Tag Archives: casualty

Leyton Orient first match called off as weather wreaks havoc with sport

More frustration for Orient as they're first to fall foul off the wet weather across England

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UPDATED:

19:07 GMT, 25 December 2012

Leyton Orient led the way with the first weather postponement of the Boxing Day fixture programme as the forecast of more heavy rain threatened further disruption.

The League One side called off their home clash with Swindon at lunchtime on Christmas Day after downpours in London overnight.

Raining on our parade: The sports calendar has been affected by the weather

Raining on our parade: The sports calendar has been affected by the weather

It has been a frustrating week for Orient boss Russell Slade, who took his team to Notts County last weekend only to have the game controversially called off, even though both managers and the players felt the pitch was playable.

That match was one of 13 League fixtures which fell foul of heavy rain and clubs will be hoping there is no repeat at a time of the year which is traditionally lucrative in terms of attracting fans.

There was also a major casualty in racing, with Thursday's Welsh Grand National at Chepstow succumbing after six inches of rain fell in the area.

The race, which was due to be the BBC’s farewell, has been re-arranged for January 5 and will be screened by Channel 4.

Huntingdon Boxing Day races abandoned

Heavy rain forces Huntingdon to join Southwell on Boxing Day races casualty list

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UPDATED:

16:45 GMT, 23 December 2012

Boxing Day's meeting at Huntingdon has been abandoned due to a waterlogged track.

Officials were left with a straightforward call after inspecting the course shortly before midday on Sunday.

The Cambridgeshire venue is partly flooded following 16 millimetres of rainfall on Saturday. More rain has also been forecast.

Rained off: Huntingdon is another victim of the inclement weather

Rained off: Huntingdon is another victim of the inclement weather

Clerk of the course Sulekha Varma said: 'We called the inspection for tomorrow initially this morning when it was still dark with a view that at least people could double declare on the basis there was an inspection time here.

'Once the sun came up and we had a good look around it gradually became apparent it was going to be impossible to get rid of the water and turn around the site to have it fit and ready for racing.

'We are devastated, having lost three meetings in a row now. It's been a trying year.'

Manchester United line up 8million bid for Asmir Begovic

EXCLUSIVE: United line up 8m January bid for Stoke's Begovic as doubts loom over De Gea and Lindegaard future

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 7 December 2012

Manchester United are to bid 8million for Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.

The move will pose questions over the futures of 17.8million signing David de Gea and Anders Lindegaard, with the Denmark No 1 the most likely casualty.

Despite Sir Alex Ferguson giving both players a chance to cement a place in the first team, neither have convinced.

Chase: Manchester United are lining up a move for Asmir Begovic

Chase: Manchester United are lining up a move for Asmir Begovic

De Gea, who has just turned 22, was seen as a big gamble when he signed from Atletico Madrid last year and United would like him to continue developing.

Yet they have now targeted 6ft 5in Begovic, who has adapted better to the British game.

The 25-year-old Bosnian has kept seven clean sheets this season and conceded just 15 goals in 15 games.

Stoke manager Tony Pulis has declared that none of his players will be sold in January and his good relationship with United will mean the deal is likely to be shelved until the summer.

Liverpool have also shown interest in Begovic but United are in pole position.

Begovic said: 'It's always nice when the biggest teams in the world are looking at you. It's a compliment, but it doesn't mean anything.

'We keep our feet on the ground here and the manager wouldn't let that change. I have three-and-a-half years on my contract and I am concentrating on playing and staying in the team and trying to help the team be successful.

'I am happy here so there are no issues with that.'

