Tag Archives: passport

Everton"s Thomas Hitzlsperger wanted by Eintracht Frankfurt

Toffees could come unstuck in battle to keep Hitzlsperger as Eintracht Frankfurt line up bid

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UPDATED:

23:20 GMT, 31 December 2012

Eintracht Frankfurt want Everton midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger.

The 30-year-old Germany international is out of contract this month as he only signed a short-term deal after joining as a free agent.

Everton manager David Moyes is contemplating giving him a fresh contract after his performances in recent weeks but his resources are limited.

Blue is his colour: Thomas Hitzlsperger has impressed in his brief Everton spell

Blue is his colour: Thomas Hitzlsperger has impressed in his brief Everton spell

That could change if Galatasaray firm up interest in defender John Heitinga with a bid. The 29-year-old is keen to leave and Gala and Fenerbahce who – are also showing interest in West Brom defender Jonas Olsson – have been monitoring his situation since the summer.

His agent Rob Jansen last week said: 'Heitinga is definitely not happy with what it happening at Everton and we don't hide that. He is looking at a solution. When an appropriate situation arises for a transfer, we will certainly not ignore it.'

Meanwhile, Everton scouts have watched 22-year-old Moreirense striker Nabil Ghilas. The Algerian has a French passport and has scored seven goals in 12 games this season.

Aston Villa, Newcastle Swansea, Bolton and Norwich watch Cluj"s Modou Sougou

Villa, Newcastle and Norwich chase Cluj's Senegal winger Sougou

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UPDATED:

22:39 GMT, 4 December 2012

Aston Villa, Newcastle and Norwich will have FC Cluj winger Modou Sougou watched at Manchester United on Wedneday night.

Sougou, 27, impressed against United in October and caught the eye again, scoring against Galatasaray last month.

Swansea and Bolton are also among a clutch of clubs watching the Senegal international, who is available for around 2million and wants to leave Romania in January.

Catching the eye: Modou Sougou is wanted by a number of Premier League clubs

Catching the eye: Modou Sougou is wanted by a number of Premier League clubs

Sougou has a Portuguese passport which will enable him to pick up a work permit should a move to a Barclays Premier League club be forthcoming.

Newcastle have also made an enquiry for Atletico Mineiro right back Marcos Rocha, 23, in case they fail to prise Mathieu Debuchy from Lille.

Watford and Charlton are to give a trial to Togo forward Thomas Dossevi, 33. The former Swindon striker has been playing in Thailand.

Tottenham and Chelsea target Mauro Icardi

Tottenham and Chelsea tracking Sampdoria's 19-year-old striker Icardi

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UPDATED:

22:55 GMT, 23 November 2012

Tottenham are tracking Sampdoria striker Mauro Icardi. Club scouts have watched the 19-year-old on three occasions, including when he scored in the 3-1 derby win over Genoa.

Argentina-born Icardi joined Sampdoria last year from Barcelona after scoring 13 goals in 19 games during a loan spell.

Wanted man: Icardi is being tracked by Spurs and Chelsea

Wanted man: Icardi is being tracked by Spurs and Chelsea

He has an Italian passport and would cost 2m. Chelsea have also watched him.

Meanwhile, Fulham are the latest club to show interest in Arsenal’s Andrey Arshavin, 31, who is also wanted by Reading and Zenit St Petersburg.

Magic number: Icardi scored in the recent victory over Genoa

Magic number: Icardi scored in the recent victory over Genoa

Will Fernando Torres play for Chelsea v Juventus?

50m dilemma for Di Matteo: Can Chelsea's boss afford to stick with misfit Torres

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UPDATED:

23:19 GMT, 19 November 2012

As Roberto Di Matteo made his way through passport control here yesterday, his eyes caught a word on the front cover of the book Fernando Torres was reading.

It didn’t take long for Chelsea’s manager to twig that leyenda is Spanish for legend — but he must wonder whether the 50million misfit can ever live up to that name after scoring only 18 goals in 86 appearances.

Torres’s form in front of goal is just one of a myriad reasons Di Matteo is under the cosh in chilly Turin tonight as they take on Serie A leaders Juventus in a match neither club can afford to lose.

