Tag Archives: seriousness

Mario Balotelli won"t leave Manchester City – Roberto Mancini

Mario's going nowhere, the Sheikh loves him too much, insists City boss Mancini

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UPDATED:

10:47 GMT, 31 December 2012

Roberto Mancini insists Mario Balotelli will not be sold by Manchester City – and claims owner Sheikh Mansour loves the Italian firebrand.

The controversial striker has failed to impress for the Premier League champions this season – scoring just one league goal- and continues to be dogged by disciplinary problems.

But Mancini remains defiant in his support of Balotelli – but has warned him to clean up his act.

Joker of the pack: Mario Balotelli (centre) has disappointed this season

Joker of the pack: Mario Balotelli (centre) has disappointed this season

'I think Mario will stay but the future depends mostly on him,' he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

'Sheikh Mansour likes Balotelli because he recognises the talent and he exports the name of the City over the world.

'We need to consider that Mario was made as a major investment, and this is not a club that throws its capital through the window.'

Controversy: Balotelli stormed off after being replaced against Sunderland

Controversy: Balotelli stormed off after being replaced against Sunderland

Mancini admitted he has taken the 22-year-old to task in light of his performances on and off the field.

'The relationship between me and him is always good, even if one day he does something,' he added.

'I love him because for many years we live together. I've seen him grow. But the professional relationship is another thing and I've told Mario what I need from him.

Colourful: Italian Balotelli continues to make headlines off the pitch

Colourful: Italian Balotelli continues to make headlines off the pitch

'The time of cheap talk is over. Balotelli is 22 years old and now it's time to be professional. I ask from him seriousness and commitment in training, a more stable private life and correct behaviour on the pitch.

'[Roma forward Francesco] Totti is Mario's best example. If Francesco is able to have this continuity of performance at the highest level at the age of 36 years, it's because he has behaved as a professional.

'Mario now has returned to training and could be on the bench against Stoke. Otherwise, he could play against Watford in the FA Cup on January 5.'

David De Gea and Javier Hernandez in Manchester United penalty contest

No wonder Man United struggle to score from the spot! De Gea and Hernandez practice backheel penalties

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UPDATED:

15:08 GMT, 11 December 2012

Manchester United have been hit and miss from the penalty spot this season but it seems there is more to the
Premier League leaders struggles from 12 yards than just bad luck.

Sir Alex Ferguson may be the most
experienced manager at the top of the game right now but his penalty
taking training sessions could do with a bit of tinkering judging by
this video of David De Gea and Javier Hernandez practicing spot-kicks.

Cheeky: Hernandez takes on De Gea in back heel penalty challenge

Cheeky: Hernandez takes on De Gea in back heel penalty challenge

The duo took six back heel penalties between them and failed to score any, which is a record only slightly worse than the Red Devils this season.

In all seriousness the footage, that emerged back in July, is typical of a scene at any Premier League club during pre-season as players return from their summer break.

Watch the video…

And in fairness to Hernandez, he is very unlucky not to score all three of his strikes with all three efforts coming back off the post – two of them leaving De Gea helpless.

As for the Spanish goalkeeper, his first 'little pea' roller was so poor that Chicharito nearly dived past it trying to save it. But unlike the Mexican at least the goalkeeper managed to hit the target every time – Wayne Rooney take note.

Frankie Dettori given temporary suspension after failed drug test

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

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UPDATED:

18:30 GMT, 21 November 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

David Price vows to put on a show against Audley Harrison at Anfield

Moment of truth for Harrison as Price vows to put on a show in heavyweight clash

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UPDATED:

18:51 GMT, 12 October 2012

The man cruelly dubbed Fraudley
confesses now that he has been ‘living a lie’ through many of the 12
professional years which have followed his winning of Olympic gold for
Britain.

Now comes the moment of truth. Not the first in Audley Harrison’s career but probably the last.

Face to face: David Price and Audley Harrison at Anfield

Face to face: David Price and Audley Harrison at Anfield

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Confident: Price at the weigh in

There is no boxing logic to support such
optimism. Only the outside chance that he might, by some miracle, land
his big punch before Price connects with one of his mighty knockout
blows.

Even that long shot is rendered a distant prospect by the seriousness
with which Price is dignifying Harrison’s challenge for his British and
Commonwealth heavyweight titles.

As he approaches the 14th bout of his unbeaten but late-starting
professional career, this courteous younger man says: ‘Audley has had
his ups and downs but he will be the most dangerous opponent I have
faced.’

That assessment depends upon Harrison summoning up more conviction than
he displayed in what he concedes was a less than courageous
performance against Haye two years ago.

Price expects him to do so, in the knowledge that Harrison can find a
good measure of redemption even in defeat: ‘If he comes out fighting
bravely and plays his part in a thriller he can go out with his head
held high, even if I knock him out.

