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Topics - daryn

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Football / Rooney nearly injured at Knicks game
« on: December 13, 2006, 12:06:59 PM »
MANCHESTER, England (AP) -- Wayne Rooney nearly got injured in a different venue -- while watching the New York Knicks basketball team at Madison Square Garden.

The Manchester United striker and fiancee Coleen McLoughlin sat courtside Monday night when 6-foot-8 Paul Pierce of the Boston Celtics lunged for a loose ball and landed on Rooney's surgically repaired right foot.

"It was scary," Rooney said on Man U's Web site. "He rolled right over my foot."

Luckily, there was no damage to the foot that kept Rooney out of England's opening match in the World Cup last summer. The Celtics beat the Knicks 97-90.

United players were given three days off after the Manchester derby before returning Wednesday to prepare for Sunday's trip to West Ham United.

What about Track & Field / Justin Gatlin trying out for NFL teams
« on: November 29, 2006, 08:50:53 PM »
 HOUSTON (AP) -- Track star Justin Gatlin worked out for the Houston Texans on Tuesday, but coach Gary Kubiak said signing him was "not something we would do right now."

Gatlin, an Olympic gold medalist and co-world record holder in the 100 meters, tested positive for testosterone and other steroids in April.

Kubiak said Gatlin, who last played football in high school, had worked out for several teams over the last month. The Texans worked him out as a receiver and Kubiak said team officials told him he was "very impressive."

"I'm sure it would be a big step for him to step up and start playing football," Kubiak said. "But that looks like it's something that he's interested in."

Gatlin was banned from track by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency but still has the option to appeal the length of his punishment. While his Olympic medals are not affected, he's likely to lose his share of the world record when appeals process is complete.

Kubiak said he isn't worried about the steroids matter, because the NFL is allowing him to work out for teams.

"It was positive," Kubiak said of the workout. "He did a good job. Some of our people who were over there watching him were amazed at how fast he ran. I don't even know if he was full speed at that time. But he did catch the ball pretty good."

At 6-foot-1 and 180 pounds, the 24-year-old has the size to be an NFL receiver. Houston already has a former track standout on their roster in Jerome Mathis.

Mathis, who once participated in track's U.S Olympic trials, earned a trip to the Pro Bowl last season as a kick returner. He was just moved to the active roster on Tuesday after missing the first 11 games with a fractured foot.

Football / Bayern considering leaving G14
« on: November 27, 2006, 10:24:51 PM »
BERLIN (Reuters) -- Bayern Munich is considering pulling out of the G-14, doubting whether the lobbying group of top European clubs is achieving anything for its members or for the game as a whole.

Speaking in an interview with Kicker published on Monday, he also said the growing disparity in income meant German clubs would soon be unable to compete with clubs in richer leagues.

"We will consider whether it makes any sense to stay on in the G-14," Rummenigge said. "We don't feel like paying an annual subscription for just sitting around and talking about things when nothing comes out of it.

"I doubt whether the G-14 is meaningful any longer. I find that too little is happening. There is no communication with FIFA or UEFA."

Bayern was among the founder members of the G-14, which met for the first time at a Madrid casino in 2000 with a view to promoting the interests of Europe's top clubs, particularly over issues such as TV money from the Champions League and compensation for players injured on international duty.

Other notable members of the original 14 were Real Madrid, Barcelona, AC Milan, Inter Milan, Juventus, Manchester United and Liverpool. Four clubs were added in 2002, taking the membership number to 18.

"The clubs in the G-14 only have themselves in mind," Rummenigge said in response to a question about Real Madrid and its president Ramon Calderon.

"I'll say it in no uncertain terms: Calderon and his colleagues are single combatants, as are the Italians and the English. In football it is pure selfishness that rules. There is little common ground among the clubs."

German teams were successful in Europe in the 1990s and early 2000s but Rummenigge said Bundesliga clubs would no longer be a match for Spanish clubs raking in TV rights money or English clubs with wealthy foreign investors.

"I dare say that in the next 10 years you won't see a German club in the final of a European competition," he said.

"What Werder Bremen have achieved against Barcelona and Chelsea in the Champions League is a miracle. If they make it past Barcelona it will be the eighth wonder of the world.

"Bremen received 23 million euros from TV, while Barcelona got 143 million euros. I hope the European Union puts a stop to these excesses of (Chelsea owner Roman) Abramovich and foreign television."

Rummenigge said he hoped for a salary cap and a central system of marketing to combat the growing financial inequality.

General Discussion / Model dies of anorexia complications
« on: November 16, 2006, 07:05:35 PM »
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (Reuters) -- The mother of a Brazilian fashion model who died from complications of anorexia has made an emotional appeal for parents to take better care of aspiring young models.

The death of Ana Carolina Reston, 21, follows growing criticism of the use of underweight models in the fashion world, an issue given new significance after the death in August of Uruguayan model Luisel Ramos of heart failure during a fashion show in Montevideo.

Reston died Tuesday in a Sao Paulo hospital from a generalized infection caused by anorexia, an eating disorder in which sufferers obsessively deprive themselves of food in pursuit of an ultra-slim look.

Reston weighed only 88 pounds and was about 5 feet 8 inches tall. Doctors consider this weight normal for a 12-year-old girl no more than about 5 feet tall.

"Take care of your children ... no money is worth the life of your child, not even the most famous (fashion) brand is worth this," her mother, Miriam Reston, told O Globo newspaper.

She said her daughter had been trying to help her family with the money she made as a model.

