Tag Archives: attack

Jesse Ryder out of induced coma and interacting with family after sickening assault in Christchurch

Ryder releases statement after brutal attack as cricketer says he feels 'heaps better' after coming out of induced coma

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

00:05 GMT, 31 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

07:04 GMT, 31 March 2013

New Zealand cricketer Jesse Ryder today said he was 'heaps better' but 'really tired' in his first public statement since the attack which put him in intensive care.

The 28-year-old Wellington all-rounder was admitted to Christchurch Hospital in the early hours of Thursday morning and placed in an induced coma after suffering multiple injuries, including a fractured skull, in an attack outside a bar.

Ryder was yesterday brought out of the coma and is now out of intensive care.

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Critical condition: Jesse Ryder

Support: Ryder

Stable condition: Jesse Ryder has come out of an induced coma and is regaining speech

Scene: The New Zealand cricketer was attacked close to Aikmans Bar

Scene: The New Zealand cricketer was attacked close to Aikmans Bar

He today he released a statement
saying: 'I just want to let everyone know that I’m okay. I feel heaps
better today but still really tired.

'I’ve been reading your messages that have been sent so thank you to everyone for thinking of me over the last few days.

'I want to thank everyone who has
been caring for me at the hospital – they have been awesome. Thank you
to my family and friends who have been here also.'

Two men – a 20-year-old and a 37-year-old who police said are related – will appear in court on Thursday charged with assault.

Found: The McDonald's in Merivale, Christchurch, where Ryder was found

Followed: The McDonald's in Merivale, Christchurch, where Ryder was attacked

Induced coma: Ryder remains in Christchurch hospital

Induced coma: Ryder remains in Christchurch hospital

Police chief reveals details of incident which left Jesse Ryder…

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Police believe Ryder was involved in
an altercation with two people outside Aikmans bar in the Christchurch
suburb of Merivale shortly after 12.30am local time on Thursday morning,
and was then assaulted by one of the two, who followed him towards the
car park of a nearby McDonald’s.

Ryder, a controversial figure whose
career has been plagued by off-field incidents, has not played for New
Zealand since February last year.

He spent three days in intensive care
but on Saturday his manager, Aaron Klee, revealed that he is now
breathing independently and talking to his family. Police have arrested
two men.

Former New Zealand pace bowler Iain O'Brien said of Ryder: 'He's the kind of guy that always will have a drink.

Jesse Ryder

Jesse Ryder

International: Ryder has played 18 Tests, 39 ODIs and 20 T20s for his country

'When he is off the stuff he's a
wonderful, wonderful man – he's one of the funniest guys and very jovial
– but on the other side of it, when he has been drinking he can
certainly suffer the lows.'

Ryder has played 18 Tests and 39 one-day internationals for the Black Caps, his last appearance an ODI against South Africa.

West Brom fan hunted by police after snowball attack on Aston Villa defender Joe Bennett

Police hunt West Brom fan after snowball attack on Aston Villa defender Bennett

By
Paul Collins

PUBLISHED:

13:31 GMT, 22 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:12 GMT, 22 January 2013

Police are trying to identify the fan who threw a snowball at Aston Villa's Joe Bennett and missed during the Midlands derby with West Brom.

Television cameras caught the supporter aiming his shot at the left back during their draw at The Hawthorns on Saturday evening.

Although the snowball missed its intended target, police have launched an investigation into the incident and are hoping to identify the culprit.

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Swing and a miss: The snowball went nowhere near Joe Bennett as he prepared to take a throw

Swing and a miss: The snowball went nowhere near Joe Bennett as he prepared to take a throw

A spokeswoman for West Midlands Police told Sportsmail: 'We are making inquiries to identify the offender and deal with him appropriately.'

The incident was one of several similar 'attacks' over the weekend.

On Saturday, Blackburn Rovers' controversial owners were pelted by fans when they made a rare appearance at Ewood Park.

Jitendra Desai, husband of owner Anuradha, was hit in the face as the Venky's group got out of their limos at the entrance to Ewood Park before the defeat by Charlton Athletic, new manager Michael Appleton's first game in charge.

Emmanuel Adebayor will play at Africa Cup of Nations

AVB left with just one striker as Spurs confirm Adebayor will play at Africa Cup of Nations

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

15:35 GMT, 9 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

15:35 GMT, 9 January 2013

Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas may be forced into the transfer market after the club confirmed that Emmanuel Adebayor has performed a U-turn and agreed to play for Togo at the Africa Cup of Nations.

