Tag Archives: cases

Nick Harris: Well back player walk-offs over racism, says union chief Carlisle

We'll back player walk-offs over racism, says union chief Carlisle

Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins in the vanguard, they want to be seen as the pioneers of a new, clean era in cycling.

Some critics argue that Team Sky's 'no drugs' policy evidently failed in as much as it did not prevent past dopers from working with them.

Any confession by Armstrong could rest on whether he is guaranteed immunity from prosecution for perjury after lying in court cases in the past about his doping.

Lazio fined 32,500 for fans" monkey chants at Spurs stars

UEFA hand out another paltry racism fine for Lazio fans' monkey chants at Spurs stars



18:14 GMT, 18 October 2012

Lazio have been fined 32,500 by UEFA
for the improper conduct of their fans during last month's Europa
League tie against Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

Loud monkey chanting was heard to
come from the away fans and was directed at Jermain Defoe, Aaron Lennon
and Andros Townsend during the Group J clash, which ended 0-0 after
three Spurs goals were ruled out.

Target: Lazio fans allegedly directed vile racist abuse at Tottenham striker Defoe

Target: Lazio fans allegedly directed vile racist abuse at Tottenham striker Defoe

UEFA's Control and Disciplinary Body took the decision today, although Lazio have up to three days to appeal against the fine if they feel the findings of the panel are unfounded.

The sanctions, coupled with several other ongoing racial abuse cases, have come at a bad time for UEFA as Champions League and Europa League matches next week will be used to showcase activities organised by UEFA and the equality group Football Against Racism in Europe.

Last season UEFA fined Porto 16,700 for their fans' racist abuse directed at Manchester City's Mario Balotelli and Yaya Toure.

Heated: The fiery clash at White hart Lane had a number of flashpoints

Heated: The fiery clash at White hart Lane had a number of flashpoints

Disciplinary action has also been
brought against Serbia following what appeared to be racist chanting
from their fans during the Euro 2013 Under-21 Championship play-off
against England on Tuesday night.

Spurs winger Danny Rose, who is currently on loan at Sunderland, was
sent off after the final whistle for his reaction to the abuse while
Townsend was an unused substitute.

Rose was offered support by Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas, who
said: 'It's extremely difficult for Danny. He was disappointed by that
happening, by the situation which he had to live with, the atmosphere he
was confronted with.

'I told Daniel I support him completely in this situation. He felt
abused and this is obviously a serious matter which at the moment is in
the hands of both FAs.'

Lazio currently top Group J after picking up four points from their
first two games and host Spurs at the Stadio Olimpico on November 20.

Captain's job: Lennon wore the armband on a night when he was also an alleged victim of abuse

Captain's job: Lennon wore the armband on a night when he was also an alleged victim of abuse

Edge of the box: England crash out as BBC boys arrive at tournament

Well that was worth the trip! The BBC boys arrive at the Euros… and England bow out



23:56 GMT, 24 June 2012

Well, the plan was to come into the tournament not doing it, but by the time Sunday evening came around, we just couldn’t help ourselves could we…England expected.

Equally, the BBC expected an absolutely massive TV audience so Lee Dixon went around and turned off all the lights, Alan Hansen switched off the gas, and Gary Lineker locked up behind them all in Salford as the Match Of the Day team headed off to Kiev for the quarter final game against Italy.

And again: England crashed out on penalties once again

And again: England crashed out on penalties once again

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Which in its own way proved a little disappointing.

Just as so often happens on those more elaborate stag weekends, the ITV boys had gone out to the party early and were having a right time of it on their Warsaw balcony.

It would have been nice if when the BBC lads showed up, they’d taken the room below them so we might have had the prospect of Adrian Chiles and Roy Keane climbing down from above and mooning their BBC counterparts.

Then again, perhaps not.

Instead, the BBC took their place inside the Olympic Stadium, in a booth that provided not only a splendid view, but also plenty of atmosphere. And when I say atmosphere, I mean noise.

Sound seemed to be prove to be a nightmare for their technical team all night long.