What about me Anders Lindegaard (left) could make way for Begovic

What about me Anders Lindegaard (left) could make way for Begovic

Gamble: Manchester United want David de Gea to improve

Gamble: Manchester United want David de Gea to improve

Jose Mourinho on Roberto Mancini and Rafael Benitez at Chelsea

Safe Real would have sacked me! Jose taunts Mancini over City's early Euro exit

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UPDATED:

06:54 GMT, 22 November 2012

Cheeky: Mourinho delivers a wink to the cameras as he leaves Manchester Airport for Madrid last night

Cheeky: Mourinho delivers a wink to the cameras as he leaves Manchester Airport for Madrid last night

Jose Mourinho feels he would have been out of a job had he presided over a similar failure to the one experienced by Manchester City and their manager Roberto Mancini last night.

Together with Borussia Dortmund in Group D, Mourinho's Real Madrid will take their place in the Champions League last 16 following their 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium.

Mancini insisted his job was safe but for Mourinho qualification to the knockout stages is the very minimum demanded by the hard-to-please media pack who follow the Spanish giants and with whom he has such a spiky relationship.

'I admire the fact that clubs support their manager,' said Mourinho.

'City is out of Champions League. But Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund are very good teams and we knew a big team would be out.

'It is good that it was City because Roberto can work without any kind of problem I believe.

'If it was Real Madrid, the press wouldn't let me return to Madrid.'

It is the same kind of intense scrutiny successive Chelsea managers have operated under since he left Stamford Bridge in September 2007.

You're safe Mourinho believes he would have been sacked had he not steered Real safely through to the last 16 - unlike City boss Roberto Mancini

You're safe Mourinho believes he would have been sacked had he not steered Real safely through to the last 16 – unlike City boss Roberto Mancini

Roberto Di Matteo became the latest casualty of Roman Abramovich's seemingly never-ending quest for complete perfection yesterday when he was axed.

'I am never happy when a manager is sacked,' he said.

'It can happen to me so I never enjoy it. I always feel sorry for him and his family.

'Our lives are very similar. I am not happy with any situation.'

Early exit: Manchester City's stars come to terms with their European elimination

Early exit: Manchester City's stars come to terms with their European elimination

Rafael Benitez is the surprise choice to take over from Di Matteo on an interim basis.

The Spaniard had a tempestuous relationship with Mourinho during his days as Liverpool manager, masterminding two Champions League semi-final wins over the Blues, including in 2005 when Luis Garcia took the Merseyside outfit to Istanbul with what Mourinho described as a 'ghost' goal.

But Mourinho put his differences with Benitez to one side to wish him good luck.

Good luck: Mourinho expressed his wish to see Benitez succeed during his time at Chelsea

Good luck: Mourinho expressed his wish to see Benitez succeed during his time at Chelsea

'I like my old clubs to win,' he said.

'I always wish the managers of my former clubs well so I always wish good look to managers of my former clubs.

'I wish good luck to Benitez.'

Football is not a rancid cesspit of racism: Martin Samuel

Strictly speaking, we are looking in the wrong place for racism

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UPDATED:

00:00 GMT, 7 November 2012

Song and dance: Colin Salmon and Kristina Rihanoff compete in Strictly

Song and dance: Colin Salmon and Kristina Rihanoff compete in Strictly

Colin Salmon was voted off Strictly Come Dancing
on Sunday night. You know what would be said if that were football.
Salmon is an imposingly tall, gentlemanly, well-spoken and stylish black
man, by some distance not the worst dancer on the show. He is a
respected actor who has appeared in three James Bond films, an
accomplished trumpet player and the leader of the Fox Carnival Band, a
youth charity active at the Notting Hill Carnival. Without descending
into caricature, one presumes that he can cut a rug.

And
by last weekend, week five, he was gone. Salmon joins geriatrics Johnny
Ball and Jerry Hall and Sid Owen, a chirpy Cockney with two left plates
of meat, on Strictly’s early
casualty list. Except they were hopeless and he wasn’t. Even so, he said
goodbye with such grace and generosity of spirit that, despite the
manipulative nature of reality television, it was really quite moving.
The judges looked genuinely regretful at his departure. If this were
football, the Society of Black Lawyers would have been on to the
Metropolitan Police before the titles came up.

