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Ukraine want Andriy Shevchenko as head coach

Ukraine want Shevchenko to manage national side as legend ponders political career

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UPDATED:

15:07 GMT, 12 November 2012

Andriy Shevchenko has been offered the position of Ukraine head coach, the country's football federation have announced.

Former AC Milan and Chelsea striker Shevchenko called time on his glittering 18-year playing career in July and had spoken of his desire to go into politics.

But the Ukrainian federation (FFU) has
decided that they want the 36-year-old to lead their national team after
Oleh Blokhin left to take over Dynamo Kiev.

In the running: Shevchenko is a parliamentary candidate

In the running: Shevchenko is a parliamentary candidate

'President of the Football Federation of Ukraine Anatoliy Konkov has decided to invite Andriy Shevchenko to take the post of head coach,' a statement read on the federation's website.

Shevchenko is the top goal scorer in the country's history, bagging 56 goals in 111 appearances.

The former Chelsea and AC Milan striker captained Ukraine 56 times and guided the former Soviet republic to the quarter-finals of the World Cup in 2006.

He does not have any managerial or coaching experience, but the federation are convinced that will not be a problem.

Konkov pointed out that Pep Guardiola won three Spanish titles and two Champions Leagues after joining Barcelona with little experience in management.

Final flourish: Shevchenko retired after the Euros earlier this year

Final flourish: Shevchenko retired after the Euros earlier this year

The president of the federation said: 'Remember – Pep Guardiola achieved incredible results in a few years!

'I'm sure Shevchenko also be able to conquer great football countries as head coach of this country. He has enough experience and character.

'The federation, in turn, will ensure to give him all the help he needs with the national team.'

Konkov also thinks Shevchenko's experience of playing under some of the best managers in the world will help him lead Ukraine to success should he accept the offer.

'Andriy has played for renowned clubs such as the Dynamo Kiev, Milan and Chelsea,' he said.

'They were led by legendary coaches like Valeriy Lobanovskiy, Carlo Ancelotti and Jose Mourinho.

'He has had a unique ability to absorb their talent, their knowledge and their experience.'

Peek-a-boo: The national team want Sheva to be their manager

Peek-a-boo: The national team want Sheva to be their manager

Shevchenko's illustrious playing career saw him win the Ukraine Premier League five times with Dynamo Kiev before he moved to AC Milan where he went on to become one of the best strikers in Europe.

The powerful hitman won the Champions League and the Scudetto with the Italian giants and then went on to join Chelsea in a 30million move six years ago.

His time at Stamford Bridge was an unsuccessful one and he had spells on loan at Milan and back at the club where he began his career before retiring last summer.

Should Shevchenko take the job, he has a tough task on his hands if he is to lead the country to the World Cup in Brazil.

Although Ukraine registered a creditable 1-1 draw in England, they also lost at home to Montenegro and drew with Moldova, leaving them second from bottom of Group H.

Vitali Klitschko"s fight with David Haye hangs in the balance after Ukrainian elections

Haye's showdown with Klitschko in the balance after Vitali's party come third in Ukraine elections

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UPDATED:

09:09 GMT, 29 October 2012

David Haye's hopes of fighting Vitali Klitschko hang in the balance after the heavyweight champion’s political party came third in the Ukrainian election on Sunday.

Klitschko’s UDAR (Punch) party was forecast to have won 15 per cent of the vote which should be enough to send the 41-year-old into parliament – and possibly retirement.

But while Haye faces a wait to see if he will tackle the elder brother, the WBO are considering naming him as the mandatory challenger to Wladimir, who beat the Brit over 12 lop-sided rounds in 2011.

The future is unknown: Vitali Klitschko's UDAR party came third in the Ukrainian elections

The future is unknown: Vitali Klitschko's UDAR party came third in the Ukrainian elections

Vitali, who was disappointed with his party’s performance, must now attempt to form an opposition coalition after the ruling Regions Party looked set to retain its parliamentary majority.

‘I had said that we had tremendous potential,’ he said. ‘We must still analyse everything: why we could have won more votes but failed to do so.’

