelsea became the European champion when Didier Drogba made the last kick of the shootout in Germany after the match ended in a 1-1 stalemate after extra time.
It was sweet revenge for Cameron after he and Merkel watched part of Germany's 4-1 thrashing of England at the 2010 World Cup on television at a Group of 20 summit in Toronto.
Cameron said he had to explain some of the finer points of Saturday's penalty shootout to Obama "and he was beginning to catch up on the rules by the time it was over."
"You've got the American president not fully understanding the rules of football, or soccer as he would call it, a very despondent German chancellor and, of course, another happy man in the room, which was the Russian prime minister [Dmitry Medvedev]," he said.
Chelsea's success was built on the millions invested in the club in the past nine years by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.
Cameron said the leaders had watched a bit of the game and then he had insisted they get back to their discussion of weighty global matters, including the euro zone debt crisis.
"I got everyone back in the room but when the penalty shootout started Angela Merkel drifted away and after trying to focus minds on what we were talking about I drifted away too, obviously suspecting that an England-Germany penalty shootout was going to be another difficult night for me," he said.
"That is why you see me being quite so elated when Drogba put that great penalty in," he said.

Champions League perfect present for Cech

Cech Trophy
Petr Cech celebrated a perfect 30th birthday on Sunday after producing another exceptional goalkeeping performance to help Chelsea land their first Champions League trophy.
The Czech had a shaky first half of the season but his revival in form has run parallel with the club's overall resurgence since Roberto Di Matteo took over as interim coach in March, and he played a major role in Saturday's 4-3 penalty shootout win over Bayern Munich.
"I said prior to the game that if we win the trophy I don't want a birthday cake and this is the best present I can get," Cech told reporters at Bayern's Allianz Arena. "It's a dream come true.
"There were six penalties and I went the right way all the time and saved three, so I was well prepared. It's incredible we have finally got the trophy."
Cech, as he has done so frequently in his eight years with Chelsea, provided an inspirational barrier in goal as Bayern dominated most of the initial 90 minutes and the additional half hour.
He saved Arjen Robben's penalty in extra time and then thwarted Ivica Olic and Bastian Schweinsteiger in the shootout amid wild scenes of jubilation among his team-mates.
"We lost the Champions League final to Manchester United in Moscow four years ago and we hoped for another chance," said Cech, who has made 87 appearances in the competition and has 89 caps for his country.
"The chance came, and in a moment when nobody expected it, we grabbed it."
Former England international Peter Bonetti has always been regarded by Chelsea supporters as the club's greatest keeper, following his 20 years of service in the 1960s and 1970s.
However, Cech has won a host of medals in his time at Stamford Bridge, including three Premier League titles, and is now rightly considered to be at least on a par with Bonetti.
Ivory Coast forward Salomon Kalou, given a new lease of life under Di Matteo after being consistently ignored by the Italian's predecessor Andre Villas-Boas, said the unity of the squad was a feature of Chelsea's triumph on Saturday.
"It was destiny for us to win it," said Kalou. "It was also team spirit and togetherness. What a wonderful moment for us."
Midfield playmaker Juan Mata has wowed the Chelsea fans since arriving from Valencia at the start of the campaign, and the club's player of the season summed up the mood of euphoria among the players.
"We are very happy," said the diminutive Spaniard. "We believed in ourselves and this is what it means to play for Chelsea. We've made history."

Bertrand offers Chelsea glimpse of future

Bertrand Lahm
There has been endless debate about Chelsea's fate once Frank Lampard, John Terry, Ashley Cole and Didier Drogba move on, but young defender Ryan Bertrand proved at Saturday's Champions League final that the future is bright at Stamford Bridge.
The 22-year-old left-back became the first player to make his European debut in either a European Cup or Champions League final in 30 years on Saturday as he helped Chelsea to beat Bayern Munich 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in Munich.
Aston Villa goalkeeper Nigel Spink was the last to achieve the feat when he came on as a 10th-minute substitute in the 1982 final for the injured Jimmy Rimmer.
Like Spink, Bertrand ended with a winners' medal round his neck after victory over Bayern Munich, and, like the goalkeeper, the Englishman played an important part in his side's victory.
In the 73 minutes he was on the pitch he acquitted himself well in what was only his eighth appearance for Chelsea, although he has appeared nearly 150 times in the lower leagues of English football while on loan at Bournemouth, Oldham Athletic, Norwich City, Reading and Nottingham Forest.
"I have been out on loan to a lot of clubs and played a fair few games now, but obviously nothing compares to the scale of what happened here," Bertrand said after emerging from the victorious Chelsea dressing room.
"When the manager told me I was playing, of course I could hardly believe it, but I knew what I had to do.
"I was getting all these flashbacks too of when I was a kid, growing up in South London, in Peckham, in Bermondsey, tough places, playing against the wall with my mates.
"And I spent time at so many clubs, I wondered at times where my career was going, but I never gave up."
Bertrand was a surprise starter in the Chelsea line-up and got his chance only because Florent Malouda suffered a hamstring injury last week, resulting in the young Englishman being asked to play in an unfamiliar midfield role in front of left back Ashley Cole.
Bertrand was resolute as Bayern fired 35 attempts at the English side's goal.
He left the field to be replaced by Malouda with the match still scoreless and the Chelsea supporters singing "one Ryan Bertrand," to cap a dream debut.
"He handled himself so well, he was under huge pressure and he didn't show it," team-mate Gary Cahill said.
"I mean he's 22, and to play with the composure he did, playing out of position against Arjen Robben and the likes of Mario Gomez, one of the most experienced wingers around, was amazing."
Bertrand, however, was keen to praise others.
"Ashley Cole has been such a massive help to me too, all the way through. It was great being out there with him, he kept his eye on me," Bertrand said.
"The atmosphere was amazing, Bayern fans outnumbered the Chelsea fans and it wasn't 50/50 in there, there was more like 70 percent of them, against us, but we stuck in there together and won it. It is just incredible."
Much has been made of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich's huge investment in the London side to achieve his ambition of becoming kings of Europe, but Bertrand's signing was not one expected to result in Champions League glory.
Having joined lower league English side Gillingham as a nine-year-old, he moved to Chelsea when he was 15 for an initial fee of 125,000 pounds which provoked considerable anger from Gillingham's feisty chairman Paul Scally.
That fee can rise to a maximum of 525,000 pounds after he has played 40 league games but with Bertrand's contribution in the final outweighing that of the expensive signings of Fernando Torres and unused substitute Michael Essien, the deal could prove to be one of Abramovich's finest. 