To the unfamiliar it should be explained how Strictly
works. The couples dance and the judges give opinions and marks, for
entertainment purposes only at first. The public then get a say by
telephone poll. After this, the two pairs who have fared worst in that
vote must perform their routine again and the judges, taking only this
final performance into account, decide which couple stays in the
competition. The other pair leaves.

The past two weeks, Salmon has been
inexplicably endangered by the public poll. On Sunday, his luck ran out.
He performed nervously in the dance-off and was eliminated. Aside from
Louis Smith, the Olympic gymnast, who is mixed race, Strictly is now
all white on the night.

Maybe
it is just coincidence. Strictly is now in its 10th series and previous
winners have included Mark Ramprakash and Alesha Dixon, while Denise
Lewis, Colin Jackson and Chelsee Healey have made it to the final. All,
however, were fine movers by the end.

‘The
black man has got to fly to get to something the white man can walk
to,’ said Chris Rock, the comedian, and that seems to be the case on
Strictly. If a black contestant is very good, he or she might make the
final. If a black contestant is even half as clumsy as the white folk
competing, out he goes.

Previous winner: Mark Ramprakash took 2006's Strictly crown alongside Karen Hardy

Previous winner: Mark Ramprakash took 2006's Strictly crown alongside Karen Hardy

Now,
it could be argued that to have five black finalists in 27 beats the
four black football managers working for the 92 league clubs in England.
Even so, Salmon’s premature eviction — remember he could have gone a
week earlier — did seem to suggest a certain preference from the
audience at home.

This is not the BBC’s fault, or the
judges’ fault. A democratic vote is never perfect. No doubt some people
declared for Mitt Romney for the wrong reasons, too. Yet the strangest
postscript to Salmon’s exit was that nobody found it strange at all.
There was absolutely no puzzlement that a perfectly capable dancer,
without doubt open to further improvement and appreciated by
knowledgeable judges, should not find similar favour with the public. If
it were football, the Prime Minister would be airing his views on Radio
4.

More from Martin Samuel…

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28/10/12

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25/10/12

Ajax 3 Man City 1: City's comedy of errors renders them a laughing stock once more
24/10/12

Martin Samuel: Racism debate is too big for T-shirt and tweets, Rio
21/10/12

A-levels are hard. Just ask my poor son
18/10/12

Martin Samuel: Cagey Roy faces his moment of reckoning after Poland draw
17/10/12

Martin Samuel: English football can teach Serbia how to tackle racism
17/10/12

Martin Samuel: Plumbing the depths of flood and blunder in Warsaw
16/10/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

Last week, David Cameron
demanded the Football Association stepped up its efforts against
racism. Like all good politicians, he is never found up a siding when a
populist charabanc goes by. Hugh Robertson, his sports minister, said:
‘Events over the last year have shown the need for action.’

Indeed
they have. Barely a day goes by now without a fan or footballer being
accused of racism. There was that guy in the crowd at Chelsea, and now
an Everton supporter at QPR. John Terry and Luis Suarez we know about.
There are some quite nasty individuals on Twitter, too. And they are all
packaged together, these lone souls, into a festering boil called
Racism in Football. Meanwhile, the rest of society goes on its merry
way, unquestioned and unquestioning, assured that only the national
sport has a problem with black people: despite it making more of them
rich than politics, journalism, law, ballroom dancing or the
mainstream Saturday night entertainment industry put together.

Is it any wonder that, in this climate, Ramires of Chelsea believes he heard a white referee, Mark Clattenburg, refer to his black team-mate John Mikel Obi as a ‘monkey’ two weeks ago.

Ramires has limited English, meaning he probably has limited knowledge of English culture, too. From what he would have been able to glean lately, he probably thinks black players are racially abused in English football all the time. That has certainly been the narrative of the last 12 months. Every day a new outrage.

