Tag Archives: grounds

Rugby World Cup 2015: Football grounds make up three-quarters of the venues

The 2015 Rugby World Cup… coming soon to a football ground near you (but at least Twickenham gets the final)

By
Rik Sharma

PUBLISHED:

10:58 GMT, 3 March 2013

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UPDATED:

12:12 GMT, 3 March 2013

The venues for England's Rugby World Cup in 2015 have been revealed and three-quarters of the selected stadiums are football grounds.

Wembley, Old Trafford and St James' Park will host fixtures while the likes of Leicester Tigers' Welford Road and Harlequins' Twickenham Stoop have been overlooked.

The only club rugby ground which has been selected is Gloucester's Kingsholm, while the Millenium Stadium and Twickenham, which will host the final, are the other recognised rugby stadiums on the list.

Unfamiliar surroundings: The All Blacks could be playing at Wembley, which hosts six fixtures

Unfamiliar surroundings: The All Blacks could be playing at Wembley, which hosts six fixtures

RWC2015 Venues

Twickenham (Hosting 8 games inc. final, capacity 82,000)

Millennium Stadium (8, 74,500)

Wembley (6, 90,000)

Kingsholm (4, 16,500)

King Power Stadium (4, 32,262)

Amex Stadium (3, 27,350)

Villa Park or Ricoh Arena (3, 42,788 or 32,609)

Ashton Gate (3, 21,497)

Stadium MK (3, 22,000 planned increase to 32,000)

St James' Park (2, 52,387)

Elland Road (2, 37,697)

Old Trafford (2, 75,765)

Unless the Olympic Stadium becomes available before the venues are officially announced later this month, these are the final selections according to the Sunday Times.

The only issue left to resolve is whether Villa Park or the Ricoh Arena will be used.

But a spokesman for the 2015 Rugby World Cup denied the list was valid.

'That list is not at all true. It is entirely speculation,' he said. 'It is not the final list.

'The long-list has been in the public domain for a long time. The use of football stadiums was a part of the bid which was well documented.'

Leicester Tigers are particularly angry that Welford Road (24,000) is being overlooked in favour of Leicester City's King Power Stadium (32,000).

Larger capacities – and therefore the potential for more tickets sold – are the reason football stadiums are being used.

The organisers need an average
attendance of 55,000 in order to reach the 80million guarantee they
have made to the International Rugby Board.

Tigers
chairman Peter Tom had expressed his shock and disappointment at the
decision on the club's official website. 'We are hugely disappointed to
learn that Welford Road will not play a part in England's hosting of the
Rugby World Cup in 2015,' he said.

'Welford
Road has hosted many, many major occasions over the years, including
visits from South Africa, Australia and Argentina national teams in
recent seasons. It is home to the best-supported and most successful
club in the history of the professional game in this country and, as
such, we believe is worthy of Rugby World Cup status.

Snub: Leicester Tigers' ground Welford Road is being overlooked

Snub: Leicester Tigers' ground Welford Road is being overlooked

Selected: Newcastle's St James' Park will be used

Selected: Newcastle's St James' Park will be used

'That the organisers of RWC2015 do not think this an appropriate venue for its fixtures is disappointing and confusing both for the professional club game in this country and for its supporters.'

An RFU statement suggested the larger capacities and better facilities on offer at modern football stadiums led to the controversial policy.

It read: 'The selection procedure for the long list of venues took into account a geographical spread across the country, sporting and facilities criteria, levels of support from candidate host cities and capacity requirements for the successful delivery of a Rugby World Cup.'

Southampton 1 Reading 0: Jason Puncheon wins points for Saints

Southampton 1 Reading 0: Royals left Punch-drunk as Saints climb out of drop zone

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UPDATED:

17:18 GMT, 8 December 2012

Southampton moved out of the Barclays Premier League relegation zone for the first time this season after Jason Puncheon's second-half strike proved the difference against fellow strugglers Reading.

The Royals pipped Saints to the npower Championship crown last term, and the hosts exacted some revenge this afternoon.

Winning ways: Jason Puncheon scores for Southampton

Winning ways: Jason Puncheon scores for Southampton

MATCH FACTS

Southampton: Kelvin Davis, Clyne, Fonte, Yoshida, Shaw, Puncheon,
Cork, Schneiderlin, Lallana (Ramirez 40), Rodriguez (Do Prado 78),
Lambert.
Subs Not Used: Boruc, Hooiveld, Steven Davis, Ward-Prowse, Mayuka.