Miriam spoke on national television and to local newspapers to highlight the tragedy. She said she had pleaded with her daughter to eat more and to see a doctor.

"She would reply, 'Mummy, don't mess me around,"' Miriam told O Estado de S.Paulo.

"Dictatorship of skinny look kills a model," said the front-page headline of O Dia tabloid, which carried a picture of the dark-haired, big-eyed girl in lingerie.

Many top models come from Brazil and thousands of young girls from all walks of life dream of modeling careers, inspired by the international success of Gisele Bundchen or Adriana Lima.

Reston was not famous, but she had worked abroad, including in Japan, and did some jobs for Giorgio Armani and the Brazilian model agency L'Equipe, which declined immediate comment.

In September, Spain caused a storm in the fashion world when Madrid barred models below a certain weight from its top fashion show. Models with a body-mass-index (BMI), which takes into account height and weight, of less than 18 were banned.

Reston's BMI was just 13.5 while the World Health Organization considers anyone with a BMI below 18.5 underweight. A BMI below 17.5 being one of the criteria for the diagnosis of anorexia nervosa and a BMI nearing 15 is usually used as an indicator for starvation.

Other famous fashion venues like London were considering following suit.

Cricket Anyone / Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif fail drug tests
« on: October 16, 2006, 12:42:12 PM »
Asif and Akhtar to return home

Osman Samiuddin
October 16, 2006

Pakistan cricket, already besieged by multiple controversies, has received another body blow with Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif, their leading new-ball bowlers, testing positive for the banned anabolic steroid Nandrolone during an internal dope test carried out by the Pakistan Cricket Board. They have been recalled to Pakistan and will miss the Champions Trophy.

Salim Altaf, Director Operations, PCB, told Cricinfo that the board, as signatories to the ICC's Anti-Doping Policy (ADP), had carried out a routine test on 19 players at the end of September. The tests were put in place at the behest of Bob Woolmer, the Pakistan coach and are thought to be the first ever held in Pakistan cricket. The results were sent to the nearest World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) laboratory, in Malaysia for analysis. "They told us two samples had come back positive - of Asif and Shoaib - and the chairman was duly informed," said Altaf.

The board had asked for the concerned samples to be tested again though there was some confusion over whether the second results had arrived. The PCB claimed in the morning that the results were due tomorrow, but Dr Nasim Ashraf, newly-installed chairman of the PCB told reporters in Rawalpindi that the second test had also yielded the same results.

The decision to call back the players pre-empts the embarrassment of them being found guilty during the tournament, at one of the random drugs tests recently put in place by the ICC for major events. The ICC had, according to the PCB, been informed of the situation and a decision was expected to be taken soon on whether two replacements can be sent. The possible replacements, the PCB says, are Abdul Rehman, the left-arm spinner who toured Sri Lanka with Pakistan earlier this year, and all-rounder Yasir Arafat.

The PCB also set up a drugs tribunal to investigate the matter. Altaf said, "We have set up a drugs tribunal, consisting of lawyers, doctors and PCB officials to fully investigate this case. They will look at the lab reports and also hear from the players before deciding on a suitable punishment." Avoiding any sort of ban appears, for the moment, inconceivable though Ashraf also reiterated that a thorough investigation will be carried out by the committee before any future decision is taken.

What the PCB might also want to look at is the collection of rumours and speculation over the last six months regarding this very issue. One doctor, an ex-PCB employee who had worked closely with members of the team, had hinted over the summer about possible steroid use to aid Shoaib's rehabilitation from injury. At least one other source close to the team has also suggested likewise. None of this was, however, confirmed and at no point was Asif's name brought up.

Ashraf added that the board had acted commendably thus far. "We chose not to cover it up and as soon as we got the results we released it to the public."

There are echoes in this of Shane Warne's sensational ouster from the 2003 World Cup. Warne, high-profile like Shoaib, was sent home from the tournament on the morning of Australia's opening game against Pakistan after testing positive for a diuretic. His case was heard under Cricket Australia's anti-doping policy, which followed a test by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority.

The agency reported that a sample taken on January 22, 2003, showed diuretics and he was sent home almost three weeks later from the World Cup in South Africa hours before the team's first game against Pakistan. He was banned from all cricket for a year, reduced from two, after a hearing. Pakistan will now have to do without their opening bowling attack, one day before their first game against Sri Lanka.

The news comes on the back of an autumn of turbulence for Pakistan cricket, taking in the Oval fiasco, a farcical captaincy saga and the replacement of the head of the board. As prepaprations for major tournaments go, Pakistan's has hardly been ideal.

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of Cricinfo


Jokes / Ed Zachary disease
« on: October 13, 2006, 11:25:14 AM »
A woman was very distraught at the fact that she had not had a date or any sex in quite some time.

She was afraid she might have something wrong with her, so she decided to seek the medical expertise of a sex therapist. Her doctor recommended that she see Dr. Chang, the well-known Chinese sex therapist, so she went to see him.

Upon entering the examination room, Dr. Chang said, "OK, take off all you crose." The woman did as she was told. "Now, get down and craw reery, reery fass to odder side of room." Again, the woman did as she was instructed. Dr. Chang then said, "OK, now craw reery, reery fass back to me." So she did.

Dr. Chang shook his head slowly and said, "Your probrem vewy bad. You haf Ed Zachary Disease. Worse case I ever see. Dat why you not haf sex or dates."

Worried, the woman asked anxiously, "Oh my God, Dr. Chang, what is Ed Zachary Disease?"

