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28 Agustus 2008

Chelsea warned of Roma threat

Uefa's president, Michel Platini, has warned Roma that the Champions League final may be taken away from their stadium if there is any serious violence when they host Chelsea in their group match.
Roma's games against Manchester United in the past two seasons were marred by serious crowd problems and by knife attacks outside the Stadio Olimpico and Platini said Uefa would not accept further problems when Chelsea visit the Italian capital on November 4.
"We can't tolerate this level of violence," he said. "If we have any more violence we could withdraw the Champions League final from Rome. It's not an ultimatum, just a message that we are keeping an eye on it."
The draw in Monaco placed Chelsea, last season's beaten finalists, in a group that also includes Bordeaux and the Romanian champions CFR 1907 Cluj. The most intriguing draw, however, will see United play Celtic for the second time in three seasons. The holders will also meet the Danish champions Aalborg and the Spanish side Villarreal, against whom Wayne Rooney was sent off three years ago.
After a ceremony that saw Cristiano Ronaldo win Uefa's striker and overall player of the year awards and three Chelsea players - Petr Cech, John Terry and Frank Lampard - pick up the individual honours for goalkeeping, defending and midfield play respectively, Fernando Torres can look forward to an emotive return to his former club after Liverpool were pitted against Atlético Madrid. Liverpool will also face PSV Eindhoven and Marseille.
"It's not an easy draw for us and the overwhelming feeling after Wednesday's game [against Standard Liège] is that we are just happy to be involved," said Liverpool's...#65279; chief executive, Rick Parry. "The tie against Atlético Madrid is the one that stands out and will inevitably generate a lot of interest. It will mean a lot to all the Spanish players but especially Torres."
Of the Premier League sides, Arsenal will believe they face the most testing challenge, taking on FC Porto, Fenerbahce and Dynamo Kiev. But all four clubs will be grateful to have missed out on facing Bayern Munich and Juventus, both of whom were among the second seeds, and United will regard their opening group as a relatively moderate assignment.
"The pleasing aspect is that there will not be an awful lot of travel involved," said United's chief executive, David Gill, looking ahead to a tournament that begins on September 16-17. "Given that our next two league games are away at Liverpool and Chelsea, we're particularly pleased that the game that falls between those two is at home [against Villarreal]."
The Uefa Cup draw will be made here today and Gill intends to speak to Tottenham Hotspur's delegation to see if he can reach a compromise over United's pursuit of Dimitar Berbatov. The delays surrounding the proposed deal are clearly beginning to frustrate Sir Alex Ferguson. "In last week's press conference I said I was less optimistic, and I'm even less optimistic today," said the United manager. "I've no idea what's going on. It's very hard to get communication with some people."
Source: Guardian