Tag Archives: insistence

Edgar Davids watches Barnet lose 5-1 to Plymouth Argyle at Underhill

Second thoughts, Edgar Barnet soundly beaten as Davids makes dugout debut

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UPDATED:

16:10 GMT, 13 October 2012

Holland legend Edgar Davids' first job on matchday was to greet the Barnet mascot – a giant furry Bee called Mr Bumble – as he began life in his new role as player-co-head coach.

That was probably the highlight for the former Holland international who watched the north London club soundly beaten at home by Plymouth Argyle.

Argyle took the lead after just two minutes and ran out 4-1 victors at Underhill, leaving the Bees cut adrift by five points at the bottom of nPower League Two.

Buzz off! Barnet mascot Mr Bumble greets the new face at Underhill

Buzz off! Barnet mascot Mr Bumble greets the new face at Underhill

Davids has taken the role as part of his
grand plan to enter management, but was not on the team sheet, despite
his insistence that his playing days are not over. Just yet.

Davids, who has won 74 international caps
and the Champions League with Ajax in 1995, has joined the club tasked with helping improve a run which sees them ensconced at the bottom of the Football League.

‘I got contacted and invited to the
facility and I was really impressed,’ he said following his first day of training with the club on Friday.

All change Barnet went behind after just two minutes of the match

All change Barnet went behind after just two minutes of the match

All change Barnet went behind after just two minutes of the match

‘I was also impressed
by the talent walking around and I was wondering how they were
under-achieving.

‘I am doing my coaching badges in the
Netherlands so from that perspective it is a great opportunity to start
an adventure. I can learn from Mark how things are done because he has
the Premier League under his belt. I don’t know all the answers to the
football questions.

‘We will have some fights but the
bottom line is to fight to get results. You don’t grow if you comply
together all the time. I believe strongly in putting cards on the table
and having your own opinion. One goal in mind is to get results with
Barnet and developing players.’

The only way is up: Argyle hammered four past hapless Barnet at Underhill

The only way is up: Argyle hammered four past hapless Barnet at Underhill

The future's bright, the future's orange! Davids hopes to start a career in management

The future's bright, the future's orange! Davids hopes to start a career in management

The future's bright, the future's orange! Davids hopes to start a career in management

Racism in Spanish football "does not exist", says RFEF chief executive Llona

Racism in Spanish football 'does not exist', says RFEF chief executive Llona

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UPDATED:

18:10 GMT, 10 October 2012

Spain's football chief has claimed racism 'does not exist' in the Spanish game despite numerous recent incidents.

UEFA fined the Spanish FA after Spain fans racially abused Mario Balotelli during Euro 2012, while last year Barcelona's Dani Alves said racism in the Spanish game is 'uncontrollable'.

Not a problem: Angel Villar Llona

Not a problem: Angel Villar Llona

Samuel Eto'o also highlighted racist abuse during his time with Barcelona.

But Angel Villa Llona, president of the Spanish FA and a member of both FIFA and UEFA's executive committee insisted racism was not a problem.

Asked how racism in Spanish football compared to the game in England, which has had two high-profile abuses cases in the last year, Villa Llona said: 'There is no racism in Spanish football.'

Asked about the incident when Thierry Henry was the subject of racist language from former Spain coach Luis Aragones, Villa Llona repeated his insistence it was not an issue in Spanish football.

In June, UEFA fined the Spanish FA 20,000 euros for racist abuse by their fans during Euro 2012.

UEFA's disciplinary panel found Spain guilty of 'improper conduct of its fans [racist behaviour, racist chanting]' after Spain fans targeted abuse at the Italy forward Balotelli.

Last year, Alves said he had learned to live with racism in Spain.

The Brazilian said: 'The clubs and the league try to do some things to stop it. They try to punish the clubs, but it is uncontrollable. It will not go away.'

Wayne Rooney warns Manchester United to stop conceding early goals

Stop falling behind: Rooney warns early goals could cost United despite comeback

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UPDATED:

06:15 GMT, 3 October 2012

Wayne Rooney has warned his Manchester United team-mates they must stop falling behind in games after another scare.

Despite Sir Alex Ferguson's insistence it would not happen again, United conceded the first goal in Tuesday night's 2-1 Champions League win over CFR Cluj.