Dr. Chang looked the woman in the eye and replied, "Ed Zachary Disease is when your face rook Ed Zachary rike your ass."

Other Sports / former Armstrong teammate admits using EPO in 1999
« on: September 12, 2006, 07:52:15 AM »
from NYTimes
Fears for Sport Made Cyclist Come Clean
Published: September 12, 2006

Frankie Andreu, who twice helped Lance Armstrong win the Tour de France, stood in the kitchen of his suburban Detroit home last month and faced the question: Had he ever doped?

As his three young children played in the next room, Andreu, 39, bowed his head. At first, he said he did not know what to say. He did not want to answer. Then, he said that thinking about all of the athletes who had lied about drug use compelled him to tell the truth. So he revealed his secret.

I tried my best never to use performance-enhancing drugs, he said. I did make a couple of bad choices, but that was a long, long time ago. Its not something to be proud of. I did use EPO, but only for a couple of races.

Andreu, a widely respected competitor throughout his career and a member of the USA Cycling board, spoke at considerable risk. The United States Anti-Doping Agency can investigate and punish athletes who say they have used performance-enhancing substances.

Even so, he said, the guilt of using EPO, a synthetic drug that helps boost endurance, had been eating at him. He compared using the drug for a few races to robbing a bank: Does it matter if you stole 10 cents or 10 million dollars? he asked. Its still stealing.

Andreu, once Armstrongs teammate and roommate, said he hoped his admission would help expose the tradition of doping in cycling and perhaps begin to change it. He said he wanted his children to be able to ride professionally someday and not have to use drugs to succeed.

Someday, he said, he and his wife, Betsy, would tell their children, who are all under 8, about his decision to use EPO and to later make a stand against it. Until now, however, none of his family members except his wife have known about his past.

I think our kids will appreciate the fact that their father just could not lie, Betsy Andreu said. It will teach them to be honest, no matter what the consequences are.

Until July, Frankie Andreu, a two-time Olympian, was co-director of the Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team, which races in the United States. He was fired because he missed a race, a team spokeswoman said.

Shortly before learning of Andreus dismissal, Tony Cruz, a rider on the team, said: We all like Frankie. He is very good at his job.

Betsy Andreu said she thought Frankie was let go because they had testified in a contract dispute between Armstrong and a company called SCA Promotions, which had withheld a bonus from Armstrong because of allegations of doping. In February, Armstrong and the company that owned his race team settled their suit against SCA, receiving the bonus as well as interest and legal fees.

The Andreus said they were reluctant to testify, but they were required to do so under a court order. Under oath, they said they both overheard Armstrong, who had been found to have cancer, tell his oncologists that he had used performance-enhancing drugs. Armstrong testified that no one at the hospital had asked him if he had used performance-enhancing drugs, and he denied using such drugs. He also challenged the motives of the Andreus.

Nearly a dozen people in cycling declined to be interviewed about the Andreus, saying they feared for their jobs because of Armstrongs influence in the sport.

The Andreus wonder how Frankies confession will affect his future. He has been a television commentator at the Tour and does motivational speaking about cycling. He has a small real estate business in Dearborn, Mich., to fall back on, but he says he still dreads being called a rat, a narc or a traitor.

Nonetheless, he says he hopes others come forward. He said a program should be established for athletes to disclose details about doping without facing punishment.

Everybodys afraid to talk because they dont want to implicate themselves, he said. But there are guys out there who love the sport and who hate doping. They are the guys who have to speak up if the sport is going to survive.

Football / Anelka coming back to EPL?
« on: August 21, 2006, 09:58:24 AM »
Fenerbahce drag heels on Anelka deal
Aug. 21, 2006

Bolton's attempts to seal a deal for Nicolas Anelka to make his Premiership return are being thwarted by Turkish club Fenerbahce.

Anelka, 27, has claimed agreement in principle on a four-year contract with the Trotters and Sam Allardyce has confirmed discussions with the French forward are at an advanced stage.

However, the Bolton manager has cautioned against expectation the deal is on the brink of completion, pointing out Anelka's current club are not proving to be the easiest negotiating partners.

'There is no point in trying to hide that we are interested in Nicolas but we are in the hands of Fenerbahce,' said Allardyce.

'We would like Nicolas Anelka and we are flattered he would like to join us, as he has said.

'The deal has been negotiated for a considerable period of time but we can't quite get the president of Fenerbahce to put the rubber-stamp on it.

'Hopefully, it will be done sooner rather than later. But, until Fenerbahce tell us we can go on with the deal, we are in their hands.'

Anelka certainly seems optimistic the transfer will be concluded and he will be cleared to join his fourth English team after previous spells with Arsenal, Liverpool and, latterly, Manchester City.

It is reported that Bolton have offered around £8million for the 27-year-old.

'My wish is to return to the Premiership and it's about to materialise,' said Anelka told L'Equipe.

'I have agreed with Bolton the terms and conditions of a four-year contract.

'My desire to join this club is very strong and I hope everything will be sealed at the start of this week.'

Allardyce was hoping the transfer would remain secret until it had been formally finalised.

Now, the Bolton boss is faced with the worry of knowing rival clubs could attempt to wreck the deal by trumping the north-west side with a big-money offer of their own.

'Once something like this becomes public, it concerns me,' he said. 'We would like Nicolas Anelka but when it becomes public, it only alerts other clubs, who might join the race and spoil all the hard work we have done.

'There is nothing we can do about that now, other than keep my fingers crossed.'

Meanwhile, Wanderers midfielder Gary Speed has signed a new two-year deal to remain at the Reebok Stadium until the summer of 2008.