Chelsea's Fernando Torres

Chelsea's Fernando Torres

Dilemma: Fernando Torres has failed to shine for Chelsea so far this season

Just six months after lifting the European Cup in Munich, it is all unravelling so quickly for Di Matteo, with Chelsea in crisis mode after losing their grip on the Barclays Premier League and starting to feel the pressure in Europe.

And one of his biggest quandaries is that Torres doesn’t look fussed either way. The Spain striker is a fading star in European football after losing his appetite for a game he once had licked.

His abysmal performance at West Bromwich on Saturday, when he was dragged off after 62 minutes and replaced by Juan Mata, was depressing and predictable. Torres has scored only once in the Champions League this season, a ricochet that rebounded into the net off Shakhtar Donetsk’s goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov at Stamford Bridge.

Di Matteo said: ‘I’ve always said we have two strikers in our team: Fernando Torres and Daniel Sturridge. They’re both fit and I will make a decision on one of them.’

Chance: Daniel Sturridge may be preferred to Torres as Chelsea take on Juventus

Chance: Daniel Sturridge may be preferred to Torres as Chelsea take on Juventus

Defeat at The Hawthorns deepened Roman Abramovich’s dissatisfaction with the rhythm of the team as they plunged into their traditional November dip in form.

Juve, by contrast, are in good nick, four points clear of Inter at the top of Serie A and eager to get their hands on the European champions tonight.

They seem to have little to fear from a Chelsea side who lost 2-1 at West Bromwich, sparking confrontations between some players in the dressing room. ‘It’s not the first time for the players (to raise their voices),’ claimed Di Matteo. ‘We demand a lot of ourselves and we expect a lot of ourselves. We were very disappointed and frustrated, but sometimes it’s good for the team.

‘Now we all want to see a reaction and we certainly need a big performance against Juve. We have proved many times that we can do it.’

That they certainly have and Di Matteo will be wise to call on the spirit that transformed last season after Andre Villas-Boas was sacked on March 4.

Eye on you: Roberto Di Matteo watches Torres

Eye on you: Roberto Di Matteo watches Torres

Tonight they will come up against an unfamiliar system, a team who play three at the back and flood the centre of midfield with the wise heads of Andrea Pirlo, Claudio Marchisio and Arturo Vidal.

Everything is based around the creativity of Pirlo but Juve are an organised team who shoot on sight. They fire in from long range, pinching the ball off the opposition and relying on the striking instincts of Fabio Quagliarella and Mirko Vucinic to feed off the scraps.

Marchisio created both goals during Juve’s thrilling comeback at Stamford Bridge in September and they will use any opportunity to test the nerves that are beginning to creep into the central defensive pairing of Gary Cahill and David Luiz.

Di Matteo said: ‘Whoever plays will certainly have to control Pirlo because he does give their team a lot of quality and dictates the tempo of the team. He has great distribution and we will have to keep an eye on him. We need to be more focused and pay more attention when we defend against certain situations.

‘I’ve watched the first game against Juve again and although we made a couple of mistakes, we played well against them at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea are second in Group E, but Conte’s team will swap places with them if they can secure victory inside their fabulous 41,000-seat facility that was built last year on the site of the old Stadio delle Alpi.

To prevent that, Chelsea must rely on the constitution of a team that won the European Cup, turning to Cech, Cahill, Luiz, Ashley Cole and John Mikel Obi to get them out of a spot of bother.

Di Matteo added: ‘We have plenty of players who can be leaders on the pitch and everyone will have to show that in a game like this. Cech is there, but we have Ivanovic and Mikel, who have been playing for many years now — and Mata as well.

‘Nobody wants to be the first holders to be knocked out of the group stage.’

If they are, Di Matteo’s place in Chelsea folklore will be under threat.

Arsene Wenger hails new generation of young British players

Wenger hails new generation of young British players coming through at Arsenal

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UPDATED:

23:25 GMT, 25 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Arsene Wenger feels the likes of England duo Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Wales captain Aaron Ramsey can provide a 'British core' around which to build Arsenal's next generation.

Having seen captain Robin van Persie and midfielder Alex Song leave Emirates Stadium in recent weeks, the Arsenal manager admits it has left him having to 'start again' in moulding a squad capable of challenging for the top honours once more.

Wenger, though, feels now having so many young players who have been schooled domestically can make a big difference.