‘That has to be a big incentive. And I don’t allow myself to forget that
Audley has always had a lot of talent.’ A glimpse of that ability
resurfaced this May when Harrison knocked out Ali Adams, who was found
to have been fortified by steroids and banned for two years.

Relaxed: Harrison shares a joke

Relaxed: Harrison shares a joke

Price presents a much more formidable obstacle. He won Olympic bronze
eight years after Harrison’s gold and his dynamite right hand has
flattened 11 of his 13 professional rivals thus far.

Harrison argues: ‘Yes, I ran from Haye but I will not allow myself to do
that again. I have lived a lie by doing only what I thought was the
minimum required for me to win.

‘This time I will give my all and leave everything I have in the ring. I
know I have to make the best of this last chance to earn one final bid
for a world title.’

Price, however, has not only grown into a more complete boxer but has
shaken off doubts about the resilience of his chin. All while displaying
phenomenal concussive power.

If Harrrison nerves himself to come out — and likely go down — fighting, he can regain his self-respect. I hope he does so.

The reality this evening is that Price should take another giant step
towards a world title fight with Wladimir or Vitali Klitschko next year,
with Harrison heading towards the sunset of retirement in his adopted
California.

Also at Bluewater in Kent another of Britain’s former Olympic gold medallists, James DeGale, gets his career back on track
under new promoter Mick Hennessy by defending his European
super-middleweight title against Hadillah Mohoumadi.

Price v Harrison is live on Box Nation. DeGale-Mohoumadi is live on Channel 5.

Abou Diaby could face Southampton, says Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger

Hip hip hooray! Wenger says injury-prone Diaby could face Southampton after scare

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UPDATED:

11:24 GMT, 12 September 2012

Arsene Wenger has played down the seriousness over Abou Diaby's latest injury, claiming the midfielder could even be fit for Arsenal's Barclays Premier League game against Southampton this weekend.

Diaby, who spent almost the whole of last season on the sidelines, hurt his hip after scoring the winner in France's 1-0 victory in Finland on Friday.

On target: Diaby scored for France on Friday but missed their ensuing match

On target: Diaby scored for France on Friday but missed their ensuing match

The 26-year-old missed his country's win over Belarus on Tuesday as a result, but Gunners boss Wenger told TF1: 'He has slight pain on the hip, on the sartorius muscle.

'It doesn't seem serious at all to me. He even has a small chance to play on Saturday.'

Scare: But Wenger has revealed that Diaby could be fit to face Southampton

Scare: But Wenger has revealed that Diaby could be fit to face Southampton

Diaby has begun the season in fine form and reports in France suggest he will miss Arsenal's game on Saturday game but return in time for Tuesday's opening Champions League clash against Montpellier.

Bolton must stand up and be counted – Nigel Reo-Coker

No more excuses, we must stand up and be counted, cries Bolton's Reo-Coker

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 22 April 2012

Nigel Reo-Coker returns to Villa Park on Tuesday demanding his Bolton team-mates wake up to the nightmare scenario of relegation hanging over the club.

Wanderers did not play like a team desperate to stay in the Barclays Premier League as a draw at home to Swansea was put in perspective by wins elsewhere for fellow strugglers QPR and Blackburn.

Up for the fight: Nigel Reo-Coker has called on his team-mates to perform

Up for the fight: Nigel Reo-Coker has called on his team-mates to perform

‘It’s really time to stand up and be counted, and see the seriousness of it,’ said Reo-Coker. ‘Every game is a cup final. That’s the reality we’re facing.’

Scott Sinclair fired Swansea ahead with a fantastic strike before Chris Eagles converted Martin Petrov’s cross to equalise inside the opening quarter of an hour.

‘You just want your teammates to really step it up now,’ said Reo-Coker. ‘We can’t keep making excuses. This was a game we should have won and the draw feels like a loss.’

Ben Youngs let off lightly after one-week ban

One-week ban lets Youngs off lightly after admitting he struck Gibson with knee

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UPDATED:

22:01 GMT, 2 April 2012

England scrum-half Ben Youngs escaped further punishment on Monday when an RFU disciplinary panel took a lenient view of his clash with Jamie Gibson of London Irish.

The 22-year-old appeared at a hearing in Epsom to answer a charge of striking the back-rower with a knee at the Madejski Stadium nine days ago, as Gibson illegally held him off the ball.

Banned: Ben Youngs has been suspended for a week

Banned: Ben Youngs has been suspended for a week

The Tigers No 9 also appeared to
throw two punches, but he was cited for just one offence and the panel
handed down a one-week ban.

Youngs is available to play again from Thursday as he had already been suspended for a week by his club.

