Metsu: French coach Bruno Metsu has been charged with breach of contract and ordered to pay a €900,500 penalty, an official of top United Arab Emirates club al-Ain said yesterday. Hamad al-Amri, a member of al-Ain's executive committee, said world body FIFA had ruled Metsu was in breach of contract when he left al-Ain to join Qatar's al-Gharafa last season. "Our claim was for €1.5 million but we are delighted that FIFA has taken stern action against Metsu for breach of contract," said Amri.
Ismael: Bayern Munich are seeking to sign French central defender Valerien Ismael from Werder Bremen, the newly crowned German champions said yesterday. Ismael, 29, is a key figure in the Bremen side that won the league and cup double last season and is under contract until 2007. "We are now waiting for an answer from Bremen," a Bayern official said.
Security plan: German police should forget any holidays while the country hosts next year's soccer World Cup, Interior Minister Otto Schily said on Wednesday. Germany is expecting 3.2 million spectators to follow the fortunes of 32 national teams. Police will be given added video surveillance capabilities to help exercise a zero-tolerance policy against hooligans and will work closely with their foreign colleagues. Up to 220 foreign police are expected to travel to the country to watch their national fan groups.
Pires: Arsenal's Robert Pires believes he is still good enough to play for France despite being omitted from the squad for a friendly international against Hungary next Tuesday. The midfielder has not been picked by Raymond Domenech since he criticised the France coach's strategy after a 2-0 victory over Cyprus in a World Cup qualifier last October. "What do you want me to do? I can only be good on the pitch and I think I have done a good job recently," he said. "I think I deserve to be picked but there is someone in charge and he makes the decisions."
Friendly called off: A friendly international between France and Argentina scheduled for August 17 at the Stade de France in Paris has been called off, the French Football Federation (FFF) said. The FFF said they had been informed by the Argentine Federation that Argentina would not play the game because France could not guarantee that they would then play a friendly in Argentina in the near future. The French federation said they were looking for opponents to replace Argentina for the August friendly.