The 36-year-old former Wales international, who joined Bolton from Newcastle in 2004, has made over 70 appearances and scored five goals for the club.

'Gary's top-flight experience is second to none and is vital to this football club.

'He has been with us for two seasons and during that time he has been exceptional for us.'

LONDON (AP) -- Justin Gatlin could escape a lifetime ban if he testifies against his coach.

By testifying against Trevor Graham, Gatlin would exercise the "substantial assistance" provision in the World Anti-Doping Agency's code, which reduces the ban by proving "he or she bears no significant fault or negligence" in the violation.

The 24-year-old American sprinter faces the ban after a second positive doping test, but that could be reduced to eight years if Gatlin provides information against his coach.

"Since we don't have any criminal investigative powers -- like wiretaps, warrants for searching premises, etc. -- it takes information coming to us from people aiming for a reduction in their own doping sentences," said general counsel Travis Tygart, who refused to comment on Gatlin or any other specific cases before USADA.

"It's one way we can continue to actively pursue those involved in doping practices."

Gatlin, the Olympic and world champion and co-world record holder in the 100 meters, tested positive for testosterone or other steroids April 22 after a relay race in Kansas. He denies knowingly using banned substances.

Graham has claimed Gatlin was the victim of a vengeful massage therapist who rubbed testosterone cream on the sprinter's legs without his knowledge after the race.

"If an athlete can provide information on individuals involved in doping conspiracies and can help us catch distributors or users of these drugs we would always welcome that evidence," Tygart said.

After a 2003 positive test for modafinil, American sprinter Kelli White cooperated with USADA, providing information on key Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative players -- including founder Victor Conte and her former coach Remi Korchemny. For her help, she received a two-year suspension.

The International Association of Athletics Federations said Thursday it would investigate the activities of Graham in conjunction with USADA.

Graham, banned by the U.S. Olympic Committee from its training facilities, has been involved with at least a half-dozen athletes who have received drug suspensions. He always has denied direct knowledge or involvement with drug use. But Graham helped launch the federal investigation of BALCO three years ago by anonymously mailing a syringe containing "the clear," a previously undetectable steroid, to USADA

article on SI

Jokes / new salesman
« on: August 03, 2006, 10:55:37 AM »
A young guy gets a job at a big department store. The boss tells him, "You start tomorrow. I'll come down after we close and see how you did." At the end of the first day the boss comes down and asks him how many sales he made. One, the kid says. "Just one?" the boss asks. "Our sales people average 20 or 30 sales a day. How much was the sale for?"

"It was $101,237."

The boss is shocked. "$101,237?! What did you sell him?"

"Well, first I sold him a small fish hook. Then I sold him a medium fish hook. Then I sold him a larger fish hook. Then I sold him a new line. Then I sold him a new fishing rod. Then I asked him where he was going fishing, and he said down at the coast, so I told him he was gonna need a boat, so we went down to the boat department, and I sold him that twin engine Chris Craft. Then he said he didn't think his Honda Civic would pull it, so I took him down to the automotive department and sold him that 4X4 Blazer."

The boss can't believe it. "A guy came in here to buy a small fish hook and you ended up selling him a truck?"

"No," the kid replies. "He came in here to buy a box of tampons for his wife, and I said, 'Well, your weekend's shot, you might as well go fishing.'"

Jokes / 20 year anniversary
« on: July 23, 2006, 12:11:16 PM »
A woman awakes during the night to find that her husband was not in their bed.

She puts on her robe and goes downstairs to look for him. She finds him sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee in front of him. He appears deep in thought, just staring at the wall. She watches as he wipes a tear from his eye and takes a sip of coffee.

"What's the matter, dear?" she whispers as she steps into the room. "Why are you down here at this time of night?"

"Do you remember 20 years ago when we were dating, and you were only 17?" he asks solemnly.

The wife is touched by his memory. "Yes, I do," she replies. The husband pauses. The words are not coming easily.

"Do you remember when your father caught us in the back seat of my car?"

"Yes, I remember," says the wife, lowering herself into a chair beside him.

"Do you remember when he shoved a shotgun in my face and said, ‘Either you marry my daughter, or I will send you to jail for 20 years’?"

"I remember that too", she replies softly.

He wipes another tear from his cheek and says, "I would have gotten out today!"

Football / Jay-Jay going to Qatar
« on: July 19, 2006, 06:25:10 PM »
LONDON, July 19 (Reuters) -- Former Nigeria international Jay- Jay Okocha has signed a one-year contract with Qatari first division team Sports Club.

The 32-year-old midfielder was released by Bolton Wanderers in May after scoring 18 goals in 123 appearances since joining the Premier league club from Paris St Germain in 2002.

"Of course, Jay-Jay is here to help us win silverware," Qatar Sports Club board member Shiekh Jassim bin Hamad bin Nasser Al Thani said in a statement on the Asian Football Confederation Web site.

"He has passed the medical and will join the team in a training camp in the Czech Republic soon."

Okocha, who won 74 caps for Nigeria after making his debut in 1993, was part of his country's 1996 Olympic gold medal-winning side and was in the 1994, 1998 and 2002 World Cup squads.

He retired from international football after Nigeria lost to Ivory Coast in this year's African Cup of Nations semifinals.