The striker will be available for Saturday's trip to QPR but his departure will leave Villas-Boas with Jermain Defoe as his only striker for the next month.

A statement on Spurs' official website read: 'The club can confirm that Emmanuel Adebayor has been called up by the Togo FA for the forthcoming African Cup of Nations.

Striker light: Villas-Boas will have to make do without Adebayor for the next month

Striker light: Villas-Boas will have to make do without Adebayor for the next month

'The striker will be available for
this weekend's fixture against Queens Park Rangers before travelling out
to South Africa to meet up with his international teammates ahead of
the championships.'

Adebayor
had cast doubt over his participation at the tournament, which runs
from January 19 to February 10 in South Africa, due to a row over team
security and unpaid bonuses.

The 28-year-old had a
change of heart after talks with the country's President Faure Gnassingbe at the weekend.

Hometown hero: Fans play music and dance outside soccer player Adebayor's house in Togo's capital Lome on Tuesday

Hometown hero: Fans play music and dance outside soccer player Adebayor's house in Togo's capital Lome on Tuesday

'Of course we’re in the Africa Cup of Nations with Adebayor, we will be together in South Africa,' head of the Togo Football Federation, Ameyi Gabriel, is reported to have told Radio Algeria International.

'It is very important to have him there because he is our player and captain of the team.'

The development came on the anniversary of the gun attack on Togo's team bus, which killed three people.

Adebayor was on board when gunmen opened
fire as they headed to their African Cup of Nations base in Angola in 2010. Three
people died in the incident – the bus driver, an assistant coach and a
press officer.

Heading off: Adebayor will play for Togo in South Africa

Heading off: Adebayor will play for Togo in South Africa

Adebayor will miss the visit of Manchester United on January 20 and could miss up to five games depending on Togo's progress.

Although Adebayor has only scored
three times for Spurs this year, his absence will be a big blow to as the club's only other recognised striker is Jermain Defoe.

Villas-Boas
has regularly claimed he does not need to add another striker to his
squad in this month's transfer window, but he has been linked with
another bid for Internacional and Brazil forward Leandro Damiao in
recent days.

Tony Greig dies: Patrick Collins tribute

Brash and tactless he may have been but Greig was also cricket's saviour

|

UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 29 December 2012

The MCC flag on the clock tower at Lord’s is flying at half-mast in memory of Tony Greig.

The former England captain, who died aged 66 following a heart attack at his home in Sydney on Saturday, would have smiled at this tribute from Official England. For no cricketer ever attracted such vituperation from those who ruled the game. Yet no cricketer ever succeeded so completely in transforming the game they once ruled.

Brash and combative, truculent and tactless, Greig will be recalled as much for his role in celebrated controversies as for his status as one of cricket’s finest all-rounders.

66 and out: Former England captain and popular television commentator Tony Greig has died in Sydney at the age of 66

66 and out: Former England captain and popular television commentator Tony Greig has died in Sydney at the age of 66

Job well done: Greig, then captain of England, relaxes with a pint after a Test match at Old Trafford in 1972

Job well done: Greig, then captain of England, relaxes with a pint after a Test match at Old Trafford in 1972

There was his foolhardy promise to make
the 1976 West Indies tourists ‘grovel’. It was a crassly offensive term
in any circumstances; spoken by a white South African at a time when
apartheid still oppressed that benighted country, it was catastrophic.

There was the day in Trinidad when he threw down the stumps of Alvin
Kallicharran as the West Indies batsman walked off the field at the
close of play. Greig appealed, the umpire raised his finger and a major
riot ensued. On the following morning, the appeal was revoked. But the
memory lingered.

Then there was Packer. Most of all, there was Packer. Some 35 years on, it is impossible to convey the depth of the outrage.

All-rounder: Greig scored 3,599 Test runs at an average of 40.43 and was also more than handy with the ball, claiming 141 wickets at an average of 32.20

All-rounder: Greig scored 3,599 Test runs at an average of 40.43 and was also more than handy with the ball, claiming 141 wickets at an average of 32.20

Mentor: Greig offers some words of advice for players of the future during a match for Brighton and Hove CC at Basingstoke in 1978

Mentor: Greig offers some words of advice for players of the future during a match for Brighton and Hove CC at Basingstoke in 1978

Leaders: Deposed England cricket captain Tony Greig (right) and his successor, Mike Brearley, during practice prior to the 1st ODI against Australia at Old Trafford in Manchester on 22nd June 1977

Leaders: Deposed England cricket captain Tony Greig (right) and his successor, Mike Brearley, during practice prior to the 1st ODI against Australia at Old Trafford in Manchester on 22nd June 1977

In 1977, cricketers were seen as being fortunate to play the game. Their
wages were meagre, their financial prospects precarious. Greig had been
captain of England for two years, a popular figure who seemed capable
of regenerating English cricket. But he had signed a secret agreement
with Kerry Packer, the owner of Nine Network in Australia, to set up a
‘rebel’ troupe of international cricketers.

