Valencia names Gary Neville head coach for the rest of the 2015-16 season

Photo credits: AFP.
Photo credits: AFP.

England coach and Manchester United legend Gary Neville has been named Valencia boss for the rest of the season, the Spanish side announced on Wednesday.

“Valencia have reached an agreement with English coach Gary Neville for him to be coach of the first team until June 30, 2016,” the club said in a statement.

“Neville will officially begin his work on Sunday, December 6 ahead of the Champions League match against Lyon which will take place at Mestalla on Wednesday, December 9.”

SEE MORE: Valencia parts ways with Nuno after loss at Sevilla.

Neville’s brother Phil has been at the club since the start of the season, working as an assistant to Nuno Espirito Santo before he left the club after a poor run of results on Sunday.

“I am very excited and feel very proud to have received this great opportunity with Valencia,” Neville told the club’s website.

“It is a huge club of immense prestige and I remember well from my time as a player the great passion and loyalty of their fans.”

More La Liga

New World Association of Leagues aims to help FIFA rebuild

Photo credit: AFP.
Photo credit: AFP.

A group of professional soccer leagues from all over the world have decided to create a ‘World Association of Leagues’ following a meeting in Paris, the French Professional Football League (LFP) president said on Tuesday. The English, French and Spanish leagues are joined by 20 others from around the world in a bid to work closely with scandal-tainted world governing body FIFA.

The new association will come into effect in January.

SEE MORE: What happened to the FIFA voters who chose Russia and Qatar?

“The professional leagues from the whole world want to participate in the rebuilding of FIFA and football institutions,” LFP president Frederic Thiriez (above) said. He added that the important thing was to ensure the professional leagues were “involved in the decision-making processes.”

The decision came following a meeting at the World Leagues Forum in Paris on Tuesday, which was attended by four of the five candidates to take over the FIFA presidency in February’s election to replace suspended current incumbent Sepp Blatter.

“Football is not dead but its international institutions are very sick,” added Thiriez, referring to the unprecedented corruption scandal currently engulfing FIFA.

“And we believe that with the experience we have in managing football daily in our countries, we can bring our experience to help rebuild FIFA.”

Prince Ali bin Al Hussein of Jordan, ex-French diplomat Jerome Champagne, South African business tycoon Tokyo Sexwale and Asia’s football chief Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa were the four FIFA presidency candidates in attendance.

Real Madrid’s Daniel Carvajal will miss one month with left thigh injury


Real Madrid look set to be without right back Dani Carvajal for up to a month due to a thigh injury picked up in Sunday’s 2-0 win over Eibar.

“A muscle injury has been diagnosed in his left thigh,” Madrid said in a statement on Tuesday without clarifying how long Carvajal would be sidelined for.

MORE MADRID: Benitez supports Benzema | Ronaldo on Ballon d’Or shortlist

However, Madrid sports daily Marca reported the Spanish international will miss a month of action which sees Madrid face Getafe, Villarreal and Rayo Vallecano in La Liga as well as Cadiz in the Copa del Rey.

Carvajal’s injury is just the latest defensive setback for coach Rafael Benitez with Marcelo, Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane also currently sidelined

Notorious Singaporean match-fixer arrested just over one week after release from prison

Photo credit: AFP.
Photo credit: AFP.

A Singaporean accused of leading the world’s largest soccer match-fixing syndicate was rearrested in the city-state Tuesday about a week after he was freed by the country’s highest court, local media reported.

Businessman Dan Tan, who was arrested in Sept. 2013 but never tried, was released on Nov. 25 after the Court of Appeal ruled that it was “unlawful” to keep him detained because he did not pose a danger to public safety in the city-state. But on Tuesday, police said they had rearrested Tan, also known as Tan Seet Eng, for investigations into suspected involvement in criminal activities, the Straits Times newspaper reported.

No further details were given.

Tan’s earlier release was criticized by soccer’s world governing body, FIFA, and other analysts as a blow to efforts to rid the global sport of corruption. FIFA said through its spokesman last week that it was “very disappointed” with Tan’s release “given the gravity of his past activities relating to match manipulation.” After Tan’s first arrest in 2013, the then-Interpol chief Ronald Noble said the Singapore-based ring was the world’s “largest and most aggressive match-fixing syndicate, with tentacles reaching every continent.”