Scorer: Puncheon 61.

Reading: Federici, Cummings, Mariappa, Morrison (Pearce 65), Shorey,
Robson-Kanu (McCleary 77), Leigertwood,Tabb (Hunt 69), McAnuff,
Roberts, Le Fondre.
Subs Not Used: Taylor, Guthrie, Harte, Samuel.

Att: 29,331

Referee: Jon Moss (W Yorkshire).

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The south-coast club started brightly at St Mary's, but Reading looked dangerous on the break and had strong penalty appeals waved away when Jay Tabb appeared to be clipped in the box.

Southampton felt aggrieved themselves moments later when a Puncheon header was chalked off, before they lost influential captain Adam Lallana to a knee injury.

Hal Robson-Kanu rattled the post in first-half stoppage time but Saints continued to threaten after the break, getting their just rewards in the 61st minute when Puncheon lashed home what proved to be the winner.

The main talking point coming into the match was goalkeeper Kelvin Davis' return, having not started in the Premier League since the 6-1 mauling at Arsenal in mid-September.

The club captain replaced the injured Paulo Gazzaniga, while Gaston Ramirez dropped to the bench having spent the week in Uruguay on compassionate grounds.

Jay Rodriguez replaced him in the starting line-up and started brightly, firing just wide before Morgan Schneiderlin bundled a fierce Nathaniel Clyne cross inches wide.

Sky high: Jason Puncheon (second right) celebrates with Southampton teammate Nathaniel Clyne

Sky high: Jason Puncheon (second right) celebrates with Southampton teammate Nathaniel Clyne

Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici had to keep out a goal-bound Lallana prod and then stopped Lambert after Rodriguez was blocked off by Shaun Cummings.

Lallana curled over from the edge of the box but, for all of Saints' attacking intent, Reading looked menacing on the counter-attack.

Tight marking: Southampton's Ricky Lambert tries to turn inside Reading's Nicky Shorey

Tight marking: Southampton's Ricky Lambert tries to turn inside Reading's Nicky Shorey

Tabb's burst forward and strike that stung the palms of Davis epitomised that and the Royals felt they should have had a penalty when Jack Cork then caught the midfielder.

Saints soon felt hard done by themselves as Puncheon had a 34th-minute opener disallowed after an altercation between Federici and Maya Yoshida in the build-up.

Up for it: Southampton's Jason Puncheon challenges for a header

Up for it: Southampton's Jason Puncheon challenges for a header

Southampton boss Nigel Adkins was forced to shuffle the pack as half-time approached after captain Lallana suffered a knee injury, resulting in an early-than-planned introduction for Ramirez.

Puncheon had a shot deflected behind and Yoshida saw a header cleared off the line by Cummings as Saints pushed for a half-time lead, although Robson-Kanu saw a header rebound back off the post in stoppage time at the other end.

Chest right: Reading's Jason Roberts protects the ball from Southampton's Nathaniel Clyne

Chest right: Reading's Jason Roberts protects the ball from Southampton's Nathaniel Clyne

Reading were on top as the second half resumed but Saints soon found their feet, with Puncheon forcing Federici into action low to his left six minutes in.

Rodriguez's chest and volley rolled wide as Saints continued to press and, after Sean Morrison and Yoshida both received treatment, they had the lead.

Looking up: Southampton boss Nigel Adkins

Looking up: Southampton boss Nigel Adkins

Lambert played through Clyne and his ball was controlled by Puncheon, who continued to fire a right-footed strike across Federici into the far corner.

Rodriguez saw penalty appeals rejected moments after the 61st-minute goal, although a poor Clyne clearance would have cost Southampton immediately had Jobi McAnuff's shot been lower.

Morrison was replaced by Alex Pearce in the 65th minute after his earlier knock and Noel Hunt soon came on for Tabb as Reading boss Brian McDermott looked to claw a goal back.

Eye on the ball: Reading's Jay Tabb controls

Eye on the ball: Reading's Jay Tabb controls

The move to a three-pronged attack almost paid dividends immediately as Adam Le Fondre nodded just wide after a poor headed clearance by Clyne.