He then — while still captain — began to recruit English and foreign cricketers for the Packer ‘circus’.

The plot became public and, within a week, Greig had lost the captaincy.
He was retained for an Ashes series as an England player, but his
international career then expired. He threw his energies behind Packer’s
successful attempt to popularise the game, especially the one-day
version with its coloured clothing and tumultuous crowds. The sport was
truly transformed.

Meeting of minds: Greig chats with Pakistan cricketer of the sixties Saeed Ahmed in the United Arab Emirates in 1997

Meeting of minds: Greig chats with Pakistan cricketer of the sixties Saeed Ahmed in the United Arab Emirates in 1997

Controversial times: Greig as captain of the World Series Cricket World XI in the 1979 Supertest Grand Final match with Australia in Sydney

Controversial times: Greig as captain of the World Series Cricket World XI in the 1979 Supertest Grand Final match with Australia in Sydney

It all tended to obscure the fact that he was a blissfully talented
cricketer. Six feet six inches in height, he scored 3,599 Test runs at
40.43 and took 141 wickets at 32.20. Once in the West Indies, with
England needing to win to save the series, he experimented with
off-spin. He took 13 wickets, scored a six and three-quarter-hour
century and England won by 26 runs.

An extraordinary talent.

He later moved to Australia and built a career as a commentator on
Packer’s television channel. The energy never dimmed until these last
few weeks, when he was diagnosed with lung cancer and his health swiftly
failed.

Memorabilia: Greig studies the ball used by Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh when he became the first Indian to take a hat-trick in Test cricket at an auction in Bangalore in 2003

Memorabilia: Greig studies the ball used by Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh when he became the first Indian to take a hat-trick in Test cricket at an auction in Bangalore in 2003

He has received a number of glowing obituaries, but many years ago his
former England colleague, Pat ‘Percy’ Pocock, wrote: ‘When the whole
Packer business erupted, the popular cry was that Tony Greig had
betrayed the game. I never believed that, and I think history will be
kind to him. Far from betraying it, I fancy he may just have saved it.’

Tony Greig would have appreciated the MCC flag on the clock tower. But I
suspect that Percy’s tribute would be the one he valued most of all.

WORLD OF CRICKET UNITES TO PAY TRIBUTE TO GREIG

England wicketkeeper, Matt Prior: 'Can't believe one of my heroes Tony Greig has passed away. One of the greatest voices in cricket and will be sorely missed. #RIPGreigy.'

England batsman Jonny Bairstow: 'Today we lost a fabulous man, a family friend and someone who was respected by all not only as a cricketer but a true gentleman RIPTonyGreig'

England opener, Nick Compton:
'Sad day – RIP Tony Greig a fantastic player and a good man, loved his
commentary was one of the best! Cricket world will miss u.'

Legendary Aussie fast bowler, Brett Lee: 'OMG Poor Tony Greig. I feel so sad and shocked right now. Can't believe it.'

England all-rounder, Luke Wright: 'Gutted to hear that Tony Greig has passed away. A legend on and off the field. Our thoughts are with his family and friends #RIPGreigy.'

Australia captain Michael Clarke on www.cricket.com.au: 'I was only speaking with Tony a couple of days ago so news of his passing is absolutely devastating.

'Tony has a long and decorated history with international cricket both as a player and commentator and cricket will be much poorer for his loss.

'Personally, he has also been a great mentor for me, providing great advice through the good times and the bad.'

Former Australian paceman Glen McGrath: My thoughts are with Tony Greig's family today. RIP Tony Greig'

Long-serving Nine Network cricket commentator and former Australia captain Richie Benaud recalled Greig's 'fearless' reaction to the English public following his decision to join the Packer team in 1977.
'There was an enormous amount of pressure on him,' Benaud told the Sydney Morning Herald.