Class act: Andrea Pirlo of Italy was on top form

Class act: Andrea Pirlo of Italy was on top form

Admittedly they had to deal with a PA announcer for whom all the way through the build up, silence was never golden, but even then Lineker and his team of pundits often sounded tinny and thin.

Perhaps they can get that room double glazed if they’re planning to stay there for the duration

Acoustics issues aside, there was also the editorial question of quite how big to go with the build up for this game To which the answer pretty quickly was, without sparing the horses.

‘Dare we start to believe’ asked Lineker at the very start of the coverage – a question which proved to be just about immediately rhetorical as we were soon rallying around the flag to a spirited piece of hip hop called ‘3 little Words’ and a rousing speech delivered by the imposing tones of Terence Stamp.

Pals: Joe Hart congratulates Mario Balotelli

Pals: Joe Hart congratulates Mario Balotelli

It felt that if we were indeed to go further in the tournament, the BBC would have had to find a way to cause all our TVs to explode with excitement if they were going to top that.

Mind you, if you were worried that the tone was going to be too over the top throughout, you needn’t have worried for long, because come the kick off, Mark Lawrenson was on hand for co-commentary duties alongside Guy Mowbray.

Now I don’t expect Alan Hansen’s regular straight man to be some kind of tub thumper or cheer leader, but his, shall we say, low key way of doing his business can somewhat suck the life out of a situation.

That was something that became particularly pointed when from the second half onwards, England themselves were doing little or nothing to alleviate the problem. Which is also when his, ahem, wisecracks certainly weren’t helping either!

While the boys in white were barely hanging on in there, Lawrenson was working the room.

Opposite number: Hart's counterpart Gianluigi Buffon made a crucial save in the shoot-out

Opposite number: Hart's counterpart Gianluigi Buffon made a crucial save in the shoot-out

We got a joke about Federico Balzeretti’s ballerina wife wanting a ‘tutu draw’ and a zinger to Mowbray’s question ‘what has Prandelli got up his sleeve’ – ‘his shirt’ – that will no doubt have them rolling in the aisles when he starts his summer season in Great Yarmouth. That, or trying to set light to their seats.

In the end, though, it was an older story than that joke that we were left with, and images of the two Ashleys probably the only thing that will be seen ad nauseam, and that anyone is ultimately really going to remember.

That is unless they decide it would be hilarious to make a commercial for a pizza restaurant, of course.

While Lethal Bizzle may want to consider altering a lyric in that ‘3 Little Words’ tune of his…to ‘not good enough’.


Wednesday afternoon on Sky Sports News and the Spanish squad’s press conference took no chances in promoting their sponsors with tiny TV screens in front of their microphones rotating logo, and with giant bottles of Cruz Campo beer on the table…

Winner: Black Caviar (right) at Royal Ascot

Winner: Black Caviar (right) at Royal Ascot

Thursday on BBC 1 at Royal Ascot and Australia’s wonder horse Black Caviar’s amazing record is displayed on a graphic that includes the fact that ‘she loves swimming and going to the beach’. As I say, ‘Australian’ wonder horse…

BBC 2 on Saturday evening at the Olympic trials in Birmingham, and a victorious Dwayne Chambers goes on the charm offensive with a direct message delivered straight to camera. With perhaps just a bit too much emphasis on the ‘offensive’ part…

Leo"s London: You"re not safe yet Andre Villas-Boas

You”re not safe yet AVB, you still have to face Manchester City

Why did Andre Villas-Boas have to go and spoil it

A “slap in the face” for Chelsea”s critics is one thing to claim after a marvellous Champions League victory. Persecution quite another.

The Jews were persecuted by the Nazis during the Holocaust, asylum cases are based around protection from persecution, but are super-wealthy, cosseted Premier League stars persecuted Not so much.

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas

Jump to it: Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas

It is fair to say the manager known for crouching and springing up on the touchline was a little jumped up after Chelsea”s win against Valencia.

