Tag Archives: broadcast

Lionel Messi proves he is human after being foiled by a Japanese moving robot

Man v Machine: Messi proves he is human after all… as he is foiled by a Japanese moving robot

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

11:25 GMT, 8 April 2013

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UPDATED:

02:48 GMT, 9 April 2013

This might be the only way for managers to stop Lionel Messi in his tracks – by signing a Japanese goalkeeping robot.

Messi has been branded a killing machine after rattling in 57 goals this season.

His exploits have left managers in La Liga and throughout Europe tearing their hair out as just how to halt the Argentine striker.

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Man v machine: Messi prepares to step up against the robot

Man v machine: Messi prepares to step up against the robot goalkeeper

Not spot on: Messi steps up for his penalty (above) and sees his spot-kick saved (below)

Not spot on: Messi steps up for his penalty (above) and sees his spot-kick saved (below)

Messi pen:

But the Barcelona frontman, considered by many as the game's greatest ever player, struggled when the man took on the machine in a game show broadcast on Japanese TV.

Messi took three penalties against the moving piece of cardboard – but missed his first two spot-kicks.

He is human after all then.

VIDEO Messi goes head-to-head with a robot in a penalty shoot-out

Messi takes on robot in penalty shoot-out

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Mario Gotze urinates in Malaga"s stadium

Dortmund star Gotze caught on camera urinating in Malaga's stadium

By
Rik Sharma

PUBLISHED:

09:08 GMT, 4 April 2013

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UPDATED:

16:47 GMT, 4 April 2013

Dortmund's Mario Gotze was spotted urinating on the ground in Malaga's stadium ahead of their Champions League clash.

During training on Tuesday he went behind some advertising hoardings to grab a stray ball, and took the opportunity to duck down and take a secret leak.

Scroll down for video

Peek-a-boo: Mario Gotze takes a leak and halfway through turns his head and sees the camera (below)

Peek-a-boo: Mario Gotze takes a leak and halfway through turns his head and sees the camera (below)

Gotze notices the camera

Except
it didn't turn out to be all that secret as he was caught on camera –
and this footage has since been broadcast by Canal+ and Spanish TV.

During the act, Gotze peeks round and spots the camera filming him, but finishes up anyway.

He then grabs the ball and gets back to the training session.

VIDEO: Cheeky Gotze takes a leak in Malaga's stadium

Mario Gotze was spotted urinating on the ground in Malaga's…

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Roy Hodgson will "wait and see" if Rio Ferdinand has an international future after withdrawing from England squad for San Marino and…

Rio can do what he wants… but I can't guarantee he'll get another England invite, says Hodgson

By
Matt Barlow

PUBLISHED:

17:29 GMT, 21 March 2013

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UPDATED:

18:01 GMT, 21 March 2013

England manager Roy Hodgson has said he will 'wait and see' if Rio Ferdinand has an international future following the United defender's decision to withdraw from the national squad this week.

Hodgson's side take on San Marino on Friday with a depleted defence after Ferdinand withdrew from the squad to look after his chronic back problem.

But Ferdinand
sparked fresh controversy as Sportsmail exclusively revealed that the
Manchester United defender will fly to Qatar to work on a television
broadcast of Friday’s World Cup qualifier.

Waving goodbye Roy Hodgson said he will 'wait and see' if Rio Ferdinand has an international future

Waving goodbye Roy Hodgson said he will 'wait and see' if Rio Ferdinand has an international future

Unhappy: Hodgson is disappointed that Ferdinand is not with the England team

Unhappy: Hodgson is disappointed that Ferdinand is not with the England team

When pushed on Ferdinand's future as
an England player, Hodgson said: 'I think we should just wait and see, I
think it's more a question of how his injury situation will impact upon
him playing for England, so we'll have to wait and see what happens in
the future.

'At the moment it's speculation about
a longer-term future whereas my focus is on these next two games, which
are important for us in our bid to qualify. I am happy with the squad
we've got.'

Hodgson deflected questions on what he thought of Ferdinand's decision to miss the two World Cup qualifiers.

He said: 'I don't have any serious
thoughts on it. I was disappointed when he couldn't accept our
invitation. It would have been nice to have him here.'

Double header: England take on San Marion on Friday night before facing Montenegro next week

Double header: England take on San Marion on Friday night before facing Montenegro next week

Hodgson also refused to comment on Ferdinand's decision to embark on a 15-hour round trip to Doha to work as a TV pundit.

'As we all know he wasn't able to
accept the invitation so what he actually does now and how he operates
in the coming couple of weeks, that's his business and the club's
business.

'You're asking me questions that I
really don't want to go into. It really shows a lack of respect to some
extent for the players who are here,' he said.

'In this instance Rio made it clear
that he wasn't able to accept my invitation on this occasion and we will
see what happens in the future.

'What happens during this period of
time when he's looking after himself, it's up to us to look after
ourselves and do the job we've got to do in these next two matches.'

