Big trouble for big phil before big day

Unconfirmed reports say Scolari is suspected of failing to declare millions of dollars in income.

By: Associated Press | Updated: May 15, 2014 6:12 pm
Luis Suarez is urging his Uruguayan teammates to learn from the fallout of Liverpool’s season with the World Cup looming. (Reuters) Luis Suarez is urging his Uruguayan teammates to learn from the fallout of Liverpool’s season with the World Cup looming. (Reuters)

Luiz Felipe Scolari is the subject of a criminal investigation in Portugal, authorities said Wednesday, bringing an unwelcome distraction for the Brazil coach as his country prepares to host the World Cup.

Officials wouldn’t say what the investigation is about. In Portugal, ongoing investigations fall under the country’s judicial secrecy law.

Unconfirmed reports in Brazil and the Netherlands say Scolari is suspected of failing to declare millions of dollars in income, but he has denied any wrongdoing. “I have correctly filed all my tax returns. In all the countries where I’ve worked, I’ve always declared my income,’’ Scolari said.

Sanctions for breaching the code range from a warning to a ban.

‘My country can learn from my club’s errors’

Luis Suarez is urging his Uruguayan teammates to learn from the fallout of Liverpool’s season with the World Cup looming.

Uruguay’s greatest moment of football glory came in 1950 when it beat host Brazil 2-1 in the World Cup final at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana Stadium for its second world title. They returned to the semifinals in 2010.

“My focus is on the World Cup now,” Suarez said. “Everyone remembers the last World Cup we won in Brazil. But our group is one of the most difficult. We will go forward thinking in each game as it comes.”

Protest peacefully, say wc ‘14 authorities

Brazilian authorities say they will allow peaceful protests, but these will only be permitted in areas at least a mile from the stadiums. Brazilians angry about rising price and the billions spent on football stadiums are likely to protest, and may get mixed in with members of the Black Bloc, an anarchist group that has already announced its intention to protest.

Their protests have often caused damaged storefronts, looting and torched vehicles. Labor groups and people displaced by stadium construction are also likely to air grievances. Nationwide protests are expected Thursday, coming the day after Rio ends a two-day bus strike.

Jerome Valcke, the top FIFA official in charge of the World Cup, said recently it was “naive” to think there would be calm as long as the Brazil team stays in the competition.

“It goes beyond that,” he said. “Reasons for being in the streets in 2013 have not changed. There are social problems. It will take time.”

No regrets, says park ji-sung after retiring

South Korean Park Ji-sung announced his retirement from soccer on Wednesday, bringing the curtain down on a career that took him to the 2002 World Cup semi-finals and saw him become the first Asian to play in a UEFA Champions League final when his club met Chelsea in the 2008 final.

Park’s industry, energy and work ethic made him a favourite of Alex Ferguson during his time at Manchester United and his performances in England and with Dutch side PSV Eindhoven helped raise the profile of Korean soccer around the world.

The 33-year-old, who called time on his international career after the 2011 Asian Cup, said he could not continue to play at the highest level because of knee issues but added that he was leaving the game without any regrets.

“I didn’t cry about it yesterday, and I’m not crying about it today, that means I’m leaving with no regrets,” he told a news conference at the Park Ji-sung Football Centre in Suwon, where he has a street named after him.

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