Tag Archives: keegan

Luis Suarez banned for 10 games for bite on Chelsea"s Branislav Ivanovic

10 GAMES! Liverpool in the jaws of despair as Suarez slapped with huge ban for vicious bite on Ivanovic

11 MATCHES

Paolo Di Canio (Sheffield Wednesday): pushing over referee Paul Alcock in 1998

10 MATCHES

Kevin Keegan (Liverpool) and Billy Bremner (Leeds): fighting in the Charity Shield in 1974

David Putton (Southampton): pushing referee Alan Wiley in 2005

NINE MATCHES

Paul Davis (Arsenal): punching Glenn Cockerill in 1998

Steve Walsh (Leicester) discipline in 1987

Frank Sinclair (West Brom): clashing heads with the referee in 1992

EIGHT MATCHES

Luis Suarez (Liverpool): racially abusing Patrice Evra in 2011

Ben Thatcher (Manchester City): elbowing Pedro Mendes in 2006

Mark Dennis (QPR): banned in 1987 for picking up his 11th career red card

Liverpool themselves were left shocked by the decision, which sees Suarez banned for two games more than he received after being found guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra in 2011.

The club's managing director Ian Ayre said: 'Both the club and player are shocked and disappointed at the severity of today's Independent Regulatory Commission decision.

'We await the written reasons tomorrow before making any further comment.'

The latest setback for Suarez means that since 2011, he has been banned for 26 matches, beyond the usual yellow and red cards.

He was hit with seven games at Ajax for biting Otman Bakkal, eight for the Evra incident, one more for flipping the middle finger at Fulham fans, and now 10 for biting again.

The tribunal took past behaviour and previous cases into consideration before reaching a
conclusion on Suarez, who was banned for seven games after he bit PSV
Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal in November 2010.

Tottenham’s Jermain Defoe escaped a
long ban and fine in October 2006 as he was booked after biting Javier
Mascherano, then of West Ham. Had Suarez been booked last Sunday, the FA
would have still had the power to take him to task as the rules have
changed since then.

Having accepted the FA’s charge,
Suarez was already set to miss the trip to
Newcastle on Saturday, the Merseyside derby at Anfield on May 5 and
Liverpool’s visit to Fulham on May 12.

Liverpool were condemned for their stance over Suarez, having already been rebuked for failing to administer
their own suspension. The matter has been taken so seriously that the
Prime Minister entered the debate on Monday.

Follows him: Suarez's clash with Patrice Evra in 2011 resulted in an eight-game ban for the Liverpool man

Follows him: Suarez's clash with Patrice Evra in 2011 resulted in an eight-game ban for the Liverpool man

Follows him: Suarez's clash with Patrice Evra in 2011 resulted in an eight-game ban for the Liverpool man

GAMES SUAREZ WILL MISS

Luis Suarez will not play again for Liverpool this season. He will miss the trip to Newcastle this Saturday, the Merseyside derby at Anfield on May 5, and matches against Fulham and QPR.

Next season's fixtures are yet to be published, but it is expected that Liverpool will have seven games – six in the Premier League and one in the League Cup – by the end of September.

Suarez was fined an undisclosed amount – thought to be two weeks’ wages, a figure that equates to more than
200,000 – on Monday morning. He insisted that the money be donated to
the Hillsborough Families Support Group.

The 26-year-old was warned by Ayre that he was on his last chance at Anfield. The
Uruguay striker was found guilty by the FA in December 2011 of using
racially abusive language to Patrice Evra.

Liverpool have stressed that Suarez,
who has been strongly linked with Bayern Munich, will not be sold this
summer and have vowed to work with him to improve his behaviour.

Previous worst: (L-R) Duncan Ferguson, Ben Thatcher, Paolo Di Canio and Billy Bremner and Kevin Keegan

Previous worst: (L-R) Duncan Ferguson, Ben Thatcher, Paolo Di Canio and Billy Bremner and Kevin Keegan

Previous worst: (L-R) Duncan Ferguson, Ben Thatcher, Paolo Di Canio and Billy Bremner and Kevin Keegan

Previous worst: (L-R) Duncan Ferguson, Ben Thatcher, Paolo Di Canio and Billy Bremner and Kevin Keegan

Previous worst: (L-R) Duncan Ferguson, Ben Thatcher, Paolo Di Canio and Billy Bremner and Kevin Keegan

VIDEO Liverpool's Managing Director on Suarez controversy

Liverpool to stand by Suarez

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Look, ref: Ivanovic shows his arm to referee Kevin Friend following the biting incident at Anfield yesterday

Look, ref: Ivanovic shows his arm to referee Kevin Friend following the biting incident at Anfield yesterday

Luis Suarez appears to bite Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic

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Previous: Suarez bites Otman Bakkal of PSV while playing for Ajax

Previous: Suarez bites Otman Bakkal of PSV while playing for Ajax

Repeat The PSV star was as perplexed as Ivanovic by Suarez's behaviour

Repeat The PSV star was as perplexed as Ivanovic by Suarez's behaviour

It's not the first time Suarez has used his teeth

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OTHER SUAREZ CONTROVERSIES

Liverpool forward Luis Suarez is back in the spotlight after appearing to bite Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic on the arm during the 2-2 draw with Chelsea at Anfield, going on to score a late equaliser.