Top talent: Arsenal and England left-back Kieran Gibbs

Top talent: Arsenal and England left-back Kieran Gibbs

'Before we had young players like [Cesc] Fabregas and [Samir] Nasri. Now for the first time we have some good young British players in the group – [Kieran] Gibbs, [Aaron] Ramsey, Wilshere, [Carl] Jenkinson, Chamberlain.

'This time we have an English core, a British core of players of similar qualities which we want to build on.'

Wenger was once berated for a lack of home-grown talent in his Arsenal squad.

The Gunners manager maintains while he still always looks at ability rather than a passport, the fact the domestic Academy system has started to bear fruit is a positive development.

'We are still only focused on quality, but for the first time England produces so much quality,' he said.

Dragon: Wales captain Aaron Ramsey

Dragon: Wales captain Aaron Ramsey

'It is not that I have changed. For me the quality is the most important thing.

'My dream was always to produce 60 per cent English and 40 per cent foreign young players.'

Wilshere is currently battling back towards full fitness after missing the whole of last season because of an ankle injury.

The 21-year-old has been handed Van Persie's old No 10 shirt as a sign of the faith Wenger has in him.

The Gunners boss believes the bond the England midfielder now has with the club he has been with since the age of nine will offset the likelihood of being lured elsewhere in the future.

'It is certainly easier to keep Wilshere at Arsenal than Fabregas when he has an offer from Barcelona. That is for sure,' said Wenger.

Chance: Carl Jenkinson has been playing with Bacary Sagna out injured

Chance: Carl Jenkinson has been playing with Bacary Sagna out injured

'It will be a little bit easier because it means more to them.'

Arsenal head to Stoke on Sunday looking to put the frustrations of last weekend's goalless draw against Sunderland behind them.

Wenger believes it will be a good test of how adaptable new signings German striker Lukas Podolski, France forward Olivier Giroud and Spain midfielder Santi Cazorla, who had an excellent debut, can be.

'It will give them a good image,' quipped the Arsenal manager. 'Usually they are quite well informed when they travel there. We will focus on playing our game, we do not make too much of it.

'The rules are the rules and the referee is the referee and we just have to play our game and Stoke will play their game.'

Wenger knows Arsenal must make a solid start, which did not happen last season, if they are to keep pace with the leaders.

Impressive: Cazorla caught the eye on debut

Impressive: Cazorla caught the eye on debut

While the Gunners boss admits just targeting Champions League qualification is 'not enough', he also remains realistic.

'We want to win the championship, of course, but it [Champions League] is a basic target,' he said.

'If you don't finish in the top four what would we face here [in the media]'

Wenger, though, knows it will be a tall order for his young side to mount a sustained title challenge.

'At the moment Manchester City and Manchester United have a bigger financial potential, so they have of course more credit at the start,' he said.

'In England it's special because Chelsea won the Champions League, but they finished sixth, so the competition you face is very hard.'

Chelsea line-up 12m bid for Taison

Chelsea plotting 12m bid for Brazilian forward Taison if Hulk deal fails

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UPDATED:

11:56 GMT, 22 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Chelsea could make a shock move for Metalist Kharkiv’s Brazilian forward Taison.

The 24-year-old is seen as a 12million alternative to Hulk and Edinson Cavani if they prove to be beyond the Londoners’ reach.

The creative force behind Metalist’s rise in Ukraine can play just behind the main striker or on the flank and had been compared to Shakhtar Donetsk forward Willian by scouts.

Wanted: Taison has emerged as a target for big-spending Chelsea

Wanted: Taison has emerged as a target for big-spending Chelsea

Taison was surprisingly left out of his club’s match at the weekend, with sources claiming he was given leave to return to Brazil to explore visa and passport options ahead of a possible move to Stamford Bridge. The former Internacional player finds himself caught up in a chain of deals.

Coincidentally, Porto are interested in him in case they lose their Brazil striker Hulk to Chelsea.

And Shakhtar have him top of their list to replace Willian if he completes a move to Tottenham, having seen his own transfer to Chelsea fall through.

Options: Porto striker Hulk (right) remains on Chelsea's radar

Options: Porto striker Hulk (right) remains on Chelsea's radar

Blues boss Roberto Di Matteo is keen to further add to the forward line before the transfer window closes.