It was the sixth time this season it has happened, and the fourth occasion Ferguson's team have managed to turn the game around in their favour.

Warning sign: Wayne Rooney has ordered Manchester United to stop conceding early goals

Warning sign: Wayne Rooney has ordered Manchester United to stop conceding early goals

Shock start: CFR Cluj's Pantelis Kapetanos (C) celebrates his goal to put the Romanian side briefly ahead

Shock start: CFR Cluj's Pantelis Kapetanos (C) celebrates his goal to put the Romanian side briefly ahead

But, with a trip to Newcastle looming on Sunday, Rooney feels it is time United ended their tendency to suffer early setbacks.

'It does bother us having to come from behind because we are losing those early goals,' said Rooney.

'It is not nice and it is something that we have to stop because we cannot afford to keep letting teams get a head start on us, especially in the Champions League because it is difficult to win the game anyway.

'We have to make sure we are more solid and hopefully we can be in future games.'

Starting in the same team as Robin van Persie for the first time, Rooney excelled in a deeper role than usual and created both goals for his Dutch team-mate, who took his tally since joining Arsenal to six.

Van Persie's second, four minutes after half-time, was the pick, a delicate left-footed finish to Rooney's cross that had his manager purring.

'The second goal was fantastic,' said Ferguson.

'It was a great ball from Wayne.

'I thought he had hit it too far in front of him. But the speed to get to the ball and his deftness of touch were fantastic.'

Ferguson conceded there was an element of luck about the equaliser, which looped off the former Arsenal man's shoulder.

Head boy: Rooney appeared in good form against Cluj

Head boy: Rooney appeared in good form against Cluj

Nevertheless, Van Persie and Rooney both gave very satisfying contributions.

'The best quality both of them have is that they can turn a game,' said Ferguson.

'That is an important feature. It doesn't really matter if they have a personal combination, it is their ability to finish moves off, whether it is through (Tom) Cleverley, Nani or (Antonio) Valencia.

Winning feeling: Rooney celebrates United's victory with Rio Ferdinand and goalscorer Robin van Persie

Winning feeling: Rooney celebrates United's victory with Rio Ferdinand and goalscorer Robin van Persie

'We have a pair of really top players who can finish and change a game.'

The additional piece of good news was that Jonny Evans, who was necessarily replaced by Scott Wootton in the latter stages, is likely to be available for Sunday's trip to Newcastle.

'It is a dead leg,' said Ferguson.

'He got injured on Saturday and had a recurrence of that. He has five days to recover for Sunday. Hopefully he will be okay.'

Defensive headache: Sir Alex Ferguson hopes Jonny Evans will recover in time to face Newcastle on Sunday

Defensive headache: Sir Alex Ferguson hopes Jonny Evans will recover in time to face Newcastle on Sunday

Charles van Commenee quits UK athletics role

Van Commenee quits UK Athletics role after failing to meet Olympics targets

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UPDATED:

15:09 GMT, 11 September 2012

Britain's athletes will have to start the road to Rio in 2016 with a new head coach after it was confirmed that Charles van Commenee has decided to quit his job as head of UK Athletics.

The 54-year-old Dutchman has returned from holiday without any change of heart over his future.

UK Athletics are now expected to announce a new leadership team next week after formally confirming his departure.

I'm out: Charles van Commenee will leave his post as head coach after returning from holiday

I'm out: Charles van Commenee will leave his post as head coach after returning from holiday

Van Commenee had set a target of eight track and field medals in London, to include at least one gold, and had stated publicly before the Games that he would resign as a matter of 'credibility' if Britain's athletes fell short.

In the event there were four gold medals with long jumper Greg Rutherford joining Jessica Ennis and double winner Mo Farah.

But there were only two other medallists, and some hot favourites failed to deliver – notably triple jumper Phillips Idowu who flopped terribly, failing to even reach the final of his event after a long-running feud with the Dutchman.

Van Commenee offered his resignation immediately after the games, but was persuaded by UK Athletics chief executive Niels de Vos to go away and think about the decision.

Underachievement: Despite a hugely successful Games, the likes of Phillips Idowu failed to deliver

Underachievement: Despite a hugely successful Games, the likes of Phillips Idowu failed to deliver

Van Commenee has been a controversial figure throughout nearly four years in his post.