Federici almost sliced a backpass into his own goal and then did well to did well to hold onto a Clyne cross-shot.

Puncheon above his weight: Jason Puncheon celebrates his goal

Puncheon above his weight: Jason Puncheon celebrates his goal

Guly do Prado was booed by sections of the home fans when replacing Rodriguez 12 minutes from time, although he soon hushed those naysayers with a long-range effort that curled just over after Puncheon again came close.

Reading threatened from late set-pieces and Do Prado was denied from close range, but it remained 1-0 as Saints collected their second clean sheet of the season.

Tottenham fan Ashley Mills leaves hospital two weeks after anti-semitic attack in Rome

Pictured: The horrific injuries suffered by Tottenham fan Ashley Mills in brutal anti-semitic attack in Rome

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UPDATED:

17:55 GMT, 3 December 2012

This is the first shocking image of the head injuries suffered by Tottenham Hotspur fan Ashley Mills in a bloody, apparently anti-semitic attack by hooligans in Rome last month.

Mr Mills, 25, was released from the San Camillo hospital today after receiving treatment for a head injury and a potentially fatal knife wound to his groin.

He was caught up in a brutal raid by hardcore Lazio and Roma fans on The Drunken Ship pub in the heart of the Italian capital on the eve of Tottenham's Europa League match on November 22.

Ghastly: The head injury suffered by Tottenham supporter Ashley Mills, 25, in an attack by Lazio hooligans before the side's Europa League match in Rome a fortnight ago

Ghastly: The head injury suffered by Tottenham supporter Ashley Mills, 25, in an attack by Lazio hooligans before the side's Europa League match in Rome a fortnight ago

Discharged: Mr Mills left the San Camillo hospital in a wheelchair today. He is pictured here with Dr Piergiorgio Cao (left) and Hospital General Director Aldo Morrone (right)

Discharged: Mr Mills left the San Camillo hospital in a wheelchair today. He is pictured here with Dr Piergiorgio Cao (left) and Hospital General Director Aldo Morrone (right)

As he left the hospital in a
wheelchair today, Mr Mills would not comment on the attack in the Campo
de'Fiori square, saying: 'I don't really want to talk about it… My leg
is getting a lot better now and that's the main thing.'

Dr Piergiorgio Cao said his femoral
artery had been gashed and he risked losing his life had he not been
operated on immediately.

Mr Mills, a builder from Essex, was flying back to London this afternoon.

Trashed: The Drunken Ship pub in the centre of Rome, where 50 masked raiders attacked a group of Tottenham fans armed with belts, clubs and knives

Trashed: The Drunken Ship pub in the centre of Rome, where 50 masked raiders attacked a group of Tottenham fans armed with belts, clubs and knives

Ambush: Ashley Mills was stabbed in the groin

Two Roma supporters involved in the attack have been banned from all football grounds for five years.

Francesco Ianiari, 26, and Mauro
Pinnelli, 25, were arrested within ours of the raid on The Drunken Ship,
which left three Spurs fans seriously injured.

Both Ianiari and Pinnelli were charged with aggravated assault after an initial charge of attempted murder was dropped.

Around 50 masked men armed with
knives, clubs, belts and sticks raided the bar, a popular meeting point
for visiting fans, and were said to have chanted anti-semitic slogans
against the Spurs fans during the ten minute raid.

It is believed Lazio and Roma fans put aside their traditional differences to attack the Britons.

Lazio president Claudio Lotito denied his side's fans were racist and said the attack was purely 'football related.'

Hospital visit: Lazio president Claudio Lotito (centre) leaves the San Camillo Hospital after visiting Mills

Hospital visit: Lazio president Claudio Lotito (centre) leaves the San Camillo Hospital after visiting Mills

He visited Mr Mills in hospital and presented him with a Lazio shirt with his name on.

The match, at the Stadio Olimpico, finished goalless.

Roma fans banned from football for five years after attack on Tottenham supporters

Roma fans arrested after attack on Spurs supporters are banned from football stadiums for five years

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UPDATED:

12:37 GMT, 29 November 2012

Two Roma supporters arrested in connection with a brutal attack on a group of Spurs fans have been banned from all football grounds for five years.

