Sunday, October 14, 2012

Suarez Hits Back At Fifa's Jim Boyce

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has said Fifa Vice-President Jim Boyce just "wanted to get publicity" with his remarks about the Uruguayan.

Boyce said an incident involving Suarez in the Reds' game against Stoke was "nothing less than cheating" and called simulation a "cancer" in the game.

But Suarez has said: "This guy [Boyce], I've no idea who he is.

"I don't know why he has been talking about me. He certainly can't be well-known and he wants to get publicity."

The 25-year-old who played for his country in Friday night's 3-0 World Cup qualifying defeat by Argentina, went on to tell Argentine radio: "Let him carry on talking. My job is to play football and to try to do so in the best way possible.

"What he has said does not affect me. I am not interested in what he has to say. It's been important to have the support of the Uruguayan FA and the people.

"I have lived through a lot in the past year, with people saying things about me, but I have continued playing and proving my job is what happens on the pitch."

Boyce's remarks prompted the Uruguayan Football Association (AUF) to write to Fifa defending their player and demanding that the 68-year-old Northern Irishman, who is Britain's representative on Fifa, be referred to the governing body's ethics committee.

The letter, signed by the organization’s president Sebastian Bauza and general secretary Anibal de Olivera, described Boyce's remarks as "at odds with the principles of world football governing".

It continued: "The code of ethics of Fifa, in its article three, clearly states: 'Officers should be aware of the importance of their role and the obligations and responsibilities that entails.'

"Deliberately ignoring his position and role, Mr. Boyce has referred specifically to a football player, encouraging and provoking hostility towards him."

The letter also included a list of six steps the AUF wants Fifa to take, including withdrawing its confidence in Boyce and expressing its regret to Suarez.

Liverpool Keen On Hooper

Gary Hooper’s contract talks with Celtic have broken down, leaving the door open for Liverpool to sign the striker.

The Reds have only one recognizable striker fit, after Fabio Borini’s foot injury whilst on international duty with Italy, and believe the 24-year-old could solve their striker problems.

Hooper, who joined the Bhoys from Scunthorpe in 2010, has been in fine form for Neil Lennon’s men, with many believing his goalscoring exploits in the Champions League should have lead to an England call-up.

But contract talks with the Celtic Park side have stalled, and Liverpool are now eyeing a January transfer move for the former Southend United star.

talkSPORT understands Hooper is upset that numerous promises have been broken by the club regarding the new contract.

Ilicic Coy On Liverpool Link

Palermo attacking midfielder Josip Ilicic has remained coy on his future amid suggestions that Liverpool is monitoring him.

It has been reported that the Premier League club sent scouts to watch him during the Sicilian club's Serie A games against Genoatwo weekends ago.

The scouts are also said to have kept an eye on Genoa defender Andreas Granqvist at the Marassi, but Ilicic brushes aside any potential move for him to Liverpool as of now.

"New rumours about my future? Nothing new, everything is quiet on this front," the 24-year-old told Sport Press. "But it is normal for me that there are rumours. One day you are linked with one club, another day with another club.

"That is normal, but I am still at Palermo. I am only thinking about my team. The summer is well over and the transfer window reopens in January, which is far away.

"Now I am a Palermo player, I don't know what will happen in the future. We will see."

Liverpool Deny Approach For Italian Striker

Liverpool has denied they approached Alessandro Del Piero about a proposed move to Anfield, after the Juventus legend claimed he rejected the Reds in order to respect those who died in the Heysel disaster.

Del Piero became a free agent at the end of last season following 20 years as a Juventus player and ended up leaving Italy for pastures new by joining Sydney FC, but said he had attracted interest from Liverpool.

The 37-year-old said he considered the offer from Liverpool but decided against a switch to Anfield as the feelings among some Juventus fans with regards to Heysel remain so raw.

"Why I said no to Liverpool? Negotiations with Sydney were already advanced and then I thought about what happened at Heysel," Del Piero told Gazetta dello Sport, in reference to the incident which saw 39 Juventus fans lose their lives.

"Juve and Liverpool were able to rebuild the relationship, but for many people that tragedy is an indelible memory. I thank all the clubs which wanted me, but I'm convinced of my choice."

Liverpool, however, has since responded to the veteran striker's comments and insists no contact was made as Brendan Rodgers scoured the market for goalscoring reinforcements.

"No attempt was made to sign Alessandro Del Piero," a club spokesperson told the Daily Mail.

"Nobody at Liverpool spoke to the player or his representatives at any stage about the possibility of him joining the club."

The recruitment of another striker remains a priority for Liverpool in the January transfer window, and the Reds will be even lighter in that department between now and the New Year after an injury to Fabio Borini.

The Liverpool forward sustained a broken foot in training with the Italy under-21s and could be sidelined for three months of the season.

Liverpool In Striker Crisis As Borini Fractures Foot

The worst start to a Premier League season for Liverpool has been compounded by the injury of summer signing Fabio Borin leaving them with just Luis Suarez as their only recognized striker.

The injury occurred as Borini was training in preparation for Italy's Euro 2013 under 21 play off with Sweden in Pescera hen he suffered the injury to his scafoide bone and taken to hospital for X-rays.