'He was captain of England at the time and played against Australia at Lord's. The English people turned against him.

'He wasn't just a fearless cricketer but a fearless thinker as well. He would not just jump in boots first, but it wouldn't matter how much pressure it put on him, he would stick with it.'

Former Australia fast bowler Dennis Lillee told the same publication: 'Tony was a tough opponent who took on all opposition with aggression and a determination to win.

'We will not forget the way he stirred the viewers in a similar vein to the way he did to opposition teams.'

ICC chief executive David Richardson: 'This is extremely sad news for cricket and the ICC send their condolences to Tony's family and in particular his wife Vivian.

'Tony played a significant part in shaping modern cricket as a player in the 1970s and then provided millions of cricket lovers with a unique insight as a thoughtful and knowledgeable commentator – primarily for the Nine Network in Australia.

'I met with him on several occasions during the recent ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka where he was a senior commentator for our broadcast partner ESS.

'He was also a regular visitor to the ICC offices in Dubai when commentating for Ten Sports.

'I am sure that I will not be alone in saying that he and his wise words will be missed by cricketers, administrators and spectators around the world.

'His figures in Test matches show that he was one of the leading all-rounders of his generation with a batting average of above 40 and a bowling average around 32.'

Tony Greig dies: Former England cricket captain passes away after of heart attack

Former England cricket captain and TV commentator Tony Greig dies of a heart attack at 66

PUBLISHED:

08:33 GMT, 29 December 2012

|

UPDATED:

09:33 GMT, 29 December 2012

Former England captain and television commentator Tony Greig has died of a heart attack at the age of 66 after being diagnosed with lung cancer earlier this year.

South Africa-born Greig, who played 58 Tests for England, was initially diagnosed with bronchitis seven months ago, with further tests showing a lesion at the base of his right lung.

He became synonymous with world cricket as a commentator for Australian television network Channel Nine following his retirement.

66 and out: Former England captain and popular television commentator Tony Greig has died in Sydney at the age of 66

66 and out: Former England captain and popular television commentator Tony Greig has died in Sydney at the age of 66

Job well done: Greig, then captain of England, relaxes with a pint after a Test match at Old Trafford in 1972

Job well done: Greig, then captain of England, relaxes with a pint after a Test match at Old Trafford in 1972

'Beloved Tony Greig, former England cricket captain, has passed away today at the age of 66,' a Channel Nine statement read.

'Initially diagnosed with bronchitis in May, the condition lingered and testing revealed he had lung cancer.'

Greig scored 3,599 Test runs at an average of 40.43 and was also more than handy with the ball, claiming 141 wickets at an average of 32.20.

He finished playing for England at the age of 30 to take up a position in Kerry Packer's breakaway World Series Cricket competition, where he was one of the star recruits.

All-rounder: Greig scored 3,599 Test runs at an average of 40.43 and was also more than handy with the ball, claiming 141 wickets at an average of 32.20

All-rounder: Greig scored 3,599 Test runs at an average of 40.43 and was also more than handy with the ball, claiming 141 wickets at an average of 32.20

Mentor: Greig offers some words of advice for players of the future during a match for Brighton and Hove CC at Basingstoke in 1978

Mentor: Greig offers some words of advice for players of the future during a match for Brighton and Hove CC at Basingstoke in 1978

Leaders: Deposed England cricket captain Tony Greig (right) and his successor, Mike Brearley, during practice prior to the 1st ODI against Australia at Old Trafford in Manchester on 22nd June 1977

Leaders: Deposed England cricket captain Tony Greig (right) and his successor, Mike Brearley, during practice prior to the 1st ODI against Australia at Old Trafford in Manchester on 22nd June 1977

The Channel Nine statement continued: 'Tony Greig is a name synonymous with Australian cricket – from his playing days as the English captain we loved to hate, to his senior role in the revolution of World Series Cricket, his infamous car keys in the pitch reports and more than three decades of colourful and expert commentary.

'To his family and friends we pass on our best wishes.'

Meeting of minds: Greig chats with Pakistan cricketer of the sixties Saeed Ahmed in the United Arab Emirates in 1997

Meeting of minds: Greig chats with Pakistan cricketer of the sixties Saeed Ahmed in the United Arab Emirates in 1997

Controversial times: Greig as captain of the World Series Cricket World XI in the 1979 Supertest Grand Final match with Australia in Sydney

Controversial times: Greig as captain of the World Series Cricket World XI in the 1979 Supertest Grand Final match with Australia in Sydney

Greig, a right-handed middle-order batsman and medium-fast seamer, made his Test debut for England against Australia in 1972, and captained the national team from 1975-1977 after succeeding Mike Denness as skipper.