Francesco Ianiari, 26, and Mauro Pinnelli, 25, were arrested within hours of the raid on The Drunken Ship pub which left three Spurs fans seriously injured – including Ashley Mills, 25, who is still in hospital after suffering a potentially fatal knife wound to his groin.

Both Ianiari and Pinnelli are in custody after their arrest last week and they have been charged with aggravated assault – an initial charge of attempted murder has been dropped but police say they do not rule out further arrests in connection with the incident.

Scene of the crime: The Drunken Ship pub in Rome

Scene of the crime: The Drunken Ship pub in Rome

Scene of the crime: The Drunken Ship pub in Rome

The Spurs fans were attacked as they drank in the Rome pub, a popular meeting point for visiting fans, ahead of their Europa League clash with Lazio and which ended in a 0-0 draw.

Around 50 masked men were involved the ambush and they used knives, clubs, belts and sticks to attack the Spurs fans who had been drinking peacefully just minutes earlier.

The attackers barricaded the doors and were also said to have chanted anti-Semitic slogans against the Spurs fans, who traditionally have a large Jewish fanbase, during the lightening raid which was over in less that ten minutes.

Ambush: Ashley Mills was stabbed in the groin

Ambush: Ashley Mills was stabbed in the groin

Ambush: Ashley Mills was stabbed in the groin

However Lazio's president Claudio Lotito
has denied that his side's fans were involved and he has also stressed
they are not racist – earlier this week the side took to the field
wearing shirts with the slogan 'No to Racism'.

He also visited Mr Mills in the San Camillo hospital presenting him with a Lazio shirt which had his name on it. Lawyers defending both men also insist there was no racist element to the attack and it was a purely 'football related'.

Hospital visit: Lazio president Claudio Lotito (centre) leaves the San Camillo Hospital after visiting Mills

Hospital visit: Lazio president Claudio Lotito (centre) leaves the San Camillo Hospital after visiting Mills

The attack was initially blamed on Lazio fans but there was surprise when it turned out the two arrested were Roma fans, although there has been speculation it was a joint effort raid after both sets of supporters put aside their rivalries to attack the Britons.

No court date has yet been set for Ianari and Pinnelli's trial and Essex builder Mr Mills is expected to be released from hospital within the next few days.

Andrew Flintoff says he feels like a boxer

EXCLUSIVE: Flintoff: When I fill in those forms that ask for your occupation, I now say 'boxer'

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UPDATED:

22:46 GMT, 27 November 2012

Andrew Flintoff owns a motorbike and has tattoos, so difficult conversations with his mother are nothing new.

But discussing his latest career move was a little more awkward. 'It was a few months ago and we were watching television when some boxing came on,' he says.

'I was thinking, “How am I going to tell her that I'm going to start fighting” Then she starts saying, “I'm glad you played cricket and didn't go for boxing”'. Oh god.

Hitting hard: Andrew Flintoff will fight Richard Dawson on Friday evening

Hitting hard: Andrew Flintoff will fight Richard Dawson on Friday evening

'I just went for it: “Mum, I have something to tell you”. I'm not sure she was too pleased – or is too pleased. I guess it's one thing watching your son go out to play cricket at Lord's in his whites, and another to watch him have a fight.'

Mrs Flintoff is fast running out of time to get used to the idea.

On Friday, at Manchester Arena, her son will step into a ring with Richard Dawson, once a street-fighting gang member from Oklahoma and now a professional heavyweight with two wins in his first two fights.

Trim: A slimline Andrew Flintoff is ready for his first professional boxing fight

Trim: A slimline Andrew Flintoff is ready for his first professional boxing fight

'It's bizarre where life takes you,' says Flintoff, sipping black coffee in a London bar.

The former England cricket captain hasn't had a drop of alcohol for four months.

His upper lip, as it often has been since he started mixing with Barry McGuigan and his son Shane, is looking a little fleshy. His 34-year-old body isn't.

Flintoff weighs roughly 15-and-a-half stone, about four less than when he started making himself sick after meals at cricket grounds around the world.

That was one of the revelations from the first part of his most recent, most compelling documentary, Flintoff: From Lord's to The Ring.

Another was that occasionally he was bullied at school and this venture is, in part, an attempt to gain closure.

There was also talk about finding it difficult to fill the void that appears when the structure and purpose of professional sport goes.

