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Football in 2016

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  • 1 month later...

Judge: US women's soccer team has no right to strike

CHICAGO (AP) — A federal judge ruled the world champion U.S. women's soccer team does not have the right to strike to seek improved conditions and wages before the Summer Olympics, seeming to end the prospect of an unprecedented disruption by one of the most successful American national teams.

The case pits the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team Players Association against the U.S. Soccer Federation, which sued in February to clarify the strike issue. U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman ruled Friday the team remains bound by a no-strike provision from its 2005-12 collective bargaining agreement.

The federation warned a strike could have forced the women's team, which is seeking its fourth straight Olympic gold medal in Brazil, to withdraw from the Games and said that would have damaged American soccer as a whole.

The union wanted the option of striking, though it hadn't said definitively that it would.

The lawsuit focused on strike rights is related to a complaint filed by five players in March with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that alleges wage discrimination by the federation. Friday's ruling does not directly impact that complaint.

U.S. stars Hope Solo, Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd, Becky Sauerbrunn and Megan Rapinoe say they are paid far less than their counterparts on the men's national team. U.S. Soccer says that claim is misleading, partly because the men and women are paid differently under separate collective bargaining agreements.

During oral arguments before Coleman last week, the federation said its collective bargaining agreement remains in effect until Dec. 31, while the union says any such agreement has expired.

The union didn't immediately address whether it would appeal Coleman's decision, but in a statement to The Associated Press, the union's executive director, Richard Nichols, said the ruling didn't affect wider grievances.

"To be clear, the court's ruling today does not negate the fact that U.S. Soccer does not fairly compensate the women's national team, or in any way impact the players' demands for equal pay for equal work," he said.

In her 13-page opinion, Coleman said the union didn't convince her terms of the 2005-12 collective bargaining agreement — including a no-strike clause — did not carry over when the sides signed a memorandum of understanding in March 2013 modifying the previous deal with terms through 2016. Coleman was dismissive of union arguments that a no-strike provision should have been spelled out explicitly in the memorandum.

"Federal law encourages courts to be liberal in their recognition and interpretation of collective bargaining agreements, so as to lessen strife and encourage congenial relations between unions and companies," she wrote. "A collective bargaining agreement may be partly or wholly oral and a written collective bargaining agreement may be orally modified."

U.S. Soccer issued a brief statement saying officials were "pleased with the court's decision and remain committed to negotiating a new CBA to take effect at the beginning of next year."

The sides have continued to meet in a bid to agree to a new labor contract. If a new agreement is not reached by Dec. 31, the players would then have a clear right to give notice of a strike.

Federation lawyer Russell Sauer Jr. said during oral arguments that a no-strike clause is implied in the still-valid memorandum of understanding. A lawyer for the union balked, saying the federation failed to secure a no-strike provision in writing and cannot argue now that such a provision is implied.

Asked by the judge why the federation did not insist on a no-strike clause in the memorandum, federation lawyer Amy Quartarolo said it was made clear in emails and other communications that a no-strike provision in previous CBAs carried over into the 2013 agreement. In her ruling, Coleman largely agreed with that contention.

The U.S., which won the 2015 World Cup with a 5-2 victory over Japan, opens the defense of its Olympic title on Aug. 3 against New Zealand in Belo Horizonte.

Many players have voiced concern over gender equity in soccer. Some pointed to the comparatively hard artificial turf the women had to play on in Canada while the men's World Cup has always been played on grass.

Before the World Cup, a number of players protested over the artificial turf, with Abby Wambach leading a group that filed a complaint in a Canadian court.


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  • 4 weeks later...

Rio 2016: Neymar and Douglas Costa in Brazil Olympic squad

Barcelona's Neymar and Bayern Munich's Douglas Costa have been named as over-age players in Brazil's Rio 2016 Olympics squad.

The third permitted over-age player is Palmeiras goalkeeper Fernando Prass.

Gabriel Barbosa, the teenage Santos striker who scored on his Brazil debut last month, is one of five forwards in the largely under-23 squad.