Football / Report: Cannavaro to join Real Madrid
« on: July 12, 2006, 12:34:57 PM »
Real poised to make offers for Robben and Fabregas
By Jack Rashleigh in Madrid
Published: 12 July 2006
The Independent

Real Madrid paved the way for what promises to be a hectic summer in the transfer market yesterday by announcing their intention to make official approaches to Arsenal and Chelsea for Cesc Fabregas and Arjen Robben before the end of the week, while making it clear they are close to capturing Italy's World Cup-winning captain, Fabio Cannavaro, from Juventus.

Officials in the club's new regime have been accused of talking up their interest in the Premiership players solely to unsettle rival clubs and to help them to win the Real Madrid presidential elections 10 days ago. But the club's new director of football, Predrag Mijatovic, said: "We would never do that. Of course, we are fighting to bring the players to this club. After Thursday I am going to be moving with their respective clubs in a bid to show our supporters we are people of our word."

Regarding Cannavaro, Mijatovic said: "We've made good headway in getting him here and we're going to continue trying hard. I'm sure there will be some news in the next few days.

"I can appreciate that Cannavaro was a huge reason why Juventus won two Scudetti and why Italy won the World Cup."

Juventus, who on Monday appointed the former Chelsea midfielder Didier Deschamps as their new coach, are embroiled in a match-fixing trial, with the prosecution recommending that they be relegated to Serie C.

Mijatovic and the new Real president Ramon Calderon came to power promising to sign Fabregas, Robben and Milan's Kaka but no progress has been made. And last week Chelsea made an official complaint to Fifa about Real's conduct over Robben.

The Spanish club were accused of talking to the player without permission, although Calderon claimed afterwards that any conversations with the Dutch winger took place before he became Real Madrid president. "Since becoming president I have had no talks with any players" he said, insisting that all business would now be carried out strictly in accordance with Fifa regulations.
Real sense they have a chance of grabbing Robben if their spat with Chelsea can be smoothed over. Roberto Carlos' proposed switch to Stamford Bridge could help the deal through.

But persuading Arsenal to sell Fabregas remains a far less realistic aim. Real are hoping to offer Julio Baptista as part of a cash-plus-player exchange. The Brazilian, who can play in midfield or attack, was wanted by Arsenal's manager Arsène Wenger last summer when he left Seville but chose a move to Madrid.

Calderon said: "Arsenal were interested in Baptista last season and they still are, maybe something can be worked out."

Capello could also look to Manchester United's Ruud van Nistelrooy as his new striker, although Real have balked at the 30-year-old's £16m price tag. Cristiano Ronaldo has also been linked with the club and he and Marseilles winger Franck Ribéry could both be an option if the Robben bid fails. Lyon's midfielder Mahamadou Diarra will be targeted if Real fail to prise Fabregas from Arsenal.

Real have also been linked with Cannavaro's Juventus team-mates Gianluca Zambrotta and Emerson, and possibly either one of the strike partnership of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and David Trezeguet. If Milan are also found guilty in the match-fixing scandal and are relegated, Real will look to sign their Brazilian Kaka while Chelsea have been linked with a move for their defender Alessandro Nesta.

article here

Football / Soca Warriors best behaved team in the world cup
« on: July 07, 2006, 09:03:36 AM »
BERLIN (AP) -- Who's the baddest World Cup team of them all? A software company says Paraguay ranks at the bottom when it comes to misbehavior at the global soccer tournament.

Staff at the British office of Information Builders (IBI) tracked a string of alternative statistics during Germany 2006, including dives, feigned injuries, referee intimidation, and tantrums -- even players who didn't sing their national anthem.

According to their findings from watching TV broadcasts of the 32 teams' games, Italy leads in dives (32), France in tantrums (28), Paraguay in fake injuries (12), and Serbia and Montenegro in players not singing the anthem (31).

Croatia, France, Italy and Portugal are tied in bullying the referee incidents with five, although Croatia played half the games (three) than the others did.

Information Builders devised the "IBI Foul Play Index" by awarding points for yellow and red cards, bullying the referee, dives, fake injuries and tantrums. The total is then divided by the number of games played.

Paraguay leads the tournament with an index of 45, followed by Italy (40) and the Netherlands, Ivory Coast and Portugal (37).

France, Italy's opponent in Sunday's final, is tied with Germany, Switzerland and Togo for 14th at 26. England, tied with South Korea, is 19th at 23.

Trinidad and Tobago was the best behaved team the tournament, with a Foul Play Index of just 14. Next were Brazil, Costa Rica and Sweden (all 15) and the U.S. (16).

T&T were nailed for just four dives, three tantrums, two fake injuries and three players not singing the anthem.

Angola, Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Spain all scored perfect marks in anthem participation.

Information Builders is using the information to promote its software, which organizes data.

FIFA has its own Fair Play Index, but declined to provide it when asked Friday.


DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DID: FIFA president Sepp Blatter has admitted diving in order to trick referees during his playing days in Switzerland.

Diving, simulating fouls, faking injuries and players pleading with referees to pull cards on rivals have become a scourge of the World Cup. Blatter, as head of the sport's governing body, and the likes of Franz Beckenbauer are outspoken critics of it.

But Blatter has admitted in a TV interview to be aired on CNN International that he was less than a model of sportsmanship when he played in the Swiss league.

"I was not a perfect player, I have to say, being a striker. A striker cannot be a perfect player," Blatter said in the interview. "I also argued with the referee but I tried to argue in a polite manner.

"I tried also to get some advantages by joking with a player and then falling down by saying 'but he touched me.' And in fact it was not that. I did it."

Blatter said he could understand why players tried a bit of gamesmanship.

