Tottenham merchandise vendors have slashed prices on Bale shirts in anticipation of a transfer. (Getty Images)

Bale’s Record Transfer Moves Closer

Gareth Bale’s record transfer deal to Real Madrid will go through, according to his soon-to-be-former manager at Tottenham.

Negotiations are said to be nearly complete, but Andres Villas-Boas has grown frustrated by Real’s conduct over the last few weeks. And Villas-Boas says Bale should be fined for refusing to report to Tottenham’s training facility the past two days.

Bale reportedly has already bid farewell to his Tottenham teammates in
anticipation of the world-record £86million (€100m) move that will find the 24-year old Welshman
playing home games in Spain.

Spanish newspaper Marca reported today that Real manager Carlo Ancelotti was not expecting to integrate Bale in his squad until September 11, the day when the team’s players return from international duty. Despite a foot injury, Bale has been called up for Wales’ World Cup qualifiers against Macedonia and Serbia.

UEFA president Michel Platini, who is ushering in new Financial Fair Play regulations this season and next, yesterday insisted he had no qualms about Real Madrid spending €100 million on Bale.

“I have no objections if the buying club can afford to pay it. Nobody would have batted an eyelid if Real Madrid had bought three players for €30 million each”, Platini was quoted in an interview with French daily L’Équipe.

“Whether Bale is worth €100 million is a completely different discussion, though”, Platini added. The Frenchman’s comments may come as a surprise to some, considering his staunch commitment to Financial Fair Play.

Rio Lab Decertified by WADA

Brazil’s work toward hosting the World Cup and the Olympics have already run into their share of problems. That list got a little longer when the World Anti-Doping Agency revoked accreditation for the lab charged with handling samples from both events.

The lab, according to ESPN, has faced multiple warnings and routinely failed “to comply with the necessary standards.”

Previously, the lab received a nine-month suspension in January of 2012 for similar reasons. They gained reinstatement after a lab visit in September before seeing similar problems arise again.

Caner Erkin is a member of Fenerbahce, the Turkish club banned for match fixing. (Getty Images)

Turkish Club Punished

Turkish club Fenerbahce has been expelled from the Europa League and barred from qualifying for next year’s Champions League for its role in a match-fixing scandal two years ago.

Fenerbahce is an 18-time Turkish champion. They were originally expelled by UEFA in June after two club officials were convicted of match fixing en route to the 2011 Turkish title.

“We are determined to continue our legal struggle until the end at every [available] platform,” the Istanbul club said in a statement.

Moroccan Player Tests Positive

An international footballer from Morocco has received a provisional suspension of 30 days following an “adverse analytical finding” in a drug test, according to a release from FIFA.

The player requested analysis of the B sample, which also came back positive for a substance prohibited under WADA’s 2013 guidelines.

The player now has until Sept. 4 to request a hearing with FIFA. He and the Moroccan Football Association have until Sept. 11 to submit a statement and evidence.


By INSIDER’s Nick Devlin

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