His demanding approach to setting standards for athletes has caused friction, and there have also been rows over decisions to recruit athletes who took advantage of dual nationality in a bid to add to the team's medal potential.

He tried to ban them from using
social media in the run up to the games, one of the areas that deepened
the fall out with Idowu.

And his insistence that no athlete
should blame injuries for poor results, designed to deal with what he
saw as a soft underbelly to the country's athletics, created more
friction.

Those who blamed their failures on injury or illness he branded 'w****** and pussies'.

What about us Jessica Ennis (above) and Mo Farah (below) delivered gold medals in their events

What about us Jessica Ennis (above) and Mo Farah (below) delivered gold medals in their events

What about us Jessica Ennis (above) and Mo Farah (below) delivered gold medals in their events

His argument to those who didn't like his approach was that it worked. He had coached Denise Lewis to heptathlon gold in 2000.

And he wasted no time in marking his mark after taking over, sacking several long serving coaches and bringing in his own team.

He said his regime could be summed up as 'high expectations and no excuses.'

His decision to quit means he will stay true to be judged by his own standards.

Ryan Shawcross commits his future to England

Shawcross rejects Wales and commits his future to England

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UPDATED:

22:39 GMT, 24 August 2012

Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross has pledged his future to England after rejecting Chris Coleman’s advances.

Wales manager Coleman had hoped to recruit Shawcross ahead of the World Cup qualifiers against Belgium and Serbia next month.

Chris Coleman

Ryan Shawcross

Rejection: Chris Coleman wanted Ryan Shawcross, seen here winning a header against Reading last weekend, to play for Wales

His insistence on committing to England ends the awkward possibility of the 24-year-old sharing an international dressing room with Wales skipper Aaron Ramsey, who suffered a horrendous double fracture of the leg in a tackle by Shawcross in 2010.

Ramsey gave a lukewarm response last week when asked about the defender becoming his Wales colleague.

Shawcross was born in Chester but raised over the border in Flintshire and played for Wales Under 15s. He made two appearances for England Under 21s in 2008 but subsequent rule changes have made him eligible to play for either country.

Stoke manager Tony Pulis said: ‘Chris came and had 10 minutes with Ryan. He is desperate for him to play for Wales. But it will be Ryan’s decision. If he wants to play for England, the opportunity would be there. There’s a new manager in Roy and I’m sure there will be chances.’

Euro 2012 diary: Football makes way for AC/DC, Placebo and Scorpions

Ian Ladyman's Euro diary: Football makes way for AC/DC and Co at Olympic Stadium

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UPDATED:

21:31 GMT, 29 June 2012

The delicate football at the Olympic Stadium on Sunday may be the last subtlety experienced there for a while. Upcoming events at the stadium in Kiev include rock concerts by rockers AC/DC, Placebo and the Scorpions. Pass the ear plugs

Part of the team

Who would want to be Pepe Reina, permanent understudy to Spain's faultless goalkeeper Iker Casillas Reina is a perfect team man, though, and is regularly seen facing up to Spain's penalty-takers in training so that Casillas minimises the risk of injury.

Understudy: Liverpool stopper Reina is a perfect team man

Understudy: Liverpool stopper Reina is a perfect team man

Always the last

Stories in Portugal yesterday that Cristiano Ronaldo missed the team plane home from Donetsk because he was buying cake at the airport have been furiously denied by the Portuguese FA. Not the first time this week he has been last, though.

Size isn't everything

If Spain triumph this weekend they will still be the only nation to have lifted the current European Championship trophy. The historic Henri Delaunay Trophy – named after UEFA's first general secretary – was redesigned prior to 2008 and is a pound heavier and seven inches taller than the original.

Thumbs up…

To English referee Howard Webb. After the trauma of the 2010 World Cup final, Webb has once again proved himself among the game's very best out here. Shame that he was overlooked for tomorrow night's match.

Blow my whistle: Webb has proved himself among the game's very best

Blow my whistle: Webb has proved himself among the game's very best

Thumbs down…

To UEFA for their insistence that players are booked for removing their shirts during goal celebrations, as Mario Balotelli was on Thursday. Don't they understand that we like this When you're in your 40s, Balotelli with his shirt off makes you want to head to the gym.

Quote of the day

'I don't celebrate second place… we should have avoided those last five minutes of sufferance.' Italy keeper Gianluigi Buffon sees no reason to relish his side's semi-final victory.