Confusion continues to reign meanwhile about whether the long-reigning champion will hang up his gloves for a second time.

Casting his vote: Klitschko goes into the polling booth

Casting his vote: Klitschko goes into the polling booth

Before stopping Manuel Charr last month he said: ‘First of all, I have to win the parliament election. Step by step by step. After that, I can give you an answer.

‘Right now, there are many discussions about [retirement]. I’m not ready to announce about my retirement. Maybe one fight, maybe two fights more. And after that, I am retired. I am active in politics.’

But his manager Bernd Boente believes electoral success would mean the end of his tenure in the ring.

Making it count: Klitschko, and his wife Natalia cast their votes

Making it count: Klitschko, and his wife Natalia cast their votes

‘If Vitali gets a role after the elections where he can make a difference, I suppose that would be the end of his career,' he told Sport Bild.

‘As a friend and manager, that’s what I would advise. The fight for democracy and against corruption is more important than a fight against David Haye.’

But the Londoner insists a contract has already been agreed for the 10million superfight to take place next year.

Full of hope: Klitschko was keen to be elected into the Ukrainian parliament

Full of hope: Klitschko was keen to be elected into the Ukrainian parliament

‘The fight has already been agreed, the contract’s done – the money, the split, everything. We don’t need a new contract,’ he claimed.

Should the veteran choose to concentrate on his political career, Haye may instead seek revenge on his 36-year-old sibling.

Wladimir holds the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO belts which he will defend against Mariusz Wach on November 10 in Hamburg.

Keeping in shape: David Haye is hoping for a showdown with Klitschko in 2013

Keeping in shape: David Haye is hoping for a showdown with Klitschko in 2013

He eased to a unanimous points victory over Haye in the same city and the 31-year-old was later ridiculed for blaming defeat on a broken toe.

But the WBO are set to name either Haye, Denis Boytsov or Seth Mitchell as the mandatory challenger for their title.

Russian Boystov is undefeated, and largely untested, after 31 professional fights while American hope Mitchell hopes to extend his unbeaten run to 27 when he faces Johnathon Banks in New Jersey next month.

Vitali Klitschko beats Manuel Charr

Time to make Haye Klitschko dominates Charr but could yet retire from boxing

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UPDATED:

10:18 GMT, 9 September 2012

Vitali Klitschko ended Manuel Charr's perfect record with a clinical defence of his WBC heavyweight title in Moscow.

In what could prove to be the Ukrainian's last-ever bout before embarking on a career in politics, a cut over Charr's right eye brought proceedings to an end with 56 seconds remaining in the fourth round.

It was a one-sided contest from the off, with Klitschko stalking the ring behind his jab and landing a couple of early shorts.

Furious: Manuel Charr was disgusted that the fight was ended early

Furious: Manuel Charr was disgusted that the fight was ended early

He put the former kickboxer down in the second round, landing a left hook which saw Charr counted to eight. And, when a similar shot wounded Charr in the fourth, the referee stepped in.

Charr was disgruntled with the call, kicking the ropes, but the amount of blood he was losing meant it was impossible for him to carry on.

Dominant: Vitali Klitschko (right) made light work of his unbeaten opponent

Dominant: Vitali Klitschko (right) made light work of his unbeaten opponent

Klitschko will now turn his attention the Ukrainian parliamentary elections on October 28 and refused to be comment on a future fight with David Haye.

The British heavyweight was recently welcomed back into the WBC, seemingly paving way fro a 10million superfight with Vitali.

Still champion: Klitschko defended his WBC heavyweight title

Still champion: Klitschko defended his WBC heavyweight title

'I'm facing major tasks and not only in sports,' Klitschko said. 'I'll
fly to Kiev in the morning and will be fully occupied with preparations
for the parliamentary elections [in October] as the leader of the party.

'I'm 41 and I'm still boxing, but one cannot trick nature – I will have to hang my gloves on a nail soon.'