Bayern still waiting to crown 'golden generation'

Bayern Dejected2
Another Champions League final another defeat, time is running out for Bayern Munich's home-grown talent to claim the top prize in European club football and cement their status as a golden generation.
Bayern had set their sights on the Champions League in December 2010 when club president Uli Hoeness mapped out their target of lifting the trophy in their own stadium in 2012.
But 18 months later, that dream turned into an "absolute nightmare".
Bayern started with five youth academy products in the side and despite dominanting much of Saturday's game could manage only a 1-1 draw with Chelsea before they were beaten in a penalty shootout.
The German side have now lost two Champions League finals in the last three seasons.
"What happened to us is an absolute nightmare," said Bayern sports director Christian Nerlinger. "The disappointment has gone very deep. It is like a bad movie and it will be very difficult to digest this defeat."
Local boy Thomas Muller had given the Bavarians an 83rd minute lead but Didier Drogba levelled for Chelsea two minutes from time. Dutchman Arjen Robben's penalty miss in extra time gave Chelsea the chance to snatch the title in the shootout.
Bayern had hoped to ease the pain of a second successive season without a domestic trophy by winning the Champions League, a title that would lift captain Philipp Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger on a par with other club greats like Franz Beckenbauer and Gerd Mueller.
Germany captain Lahm had said before the game that without a major title they would never be remembered as a "golden generation."
Lahm and Schweinsteiger, who along with younger Toni Kroos, Muller, Diego Contento and suspended Holger Badstuber, came through the club's youth ranks, have also got runners-up medals from Euro 2008 and two third place finishes at the 2006 and 2010 World Cups behind them.
Bayern have also played second fiddle to Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga in the past two seasons, and lost to them in the German Cup final last week.
Lahm and Schweinsteiger, who missed his penalty in the shootout, hung their heads as they left the stadium and did not utter a word to waiting reporters.
They know that at 28 and 27 respectively time is gradually running out for that elusive major trophy.
While club success will have to wait, they will get another shot at silverware next month when they lead Germany into battle at Euro 2012 with fellow internationals Badstuber, Muller and Kroos.
"We will build the boys up. With us they can still win a title," said Germany team manager Oliver Bierhoff.

Cahill eager to begin new Red Bulls challenge

Cahill Everton2861
Australian Tim Cahill, the latest international to join Major League Soccer, said on Thursday he is eager to help the New York Red Bulls win their first title now that his move from Premier League club Everton has been completed.
The 32-year-old attacking midfielder joins the MLS's Eastern Conference-leading Red Bulls as their third top paid 'designated player' alongside former Arsenal and France striker Thierry Henry and Mexican Rafa Marquez.
"As we have seen over the past few years, MLS has developed into a very competitive league with many talented players," Cahill said in a statement.
"I am impressed with what the Red Bulls are trying to accomplish in MLS and within American soccer and I am looking forward to this new challenge."
Cahill, who scored 68 goals in 278 games for Everton after joining the club from Millwall in 2004, also has 24 goals in 55 games for Australia and played at the last two World Cups.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed but British media has reported that the transfer fee for Cahill is about one million pounds.
His wage, which as a 'designated player' is mostly from outside of the salary cap limit, will almost certainly make him one of the top earners in the league.
"He is the technical, physical presence we have been looking to add in our team and he brings a wealth of experience to our club," said Red Bulls General Manager Erik Soler.
"Tim is a proven leader both on and off the field and we believe that he can help us immediately in our quest to win the MLS Cup this season."
The deal is subject to Cahill receiving his P-1 visa and International Transfer Certificate.

