Ryan Giggs has just been appointed as the new Wales National team manager to replace the highly successful Chris Coleman who resigned to join Sunderland, bottom of The Championship. It was not met with universal joy. Giggs was a brilliant player for club and country but was noted for finding injuries to miss ' friendly' matches, especially away ones.
He was a youth player with Manchester City under the name Ryan Wilson, son of Danny Wilson, a decent professional rugby league player with Salford. Both Ryan and his younger brother Rhodri decided to take the name of their mother and live with her and away from their father. Giggsy has had only 4 matches as stand in manager of United after Louis van Gaal was dismissed. and before Jose Mourinho arrived.
Dad Danny refuses to talk to his famous son after he had an 8 year affair with Rhodri's wife Natasha and last year his own wife divorced him. It cost him over £150,000 to get a super injunction to keep the affair a secret from the public, but after an M.P. mentioned his name in Parliament under parliamentary privilege, the whole world knew about it. Playing away ! This while his wife Stacey was pregnant.
Not qualifying for the World Cup finals since Sweden 1958 was frustrating, but they have been invited to a lucrative pre Russia 2018 friendly tournament away in China which should bring in some money to the FAW coffers. The 4 team tournament will be in the Southern Chinese city of Nanning. They open up against China on March 22 and will play either Uruguay or Czech Republic for the final or 3rd place.www.faw.org.uk.
CAF- Confederation of African Football, runs the game for its 56 member nations. Five of them will take part in Russia 2018 this summer. A new regulation will have CAF pay its international referee teams directly, rather from the gate receipts of the home team. Its felt that this will increase independence and fair play. www.cafonline.com
The Confederation has also decided to discontinue their Referee of the Year Awards.again to stop any idea of undue influence.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne has decided not to accept an appeal by Ghanaian FIFA referee Joseph Lamptey who had been suspended for life by FIFA for his handling of a 2018 qualification mtch at Peter Mokabo Stadium in Polokwane between South Africa and Senegal on 12th November 2016. The hosts won 2-1 with the help of two dubious referee decisions. Five different betting regulation organizations had complanied about irregulat betting patterns.
Senegal also complained and the match replayed on 10th November 2017 with the Senegalese winning 2-0 and qualifying for the finals. Lamptey, a high ranking immigration official back home, had been banned by CAF in 2011 for 6 months for influencing a Champions League match between Esperance de Tunis and El Ahly of Cairo.
CAF explained that Lamptey was working on behalf of a betting syndicate to influence not only the result but the number of goals scored, and when.
12th January to 5th February 2018 we have the Total African Nations Championship, also called CHAN 2018. It was switched from Kenya to Morocco due to stadium and organizational problems in the East African nation. Morocco, has failed to win enough votes to host previous FIFA World Cups but is bidding for the 2026 World Cup has 4 host cities. Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca with 67,000 capacity: Stade Ibn Batouta Tangier, 45,000: Stade de Marrakesh 45,200, and Stade Agadir, capacity 45,480.
This tournament, featuring 16 nations, only allows players who earn their money playing in Africa. Possible favourites Ivory Coast were sensationally beaten 1-0 by a last minute goal from Hambira of Namibia in Marrakesh, while Morocco have already beaten Mauritania 4-0, and Guinea 3-1 in Casablanca. The more important African Cup of Nations allows players who work abroad.