Singapore’s ministry of home affairs, under heavy international pressure, had invoked a special anti-gangster law against Tan, 51, after it became difficult to find enough evidence and witnesses to file criminal charges. The law allowed the home affairs ministry to order the detention of suspected criminals without trial subject to an annual review. But the three-judge Court of Appeal, Singapore’s highest legal authority, said that while match-fixing was “reprehensible and should not be condoned”, Tan’s alleged acts “all took place beyond our shores” and no evidence was presented to show that potential witnesses were being intimidated.

SEE MORE: What happened to the FIFA voters who chose Russia and Qatar?

Chris Eaton, the Qatar-based executive director for sport integrity of the International Center for Sport Security, had also criticized the court’s ruling and urged Singapore to update its laws.

“Dan Tan Seet Eng wrought enormous damage in the global sport of football. Evidence of it abounds internationally,” Eaton told AFP last week.

Persistent allegations that affluent Singapore is a major hub for match-fixing have stained its reputation as one of the world’s least corrupt nations. Singaporean Rajendran R. Kurusamy was sentenced to four years in jail in September for conspiring to rig a Malaysia-East Timor match at the Southeast Asian Games in Singapore in May. In July 2014, Singaporean nightclub owner Eric Ding was jailed for three years for providing prostitutes to three visiting Lebanese referees in an attempt to fix future matches. Police say global match-fixing generates billions of dollars a year in revenues, fueled in part by the popularity of online betting on match results and more minor game statistics.

In a book about Singapore’s deep links with global match-fixing, local investigative journalist Zaihan Mohamed Yusof said authorities swooped on Tan’s gang after uncovering plans to rig qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Experts have said that easy international transport, a passport accepted around the world and fluency in English and Mandarin have helped Singaporean fixers spread their influence abroad with the support of external investors, most believed to be from China.

Tan first came to prominence when fixer Wilson Raj Perumal, also a Singaporean, was arrested and jailed in Finland in 2011 for fixing top-tier games there. Perumal, now assisting match-fixing investigators in Hungary, had told prosecutors he was a double-crossed associate of Tan.

Christian Miles interview; World Soccer Talk Radio (11.30.15)

Listen to the latest episode of World Soccer Talk Radio featuring an interview with sports presenter and commentator Christian Miles.

In the interview with Christian, he discusses his role at Fox Soccer Channel during the formative years of the channel, his opinions about the MLS Cup playoff semi-finals, LAFC going toe to toe with the LA Galaxy, some of his favorite memories of what a typical Saturday was like at Fox Soccer Channel, and how things have changed so much.

Listen to the show via the player above or via this link.

If you enjoy the show, listen to it live every Monday through Friday between 4-5pm ET (1-2pm PT) via Sports Byline on the radio, the Sports Byline website, or the Tune-In app.

Here are the different ways you can download the World Soccer Talk stream, which includes both World Soccer Talk Radio and Soccer Morning (in total, 10 episodes of soccer goodness per week!).

• Subscribe to the World Soccer Talk Podcast on Stitcher,
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Hosted by Nate Abaurrea, World Soccer Talk Radio is a nightly soccer news and discussion show that will air Mondays through Fridays each week. The show will feature interviews with insightful guests as well as taking listener calls.

World Soccer Radio covers a range of topics — from the Premier League to MLS to US soccer, La Liga and whatever soccer topics are on your mind.

Got any questions for us, or want to talk world soccer? Call us during future shows on the listener line at 1-800-878-PLAY (7529).

Nate Abaurrea bio

Nate is a radio sportscaster, writer, stand-up comedian, and soccer coach located in Redding, California. Originally from Watsonville, a futbol crazy town in Santa Cruz County, Nate is a graduate of Humboldt State University where he majored in Broadcast Journalism. Soccer is one his true loves in life, and he is an avid Liverpool FC, San Jose Earthquakes, and United States National Team supporter. Road trips, sake & sushi outings, and late night terrace inspired singing are some of his hobbies. His greatest heroes include Bill Shankly, Richard Pryor, Diego Maradona, Hunter S. Thompson, and Jon Miller. In addition to World Soccer Talk Radio, Nate’s work can be heard on AM 1460 in Redding and online at, where he is the lead radio voice for live coverage of Northern California college and high school sports.