Plane stupid: Ferdinand pulled out of the England squad before agreeing to work as a TV pundit in Qatar

Plane stupid: Ferdinand pulled out of the England squad before agreeing to work as a TV pundit in Qatar

Hodgson also dismissed suggestions that Michael Carrick could step in at centre back to solve England's defensive crisis.

The England boss said: 'To accept that I would have to
accept we have problems in central defence. I think we have four very
good central defenders here.

'As far as I’m concerned I would be
loathed to start using people like Michael Carrick who has been selected
for his prowess as a midfield player.

'It would be harsh on those who have been selected as central defenders.'

Not interested: Captain Steven Gerrard is not dwelling on Ferdinand's withdrawal

Not interested: Captain Steven Gerrard is not dwelling on Ferdinand's withdrawal

England captain Steven Gerrard
believes the team have trained well without Ferdinand and is not
dwelling on the United defender's absence.

He said: 'I don't think it's for me to comment. That's something for the manager to deal with to be honest. I just look at the players in the squad and worry about them players really.

'Of course it's disappointing Rio's not here, because he's a fantastic player and he's in top form, and it would've been nice for him to be here, but he's not, we move on without him and training's been really good.'

Asked if England can cope without Ferdinand, Gerrard said: 'Yes I do, certainly on the evidence I've seen in training the last few days.

'Repeating what the manager said, the four guys have been working hard and training well and they are all pushing for places.

'I'm confident that they can not only do the job tomorrow but on Tuesday night as well.'

Man arrested for alleged racist abuse during Millwall"s v Leeds

53-year-old man arrested for alleged racist abuse during Millwall's match against Leeds
Sky Sports News report identified 56 examples of racist abuse at MillwallSustained abuse heard from Block 28 at The DenMillwall 'appalled' by footage and captain Danny Shittu 'deeply saddened'

By
David Wilcock

PUBLISHED:

21:57 GMT, 12 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 12 February 2013

A man has been arrested in connection with allegations of racist abuse aimed at Leeds striker El-Hadji Diouf by Millwall fans, Scotland Yard said on Tuesday night.

The 53-year-old man was arrested after Sky Sports News last night broadcast footage which appeared to show some of the London club's fans hurling insults at the Senegalese forward during a game at the Den in November.

Millwall said they were 'appalled' by the footage and vowed to reopen an investigation into allegations of racial abuse, which initially emerged online.

Caught on camera: A fan is filmed making racist remarks during a Millwall game by Sky Sports News

Caught on camera: A fan is filmed making racist remarks during a Millwall game by Sky Sports News

Club captain Danny Shittu said he was 'deeply saddened' by what he had seen in the documentary.

The man, from Enfield, north London, remained in custody tonight on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence, a Metropolitan Police spokesman said.

Millwall have promised to ban any individuals for life if they are found guilty.

The footage appears to show fans hurling insults at Diouf during an npower Championship clash between the two clubs at the south-east London ground on November 18.

The Lions' chief executive, Andy Ambler, said that an initial investigation was closed after Diouf said he heard no racist abuse aimed at him.

Abuse: Sky Sports News picked up another fan making racist remarks

Abuse: Sky Sports News picked up another fan making racist remarks

'Like all Millwall fans and football fans generally, we're appalled by the footage we've seen,' he said.

'Sadly racism exists in our society and certain individuals want to bring it into football grounds. It's down to us in football do to more.

Shittu later released a statement on the club website which read: 'I am deeply saddened by the documentary on Sky Sports showing racism by the minority at matches including at Millwall FC.

Anger: Leeds forward El-Hadji Diouf was believed to be the target of racist abuse

Anger: Leeds forward El-Hadji Diouf was believed to be the target of racist abuse

'As the current Millwall captain, racism is something I do not stand for or condone.

'I am currently in talks with the club about any further measures we can take in dealing with and eradicating racism at matches.

'I do not want the events shown yesterday to tarnish the hard work done by the club thus far and their efforts in tackling this issue.

'Every player at all levels has the right to represent their club without being subjected to homophobic or racial taunts. I will do all I can to help eradicate racism at my club and in football.'

Bolton forward Marvin Sordell has previously made allegations of racial abuse towards Millwall's fans.

A banner stating “Sordell is a c***” was unfurled at a later game which came in the wake of his claims, while a 13-year-old boy was banned from the ground.

Luis Suarez can"t win Footballer of The Year Award – Martin Samuel

Suarez is poetry in motion… but can he really be Player of the Year

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UPDATED:

01:47 GMT, 21 November 2012

And the days are not full enough And the nights are not full enough And life slips by like a field mouse. Not shaking the grass. Ezra Pound wrote that. Remarkable, isn't it

'Pound is more responsible for the 20th century revolution in poetry than any other individual,' said TS Eliot, and he would know. So here's one of his lesser known works.

'You let in the Jew and the Jew rotted your empire, and you yourselves out-jewed the Jew. And the big Jew has rotted every nation he has wormed into.' Pound said that in a pro-fascist radio broadcast in March 1942. He said plenty of other stuff, too, and was arrested for treason after the war.