Here are some of the previous controversies surrounding the Uruguayan forward.

February 2007: Suarez made his international debut for Uruguay against Colombia but was sent off in the final minutes after being shown a second yellow card for dissent.

November 2007: Joined Ajax from Uruguayan side Nacional but he was later suspended by the Dutch giants after a half-time dressing-room altercation with team-mate Albert Luque.

July 2010: During the 2010 World Cup quarter-finals, Suarez prevented Ghana's Dominic Adiyiah from scoring in the final minute with a deliberate handball on the line and was subsequently sent off. A penalty was awarded but missed by Asamoah Gyan and footage showed Suarez celebrating on the sidelines. Uruguay eventually went through to the last four on penalties.

November 2010: Suarez was handed a seven-match ban by the Dutch FA and fined by his club for biting PSV Eindhoven midfielder Otman Bakkal during an Eredivisie match.

October 2011: Following his move to Liverpool in January 2011, he was involved in a tackle with Everton's Jack Rodwell and goes down with apparent minimal contact. Rodwell was then sent off.

October 2011: Suarez was alleged to have racially abused Manchester United's Patrice Evra during a Premier League match. Suarez was later found guilty by an independent regulatory commission and banned for eight matches and fined 40,000.

December 2011: Was seen making an offensive gesture towards Fulham fans. At this time he had already been charged by the Football Association over the racism incident, although not yet punished, but was handed a further one-match ban for the gesture.

February 2012: United and Liverpool met again at Old Trafford, but more controversy blew up as Suarez refused to shake Evra's hand before kick-off.

October 2012: Celebrated a goal against Everton by diving in front of Toffees boss David Moyes who had earlier claimed that 'divers' such as Suarez were putting fans off the English game.

January 2013: Handles the ball prior to scoring Liverpool's winner in the FA Cup third round tie at Mansfield.

April 2013: Bites Branislav Ivanovic on the arm but
escapes punishment on the pitch as the referee fails to see it, and
scores Liverpool's equaliser seven minutes into stoppage time as they
draw 2-2 with Chelsea at Anfield. Fined by club the following day and
charged with violent conduct by the FA. Subsequently handed a 10-match
ban by an independent regulatory commission.

Roberto Mancini must shore up defence before Stoke visit

Leaky City must shore up defence if they are to defend title… and Stoke are in town next

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UPDATED:

00:51 GMT, 31 December 2012

The seven-point lead Manchester Uni ted enjoy at the top of the Barclays Premier League table going into 2013 is 'not a problem', according to Roberto Mancini.

Manchester City overturned an eight-point deficit last season and they can do it again. Improving the champions' defence, however, must surely be top of the City boss's list of New Year's resolutions.

The excuses for seeing his side concede three goals in Saturday's 4-3 win at Norwich City came thick and fast: Anthony Pilkington's opening goal for Norwich came from 'a free-kick which was not a free-kick'.

Leaking: Manchester City conceded three goals away at Norwich

Leaking: Manchester City conceded three goals away at Norwich

Get in: Russell Martin heads home Norwich's second

Get in: Russell Martin heads home Norwich's second

Captain fantastic Vincent Kompany (right) has been chosen to partner Matija Nastasic for much of the season

Captain fantastic Vincent Kompany (right) has been chosen to partner Matija Nastasic for much of the season

Russell Martin's other two goals were
from corners when City were down to 10 men after 5ft 9in Samir Nasri's
misguided attempt to headbutt 6ft 2in Sebastien Bassong following the
central defender's yellow-card challenge.

'I am sure he wouldn't have done it
if he wasn't on the football pitch,' noted Pilkington. 'I think he had a
few of his lads behind him.' Mancini was also quick – and correct – to
point out that leaders United have already let in 28 goals this season
and City's defence remains 'one of the best in the Premier League '.

That, though, is not really saying
much after a Saturday in which 35 goals were scored in eight top-flight
games and even stingy Stoke shipped three at home to Southampton.

This is fast becoming a Kevin
Keegan-style competition, which is not built on clean sheets and 1-0
wins but playground scorelines of 'we can get more goals than you'.

This is the real concern for Mancini, whose side won the title last season by conceding just 29 goals in 38 games.

The 'goals against' column is already up to 19 after only 20 games of this campaign, after all.

Happy: Roberto Mancini said he was pleased with the way his side have defended so far this season

Happy: Roberto Mancini said he was pleased with the way his side have defended so far this season

City goalkeeper Joe Hart alluded to
it after last week's 1-0 defeat by Sunderland when he said: 'People play
differently against us now.'

They do – not only because they are
the defending champions but because they look vulnerable at the back.
Norwich sensed it on Saturday and tried to pepper City's penalty box –
where 75 per cent of their goals have been conceded – with high crosses
and set-pieces.

Mancini responded by bringing on
Joleon Lescott in a back three to combat Norwich's extra-man advantage
but if the quality of some of the home side's deliveries had been good
enough to bypass Gareth Barry or Yaya Toure, City could easily have
found themselves nine points behind United.