Judge and attorney to tackle FIFA corruption

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FIFA named leading crime fighters from the United States and Germany on Tuesday to tackle corruption in football's world governing body and gave them free rein to re-examine the ISL bribery case.
U.S. attorney Michael Garcia, whose past responsibilities have included enforcing arms regulations and money laundering statutes, was elected to probe allegations of corruption as head of the investigative chamber of FIFA's ethics committee.
German judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, presiding judge of the Munich penal court, will be responsible for judging cases and handing out sanctions as head of the investigative branch.
Garcia was immediately asked to re-examine the details of the case involving ISL, FIFA's former marketing company, by FIFA President Sepp Blatter.
"He [Garcia] will have not only the right but the duty to have this case analysed on ethical and moral grounds and then to report back to the executive committee," Blatter told reporters.
"The chairmen of both chambers are totally independent, this had been requested by FIFA's Congress."
Blatter said that Garcia would also be able to investigate other allegations of wrongdoing in the past with no statute of limitations.
This could involve the controversy which surrounded the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar
Garcia was elected by FIFA's executive committee ahead of leading international prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the other candidate for the post, by FIFA's executive committee.
His appointment came one week after the long-awaited release of court documents from the ISL case
A Swiss prosecutor said in a legal document released last week that former FIFA President Joao Havelange and former executive committee member Ricardo Teixeira took multi-million bribes on World Cup deals in the 1990s.
The bribes were paid by ISL, which collapsed in 2001. Blatter was general secretary under Havelange and attention has centered on whether he knew about the payments.
Havelange is FIFA's honorary president while Teixeira quit as head of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) this year.
During the media conference, Blatter shrugged off questions from German reporters over suggestions that he should resign following release of the court documents.
Blatter also caused huge offence in Germany by implying in a newspaper interview that the rights to host the 2006 World Cup in the country might have been "bought".
"You have to live with that," said Blatter. "The way the media sees me or judges me, that's their businesses."
"I'm elected by the 209 member confederations of FIFA and if they no longer want me, then I will of course say thank you and I will ask no questions. But it has to be done by Congress."

Bin Hammam banned for financial wrongdoing

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The Asian Football Confederation have suspended former President Mohamed Bin Hammam after a lengthy audit of their accounts revealed fresh allegations of financial wrongdoing, the body said in a statement on Tuesday.
Bin Hammam, who is fighting a life ban by football's world governing body FIFA for bribery, was suspended for 30 days by the AFC.
The governing body in Asia said he had been suspended for "events surrounding the negotiation and execution of certain contracts and with the financial transactions made in and out of AFC bank accounts and his personal account during the tenure of Mr. Bin Hammam's presidency."
Qatar's Bin Hammam challenged Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency last year.
He withdrew his candidacy, and was then provisionally suspended, days before the June election over allegations that he had tried to buy the votes of Caribbean officials by handing them $40,000 each in brown envelopes.
Blatter was subsequently re-elected unopposed for a fourth term as FIFA president, while Bin Hammam was found guilty of breaking seven articles of FIFA's ethics code, including one on bribery.
Bin Hammam, who has denied any wrongdoing, was banned for life and subsequently lost an appeal at FIFA.
He has appealed that decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Blatter unaware of bribery pre ISL collapse

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FIFA President Sepp Blatter knew nothing about bribes paid to his predecessor Joao Havelange by now defunct marketing partner ISL until after the company collapsed in 2001, he said in a newspaper interview.
"I did not know until later, after the collapse of ISL in 2001, about the bribery," the head of football's world governing body told Swiss newspaper SonntagsBlick in an interview to be published on Sunday.
"It was FIFA who then filed a claim at that time and set the whole ISL case in motion," he added, referring to May 29 2001 when, after ISL collapsed, FIFA filed a claim for 'suspicion of fraud, embezzlement as well as misappropriation of funds'.
"When I now say that it is difficult to measure the past by today's standards, this is a generic statement. To me bribery is unacceptable and I neither tolerate nor seek to justify bribery. But this is what I am accused of now.
"The Swiss Federal Court has this week proven wrong all those people, who for years have accused me of having taken bribes. Now it is on record what I have always said: I have never taken nor received any bribes," said Blatter.
"Now the same people are trying to attack me from a different angle: 'Okay, he has not taken any bribes but he must have known.' “
"Once again, I only knew after the collapse of ISL years later. And this is because we instigated the whole matter. The people who attack me now know this is the case but still they persist. They want me out."
A Swiss prosecutor said in a legal document released this week that Havelange and former FIFA executive committee member Ricardo Teixeira took multi-million bribes on World Cup deals in the 1990s from ISL.
ISL sold the commercial rights to broadcast World Cup tournaments on behalf of FIFA. It collapsed with debts of around $300 million in 2001.
Blatter, who has been with FIFA since 1975, and succeeded Havelange as president in 1998, said on Thursday he knew that payments were being made. He referred to them as "commission" and said they were not illegal at the time.
Asked in a question-and-answer session with FIFA's own website on Thursday if he had known of payments, Blatter replied: "Known what? That commission was paid? Back then, such payments could even be deducted from tax as a business expense.
"Today, that would be punishable under law. You can't judge the past on the basis of today's standards."
Havelange is still FIFA's honorary president while Teixeira quit his post earlier this year, shortly after resigning as president of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF).