Euro 2012: Ireland keeper Shay Given unlikely to be risked against Croatia

Exclusive: Trapattoni plays it safe with Given unlikely to be risked against Croatia

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UPDATED:

00:25 GMT, 6 June 2012

Republic of Ireland No 1 Shay Given has emerged as a major injury doubt for Sunday's Euro 2012 opener against Croatia, despite Giovanni Trapattoni's insistence that he is ready to return to training in Poland.

A fresh calf strain forced the country's record cap holder to sit out Ireland's first training session in front of more than 13,000 locals in the Arka Gdynia Stadium near their Polish base on Tuesday afternoon.

And all eyes will be on Given when Ireland return to training.

Trapattoni, who said that Given is simply 'tired' expects his first choice goalkeeper to train with coach Alan Kelly and his understudies Keiren Westwood and David Forde.

Doubt: Shay Given looks set to miss out against Croatia

Doubt: Shay Given looks set to miss out against Croatia

But Given, who came off at half-time in Monday night's goalless draw in Hungary, is growing increasingly concerned about his fitness and is unlikely to risk aggravating the problem.

He has already missed the majority of the squad's full training sessions with a knee injury and blisters, and the fresh doubts over his calf have left him fearing for his place in Sunday's opening match in Poznan.

The latest injury blow to the Ireland keeper came as there were increasing signs of unrest among members of Trapattoni's squad, some of whom are now in the 21st day with the Italian and his coaching and fitness staff.

In the wake of the unconvincing goalless draw in Budapest, three players revealed they were tired after the training camp in Tuscany. Their concerns were laughed off by Trapattoni.

Tired: Giovanni Trapattoni laughed off claims of fatigue in the Ireland camp

Tired: Giovanni Trapattoni laughed off claims of fatigue in the Ireland camp

But he will be worried if Given is unable to train again on Wednesday. Although there are still five days until the kick-off in Poznan, the Aston Villa keeper is eager to prove his fitness to himself, if no one else.

Understandably perhaps, Trapattoni is keen to keep any concerns about Given's fitness private and away from Ireland's opponents.

After the 0-0 with Hungary the Ireland manager, Given and Westwood, all maintained that the Sunderland keeper's second-half appearance was pre-arranged.

But the fuss made of Westwood during the half-time break suggested there was something far more serious.

Westwood, who went on to make two vital stops to preserve Ireland's second clean sheet of the month, was clearly not prepared to come on during the break.

Enlarge

Fan-tastic: Locals welcome Ireland to Gdynia, a gesture which was appreciated by players (below)

Fan-tastic: Locals welcome Ireland to Gdynia, a gesture which was appreciated by players (below)

Fan-tastic: Locals welcome Ireland to Gdynia, a gesture which was appreciated by players

When Forde emerged from the dressing room to tell Westwood of his pending substitution he was still unprepared and spent several minutes bandaging his fingers and putting on his gloves before a short work-out with coach Kelly. He was still warming up when his team-mates emerged for the second half.

Given meanwhile, who cut a forlorn figure when he finally came out to sit on the bench, was kept behind in the dressing room with the team masseur John Huntley. After the game he refused to speak to the media about any injury concerns, although briefly confirmed the substitution was a pre-match agreement between the manager and keepers. They just didn't specify what minute.

When Ireland arrived to a grand fanfare in Gdynia, Given was in his trainers and did not even take part in a lap of honour.

He barely moved or kicked a ball during the head tennis and brief saving session between the two remaining keepers and Kelly, although he did manage to help out kitman Dick Redmond with the ball collection.

Euro 2012: Gary Cahill out of England squad

England's Euro 2012 injury curse strikes AGAIN with Cahill ruled out with broken jaw… but Terry is OK

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UPDATED:

15:14 GMT, 3 June 2012

England boss Roy Hodgson has been dealt another massive injury blow after defender Gary Cahill was ruled out of Euro 2012 with a double fracture of his jaw.

Cahill suffered the injury when he was pushed into goalkeeper Joe Hart during the first half of Saturday's 1-0 win over Belgium at Wembley.

Liverpool right back Martin Kelly has been called up in his place while Rio Ferdinand vented his anger at missing out yet again.