This is not a question of City missing a player like Nigel de Jong but more a problem in the heart of their defence.

Vincent Kompany and Matija Nastasic
has been Mancini's favourite defensive pairing this season, starting 10
league games, but the Italian has used six different combinations
already this season.

Kompany's storming run set up City's
second goal on Saturday, but the captain did not command the back four
and seemed to get frustrated at some of referee Mike Jones's decisions.

Lescott, meanwhile, was not
introduced until the 81st minute and looks set to leave in January after
starting just seven league games this season.

Class: Sergio Aguero lifts the ball over Mark Bunn to make it 3-1

Class: Sergio Aguero lifts the ball over Mark Bunn to make it 3-1

Back in the goals: Aguero wheeled away after his expertly taken goal

Back in the goals: Aguero wheeled away after his expertly taken goal

Just about: Edin Dzeko and Aguero ensured City earned all three points

Just about: Edin Dzeko and Aguero ensured City earned all three points

Mancini accused his strikers of being
'soft' after they failed to score at the Stadium of Light but insisted
he was 'happy' with his defence on Saturday, only chiding them for not
paying enough attention in the latter stages.

This, though, has been another problem for City this season, with 62 per cent of goals against them coming after the hour mark.

This suggests a lack of
concentration, particularly after substitutions, but also perhaps that
teams believe City are fallible and keep coming at them, as Norwich did
so impressively on Saturday, believing they are fallible.

Mancini's comments about his
under-performing strikers, however, worked at Carrow Road. The visitors
were sumptuous and lethal going forward, particularly in the first
quarter of an hour, when the movement of Edin Dzeko, David Silva and
Sergio Aguero seemed to bewilder Norwich.

Dzeko, who claimed a hat-trick
despite Norwich goalkeeper Mark Bunn appearing to bundle the Bosnia
striker's third into his own net, seemed like he had a particular point
to prove.

'I saw something about the forwards
not being in form and scoring but we scored today so that's good for
us,' Dzeko said with a smile.

But now Mancini must hope for a
similar response from his defence. Hart has become prone to punching the
ball back into play when catching or palming it out to the side seems a
better option and City too often looked disorganised at corners and
free-kicks.

Stoke, their next opponents, will certainly have taken note of that.

Spicy: Samir Nasri was red-carded for putting his head against Sebastien Bassong's

Spicy: Samir Nasri was red-carded for putting his head against Sebastien Bassong's

Off you go: Nasri was dismissed just before half-time for his attempted headbutt

Off you go: Nasri was dismissed just before half-time for his attempted headbutt

Superstars 2012 fails to live up to it previous incarnation

Superflops! BBC takes the shine off golden Olympians with new version of TV favourite

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UPDATED:

20:29 GMT, 30 December 2012

With Strictly Come Dancing all danced out, the BBC had to find something for the crucial Saturday night spot and for one week only that something turned out to be Strictly Team GB — or Superstars 2012, to give the programme its proper name.

The sequins had gone, to be replaced by rain droplets on the kind of wet T-shirts that would attract precious few unique visitors on the web.

Sparing every expense, the Beeb had taken 16 British Olympians to Bath for the waters. It poured for the two days of filming, merely adding to a distinct lack of glamour.

Macho with dips: Anthony Joshua (left) and Alistair Brownlee battle it out in the gym

Macho with dips: Anthony Joshua (left) and Alistair Brownlee battle it out in the gym

For Strictly lovers, however, there was the rather delightful sight of Mo Farah doing a passable Viennese waltz in a kayak, proving that even a double gold medallist can finish up the proverbial creek with a paddle.

Another mildly amusing moment came when Alistair Brownlee — as the Olympic triathlon champion, a man clearly of many talents — managed to land a javelin backwards in possibly a first for the field sport.

Otherwise, the laughs were thin on the sodden ground, despite the efforts of the irritatingly jolly Iwan Thomas.

It was probably a tactical error by the BBC to remind viewers how Superstars used to be by showing clips of Kevin Keegan falling off his bike at full speed and Brian Jacks defying belief with his extraordinary gym tests.

Up for the challenge: Mo Farah takes part in the men's bike race

Up for the challenge: Mo Farah takes part in the men's bike race

These vintage television moments merely emphasised the defects of the latest incarnation in terms of absence of tension, lack of fierce competitiveness and distinct shortage of sporting prowess.

The impression was of a village sports day, without the nastiness, in a cynical but feeble attempt by the BBC to eke a few more miles out of London 2012.

For all that, two extremely worthy and convincing winners were crowned in Anthony

Joshua, the Olympic super-heavyweight boxing champion, and rowing gold medallist Helen Glover.

From the moment that the 6ft 6in Joshua ran the 100 metres in an astonishing 11.53 seconds (a second and a half quicker than Farah) you sensed a talent and the likely Superstars champion. So did Joshua himself. ‘I really want to win this and I reckon I can,’ he told Thomas after that first event.

There followed further victories in the cycling and the javelin, second places in both the swimming and gym tests and a third in the 800m. Despite proving himself a real all-rounder, Joshua was not entirely happy.

