All posts by Futbolgrad

Fred Gate – What it means for Shakhtar

Fred Gate – What it means for Shakhtar

On July 27 Fox Sports Brazil first broke the news that Brazil national team and Shakhtar midfielder Fred had failed a doping test during the Copa America in Chile. Fred tested positive for Clorothiazide, a diuretic that can be used as a masking agent to remove traces of illegal drugs from the urine during doping testing.

Since then the medical staff of the Brazilian national team have announced that the banned substance was not included in any of the medications they brought to the tournament, and have pledged to cooperate fully with the investigation.

Fred himself denied ever using any illicit substance and intends to prove his innocence, while his agent Alexandre Lima stressed that the player is staying very calm and that he has done nothing to compromise himself.

Despite the brewing scandal, Shakhtar manager Mircea Lucescu included the midfielder in his starting eleven in the side’s Champions League qualifier against Fenerbahçe last Wednesday. In his post-match press conference, Lucescu admitted that the club was advised by UEFA to not let Fred take part in the match, but opted to include him because of the lack of any official warnings or solid documentation.

Nevertheless, Fenerbahçe launched a complaint to UEFA following the first leg, which ended in a 0-0 draw. A statement on the club’s official website reads “[Fred’s] doping test, according to the Brazilian and British press, gave a positive result,” which is the basis for their decision to open disciplinary proceedings against Shakhtar.

Shakhtar general director Serhiy Palkin responded critically to the appeal, saying “I consider the actions of the Turkish club to be premature and contrary to the spirit of sportsmanship.”

But, more important than Palkin’s personal feelings toward Fenerbahçe’s actions, their appeal was legally dubious. As the sports lawyer Serhiy Poshelyuzniy explained to, the Fred doping case will be dealt with by FIFA according to its anti-doping regulations.

At the time of the match against Fenerbahçe, Fred had only failed the initial doping test, known as Probe A. Before the results of the secondary test Probe B become known, FIFA has the right to temporarily ban the player from taking part in official competitions. But since FIFA did not take this step, Fred was eligible to play in the Champions League clash. UEFA, therefore, will most likely reject the appeal during their disciplinary hearing.

But the problems for Shakhtar do not end there. Early on Monday reported that Fred had failed Probe B. This news was later confirmed by Palkin, who has announced that the club are waiting for official documents from UEFA regarding the case.

Fred now risks a long suspension ranging from six months up to a maximum of four years, depending on numerous factors including whether there was “Significant Fault or Negligence” in Fred’s actions. The Ukrainian journalist Volodmymr Zverov has suggested that the most realistic scenario is a two year suspension.

Shakhtar will likely escape any sanctions as a result of the Fred doping case, as Fred appeared for the side before any official action had been taken by FIFA or UEFA. But now that the positive test has been confirmed, the club will still be affected. When one considers that the Brazilian had started every Shakhtar match this season until Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Hoverla, the club may be forced to turn to the transfer market for alternatives.

By Vadim Furmanov –

Emmanuel Frimpong – The Fall Out

Emmanuel Frimpong – The Fall Out

By Saul Pope – Last week FIFA requested details of the ‘Frimpong incident’ (more on the story here), and on Tuesday the Russian Football Union (RFU) sent these to them.
Kenedy – A New Recruit For Chelsea’s Loan Network

Kenedy – A New Recruit For Chelsea’s Loan Network

This article originally appeared on Futbolgrad’s sister site

The London based football club Chelsea FC is close to signing their eighth Brazilian in the upcoming days, as the club has all but wrapped up a deal to bring in the 19 year old Fluminese forward Kenedy.

Kenedy, who is originally from the Brazilian city of Santa Rita do Sapucai, which is located in the state of Minas Gerais, began his youth career at 11 years of age at Friburguense Atlético Clube, in Rio de Janeiro. After short stints at Vasco da Gama, and Atlético Mineiro, Kenedy joined the Rio de Janeiro based club Fluminese.

Kenedy, alongside Marlon and Gérson, is part of an extremely talented trio at Fluminese, which has been linked to various clubs in Europe. Barcelona had a first-option agreement in place for both Kenedy and Gérson, but while Barcelona has now chosen to trigger its option on Gérson, they have also decided that the club would forego the option on Kenedy, which clears the way for Chelsea to conclude the transfer.

As Paulo Freitas wrote on Twitter: “Gérson looks the most talented of all [Gérson, Marlon, and Kenedy] and Kenedy the least one. Kenedy plays more often though as he is older/physically readier.” ESPN’s scouting report on Kenedy has compared the Brazilian’s physical qualities to those of Zenit Sankt Petersburg’s Brazilian power forward Hulk. At the same time, however, ESPN also suggests that Kenedy may in fact never play for Chelsea FC.

In recent years Chelsea has created an extensive loan network in Europe, with the goal to either produce talented players for Chelsea’s first team, or to make a profit on future transfers. In order to facilitate this, Chelsea’s owner Roman Abramovich has developed close connections with some European clubs.

As for the Dutch team Vitesse Arnhem, for example, he is rumoured to own the club via proxy, for the Dutch club was bought in 2010 by the Georgian businessman Merab Jordania, before the club was taken over by the Russian businessman Aleksandr Chigirinski. Both businessmen are rumoured to be linked to Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, and in 2014 the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf suggested that Vitesse was ordered to lose matches in order to avoid a possible qualification to the UEFA Champions League as UEFA does not allow owners to operate multiple clubs in a single UEFA competion.

Speaking to De Telegraaf, Jordania, who is currently the chairman of the club, said, “I wanted to be the champion with Vitesse, but London would ultimately not allow it. Having ambition is fine, but we were told Vitesse could not be in the Champions League with Chelsea.”

Currently, Vitesse has three Chelsea players signed in loan deals, including Nathan, another young Brazilian who was signed by Chelsea signed this summer, and who has recently been sent on loan to the Dutch club. Roman Abramovich also has close business contacts with the Portuguese club Sporting Lisbon, where at one point he allegedly held the partial rights of nine players through proxy companies.

It seems likely that Kenedy will follow in Nathan’s footsteps by being loaned out to either Vitesse Arnhem or to another club in Europe. For Chelsea, the best case scenario of course, would be for the player to develop into a star attraction, who can play regular minutes in the English Premier League at Chelsea’s stadium the Stanford Bridge, or to develop into a player who can be sold at a profit to another club—as Chelsea has successfully been able to do with players such as Kevin de Bruyne or Thorgan Hazard.

The story of Kenedy highlights the fact that that the biggest European clubs have now begun to purchase players not just as a means to improve the strength of a squad, but also to ensure future financial windfalls, which makes the game of football in the 21st century often more akin to the manuevers of a stock exchange rather than a contest involving the prowess of 22 men.

By Manuel Veth –