Saint and sinner: Luis Suarez has been accused of diving during his time at Liverpool

Saint and sinner: Luis Suarez has been accused of diving during his time at Liverpool

Later, Pound renounced his anti-Semitism in public, but recollections of the private individual tell a different story. He would refer to people he disliked as Jews, and refuse to talk to psychiatrists with Jewish names.

He really wasn't a nice guy. Doesn't make Eliot wrong, though. Doesn't make the depth of emotional meaning conveyed in the sparse four lines of And the days are not full enough – that's the whole poem up there, by the way – any less astonishing. Same with Philip Larkin.

'I can hear fat Caribbean germs pattering after me in the Underground,' he wrote, disgusted, to Kingsley Amis on a visit to London. Then again, Larkin was disgusted by a lot of things; by himself, often enough. For Larkin in excelsis, however, read An Arundel Tomb. 'What will survive of us is love.'

We could go on. Through Chuck Berry to Miles Davis or Michael Jackson. We separate the man from his art. But not in football. In football, we want it all. Beauty and the blameless life. We can accept that poets, artists, musicians or writers can be despicable creatures redeemed by their work, but from our footballers we demand the exalted physicality of an athlete and the immaculate morality of an angel.

Luis Suarez

Luis Suarez

Light and shade: The Uruguayan striker is a match-winner for Liverpool but has also been accused of stamping on an opponent (above right)

More from Martin Samuel …

Juventus 3 Chelsea 0: Holders braced for new European low as Di Matteo faces chop
20/11/12

Martin Samuel: Pietersen's 'reintegration' is complete… but now England need to see the destructive, swashbuckling KP of old
13/11/12

Chelsea 1 Liverpool 1: Suarez rescues point for Reds after goalscorer Terry is crocked on return
11/11/12

Chelsea 3 Shakhtar Donetsk 2: Moses works a miracle as Di Matteo's luck holds
07/11/12

Manchester City 2 Ajax 2: It's all gone De Jong as Euro exit looms for Mancini misfits
06/11/12

Chelsea 2 Manchester United 3: Crazy red card for Torres and Hernandez offside goal hand United victory at Stamford Bridge
28/10/12

Martin Samuel: Amid his Twitter row, Liverpool's Chang should know using the supporters as muscle is a dangerous abuse of power
23/10/12

Shakhtar Donetsk 2 Chelsea 1: Bad case of the Blues as holders feel pain in Ukraine
23/10/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

So could Luis Suarez be the Footballer of the Year this season Of course not. Should Luis Suarez be the Footballer of the Year this season Well, who else have you got

This is a crude calculation as it presumes no other player could have scored Suarez's goals, but the difference he has made to Liverpool this season equates to seven league points and, potentially, a place in the Europa League.

Goals from Suarez have changed Liverpool's dividend on seven occasions. He has been the difference between victory and a draw with Norwich City and a draw and a defeat against Manchester City, Sunderland, Everton, Newcastle United and Chelsea.

Without his goal at Anfield, the Europa League qualifier with Hearts would have gone into extra time. And in this season's Premier League, seven points is currently separating Liverpool and a place in the bottom three.

True, if Suarez had not been in the team, somebody else would have been and that somebody might have scored, too. So this isn't exact science.

Nobody can accurately evaluate Suarez's worth to Liverpool this season but, ball-park, seven points sounds about right. Maybe more. Is there any footballer in the country more influential

Last week, Jamie Carragher compared Suarez to Lionel Messi at Barcelona and Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid. Indeed, he placed him higher, because Suarez is not playing in a great team. But Footballer of the Year No chance.

This is bogeyman Suarez, remember, verbal debaser of Patrice Evra, alleged diver, alleged stamper, the man English football loves to hate and boo, even during the feelgood Olympic Games this summer when just completing the course got a standing ovation.

How can he sway a vote of journalists, some of whom believe their award winner must stand out as a role model, as much as a footballer How could he earn the votes of players, some of whom are black, ethically-minded or represent Manchester United Could you vote for him No. Could I It would be very, very hard.

On target: Suarez has scored more goals than any other player in the Barclays Premier League this term

On target: Suarez has scored more goals than any other player in the Barclays Premier League this term

A vote for Suarez would appear to send out the message that racism doesn't matter. Yet I'd have no hesitation in referring to Larkin as our greatest modern poet; no agonising over love for the music of the wife-beating Ike Turner either.

Maybe by the end of the season the Suarez dilemma will no longer exist. Different players go through purple patches at various times – Juan Mata was brilliant for Chelsea as Roberto Di Matteo's side topped the table early on – but few have been as consistent as Suarez, with no sign of relenting.

Left to fend for himself by an almost wantonly negligent series of executive choices in the transfer market, he has prevented Liverpool entering freefall. And he is not even a conventional striker.

If Liverpool had acted with coherence this summer, Suarez would be playing beside a prolific goalscorer, setting up as many as he scores, the burden on his shoulders relieved. For Uruguay, he most regularly played alongside Diego Forlan or Sebastian Abreu. These days Edinson Cavani is his regular foil. The idea of him leading a line unaccompanied would baffle his national coach, Oscar Tabarez.

