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Updated: February 25, 2007 08:37 IST
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England coach Sven Goran Erikson gets a bit of scare. Professional footballers in England, almost 2500 of them, vote to go on strike unless they get more money from TV rights. And Germany have their share of problems too about how to make it to the 2002 World Cup. Crucial tie for Germany The rain was not going to stop the German team from practising ahead of their crucial World Cup qualifier against Ukraine on Saturday. And German coach Rudi Voeller also knows if his side fails to qualify it could mean the end for him as well. Germany travel to Kiev for the first leg, the return leg will be played four days later in Dortmund. English players want more money The English soccer squad could be seen practicing but it was for a friendly against Sweden on Saturday. All this in the backdrop of the news that the English Premier League players have voted to go on strike unless their clubs get a bigger share of revenue from Television rights. They've been offered about US$ 15 million but they are asking for US$ 35 million. If next week's meeting doesn't throw up a solution, then the first game that could be affected is the Manchester United versus arsenal game on November 25. If the strike goes ahead, the games will go ahead TV cameras will not be allowed. Erikson gets a scare England coach Sven Goran Erikson had a bit of scare when Michael Owen was nearly ruled out for the game against Sweden. But Owen passed a fitness test late on Friday. Captain David Beckham says his team really wants to win this one and no surprises for guessing why. "It is only a friendly but it's a big game for the manager and Tord, of course, because they're Swedish and they want to beat the Swedish national team and so do we but it's more important that we perform well," Beckham said. Italy draw with Japan Italy traveled to World Cup co-hosts Japan for a friendly. And the EURO 2000 finalists were stunned by the home side after just 10 minutes. Arsenal's Junichi Inamoto came in with a perfect cross into Atsushi Yanagisawa, who smashed a right foot volley into the back of the net to clinch the first goal in front of an ecstatic home crowd. Italy had to wait till the 51st minute for the equaliser. Alesandro Del Piero's corner was crashed home by Atalanta midfielder Doni. Italy had a few other chances but the hosts held on as the match ended in a 1-1 draw. The Italians though were not too happy with the pitch, saying it felt like they were playing on a beach.

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