Off target: Christine Ohuruogu has a go at the archery

Off target: Christine Ohuruogu has a go at the archery

‘I missed out on the gym test Wow!’ was Joshua’s reaction to coming second in that discipline. ‘So, I would like to know who won the gym test now.’ Ever since the aforementioned Jacks recorded 118 squat thrusts and 100 parallel bar dips (both in 60 seconds) in 1980, the stench of machismo surrounds the gym test.

Scottish swimmer Michael Jamieson, who pipped Joshua, would have been forgiven for ducking after describing it as the most ‘prestigious’ of the disciplines. He was standing next to the boxer at the time.

We do not know the reaction of Joshua or any of the eight men when it emerged that Glover had beaten them all in the squat thrusts with an impressive 84.

On her knees: Lizzie Armitstead during the gym test

On her knees: Lizzie Armitstead during the gym test

The rower also achieved a faster time than any of the boys in the swimming pool as well as finishing victorious in both the 800m and the cycling. It mattered not that she did not so much throw her javelin as drop it.

Katherine Grainger’s victory in the spear-chucking department with a modest 24.93m prompted hosts Gabby Logan and Denise Lewis to talk, in customary exaggerated terms, of a ‘new career’ and ‘hidden talent’. Well, 20 years younger and 20 metres further and Grainger might manage county selection at schools level.

That’s the truth of the level of some of the performances. I have never understood the attraction of watching our sporting heroes vulnerable, fallible and, frankly, inept.

On your marks: The men run the 100m in the rain

On your marks: The men run the 100m in the rain

But if that’s your bag, you no doubt would have delighted in double gold medallist rower Andrew Triggs Hodge running (if that’s the word) the 100m in 19.37sec, cyclist Lizzie Armitstead managing two parallel bar dips and the elder of the Brownlee brothers only bettering Armitstead by four, shooter Peter Wilson taking three hours — maybe minutes — for the 800m and Christine Ohuruogu firing an arrow in the air and landing who knows where.

At least the viewing public will not be subjected to this until the next time the Olympic Games come to Britain.

The class of 2012: The Olympians who took part in Superstars

The class of 2012: The Olympians who took part in Superstars

Graeme McDowell pulls three strokes clear in World Golf Challenge in California

McDowell pulls three strokes clear after superb round in California

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UPDATED:

00:38 GMT, 1 December 2012

Graeme McDowell hit the round of the day to go three shots clear at the World Golf Challenge in California.

The Northern Irishman, who was in a chasing pack of three after a first-round 69, signed for a six-under 66 today to move to nine under overall.

He kicked off with three successive birdies and added four more in the back nine to weigh against a solitary dropped shot at the par-four seventh.

Round of the day: Graeme McDowell pulled three shots clear

Round of the day: Graeme McDowell pulled three shots clear

American trio Bo Van Pelt, Jim Furyk and Keegan Bradley are tied for second on six under, with the latter making a bogey-free round including three birdies.

Host Tiger Woods lies one stroke further back after signing for a 69 – dropping shots at eight and 15 either side of four birdies in five holes.

Australia's Jason Day is bottom of the 18-man field on two over through 36 holes, with the third and final non-American, England's Ian Poulter, also struggling on one above par.

Overnight leader Nick Watney slipped back to five shots off the lead after following his day-one score of 67 with a 73.

When it rains... McDowell sought cover from the rain

When it rains… McDowell sought cover from the rain

Tied: Bo Van Pelt is in joint second place

Tied: Bo Van Pelt is in joint second place

Long putters set to be banned from golf in 2016

Controversial long putters will be outlawed from golf as new ruling is proposed for 2016

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UPDATED:

15:45 GMT, 28 November 2012

Golf's ruling authorities have served notice on the 'divisive and controversial' method of anchoring putters to the body and declared their intention to outlaw the practice.

The proposed change won't come into effect until 2016 but it will be a surprise if affected players like three of the last five major champions – Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson and Ernie Els – don't honour the spirit of the decision and look to make instant amendments.Indeed, Simpson has revealed that he has already been practising with a new method.

Scroll down for video explaining the new rules.

Keegan Bradley

Webb Simpson

Putt: Bradley and Simpson are among the last five major winners

Golf blog

Although it won't mean the end of the
wretched long and belly putters that have come to deface the game, it
will certainly lessen their frequency and address the fundamental issue
regarding their fairness.

Tiger Woods summed up the case for
change perfectly when he said: 'Having a fixed anchor point, as I have
been saying all year, is something that is not in the traditions of the
game. We swing all 13 other clubs and I think the putter should be the
same. It should be a swinging motion throughout the entire bag.'

At a teleconference on Wednesday Mike
Davies, representing America's governing body, the United States Golf
Association, and Peter Dawson, chief executive of the Royal and Ancient
Golf Club of St Andrews, who are the authority for everywhere else, were
in full agreement with Woods.

'We recognise that for 30 years this
has been a controversial and divisive issue and the action we are
taking today is all about looking to the future, defining what a stroke
should be and brining clarity to the issue,' said Davies.

Great Scott: The Australian uses a broom-handle putter

Great Scott: The Australian uses a broom-handle putter

He added that they had been forced into action by the growing proliferation of anchoring over the last two years.

'Until 18 to 24 months ago, there were no significant increases at all levels of the game when it came to anchoring,' he said.