Imagine: If Suarez was Footballer of the Year, they'd be uproar arguments and probably resignations

Imagine: If Suarez was Footballer of the Year, they'd be uproar, arguments and probably resignations

What he is doing at Liverpool is far removed from his comfort zone. And yet he is this season's peak performer: top scorer in the Premier League with two more goals than Robin van Persie and top scorer of any Premier League player in all club competitions, again two more than Van Persie.

The difference is, Van Persie has Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez to take a load off, Suarez is in virtual isolation.

Carragher also placed Suarez alongside Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen and Fernando Torres among recent goalscorers at Liverpool, but in essence he is more like Steven Gerrard or Carragher himself, in his ability to influence matches sometimes with sheer will.

Yet, imagine if he was the Footballer of the Year. There would be uproar, protests, arguments, quite probably resignations. A breakaway black union without doubt, if he won the PFA vote, a very awkward few weeks for representatives of the media if he topped any poll of journalists.

Mock: Suarez celebrated in front of Moyes after the Everton boss accused him of simulation

Mock: Suarez celebrated in front of Moyes after the Everton boss accused him of simulation

An unrepentant horror as an example to the next generation, it would be fiendishly hard to justify his glorification, almost inexcusable. Yet is he the best player in the league This minute, by a mile.

Those crowned Footballer of the Year tend to be winners. It seemed incongruous two years ago when Scott Parker collected the prize in a season that ended in relegation for his club, West Ham United.

The case for Suarez would be different. It would be based on his contribution to a former member of the elite, Liverpool, and how far a great club might have tumbled without him.

There was certainly a similar case for Chris Waddle at Tottenham Hotspur one season, when the club could easily have slipped into the bottom three without his frequent interventions. Yet Suarez won't win and can't win, we know that.

He has been associated with too much of football's dark side – racism, simulation – to rise above the negativity. He refused to shake hands with Evra, at first, even though the wronged man made the first move, he openly mocked David Moyes when the Everton manager dared to suggest he went to ground too easily. And yet despite the opprobrium, Suarez stays strong.

If no-one likes him, see if he cares. Perhaps this is why, as well as being this season's best footballer he is also one that troubles the soul.

Suarez does not do sorry, he does not do contrition and, in this, demands to be considered only for his art. Will he care if recognition is not his at the end of the season Probably not. As Pound said on his release from a lengthy stint of hard labour: 'I've had it worse.'

Arrests: Crowd trouble in Germany is at a 12-year high

Arrests: Crowd trouble in Germany is at a 12-year high

Don't mention the arrests…

And more news just in from Germany, where tickets are cheap, stadiums are full, standing is tolerated and crowd trouble is at a 12-year high.

According to figures released to Reuters in Berlin, the 2011-12 season had the highest number of criminal proceedings this century, a sharp rise in the amount of injured fans from the previous season and a 20 per cent increase in police work hours.

'Criminal proceedings are up 70 per cent, work hours up 40 per cent and injuries up 120 per cent from the 12-year average,' said a police spokesman.

A total of 8,143 criminal cases against individuals were launched compared with 5,818 the previous year, while the number of injuries rose from 843 to 1,142.

Meanwhile, according to the Home Office, English football arrests are at an all-time low since records began in 1985, and there was a 32 per cent decline in Premier League arrests from the 2010-11 season. But keep this quiet. It doesn't fit the self-flagellating narrative.

And while we're at it… Unbuyable Try to lure him back, Sir Alex!

He is back, at a football ground near you, tonight. And while Cristiano Ronaldo can be guaranteed a hostile reception when he steps out for Real Madrid against Manchester City, there will not be a true football fan in the stadium who does not feel a frisson of excitement at the anticipation of seeing him play live again.

Because we miss him, of course we do. Even the blue lot, deep down. Manchester United miss him, English football misses him. We haven't had one quite as good since. Not a player whose talent is so immense he actually found a new way of kicking a football.

Welcome (back) to Manchester: Ronaldo touched down in England on Tuesday night ahead of Real's clash with City

Welcome (back) to Manchester: Ronaldo touched down in England ahead of Real's clash with City

Researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique Hydrodynamics Laboratory in Paris will test their theory about the way Ronaldo strikes his knuckleball at a scientific gathering in San Diego this week. They have been dropping steel beads into a tank of water and studying the trajectory. Nobody does that for Ashley Young.

So, when Sir Alex Ferguson says that he remains on good terms with Ronaldo but the player is 'unbuyable', the heart sinks. Try, Sir Alex. Have a go, for all of us. It doesn't matter if it makes life really hard for your rivals. We won't moan, even if you win the league by 25 points. Just get our guy back. Please.