Drogba arrives to warm welcome in Shanghai

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It is not money but the big challenge in an unfamiliar land that lured Didier Drogba to China, the Ivory Coast striker said on Saturday.
More than 300 fans gathered at the Shanghai airport to welcome Drogba on his much-anticipated arrival to join Chinese Super League strugglers Shanghai Shenhua.
Drogba has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with the big-spending club for a reported salary of $300,000 a week, ending weeks of speculation on his future after he announced his decision to leave Champions League winners Chelsea.
"I decided to come here because when the club and the president approached me, I looked at the project and it came with ambitious ideas and he wants to... help football develop in China," Drogba told reporters after his unveiling.
"I know China is a great sports country so for me it was also a big challenge because it could have been easy for me to stay in Europe and go to another team, another big team.
"Really, I didn't come here with the idea of making a lot of money. I come here because it is a completely different challenge from what I have seen in Europe before.
"And that's the idea, there are many challenges but this one is a big one."
Drogba's arrival is the latest in a long list of high-profile names who have made the move to China in recent months.
Italian World Cup-winning coach Marcello Lippi is in charge of a Guangzhou Evergrande side packed full of skilful South American talent.
Drogba, who scored 157 times in 341 appearances for Chelsea making him the club's fourth all-time leading scorer, is the biggest catch of them all.
The 34-year old striker will join former Chelsea team mate Nicolas Anelka at the club struggling at the 13th spot in the 16-club Chinese Super League. Shanghai Shenhua is coached by former Argentina boss Sergio Batista.
"The results of my new team, they are not so good, not so great. But you know, the second part of the season just started and I think we have time to make some better results and to bring the club to a better place," Drogba said.
"With my team-mates, we are going to perform as much as we can. And I came here to win the league, I am not coming here as the beginning of the retirement or something like this.
"I want people to make sure and to understand that I am here to win. I am not here to sit and relax."
The fans arrived in the early hours of the morning at the Shanghai Pudong International Airport, many dressed in the club's blue jersey bearing "Drogba 11", and their hopes were also pinned on the Drogba-Anelka strike force.
"I believe that with his arrival, our results will improve significantly, because he has a good rapport with Anelka," 23-year-old Zhu Hongbo said.
"Also, we have brought in a midfield player in [Giovanni] Moreno. I think for the second half of the year, our results will improve and we can be in the top three."

Blatter urged to explain payments scandal

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FIFA President Sepp Blatter has questions to answer over a bribery scandal that has further damaged the image of world football's governing body, a group of European politicians said on Friday.
A Swiss prosecutor said in a legal document released this week that former FIFA president Joao Havelange and former executive committee member Ricardo Teixeira took multi-million bribes on World Cup deals in the 1990s.
Blatter, who has been with FIFA since 1975, and succeeded Havelange as president in 1998, said on Thursday he knew that payments were being made. He referred to them as "commission" and said they were not illegal at the time.
Politicians from the parliamentary arm of the 47-nation Council of Europe condemned FIFA for trying to hush up the affair.
"If FIFA managers - including its current President - were aware of these bribes, they should have been doing everything in their power to prosecute, rather than protect, the officials concerned," French politician Francois Rochebloine said.
He urged Blatter to come clean on his role in a scandal that occurred when he was FIFA General Secretary.
"When exactly did he become aware of these payments? Why did FIFA hide wrongdoing and fail to take action against its perpetrators? Above all, what steps will he now take to stop this happening again?," he added.
Asked in a question-and-answer session with FIFA's own website on Thursday if he had known of payments, Blatter replied: "Known what? That commission was paid? Back then, such payments could even be deducted from tax as a business expense.
"Today, that would be punishable under law. You can't judge the past on the basis of today's standards."
Brazilian Havelange, who recently celebrated his 96th birthday, was head of FIFA from 1974 to 1998. He received a payment of 1.5 million Swiss francs ($1.53 million) in March 1997 from now-defunct sports marketing body ISL, the Swiss prosecutor said.
Teixeira, 65, who led the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) from 1989 until stepping down earlier this year, took 12.7 million francs between 1992 and 1997, the prosecutor said.
ISL sold the commercial rights to broadcast World Cup competitions on behalf of FIFA. It collapsed with debts of around $300 million in 2001.
Blatter, who has been president for 14 years since succeeding Havelange, said FIFA had reacted by "strengthening our control mechanisms."
"The ethics committee, which was created in 2006 on my initiative, is a direct result of the ISL case," he said. "The reform process is moving exactly in this direction.
"To strengthen FIFA's judicial system, some important steps have already been taken with the introduction of a two-chamber system - an adjudicatory body and an investigatory body. The executive committee will appoint the chairmen of these two chambers next week."
Havelange is still FIFA's honorary president while Teixeira quit his post earlier this year, shortly after resigning as president of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF).
"I don't have the power to call him to account," said Blatter of Havelange. "The Congress named him as Honorary President. Only the Congress can decide his future."