"All players -- especially attacking players -- they do it because you go into the 18-yard area and then you lose the ball because somebody takes it away," he said. "You are frustrated, and then in the frustration you do two things, either you try to get the ball back and then you commit a foul or then you say 'but he touched me,' and then you fall down.

"I can understand the players acting like that. But now they are at the level of the World Cup and they are the professionals, so they should think about that."


ON THE BLOCK: A little piece of the World Cup could be yours.

Hamburg auction house Dechow says the organizing committee has chosen it as a partner in disposing of tournament equipment -- and ensuring that not too much will end up in the garbage.

"A lot of the inventory can be reused, even if it is just to take a piece of the World Cup home, and enjoy that even if it has no practical use," Dechow manager Jan Broeker told the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Friday.

So what will be on offer, exactly?

"No turf, but otherwise we are still gathering what we can offer," Broeker said.

He added that some stadium managers and cities had expressed interest in keeping World Cup equipment, perhaps for museums _ "but we are hopeful that we can auction the corner flags, as well as one or two trainers' benches and perhaps even a goal."

Auction dates have yet to be set, but "we hope we will be through with everything in the second half of August at the latest," Broeker said.


ITALY'S WONDERWALL: Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher plans to take in Sunday's World Cup final, wearing a special outfit at the request of Italy's Alessandro Del Piero.

The Manchester City fan, who has already seen Germany-Italy and England-Sweden, told www.fifaworldcup.com that Del Piero is an Oasis fan.

"He comes to see us when we're over in Italy and he's been to see us in France," Gallagher said. "We did an interview with him once for the Gazzetta dello Sport and we got to know him. He gives us shirts and he gave me a pair of his boots once, but I had to split them with (brother) Liam -- he's got one boot and I've got the other."

Gallagher said Del Piero, upset that he was not starting against Germany, told him he would score off the bench.

"After the game, he said I'd become his lucky mascot so I've got to go to the final and wear the exact same clothes and underwear and socks to bring him good luck."

Gallagher said he had been impressed with several Mexican players and Argentina forward Carlos Tevez, calling him "the little rough-looking fellow."

"Apart from Tevez, I'd go for (England's) Owen Hargreaves."


THE CLEAN GAME: Thirsty fans at the 2006 World Cup consumed drinks in 5.5 million refillable cups that were sold in stadiums in an effort to cut down on waste generated during the tournament, a leading German environmental group said.

The DUH praised the reusable cup initiative for helping make World Cup 2006 "the cleanest game ever."

Organizers for the 2008 European Championship, to be held in Switzerland and Austria, have already expressed interest in a similar concept, the DUH said.


SAFE HANDS: Italy's Gianluigi Buffon can enter the World Cup record book Sunday.

Buffon, who has only given up an own-goal at the tournament, has not been beaten for 453 minutes to rank fifth in the all-time ranking for goalkeepers. A shutout against Italy will give Buffon, last beaten in the 27th minute of Italy's second group game against the U.S., the tournament record.

The current mark is held by Italian Walter Zenga, who went 517 minutes without conceding a goal at Italia 90, going five matches before Argentina's Claudio Caniggia scored in the 67th minute of the semifinal.

Football / Prosecutor asks that Juve be sent to Serie C
« on: July 04, 2006, 04:09:50 PM »
sorry if this has been posted already.

ROME (AP) -- An Italian prosecutor asked a sports tribunal Tuesday to demote Juventus to Serie C or lower and strip the team of the Serie A titles it won in the past two seasons.

Prosecutor Stefano Palazzi also asked the sports trial into Italy's match-fixing scandal at the Olympic stadium to relegate AC Milan, Fiorentina and Lazio to Serie B.

Along with the demotions, Palazzi requested the teams be docked points next season: six for Juventus, three for AC Milan, and 15 for Lazio and Fiorentina.

The requests sparked an angry reaction.

Milan owner and ex-Italy Premier Silvio Berlusconi said they were "absurd and out of proportion."

"I am astonished and outraged by the prosecutor's calls. Milan has never had refereeing favors, in fact, on the contrary, it has been a victim of refereeing favors granted to other clubs," he added.

Earlier Tuesday, Palazzi had said in opening remarks that the managers of the four teams were involved in a "malicious" and "sophisticated" system aimed at influencing referees and match results.

"There is absolutely no other possible interpretation for what has emerged from the investigation," he said.

The four teams and 25 soccer officials -- including referees -- face charges of match-fixing and disloyalty.

Italy plays Germany in a World Cup semifinal later Tuesday in Dortmund, Germany. Italy's squad has 13 players from the four clubs involved, and the requests could affect the national team's performance.

Juventus' share value plunged on the Milan stock exchange after the requests were issued, falling by 8.8 percent to euro1.2 (US$1.53). Trading was briefly suspended.

Also, Fabio Capello resigned as Juventus coach on Tuesday with Real Madrid's incoming president Ramon Calderon stating that Capello will be named as the new coach on Thursday.

Juventus' former chief executive Antonio Giraudo -- who attended Tuesday for the first time since proceedings opened last week -- and ex-general manager Luciano Moggi are at the center of the scandal. The two resigned due to the scandal in May, along with the club's entire board.

Palazzi said Moggi and Giraudo had continuous contact with refereeing officials on secure phone lines and at frequent dinner parties organized to manipulate the refereeing system.

"The particular maliciousness and sophistication of the system" is shown by Juventus officials using complicit journalists "to prevent public opinion from becoming aware of this favoritism," Palazzi said.

Giraudo told the tribunal Tuesday that the dinner parties were merely "social occasions," and that his relationships with federation officials and referees were of a "personal" nature.

