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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Napoli Fires Chief, U.S. Blase on Soccer

NAPLES, Italy -- Italian club Napoli ousted director Vincenzo Pinzarrone following his arrest on charges of possessing forged Italian treasury certificates worth some $2.3 million, the club said.


Napoli's corporate sponsor, Record Cucine, has taken over the 25 percent stake Pinzarrone bought in the financially troubled club only last month, it was announced Monday.


Pinzarrone, an accountant, was arrested Sunday after bank officials became suspicious about the authenticity of the treasury certificates and called the police. The certificates were destined to help finance the signings of Brazilian defender Andre Cruz from Standard Liege and midfielder Alain Boghossian from Olympique Marseille.


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Alan Rothenberg ran the best-attended World Cup in history. He hired a coach that won the United States a regional championship, finished runner-up in another and got it past the first round of the World Cup for the first time since 1930. Now Rothenberg has to convince the U.S. Soccer Federation he deserves a second four-year term as president. Less than a month after the World Cup Final, Rothenberg is facing a severe challenge to his leadership of American soccer. He is accused of conflict of interest and simply trying "to run everything."


Rothenberg predicts he will win easily. Others in the federation are predicting the Thursday-to-Sunday federation annual general meeting in San Diego will be high drama.


Despite the public confidence, Rothenberg has alienated some in the federation by controlling all its major aspects: the World Cup, leadership of the federation, and the chairmanship of Major League Soccer, the proposed U.S. first division league set to begin in April.


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While 44 percent of American adults surveyed watched at least one World Cup game on television, 69 percent do not care if there is a new professional soccer league in the United States, according to a Harris Poll.


The survey released Thursday said 53 percent of those polled were more interested in soccer than before the World Cup, 24 percent said their interest remained the same and 23 percent said it decreased.


Those who did tune in liked what they saw. Forty-three percent found it very enjoyable and 39 percent found it somewhat enjoyable.


Results of the survey showed far greater awareness of soccer than before the tournament. Three weeks before the World Cup began June 17, just 25 percent of those surveyed by the Harris Poll were aware the tournament was being held in the United States this year.


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The British club Coventry snapped up American World Cup player Cobi Jones, three weeks after failing to land his international team mate, Alexi Lalas.


The 24-year-old midfielder, who played for his country against Brazil and was substitute in three other matches, has signed a 12-month contract with an option for another two years. Coventry have still to agree a fee with the U.S. Soccer Federation. (Reuters, AP)