Crocked: Gary Cahill is out of Euro 2012 after suffering a fractured jaw

Crocked: Gary Cahill is out of Euro 2012 after suffering a fractured jaw

The Manchester United defender tweeted: 'What reasons!!!,' in a response to Hodgson's insistence that he was overlooked for 'footballing reasons'.

It completes a disastrous week for England, who have now lost three players after central midfield duo Gareth Barry and Frank Lampard had their hopes of taking part in the finals in Poland and Ukraine dashed by injury.

The one piece of good news for Hodgson is that John Terry should be available after scans showed he had suffered no serious damage to his hamstring.

An FA statement released this afternoon read: 'Gary Cahill has been withdrawn from England's Euro 2012 squad following the injury he suffered in the match against Belgium.

'The Chelsea defender has two fractures of his jaw, one either side. The England medical team have been in close contact overnight with Cahill's club doctors who will treat him moving forward.

'Liverpool defender Martin Kelly will
be called into the squad – subject to agreement from UEFA's medical
team. Kelly trained with the England players last week and was part of
the group that travelled to Norway.

Ouch! England's Gary Cahill, centre, collides with goalkeeper Joe Hart

Ouch! England's Gary Cahill, centre, collides with goalkeeper Joe Hart

Groggy: Cahill had to go off after collision

'John Terry has been scanned this morning and given the all-clear. He will be re-assessed on Tuesday when the team regroup.'

It is understood Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand was not contacted as a potential replacement, with Hodgson believing Kelly, who last week travelled with the England party to Norway, where he made his international debut as a late substitute, would need less time to get fully fit.

The wisdom of that decision is bound to be questioned, particularly as Hodgson has lost so much experience.

Certainly it is even less likely than
before that Ferdinand will play for his country again, something Sir
Alex Ferguson might welcome if no one else.

It
also means England will have to revise their plans for the Group D
opener against France in Donetsk on June 11, when Cahill was expected to
partner Terry.

Late call: Martin Kelly has replaced Cahill in the England squad

Late call: Martin Kelly has replaced Cahill in the England squad

The former Bolton man was replaced at Wembley yesterday by Joleon Lescott, who many felt was deserving of a starting berth anyway thanks to his superb performances in Manchester City's title-winning campaign.

Phil Jagielka, himself called up from the standby list after Barry was ruled out with a stomach strain, is the alternative, with Manchester United's Phil Jones presumably now acting as fourth choice in his favoured central position.

The headache emphasises why Hodgson
was astute in his assessment of the Cahill incident, which was triggered
by a needless push from Belgium winger Dries Mertens.

'I wasn't too happy about it (the challenge),' said Hodgson after Saturday's game.

'Unfortunate is too kind a word.

Set to start: Joleon Lescott is expected to partner John Terry

Set to start: Joleon Lescott is expected to partner John Terry

'When a striker is chasing a defender who is feeding a ball to the goalkeeper, those nudges and pushes take the defender into the goalkeeper.

'It is something if you have been a goalkeeper you take very unkindly to.

'The referee gave him a yellow card, which he deserved. Unfortunately for us, the consequences might be a lot more than a yellow card because a fracture is a distinct possibility.'

Including Norwich keeper John Ruddy, who broke a finger on only the second day of training, Hodgson has now lost almost a fifth of his original squad.

It is hardly the best backdrop to his first major tournament as England boss, for which he was given only six weeks' notice in the first place.

Hodgson probably will not breathe
easily until Terry, Danny Welbeck, Steven Gerrard and Scott Parker have
been assessed on Tuesday for minor niggles, although it is not envisaged
the Three Lions will have to make any further changes before they leave
for their tournament base in Krakow on Wednesday afternoon.

On the evidence of the past fortnight, Hodgson's main hope is making his team difficult to beat.

Snub: Rio Ferdinand (left) has been overlooked once again for England

Snub: Rio Ferdinand (left) has been overlooked once again for England

Danny Welbeck's well-taken winner, a couple of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain efforts and a first-half penalty box scramble apart, England created little yesterday until Jermain Defoe hit a post in the final stages.

Belgium dominated possession and for the second week running, England seemed to have difficulty keeping hold of the ball.

Yet Hodgson said he was largely satisfied with his side's efforts thus far, even if France represent a significant step up in standard.

'I couldn't have asked any more of them,' he said.

'We haven't picked easy fixtures but we have got through it.