'Then in 2010 it jumped to 6 per
cent. In 2011 it almost doubled to 11 per cent and in 2012 it has been
running at 15 per cent, with some tournaments having 20 or even 25 per
cent of the field using anchored strokes.'

Perhaps worried by the threat of
litigation if they tried to ban the belly or long putters, Davies
stressed that this was a playing change to the rules of golf, rather
than an equipment change.

'We have no problem with either
putter, just when they are anchored to the body,' he said. 'Players are
welcome to use both putters so long as they make what we consider to be a
proper stroke'

Players like Bradley have indulged in
sabre-rattling and threatened litigation but Dawson is not anticipating
the proposed change being held up by legal wars.

'We are aware of remarks made by
Keegan and others and recognise that they are not going to necessarily
agree with the change,' he said.

'But I notice more recent remarks
seem to accept that we are the governing body and we have the authority
to make changes like this if we think they are in the best interests of
the game. Once we think we're doing that, we're prepared to defend our
actions to the hilt.'

Dawson said there was a three month
consultancy period whereby people could come forward and make
representations before a formal announcement next Spring.

'I feel like we have covered every
issue regarding the matter but it is only right that if people have
anything else to say they should have that opportunity,' he said.

The rules are revised on a four year
cycle and, with the last change only coming in at the start of this
year, that is why it will be January, 2016 before Rule 14-1b is added.
It will prohibit strokes made with the club or a hand gripping the club
held directly against the player's body, or with a forearm held against
the body to establish an anchor point.

It also comes with a note 1 and note
2, covering the way belly and long putters are anchored respectively.
The punishment will be two shots for every use of an anchored putter in
strokeplay and loss of hole in matchplay.

The new belly-putter rules explained.

Lionel Messi deserves Ballon D"Or ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo, say football greats

Football greats say Messi deserves Ballon D'Or ahead of rival Ronaldo

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UPDATED:

16:44 GMT, 27 November 2012

Lionel Messi should be crowned the best footballer in the world for the fourth consecutive year, according to some of the game’s greatest players.

In a poll of 13 of the Ballon D’Or’s past winners, Messi beat his greatest rival Cristiano Ronaldo by seven votes to three with three others claiming they could not choose between them.

France Football, the publication that originally commissioned the trophy back in 1956, spoke to past winners Kaka, Alfredo di Stefano, Ruud Gullit, Luis Figo, Kevin Keegan, Karlheinz Rummenigge, Marco Van Basten, Luis Suarez Miramontes, Raymond Kopa, Matthias Sammer, Franz Beckenbauer, Andrei Shevchenko and Gianni Rivera.

Selected: Lionel Messi was picked by more of the former winners than Cristiano Ronaldo (below) was

Selected: Lionel Messi was picked by more of the former winners than Cristiano Ronaldo (below) was

Ronaldo

Ronaldo

Asked to give their choice, former England captain Keegan, who won the trophy in 1978 and 1979, sided with brilliant Barcelona star Messi. His view was shared by Rumenigge, van Basten, Suarez, Kopa, Sammer and Shevchenko.

Surprisingly, former Real Madrid stars di Stefano and Figo plus ex-Chelsea midfielder Gullit all said they couldn’t decide while Kaka voted for his Real Madrid teammate Ronaldo as did Beckenbauer and former Milan midfielder Rivera.

Messi, who first won in 2009, is the favourite to win again at the award ceremony in Zurich on January 7.

On the fence: Ruud Gullit said he couldn't decide

On the fence: Ruud Gullit said he couldn't decide

The golden ball trophy was originally made to recognise the best player in Europe when it was awarded for the very first time by France Football in 1956 to Stanley Matthews and 44 players have won it in total.

It merged with FIFA’S World Player of the Year award in 2010.

FULL LIST OF NOMINEES

1 Sergio Aguero
2 Mario Balotelli
3 Karim Benzema
4 Gianluigi Buffon
5 Sergio Busquets
6 Iker Casillas
7 Didier Drogba
8 Radamel Falcao
9 Zlatan Ibrahimovic
10 Andrs Iniesta
11 Lionel Messi
12 Manuel Neuer
13 Neymar
14 Mesut zil
15 Gerard Piqu
16 Andrea Pirlo
17 Sergio Ramos
18 Cristiano Ronaldo
19 Wayne Rooney
20 Yaya Tour
21 Robin van Persie
22 Xabi Alonso
23 Xavi Hernandez

Adam Scott, Keegan Bradley, Ernie Els and Co wait to hear if long putters will be banned

Scott, Bradley, Els and Co wait to hear if controversial long putters will be banned

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UPDATED:

11:08 GMT, 26 November 2012

Golfers around the world are waiting to hear if long putters are to be banned – or at least the way many currently use them is banned.

But one influential voice is urging professionals not to take radical action even if they do not like having to change.

European Tour chief executive George O'Grady said: 'Speaking personally on behalf of the Tour, one of our great facets is that we are connected to the game that every amateur can play as well.

Verdict: Long putters could be banned from the game

Verdict: Long putters could be banned from the game

Justin Rose feels the fourth

Justin Rose

Justin Rose's closing 62 for second
place behind Rory McIlroy in the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai has
taken him to fourth in the world – his highest placing.