Cameroon coach wants Eto'o captaincy ended

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Cameroon coach Denis Lavagne wants Samuel Eto'o removed as captain when he returns from suspension later this year.
Eto'o was given an eight-month ban for leading a strike last November when Cameroon refused to play a friendly in Algeria because they had not been paid promised bonuses.
In a letter to the Cameroon Football Federation, Frenchman Lavagne called for them to make a decision on the captaincy before games against Cape Verde Islands in September and October in the final round of 2013 African Nations Cup preliminaries.
"Consequently, we are requesting that a meeting be held to designate the next captain of the national team and his assistants," Lavagne wrote in the letter released to the media in Cameroon.
Lavagne also complained that his annual salary of 132 million CFA francs (about $245,000) has not been paid. He said his contract stipulated it should be paid in a lump sum.
Lavagne, who was recently warned by the federation for being disrespectful to a government minister, was appointed last year after Cameroon fired former Spain manager Javier Clemente when they failed to reach the 2012 Nations Cup finals.

NY Cosmos join North American second tier

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The New York Cosmos, a club that once featured Pele and Franz Beckenbauer, are returning to competitive action next year after a 28-year absence as part of the second division North American Soccer League (NASL).
The original Cosmos folded in 1985 after a short but high-profile existence in the original NASL but were brought back to life in 2010.
Since then the franchise has focused on merchandising and youth soccer projects and has undergone a change of ownership while rumours have circulated about a return to the professional game through the top-flight Major League Soccer (MLS).
But while MLS has said it intends to create a franchise in New York City and is searching out possible venues, the Cosmos ownership group turned to the second tier league. The New York Red Bulls of MLS play in New Jersey.
"As we continue to expand the league and help grow professional soccer in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean, the Cosmos brand and their strong ownership group are a perfect fit with us," NASL Commissioner David Downs said on Thursday.
The Cosmos, who won five championships in the old NASL, will play against some familiar names from the past with the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Fort Lauderdale Strikers both featuring in the league which was created in 2009 taking the name of the old competition which ran from 1968 to 1984.
The Cosmos said they expect to announce in the near future where they will play their home games and who will coach and play for the club.

Maradona sacked as coach of Al Wasl

Former Argentina World Cup-winning captain Diego Maradona has been sacked as coach of United Arab Emirates club Al Wasl.
The 51-year-old, who agreed a two-year contract with Al Wasl in May 2011, was dismissed following a meeting of the club's board on Tuesday.
"Following a meeting held by the board of directors of Al Wasl Football Company to evaluate the technical staff of Al Wasl under the leadership of coach Diego Maradona, it was decided to terminate the services of coach Diego Maradona and his technical staff," a club statement said.
Speculation had been rife that Maradona's days as coach were numbered following the resignation of the club's board in June and its replacement with a new one.
That change brought about the departure of chairman Marwan bin Bayat, a man who had supported Maradona.
However, after the first meeting of the new board last month, its chairman Dr Mohammed Ahmad bin Fahad, was quoted in the UAE newspaper The National saying:
"Maradona is the head coach of the Al Wasl team and he will continue for the next season. He will have complete authority over the programme for the next season. There is no change in his position."

Al Wasl failed to win any silverware under Maradona during his season at the helm, slipping to eighth in the 12-team UAE Pro League from sixth the previous season.
They also lost in the final of the Gulf Champions League to Bahrain side Al Muharraq and enjoyed little success in domestic cup competitions.
Under Maradona, Al Wasl were knocked out of the UAE league cup at the semi-final stage by Al Ahli, the eventual winners, and failed to progress past the second round of the President's Cup.
Maradona's sacking continued his modest record as a coach, in complete contrast to his playing career.
Maradona led his country to the 1986 World Cup and enjoyed domestic title successes in Argentina, Italy and Spain but as a coach he has yet to achieve any such highs.
He had brief spells with Mandiyu and Racing Club in his home country in 1994 and 1995 respectively but neither proved fruitful, and although he led Argentina to the World Cup finals in 2010 his side, including Lionel Messi, lost 4-0 to Germany in the quarter-finals.
Maradona's judgment at Al Wasl had been questioned through his decision to select goalkeeper Majid Naser for matches in the Gulf Champions League despite the player being in the middle of a 17-match domestic ban for slapping Al Ahli coach Quique Sanchez Flores after a match between the two sides.
Majid's inclusion in the side that faced Al Muharraq proved disastrous as he was sent off for head-butting an opponent and Al Wasl went on the lose the tie despite holding a 3-1 lead after the first leg in Bahrain.
A club spokesman could not confirm Maradona's whereabouts and whether or not he had been contacted with the news of his sacking.
"There is nothing to be added at the moment," he said.
Media reports said Maradona was on holiday in Argentina.