He lived in Sydney from the late 1970s and commentated on cricket for Channel Nine for 33 years.

Memorabilia: Greig studies the ball used by Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh when he became the first Indian to take a hat-trick in Test cricket at an auction in Bangalore in 2003

Memorabilia: Greig studies the ball used by Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh when he became the first Indian to take a hat-trick in Test cricket at an auction in Bangalore in 2003

Reports in Australia today indicated Greig suffered a heart attack at his home in Sydney and died around 1345 AEDT (0245 GMT).

'He was rushed into St Vincent's hospital. The staff of the emergency department worked on Mr Greig to no avail,' St Vincent's spokesman David Faktor was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald.

WORLD OF CRICKET UNITES TO PAY TRIBUTE TO GREIG

England opener, Nick Compton: 'Sad day – RIP Tony Greig a fantastic player and a good man, loved his commentary was one of the best! Cricket world will miss u.'

Legendary Aussie fast bowler, Brett Lee: 'OMG Poor Tony Greig. I feel so sad and shocked right now. Can't believe it.'

England wicketkeeper, Matt Prior: 'Can't believe one of my heroes Tony Greig has passed away. One of the greatest voices in cricket and will be sorely missed. #RIPGreigy.'

England all-rounder, Luke Wright: 'Gutted to hear that Tony Greig has passed away. A legend on and off the field. Our thoughts are with his family and friends #RIPGreigy.'

Australia captain Michael Clarke on www.cricket.com.au: 'I was only speaking with Tony a couple of days ago so news of his passing is absolutely devastating.

“Tony has a long and decorated history with international cricket both as a player and commentator and cricket will be much poorer for his loss.

“Personally, he has also been a great mentor for me, providing great advice through the good times and the bad.'

Former Australian paceman Glen McGrath: My thoughts are with Tony Greig's family today. RIP Tony Greig'

Long-serving Nine Network cricket commentator and former Australia captain Richie Benaud recalled Greig's 'fearless' reaction to the English public following his decision to join the Packer team in 1977.
'There was an enormous amount of pressure on him,' Benaud told the Sydney Morning Herald.

'He was captain of England at the time and played against Australia at Lord's. The English people turned against him.

'He wasn't just a fearless cricketer but a fearless thinker as well. He would not just jump in boots first, but it wouldn't matter how much pressure it put on him, he would stick with it.'

Former Australia fast bowler Dennis Lillee told the same publication: 'Tony was a tough opponent who took on all opposition with aggression and a determination to win.

'We will not forget the way he stirred the viewers in a similar vein to the way he did to opposition teams.'

ICC chief executive David Richardson: 'This is extremely sad news for cricket and the ICC send their condolences to Tony's family and in particular his wife Vivian.

'Tony played a significant part in shaping modern cricket as a player in the 1970s and then provided millions of cricket lovers with a unique insight as a thoughtful and knowledgeable commentator – primarily for the Nine Network in Australia.

'I met with him on several occasions during the recent ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka where he was a senior commentator for our broadcast partner ESS.

'He was also a regular visitor to the ICC offices in Dubai when commentating for Ten Sports.

'I am sure that I will not be alone in saying that he and his wise words will be missed by cricketers, administrators and spectators around the world.

'His figures in Test matches show that he was one of the leading all-rounders of his generation with a batting average of above 40 and a bowling average around 32.'

Raul Meireles has 11-game spitting ban reduced to four matches

Meireles has 11-match ban for spitting reduced to four games after lodging successful appeal

|

UPDATED:

22:43 GMT, 27 December 2012

Fenerbahce midfielder Raul Meireles has had his 11-match ban reduced to four matches on appeal.

The former Chelsea player was hit with the suspension after being accused of spitting at the referee following his red card in the Istanbul derby with Galatasaray.

But the Turkish Football Federation's disciplinary committee ruled the Portugal international did not deliberately spit at Halis Ozkahya.

Scroll down for the video of the incident

Feisty: Raul Meireles remonstrates with the referee and was banned for spitting

Feisty: Raul Meireles remonstrates with the referee and was banned for spitting

It said it was 'physically impossible' for him to have spat as he berated the referee for his sending-off as he was speaking throughout the incident.