Flintoff says: 'I'm happy with the documentary. I had an idea of what I wanted it to do and I think it has done.

'But people should know, I decided first that I wanted to do the boxing, to get back into professional sport, and then we decided to make a documentary.'

The sentence has almost become a reflex against the critics.

Frank Maloney, a promoter, says Flintoff is making boxing a 'laughing stock' and called the fight a 'publicity stunt'.

He cited James Cracknell's charity fight in 2007 that left the two-time Olympic gold medal-winning rower unconscious.

'I just went for it: “Mum, I have
something to tell you”. I'm not sure she was too pleased. It's one thing watching your son go out to play cricket and another to watch him have a fight.'

– Andrew Flintoff

Heavyweight David Price called the whole thing 'a joke'.

'It hasn't felt like a joke,' Flintoff says. 'It's not a stunt. If you don't take this sport seriously you get hurt. Believe me, I'm serious about this. I've put a lot into this.'

He looks tired from the day's training. Each week he has been doing 12 sessions, most lasting two hours, with Shane McGuigan.

What started last year with an impromptu pad session with Barry during filming for another programme progressed recently to hard, full-contact sparring with no headguards.

'That was a big step,' he says. 'You feel sharper but also more vulnerable. You obviously feel the punches more. But it was the next step. It's all a process.

'It has been a very long, hard road to here – I was starting right from scratch. It has been my life for four months. The months of diet, eating steak at 6am, training, sparring, bleeding noses, thick lips – it's all been for this fight. I have done this properly.

Real deal: Flintoff (right) says he is serious about professional boxing, despite David Price (left) describing his fight as a 'joke'

Real deal: Flintoff (right) says he is serious about professional boxing, despite David Price (left) describing his fight as a 'joke'

'I understand people having opinions about this, that is fine – people are protective of their sport, as I'd be of cricket. People had opinions of me when I played cricket. But we are not trying to disrespect the sport. I would never do that – I genuinely love boxing.'

He talks of staying up late as a child to watch big fights broadcast from America, especially if they involved Mike Tyson.

'I used to love watching Tyson,' he says. 'I remember staying up until the middle of the night for the first Frank Bruno-Tyson fight and, oh my god! Frank had rocked him, the commentator's telling him to get stuck in.

'He came so close. He almost took him and then Tyson did what he does.' Tyson dropped into Flintoff's gym during a recent visit to the UK.

So did Sugar Ray Leonard. 'I couldn't believe it,' Flintoff says. 'I had Sugar Ray talking about my footwork and Tyson saying stuff about the mental side.

'He used to be so nervous before a fight and had to control that. I was as nervous meeting Tyson as I was meeting Ian Botham for the first time.

Lord of the ring: Flintoff (centre) with his father and son training team Barry (left) and Shane (right) McGuigan

Lord of the ring: Flintoff (centre) with his father and son training team Barry (left) and Shane (right) McGuigan

'I used to love British fighters like Chris Eubank, Nigel Benn, Steve Collins, Ricky Hatton. I spent time with Collins in Vegas a few years ago.

'He spoke about his battles with Eubank. I was sitting listening to him about how Eubank was such a strong puncher, and about the time he got hypnotised before fighting him.

'It was fascinating – I love those stories.'

Quite how this chapter in Flintoff 's career will end is anyone's guess.

He won't talk about his strengths or weaknesses but Barry McGuigan thinks he 'could floor a mule' with his right hand.

The rumour is that Flintoff hasn't even been put down in sparring, though he has flattened a few himself.

'It's not a stunt. If you don't take
this sport seriously you get hurt. Believe me, I'm serious about this.
I've put a lot into this.'

– Andrew Flintoff

'It has been getting harder,' he says. 'It's tough, but I love the feeling that I'm improving.'

He laughs about the scene in the first part of the documentary when he stops to see if an early sparring partner is OK after a big head shot.

'This is the hurt business,' a less-than-impressed Barry McGuigan says to camera.

'I've developed a bit more spite since then,' Flintoff says. 'You'll see. It's feeling a bit more natural. I feel like a boxer.

'It's funny, when you go on planes and you fill in those forms that ask for your occupation – I put that I'm a boxer now.'

His mother might have to get used to it.