Andriy Shevchenko retires from football

Politics beckons for Shevchenko as former Chelsea forward calls time on football career

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UPDATED:

08:46 GMT, 28 July 2012

Ukrainian striker Andriy Shevchenko has quit all football to begin a career in politics.

The former AC Milan and Chelsea forward, 35, ended his international career when Ukraine failed to progress from the group stage at Euro 2012, which they co-hosted with Poland.

End of an era: Shevchenko has announced his retirement from football

End of an era: Shevchenko has announced his retirement from football

'Perhaps, I will shock everyone: my
future has nothing to do with soccer', Shevchenko said in a statement.
'It is related to politics.'

Shevchenko did not say if he planned
to join one of Ukraine's existing political parties or create his own
ahead of October's parliamentary election. He promised to announce the
details on Saturday.

Another famous Ukrainian athlete,
heavyweight boxing champion Vitaly Klitschko, already runs a political
party called Udar (Strike).

Time's up: Shevchenko spent his final playing days with Dynamo Kiev

Time's up: Shevchenko spent his final playing days with Dynamo Kiev

Brazil football president Ricardo Teixeira steps down

Anti-English Brazil football president Teixeira to step down after 23 years at the top

Brazil football chief Ricardo Teixeira will step down as president of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) after 23 years in charge.

The controversial FIFA executive, who is also in charge of Brazil’s preparations for the 2014 World Cup, is embroiled in corruption allegations.

Last year he was cleared by a FIFA probe after former FA chairman Lord Triesman sensationally accused him of demanding bribes to vote for England’s 2018 World Cup bid.

Chief: Ricardo Teixeira has dominated Brazilian football

Chief: Ricardo Teixeira has dominated Brazilian football

At home, he is the focus of a parliamentary inquiry over funds for a friendly match played by the Brazil national team and is also the subject of a fraud squad investigation into allegations of money-laundering.

Teixeira formerly branded the British 'pirates' and declared the English press 'corrupt'.

He has also angered many Brazilians by publicly snubbing football legend Pele, with whom he has had a long-running feud.

Teixeira’s exit comes days before a damning report is expected to be released by FIFA into collapsed TV rights company ISL, which could implicate him in a huge bribery scandal.

According to Brazil’s O Globo newspaper, his successor will be Jose Maria Marin, one of the vice presidents of the CBF and the organisation’s representative for Brazil’s south-east region.

The allegations that Teixeira took bungs totalling nearly pounds six million in the 1990s, for rubber-stamping World Cup TV contracts, were made by the BBC’s Panorama in 2010.

Feud: He reportedly has a long-running feud with football legend Pele

Feud: He reportedly has a long-running feud with football legend Pele

Synonymous: Teixeira has been in charge for 23 years and is the face of Brazilian football

Synonymous: Teixeira has been in charge for 23 years and is the face of Brazilian football

Furious at the corruption charges, he later caused outrage by branding Britain 'the pirates of the world', claiming they had made the allegations because the FA were angry they lost the World Cup bid.

He also told a Brazilian magazine he would make England’s life 'hell' during the 2014 World Cup, adding: 'While I’m at the CBF, at FIFA, they won’t get past the door.'

Teixeira has also faced mounting criticism closer to home with growing dissatisfaction at his running of Brazilian football, and Brazil’s stalling preparations for the 2014 World Cup, adding to the pressure for him to go.

Teixeira’s dislike of Pele, widely regarded as the world’s greatest ever player, caused more disquiet last July, when he refused to invite him to the World Cup draw in Rio de Janeiro.

Pele explained: 'You only go to a party if you’re invited. The CBF has a president, Ricardo Teixeira. He decides who he wants to invite and who he doesn’t. And he didn’t invite me.'

Pele was going to be absent from the global showpiece until Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff stepped in and named him as Brazil’s international World Cup ambassador.

Their feud goes back to 1993, when Pele criticised Teixeira’s father-in-law, former FIFA president Joao Havelange.

Egypt football riot: FIFA demand answers after 74 die

FIFA demand answers from Egyptian FA after at least 74 spectators die in riot as Blatter condemns 'black day' in football

FIFA have demanded a full report into the violence at match in Egypt that left more than 70 people dead.

