FIFA fails with Russia punishment at weekend, football shows support for Ukraine – The Warm-Up
MONDAY’S GREAT STORIES
Football doing its part – overall
In a sporting weekend filled with tributes, statements and poignant moments amid the suffering in Ukraine, compatriots Vitaliy Mykolenko and Oleksandr Zinchenko will perhaps be most remembered as compatriots Vitaliy Mykolenko and Oleksandr Zinchenko hugging something 2,000 miles from a homeland that is under attack.
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It was a reminder that footballers cannot just stick to football, that sport cannot avoid ‘politics’ and that the scale of this crisis goes far beyond a single nation. There will be doubters out there to criticize what they might see as empty gestures in stadiums across Europe, but there’s no denying that English football has primarily used its platform to send a message this weekend, including before one of the biggest games of his calendar.
But beyond the images of Wembley and an emotional Zinchenko briefly hugging and speaking with Mykolenko at Goodison Park, perhaps the weekend will also be remembered for the sport’s governing body’s lack of action. and the lack of words of the club which was recently crowned world. champions.
Vitalii Mykolenko (R) of Everton and. Oleksandr Zinchenko of Ukraine before the Premier League match between Everton and Manchester City at Goodison Park
Image credit: Getty Images
FIFA took the whole weekend to respond to an immensely brave, selfless (given the circumstances) and unified stance from Poland, the Czech Republic and Sweden – all of whom refuse to face Russia in the next World Cup qualifiers – and then it took the Poles and Swedes FA a few moments to express their displeasure at the response.
Russia has been ordered by FIFA to play under the guise of the Russian Football Union, on neutral territory, and without the use of its flag or anthem. These measures have been deemed “completely unacceptable” by the Polish FA, who, of course, do not want to play against Russia, period. FIFA’s ‘continuing dialogue’ suggests they could still remove Russia from the competition, a move which would apparently be welcomed by the majority, but their soft punishment has been widely criticised.
Kepa on the best goalkeeper in the world
After VAR called this way and that and some big saves too, it ended in a shootout for which Caoimhín Kelleher was retained, but Edouard Mendy was dropped for Kepa Arrizabalaga – a move that backfired him in spectacular fashion when Kepa inflicted his penalty on Liverpool to win 11-10.
“We have already done it with Kepa,” added Tuchel. “He’s slightly better in penalty saves and that’s why I made the decision. Sometimes those things can backfire on you, but you do them when they need to be done, not after when people can judge you.
This may be the end of the Kepa experiment. And with Mendy coming off an Africa Cup of Nations final on penalties, making a save to help Senegal end their wait for glory, it might have been better to stick with it. to the man dubbed The Best at recent FIFA awards. Step back, huh.
IN OTHER NEWS
As the weeks and results went by, it was almost mystifying to see Leeds United still floating above the relegation zone. It may not last much longer, however.
They are the most out of form team in the Premier League having picked up a point in their last six games, conceding 21 goals in the process, and it proved too expensive a run for a man whose position would have might have been safe if she hadn’t been. for the way of defeats.
Bielsa sacked after 4-0 loss leaves Leeds 2 points clear of relegation zone
Bielsa has gone beyond being Leeds boss, he will go down as an icon for the city, but there will be no pitchside bucket in the fight against relegation. Instead, it looks like Jesse Marsch is the man tasked with saving Leeds. The announcement could even come today, and it’s undoubtedly a daunting role for the former USA head coach who only lasted 21 games at RB Leipzig.
Impossible, unless you wear blue, not to be delighted for Caoimhín Kelleher, whose journey from striker to goalkeeper to score the winning penalty at Wembley is quite remarkable!
A fairly quiet evening on the football front. There’s West Brom taking on Swansea in the Championship and a splash of European games. Tomorrow – FA Cup midweek!
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