The 29-year-old will still have to serve a four-game ban because of his verbal attack on the referee.

Meireles confronted Ozkahya after he was given a second yellow card in the second half of the 2-1 defeat. It was claimed then that he spat at the official while also making a homophobic gesture.

Cleared: Meireles will still have to serve a four-match ban for his verbal attack on the referee

Cleared: Meireles will still have to serve a four-match ban for his verbal attack on the referee

Speaking after the match, the 29-year-old vehemently denied the claims.
He said: 'I'm really annoyed at being accused of spitting at the referee. I have an eight year old kid, can you imagine if kids at school start saying your father spat at a ref, this could ruin my reputation in the eyes of my child.

'I have many gay friends who I deeply respects. The hand gesture I made is directed at the referee caving in to the pressure of the home fans.

'That hand gesture was to tell him he was scared. Look at my hairstyle, what I wear, I'm not a prejudice person, my hand gesture was in no way, shape or form a homophobic one'

Meireles, who joined Fener from Chelsea in the summer, had vehemently denied the accusations and vowed to prove his innocence.

VIDEO: Watch the incident during the Istanbul derby

Graham Poll verdict on Ferguson, Mancini, Redknapp moaning managers

It was a bad day for moaning managers NOT for referees (apart from two shocking decisions at QPR and Everton)

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UPDATED:

10:50 GMT, 27 December 2012

Boxing day was not a bad day for referees but an embarrassment for managers.

There were mistakes, as there always will be but only two referees were clearly at fault and yet the two top managers had outbursts which were ill-informed, incorrect and insulting.

Sir Alex Ferguson is the best and most successful manager in Premier League history and yet does not know seem to know the laws of the game. I can accept that he does not agree with them, a lot of referees don’t either, but they know them and have to apply them.

Robert Green punches the ball into his own goal after being 'fouled' on the line by Marc-Antoine Fortune

Robert Green punches the ball into his own goal after being 'fouled' on the line by Marc-Antoine Fortune


Green remonstrates with ref Chris Foy at full time after QPR lost 2-1

Green remonstrates with ref Chris Foy at full time after QPR lost 2-1

Roberto Mancini aimed a personal attack on referee Kevin Friend,
suggesting that 'he ate too much at Christmas'. This pathetic attempt to
mask Manchester City's deficiencies was about Friend’s failure to
detect a foul on Pablo Zabaleta on the touchline. That’s right – a free
kick.

In 90 minutes of play Mancini blames the referee for missing one
minor foul and does so by getting personal. I trust the FA will act and
give him a touchline ban – but don’t expect them to. Had Joe Hart made a
routine save from Adam Johnson’s shot then the free kick would have
been forgotten.

The scenes at the start of the second half at Old Trafford were less
edifying as Ferguson, clearly livid at the second Newcastle goal being
allowed to stand queried the decision with Mike Dean, then vented his
fury at Neil Swarbrick, the fourth official and finally ranted at
assistant Jake Collin.

Wigan players are furious with referee Lee Mason as he fails to award their side a penalty

Wigan players are furious with ref Lee Mason as he fails to award their side a penalty after a trip on Shaun Maloney (left)

These scenes do the game no good at all but I doubt if the FA can act
as they were clearly seen and heard by all three match officials who
did nothing. Dean was absolutely correct to allow the goal due to the
law and its mandated interpretation defined by FIFA in 2005. That is not
my opinion but a fact. Whether Dean or I agree with that interpretation
is irrelevant and everyone in football needs to see that and accept it.

It is hard to discipline Ferguson, especially at Old Trafford, when
you believe that by doing so you will probably not referee at the
biggest venue for the foreseeable future. The FA and Premier League must
look at this as nobody should be above sanction.

One manager who I had sympathy for was Harry Redknapp who was careful
to describe Chris Foy’s decisions as ‘scandalous’ rather than make a
personal attack. And he was right!

Mike Dean feels the force of Sir Alex Ferguson's complaint... even though he made the right decision for Newcastle's second goal

Mike Dean feels the force of Sir Alex Ferguson's complaint… even though he made the right decision for Newcastle's second goal

Foy incredibly missed such an obvious foul on Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper Rob Green. How did that happen

As the ball headed towards his goal Green was clearly impeded by West
Brom Striker Marc-Antoine Fortune who not only blocked Green but then
backed into him preventing him from reaching the ball which was then
knocked into the net.