But by finishing only joint 48th in
the 56-strong field, Lee Westwood has dropped to sixth – his lowest
position for over three years.

'We could go separately. I would urge the Tour to follow the rules as laid down by the governing bodies.

'We are a very strong lobbyist, our views being sought all the time. There's been a lot of discussion throughout the year with the USGA (United States Golf Association) and the R&A (Royal and Ancient Club) and the PGA Tour.

'I think the rules-making bodies have to do what they think is right for the game.

'The view of our leading members and our players must be listened to, but I haven't heard one of our members want to break away at the moment. They want to be connected to the game.'

The issue has come to the fore with three of the last five major champions – Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson and Ernie Els – among those using long putters.

Nobody had ever won a major with one until Bradley's victory at the USPGA Championship last year.

Peter Dawson, the R&A chief executive, said in July after The Open: 'Anchoring is what we're looking at -method of stroke – and it's all about putting around a fixed pivot point, whether that is in your belly or under your chin or on your chest.

'It has dramatically increased and we're also seeing now people who can putt perfectly well in the conventional way thinking that an anchored stroke gives them an advantage.

'I think that's the fundamental change that we've witnessed in the last couple of years.

'The objections I find from those at elite level are “if people have become failed putters in the conventional way why should they have a crutch to come back and compete against me when I haven't failed in the conventional way” That's the general argument one hears.'

Newcastle"s Xisco kid gets rare chance to shine in Bruges after recall to Alan Pardew"s squad

Newcastle's Xisco kid gets rare chance to shine in Bruges after recall to Pardew's squad

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UPDATED:

23:26 GMT, 7 November 2012

Newcastle outcast Xisco could be given the chance to revive his career in Belgium after he was recalled to Alan Pardew’s Europa League squad.

The 5.7million striker, who was a Dennis Wise/Kevin Keegan signing, has
travelled to Bruges.

Although likely to be among the substitutes, as Pardew turns to Ameobi
brothers Shola and Sammy to start the Group D clash, Pardew has recalled
the former Spain Under 21 striker after he impressed for the club's
reserves in the last month.

Second chance Xisco (right) could be set for a return to action

Second chance Xisco (right) could be set for a return to action

Xisco has been on loan at former club Deportivo La Coruna and Santander
in the last two season and last played for Newcastle in August 2010
against Aston Villa. In fact he has played just three league games since
his 5.7million move from Deportivo and scoring in his debut against
Hull City.

Pardew said: 'He has worked hard, we feel he has contributed to the group and therefore we have included him on this trip.

'The future for Xisco, hopefully, is a return to playing. Like all
players, he wants to play and he has not really done anything wrong
other than not reach the level of the first team since he has been here.

'We have tried to give him some direction and some hope that he can
forward his career. I don't know how much pain he has gone though, if I
am honest, I have not really sat down and spoken to him about that.

'My purpose at this football club is to try to get the best out of every
individual, and I am trying to do that with him. I am not sure if he
will be included tomorrow, if I am honest, but I wanted to bring him
into the group just so he felt part of it.

'He causes us no problems, he is well-liked within the group, he gets on
with his work and we are trying to help him.' Pardew has decided to
leave Hatem Ben Arfa and Jonas Gutierrez in Newcastle to rest, while top
scorer Demba Ba nurses a sore shin. Yohan Cabaye, who came off with a
tight thigh at Anfield on Sunday, has travelled and the Ameobi brothers
will start up front together for the first time.

More than 2,500 Newcastle fans are
expected in the Jan Breydel Stadium, but around double that number could
travel to the Belgian city without tickets.

After warnings last month that
ticketless fans will be arrested near the ground, local police have
relented and are hoping bars and the city squares will provide enough
screens to watch the game.

Pardew added: 'We know what our fans
are like. When we take anything over 600, they start sounding like a
whole stadium, so I am sure we will have very vocal support tomorrow.

'Tickets are at a premium – we can't
get tickets for everyone we want. It's brilliant that they have come and
followed us. We are absolutely delighted.

'I hope they conduct themselves in
and around the city in the right manner – that's important too because
we have got fantastic supporters.'

Pardaig Harrington to play in Grand Slam of Golf as Ernie Els pulls out with ankle injury

Bermuda bonanza for Harrington as Els pulls out of Grand Slam of Golf

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UPDATED:

10:44 GMT, 21 October 2012

Bonanza: Harrington

Bonanza: Harrington

Ireland's Padraig Harrington has suddenly found himself called into the four-man PGA Grand Slam of Golf at Port Royal in Bermuda on Tuesday and Wednesday, and even if he finishes last he will earn 125,000.

Harrington replaces Open champion Ernie Els, who has pulled out with a left ankle injury, and in an event meant to bring together the season's four major winners is up against Masters champion Bubba Watson, US Open winner Webb Simpson and last year's USPGA champion Keegan Bradley – himself a replacement for Rory McIlroy.

Northern Ireland's world No 1 qualified with his USPGA victory in August, but is defending the BMW Masters title in Shanghai this week, while second and third alternates Graeme McDowell and Tiger Woods are also honouring commitments to play in Asia.

