BY JUSTIN FERGUSON
The list of injured players staying out of this week’s international action keeps growing.
In the Monday Kickoff, SBI reported that Xavi, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Raphael Verane, Daniel Sturridge, Jermain Defoe and Michael Carrick will miss their nations’ midweek matches.
Now Petr Cech will miss the Czech Republic’s friendly against Turkey due to what may be a broken little finger. Czech FA spokesman Jaroslav Kolar said on Monday that Cech “will not play [on Wednesday] because he has a swollen or maybe even broken upper part of his little finger.”
Chelsea confirmed on its website that Cech has returned to the club for further evaluation on the injury, which the goalkeeper picked up during the Blues’ 3-2 loss at Newcastle on Saturday.
It is unknown if Cech will miss Chelsea’s weekend clash with Wigan Athletic.
Here are more stories to wrap up your Monday:
DORTMUND TRIO, KLOSE OUT FOR GERMANY FRIENDLY
Borussia Dortmund’s Marcel Schmelzer, Marco Reus and Mario Gotze will miss Germany’s friendly versus France on Wednesday. Schmelzer is unavailable due to an ankle problem, Gotze has the flu and Reus picked up an adductor muscle injury in the Bayer Leverkusen win on Sunday.
However, teammate Ilkay Gundogan will make the trip to Paris. The defender hurt his ankle in the Leverkusen match but is expected to suit up for the national team on Wednesday, pending fitness tests.
Joachim Löw will also be without veteran forward Miroslav Klose, who reportedly sustained a knee ligament tear during Lazio’s loss at Genoa on Sunday. The federation said that Klose will most likely need a minor operation to repair the damage.
IFAB TO DISCUSS OFFSIDE RULE CHANGE
The International Football Association Board will discuss a possible change to how officials interpret the offside rule when it convenes next month in Edinburgh, Scotland.
FIFA wants to know how the board can simplify the wording in Law 11, which states that players in an offside position can be called for “clearly obstructing an opponent’s vision or movements, or making a gesture or movement which in the opinion of the referee deceives or distracts an opponent.”
The association wants to take out the referee’s opinion out of the law and change it to penalize offside players who “clearly obstructing an opponent’s vision or challenging an opponent for the ball.”
IFAB will also look at a loophole in the Laws concerning uncontested dropped balls, which came to light after Shaktar Donetsk scored a controversial goal against FC Nordsjaelland in a Champions League group match.
The board, which includes FIFA and four British associations, will be updated during the meeting on the introduction of goal-line technology at the 2014 World Cup.
Roberto Mancini says that the race for the English Premier League title “is not over” and that there is time for his Manchester City side to make a comeback. (REPORT)
A UEFA report says that while player salaries continue to skyrocket, losses by top division clubs have tripled over the past five years. (REPORT)
Stoke City striker Michael Owen will not face disciplinary action for his incident with Mikel Arteta during his club’s 1-0 loss to Arsenal on Saturday. (REPORT)
What do you think of these reports? Worried about Cech’s injury? How do you think this depleted German side will do in the friendly with France? What are your thoughts on the proposed offside rule change?
Share your thoughts below.