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Serbia v Scotland World Cup qualifier to go ahead despite snow

Scotland's World Cup qualifier in snowy Serbia set to go ahead as Tartan Army dig in to help clear pitch

By
Stuart Fraser

PUBLISHED:

11:40 GMT, 26 March 2013

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UPDATED:

14:04 GMT, 26 March 2013

Scotland's World Cup qualifier against Serbia is set to go ahead, despite continuing heavy snowfall.

Gordon Strachan's side are due to play tonight in the city of Novi Sad, around an hour north west of the Scots' base in Belgrade, and work to clear the Karadjordje Stadium pitch is underway.

Digging in: Members of the Tartan Army help clear the pitch in Novi Sad

Digging in: Members of the Tartan Army help clear the pitch in Novi Sad

Helping hand: Scotland fan David Wildridge clears snow from the seats in the Karadjordje Stadium

Helping hand: Scotland fan David Wildridge clears snow from the seats in the Karadjordje Stadium

The Serbia FA and the Scottish FA are continuing to monitor the situation, the latter tweeting: 'Serbia v Scotland on as it stands. Serbia FA clearing pitch of snow.'

Around 1,200 members of the Tartan Army are expected to attend the match, which would be rescheduled for Wednesday if it was postponed tonight.

Snow: The scene outside the Scotland team hotel in Belgrade this morning

Snow: The scene outside the Scotland team hotel in Belgrade this morning

Wrapped up: Strachan tries to keep warm during Scotland's training session in Belgrade last night

Wrapped up: Strachan tries to keep warm during Scotland's training session in Belgrade last night

Scotland are currently bottom of Group A with two points from five games after losing 2-1 to Wales in the snow at Hampden on Friday.

With qualification hopes for the World Cup almost certainly over, Strachan is set make a number of changes to his team tonight against Serbia, who sit fourth with four points.

Warming up: Scotland trained at the Partizan Belgrade Academy ahead of tonight's match against Serbia

Warming up: Scotland trained at the Partizan Belgrade Academy ahead of tonight's match against Serbia

Defeat: Scotland lost out in the Glasgow snow on Friday night as they were beaten 2-1 by Wales

Defeat: Scotland lost out in the Glasgow snow on Friday night as they were beaten 2-1 by Wales

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Sir Alex Ferguson: Man United boss still affected by the Munich disaster

Liverpool put aside rivalry with poster tribute to Munich victims as Fergie reveals his 'hurt' on 55th anniversary of disaster

By
Graeme Yorke

PUBLISHED:

08:22 GMT, 6 February 2013

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UPDATED:

10:08 GMT, 6 February 2013

Manchester United boss Sir Alex
Ferguson has revealed how he is still affected by the Munich air crash,
55 years on from the disaster.

It comes as rivals Liverpool posted a heart-warming poster on their Facebook page paying tribute to the victims.

Accompanied by a graphic design of the famous Munich clock and a Liverpool shirt, the poster carries the words: 'We all remember. We won't forget. May their soul rest in peace, by the grace of God. You'll never walk alone.'

Tribute: Liverpool posted this picture on their Facebook page

Tribute: Liverpool posted this picture on their Facebook page

Ferguson was 16-year-old striker at Queen's Park when eight players and 15 staff and journalists died as a result of a failed take-off on a slush-covered runway.

The 'Busby Babes', named after manager Sir Matt Busby, were returning from a
European Cup tie against Red Star Belgrade in Yugoslavia (now Serbia)
when the plane crashed on February 6, 1958.

'I've been affected since a young boy. It was a sad time,' Ferguson, 71, told BBC Sport. 'For many it's probably long forgotten but for someone like me who remembers the day, you won't forget it.'

A minute's silence will be observed at Wednesday's friendly between England and Brazil at Wembley to mark the Munich anniversary as well as victims of the recent nightclub fire in Brazil and the 20th anniversary of the death of World Cup winning captain Bobby Moore on February 26.

