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In this week’s review section, a wonderful gesture by the Old Lady, Korean clubs in the Asian Champions League and a football executive forced to resign in England. You can listen to these and other stories on our weekly podcast and can find explanations of key vocabulary in bold below, or highlighted in blue.
One of the biggest clubs in Europe has moved! The Turin club, Juventus, has built a fantastic football-specific stadium to replace the poorly attended Stadio Delle Alpi, which had been criticised for the poor viewing experience and sterile atmosphere. The new ground holds 41,000, but the seats are right next to the pitch and should create a great atmosphere. So, good for the fans of the Old Lady, but even better was the gesture the club made to a small team playing in the third tier of the professional game in England, Notts County. They invited the English club, which is the oldest professional football club still in existence, to play the oepning game in the stadium. Why? Well, Notts County enjoy an important role in Juventus’ history – the Magpies gave Juve a set of football shirts, black and white striped, when they were just starting out at the beginning of the 20th century. For such a massive club to remember their roots in such a wonderful way is really good to see!
Not so good for Korean teams in the Asian Champions League, which is at the quarter finals stage. Korea has three representatives in the last 8, but all three face an uphill battle to get through to the semis after the first legs this week. Korean champions, Suwon, at least didn’t lose, but struggled to a 1-1 home draw against Iranian outfit Zob Ahan. That away goal could be crucial. In an end to end thriller, Jeonbuk lost 4-3 to Japanese rivals Osaka Cerezo. An 82nd strike by Kiyotake proved decisive and the Japanese side will be confident of progressing. And finally, FC Seoul were comfortably beaten by Al-Ittihad of Suadi Arabia. A bad night for the Korean clubs.
This week’s ugly section revolves around the departure of Manchester City’s chief executive Gary Cook from the club. The often controversial Cook allegedly sent an email to City player Nedum Onuoha’s mother – who is also the player’s agent – ridiculing her claims that she has cancer. After the email became public, Cook initially suggested that his email account had been hacked but this was later shown to be incorrect forcing Cook to resign. An ugly incident indeed.
sterile atmosphere: quiet atmosphere, not lively
the Old Lady: the nickname for Juventus (La Vecchia Signora in Italian)
tier: level, division
the Magpies: the nickname for Notts County; a magpie is a black and white bird
the last 8: the quarter finals
face an uphill battle: have a difficult job, have a hard task, face a problem
end to end: a game with a lot of attacking football
revolves around: Is all about
chief executive: The top managerial position of a company (though not always the owner)
ridiculing her claims: Laughing at her suggestions, joking about, not taking her claims seriously
had been hacked: The email account had been broken into by someone other than Cook