On Monday it was Patrick Kluivert, with headlines stating that he had been called a monkey, too, during his time at Newcastle United. Careful reading of his words, however, revealed he had said he encountered racism in every country — not just England — and that he recalled the noises as ‘monkey sounds, or something like that’.

There were no fine details, no named match or stadium, not even a specific noise or chant that had been heard. Yet the hare is running fast on this story now, so Kluivert’s hazy recall became a clear recollection in big print, despite the fact that one couldn’t hang a dog on his evidence. With an information service like this, no wonder black players, particularly foreign ones, now spy racists on football’s every corner.

Furore: John Mikel Obi (right) protests to Mark Clattenburg at Stamford Bridge

Furore: John Mikel Obi (right) protests to Mark Clattenburg at Stamford Bridge

Sometimes, when trying to do the right thing, those who are supposed to be part of the solution become part of the problem. Football is approaching this point now.

Peter Herbert, chairman of the Society of Black Lawyers, reported Clattenburg’s alleged hate crime to the police, despite the fact he heard nothing, saw nothing and knew nothing of it beyond what he read in the newspapers. He then expressed surprise that Sir Alex Ferguson, manager of Manchester United, felt able to dismiss the assertion against Clattenburg when it was now a police matter.

‘It is ill-advised when there is a criminal investigation to seek to pass judgment on a person you don’t know,’ sniffed Herbert. ‘A first-year law student would tell you that.’

Yet if the police investigation into Clattenburg is not being taken seriously, whose fault is this When Herbert states that he will be reporting all instances of alleged racism in football to the police — the ones he hears about through media outlets, obviously — it smacks of bandwagon-jumping.

Ferguson will see Herbert as a lawyer bolting himself on to football for publicity purposes, and the police investigation as a product of this. Rightly or wrongly, therefore, he will not regard it as a proper matter for the police, but a manufactured furore that should have been for the FA to resolve before further action was considered.

Arsene Wenger, manager of Arsenal, clearly agrees. Maybe privately, despite his brave public face, he considers the abuse he receives at some grounds every bit as dehumanising as racism, and resents the fact that it goes largely ignored by the authorities.

Vile abuse: Arsene Wenger was subjected to a number of chants from the Manchester United fans

Vile abuse: Arsene Wenger was subjected to a number of chants from the Manchester United fans

David Jones, manager of Sheffield Wednesday who is also subjected to a vile commentary, certainly does. Herbert may feel strongly that he is making a positive contribution to the race issue by complaining, but this tactic appears to have alienated as many as it has encouraged. It has certainly not solved any issues.

The defence of Clattenburg, now stood down for a second week pending a police interview, seems to have at its core an incredulity that a match official could behave in such a gravely inappropriate manner, even if flustered under pressure. This does have some logic to it. Even were Clattenburg the Grand Wizard of the Gateshead branch of the Ku Klux Klan he would probably know to keep a lid on it in English football at the moment.

Yet viewed with cool rationality, few race cases follow a path of common sense, because racism is not an intellectually worthy stance. Terry’s explanation for his ‘FBC’ comment to Anton Ferdinand does not hold up to much scrutiny; but equally nor does the conviction that he would scream that insult down the pitch while surrounded by black colleagues.

A personal theory, bearing in mind no witness can corroborate what was actually said and the video evidence does show that the sentence uttered consisted of more than just those three offending words, is that, riled by Ferdinand’s needling comments about his private life, Terry lost his temper and said something like: ‘So it’s OK for me to call you a FBC, then’ Rumbled, he then covered his traces by explaining this away as a more innocuous question in which he still uttered the offending words.

Flashpoint: Anton Ferdiand and John Terry at Loftus Road

Flashpoint: Anton Ferdiand and John Terry at Loftus Road

It is just a guess. Hell, who knows And who knows about Clattenburg, either Some say they heard it, others say they did not, and in the meantime a steady drip of innuendo, point and counter-point from those who haven’t a genuine clue either way creates the impression that football is a rancid cesspit of racial hatred when it is actually making more young black men rich than any industry this side of MOBO.