Under-20s coach Rogerio Micale will manage the side after Dunga's sacking following the Copa America.

Full squad

Goalkeepers: Fernando Prass (Palmeira), Uilson (Atletico Mineiro).

Defenders: Marquinhos (PSG), Luan (Vasco da Gama), Rodrigo Caio (Sao Paulo), Zeca (Santos), William (Internacional), Douglas Santos (Atletico Mineiro).

Midfielders: Thiago Maia (Santos), Rodrigo Dourado (Internacional), Fred (Shakhtar Donetsk), Rafinha (Barcelona), Felipe Anderson (Lazio).

Forwards: Neymar (Barcelona), Douglas Costa (Bayern Munich), Gabriel Jesus (Palmeiras), Gabriel Barbosa (Santos), Luan (Gremio).



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Argentine Olympic Committee President raises doubts over participation in men's football tournament at Rio 2016

Argentine Olympic Committee (COA) President Gerardo Werthein has claimed it is a “disgrace” that the country have been unable to call upon football players for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The Argentina team qualified for the Games after triumphing at the 2015 South American Youth Championship, with hopes raised that they would be able to replicate their gold medal success at the Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Olympics.

Since qualifying for the men’s tournament, the Argentine Football Association (AFA) has been plunged into chaos, however, after accusations of mismanagement of match broadcasting funds.

An investigation is set to investigate irregularities, worth millions of dollars, in connection with public money the AFA received for a six-year period between 2009 and 2015 in exchange for broadcasting rights of domestic games in the nation.

AFA President Luis Segura was removed from his position by FIFA last month, with secretary Damian Dupiellet temporarily taking over in the role.

The crisis within the Federation in Argentina prompted FIFA to take over their day-to-day affairs after they conducted a visit to the country in tandem with the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) at the beginning of June.

The Olympic team has been affected by the crisis, with Werthein reportedly stating that there was a 50 per cent chance that they would not play at Rio 2016, while the first week of training was delayed after only eight players were available for coach Gerardo Martino.

"It is a disgrace that an Olympic double-medal-winning team are unable to call upon their players," Werthein said, according to Xinhua.

"Martino has to wake up and realise that this can't be downplayed.

"It would be good to start worrying about the sport.

“With this anarchy, this lack of leadership, what can we expect?"

It has been claimed that striker Paulo Dybala and defender Ramiro Funes Mori are among the players who will not compete at the Games, with their club sides Juventus and Everton having reportedly denied Argentina permission for them to compete.

Superstar striker Lionel Messi was only made available by Barcelona for the Copa América Centenario.

Argentina are due to feature in Group D along with Honduras, Algeria and Portugal, with hosts Brazil playing against South Africa, Iraq and Denmark in Group A.

Germany were placed in Group C along with Mexico, South Korea and Fiji, while Sweden will meet Colombia, Atlanta 1996 winners Nigeria and Japan in Group C.


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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Uh oh...first German football team in the Olympics in 28 years and now we're in the final. Don't think it'll be another 7-1 though, at least not for us.

Very happy for the coach legend Horst Hrubesch - he's done great work with the youth teams over the past decade or so, and many of the WC winners went through his school.

Two finalists in football, but risking to go empty-handed in Hockey, this is a bit surprising for us.

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20 minutes ago, intoronto said:

Best part was Sweden eliminating the USA!!! LOL!

No it wasn't. The best part was the aftermath of that loss! lol what a crybaby bitch Hope Solo turned out to be! Honey, it was just the Olympics, NOT the world cup. Besides, she already had 2 gold medals and a world cup win, she needn't be such a drama queen.

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So the final goes to penalty kicks.

I think this is one of the first non-World Cup matches I've watched with any interest. And so, so torn in my loyalties. Germany's my natural team to cheer. But can't in my heart begrudge Brazil gold in football at home at the Maracana.

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Oh well...can't always win in penalties! Congrats to Brazil...I guess after the WC disaster, it's good they get this gold as a consolation, even if this makeshift German team was so close to doing the German triple in Maracana after the WC and the women last night :-)

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