Harrington said: 'While my entry is under unique circumstances, I am excited to compete in the event again. I came close the last two times I was there, losing in play-offs to Angel Cabrera in 2007 and Jim Furyk in 2008, so maybe the third time will be a charm.'

Els, winner in 1997 and 2010, stated: 'I am bitterly disappointed. It is a great reward for winning a major and something I have enjoyed in the past and was looking forward to again.

Ankle injury: Els has had to pull out of the event in Bermuda

Ankle injury: Els has had to pull out of the event in Bermuda

'Unfortunately I sprained my left ankle a few days ago and while it isn't too serious and should recover relatively quickly, I have been advised not to try and play on it.'

The winner receives 375,000 and the runner-up 187,500.

St George"s Park opens: Wayne Rooney says England will be better

Time for a new beginning: England will aim for better standards, pledges Rooney

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UPDATED:

21:20 GMT, 9 October 2012

Meanwhile in Manchester…

Snubbed England defender Rio Ferdinand tweeted from Manchester United training. He wrote: 'It is treeeezing out there today but as its sunny+dry I'm loving it! Running + body weight gym session for me now! 200push ups for starters!'

The photograph of Kevin Keegan on his bedroom wall here at St George’s Park, Wayne Rooney was not so happy about. If he could have changed it, he said with a wry smile, he would have.

But the quotation he spotted on the wall of the stunning new hydrotherapy room was more inspirational.

‘It was from Ian Thorpe,’ said Rooney, and while he could not quote the Australian swimming legend exactly, he liked the sentiment.

It says this: ‘Losing is not coming second. It’s getting out of the water knowing you could have done better.’

Against the back drop of misbehaving international footballers, it could not have been more appropriate.

Say cheese! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge line up with the England players, including Ashley Cole, at St George's Park

Say cheese! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge line up with the England players, including Ashley Cole, at St George's Park

Exciting times: Roy Hodgson and his team enjoyed the visit from the Royal family

Exciting times: Roy Hodgson and his team enjoyed the visit from the Royal family

St George’s Park is not just a
state-of-the-art training base for England’s finest players and a
national centre for coaching education. It is a place that can create an
ethos; that can implement cultural change from the grass-roots to the
pinnacle of the professional game.

It actually started on the eve of the
official opening with the presentation of a new code of conduct for the
players and the message was reiterated.

From the Duke of Cambridge it was not
so serious. A playful threat to Ashley Cole to take away his Twitter
page if he continued to misbehave.

Game for a laugh: William shakes hands with Ashley Cole

Game for a laugh: William shakes hands with Ashley Cole

Game for a laugh: William shakes hands with Ashley Cole – despite the England defender calling the FA a 'bunch of t****' just a few days ago

So, what's inside St George's Park
Training pitch with exact dimensions of Wembley – plus exactly the same combination of grass and artificial fibres11 outdoor pitches – five of them floodlit with under-soil heatingA full-size indoor 3G artificial pitch, plus gallery for up to 200 peopleAltitude chamber to mirror specific playing conditionsIndoor 60m sprint track
Slogans dotted around, including this one from Jesse Owens – 'A lifetime of training for just 10 seconds.'Hilton hotel featuring suites named after former England players and managers

From the Football Association,
however, a point needed to be made. Roy Hodgson had his say and so did
the FA chairman, David Bernstein.

Clearly unhappy that Cole’s Twitter
antics had overshadowed a proud day for the organisation, Bernstein did
not pull his punches.

He dismissed talk of Cole — who has
played 98 times for his country — leading the side for his 100th cap
because certain standards are required to lead the national team;
something he said they demonstrated when they stripped John Terry of the
captaincy in February.

Had he been here, this might have
been uncomfortable for Terry. There were a number of references to the
ongoing fight against any form of discrimination, with Bernstein
referencing a quote from Martin Luther King in the dressing-room area.

Cole, we were told by Hodgson, had
displayed genuine contrition after branding the governing body a ‘bunch
of t**ts’ and it was interesting to hear Rooney expressing a certain
amount of regret about mistakes he has made more recently.

Thorpe’s message is clear. Don’t
waste opportunities. But Rooney reflected on his summer — in particular
the personal disappointment he endured at the European Championship —
and admitted he might have done things differently.

The trip to Las Vegas he made shortly before the Euros was not well received and Rooney accepted that criticism.

‘I can understand and see where you are coming from,’ he said.

Water world: Prince William shares a joke with Jermain Defoe, Ashley Cole and Andy Carroll in the hot tub at St George's Park

Water world: Prince William shares a joke with Jermain Defoe, Ashley Cole and Andy Carroll in the hot tub at St George's Park

Bunch of tats: Ashley Cole in conversation with Jermain Defoe and Andy Carroll in the Jacuzzi

Bunch of tats: Ashley Cole in conversation with Jermain Defoe and Andy Carroll in the Jacuzzi

‘I wasn’t in Vegas going out every
night, drinking and partying. Obviously I went out one night and that
was seen. But I couldn’t train anyway. That is why I had the extra time
off.

‘I had to have something done to my
toe and it was just a way to relax before I came into training. There
was no treatment for me to get at the time but, looking back, I can
understand why maybe yourselves and the fans weren’t happy.’