Meanwhile, Cesar Azpilicueta is on the verge of clinching his move to Chelsea. The 22-year-old Spain right back has not been included in Marseille’s squad to face Moldova’s Sheriff Tiraspol in the Europa League on Thursday.

London 2012 Olympics: Lisa Dobriskey accuses 1500m rivals of cheating

Dobriskey hints at cheating by rivals in 1500m final after she finishes outside the medals

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UPDATED:

23:37 GMT, 10 August 2012

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Lisa Dobriskey appears to have accused the women who beat her in the 1500 metres at the Olympic Games of cheating.

‘I’ll probably get into trouble for saying this but I don’t believe I’m competing on a level playing field,’ said Dobriskey, the 2009 world silver medallist, on Radio 5 Live.

‘Of course I am uncomfortable about it. I am not pointing the finger at particular individuals, but that is how I feel. I think the blood passport is catching people but I think these Games came too soon. People will be caught eventually, I think. Fingers crossed anyway.’

Hitting out: Lisa Dobriskey made the accusations after the 1500m final

Hitting out: Lisa Dobriskey made the accusations after the 1500m final

Her moan is similar to the complaints Kelly Holmes and Paula Radcliffe have made in past years. Six Russian middle-distance runners were banned from these Games only two weeks before they began.

Dobriskey may be right but it is certain she will be asked to explain herself and apologise even though the suspicion has been around for years. The world record for 1500m dates back to 1993 when the Chinese Qu Yunxia set it at 3min 50.46sec. No woman has run under 3:55 this century.

The occasion she chose to point the finger, though was bizarre. It was the slowest Olympic 1500m final in history, more than five seconds slower than the next slowest.
For the Turk Cakir Alptekin to win in 4:10.23 was to earn the cheapest gold of the Games. She ran five seconds faster in the semi-final.

The only drug that it seemed likely had been taken by any of these runners was a sedative. They put the 80,000 crowd to sleep with their pedestrian best.

In the hunt: Dobriskey managed to stick with the leading pack for the majority of the race

In the hunt: Dobriskey managed to stick with the leading pack for the majority of the race

It is hard to blame Dobriskey for not beating Alptekin, even though her career best is almost 11 seconds faster. Her pre-Olympic preparations have been one disaster after another — she got off to a false start last October when she needed surgery on her hip. In early March a vertical line stress fracture in her femur was discovered.

‘At that point we were panicking a bit,’ she admitted. Then in late May she was finding every training session hard to complete, and a hospital examination discovered a pulmonary embolism, blood clots on her lung. She could not run for more than five minutes at a time.

‘At the start of this year, before everything happened, I genuinely felt I had a chance of winning a medal in London and I just want to be the best I possibly can be,’ she said. Coming 10th in 4:13.02 is a long way from that.

Getting there first: Asli Cakir Alptekin of Turkey crosses the line to win gold ahead of silver medalist Gamze Bulut

Getting there first: Asli Cakir Alptekin of Turkey crosses the line to win gold ahead of silver medalist Gamze Bulut

Head coach Charles van Commenee cannot now reach the target of eight medals that he said would keep him in the job even if Mo Farah and the women’s 4x400m relay team win medals today.

The eighth day of athletics produced nothing to add to Great Britain’s five already won. Sophie Hitchon could not repeat her British record in the hammer that won her qualification for GB’s first ever final in the event. She finished last of the finalists in 12th with 69.33m, two metres down on qualifying.

Pole vaulter Steve Lewis cleared his opening height at 5.50m at the second attempt, skipped 5.65 and again managed 5.75 with his second effort.

He was one of six who managed it, and placed equal fourth at that time. But after failing at 5.85, which would have been a British record, he finished fifth equal in a competition won with an Olympic record of 5.97, by France’s Renaud Lavillenie.

In the medals: Third placed Maryam Yusuf Jamal of Bahrain celebrates with winner Asli Cakir Alptekin and second Gamze Bulut both of Turkey

In the medals: Third placed Maryam Yusuf Jamal of Bahrain celebrates with winner Asli Cakir Alptekin and second Gamze Bulut both of Turkey

The 5,000m offered little hope to the Britons who had qualified for the final, Jo Pavey and Julia Bleasdale. Their consolation in a slow race was to finish first of the non-Africans, Pavey seventh and Bleasdale eighth, the best of the Europeans.