Instead of revelling in the polished performances of his players, the superb displays from Didier Drogba, Oriol Romeu, Raul Meireles, Ramires, Petr Cech and just about everyone else in the team, he struck out childishly at the treatment of him and his team by the media.

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Leo”s London: Wise up, Terry! Fans are watching your every move

Leo”s London: Don”t encourage Barton to guide us through football”s moral maze

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Leo”s London: Can Chelsea, Tottenham and West Ham really support bigger stadiums


Villas-Boas could have claimed a tactical victory after altering his side”s approach, he could have taken the plaudits for being brave enough to drop Frank Lampard.

But no, he claimed Chelsea had suffered from “continuous persecution” because critics had reacted to their unusually inconsistent form by drawing conclusions from the overwhelming precedents available.

Villas-Boas is the seventh manager at the club since Roman Abramovich bought them in 2003. Only two so far have lasted for more than a season.

So with Chelsea slipping away from the title race and struggling in Europe it was reasonable to suggest the manager would be under pressure.

If he was not, why did he get assurances – twice – from Abramovich that his job was safe

Misunderstanding the language cannot be used as an excuse by Villas-Boas, either. He speaks English fluently. So much so, in fact, he sometimes doesn”t know when to stop.

Was he trying to foster a siege mentality at the club Unlikely, given that he chose the moment to voice his displeasure just when Chelsea had earned plenty of plaudits.

Perhaps Villas-Boas was trying to employ the word persecution to claim his club had been persistently harassed or annoyed rather than subjected to ill-treatment.

But even that would be nave. The manager and his team have not, as faras we know, been persistently pursued in private and given a hard time because they are not winning as much as usual.

Party time: Didier Drogba

Didn”t I do well: Drogba scored twice against Valenia

Villas-Boas has worked at Chelsea before, too, and has seen far more extreme circumstances than these. He admitted after taking the job that he knew what was expected of him and the team, the same expectations which have led to criticism.

Whining that Manchester City have been given an easier ride as they, too, have struggled in the Champions League is also ridiculous.

Surely, as an intelligent man, he recognises it is the first time City have qualified for the competition and that comfortably leading the Premier League helps their case. Surely, as an intelligent man, he is aware of Abramovich”s fascination with the competition and desire to succeed in it.

And if Villas-Boas was still intent on slapping down his critics despite the strong foundations for their comments, why didn”t he wait until after Monday”s game against City when proof of Chelsea”s revival could really be confirmed.

Wenger needs reinforcements

Arsenal”s resurgence since that painful defeat by Tottenham in October has been encouraging and seems to have won over many of the supporters who were turning against manager Arsene Wenger.

But those now expecting a return to the glory days should wait until after the transfer window before they let themselves dream.

Calamity: Vito Mannone

Calamity: Keeper Vito Mannone tees up second goal for Olympiakos

Arsenal are a good team and are looking like top four material once more but the competition at the top is fiercer than ever and Wenger”s squad is still thin.

Tuesday”s defeat at Olympiakos was not a result of great significance as Arsenal had already won their Champions League group, but as an indicator of the strength of the squad it was instructive.

There were several Keystone Cops moments and Wenger still needs reinforcements for the spine of his side as it is too reliant on key players such as Robin van Persie and Thomas Vermaelen staying fit.

Bringing in three quality players in January seems unlikely but if Arsenal do not make at least one top class signing in the transfer window they will need more luck than they have had in years to compete for trophies.

Tweeter of the week: David Gold Rapport: David Gold

Rapport: David Gold

West Ham”s joint chairman has not always been a favourite person of this column after his and David Sullivan”s clumsy and sometimes crass attempts to revive the fortunes of West Ham.

Regularly landing his helicopter on the club”s training ground and milking the limelight didn”t help, either.

However, after putting his money into the club and appearing to steer the club towards some stability in the Championship, Gold has engaged with West Ham fans frequently on Twitter.

There are no stand out quotes from him or outstanding gestures of goodwill but his willingness to frequently answer questions about fan issues and players” fitness is to his credit.