Football is a phenomenal agent for change and social mobility and has an almost brutal meritocracy at its heart. Yes, it could do better. Society could do better. So could you, so could I.

Yet if Strictly Come Dancing were a Premier League football team, Colin Salmon would be in the starting XI on Saturday, and picked solely on ability. And that is the biggest problem. That we do not recognise where the real problem is any more.

And while we're at it…
Legal brief: Pat McQuaid

Legal brief: Pat McQuaid

Skins, an Australian sportswear company, are suing the International Cycling Union (UCI), their president Pat McQuaid and his predecessor Hein Verbruggen over their feeble response to the doping scandal. Skins claim the UCI are responsible for a loss of confidence in cycling by the public, which in turn has tarnished their reputation.

The company have sponsored USA Olympic cyclists and professional teams, including Rabobank and Team NetApp, since 2008.

2008 So, since the death of Marco Pantani in 2004, Roland Meier’s positive EPO test in 2001 and Giuseppe Di Grandi’s six-month prison sentence for violating anti-doping laws in 2005.

After the blood doping convictions of Tyler Hamilton and Alexandre Vinokourov (2004 and 2007). After Michael Rasmussen had been removed from Rabobank for whereabouts testing violations in 2007. After the suspensions that followed Operacion Puerto (2004-07). After the conviction of disgraced physician Michele Ferrari in 2004 and long after the publication of L.A. Confidentiel: Les secrets de Lance Armstrong by David Walsh and Pierre Ballester.

Yes, one can see how the people from Skins got taken in: if they lived in sealed caves.

Hammered by flighty Boris

Bidding process What bidding process West Ham United must surely be regretting the decision to compete for London’s Olympic Stadium in a respectful and structured way.

Their formality has cost in the region of 1m so far in lawyers, surveyors, architects and sundry fees.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson, London Mayor, seems to open talks with anybody he meets. Latest to negotiate are executives from America’s NFL, flushed with success from their annual visit to Wembley.

As West Ham stew, new bids arrive out of thin air. If we all have a whip-round, maybe we could have a go.

Another footballing hotbed ignored

Top of the table in this season’s J-League are Sanfrecce Hiroshima. Attendances are up almost 30 per cent.

It was a shame that a city which has always embraced football was not allowed to host games at the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea.

Not that lessons have been learned. Krasnodar, a city near the Black Sea with a population of almost 750,000 and two thriving Premier League teams, has been overlooked for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Saransk, home to fewer than 300,000 with a team bottom of the Premier League, having made it for the first time this season, will host instead.

Open 2012: Rory McIlroy slips out of contention

McIlroy slips out of Open contention after woes in second round

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UPDATED:

15:22 GMT, 20 July 2012

Rory McIlroy left himself a mountain to climb at The Open with a second round 75 – but at least he did not forget the teenager he hit on the head the day before.

Rather than having Bristol 16-year-old Jason Blue sleeping in a tent again, the world number two provided a hotel room and 'some cash' – around 100 he then said – in addition to the signed glove he had given him at the time.

'I thought it was the least I could do when he's got a massive gash in the side of his head,' McIlroy stated. I put him and his mate up for the night and actually tried to get them into the hotel for a couple more nights, but they were just fully booked.'

Tough day: Rory McIlroy struggled during the second day of The Open

Tough day: Rory McIlroy struggled during the second day of The Open

There was very nearly another casualty after the Northern Irishman resumed in joint sixth place on three under.

McIlroy's wild approach to the third came down right next to Toru Oda, the caddie of Japanese player Toshinori Muto.

That it also narrowly avoided the thick rough added to the 23-year-old's relief, but he bogeyed the hole and it was on the short ninth that the round really started getting away from him.