He said he could also understand why everything he does is so heavily scrutinised.

Rather you than me: The Duke and Duchess watch a demonstration of one of the treadmills

Rather you than me: The Duke and Duchess watch a demonstration of one of the treadmills

Poolside: The Duke and Duchess are shown the hydrotherapy facilities at the new 100m complex in the Staffordshire countryside

Poolside: The Duke and Duchess are shown the hydrotherapy facilities at the new 100m complex in the Staffordshire countryside

Lightning fast: The Duke and Duchess test their reflexes on the BATAK reactions board in the Human Performance Lab at St George's Park

Lightning fast: The Duke and Duchess test their reflexes on the BATAK reactions board in the Human Performance Lab at St George's Park

St George's Park by numbers

4,000 litres of water per night to service the under-soil heating

200 rooms in two hotels

5 gyms on site

2 Football League teams using the facilities on a full-time basis — Burton Albion and Notts County

1 60m sprint track

1975 was the year when the idea of the National Football Centre was first discussed

12 full-size pitches (five of them with undersoil heating and floodlighting) plus one futsal pitch

250 pounds per hour for teams wanting to hire the full-size artificial pitch

It is, he agreed, the territory he
occupies as England’s finest player and someone who would now like to be
regarded as one of the senior players; someone who should be setting an
example.

‘I have no problem with that,’ he
said. ‘Hopefully in the near future we will be coming out of a
tournament and you will all be praising me because we have won a trophy.
That would be great for everyone.

‘I always try to speak to the younger
players and offer advice. I always remember Alex Ferguson saying what a
big help Eric Cantona was to all those younger players at United. It is
something I can look at and try to do for England.

‘Hopefully I can bring the best out of them and they can bring the best out of myself as well.’

As the most popular British sportsman
on Twitter — he has more than five million followers — it seemed
appropriate to ask him about that particular social media site in the
context of the Cole controversy.

He agreed that, as an international footballer, being on Twitter ‘brings a sense of responsibility’.

‘It is a good way for the fans to see
a different side of you, away from football,’ he said. ‘But you
obviously know everything you put on there is seen by everyone who
follows you. It will be in the newspapers the next day so you have to be
careful.’

After the Euros, Fabio Capello
suggested the Rooney we so often see excel at Manchester United rarely
appears in an England shirt.

Big fan: Frank Lampard chats with the Duchess of Cambridge

Talking tactics: Roy Hodgson gets his point across to the Royal couple

Talking tactics: Frank Lampard chats with the Duchess (left) while manager Roy Hodgson gets his point across to the Royal couple

Marching on: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are given a tour of St George's Park by FA officials

Marching on: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are given a tour of St George's Park by FA officials

Teamtalk: The Duke enjoys a joke with a group of England players after their training session

Teamtalk: The Duke enjoys a joke with a group of England players after their training session

Proud day: The England team pose for pictures alongside William and Kate

Proud day: The England team pose for pictures alongside William and Kate

Rooney said he was not aware of the criticism from the former England manager but, again, he could see he had a point.

‘I’d have liked to have played better
for England,’ he said. ‘For whatever reasons it hasn’t happened but I
can hold my head up high and say I’ve always worked hard, given
everything and I’ll continue to do that.’

He said he was not as unfit as had been suggested at the start of the season, arguing that he had ‘only one bad game’.

Game for a laugh: Wayne Rooney jokes with England coach Gary Neville

In the spotlight: Ashley Cole was back in training with England

Raring to go: Wayne Rooney and Ashley Cole enjoyed themselves in training under the instructions of England coach Roy Hodgson (bottom left)

In charge: England boss Roy Hodgson instructs his players at their new HQ

Down to business: Rooney is put through his paces at St George's Park

He also said it would be ‘an honour’
to captain England should Hodgson turn to him if Frank Lampard is not
fit enough to play against San Marino on Friday.

That is what the FA want to hear at
the new national football centre. Rooney spoke of it being an
‘inspirational place’ and so did Steven Gerrard.

The Duke of Cambridge spoke of how it would one day deliver a ‘world-beating national team’.

That might sound a bit ambitious
right now. England players who can buy into the ethos and set the right
example would be a start.

Sight to behold: An aerial view of St George's Park, situated in the green of Staffordshire

Sight to behold: An aerial view of St George's Park, situated in the green of Staffordshire

Sight to behold: An aerial view of St George's Park, situated in the green of Staffordshire

Sight to behold: An aerial view of St George's Park, situated in the green of Staffordshire

Flying the flag: A bright day welcomed the official opening of the National Football Centre in Burton on Tuesday morning

Flying the flag: A bright day welcomed the official opening of the National Football Centre in Burton on Tuesday morning

Grand tour: The Duchess of Cambridge is shown around St George's Park by FA chiefs on Tuesday

Grand tour: The Duchess of Cambridge is shown around St George's Park by FA chiefs on Tuesday

Fresh scenery: Theo Walcott and Ryan Shawcross battle for the ball as they train with England at St George's Park

Fresh scenery: Theo Walcott and Ryan Shawcross battle for the ball as they train with England at St George's Park