At present there is no news on how long Borini will be sidelined for however it is thought that it is more likely to take months rather weeks for the Italian to return to first team action which will leave the Merseysider's very short of attacking options.

This may not be as bad a blow as it appears as Borini's start to life at Liverpool has not bee one to write home about as he current has a pass completion rate of 76%, which is the worst in Liverpool's outfield squad and if having just about as many shots as Stewart Downing did at this point last season.

However, even if Borini's impact has been minimal his injury will cast more pressure on striker Luis Suarez to perform well and score goals, should he pick up an injury it would leave Liverpool in real trouble.

Shelvey Savours Senior Debut

Jonjo Shelvey is bracing himself for a return to England's U21 squad but is desperate to taste more of the big time after making his senior debut against San Marino.

The Liverpool midfielder was set to feature in Friday's U21 European Championship play-off first leg against Serbia but his suspension, along with injury to Frank Lampard for the seniors, meant a call-up to Roy Hodgson's squad instead.

He impressed off the bench as England eased to a 5-0 win in their World Cup qualifier but may have to wait for a second chance.

The 20-year-old is available for the youngsters' return match in Krusevac on Tuesday but Steven Gerrard is one of several experienced players set to return for the senior team's crunch trip to Poland on the same night.

"I don't know what's happening now; whether I'm going to be going back to the U21s or staying," Shelvey said.

"Hopefully, (Hodgson's) got me in his plans for future call-ups.

"I started the week a little bit nervously, not in a training sense but in and around the hotel. But, as the week went on, I got more and more confident.

"My dad's always said that hopefully one day I'll play for England and it's come true now. It's what dreams are made of."

Lucas Won't Rush Reds Return

Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva has vowed not to rush his return to action from his latest injury.

Lucas is currently recovering from a thigh injury he picked up in the second game of the season against Manchester City after spending most of last season on the sidelines with a serious knee injury.

The Brazil international is not expected to return to action until November at the earliest and Lucas insists he will only return to action when he feels he is ready.

"It's been the worst experience of my career because I've never had experience of injuries," Lucas told the club's official website. "The knee injury was bad because it's a long-term injury and I had to recover for seven, eight months. But this one has been worse, because I'd got so close. I was feeling well, feeling fit. To have to wait again and start another rehab, it's been very difficult.

"I've just got to try and be positive. There is nothing I can do, just try to get right again and not rush, be with the family and try to be strong.

"It's important not to rush, to get back when I really feel able to play 100 per cent."

Pacheco Eyes Liverpool Success

Spanish winger Daniel Pacheco is determined to prove himself at Liverpool this season.

Pacheco has been on the books of Liverpool since 2009, but has failed to secure a regular starting berth, playing on loan for Norwich City and Rayo Vallecano over the past one and a half years.

Pacheco has made just two competitive appearances under Brendan Rodgers this campaign, and is keen to impress his manager as the season progresses.

"I am trying to work very hard to get into the team," the 21-year-old told Liverpool's official website.

"I've played a few games and I think I did quite well, so hopefully by working every day and playing in games with the U21s, I can get back into the team and play a few more games.

"I hope this is a new opportunity for me. I want to try my best. We have already seen he is giving a chance to the youngsters, so hopefully I will get one in the next few games.

"I think every season is a crucial season for everyone, but maybe because I haven't played that many games in the last seasons, maybe this is the one I can break into the first team - and I'll try my best to try and make that happen."

Pacheco also revealed how he could have been sent on loan to a Spanish club in the summer.

"We've spoken about my situation," he said. "In the summer, I was supposed to go on loan to Spain but it didn't happen.

"I went to talk to him [Rodgers] and he was very honest with me. He said he would treat me as a professional and an adult. He has given me the chance to try and impress him - so now it is my job to try to do my best.

"His style is definitely a style that suits me. It's the way we like to play in Spain and I've been playing all of my life. We have shown already we are playing good football and I am sure the results will come."

Liverpool Welcome 'Massive' IPCC Investigation

Liverpool has welcomed the announcement of "massive" investigations into the Hillsborough disaster as a significant step in the campaign for justice for the families and survivors.

The new investigation will study possible crimes committed by South Yorkshire police officers and others in relation to the disaster.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission and Director of Public Prosecutions announced on Friday that they will study evidence relating to how the 96 fans died and decide if there should be any charges of manslaughter, perjury or perverting the course of justice.

The IPCC and DPP will also look into whether there was a cover-up by the police officers who investigated the handling of the Hillsborough tragedy.

Officers will also be investigated to see whether they perverted the course of justice by providing incorrect information to journalists, which led to incorrect newspaper stories about Liverpool fans during the tragic events of April 15, 1989.

"We welcome recent announcement by the Independent Police Complaints Commission and Director of Public Prosecutions," said Ian Ayre, Liverpool's managing director on their official website.

"This is another significant step forward in the campaign for justice for Hillsborough families and survivors.

"We will follow the progress of this investigation and remain resolute in our support of the families and survivors as they continue with their battle to bring those responsible for the tragedy to justice."