Pavey led for a while but not after defending Olympic champion Tirunesh Dibaba injected pace with four laps left. Ultimately though, her hope of retaining her title disappeared in a last lap burn-up won by her team-mate Meseret Defar ahdead of Kenyan Vivian Cheruiyot. Dibaba was third.

Defar had won gold in Athens and bronze in Beijing. ‘I’m not sure I can do a fourth, so this means a lot to me,’ she said.

London 2012 Olympics: Athletics: Yamile Aldama ready for gold

Aldama ready to silence 'plastic Brit' critics with triple jump final triumph

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UPDATED:

22:20 GMT, 4 August 2012

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Yamile Aldama is not the sort to give herself a label, but if she did it would not be 'Plastic Brit'. The veteran triple jumper might define herself foremost as a mother, then an athlete, perhaps a Londoner, then British and from Cuba.

Aldama's is an extraordinary story and, at 7.35pm this evening in the Olympic Stadium, her dreams of writing another chapter will unfold.

On Friday, with the only jump she needed in qualifying, she recorded a leap of 14.15metres, which was bettered only by Jamaica's Kimberley Williams.

Hopeful: Yamile Aldama could take gold for Team GB in the triple jump

Hopeful: Yamile Aldama could take gold for Team GB in the triple jump

A place on the podium is a realistic aim on Sunday; a golden finish not out of the question. It is not just Aldama's age (40 next month) or longevity (this is her fourth Olympic Games since 1996) that make her remarkable.

She became Britain's oldest athletics debutante last year, at the world championships in Daegu – just a year and a day after having her second child. She finally got a British passport last year, more than 10 years after arriving here in 2001.

That, according to some, made her a 'Plastic Brit', seeking a new nationality to compete for the host nation at London 2012.

Preparation: Aldama trained in the Great Britain camp in Monte Gordo, Portugal

Preparation: Aldama trained in the Great Britain camp in Monte Gordo, Portugal

But the tag ignores her story. In 2001 she married a Briton, Andrew Dodds, and moved with him to London. Cuba makes sporting outcasts of those who reside elsewhere and she wanted to represent Britain.

A three-year wait was needed for a passport and Aldama hoped the process might get her to Athens in 2004. But unknown to her, Dodds had been a cog in a drugsmuggling ring before he met her and he was jailed.

She feels her husband's conviction played a part in her not getting a passport early. Thinking 2004 would be her last Games, she accepted an offer to represent Sudan. Then came the UK passport. 'I've waited a long time for this,' she said of the Olympic final.

Frankie Fredericks on Plastic Brit debate

EXCLUSIVE: Change the laws! Sprint king Fredericks wades in on Plastic Brits debate

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UPDATED:

23:49 GMT, 16 July 2012

Sprint legend Frankie Fredericks has added his voice to the ‘Plastic Brits’ dispute by questioning why any athlete would want to represent a country in which they have never lived.

The four-time Olympic silver medallist said he could understand why some competitors switched allegiance given a change to their circumstances, but would not defend those who had ‘only taken nationality out of convenience’.

He believes the practice should be stopped as it risks a supposed ‘home’ athlete receiving a lukewarm response from 90,000 spectators in an Olympic stadium.

Sprint king: Fredericks is now an IOC committee member

Sprint king: Fredericks is now an IOC committee member

Fredericks, 44, also told of how proud he had been to win Namibia’s first Olympic medals by finishing second in both the 100m and 200m at Barcelona 1992. He is now an IOC committee member, tasked with representing the interests of athletes.

Speaking to Sportsmail during the IOC’s visit to London to inspect Games progress, Fredericks drew a distinction between Yamile Aldama, the triple jumper who competed for Cuba and Sudan before switching to Britain, and Tiffany Porter, the former US sprinter who swapped to Britain in 2010.

Aldama has lived in Britain for 11 years after marrying her Scottish husband Andrew Dodds. Porter, meanwhile, has never resided in the country despite possessing a British passport since birth. She qualifies for citizenship through her mother.