'The players put their bodies on the line and, as a coach, you can't ask any more than that.

'We can play better and we will play better.

'But the most important thing is that we got two victories and, as any coach will tell you, victories are what you need.'

Lescott reacted to the news of Cahill's fitness blow, condemning the challenge from Dries Mertens that led to the injury.

Lescott wrote on Twitter: 'Gutted to hear Gaz is ruled out. The challenge that caused it was more reckless and dangerous than most 2 footed tackles so why only yellow.'

ENGLAND EURO 2012 BAD NEWS BULLETIN

2011:
October 7: Wayne Rooney is sent off for kicking out at Miodrag Dzudovic in England's qualifying match against Montenegro. England win 2-1.

October 13: UEFA announce Rooney will miss the next three competitive matches, ruling him out of all group stage games at the European Championship. On appeal, the ban is cut to two games.

December 21: England captain John Terry is charged with racially abusing Anton Ferdinand by the Crown Prosecution Service, following an incident in the match between Chelsea and QPR on October 23. Terry denies the charge.

2012:
February 3: Football Association strip Terry of the England captaincy pending the outcome of his trial in July.

February 8: Fabio Capello resigns as England manager after Terry is removed as captain.

April 16: After missing out all season for Arsenal due to injury, midfielder Jack Wilshere is “devastated” after being ruled out of Euro 2012.

May 1: The FA leave it late to appoint a new manager, with Roy Hodgson given just 40 days to prepare his side before the tournament begins.

May 16: Hodgson names his England squad, with right-back Kyle Walker missing the tournament through injury and Rio Ferdinand left out.

May 25: Third-choice goalkeeper John Ruddy breaks his finger in training and is ruled out of the tournament. Nineteen-year-old Jack Butland of Birmingham replaces him.

May 28: Midfielder Gareth Barry is another casualty after suffering a groin injury in the pre-tournament friendly against Norway. He is replaced by Everton's Phil Jagielka.

May 31: Jordan Henderson is drafted in by Hodgson after experienced midfielder Frank Lampard is ruled out with a thigh injury he sustained in training.

June 3: Defender Gary Cahill is ruled out after suffering a double fracture of his jaw following a collision with goalkeeper Joe Hart during the 1-0 win over Belgium.

Kevin Pietersen T20 appeal rejected by furious England

Furious England reject T20 appeal by Pietersen after batsman quits one-dayers

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UPDATED:

23:28 GMT, 31 May 2012

Kevin Pietersen put his Test career in jeopardy on Thursday when he enraged England by turning his back on limited-overs cricket.

Pietersen's strained relationship with England hit a new low when he retired from one-day internationals and was then told he was no longer wanted for Twenty20 matches.

All over: Kevin Pietersen has quit limited-overs cricket

All over: Kevin Pietersen has quit limited-overs cricket

Hugh Morris, managing director of the England team, said that he was 'disappointed' with the timing of Pietersen's decision. Where KP and England disagree is on the ECB's insistence that he cannot pick and choose his limited-overs cricket and he will not be picked for the shortest form of the game, even though England are due to defend their World Twenty20 title in Sri Lanka in September.

The dramatic development comes just a week after Pietersen was fined for criticising Sky TV broadcaster Nick Knight on Twitter, a move that further destabilised the fragile peace between Pietersen and the ECB since he lost the England captaincy three-and-a-half years ago.

Test of nerve: Pietersen insists he wants to continue in the five-day game

Test of nerve: Pietersen insists he wants to continue in the five-day game

'With the international schedule and the
increasing demands on my body I think it is the right time to step
aside and let the next generation of players come through to gain experience for the 2015 World Cup,' said Pietersen, 31. 'I am immensely proud of my achievements in the one-day game and still wish to be considered for Test cricket.'

Pietersen was prevented from continuing in Twenty20 by his ECB central contract, which states that any player who makes himself unavailable for either form of limited-overs cricket is ruled out of both.

'Had the criteria not been in place, I would have readily played for England in the upcoming World Twenty20,' added Pietersen, who hopes England will change the rules when they draw up the next central contracts in September.

At the peak of his powers: Pietersen remains England's star batsman

At the peak of his powers: Pietersen remains England's star batsman

Sportsmail understands that Pietersen
suggested he might sit out some of this summer's congested ODI
programme against West Indies, Australia, Scotland and South Africa as
an alternative to retiring but that was turned down by Andy Flower.