Flintoff: From Lord's To The Ring continues on Thursday at 9pm on Sky 1. The fight will be shown live on Boxnation (SkyCh 437, Virgin Ch 546) on Friday night.

Frankie Dettori positive drugs test: Stewards to study case on Tuesday

D-Day for Dettori over positive drugs test as jockey prepares to discover fate

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UPDATED:

12:21 GMT, 27 November 2012

Frankie Dettori's immediate future
will be decided by the Stewards' Committee of the French racing
authorities next Tuesday – December 4.

France Galop confirmed the date of the hearing on Tuesday morning.

The hearing will be a exactly week
after Dettori's case was initially heard by the three-man Medical
Committee of France Galop which decided the positive drug test he
produced while riding at Longchamp on September 16 warranted further
action.

French date: Frankie Dettori, pictured here celebrating winning the Darley Irish Oaks last year, has failed a drugs test in France and tomorrow faces a hearing into that failed dope test (FILE IMAGE)

French date: Frankie Dettori, pictured here celebrating winning the Darley Irish Oaks last year, has failed a drugs test in France and tomorrow faces a hearing into that failed dope test (FILE IMAGE)

Dettori was immediately suspended from French racing on medical grounds.

After the hearing, he appeared to concede a worldwide ban is likely by accepting the Medical Committee's findings.

Although the 41-year-old three-time champion was not present, having given his evidence by conference call, his legal team issued a statement which said: 'Frankie Dettori accepts the conclusions of the Medical Committee without reservation. He had a very fair hearing in which he was able to express his position clearly.

'As to the suspension of his licence in France, this is something which he fully anticipated and has not in any event ridden since November 6 when he honoured a pre-existing commitment to ride in the Melbourne Cup.

Career threatening: Dettori has reportedly tested positive for cocaine or a derivative

Career threatening: Dettori has reportedly tested positive for cocaine or a derivative

'He can now confirm that until the
matter is resolved by the Stewards of France Galop at a hearing within
the next fortnight he will not be riding again anywhere.

'Once the stewards of France Galop
make their decision he will make a full statement but is unable to do so
until such time as that final decision is announced.'

Although France Galop has never made
public the substance Dettori tested for, it is believed to be cocaine or
a derivative of it.

That would make a ban of six months
likely for a first offence – the length of suspension imposed on Kieren
Fallon when he failed his first test in France in 2006.

Rangers v Elgin postponed after too many tickets sold

Rangers match against Elgin postponed after too many tickets sold

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UPDATED:

18:13 GMT, 23 November 2012

Rangers' Irn-Bru Third Division game against Elgin has been postponed because too many tickets were sold.

The Light Blues were set to travel north for Sunday's lunch-time clash at Borough Briggs.

However, the Ibrox club have confirmed the match is off due to 'circumstances completely outwith Rangers Football Club's control'.

Are you sure Rangers boss Ally McCoist trying to sell MORE tickets

Are you sure Rangers boss Ally McCoist trying to sell MORE tickets

A statement from the Scottish
Football League read: 'Following today's pre-ops meeting for the above
match, it has come to light that there has been a substantial oversale
of tickets for this fixture and Elgin City Football Club could not
confirm the exact number of tickets which have been sold for this match.

'Therefore, on the grounds of public safety and in close consultation with all parties, this match has now been postponed.

'Further information regarding tickets which have been sold will be provided as quickly as possible.

Small capacity: The number of tickets sold for the clash here at Borough Briggs was far too high

Small capacity: The number of tickets sold for the clash here at Borough Briggs was far too high

'Elgin City FC would like to apologise sincerely for this disappointing outcome. The SFL will conduct a full investigation into the circumstances.'

Elgin's apology has been accepted by Rangers, however manager Ally McCoist expressed his disappointment at the postponement.

He said: 'We are disappointed the match has been called off at such short notice and I know Elgin are as well.

'This was due to circumstances
outwith our control but we were informed a short time ago that there was
no way the match could go ahead on safety grounds.

'I am sure this is a huge disappointment to our supporters, who have purchased match tickets and arranged travel in good faith.

'Elgin City have apologised to the club and we accept their apology but I feel for our fans.'