‘An athlete’s circumstances obviously change over the life of their careers,’ Fredericks said. ‘If I take Aldama, and look at where she’s come from, she’s lived here for many years, she feels like she’s from here.

‘If you’ve lived in the country for seven, eight years then I would put a claim to the athlete to say their circumstances are genuine, the athletes deserve to take nationality.

Opportunist Porter has never lived in the UK

Opportunist Porter has never lived in the UK

‘What I don’t agree with is that people go and buy athletes to compete for their countries. But if it’s genuine circumstances that athletes have changed their nationality because they live in the country, they were born there or their parents live there then I have no problem.

‘The other athletes – it depends on the circumstances. If you don’t live in a country I just don’t understand how you could get nationality. I will not agree on that one. If you do not live in the country, you have no ties to the country.’

Asked directly about Porter who, like US-born runners Shana Cox and Michael Bingham, has been dogged by accusations of opportunism in her national selection, Fredericks responded: ‘I think you have to do something with your laws in the country to make sure that someone like that cannot get the nationality.

‘If you win a medal, the people in the country will not feel like it’s their medal. You don’t want this situation. You don’t want 90,000 people to come and watch and they don’t care about you as an athlete. It’s not a nice feeling. You will not feel welcome.’

Fredericks conceded the IOC were powerless to bar athletes from transferring allegiances, though, as long as the nations in question had granted passports.

Lets be Frank: Fredericks spoke candidly to Sportsmail

Let's be Frank: Fredericks spoke candidly to Sportsmail

‘The IOC is not bigger than the laws of a country,’ he said. ‘Once we have the proof that a person has a British passport and has been accepted as being British according to their laws, then we cannot stop the athlete and I will not allow that the IOC stop them.

‘Being the spokesperson of the athletes, I have to ensure that they get their fair share. But, for me, I feel bad if I have to defend an athlete who I know only took that nationality because of convenience. It’s something that I will not be happy about.’

Addressing the issue of Shara Proctor, the Anguillan long jumper who will compete for Britain because her native country does not have its own National Olympic Committee, Fredericks said there are no plans to change rules regarding such overseas territories. He reinforced the view that only sovereign countries can take part in the Olympics.

Frankie Fredericks is Mizuno’s Global Ambassador for 2012 and is figure heading the brand’s campaign – Mizuno Seiei Moments. This exciting campaign showcases the synergy between Mizuno product and athlete in making famous sporting moments possible. Visit www.facebook.com/mizunorunning for more information on Mizuno Seiei Moments.

London 2012: Yamile Aldama – I wouldn"t have been a Plastic Brit if I"d come here to sweep streets

Yamile Aldama: I wouldn't have been a Plastic Brit if I'd come here to sweep streets

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UPDATED:

20:08 GMT, 14 July 2012

Up for it: Yamile Aldama

Up for it: Yamile Aldama

Yamile Aldama, just 16 days away from
stepping on to the Olympic triple-jump runway, admits that the injustice
of the 'Plastic Brit' taunts she has endured still hurts.

'If I'd come here and said I wanted
to sweep the streets, then they would have been happy for me to do that,
but they aren't happy to let me compete That's sad,' she said.

The Cuban-born triple jumper competed
for Sudan at the 2004 Olympics while her British husband was serving a
15-year prison sentence for a drugsmuggling offence. But, as she
explained last week, she felt she had no choice.

'I had to compete for Sudan because I couldn't get a British passport,'
she said. 'I was on my own with a seven-month-old baby. I was in a new
country, where I didn't have any money or family. I didn't want to rely
on other people, so I had to compete to survive.'

Eight years on, during which time she has lived in London and supported
herself, a British passport has finally arrived, followed by British
Olympic selection. She is not bitter, just puzzled at the scorn she has
received.

'I was obeying all the rules,' she said. 'I will have been here for 12 years in November. My children grew up here. I didn't fast-track anything. When I applied for my citizenship, I didn't know the Olympics would be here. It was two years before they were even awarded!'

In March she became world indoor champion and, having recovered from a shoulder injury, she goes into the London Olympics 'ready, prepared and focused'.

It was not the case at her first Olympics in Atlanta, in 1996. She failed to make the final then but believes it will be different this time, as she heads to Portugal to work 'in a bubble' to ensure her final preparations are not distracted, even if it means being separated from her young family.