Al Masry fans invaded the pitch after a surprise 3-1 win over Cairo club Al-Ahly in Port Said, with reports stating as many as 74 people died in the ensuing violence.

There have been claims that security forces and police did not do enough to intervene, and that the violence was tied up with the political power struggle in the country. FIFA has now asked Egyptian authorities to explain exactly what happened.

Egypt's prime minister Kamal el-Ganzouri has dissolved the Egyptian Soccer Federation's board and referred its members for questioning by prosecutors after post-match clashes which resulted in the huge number of deaths.

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Victim: A football fan (in white) crouches down over his friend who it is believed had been killed during the Egyptian football riot

Victim: A football fan (in white) crouches down, in the Al-Ahly changing room, over his friend who it is believed had been killed during the Egyptian football riot

Egypt football riot

riot

Attacked: The final whistle prompted more than 13,000 home fans, armed with knives, iron bars and machetes, to storm the pitch and attack rival players and their 1,200 supporters

Chaos: Al-Alhy's players tried in vain to save fans (left) who fled into their changing room after being attacked by thousands of supposed rival supporters

Under fire: Al-Ahly's players fled to their changing rooms, accompanied by several fans, after the violence started

Under fire: Al-Ahly's players fled to their changing rooms, accompanied by several fans, after the violence started

He announced the decision during
Thursday's emergency parliamentary session and revealed the area's
police chief has also resigned.

FIFA said in a statement: 'FIFA has
asked the Egyptian authorities for a full report on the incidents in
order to evaluate what happened.'

In
a letter to Egyptian FA president Samir Zaher, the world governing
body's president Blatter offered support and said: 'Today is a black day
for football and we must take steps to ensure that such a catastrophe
never happens again.

'Football is a force for good and we must not allow it to be abused by those who mean evil. I await further news from you concerning the circumstances of this tragedy.'

Home fans reportedly armed with sticks and knives stormed the field after the final whistle. Reports suggest some Al-Ahly fans suffocated, trapped in a narrow corridor as they fled the violence.

Al-Ahly's
Portuguese coach Manuel Jose has returned to Portugal to ponder his
future after being attacked, while his assistant coach Pedro Barny
backed up the claims that security staff did too little.

Missiles: Al-Ahly players ran for their lives as rival fans streamed onto the pitch and headed towards them

Missiles: Al-Ahly players ran for their lives as rival fans streamed onto the pitch and headed towards them, throwing bottles and fireworks

Caught on camera: Fans beating a man during the riots

Al-Ahly players escape from the field as fans of Al-Masry team rush onto the pitch

Terror: Al-Ahly players were subjected to abuse and beatings as they tried to leave the pitch at Port Said Stadium

Bitter: So-called fans of Al-Masry ram after Al-Ahly players during the riots

Bitter: So-called fans of Al-Masry ram after Al-Ahly players during the riots

'RIOT DEADLIEST SINCE 1996'

Hillsborough Football Disaster

The Egyptian football riot was the deadliest incident in the sport since October 1996.

A
total of 78 fans died and 180 others injured in a stampede at a stadium
in Guatemala City before a World Cup qualifying match between Guatemala
and Costa Rica.

The
match with the most fatalities was in May 1964 when a game between Peru
and Argentina in Lima descended into violence and 318 fans were killed.

Britain's worst football disaster is the Hillsborough tragedy (above) in Sheffield in April 1989, in which 96 supporters died.

Jose
said: 'I was beaten with fists and kicks to the neck, head and feet. I
saw our fans die before us and we are unable to do anything.'

Assistant coach Barny added: 'What happened was an unspeakable catastrophe.
From the beginning of the game, the fans of the opposing team's fans
were allowed to fire rockets and stones at us without any intervention.

'In the end, it turned into a state of madness without any role for the security in the stands. We tried to save the lives of some of the fans, but many died before our eyes.'

The
Egyptian Football Federation last night announced an indefinite
suspension of all leagues in the country following the trouble.

Security
forces loyal to ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak have been
blamed for sparking the football riot which killed 74 people and left
more than 1,000 injured.