Nesta seals deal with Montreal Impact

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Italy's World Cup-winning defender Alessandro Nesta has signed an 18-month contract with the Montreal Impact in North America's Major League Soccer.
"I'm very happy to be here," the 36-year-old Nesta said in a statement released by the club on Thursday. "Despite some offers to continue my career in Europe, I was looking for a new challenge and wanted to play in MLS."
Nesta left AC Milan at the end of last season following 10 trophy-laden seasons with the Rossoneri.
He won two Champions League and two Serie A titles with Milan following his move from Lazio in 2002 and was widely regarded as one of his country's finest defenders.
He played 78-times for Italy and lifted the World Cup in 2006 after a penalty shootout win over France.
Nesta will link up with his former Lazio team mate Marco Di Vaio at struggling Montreal, who are currently eighth in the 10-team Eastern Conference with five wins from 19 matches.
"Upon visiting my friend Marco to see him play his first game with Montreal, I met great people in this club. I really liked what I saw and I was convinced Montreal was where I wanted to be," Nesta said.
Impact coach Jesse Marsch was desperate to get the defender into action and help drag the team away from the lower reaches of the table.
"It's an incredible opportunity for our club to add a defender of his talent. We are very anxious to get him into our lineup because he will make us better on every level," Marsch said.

Beckham banned for losing his cool

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Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder David Beckham has been suspended for a game for "confrontational and provocative behaviour" near the end of last week's loss to the San Jose Earthquakes, Major League Soccer (MLS) said on Thursday.
The actions by Beckham, who was also fined an undisclosed amount, occurred during and immediately after his team's 4-3 loss and were considered unacceptable and detrimental to the league's public image, MLS said in a statement.
With under a minute remaining in stoppage time, an impatient Beckham kicked a ball San Jose's Sam Cronin, who was lying on the pitch. The ball hit Cronin and referee Hilario Grajeda, resulting in a yellow card for Beckham.
The infraction earned Beckham, who had to be separated from opposing players after the final whistle, an automatic one-game ban for yellow card accumulation, which he served earlier this week.
The 37-year-old former England captain, who has been ommitted from Britain's squad for the London Olympics, will serve his one-game ban on Sunday when the Galaxy visit the Chicago Fire.
Thursday's ban was the latest blow in what has been one of the more trying weeks of Beckham's career.
The former Manchester United, Real Madrid AC Milan and England midfielder had been expected to be included as one of the three over-age players in Stuart Pearce's team for the London Games.
Chief London Olympic organiser Sebastian Coe is to discuss a "Games time role" with the globally recognised sports figure, who played an ambassadorial role in London winning the Olympics. 

Kanoute latest big name to head for China

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China's growing popularity as the preferred destination for ageing former English Premier League players shows no sign of slowing with striker Frederic Kanoute completing a move to Beijing Guoan, the Chinese Super League side said.
The Beijing club said in a brief statement on Saturday that the 2007 African Footballer of the Year had completed his move but gave no details of the contract. Kanoute's former club Sevilla said the 34-year-old had agreed a two-year deal with Beijing.
Malian Kanoute spent seven successful years in Spain after plying his trade at English clubs Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United. Beijing Guoan are currently third in the Chinese Super League and face leaders Guangzhou Evergrande later on Sunday.
The transfer adds to the ever growing list of big foreign signings made by Chinese clubs in recent times.
Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba recently followed his former Chelsea team-mate Nicolas Anelka in making a lucrative move to big-spending Chinese Super League strugglers Shanghai Shenhua.
Another African striker - Blackburn Rovers and Nigerian forward Yakubu Aiyegbeni - is close to completing a move to Super League side Guangzhou Fuli, according to media reports.

Japan extends coach Zaccheroni's contract

Japan have extended national football coach Alberto Zaccheroni's contract with a view to having the Italian guide the Asian champions through the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil, according to local media reports.
The 59-year-old was appointed in August 2010 on a two-year contract with the provision of an extension. Under his leadership Japan won a record fourth Asian Cup title last year and are through to the fourth qualifying round for Brazil.
Japan's football association had offered him a one-year rolling contract which would be terminated if Japan failed to make it to Brazil, the Kyodo news agency reported.
Japan top the five-team Asian Group B on seven points from three games.

Shanghai Shenhua confirm Moreno signing

Moreno Racing
Colombian attacking midfielder Giovanni Moreno has signed for Shanghai Shenhua, the Chinese Super League club confirmed on Sunday.
Moreno, who flew to China on Friday, will join Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba and former France forward Nicolas Anelka at the ambitious Chinese club led by former Argentina coach Sergio Batista.
"The agreement is signed. The two sides signed a two-plus-two-year contract," Shenhua said on their website.
According to media reports, the deal - two years plus a possible two-year extension - is worth some $9 million.
Moreno, 25, joined Argentina's Racing Club from Colombia's Atletico Nacional in July 2010.
His first championship in Argentina, the Apertura in the first half of the 2010/11 season, was his best. Creative, with silky skills, he was widely regarded as the best player in the country, especially with Boca Juniors' Juan Roman Riquelme out for most of the tournament through injury.
However, in Racing's opening match of the Clausura in February 2011, Moreno damaged knee ligaments and he was out for more than six months, missing the Copa America in Argentina last July.