Gone but not forgotten: Memory of Munich victims lives on at Old Trafford

Gone but not forgotten: Memory of Munich victims lives on at Old Trafford

Tragic: The snowy-covered runway in Munich

Crash scene: The snowy-covered runway in Munich

Ferguson paid tribute to those who helped rebuild the club, which went on to win the European Cup 10 years later.

'How we rose to get over that is remarkable in terms of [manager] Sir Matt [Busby] and [assistant manager/temporary manager] Jimmy Murphy and all the staff at the time,' he said.

'It was a fantastic group of young men who were destined to be great and that was the tragedy of it in how it was taken away from them.'

Tribute: Sir Alex Ferguson lays a wreath in memory of the 23 victims of the Munich Air Disaster before the Manchester derby

Tribute: Sir Alex Ferguson lays a wreath in memory of the 23 victims of the Munich Air Disaster before the Manchester derby

The Munich clock stopped at 3.04pm is pictured at Old Trafford

Memorial: The Munich clock stopped at 3.04pm, the time of the crash

And Ferguson says the event is one that should not be forgotten.

'When you were caught up in the aftermath of it and the publicity, and when the papers detailed what had happened, you couldn't help but feel that enormous loss for anyone football-minded,' he added.

'That has carried on for a long, long time and every year you have to remember that.'

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Chelsea to kick-start spending with Lazar Markovic deal

Chelsea to kick-start January spending with 8m deal for Serbian youngster Markovic

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 9 December 2012

Chelsea are close to finalising an initial, 8million deal for Serbia wonder kid Lazar Markovic, 18.

The midfielder has already been capped by his country and scored in a friendly against Chile last month.

One for the future: Partizan's Lazar Markovic is set to sign for Chelsea

One for the future: Partizan's Lazar Markovic is set to sign for Chelsea

He has also scored six goals in 12 games for his club, Partizan Belgrade, this season.

Liverpool, Arsenal and Inter Milan have all been negotiating with Partizan, who want a deal which eventually rises to around 14m based on appearances. However, Chelsea are the player’s preferred option.

Wanted: Radamel Falcao remains a target for big-spending Chelsea

Wanted: Radamel Falcao remains a target for big-spending Chelsea

Chelsea will hold discussions this week in Japan over transfer targets.

Bayer Leverkusen’s Andre Schurrle, Atletico Madrid’s Radamel Falcao, Gonzalo Higuain of Real Madrid and Newcastle’s Demba Ba are all under consideration.

Serbia Under 21 brawl latest: Steven Caulker and Tom Ince to discover criminal charges fate

FA set to discover Caulker and Ince fate over criminal charges from Serbia

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UPDATED:

11:27 GMT, 2 November 2012

The Football Association are hoping to hear from Serbia about criminal charges laid against England Under 21 internationals Steven Caulker and Tom Ince, plus coach Steve Wigley.

Communication with the Balkan nation has been difficult and frustrating and establishing exactly what is happening in the process has been confusing.

Local reports suggested the files had been handed over to British jurisdiction, but embassy officials in Belgrade have been working since Thursday to discover whether that is the case.

Attacked: England coach Steve Wigley (centre) was surrounded in the mass brawl in Serbia

Attacked: England coach Steve Wigley (centre) was surrounded in the mass brawl in Serbia

The charges arose in the wake of
England Under-21s' stormy qualifier in Krusevac last month but whether
prosecutions are to follow is unclear.

In the interim, Tottenham manager
Andre Villas-Boas is confident his 20-year-old defender Caulker is fully
focused on football ahead of the visit of Wigan.

'We spoke to the player,' said the Spurs boss.

'At the moment we don't have enough
information, nor do the FA, although there is contact between the FA,
the government and the embassy in Serbia to try to find out more
information about the speculation that is coming out.

'Regarding the player I think he will be ready to play.

'I think he obviously has a good chance because he has been doing quite well to make selection.

'I am not worried yet with the consequences of what can happen.

'We are still finding out more information.'

Progress was slow on Thursday and,
having issued a statement in the morning, the Football Association did
not get any further updates.

'The FA continues to remain in close
contact with the UK Government regarding the continued media reports of
Serbian police charging England U21 players and staff,' said a statement
.