Frankie Dettori given temporary suspension after failed drug test

Shamed race legend Dettori banned from riding in France after positive cocaine test

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UPDATED:

18:30 GMT, 21 November 2012

The Frankie Dettori case has edged forward with the French racing authorities confirming that he must appear at a disciplinary hearing of its Stewards’ Committee following his drug test failure at Longchamp on September 16.

France Galop also announced that it has temporarily suspended Dettori’s licence to ride in the country on ‘medical grounds’.

Although there was never a chance that might happen, the move highlights the seriousness of the case involving the three-time champion, who is believed to have tested positive to cocaine or a derivative of the narcotic.

To be Frank: Dettori's positive test has landed him in hot water

To be Frank: Dettori's positive test has landed him in hot water

No date has yet been set for the
Stewards’ Committee hearing. It could take up to a fortnight to convene
but Dettori and his legal team will be desperate to expedite what is
starting to become a tortuous process.

There is no indication Dettori does
not intend to return to the sport, so, if found guilty, it is in his
interests to start serving a ban as soon as possible.

Responding to the France Galop
announcement, his solicitor Christopher Stewart-Moore said: ‘Frankie
Dettori accepts the conclusions of the Medical Committee without
reservation. He had a very fair hearing in which he was able to express
his position clearly.

Mo problems: The result leaves a black mark against the Italian's illustrious career

Mo problems: The result leaves a black mark against the Italian's illustrious career

‘As to the suspension of his licence
in France, this is something which he fully anticipated and has not in
any event ridden since November 6 when he honoured a pre-existing
commitment to ride in the Melbourne Cup.

‘He can now confirm that until the
matter is resolved by the Stewards of France Galop at a hearing within
the next fortnight he will not be riding again anywhere.

‘Once the stewards of France Galop
make their decision he will make a full statement but is unable to do so
until such time as that final decision is announced.’

Dettori had given his evidence to Tuesday’s hearing of the Medical Committee in Paris via a conference call.

The decision of three independent doctors was that the case warranted a disciplinary hearing.

A France Galop statement read:
‘Following yesterday’s examination of the file and after having duly
notified the jockey Lanfranco Dettori of its decision, the Medical
Committee has temporarily suspended the said jockey from riding in races
in France, based on medical grounds.

Jumping for joy Dettori has been handed a temporary suspension from racing

Jumping for joy Dettori has been handed a temporary suspension from racing

‘According to article 143 of the
Rules of Racing, the Medical Committee’s report has been passed on to
the France Galop stewards.

‘The France Galop stewards will be
studying the file within the next fortnight before deciding what action
will be taken in accordance with the Rules of Racing.’

The French decision means that
Dettori would have to be cleared by a BHA medical advisor if he had
wanted to ride in Britain while awaiting his hearing.

Jamie Stier, Director of Raceday
Operations and Regulation for the BHA, said: ‘We have spoken to Frankie
Dettori and his solicitor, and ascertained that he has no intention of
riding in Britain between now and his hearing with France Galop.

‘Should his plans change, he has been
made aware that as he has been stood down by France Galop on medical
grounds, he would be required to undertake a medical examination by the
BHA Chief Medical Adviser before being permitted to ride in Britain.’

Goalkeeper hit by flare in suspended match between Independiente and Belgrano

Argentine match suspended after goalkeeper suffers injury from flare thrown from stands

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UPDATED:

15:53 GMT, 16 November 2012

If you think scenes from the stands at football grounds in England this season have been disgraceful, just be thankful that they are not like those seen in Argentina.

A Primera Division match at Independiente on Wednesday had to be sensationally suspended after the goalkeeper from visiting Belgrano collapsed injured in his box due to an exploding flare thrown on to the pitch just yards from him.

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Belgrano had taken a 1-0 lead three minutes from the end of the first half at the Estadio Libertadores before the incident shortly after half-time.

Nothing appeared to directly hit keeper, Juan Olave, who was left clutching his ear as he received treatment before he was forced to take cover again after more flares rained on to the pitch.

Targeted: Juan Olave was injured after a flare exploded in his penalty box

Targeted: Juan Olave was injured after a flare exploded in his penalty box

The volley of debris thrown down from the fans led to the match being suspended by match officials to protect the players' safety.

Referee, Saul Laverni said: ‘The match is suspended. It can't be played in these conditions.'

No result or scheduled completion of the match has yet been declared.