Foy stood nonchalantly on the edge of the penalty area and glanced
across at his assistant before awarding the goal. Late in the second
half Foy then denied Rangers a penalty after Liam Ridgewell handled the
ball. If you could excuse him missing that one or accepting that his
opinion was that the offence was not deliberate you still go back to
that second goal and shake your head at such poor officiating.

...and so does assistant referee Jake Collin

…and so does assistant referee Jake Collin

However, there was far more good officiating than bad including good
detection by Phil Dowd of Chris Baird’s hand ball to secure Southampton a
point at Craven Cottage and the same offence spotted by Mike Jones when
Reading’s Adam Le Fondre knocked the ball into the net with his arm.

Howard Webb also did well and was sharp when awarding Liverpool their
first penalty of the season. Brendan Rodgers has been bleating about
his team not getting one and that was finally correctly in just the
first minute at The Britannia stadium by Howard Webb.

It was correctly awarded for a Ryan Shawcross pull on the shirt of
Liverpool’s Luis Suarez; commentators highlighted that the offence
started outside the area, which it did but that is irrelevant.

Well done Webb: Ref Howard Webb got this decision right after Shawcross fouled Suarez

Well done Webb: Ref Howard Webb got this decision right after Shawcross fouled Suarez

If the offender still has hold of his opponent when he gets into the
area then a penalty is the right decision. It is a completely different
decision when a player is tripped as there is only one point of contact
and that dictates the position of the free kick or penalty.

There was some criticism of Phil Dowd for cautioning Dimitar Berbatov
after he scored and then showed an amusing message on his undershirt.
Had he merely lifted his shirt to reveal it there would have been no
card but referees hands are forced when the shirt is taken off. Mind you
law also insists they dismiss when abused but they ignore that one!

Finally, for the second consecutive game in a row Roberto Martinez’
Wigan were denied a clear penalty, this time by Lee Mason after a trip
on Shaun Maloney. Wigan do appear to be having a rough time with
referees decisions and will be hoping that they are evened out as the
season enters a new year.

So overall, considering some very tough calls it is a big well done
to Webb, Dean, Dowd, Jones and Mark Clattenburg who continues his
‘reintegration’ into the select group appointments. And whilst Foy and
Mason will review the DVD’s of their incidents and accept their errors
it should be Ferguson and Mancini who are the ones in the dock.

Mancini looked bemused at referee Kevin Friend, who he said had too much to eat at Christmas

Mancini looked bemused at referee Kevin Friend, who he said had too much to eat at Christmas

Chelsea fans moving on after Roberto Di Matteo – Petr Cech

Rafa's rising sons think big in Japan as upbeat Chelsea prepare to take on the world

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 10 December 2012

A big wheel flashes and spins in front of Chelsea's team hotel, a fairground attraction that lights up Yokohama harbour and dares to promise an upturn in fortunes for Rafa Benitez.

The defence of their European title may have gone badly but the club arrived in Japan in good spirits after two wins, with Fernando Torres smiling and among the goals and Benitez satisfied with progress after a rocky start to his interim stewardship.

As they prepared for their debut in FIFA's Club World Cup, there was even a hint from Petr Cech that supporters who fiercely opposed the change of manager last month may be moving on

Rafa Benitez

Chelsea

Ready to take on the world: Chelsea train on Monday under the guidance of Benitez (left)

'In the last two games, in the Champions League against Nordsjaelland and versus Sunderland, the support was very good,' said Cech.

'The atmosphere is getting better as the results and performances are getting better.

'You need results and better performances to get this pressure off the team and make the supporters happier. I think we are seeing it in a different way. We are on a good road now to changing that. The support we had at Sunderland was brilliant.'

Benitez, too, believes some of the minor tactical adjustments – tightening the defensive unit and compressing the team – are having the desired effect.

He talks continuously about the need to improve 'balance' between attack and defence but he has been thrilled with the reaction of Torres. The 50million Spain striker has scored four in two games, and the dark mood and sulky demeanour seem to be lifting as well.

He was the star attraction for Japanese fans yesterday as Chelsea trained before Thursday's game against Monterrey, of Mexico, the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) champions.

'He is happy,' said Benitez. 'When a striker is scoring, he's happy. I have noticed the difference in him. Everybody has been talking for months, saying that Fernando has to score more goals, so to score four in a week, he must be pleased.'