'There remains no formal communication of any charges to the FA or the government.

Violent conduct charge: Tottenham and England Under 21 defender Steven Caulker (second left)

Violent conduct charge: Tottenham and England Under 21 defender Steven Caulker (second left)

'However, we understand there has
been a verbal communication of the names of the individuals concerned,
which we now believe to be England players Steven Caulker and Tom Ince,
and coach Steve Wigley.

'The FA would like to reaffirm its
support for all of our players and staff and we have spoken with the
players' clubs and those named to express this.

'The FA has been taking legal advice in both the UK and Serbia to provide appropriate protection should any charges be brought.

'We welcome the support we are receiving from the UK government.'

Trouble flared at the match on
October 16 after England's Connor Wickham struck in injury time to
secure a 1-0 win and passage to next summer's finals in Israel courtesy
of a 2-0 aggregate success.

Missiles were thrown and things
turned ugly as some fans got on to the pitch, while there were clashes
involving players and staff from both teams.

The Serbian Football Association
(FSS) handed lengthy bans to two of their own players and two officials
for their part in the confrontations.

Charged: Trouble erupted in Krusevac after the Euro 2013 play-off tie

Charged: Trouble erupted in Krusevac after the Euro 2013 play-off tie

But the trouble also played out against a backdrop of alleged racial abuse from the stands towards England players.

Defender Danny Rose, who made a
specific complaint, was sent off after the final whistle for kicking a
ball away in anger amid the chaos.

European governing body UEFA launched
their own disciplinary proceedings, charging the FA over the behaviour
of their players and the FSS with the same and for the alleged racist
chanting.

UEFA's control and disciplinary body
will convene on November 22 to deal with the case, but the police
investigation will have no bearing on that meeting.

Serbia Under 21 brawl latest: Steven Caulker and Tom Lees to discover criminal charges fate

FA set to discover Caulker and Lees fate over criminal charges from Serbia

|

UPDATED:

09:44 GMT, 2 November 2012

The Football Association are hoping to hear from Serbia today about criminal charges laid against England Under 21 internationals Steven Caulker and Tom Lees, plus coach Steve Wigley.

Communication with the Balkan nation has been difficult and frustrating and establishing exactly what is happening in the process has been confusing.

Local reports suggested the files had been handed over to British jurisdiction, but embassy officials in Belgrade have been working since Thursday to discover whether that is the case.

Attacked: England coach Steve Wigley (centre) was surrounded in the mass brawl in Serbia

Attacked: England coach Steve Wigley (centre) was surrounded in the mass brawl in Serbia

The charges arose in the wake of
England Under-21s' stormy qualifier in Krusevac last month but whether
prosecutions are to follow is unclear.

In the interim, Tottenham manager
Andre Villas-Boas is confident his 20-year-old defender Caulker is fully
focused on football ahead of the visit of Wigan.

'We spoke to the player,' said the Spurs boss.

'At the moment we don't have enough
information, nor do the FA, although there is contact between the FA,
the government and the embassy in Serbia to try to find out more
information about the speculation that is coming out.

'Regarding the player I think he will be ready to play.

'I think he obviously has a good chance because he has been doing quite well to make selection.

'I am not worried yet with the consequences of what can happen.

'We are still finding out more information.'

Progress was slow yesterday and,
having issued a statement in the morning, the Football Association did
not get any further updates.

'The FA continues to remain in close
contact with the UK Government regarding the continued media reports of
Serbian police charging England U21 players and staff,' said a statement
.

'There remains no formal communication of any charges to the FA or the government.

Violent conduct charge: Tottenham and England Under 21 defender Steven Caulker (second left)

Violent conduct charge: Tottenham and England Under 21 defender Steven Caulker (second left)

'However, we understand there has
been a verbal communication of the names of the individuals concerned,
which we now believe to be England players Steven Caulker and Tom Lees,
and coach Steve Wigley.

'The FA would like to reaffirm its
support for all of our players and staff and we have spoken with the
players' clubs and those named to express this.