While an alarm was sounding in a nearby house – he refused to blame that – McIlroy failed to get out of a greenside bunker, took a double bogey five and then dropped three more strokes coming home.

Each resulted from finding rain-sodden bunkers, the one on the 17th so bad that he chose to drop the ball in the sand away from the water.

He added: 'It wasn't the best day out there. I was doing pretty well just to hang in there and making a double on the ninth was sort of the turning point.

'I couldn't really recover from that. I wasn't committing to my tee shots and was in two minds a few times about what shots to hit. That's just something I'll need to improve on tomorrow – just really commit to it and try to get the ball in the fairway.

Gloomy outlook: McIlroy is left hoping for a miracle at Royal Lytham

Gloomy outlook: McIlroy is left hoping for a miracle at Royal Lytham

'The wind was in an opposite direction, even though there wasn't much of it, and it made the tough holes play even tougher. It was just one of those days where I couldn't quite get on my game and struggled to get any sort of momentum.

'I felt like I was hitting the ball pretty good on the range. I was losing a few to the left, so maybe that's why I was trying to protect that one and I missed a couple to the right early on.

Obviously Snedeker is a little bit ahead at the minute, but I feel like if I can maybe get it back (tomorrow) to where I was at the start of the day I'd still have a great chance.

'The course is very playable. You just need to keep out of the bunkers, which is the whole idea any way. I don't see any problem with the water in the bunkers.

'I've had one unlucky break (he went out of bounds off Blue's head), but a couple of lucky breaks, so it sort of all evens out in the end.'

Twice champion Padraig Harrington also stands two over following a 72 that included bogeys at three of the final four holes for an inward 40.

He added: 'I'd like to have them back, but that's the nature of the game. It's frustrating. You need to get the breaks and I'm depending on getting breaks. If I was three under par or so I'd be depending on just playing good golf, whereas now I'm depending on playing good golf and getting a little bit lucky.'

Wimbledon 2012: Sam Stosur beaten by Arantxa Rus

Aussie Wimbledon week of woe complete as fifth seed Stosur tumbles out to Rus

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UPDATED:

16:23 GMT, 27 June 2012

A miserable Wimbledon for Australia was complete today when fifth seed Sam Stosur became the biggest casualty so far at this year's Championships.

For the first time since 1938, no Australian men made it through to the second round at the All England Club, while only Stosur was successful among the women in clearing the first hurdle.

The 28-year-old has never been beyond the third round here but she was still a big favourite to beat Holland's Arantxa Rus, no stranger to upsets having knocked out Kim Clijsters at the French Open last year.

All smiles: Rus celebrates her famous victory over the No 5 seed, Stosur

All smiles: Rus celebrates her famous victory over the No 5 seed, Stosur

Stosur looked to have recovered from a poor start when she breezed through the second set without losing a game, but she then dropped 5-2 behind in the decider.

Rus had a bit of trouble crossing the finish line but there was to be no comeback for Stosur, who eventually lost 6-2 0-6 6-4 after saving match points.

Stosur, who missed two chances to level the match at 5-5 in the third, did not attempt to sugarcoat Australia's woes but is confident better days are ahead.

Aussie ruled: Stosur was beaten in three sets by her younger opponent

Aussie ruled: Stosur was beaten in three sets by her younger opponent

Aussie ruled: Stosur was beaten in three sets by her younger opponent

She said: 'It's a pretty woeful performance by all of us, but it's not through lack of trying or not wanting to be here or anything like that. I think it's just one of those things that's happened.

'I think you have to look at something as a whole, for a longer period of time than just one event, to say that we're in this dire straits kind of mode right now.

Major upset: Rus knocked Clijsters out of the French Open last year

Major upset: Rus knocked Clijsters out of the French Open last year

'So I think of course it can be better. Myself and all the other players that I'm sure I can speak for wish we had a better tournament.

