World Cup round-up: England’s Roy Hodgson - ‘I don’t feel I need to resign’
Japan midfielder Keisuke Honda slammed his team’s lack of creative spark following Thursday night’s 0-0 draw with Greece, which left them on the brink of elimination. “We lack ideas,” the Japanese star said. “We tried to attack, but we just can’t put the ball in the back of the net.” Honda scored Japan’s goal in a 2-1 loss to Ivory Coast in their opener, but his side were unable to put the ball in the net in the second group game, though Greece were playing with 10 men. Japan must beat Colombia, already through to the knockout stage after two wins, in their final Group C game to have any chance of advancing.
The speculation surrounding the health of Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo, 28, continued yesterday amid reports that he was moving closer to 100 per cent, yet he nonetheless had his ailing left knee taped during practice. Yesterday, he showed no signs of discomfort as he took part in a passing exercise. Teammate Helder Postiga said: “I have already answered so many questions about Cristiano Ronaldo. If I am sick of it, imagine how he is feeling.” Defender Bruno Alves missed the training session with a muscle injury. If he is unfit to face Jurgen Klinsmann’s United States side tomorrow, it would mean three of the back four that played against Germany, along with goalkeeper Rui Patricio, could miss the match.
Beleaguered England manager Roy Hodgson said he has no intention of resigning, though
the team suffered their first World Cup group-stage exit since 1958. “I don’t have any intention to resign,” he said.
“I’m bitterly disappointed, of course, but I don’t feel I need to resign, no.” Hodgson, who looked distraught after Thursday’s 2-1 loss, knows the decision is out of his hands, though. “On the other hand, and if the FA think I’m not the right man to do the job, that will be their decision, and not mine,” he said. “I’ve been really happy with the way the players have responded to the work we’ve tried to do.” Last night, the English Football Association asked Hodgson to remain in charge until 2016, as planned.
Ivory Coast were dealt a doubly emotional blow when siblings Yaya and Kolo Toure learned that their brother Ibrahim died of undisclosed causes at age 28. Ibrahim played for ASEC Mimosas, Metalurh Donetsk, OGC Nice, Al-Ittihad Aleppo, Misr Lel Makasa, Telephonat Beni Sweif and Al-Safa SC, although he did not represent Ivory Coast at the international level. The cause of death was not disclosed, though some reports said that Toure was fighting cancer.
The football players union FIFPro called for a review of the protection levels afforded players with concussion symptoms after Uruguay’s Alvaro Pereira suffered a head injury against England. Pereira collapsed and lay motionless after the knee of England’s Raheem Sterling collided with his head. The Uruguay team doctor wanted him removed, but Pereira, 28, asked to continue and remained in the game. “Football is awash with incidents in which players suffer potentially concussive blows to the head and stay on the pitch,” the union said. “There are times, however, when the players also require greater protection against the prospect of making any rash decisions.”
Published: June 21, 2014 04:00 AM