Violence
flared in the Mediterranean city of Port Said last night after local
team Al-Masry beat Cairo's Al-Ahly – the country's most successful club –
3-1.

The final whistle
prompted more than 13,000 home fans, armed with knives, iron bars and
machetes, to storm the pitch and attack rival players and their 1,200
supporters.

Al-Ahly goalkeeper Sharif Ikrami, who
was injured in the clashes and said the entire team had now quit
football, said dead bodies were carried past him in the changing room.

He said: 'There were people dying in
front of us. It's over. We've all made a decision that we won't play
soccer any more. We can't think about it.'

Pure
hooliganism, and a bitter long-standing rivalry of clashes between the
two sets of fans, was initially blamed for the worst football riot in
Egyptian history. But speculation is now mounting that the riot was orchestrated by pro-Mubarak forces in revenge against Al Ahly's ultra fans.

Rivalry: Pure hooliganism, and a bitter long-standing hatred between the two sets of fans, was initially blamed for the worst football riot in Egyptian history

Rivalry: Pure hooliganism, and a bitter long-standing hatred between the two sets of fans, was initially blamed for the worst football riot in Egyptian history

Hesham Sheiha, Egypt's deputy health minister, said the riot was the 'biggest disaster in Egypt's soccer history'

Egyptian fans clash with riot police after a shock result in the country's premier league

Flares are thrown in the stadium during clashes that killed dozens and left hundreds of others injured

Tragedy: Flares were thrown, fireworks aimed at rivals and people stabbed to death as the stadium descended into absolute chaos

Eruption: Speculation is mounting that security forces loyal to ousted president Hosni Mubarak were behind the violence

Eruption: Speculation is mounting that security forces loyal to ousted president Hosni Mubarak were behind the violence

PORT SAID STADIUM:

The home of Al-Masry FC

Capacity: 18,000

Located in Al-Manakh district

Opened in 1955

Used in 2006 African Cup of Nations

2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup also hosted

The
ultras had used their experience confronting police at matches to play a
significant role in defending Cairo's Tahrir Square – the heart of the
uprising – against Mubarak's heavy-handed security forces.

Albadry Farghali, a member of parliament
for Port Said, screamed in a telephone call to live television: 'The
security forces did this or allowed it to happen.

'The men of Mubarak are still ruling. The head of the regime has fallen but all his men are still in their positions.'

Former Al-Ahly player Hani Seddik told the BBC: 'I don't think this is about football. These trouble-makers were not football fans.

'How
were they allowed to carry knives into the ground To me, this is the
actions of people who do not want the country to be stable and want to
put off tourists from coming here.'

Abdullah
el-Said, a 43-year-old driver in Port Said, said: 'All that happened is
not for the sake of a game. It's political. It was orchestrated by the
military council to target the Ultras.

'The military council wanted to crush the ultras because they sided with protesters ever since the revolution began.'

Violent scenes: Chaos flared in the Mediterranean city of Port Said last night after local team Al-Masry beat Cairo's Al-Ahly - the country's most successful club - 3-1

Violent scenes: Chaos flared in the Mediterranean city of Port Said last night after local team Al-Masry beat Cairo's Al-Ahly – the country's most successful club – 3-1

Children were seen among the crowds at the stadium of Port Said as violence broke out

Television pictures showed fans swarming over the pitch after a match in the Egyptian city of Port Said

Snapshot: Even children were seen among the crowds at the stadium of Port Said as violence broke out, with many people filming the scenes on their mobile phones

Reaction: Egypt's state prosecutor ordered an immediate investigation into the violence, and the Egypt Football Association ordered an indefinite suspension of the annual championship

Reaction: Egypt's state prosecutor ordered an immediate investigation into the violence, and the Egypt Football Association ordered an indefinite suspension of the annual championship

Most of the victims are believed to have died from suffocation or head injuries, with some cornered in the stadium as parts of it were set on fire

Egyptian police clash with fans after a football match between Al-Ahly and Al-Masry teams in Port Said

Battered: The violence was caught on camera as chaos erupted across the stadium following the match

Toll: At least 74 people have been confirmed dead and 1,000 injured following the riot

Toll: At least 74 people have been confirmed dead and 1,000 injured following the riot

Farouk Ibrahim added: 'Unknown groups came between the fans and they were the ones that started the chaos.