Relationship: Ferguson has claimed the former Manchester Untied star is 'unbuyable'

Relationship: Ferguson has claimed the former Manchester Untied star is 'unbuyable'

Madrid is the love of Ronaldo's life, but he hasn't always felt loved back. Good. Use that. Tell him he's wasted there. Tell him the Spanish crowds have never taken to him as they have Lionel Messi. Massage his ego, play on his insecurities. Wasn't there a time when Madrid made him sad Didn't he refuse to celebrate his goals at the start of the season, because he felt unappreciated That never happened at Old Trafford, did it Hell, it's worth a try.

Unbuyable is such a miserable term. Unbuyable says he is Madrid's, for ever. Unbuyable means nights like this are one of the few chances you will get to see one of the world's greatest players at the height of his powers. If you can go, don't miss it. He's the one you'll tell the grandkids about.

Sacking Hughes might not add up

The problem for Tony Fernandes at Queens Park Rangers, and for all owners, is that the only way to build a club is to place faith in a coach and his vision. Invariably, this means an equal investment in players, staff and the remodelling of academies and training facilities.

In terms of results, there is no indication this season that Rangers are going to turn around under Mark Hughes, so continued support now is merely a leap of faith.

In training: Hughes puts his squad through their paces on Tuesday as his future hangs in the balance

In training: Hughes puts his squad through their paces on Tuesday as his future hangs in the balance

Yet the alternative, to remove Hughes and his entourage and start again, is fraught with expense and difficulty with no certainty of alleviating the crisis, either. West Ham United stuck with Avram Grant and went down, West Bromwich Albion sacked Roberto Di Matteo and stayed up.

Wigan Athletic kept Roberto Martinez and stayed up, Wolverhampton Wanderers dismissed Mick McCarthy and went down. The only concrete guarantee is that the cost of replacing the manager, his backroom boys and overhauling the squad twice in one season is horrific. This alone may be what buys Hughes the time to turn Rangers around.

Mark Clattenburg race row: Did referee use the word "monkey" at John Obi Mikel? Truth

Is the referee a racist Who is telling the truth Did Clattenburg really use the word 'monkey' at Chelsea's Mikel The answers the FA and the police must uncover as they begin probe

|

UPDATED:

08:20 GMT, 1 November 2012

The events that unfolded at Stamford Bridge on Sunday evening have created an unprecedented fissure in the English game, with a football club and match officials at loggerheads over alleged racist language.

The claim that Mark Clattenburg called John Mikel Obi a 'monkey' has shocked a sport that has been scarred by racist disputes for over a year.

NEIL ASHTON looks behind the allegations and conjecture to establish if there is any concrete evidence for Chelsea’s claim against the referee.

Mark Clattenburg race row

THE OTHERS IN THE LOOP

ALL four officials are able to hear each other speak thanks to a Swiss earpiece system. The sound is of digital quality and background noise is cut out.
Earpieces for the four of them cost 2,900.

SIMON LONG - Assistant referee

SIMON LONG – Assistant referee

MICHAEL McDONOUGH - Assistant referee

MICHAEL McDONOUGH – Assistant referee

MIKE JONES - Fourth official

MIKE JONES – Fourth official

WERE CLATTENBURG’S WORDS CAUGHT ON CAMERA

Up to 20 cameras are used for a live broadcast, but not all of them are ‘on record’. Sky’s match director chooses the best shot, as witnessed by the razor-sharp cut to Mikel being booked in the 76th minute.

However, the footage of the incident broadcast on Sky shows the back of the referee as he raises a yellow card. Mikel is obviously unhappy, but his reaction appears to be that of a man who has been booked rather than that of the victim of a racial slur. Other camera angles may help with the dialogue but may not be conclusive.

Earlier in the match, with the score 2-2, tempers were running high when Clattenburg dismissed Branislav Ivanovic in the 62nd minute for, in referee’s parlance, ‘DOGSO’ (denial of goalscoring opportunity).

As United players prepared to take the free-kick, Clattenburg was in a dialogue with Chelsea winger Juan Mata. It has been suggested that, at some point in the game, the referee called Mata a Spanish t***.

Sportsmail asked a lip-reading expert to analyse this clip. The expert’s conclusion is that Clattenburg appears to tell Mata: ‘I know it’s b******s… but that’s not my fault’.

Mata appears to accept this, but Torres is listening more intently and looks on open-mouthed. Chelsea have accepted there was not enough evidence to take the Mata complaint further.

Row: Chelsea have lodged an official complaint with the FA over the way in which Mark Clattenburg spoke to John Obi Mikel

Row: Chelsea have lodged an official complaint with the FA over the way in which Mark Clattenburg (right) spoke to John Obi Mikel (left)

WHAT KIND OF REFEREE IS CLATTENBURG

As a Newcastle fan, he is not allowed to officiate their matches because of his allegiance and cannot referee Sunderland matches because of the rivalry.

Sunday was Chelsea’s Kick It Out day — and both teams, plus the officials, wore ‘One Game One Community’ shirts to promote the initiative. Clattenburg wore the campaign T-shirt throughout his 30-minute pre-match routine.

He enjoys the celebrity that comes with officiating a high-profile sport. He adopts a matey attitude with players during matches, but some would prefer an official to act with more detachment.