'The FA has been taking legal advice in both the UK and Serbia to provide appropriate protection should any charges be brought.

'We welcome the support we are receiving from the UK government.'

Trouble flared at the match on
October 16 after England's Connor Wickham struck in injury time to
secure a 1-0 win and passage to next summer's finals in Israel courtesy
of a 2-0 aggregate success.

Missiles were thrown and things
turned ugly as some fans got on to the pitch, while there were clashes
involving players and staff from both teams.

The Serbian Football Association
(FSS) handed lengthy bans to two of their own players and two officials
for their part in the confrontations.

Charged: Trouble erupted in Krusevac after the Euro 2013 play-off tie

Charged: Trouble erupted in Krusevac after the Euro 2013 play-off tie

But the trouble also played out against a backdrop of alleged racial abuse from the stands towards England players.

Defender Danny Rose, who made a
specific complaint, was sent off after the final whistle for kicking a
ball away in anger amid the chaos.

European governing body UEFA launched
their own disciplinary proceedings, charging the FA over the behaviour
of their players and the FSS with the same and for the alleged racist
chanting.

UEFA's control and disciplinary body
will convene on November 22 to deal with the case, but the police
investigation will have no bearing on that meeting.

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Europa League draw: Liverpool, Tottenham and Newcastle discover opponents

Liverpool land tough Europa League group against Udinese, Anzhi and Young Boys

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UPDATED:

13:03 GMT, 31 August 2012

Liverpool have been given a tricky task in the Europa League as they come up against Italians Udinese, Russian moneybags Anzhi Makhachkala and Swiss side Young Boys in Group A.

Tottenham – denied a Champions League spot despite finishing fourth in the Barclays Premier League after Chelsea's European Cup triumph – were placed in Group J, which also contains Greek club Panathinaikos and Maribor of Slovenia.

Newcastle, seeded third as opposed to Tottenham and Liverpool who were top, have got an easier ride with Bordeaux, Club Brugge and Maritimo their Group D opponents.

GROUP A

Liverpool

Udinese

Young Boys

Anzhi

GROUP B

Atletico Madrid

Hapoel Tel-Aviv

Viktoria Plezn

Academica

GROUP C

Marseille

Fenerbahce

Borussia Monchengladbach

AEL

GROUP D

Bordeaux

Club Brugge

Newcastle

Maritimo

GROUP E

Stuttgart

FC Copenhagen

Steaua Bucharest

Molde

GROUP F

PSV Eindhoven

Napoli

Dnipro

AIK

GROUP G

Sporting Lisbon

Basle

Genk

Videoton

GROUP H

Inter Milan

Rubin Kazan

Partizan Belgrade

Neftci

GROUP I

Lyon

Athletic Bilbao

Sparta Prague

Hapoel Kiryat Shmona

GROUP J

Tottenham

Panathinaikos

Lazio

Maribor

GROUP K

Bayer Leverkusen

Metalist

Rosenborg

Rapid Vienna

GROUP L

Twente

Hannover

Levante

Helsingborg

Not bad: Liverpool's group looks tasty

Not bad: Liverpool's group looks tasty

Anzhi are a particularly tough threat for Liverpool and they possess dangerous players, like Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o, Yuri Zhirkov and former Blackburn defender Chris Samba.

Magpies manager Alan Pardew watched the draw live on television with several of his players and said: 'My gut reaction is that the travelling is good, so I'm pleased about that – I didn't really want to go to the Ukraine or Russia or anywhere.

'The teams are of the standard you would expect in Europe so it's a tough-ish group, not the toughest by any means, but not the weakest so it's a test for us.'

Newcastle were last in Europe in 2006, the same year Pardew led West Ham into what was then the UEFA Cup.

'Last time at West Ham, we drew the top team in Serie A at the time,' he added. 'Palermo had the best team in their history at that point so we were unlucky!

'This draw – and the draw in the qualifier – has been a little bit easier on me and I'm pleased about that on a personal level.'