'I
was at the match and I saw that the group that did this is not from
Port Said. They were thugs, like the thugs the National Democratic Party
used in elections.'

He was referring to Mubarak's former NDC party and the polls that were routinely rigged in its favour.

And
Al-Masry manager Kamal Abu Ali also referred to the speculation, as he
announced he was resigning and said: 'This is not about soccer. This is
bigger than that. This is a plot to topple the state.'

The Muslim Brotherhood, the most
powerful party in Egypt’s parliament, also blamed supporters of the
deposed Mubarak regime for promoting violence at the match as a way to
bring back chaos to Egypt.

Brutal: Fires were set throughout the Port Said Stadium as terrified fans fled for their lives

Brutal: Fires were set throughout the Port Said Stadium as terrified fans fled for their lives

Flames

Flames

Burns: Anger is now rising amongst politicians that more was not done to stop the violence

Captured: Cameras showed fire breaking out in a stand at the Port Said stadium as fans battled each other on the terraces

Captured: Cameras showed fire breaking out in a stand at the Port Said stadium as fans battled each other on the terraces

It blamed an 'invisible' hand for causing the violence and said the authorities were negligent. It
said: 'We fear that some officers are punishing the people for their
revolution and for depriving them of their ability to act as tyrants and
restricting their privileges.'

Anger
is now rising amongst politicians about the lack of security at the
match, with many accusing the military regime that took over from
Mubarak of allowing, or even causing, the fighting.

Mahmoud
el-Naggar, 30, a laboratory technician and member of the Coalition of
the Revolutionary Youth in Port Said, said: 'The military council wants
to prove that the country is heading towards chaos and destruction.

Packed onboard: Hundreds of Al-Ahly fans were greeted by friends and family on their return into Cairo station after the riot last night

Packed onboard: Hundreds of Al-Ahly fans were greeted by friends and family on their return into Cairo station after the riot last night

An Al-Ahly fan with head injuries is carried along the tracks at Ramses Station

An Al-Ahly fan with head injuries is carried along the tracks at Ramses Station

Walking wounded: Al-Ahly fans were welcomed at Cairo's Ramses Station

Standing room only: Anxious Egyptians crowded Cairo's train station and the ambulances surrounding it to see if their friends and family would return home

Standing room only: Anxious Egyptians crowded Cairo's train station and the ambulances surrounding it to see if their friends and family would return home

'They are Mubarak's men. They are applying his strategy when he said 'choose me or choose chaos.'

Anger
quickly spread across Egypt as thousands gathered at Cairo's main train
station to chant 'Down with military rule' as the injured fans
returned.

They shouted,
as covered bodies were unloaded from trains: 'The people want the
execution of the field marshal. We will secure their rights, or die like
them.'

Victim: The brother of a football fan killed in the clashes sat today reading the Koran next to his body at a mosque

Victim: The brother of a football fan killed in the clashes sat today reading the Koran next to his body at a Port Said mosque

Egyptian soldiers wheel a wounded football fan of Al-Ahly upon his arrival in Cairo aboard a military plane today

Egyptian soldiers wheel a wounded football fan of Al-Ahly upon his arrival in Cairo aboard a military plane today

Back home: Egyptian soldiers wheeled wounded Al-Ahly football fans today after their arrival in Cairo aboard a military plane

Spattered: Blood remains on a chair at the Port Said Stadium the day after violent clashes

Spattered: Blood remains on a chair at the Port Said Stadium the day after violent clashes

Hundreds of protesters also gathered outside the state television building and marches across the capital are planned for later today. Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, 76, who heads the ruling military council, took an unusual step of speaking by telephone to a television channel, the sport broadcaster owned by Al Ahly, and vowed to track down the culprits. The army announced three days of national mourning.