'There's definitely players coming up. But it's always going to take time. I think sometimes you have to stick to a plan for a long period, even if you go through a few lulls, to see if it's really working.

'I think if you chop and change and are always trying to look for that secret answer, you're not necessarily going to find it either.'

Dirk Kuyt leaves Liverpool to join Fenerbahce

Rodgers' revolution begins as Kop idol Kuyt is first big-name casualty in 1m exit to Fenerbache

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UPDATED:

14:09 GMT, 3 June 2012

Fenerbahce have announced the signing of Dirk Kuyt from Liverpool.

The Holland striker has signed a three-year contract with the Turkish giants.

The 31-year-old, who moved to Anfield from Feyenoord in 2006, found first-team starts hard to come by under Kenny Dalglish last season.

Moving on: Kuyt signs a three year deal at Fenerbahce

Moving on: Kuyt signs a three year deal at Fenerbahce

Liverpool confirmed the move, saying: 'Liverpool FC can confirm that Dirk Kuyt has advised the club that he has today reached an agreement with Fenerbahce SK over a move to Turkey, and the transfer is expected to be completed in the next few days.'

Kuyt, who had a year to run on his Anfield contract, had been expected to leave Merseyside this summer, despite the departure of Dalglish, after a season in which he scored just two Premier League goals.

He claimed last week he had attracted interest from a host of clubs across Europe.

On his way: Dirk Kuyt is off to Turkey

On his way: Dirk Kuyt is off to Turkey

The one and only: Kuyt won the League Cup with Liverpool - his only silverware in his six years at Anfield

The one and only: Kuyt won the League Cup with Liverpool – his only silverware in his six years at Anfield

He was strongly linked with Hamburg and a return to Feyenoord, although he ruled out the latter, saying they would not be able to afford his wages.

He has opted for a move to Istanbul, though, possibly attracted by the prospect of Champions League football next season.

Fener will enter the preliminary rounds of the competition after finishing runners-up to Galatasaray in the Super Lig.

Kuyt leaves Liverpool having won just one trophy in six seasons on Merseyside, the Carling Cup last season, when he scored in the penalty shoot-out win over Cardiff.

First impression: Kuyt made his Liverpool debut against West Ham in 2006

First impression: Kuyt made his Liverpool debut against West Ham in 2006

He joins a Fenerbahce side that finished second in the league after Galatasaray and qualified for next season's Champions League.

But the final decision rests with the Turkish Football Federation (TFF), which previously banned Fenerbahce from the 2011-2012 Champions League after allegations that several matches were fixed during the 2010-2011 season.

The investigation into the allegations led to a wave of arrests last summer, while Fenerbahce was hit hardest by the case that sent its boss, Aziz Yildirim and more than a dozen team members behind bars in the ongoing trial.

French Open 2012: Laura Robson loses to Anabel Medina

Robson becomes latest British casualty at French Open after Medina Garrigues defeat

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UPDATED:

10:55 GMT, 28 May 2012

Laura Robson could not make the most of her second chance at the French Open as she was beaten 6-2 6-1 by 29th seed Anabel Medina Garrigues in the first round.

The 18-year-old Londoner lost from match point up in the final round of qualifying on Friday but was given a place as a lucky loser when Silvia Soler-Espinosa pulled out with an ankle injury.

She could certainly have been put into the draw in an easier spot, though, with Medina Garrigues one of the best players around on clay. Indeed, the 29-year-old's 10 titles on the surface are the most of any active player.

Over and out: Laura Robson lost to Anabel Medina Garigues in Paris

Over and out: Laura Robson lost to Anabel Medina Garigues in Paris

The first three games got away from Robson, playing her first French Open as a senior, pretty quickly but she dug in well and began to match her opponent.

The 18-year-old's natural power must be the envy of many players ranked significantly higher and she pushed Medina Garrigues, twice creating chances to retrieve the break. But she could not take them and another break gave the Spaniard the first set.

