News in brief, 5/28/12

Eden Hazard has quite respectably quashed all speculation about his future by tweeting earlier today, “good afternoon guys. i made up my mind. see you later. thanks.” You’re welcome and see you later as well, Eden. Also, we all really appreciate your earnest attempts to quell rumors about whether you’ll end up at Chelsea, United, or City. Muckraking journalist Luis Saha indicated that Hazard is “[a]pparently on his way to Chelseafc.” But, in a shocking turn of events, the usually reliable Saha backed down from his original well-sourced report: “Im just like everyone. Only him and clubs know. We, Fans of football have to wait and see.” Journalistic integrity seems to be an anachronism in the age of digital media. Saha’s report may pan out, however, as Hazard has reportedly hopped on British Airways flight BAW395 from Brussels to Heathrow for a physical with Chelsea. In actual news, Italian police raided Italy’s Euro 2012 camp as part of a serious and widespread match-fixing investigation in Italian football. Defender Domenico Criscito has been dropped from the squad due to the investigation. Tom Kington of the Guardian reports: “In the same operation, police arrested 17 people, including 11 players, among them Stefano Mauri, the captain of leading Serie-A side Lazio, and placed Antonio Conte, manager of champions Juventus, under investigation.” The investigation may have made Italian manager Cesare Prandelli’s life a bit easier, as he only needs to drop one further player from his now 24-man roster. While some pundits might speculate that the match-fixing probe will be a distraction for the Italians and perhaps a bad omen, history suggests to the contrary. Simon Kuper notes, “Whenever Italy have a big match-fixing scandal, they win the tournament (1982, 2006).” ESPN The Magazine’s recent story on match fixing now seems especially topical. In other actual news, Serbia’s manager Sinisa Mihajlovic sent home and suspended midfielder Adem Ljajic for refusing to sing the Serbian national anthem for personal reasons. It’s been a tough month for Ljajic in terms of altercations with managers. Earlier in May, his club manager Delio Rossi quite literally assaulted Ljajic on the bench when Ljajic gave Rossi a sarcastic thumbs up after being subbed out. Lasana Liburd has uncovered documents implicating former FIFA official Jack Warner in further corrupt dealings. Gareth Barry--who was impressively speedy at the 2010 World Cup--is out of Euros after suffering a muscle tear in his abdomen during the friendly against Norway. Roy Hodgson has replaced Barry with Phil Jagielka.