Kewell quits Melbourne for family reasons

Kewell Melbourne
Australia forward Harry Kewell has quit Melbourne Victory after just a year at the A-League club after deciding to return to England for family reasons.
The 33-year-old former Leeds United, Liverpool and Galatasaray playmaker scored eight goals in his first season in his home domestic league and had been expected to sign another deal.
"It was one of the toughest decisions we've had to make," Kewell said from England in a Football Federation Australia (FFA) news release.
"I enjoyed playing for Victory and living in Melbourne, but family comes first and together we made a decision that it was best for us to remain close to our family at this time."
Kewell, who left Australia for England when he was 15 and is married to an English actress, was Australia's first genuine world class soccer talent and his signing was a huge boost for the A-League.

Drogba joins Anelka at Shanghai Shenhua

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Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba ended weeks of speculation about his future on Wednesday by following his former Chelsea team-mate Nicolas Anelka in making a lucrative move to big-spending Chinese Super League strugglers Shanghai Shenhua.
Drogba had been tipped to make the move to the Far East since he announced last month he was leaving Chelsea after scoring the decisive penalty for the London club in their Champions League final shootout victory over Bayern Munich.
The 34-year-old would join up with his new team-mates in July once his contract with Chelsea expired on June 30, Shanghai said in a statement on Wednesday.
"I have studied all the offers I had during the past few weeks and I have the feeling that going to Shanghai is the right direction for me now," Drogba said on his website.
"I am looking forward to that challenge, to discover a new culture and I am very enthusiastic about the development of the Chinese football league."
Shanghai will be hoping the Ivorian, nicknamed 'The Beast' in China, can make an instant impact and help the side arrest a dismal start to the campaign which has left them sitting 12th in the 16-team league despite heavy investment.
After forking out huge sums for former France international Jean Tigana they sacked the manager after a poor start with Anelka taking over coaching duties only to be reluctantly replaced by former Argentine boss Sergio Batista.
No financial details of the two-and-a-half-year contract were revealed by Drogba, or the club, but widespread media reports said the Ivory Coast striker would receive in the region of $300,000 a week.
Whatever the cost, his signing is another coup for the reinvigorated Chinese Super League.
After years of negative headlines brought by match-fixing scandals which hit its credibility and led to jail terms for former Chinese football chiefs, signings of high profile names like Drogba are now drawing attention for all the right reasons.
Ambitious Shanghai owner Zhu Jun posted a photo on his microblog site of Drogba and the club director Zhou Jun posing with a Shenhua shirt, with the caption "Our warmest welcome," shortly after the powerful forward announced the move.
"The twin guns of Chelsea will now don the jerseys of Shanghai Shenhua to do battle at Hongkou Stadium," Shanghai said on their website.
"This scene would perhaps only be played out on a fantasy football game. But today, this dream has become a reality. With hard work and determination, a dream will always become reality one day."
Drogba's arrival is the latest in a long list of high-profile names who have made the move to China in recent months. Italian World Cup winning coach Marcello Lippi leads a Guangzhou Evergrande side packed full of skilful South American talent.
But Drogba, who scored 157 times in 341 appearances for Chelsea making him the club's fourth all-time leading scorer, is perhaps the biggest catch.
Having left Olympique Marseille to join Chelsea in 2004 he won everything in England and his strength and speed made him a handful for world class defenders to deal with.
He spearheaded Chelsea's Champions League title run scoring a brilliant headed equaliser in the final to force extra time and the shootout, showing he is still more than capable of producing at the highest level at a top European club.
However, the arrival of Drogba in a country more than prepared to flex its financial muscle could pave the way for more big names to shun the sport's traditional powerbase of Europe for East Asia.

Drogba promises 'interesting' move imminent

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Outgoing Chelsea striker Didier Drogba promised an imminent announcement of his "interesting" move to a new club but would not confirm heading for the big-spending Chinese team Shanghai Shenhua.
"The next step is going to be an interesting one and I think soon I'm going to announce it," Drogba, on his first visit to India for a promotional event, told the moderator of a packed news conference on Sunday.
"For now, I'll just ask you to wait a few moments."
Organisers of the news conference would not take questions from reporters on Drogba's move.
Shanghai Shenhua coach Sergio Batista has confirmed the Chinese Super League club was negotiating with the prolific 34-year-old Ivory Coast international.
"There is a big possibility he will come [to Shenhua] but it will depend on the hard work the club puts into bringing him here," the former Argentina coach said on Thursday.
Tightlipped about his future, Drogba, however, spoke fondly of his days in Chelsea and his decision to leave the club on a high, having scored the winning penalty in last month's shootout victory over Bayern Munich in the Champions League final.
"I took my decision after the Champions League. I took my time because I didn't want to take a too quick decision," he said.
"It was important for me to achieve what I did in Chelsea. I have been the top scorer twice. Winning the Champions Trophy, winning the Premier League...I won everything and I'm proud. It's good to go out at the right time and I think it was the right time."
Drogba looked almost in a trance as he recalled slotting home the decisive penalty in the Champions League final shootout.
"The scenario was like from a movie by [Alfred] Hitchcock, you know, a lot of different emotions," he said.
"It was like a lottery. When I had the chance to score the goal, I went through different emotions from the time I started walking to the penalty spot.
"Many things came to my head but I tried to stay cool and score for my friend Peter Cech who had been amazing that day, saving three penalties."
That victory in Munich's Allianz Arena also meant Roberto Di Matteo would remain the most memorable Chelsea manager, said Drogba.
"We have had so many managers and all of them brought something special to Chelsea. All of them I think were part of our success," Drogba said when asked to name the best manager he has played under at Stamford Bridge.
"When [Jose] Mourinho came, he built up the spirit that we kept all these years and when Carlo Ancelotti came, he also brought another way of playing and thinking. So it's difficult to choose one.
"The one who would be remembered most I think is Roberto Di Matteo for winning the Champions League. The club was waiting for that."