End of the road: Robson was unable to take advantage of being a lucky loser

End of the road: Robson was unable to take advantage of being a lucky loser

Robson needed a steady start to the second set but again she was broken early and, after missing two more break points in the third game, she began to get a little bit wild.

She at least avoided a love set, holding serve at 5-0 down, but the end was swift in coming, Medina Garrigues repeating her straight-sets victory over Robson in the second round of the US Open last year.

Bolton can emerge from traumatic season safe from relegation – Owen Coyle

After all the trauma and turmoil Bolton can still beat the drop, insists Coyle

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UPDATED:

13:51 GMT, 11 May 2012

Bolton boss Owen Coyle feels his relegation-threatened side have had a season 'you could not make up', but remains confident they can emerge at the end of it this weekend smiling.

It has been an injury-blighted campaign for the Trotters, with key players like Stuart Holden (knee) and Lee Chung-yong (broken leg) heading a lengthy casualty list and barely able to feature.

Fellow Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch in an FA Cup game at Tottenham in March and while he has made a remarkable recovery since then, it is not known whether he will be able to play professional football again.

Down to the wire: The Trotters must beat Stoke to have a chance of survival

Down to the wire: The Trotters must beat Stoke to have a chance of survival

Then last weekend defender David Wheater became the latest member of the Bolton squad to pick up a serious injury, sustaining cruciate ligament damage in his right knee in the 2-2 home draw with West Brom.

Wanderers' season of setbacks could yet finish with their relegation from the Barclays Premier League, the result against Albion meaning that Coyle's men – currently 18th in the table – head into Sunday's final day needing to win at Stoke to have any chance of staying up.

They also require 17th-placed QPR to lose at Manchester City and luck has hardly shone on the Trotters this term.

Fighting talk: Bolton boss Owen Coyle

Fighting talk: Bolton boss Owen Coyle

But while their manager has described what the team has been through as 'beyond belief', he is still optimistic of a happy outcome.

'David (Wheater) had been in fine form and his injury probably sums up our season,' Coyle said. 'It has been unprecedented – knee injuries putting players out for such a long period of time, leg breaks.

'It has just been incredible, with everything that happened to Fabrice as well. It has been great to see his smile now – how well he is recovering is a big positive that has come out of everything.

'There has been huge trauma and turmoil in terms of injuries and illness, but we have just got on with it and always remained grounded.

'We also know that after everything that has happened, we have an opportunity come Sunday to go and win that game and be smiling on Sunday night.'

Reflecting on Wheater's injury, Coyle said: 'It looked innocuous, it really did at the time. David cleared the ball and I think he has fallen back and twisted his knee.

'It certainly looks as if possibly it will be nine months [before he is back], although it might be sooner than that. We wish him a speedy recovery and he will come back and have a fantastic career.

Recovering: Fabrice Muamba's cardiac arrest cast a shadow over Bolton's season

Recovering: Fabrice Muamba's cardiac arrest cast a shadow over the season

'The events that have taken place involving this football club this year have been beyond belief – you couldn't have made this stuff up. But it's happened, we've had to deal with it and that is what we have done.

'What we have to do now is get ourselves ready for a must-win game on Sunday – it is as simple as that.'

Asked if he thought his team would stay up, Coyle said: 'I truly believe we will.'

For all that went wrong in the West Brom game, where Bolton surrendered a two-goal lead in the final 15 minutes, there was a timely boost for Wanderers with the surprise return to action of Lee.

The South Korea international, who suffered his leg break last summer, came on as a substitute to make his first senior appearance of the season.

Coyle has confirmed Lee will be in the squad for the Stoke match, but has played down the 23-year-old's chances of starting.

'He has trained again this week,' Coyle said. 'It was a big ask last week for him to come in. He will certainly be in the squad, but whether or not he is able to start – I think it might be too early, but he will certainly play a part at some point.'