Verdicts are expected before Sunday's World Cup final -- but the pace of the trial has so far been slow.

The highest-ranking official on trial is former federation president Franco Carraro, who resigned in May after accusations that his organization conferred with Juventus about referees.

Other officials involved include Milan vice president Adriano Galliani, Fiorentina owner Diego Della Valle and Lazio President Claudio Lotito.

Palazzi asked for these officials -- except Galliani, who is only accused of disloyalty -- to be barred from federation positions for five years, the sports code's maximum. He requested a two-year ban for Galliani. If the court requests it, the federation can convert the five-year sanctions into lifetime bans.

The maximum penalty was also requested for referee Massimo De Santis, who was pulled from the World Cup due to the scandal.

Accused of being one of the complicit referees used by Juventus, De Santis denied fixing matches and said he "never went to dinner parties or made any phone calls."

Galliani told the judges that he'd never ordered Milan officials to influence refereeing appointments.

"I have always behaved loyally and correctly in my career as well as in my life," he said.

The trial continues Tuesday with the judges expected to hear more statements from the accused.

In the first significant decision to come from the trial, former federation official Cosimo Maria Ferri was banned for life Monday because he resigned after proceedings against him had begun.

The scandal is the largest in Italian soccer history. Prosecutors in Naples, Rome, Parma and Turin are also conducting separate criminal probes into sports fraud, illegal betting and false bookkeeping -- but any indictments could take months to be issued.

-original article at sportsillustrated.cnn.com

German doctors warn World Cup fans over measles outbreak

Fri 12 May, 4:02 PM

BERLIN (AFP) - German health experts warned football fans coming to the World Cup to have themselves vaccinated against measles, following an outbreak in a state that will host 11 matches.

More than 1,100 people in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia have caught the disease in the past ten weeks, according to authorities in the state.

Heinz-Josef Schmitt, from Germany's leading centre for disease control, the Robert Koch Institute, said all World Cup visitors who have not been given measles jabs should get them before coming to the tournament.

Schmitt said the measles epidemic has caught the attention of the World Health Organisation, which was "concerned" about the situation.

An expert from Rostock university, Emil Reisinger, said there was a high risk of catching measles in crowded football stadiums and at post-match celebrations as it is an airborne disease.

Six World Cup matches are being played in Dortmund, including a semi-final, and five in Gelsenkirchen, both of which are in North Rhine-Westphalia, during the June 9 to July 9 tournament.

Article from Yahoo Sports

Football / Ronaldo turns down $120M offer to join MLS
« on: May 29, 2006, 02:45:27 PM »
WEGGIS, Switzerland (AP) -- Brazil striker Ronaldo wants to play in the United States later in his career.

"Right now I have a contract with Real Madrid and I'm only thinking about the World Cup, but without a doubt, the American market is one of my goals for the future," Ronaldo said Monday.

Ronaldo reportedly turned down a recent $120 million, 10-year offer to play for the New York Red Bulls in Major League Soccer.

Ronaldo's manager, Fabiano Farah, told the Estado de Minas newspaper that Ronaldo refused the offer because he is happy playing in Europe, where he intends to stay for several years.

"A transfer to the United States right now would not make sense," Farah said. "He still has several challenges in European soccer."

The 29-year-old Ronaldo will start for Brazil when the defending champions debut in Germany against Croatia on June 13. Ronaldo is tied with Pele with 12 World Cup goals and is only three shy of becoming the World Cup's leading scorer.

He had various injuries at the start of the year and played sparingly for Real Madrid, scoring only five goals in the team's first 19 matches.

Ronaldo will be playing in his fourth World Cup. He was 17 when Brazil won the tournament in 1994 in the United States.

In 97 matches with the national team, Ronaldo has scored 61 goals. When the striker is on the field, Brazil has lost eight times.

Article here on Sports Illustrated

2006 World Cup - Germany / Maradona believes England can win the WC
« on: May 01, 2006, 09:54:40 PM »
didn't see this anywhere on the board.

from the BBC http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/world_cup_2006/4947084.stm

Monday, 1 May 2006, 23:17 GMT 00:17 UK


Football legend Diego Maradona believes Sven-Goran Eriksson's England side can win the World Cup in Germany.

As well as ability, Maradona insists their experience can help them prosper.

"England has a good team - much stronger than at previous World Cups," Maradona, 45, said in a BBC documentary to be shown on Tuesday.

In the interview with ex-England star Gary Lineker, the Argentine added: "With the experience of its players it could be a good World Cup for them."

The interview marked the first meeting between Lineker and Maradona since 1987, when they played in a Wembley Centenary match.

Their previous encounter had been in the quarter-finals of the 1986 World Cup - when Argentina beat England 2-1, thanks to two goals from Maradona.

The first was the infamous 'hand of God' goal; the second was one of the greatest goals of all time, when Maradona dribbled from his own half before rounding England goalkeeper Peter Shilton to score.

Lineker told Maradona the second goal was "probably the one and only time in my whole career I felt like applauding the opposition scoring a goal".

And the Argentine said he might only have been able to score such a goal against England.

"To score that goal for me was fantastic - and in a World Cup, incredible," he said.

"When you talk about playing against Italy, Uruguay or Brazil, it is much more complicated to do the move that I did than playing against England.

"Because the English player is a lot more noble, a lot more honest on the pitch."

Maradona admitted he had scored the first goal with his hand - but denied that it was cheating.

"It was my hand (but) no, I don't think it was cheating. Cunning, cheekiness, craftiness, but not cheating," he said.