Centre of attention: Torres remains a big sell in the Far East despite his suspect form at Chelsea

Centre of attention: Torres remains a big sell in the Far East despite his suspect form at Chelsea

In training: Chelsea will face Monterrey in their opening match on Thursday

In training: Chelsea will face Monterrey in their opening match on Thursday

Chelsea feel they start this tournament at a disadvantage, having arrived late in Japan, because the Premier League refused their request to move Saturday's game at Sunderland. As it was, they flew from Newcastle Airport to Japan, with a two-hour refuelling stop in Helsinki.

'I tried to force myself not to sleep on the plane,' said Cech. 'I had a nap to relax when we left Helsinki, but then I woke up and stayed awake. So I was tired enough and ready to go to bed. It's not easy when you lose nine hours. Your body is set in its ways.'

Nothing on Barcelona: Despite an enthusiastic welcome on Sunday interest in the Champions League winners has cooled

Nothing on Barcelona: Despite an enthusiastic welcome on Sunday interest in the Champions League winners has cooled

It does not sound like perfect preparation for an elite athlete entering a world title contest, but the culture is that English teams take this tournament a little less seriously than the rest of the world.

This attitude is reflected in Japan where, despite an enthusiastic welcome at the airport on Sunday night, the interest in Chelsea had thinned yesterday and the locals claimed it was nothing like as clamorous as the visit of Barcelona last year.

Outside Europe, the Club World Cup is viewed as a very prestigious crown. When Brazil's Corinthians clinched the Copa Libertadores, the South American version of the Champions League, all this week's direct flights to Tokyo from Brazil were fully booked within days.

All smiles: Torres has scored four goals in his last two appearances for Chelsea

All smiles: Torres has scored four goals in his last two appearances for Chelsea

Up to 20,000 Corinthians fans are expected in Japan for the game, compared to around a thousand Chelsea supporters. It helps that the tournament sits at the end of the Brazilian season, whereas for the English clubs, it is a distraction at a pivotal point in the domestic league campaign.

Corinthians and Chelsea are expected to be in Sunday's final, but both have been determined to look no further than their semi-finals.

For the Londoners, this means the Mexicans who beat Asian champions Ulsan Hyundai of South Korea, after which Monterrey boss Victor Vucetich declared it was time to 'dance with the ugliest'.

It did not sound like a compliment but Benitez shrugged it off and said: 'Everybody thinks that the Premier League is high-tempo all the time, and maybe he was concerned about this.

'I watched them against Ulsan and maybe because they were better, they could play the passing game they like to play.'

Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood making good progress after heart attack

Arsenal chairman Hill-Wood making good progress after suffering heart attack

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UPDATED:

11:02 GMT, 3 December 2012

Recovering well: Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood is in hospital after suffering a heart attack

Recovering well: Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood is in hospital after suffering a heart attack

Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood is recovering well in hospital after having a heart attack on Friday, the Barclays Premier League club confirmed.

The 76-year-old, who has been chairman of Arsenal since 1982, suffered the heart attack following a bout of pneumonia.

A spokesman for the club said: 'Peter is recovering well in hospital and there is a good prognosis.

'We are hoping he will make a full and speedy return.'

Hill-Wood was taken ill at home on Friday and taken to hospital for treatment.

He is the third member of his family
to serve as Arsenal chairman, following on from his father Denis
(1962-1982) and his grandfather Samuel, who had two separate spells in
the role between 1929 and 1936 and from 1946 to 1949.

Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood recovering after heart attack

Arsenal chairman Hill-Wood recovering after suffering heart attack

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UPDATED:

10:56 GMT, 2 December 2012

Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood is recovering in hospital after suffering a heart attack.

The 76-year-old had suffered from pneumonia and was taken to hospital on Friday after complaining of feeling unwell.

Arsenal released a statement saying: ‘Everyone at Arsenal Football Club sends their support and best wishes to Chairman Peter Hill-Wood who is recovering after suffering a heart attack, following a bout of pneumonia.

Recovering: Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood (right) is in hospital after suffering a heart attack

Recovering: Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood (right) is in hospital after suffering a heart attack

‘Peter was taken ill at home on Friday and is currently being treated in hospital. He is making a good recovery.

‘The Club wishes Peter a full and speedy return to health and our thoughts are with him and his family at this time.’

Hill-Wood has been chairman of the club since 1982, and is a former vice-chairman of the Hambros Bank.

He is the third member of his family to serve as Arsenal chairman, following on from his father Denis (1962-1982) and his grandfather Samuel, who had two separate spells in the role between 1929 and 1936 and from 1946 to 1949.