All eyes on Brazil 2014, scandal in Europe
Italian coach Prandelli to get Mohican hair cut if Italy wins the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil - Neymar to stay in Brazil until World Cup - European clubs disappointed. European clubs warned not to cheat their way round new finance laws. Meanwhile EUROPOL has smashed a criminal network operating in Europe fixing matches.
Cesare Prandelli, the Italy team coach, has vowed to get a Mohican haircut if Italy wins the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil. Also on the theme of the World Cup, the Brazilian ace Neymar has declared that he will not be joining any European clubs and will be staying at Santos, at least until the event in his home country. He has been linked with Real Madrid, Barcelona and Chelsea.
Meanwhile in Europe, EUROPOL have smashed a syndicate which was conducting match-fixing - over 380 games are under suspicion in the Champions League and qualifiers for the UEFA and FIFA competitions. The worst affected leagues are the Turkish, Swiss and German. However, the investigation goes far deeper and is far more wide-reaching: 425 officials, players and others have been identified in 15 countries. The investigation spans at least the last 4 years.
Friedhelm Althans, Head of the Bochum Police Force, Germany, has declared that "The operations were conducted from Singapore with bribes of over 100,000 EURO per game". To date 50 people have been arrested.
Transfer gossip after the January window has closed involves the French Real Madrid player Raphael Varane, 19, who plays in midfield or defence who has been linked to Manchester City.