David Beckham is set to learn next month whether his long-gestating plans for a Major League Soccer franchise in Miami will come to fruition, it was reported on Friday.
The Miami Herald said the Miami-Dade County Commission would rule on June 6 whether or not to approve the transfer of a three-acre site valued at $9 million that is key to a proposed stadium project.
If the county declines to approve the land transfer, Beckham’s hopes of launching an MLS team in Miami in time for the 2021 season will be plunged into fresh uncertainty.
« This is, frankly, I believe, our last opportunity here for Miami to have Major League Soccer, » Miami-Dade County mayor Carlos Gimenez told the Herald.
Beckham’s consortium needs the land sale to go through in order to build a 25,000-seat stadium on a nine-acre site in Miami’s Overtown district. The group has already purchased adjacent parcels of land.
Beckham announced in 2014 that he intended to bring a team to the South Florida city, exercising an option he had to create a new franchise.
But the former England, Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder has faced problems finding a stadium deal, failing with bids for three other potential locations amid local opposition.
Major League Soccer chiefs, meanwhile, have warned Beckham’s group that the clock is ticking on their franchise plans and that the league will not grant an open-ended time-frame to get the new expansion team off the ground.
Members of the Beckham consortium made a presentation to residents of Overtown on Wednesday to outline their plans for the site.
Tim Leiweke, who is handling negotiations for the group, admitted the consortium had faced « issues. »
« We have had bumps in the road, » he said, adding that no public money would be used for the stadium project.
Although the proposed stadium would not open until 2021, Leiweke said the new team could launch before that by playing at the Marlins Park baseball ground or the Miami Dolphins’ Hard Rock Stadium.
Germany Star To Replace Yaya At City?
It seems Pep Guardiola wants to replace Yaya Toure with a Germany star who is also being chased by the likes of FC Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Liverpool.
The Spaniard is keen on improving his in-form squad, which is yet to lose a game this season. City have begun the Premier League season on fire, winning 11 of their first 12 games so far. As a consequence, they have opened up an eight-point gap on second-placed Manchester United.
However, one star who has not featured much in Guardiola’s plans so far is Toure, and the Ivorian is rumoured to be leaving the club in January. The City boss is reportedly targeting Leon Goretzka, whose contract with Schalke expires at the end of the season, as his replacement.
The Sunday Mirror reported that Guardiola could try to lure Goretzka to the Etihad in January for a cut-price fee in order to beat competition from FC Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Liverpool, among others.
Schalke could be open to cashing in on the 22-year-old, who starred for Germany during the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, instead of losing him for free at the end of the campaign.
Goretzka plays in a similar role to Toure and would not be cup-tied in European competitions in the second half of the season because Schalke did not qualify for the UEFA Europa League or Champions League this campaign.
The midfielder would become the third Germany star in Guardiola’s squad, joining Ilkay Gundogan and Leroy Sane.
Do you think Goretzka would be a good replacement for Toure? Have your say in the comments section below.
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Oumar Niasse: Everton striker banned for two games for diving
Everton striker Oumar Niasse has been banned for two matches after being found guilty of diving.
The Senegal forward is the first Premier League player to be punished under the new Football Association laws, which were introduced in May.
Niasse won a controversial penalty, under pressure from Scott Dann, during Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Crystal Palace.
The 27-year-old will miss Everton’s game at Southampton on Sunday and at home to West Ham on 29 November.
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Niasse denied he had « committed an act of simulation » that led to the penalty being awarded in the fifth minute of the game.
Leighton Baines converted from the spot, and Niasse later scored his side’s second equaliser at Selhurst Park.
The FA’s Independent Regulatory Commission, which includes former players, found the striker guilty of the charge when they met on Wednesday.
Incidents which suggest a match official has been deceived by an act of simulation are referred to a panel consisting of one ex-match official, one ex-manager and one ex-player.
They review video footage independent to each other and the FA only issues a charge if the panel are in unanimous in agreeing there was simulation.
Carlisle forward Shaun Miller was the first to be banned, when he was suspended for two games in October.
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