"Maybe we have more of it in South America than in Europe.

"I don't mean any disrespect to England fans but this is something that happens.

"I had scored goals before in Argentina with my hand. I couldn't reach it and Shilton was already there. I couldn't head it, so I did like that.

"And I moved my hand back and started to run. Shilton did not realise - the one who realised was Terry Butcher."

And the Argentine explained why he described the goal as "the hand of God".

He said: "Because God gives us a hand. Because it's very difficult for it not to be seen by two people - the referee and the linesman. That's why I said it was the hand of God."

Football / Jason Scotland has a World Cup goal
« on: March 28, 2006, 12:00:18 PM »

Scotland has a world goal

Mar 28 2006


JASON Scotland admits this isn’t the time to endure a goals famine.

With the Trinidad and Tobago World Cup squad being unveiled in a matter of weeks, the Perth striker is confident he’ll get the call.

But he’s eager to keep his name to the fore by bagging plenty of goals for St Johnstone in the last five games of the season.

Yesterday, reflecting on four games without finding the net, he said: “At least the team have been getting results and that’s taken weight off my shoulders.

“But as a striker I look to be scoring once every two games on average.

“The World Cup squad will be announced next month I expect, because there is a friendly in Trinidad against Peru on May 10.

“I want to keep my name in the manager’s mind and scoring goals for Saints will help.”

Scotland expects national boss Leo Beenhakker to list a provisional 25-strong squad for Germany and that will be whittled down after a two week training camp.

Having been recalled to the set-up after securing a work permit and his future in Perth, Scotland was a regular in the squad as the qualification games rolled on.

He admitted it would be an all-time low in his career if he failed to make the plane to Germany.

“People come up to me in the streets and say best of luck against England! It’s nice to get that support.

“Having been part of the qualifying games, obviously I hope to still be in the squad for Germany.

“The manager knows what I can do. I haven’t played as an out and out striker for Trinidad and that adaptability might work in my favour.

“I’m still confident I’ll make the squad. But it is always down to the coach and you never know what’s in his mind.

“I have to perform well for Saints. It was good to be recalled to the national squad when I sorted out the work permit. That suggested the coach rated me. But he has been scouting around and there are guys knocking on the door.

“But I talk to various players and we all agree it would be devastating not to make the squad for Germany. It was be a tragedy. This is an incredible chance to be part of the World Cup and no one wants to miss out.”

Closer to home, boss Owen Coyle is looking to Scotland to weigh in with goals as Saints bid to win all five remaining matches.

St Mirren seem to have the title bagged, but Coyle stressed: “How bad would we feel if they did slip up and we had blown our own chances? They have to win two of the four games before we play them on the last day. But we have to keep winning.

“I’ll ensure no one here takes the foot off the pedal. I want every point that is available to us.”

The Perth boss continues to seek out talent for next season but he refused to comment on speculation linking him with a move for Airdrie defender Allan McManus.

“We added strength to the squad in January with the arrival of Martin Hardie and Matt Glennon in particular. I am always looking and we know the sort of player we want to bring in. We have never stopped pursuing targets. The first step is always to see if they want to come to the club because I don’t want players who don’t want to be part of what we are trying to achieve here.”

PERTH kid Kevin Moon returned to action at the weekend with a goal in the 1-1 U19 match with Raith Rovers. He has been plagued by a long-term groin problem. But the highly-rated youngster was on the mark in his first game back.

Football / T&T gets 2,000 more tickets for World Cup
« on: March 19, 2006, 09:22:01 PM »
T&T gets 2,000 more tickets for World Cup

By RADHICA SOOKRAJ (The Trinidad Guardian)

FIFA Vice President and T&T Football Federation special advisor Austin Jack Warner has said that T&T will receive 2,000 additional tickets for the World Cup.

Speaking to reporters at Phagwa festivities at Palmiste Park, San Fernando, yesterday, Warner said he had made an application to FIFA last Thursday for additional tickets.

“We are getting more tickets, a substantial amount for the World Cup. So all those persons who wanted four tickets and under will now get them,” Warner said.

He explained:

“I made an application on Thursday for more tickets and FIFA accepted it. We will have more tickets than before. I asked for 2,000 and I got 2,000,” Warner said.

He returned from Switzerland on Saturday night where he had gone to answer allegations that he had violated FIFA’s Code of Ethics.

Warner confirmed reports that he had severed ties with Simpaul Travel Service, which had made an arrangement with the T&T Football Federation for tickets.

Dismissing the allegations as political mudslinging, Warner said:

“They thought they would discredit me, kill my spirit, my good name and my standing in the country.

“They thought if they kill me, it would affect the UNC, but it didn’t work.”

Warner believes more mudslinging will be hurled at him.

“Don’t believe this will be the last time they do this. They will cross me again and I am ready,” he said.

Cricket Anyone / Some cricket videos
« on: January 26, 2006, 10:46:34 PM »
Google videos has an ever increasing amount of cricket clips available for free.  The videos all play as flash animations so you don't have any big setta downloading to do.

footage of sobers hitting 6 sixes in one over

lara's 28 off one over in a test match

west indies vs australia in '99 3rd test  14 minutes long

Lara becoming the leading scorer in the history of test cricket 12 minutes long

Football / Bahrain - Uzbekistan just kick off
« on: October 12, 2005, 01:07:15 PM »
score available here, 5 minutes gone so far


Football / Is Yorke out the USA game?
« on: June 08, 2005, 08:38:48 PM »
I see that he got a yellow today and one against Guatemala.

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