Is FIFA too soft on racism in football?

By August 05, 2019
Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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  • Odriozola making instant impact on Bayern Munich boss Flick Odriozola making instant impact on Bayern Munich boss Flick

    Bayern Munich boss Hansi Flick has already been impressed by Alvaro Odriozola, just two days after his arrival from Real Madrid.

    The full-back joined the Bundesliga champions this week on loan until the end of the season, having made only five appearances in 2019-20 under Zinedine Zidane.

    Flick will have Joshua Kimmich available for Saturday's game against Schalke after the Germany star returned from a ban, but Odriozola appears to be under consideration to make his debut despite having had relatively few training sessions with his new team-mates.

    "I'll leave it open," Flick said on Friday. "He's making a very good impression, he's a good player. He's an attack-minded defender, he can introduce speed, he's very agile, his crosses are good.

    "I'll decide at short notice. We have another option now, which makes us more flexible."

    Regardless of whether Odriozola gets his debut at full-back, Flick is prepared to throw Kimmich straight back into action.

    "Joshua Kimmich is a role model," he said. "He's 100 per cent motivated in every training session, he always gives it everything, he always wants to learn more and improve. I really like this trait. He'll play."

    Flick, who says Lucas Hernandez is making "good progress" in his injury recovery and could be in contention to make the matchday squad, is eager not to become distracted by the form of Bayern's title rivals.

    Bayern are four points behind leaders RB Leipzig, one ahead of Borussia Monchengladbach and just two above Borussia Dortmund and Schalke heading into matchday 19.

    "I was very impressed by Schalke's display against Gladbach, how they pressed, how well they built up their attacks and that they won deservedly. It'll be a very tough match," he said.

    "We're aware of the situation. We must focus on ourselves, it's important to live up to our full potential. We mustn't look at our rivals. They're all fired up and see a chance of winning the championship title this year.

    "We must make sure we perform well and live up to our full potential in every match. Then it'll be like in the last few years: whoever wants to win the title must beat us."

    Dortmund have strengthened this month with the signing of Erling Haaland, who scored a debut hat-trick in the 5-3 win over Augsburg, while Juventus midfielder Emre Can has been linked with a move to Signal Iduna Park.

    "I've known Emre Can for a long time. He is a top professional with an excellent career," said Flick. "He has the quality to play for every Bundesliga club. He'd be good for every team.

    "Haaland's debut was obviously impressive. That tells you everything about him."

  • Inter wing-back Lazaro joins Newcastle on loan Inter wing-back Lazaro joins Newcastle on loan

    Newcastle United have completed the signing of Inter wing-back Valentino Lazaro on loan until the end of the season.

    The Austria international, who can also play as a winger, joined Inter from Hertha Berlin at the start of the season but struggled to establish himself at San Siro, starting only three Serie A matches.

    Lazaro was subsequently linked with Newcastle and Bundesliga leaders RB Leipzig, and he became the Premier League club's second January signing – after Nabil Bentaleb ​– on Friday.

    Bentaleb joined on loan from Schalke with an option to buy, but Newcastle confirmed only the temporary deal for Lazaro – despite reports he could sign for £20million (€23.5m) at the end of the campaign.

    "I'm very happy to be here and can't wait to meet all my team-mates, get out on the training pitch and hopefully get a lot of victories in the future," Lazaro told the Magpies' official website.

    "I've only heard great things about the club. I've had good talks with the coach, so I feel very happy to be here now. Those conversations convinced me that this is the right place for me to come."

    Lazaro's opportunities at Inter were further hindered this month by the arrivals of wing-backs Ashley Young and Victor Moses.

    Meanwhile, Newcastle have also been linked with a move for Tottenham left-back Danny Rose following injuries to Jetro Willems and Paul Dummett.

    Head coach Steve Bruce told reporters on Friday: "He's a quality player and a class act, the kid. Whether it's possible, who knows?"

  • Arteta '50-50' on Arsenal transfers but confident Aubameyang is happy Arteta '50-50' on Arsenal transfers but confident Aubameyang is happy

    Mikel Arteta described his confidence in Arsenal signing new players this month as "50-50", but he appears confident Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is not about to leave the club.

    Calum Chambers has suffered a serious injury, while Arsenal will now also be without David Luiz through suspension after a red card at Chelsea, leaving Arteta short on defenders.

    The Gunners have been linked with Shakhtar Donetsk's Mykola Matvienko and Paris Saint-Germain's Layvin Kurzawa, although Arteta would not comment on specific names ahead of the FA Cup fourth-round tie at Bournemouth.

    The head coach acknowledged Arsenal have been looking at defenders, but he was unsure if there would be any January arrivals.

    "I'm not going to be discussing any transfer links publicly," he told a news conference. "It's something that we are trying to do internally and, when we have news, we will communicate with you guys.

    "We've been looking at different positions. Obviously, since I joined, we lost Calum and we had other circumstances and injuries in those positions, so it's true that, at the back, we've been short.

    "But there are other positions as well, depending on what happens in the market, that we might need to assess.

    "At the moment, I am 50-50, because this transfer window is very, very complicated. I only want to bring somebody in if I'm really convinced that he can really improve the level that we have."

    One move Arteta is keen not to see go through, though, both this month and beyond, is Aubameyang to Barcelona, amid reported interest from the LaLiga giants.

    Suggestions in the Spanish media this week said Aubameyang was open to the transfer, but that is not Arteta's understanding.

    "As far as I know, a week ago, after a game at home, we were discussing that he said he was so happy," Arteta said.

    "He didn't agree with the things that were written in the media and [said] he has his future here. That's what I understand at the moment."

    Dani Ceballos' future appears less clear, the on-loan Real Madrid midfielder having been linked with a return to LaLiga after struggling to establish himself at Emirates Stadium and contending with injury.

    "I had a conversation with Dani," Arteta said. "When I joined the club, he wasn't here, he was in Madrid because he was doing his rehab - for over a month - in Madrid with the team that owns him.

    "And then, when I came here, he was doing his rehab and, by the first two or three weeks, he was getting back to fitness and I haven't seen much of him because he's only trained with us for a week or 10 days.

    "So it's very early to assess what I can or cannot do with him. I heard about all those things but I have nothing to comment.

    "He needs to get back to fitness and fight for his place. After that, we will make the selection that I think is fair with what I see on the pitch."

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