Independiente are struggling in Argentina’s top flight this season, sitting third from bottom after 13 games.

Belgrano by contrast have enjoyed a fine start to the campaign and would have moved into joint second had they held on to their 1-0 advantage.

Manchester United rattled by bully Christian Benteke

United rattled again by big bully as Benteke tramples over Smalling and Ferdinand

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UPDATED:

00:35 GMT, 12 November 2012

After the general euphoria of a stunning second-half Manchester United comeback had died down, Sir Alex Ferguson will have left Villa Park on Saturday night with a familiar feeling.

It wasn’t the satisfaction of knowing that a trip to this happiest of hunting grounds for him had yielded three points in the most dramatic fashion.

Never mind that Manchester United’s manager departed Villa Park undefeated for the 17th time in succession, his 11th victory in that sequence having been chalked up courtesy of the half-time introduction of Javier Hernandez, the catalyst for the triumph.

SCROLL DOWN TO WATCH THE HIGHLIGHTS FROM SATURDAY'S GAME

Head and shoulders above: Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke (top) gets the better of Chris Smalling

Head and shoulders above: Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke (top) gets the better of Chris Smalling

No, for at least the third time this season, he spent a rather uncomfortable 90 minutes watching a big striker torment his centre halves.

It was a trend started by Marouane Fellaini at Everton. Then Rickie Lambert pushed Southampton within sight of a victory at St Mary’s.

On Saturday evening it would not be stretching a point to say that young Belgium forward Christian Benteke smashed Rio Ferdinand and Chris Smalling all around Villa Park.

It is a theme that is almost becoming as common as United’s rousing call to arms.

This wonderful fightback was the eighth time this season that Ferguson has watched his side claw their way to victory from a losing position.

While that speaks volumes for the character and mental strength that is an essential part of the make-up of any player who crosses the threshold at Old Trafford, it would be easier for everyone concerned had the problem not arisen in the first place.

In the continued absence of Nemanja Vidic, neither of Ferguson’s centre halves on Saturday relished the prospect of going head to head with a player whose strength and aerial ability unsettled them from the first whistle.

Indeed, it was almost comical when
Smalling attempted to use his upper body strength to knock Villa’s
targetman off balance in the final minute of the first half.

The
former non-League defender lay sprawled on the turf, clutching his
shoulder in a lame attempt to spare his embarrassment as Andreas Weimann
swept home Benteke’s subsequent cross for Villa’s first goal.

Too strong: Benteke (left) and holds off Manchester United centre-back Rio Ferdinand

Too strong: Benteke (left) and holds off Manchester United centre-back Rio Ferdinand

Five minutes into the second half, Benteke had pulled away from both players — presumably neither fancied coming second best to him for the umpteenth time — allowing Stephen Ireland to send Gabby Agbonlahor away to set up Weimann to score Villa’s second.

That should have been that.

But Paul Lambert’s side remain a work in progress and Hernandez exploited a lack of know-how in the home ranks. There had been no urgency prior to the Mexican’s introduction at half-time for the woefully ineffective Ashley Young.

Ferguson’s situation will be improved when Phil Jones returns to training this morning. Jones will certainly be a more viable alternative than using Michael Carrick as a stand-in defender, as Manchester United’s manager has in the past.

Poacher: Javier Hernandez's predatory instincts rescued three points for United at Villa Park

Poacher: Javier Hernandez's predatory instincts rescued three points for United at Villa Park

Moreover, it is a weakness that will have been noted at Carrow Road where Grant Holt will have watched Saturday’s proceedings with interest.
Roberto Mancini might also now be wondering if he should be unleashing Edin Dzeko against the neighbours at The Etihad next month.

At least Hernandez has caught the eye in United’s attack. He looked sharp, hungry and capable of getting behind a Villa defence which had looked comfortable with the play in front of them during an impressive first-half show by the hosts.

‘It’s Manchester United’s lucky story,’ said Hernandez, who left clutching the match ball after scoring twice and forcing a Ron Vlaar own goal with a shot across goal.

‘You know that. Every time you never want to give up, not until the end because the games are 90 minutes and you need to fight until the last minute.

‘It was unbelievable to score three goals. This is one of my best moments at the club. But we need to improve. We are conceding a lot of goals.’

It goes without saying the striker’s observation will not be lost upon Ferguson.

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