'I deeply regret what happened at the football match in Port Said. I offer my condolences to the victims' families,' Tantawi said. He said a fact-finding committee would be set up and pledged that the army's plan to hand over power to civilians would not be derailed. The army has promised to go back to barracks by the end of June after a presidential election.

He added: 'Egypt will be stable. We have a roadmap to transfer power to elected civilians. If anyone is plotting instability in Egypt they will not succeed.' But his comments have done little to
assuage the anger of fans, who, like many Egyptians, are furious that
Egypt is still plagued by lawlessness and frequent bouts of deadly
violence almost a year after Mubarak was driven out and replaced by an
army council.

Parliament will hold an emergency session later today to discuss the violence. Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim said 47 people were arrested. Egypt's football federation said it was indefinitely delaying matches for the Egyptian premier league. And the Al Ahly club said it was suspending all sports activities and holding three days of mourning.

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MPs to look at racism in sport as Nuneaton ban players

MPs to probe racism: Inquiry confirmed on back of Suarez case as Nuneaton ban players

Football is reeling from yet another race row as a Parliamentary inquiry into the subject was announced.

At the same time Roberto Mancini told Liverpool they should have apologised as soon as Luis Suarez was found guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra.

Non-League Nuneaton, of the Blue Square Bet North, suspended two players and terminated the contract of a third after the Birmingham County FA charged the trio with making racist comments to opposing players during a Youth Cup tie in September.

High profile: Liverpool striker Luis Suarez (left) was found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra and landed fine and an eight-game suspension

High profile: Liverpool striker Luis Suarez (left) was found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra and landed fine and an eight-game suspension

And the fall-out from the Suarez
affair continued with the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee
deciding to investigate racism in sport.

Senior Liverpool figures, possibly
including manager Kenny Dalglish, will be summoned to give evidence on
March 6, and Suarez and Evra could also be asked to appear.

Nuneaton promised that they would
terminate the contracts of George Washbourne and Lewis Edwards if they
are found guilty of making racist comments to opponents from Chasetown.

Striker Conor Baker, 18, has already had his contract torn up.

Hurt: Oldham youngster Tom Adeyemi was the victim of alleged racist abuse during his side's FA Cup defeat at Liverpool last Friday night

Hurt: Oldham youngster Tom Adeyemi was the victim of alleged racist abuse during his side's FA Cup defeat at Liverpool last Friday night

Liverpool play at Manchester City in
their Carling Cup semi-final first leg but Suarez, who is serving an
eight-match ban for racially abusing Evra, continued to be the talking
point.

City manager Mancini criticised
Liverpool’s approach to the Suarez affair, saying: ‘Sometimes it can
happen on the pitch, a situation like this, but it is important to
apologise for what you did.

‘Sometimes on the pitch you can do something you don’t want to do, because you are nervous and you don’t think.

‘I don’t think Suarez is a racist. I
think he made a mistake. It is important to say, “I am sorry, I made a
mistake, I apologise for this”, and accept the charge.’

Court: John Terry (2nd left) has been charged with racially abusing Anton Ferdinand (left)

Court: John Terry (2nd left) has been charged with racially abusing Anton Ferdinand (left)

Suarez has now apologised for what he
said, although the Uruguayan has not said sorry to Manchester United
defender Evra by name. Liverpool have decided not to appeal the player’s
ban.

Asked if it was a mistake for
Liverpool players to wear T-shirts in support of Suarez when they warmed
up before the goalless draw at Wigan on December 21, Mancini said:
‘Maybe, yes.’

Without Suarez, Dalglish is expected to select Andy Carroll and former City player Craig Bellamy up front tonight.

Mancini has some sympathy with
Suarez, revealing he was on the receiving end of verbal abuse — and gave
it out — during a 20-year playing career in Italy.

He added: ‘I didn’t cry about this
because I have my opinion that on the pitch everything can happen
because you don’t think, you are tired, you are stupid, you are young,
for many reasons. I said some things but not racist words.’f the last
two weeks have reignited concerns about racism in the game.