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London 2012 Olympics rowing: Great Britain win gold in women"s lightweight sculls

Golden girls! Hosking and Copeland create history on the lake after securing another win

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UPDATED:

11:11 GMT, 4 August 2012

Great Britain's Katherine Copeland and Sophie Hosking have won the gold medal in the women's double sculls.

The British crew were roared to victory by over a length, with China in second and Greece in third.

More to follow…

We've done it! Great Britain's Sophie Hosking and Katherine Copeland celebrate winning gold

We've done it! Great Britain's Sophie Hosking and Katherine Copeland celebrate winning gold

KATHERINE COPELAND AND SOPHIE HOSKING FACTFILE

1986: Sophie Hosking born on January 25 in Wimbledon and learns to row at Kingston Grammar School.

1990: Kat Copeland born on December 1 in Ashington and begins to row at Yarm School at the age of 14.

2006: Hosking wins bronze in the lightweight women's quadruple sculls at the World Championships.

2007: Hosking wins silver in the lightweight women's quadruple sculls at the World Championships.

2009: Hosking wins bronze in the lightweight double sculls with Hester Goodsell at the World Championships. Copeland wins gold in the quadruple sculls at the Youth Olympic festival in Sydney.

2010: Copeland comes close to quitting the Great Britain set-up because she wants to remain based in the north-east.

2011: Copeland wins gold in the lightweight single scull at the Under-23 World Championships in Amsterdam. She wins silver in her first senior event, at the Munich World Cup.
: Hosking wins bronze with Goodsell at the World Championships in the lightweight double sculls

2012: May – Copeland and Hosking come together for the World Cup series, winning a silver in Belgrade but place out of the medals in Lucerne and Munich.

August 4 – Copeland and Hosking win a gold medal at the Olympic Games.

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QPR look set to win race for Junior Hoilett

QPR set to win race for Hoilett as they fend off interest from Newcastle

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UPDATED:

21:35 GMT, 11 July 2012

QPR are close to winning the 4million battle for Blackburn Rovers winger Junior Hoilett after fending off late interest from Newcastle.

The 22-year-old is out of contract but will command a compensation fee as he is under 24 and has been at Blackburn since he was 13.

Wanted man: Junior Hoilett (centre) looks set to join QPR

Wanted man: Junior Hoilett (centre) looks set to join QPR

German club Borussia Monchengladbach wanted the Canadian but were reluctant to match wage demands of around 50,000 a week.

QPR are also monitoring Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama, 20, who is due to have talks over his future today.

Blackburn are also in talks to sign Derby striker Steve Davies for around 200,000.

Davies, 24, has been on the transfer list at Pride Park since turning down a new contract in May, but his club can demand a fee after taking up the option of a 12-month extension on his deal. Ipswich are also interested.

Olympiakos are weighing up a bid for Blackburn midfielder Radosav Petrovic, 22, who has struggled to settle since last summer's 2.5m move from Partizan Belgrade.

Blackburn have offered a trial to Malaysian defender Titus James Palani, 26, who is at French third division club Nanteuil.

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Ireland arrange Serbia friendly double header

Back to the future for Trapattoni as Ireland arrange Serbia friendly double header

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UPDATED:

21:24 GMT, 1 June 2012

The Republic of Ireland will play Serbia in a friendly in Belgrade on August 15.

Serbia were the first opposition the Republic faced under Giovanni Trapattoni in May 2008.

The Serbs will head to Dublin for a return game in March 2014.

One at a time: Giovanni Trapattoni takes his Ireland side for training

One at a time: Giovanni Trapattoni takes his Ireland side for training

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Avram Grant leaves Partizan Belgrade

Avram exits Partizan after just five months in charge despite delivering title

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UPDATED:

22:19 GMT, 14 May 2012

Avram Grant has left Partizan Belgrade after less than five months in charge of the Serbian club.

The former Chelsea and West Ham manager led Partizan to their fifth consecutive league title but lost three times against fierce rivals Red Star Belgrade.

Grant, 57, informed the club on Monday he wanted to activate the release clause in his 18-month contract.

On the move: Grant has left Partizan after just five months at the helm

On the move: Grant has left Partizan after just five months at the helm