Kuba reveals tragedy behind celebration

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Behind the glowing headlines about the scorer of the most brilliant goal at Euro 2012 lies the dark story of an 11-year-old boy who witnessed his father stabbing his mother to death.

Poland midfielder and captain Jakub Blaszczykowski has lived with the horror for more than 16 years.
"This was something I wanted to forget about. But there are things that you can't escape from," the player, known as Kuba, told public TV in a rare interview aired again this week.
Born in a small village in southern Poland, Kuba almost gave up football after the tragedy but thanks to the encouragement of his uncle, former Poland captain Jerzy Brzeczek, he resumed training three months later.
For years he was stuck playing in youth teams in Poland's lower leagues before then champions Wisla Krakow plucked him from obscurity at the age of 19. Within a year he had won his first international cap.
"I lost my reason for living. But I returned to the right path because of my uncle and my grandmother," Blaszczykowski said.
Blaszczykowski has often referred to the role of his grandmother Felicja who raised him after his father was imprisoned and he dedicates every goal he scores to his mother's memory.
That was evident when he fell to his knees and raised his eyes and hands to the sky after smashing in a superb equalising goal for the co-hosts in their politically-charged Group A match against Russia on Tuesday.
"I am perfectly certain that my mother is watching over me up there," he said.
Kuba's father Zygmunt was released from prison a couple of years ago but died shortly before Euro 2012.
The Borussia Dortmund player, along with his older brother Dawid, attended the funeral even though they did not keep in touch with him after the tragedy.
Blaszczykowski is an unusual footballer in many ways, dipping in and out of the celebrity lifestyle.
The handsome 27-year-old was the recent face of a Hugo Boss advertising campaign in Poland and at the same time is involved in Polish popular Catholic movement "I am not ashamed of Jesus."
His stunning strike earned Poland a vital point against the Russians and kept them on course for a place in the quarter-finals but he was keen to play down his role.
"I really do approach this with some distance. Every single game has its hero," he told the broadcaster TVN24.
"What happened yesterday, it is already insignificant. Saturday's game (against the Czech Republic) - that's what counts now."

Lengthy bans requested for Bonucci and Pepe

Bonucci Juventus
Italy's football federation (FIGC) prosecutor has asked for a three-and-a-half year ban to be imposed on Juventus and Italy defender Leonardo Bonucci and one year for winger Simone Pepe over match-fixing, the federation said Friday.
Both played key roles in helping Juventus win Serie A last season.
Bonucci, who also helped Italy reach the Euro 2012 final, is accused of helping to fix the result of a match when he played for Bari in May 2010. The game against Udinese ended 3-3.
Pepe, who was playing for Udinese in the same match, faces a lesser charge of failing to report the alleged fix. Both players deny wrongdoing. The FIGC said its tribunal aims to reach a verdict before the end of next week.

Masiello handed 26-month ban for match-fixing

Former Bari defender Andrea Masiello, now with Atalanta, was banned for 26 months on Friday for his part in the latest match-fixing to hit Italian football.
Promoted Sampdoria were docked one point for the forthcoming Serie A campaign and fined 30,000 euros and Bari, who play in Serie B, were docked five points and fined 80,000 euros.
All the suspensions were handed down after the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) tribunal investigating the Calcioscommesse match-fixing scandal, the latest to hit Italian football, accepted plea bargain offers from the defendants.
Former Bari team-mates Alessandro Parisi, Marco Rossi and Marco Esposito were also suspended.
Parisi, who played for Torino in Serie B last season and is now a free agent, will serve a two-year ban, Rossi one year and eight months and Esposito three months and 10 days. The trio were also fined.
Attention focused on several Bari games in the 2010/11 season, when the team was still in Serie A, including one in May last year against local rivals Lecce. Bari, already relegated, lost that match 2-0 with Masiello scoring an own goal in the 80th minute.
Prosecutors believe an international gambling ring paid players to throw matches. Dozens of current and former players in teams ranging from the Serie A top division down to the lower leagues may have been involved, according to investigators.
The most high-profile case involves Juventus coach Antonio Conte who will go to a full sporting trial after his plea bargain offer of a three-month ban was rejected on Wednesday.
Conte, who led Juventus to the Serie A title last season, is accused of failing to report match-fixing in two games in the 2010/11 season when he was coach of Siena, then in Serie B.
Siena had six points deducted on Thursday, a penalty which will also be applied in the 2012/13 season.