Clattenburg is regarded by the PGMO as one of their top referees and is being considered by FIFA as the English representative at the 2014 World Cup.

Back in action: John Obi Mikel at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night

Back in action: John Obi Mikel at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night

WHAT HAPPENED IN THE HOURS AFTER THE GAME

Feelings intensified in the Chelsea dressing room. When Brazilian Ramires told Mikel he thought he’d been called ‘a monkey’, at least three members of the playing and coaching staff asked: ‘Are you certain’ Ramires was asked if, with Clattenburg having such a strong North East accent, the official had said: ‘shut up Mikel’, rather than ‘shut up monkey’, which has been alleged.

There is a popular assumption that Terry, serving the second game of a four-match FA ban for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand, encouraged Chelsea to make a complaint. But according to dressing-room sources, Terry has given the dispute a wide berth.

Chelsea officials then joined in an increasingly heated conversation that travelled the short distance from the team changing area to the referee’s room.

Clattenburg and his officials prepared for the match in a room the size of a rabbit-hutch. It is the first door on the left when the officials walk down the tunnel from the pitch and is separated from the home dressing room by a mascot’s changing area.

In the normal course of events, a people-carrier would be available to take the referee to the Crowne Plaza on King’s Road, half an hour after the game. On this occasion, the vehicle would have to wait.

Clattenburg was required, under FA rules, to remain 30 minutes after the final whistle to give managers a ‘cooling off’ period before they can approach the match officials. But there were few cool heads around during what happened next.

On entering the referee’s room, it is alleged Mikel had to be restrained from physically attacking Clattenburg. He accused the official of racially insulting him and demanded an apology. But a shocked Clattenburg flatly denied it, saying: ‘You must be f***ing joking’. The officials all witnessed the dramatic scenes. Nigerian-born Mikel speaks perfect English.

HOW DID THE POLICE GET INVOLVED

A complaint by Peter Herbert, the chairman of the Society of Black Lawyers, triggered their investigation, even though he had no evidence.

He made his complaint based on press coverage and defended his actions by telling The Times: ‘We don’t need to be there to report an incident. This needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.’

He added: ‘Hate crimes cannot be tolerated and should be pursued through the official channels with vigour.’

TOO QUICK TO JUDGE

Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay blustered his way through a talkSPORT interview two weeks ago over John Terry and his hot-headed approach in the corridor on Sunday is surprising.

Chelsea released a statement two hours after the final whistle. No one had a chance to cool down and rationalise the alleged events. Instead, a club that has been involved in a protracted racist row steamed in to another one.

Clattenburg filed an ‘extraordinary incident’ report on Sunday evening, which was picked up by the FA’s governance department on Monday morning. There was very little detail, a tactic referees use to avoid charging players for post-match incidents.

Distraction: Ramires scored for Chelsea against Manchester United on Wednesday night but appears key to the whole case against Clattenburg

Distraction: Ramires scored for Chelsea against Manchester United on Wednesday night but appears key to the whole case against Clattenburg

However, Chelsea’s complaint to the match delegate Nick Cusack means the referee and his assistants now have to provide a thorough report on the incidents on the field and the heated post-match row with Mikel.

Clattenburg has told friends he wishes he hadn’t sent Torres off. Despite FA and police enquiries, he is also willing to speak with the media about his experience. He says he has nothing to hide, is comfortable with his conduct and will co-operate fully with the authorities.

After the fevered atmosphere had calmed down on Monday morning, Chelsea brought in lawyers to interview players and advise the club whether to advance a complaint to the FA. They have interviewed players, managers and executives. They will instruct Chelsea on the chance of meeting the FA’s civil standard of proof — ‘balance of probabilities’ — in an independent commission hearing. After Chelsea’s experience with John Terry, this is a massive call.

This is a case that will turn on a player’s grasp of English, interpretation of a referee’s regional accent and the technology used by match officials.
Chelsea will have to provide sufficient evidence that Clattenburg used the word ‘monkey’, and must be confident the club can present a case that does not backfire on them spectacularly.

Test Match Special faces axe as Indian officials demand extra 50,000 from BBC

It's just not cricket: Test Match Special faces axe for first time in 40 years as Indian officials demand extra 50,000 from BBC

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UPDATED:

23:33 GMT, 27 October 2012

English cricket lovers face being
deprived of overseas commentary from BBC Radio's iconic Test Match
Special programme for the first time in almost 40 years because greedy
Indian administrators are holding them to ransom.

The Board of Control for Cricket in
India (BCCI) has broken with convention by demanding the BBC pays an
extra 50,000 to cover the costs of broadcast facilities during the
upcoming Test series between England and India – while Sky Television
has been told it must pay almost 500,000.

Both broadcasters insist the fees
were not mentioned by the BCCI when the agreements to cover the series
were finalised six weeks ago, when Sky also signed a deal to cover Test
cricket in India for the next six years.