England ODI captain Alastair Cook
admitted he understood Morris's frustration, saying: 'Four months to the
Twenty20 World Cup with all the planning gone into it, I can see why
they have said that. But it is an opportunity for somebody else to try
and step up.'

Pietersen is adamant that his decision
was not made so he can spend more time at lucrative Twenty20
competitions, pointing out that his absence will cost him 177,000 from
the Team England share scheme.

Alan Davies donation refused by Hillsborough charity

Hillsborough charity refuse 1k Davies donation as backlash against comedian's rant rages

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UPDATED:

18:55 GMT, 10 April 2012

Rant: Arsenal fan Alan Davies

Rant: Arsenal fan Alan Davies

The Hillsborough Justice Campaign has refused a 1,000 donation by Alan Davies following his comments about the Hillsborough disaster.

The comedian received a backlash from fans after mocking Liverpool's insistence that they never play on the anniversary of the disaster.

'The HJC has not accepted the 1,000 paid into it’s paypal account by Alan Davies,' the charity said in a statement issued on Tuesday evening.

'Whilst we accept his apology, we would prefer that he genuinely tried to understand why the decision never to play on the anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster is so important.'

Davies caused controversy after speaking on a podcast, and launching into a rant over the Merseyside club’s refusal to stage matches on April 15 in tribute to the 96 fans that lost their lives on that date in 1989.

The 46-year-old, talking on 'The Tuesday Club', was discussing Liverpool's insistence on playing city rivals Everton this coming Saturday in the FA Cup semi-finals.

It means Chelsea must play their semi-final with Tottenham on the Sunday even though this comes just three days before their Champions League first leg clash with Barcelona.

Davies said: 'Liverpool and the 15th – that gets on my tits that s***. What are you talking about “We won’t play on the day” Why can’t they'

The podcast presenter Ian Stone attempted to reason with Davies by saying: ‘Because it’s too sad a memory.’

However, the TV star responded: 'Do they play on the date of the Heysel Stadium disaster How many dates do they not play on

'Do Man United play on the date of Munich Do Rangers play on the date when all their fans died in that disaster whatever year that was – 1971'

Target: Kenny Dalglish was also criticised by Davies on the podcast

Target: Kenny Dalglish was also criticised by Davies on the podcast

He then turned his anger on Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish, adding: 'Every interview he’s given this season he looks like he wants to headbutt the interviewer. This tight-mouthed, furious, frowning, leaning forward, bitter Glaswegian ranting, “Liverpool FC do not play on April 15th”.'

After attempting to impersonate Dalglish, Davies admitted his effort was 'terrible because I hate him'.

Gunners fanatic Davies then turned his fire on arch rivals Spurs by saying: 'What vermin run that club. They always have. Absolute vermin. Scum of the earth.'

Davies took to Twitter to defend his comments, saying Liverpool should be made to play their semi-final on the 15th as it is unfair on Chelsea, but claims he supports the need for a full inquiry into the disaster at Hillsborough 23 years ago.

He said: 'I'm getting tweets from Liverpool fans who have been given the impression that I was disrespectful to those who lost their lives on 15/4/89.

'Many disagree but I feel that the Liverpool v Everton semi-final could be played on Apr 15. Apologies to those upset by that suggestion.

Tragedy: Ninety six Liverpool fans lost their lives on that fateful day in 1989

Tragedy: Ninety six Liverpool fans lost their lives on that fateful day in 1989

'I said the Hillsborough disaster was the worst event in modern peacetime history. I was on a terrace listening to a radio as it happened.

'I agree that there must be a full enquiry into Hillsborough but not playing on the 15th doesn't change anything. It's not fair on Chelsea.'

Pundit Stan Collymore hit out at Davies on Twitter, writing: ‘I support the right of any club not to play on days of tragedy at their club. Any club. Don’t mock others right to commemorate tragedy.

‘United, Rangers, Juventus, Liverpool, Bradford and many more. I respect their right to commemorate their clubs by not playing on those dates.

‘And on a podcast, as a celebrity calling Spurs fans vermin is out of order. Banter, great, vermin, no. Doesn’t matter who chooses to play or not to play. That is THEIR choice.'

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