No Indian summer: the TMS team may not be able to broadcast from India

No Indian summer: The TMS team may not be able to broadcast from India

It now looks increasingly likely that Test Match Special, considered by many to be the soundtrack to the game since its inception in 1957, will fall quiet this winter, depriving hundreds of thousands of devoted fans of commentary from Jonathan Agnew, Geoffrey Boycott, Michael Vaughan and Phil Tufnell.

It will be the first time fans have faced radio silence for an overseas tour since the BBC covered England's 1976-77 trip to India.

A BBC spokesman confirmed: 'We are continuing talks with the relevant authorities in India about what we regard as unreasonable demands for facility fees.'

If the row is not resolved, Sky intends to graft the words of Sir Ian Botham, David Gower, Mike Atherton and Nasser Hussain, commentating in a West London studio, on to pictures fed by Indian host broadcaster Star Sports.

But the BBC is unlikely to follow Sky's example.

Watching from home Sky's broadcasting team may produce coverage in England

Watching from home Sky's broadcasting team may produce coverage in England

Cricket lovers face being deprived of overseas commentary from BBC Radio's Test Match Special programme which is anchored by Jonathan Agnew, right

Cricket lovers face being deprived of overseas commentary from BBC Radio's Test Match Special programme which is anchored by Jonathan Agnew, right

A Test Match Special insider said: 'Even though we would have every right to broadcast the Indian series from the moon because we've paid for the rights, doing so from the UK in this instance might make the public feel, to all intents and purposes, that we are no different from the Test Match Sofa website, whose commentators are based in South London.'

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) officials have requested a more flexible approach from their Indian counterparts at the BCCI.

But an ECB source confirmed yesterday that no progress had been made to break the deadlock and all parties concede time is running out for a compromise to be reached in time for the first Test in Ahmedabad on November 15.

A defiant BCCI official said: 'It is not as if they have only asked for a commentary box. They have demanded a full control room, just like the one our host broadcaster has at every venue.

'If you have to create an additional space of 2,000 sq ft, fully air-conditioned, it will bear a lot of cost. And neither the BCCI nor any of our affiliated units who would be hosting the match would bear the additional cost.'

Sad news: Jimmy Anderson in action for England

Sad news: Jimmy Anderson in action for England

An ECB source confirmed yesterday that no progress had been made to break the deadlock and all parties concede time is running out for a compromise to be reached ahead of the first Test in Ahmedabad on November 15

An ECB source confirmed yesterday that no progress had been made to break the deadlock and all parties concede time is running out for a compromise to be reached ahead of the first Test in Ahmedabad on November 15

England fast bowler James Anderson spoke for generations of devotees when he said listening to the BBC's all-night radio broadcasts from overseas was a major part of his cricketing education.

'I first became interested in England cricket listening to the TMS commentary from the 1986-87 Ashes series Down Under. I was about five at the time and it was all incredibly exciting,' he said.

'When I was growing up, Test cricket from abroad was available on Sky but we didn't have it at home, so when the 1992 World Cup was played in Australia I used to set my alarm clock to get up in the middle of the night and glue myself to the radio.'

Anderson added: 'TMS has always been a massive part of cricket in England and it would be a great shame if it went off air this winter.'

Tony Greig cancer battle: Cricket stars send support to former England captain

Former England captain Greig vows to give cancer battle his 'best shot' as stars send support

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UPDATED:

16:05 GMT, 22 October 2012

Former England cricket captain Tony Greig has vowed to give fighting cancer his 'best shot'.

South African-born Greig, 66, who has been diagnosed with lung cancer, tweeted: 'Thanks to all of you who have sent me good wishes for a recovery.

'With your prayers and the help of my family I will give it my best shot.'
Words of support have already flooded in from across the world.

Battle: Greig (centre) has revealed he is suffering from a form of lung cancer

Battle: Greig (centre) has revealed he is suffering from a form of lung cancer

Ex-England skipper Michael Vaughan tweeted: 'Fight Hard Tony… All right behind you…'

Australian captain Michael Clarke
tweeted: 'On behalf of the current Australian Cricket team we wish you
all the best at this tough time mate.'

Former Pakistan test cricketer Ramiz
Raja added: 'Our prayers and thoughts are with you and your family
Inshalah you will pull through. Speedy recovery mate!'

A small lesion was found in the base
of Greig's right lung leading to a large fluid removal. This later led
to a cancer diagnosis.

Skipper: Greig meets the Queen in 1975

Skipper: Greig meets the Queen in 1975

Greig famously defected to Australia to become one of the leading players in Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket in 1977.

He has lived in Sydney, Australia,
for over three decades and has been a long-standing member of Nine's
broadcast team with veteran trio Bill Lawry, Ian Chappell and Richie
Benaud.

Greig said his priority was his
family and his health, and he is unsure whether he will be with Nine to
commentate on Australia's first Test against South Africa on November 9.

Kevin Pietersen has days to save England career

Controversial Pietersen has just days to save international career

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UPDATED:

08:28 GMT, 27 September 2012

The clock is ticking on Kevin Pietersen's status as a centrally-contracted England cricketer.

If the controversial South Africa-born batsman cannot agree a new deal by October 1, next Monday, then he will cease to be an employee of the England and Wales Cricket Board.

For the first time since Pietersen burst on the international scene with his Ashes-clinching exploits at The Oval seven years ago, he would therefore become a free agent.

Clock's ticking: KP has just days to save his international career

Clock's ticking: KP has just days to save his international career

Following his summer of contract wrangles with the ECB, and breakdown of his working relationship with former Test captain Andrew Strauss and England coach Andy Flower, Pietersen's name was absent from the list of central deals announced at the start of this month.

Last week, it is understood he turned down the offer of a four-month – rather than the conventional annual – contract, and was subsequently left out of the squad due to tour India for four Tests from the end of next month.

Left at home: KP wasn't included in England's T20 squad

Left at home: KP wasn't included in England's T20 squad

The 32-year-old is also missing from England's defence of their ICC World Twenty20 crown, a campaign set to resume today with a crucial Super Eight match against West Indies at Pallekele.

As England won through to the second stage of this tournament, Pietersen has been confined to a Colombo broadcast studio to attend to his lucrative duties as a television pundit.

Amid reports suggesting he may consider a possible legal action against the ECB, should no new contract be forthcoming in the next four days, mixed messages continue to emanate on the success or otherwise of his negotiations with his employers.

Pietersen's central contract could be reinstated at any time, even after Monday's deadline, and he recently told the world – via his Twitter feed – of his optimism that the situation is 'all sorted' and he hopes to be back in the England fold in time to tour New Zealand early next year.

His well-chronicled disputes with the ECB appeared initially to centre on his wish to play a full Indian Premier League campaign next spring, at a time when England have Test match obligations.

He subsequently committed himself to play for England, whenever selected, in all formats – but was nonetheless dropped from the team for last month's Lord's Test against his native South Africa, because of the content of 'provocative' text messages he had sent to opposition players during the previous match at Headingley.

Flower has made it clear more than once that the details of those texts – whether or not they contained 'derogatory' references to Strauss – remain a major sticking point, among others. It therefore still remains to be seen whether Pietersen will ever play for his adopted country again.

Heineken Cup"s days are numbered, says BT Vision boss

Is this the end of the Heineken Cup BT boss confirms plans to set up new European tournament

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UPDATED:

10:34 GMT, 13 September 2012

BT Vision boss Marc Watson sounded an apparent death knell for the Heineken Cup.

The tournament's future is under a cloud after the broadcaster secured a 152 million deal with Premiership Rugby that includes live broadcast rights for European games played by Aviva Premiership clubs for three years from 2014.

English and French clubs are in dispute with European Rugby Cup over the tournament's structure, especially its qualification format, and are threatening to set up an alternative when the current agreement ends in 2014.

Change: Saracens and Sale will soon be on BT Vision in the Aviva Premiership

Change: Saracens and Sale will soon be on BT Vision in the Aviva Premiership

And chief executive Watson, whose
company will also show live Premiership rugby matches from the start of
next season, has now fanned those flames.

'We are looking to set up, or at
least help set up, a dazzling new European tournament with a fantastic
new format, with, we hope, all the best clubs,' he told
www.sportspromedia.com.

'And we've secured, from the English Premiership, the rights to that for the UK.

'That tournament will be the successor to the Heineken Cup, which is a very successful tournament.

Champions: Harlequins

Champions: Harlequins

'The Heineken Cup, under its current
contract, has another season to run, and that will be the end of it, and
we are looking to set up a brand new tournament from then.

'We saw in rugby an opportunity to
own a sport exclusively, certainly at club level, and the rights that
we've bought give us an opportunity to do that.

'We are hosting the Rugby World Cup
in 2015 in the UK. It's a great opportunity in the two years running up
to that, we think, to grow the sport.
'It's a sport that has got a long way to go. We were attracted by the
idea of growing with it, and helping it to grow in the UK.”

Watson's comments will do nothing to
alter the sense of disarray in the European game following Premiership
Rugby's announcement.

ERC yesterday revealed a four-year extension with existing Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup live broadcaster Sky.

And ERC also reacted to Premiership
Rugby's statement surrounding future live European coverage by claiming
their deal with BT Vision was 'in breach both of IRB regulations and of a
mandate from the ERC board itself'.

'European club rugby's six
participant Unions have granted the authority to sell broadcast rights
to its tournaments solely to ERC,'they said in a statement.

A meeting of ERC stakeholders is due to be held in Dublin next Tuesday.
Premier Rugby, though, claimed ERC had no right to sell television
rights beyond expiry of the current tournament accord in 2014, which
along with top French clubs, they have already served notice to quit.

'As a result of notice being served,
ERC is not entitled after 2014 to sell the broadcast rights of matches
involving Premiership Rugby clubs,' said the Premiership Rugby
statement.

'ERC's suggestion that Premiership Rugby may be in breach of IRB regulations is wrong.

'Following Premiership Rugby's
agreement with the RFU, dated 16 October 2007. Premiership Rugby has
specific consent to control the broadcast rights of its clubs.'