Decision: The RFU decided the case was 'at the low end' of the seriousness scale

Decision: The RFU decided the case was 'at the low end' of the seriousness scale

Explaining the sanction – a third of
the 'tariff' recommended by the IRB for an offence of this kind – RFU
disciplinary officer Judge Jeff Blackett said: 'We decided the offence
was at the low end of seriousness. There were no aggravating features
and on the basis of his good record this was reduced by 50 per cent.
There was a compelling mitigating factor in that the player was being
held down unlawfully.'

The panel dismissed the citing against Harlequins flanker Maurie Fa'asavalu for a dangerous charge on Bath's Tom Heathcote.

Ben Youngs suspended for one week after kneeing Jamie Gibson

Youngs suspended for week after admitting he struck Gibson with knee

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UPDATED:

16:42 GMT, 2 April 2012

Leicester scrum-half Ben Youngs has been suspended for a week by a Rugby Football Union disciplinary hearing after pleading guilty to striking London Irish forward Jamie Gibson with his knee.

Youngs was cited following the incident in Tigers' 41-32 Aviva Premiership win at the Madejski Stadium on March 25, and his club suspended him for one week after an internal hearing.

That saw him miss Friday's win over Worcester, but his RFU ban will run alongside his Leicester suspension, meaning he will be free to play from Thursday and is available for the remainder of the Tigers' title run-in.

Banned: Ben Youngs has been suspended for a week

Banned: Ben Youngs has been suspended for a week

An RFU statement said: 'Ben Youngs of Leicester Tigers was this afternoon suspended for one week after pleading guilty to striking London Irish's Jamie Gibson with his knee, contrary to Law 10(4)(a), during the Aviva Premiership match at the Madejski Stadium on March 25.'

The hearing was chaired by Judge Jeff Blackett, and the RFU's disciplinary chief praised Leicester for their 'responsible' handling of the incident.

The low-end entry point for striking with the knee is a three-week ban, but Blackett revealed that Youngs' good disciplinary record and the mitigating factor that he was being held down by Gibson in the lead-up to the incident had seen his potential suspension reduced.

Blackett said: 'We decided that the offence was at the low end of seriousness, which carries an entry point of three weeks.

Decision: The RFU decided the case was 'at the low end' of the seriousness scale

Decision: The RFU decided the case was 'at the low end' of the seriousness scale

'There were no aggravating features and on the basis of his good record this was reduced by 50%.

'Taking into account RFU Regulation 19.11.13 there was a compelling mitigating factor in that the player was being held down unlawfully for a substantial period and so we reduced the suspension further to one week.

'We would like to thank Leicester for their responsible attitude towards this case.'

A lengthy ban could have put Youngs in danger of missing England's summer tour to South Africa, but he will be available for selection when new full-time head coach Stuart Lancaster chooses his squad to face the Springboks.

More to follow.

Ruby Walsh: My image of the week by Kevin Quigley

Kevin Quigley: My favourite image of the week… top jockey Ruby Walsh

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UPDATED:

08:25 GMT, 30 March 2012

I have been busy on forthcoming features this week rather than live events and I have this shot of jockey Ruby Walsh.

It is just a portrait but I like the seriousness and focus in Ruby's eyes and I think it shows the steely determination required to succeed in the tough world of National Hunt racing.

Nikon d3s
70-200mm
iso 200
f 2.8

Ruby Walsh

Rangers in administration: Club fined 50k or failing to disclose Craig Whyte"s previous disqualification

Rangers fined 50k for failing to disclose Whyte's chequered past

Rangers have been fined 50,000 by the PLUS Stock Exchange for failing to disclose Craig Whyte's previous disqualification as a director when the businessman completed his takeover of the club in May last year.

Whyte was disqualified in 2000 for seven years but Rangers did not announce this until November 30, six weeks after the Insolvency Service had confirmed the fact in a BBC documentary.

Rangers have been issued with the fine and a public censure following an investigation by the stock exchange, who suspended trading in the club's shares last month because of their failure to publish audited accounts.

Cash crisis: Rangers picked up their first win since going into administration

Cash crisis: Rangers picked up their first win since going into administration

A statement from PLUS read: 'The
amount of the regulatory fine has been determined taking into account a
range of factors including, but not limited to, the seriousness of the
rule breach and the circumstances of Rangers FC.'

PLUS revealed Rangers had sought to
challenge their disciplinary ruling on February 14, the day they went
into administration, but administrators Duff and Phelps withdrew the
referral to the disciplinary committee last week.

Failure to pay a fine within 21 business days would usually mean the possibility of PLUS suspending use of their facilities, while failure to pay for a further seven business days could result in permanent exclusion.
Rangers saw their shares suspended from trading on the stock exchange on January 9 after submitting unaudited accounts.

They released their annual financial figures on November 30, but did not get them signed off by an independent auditor as required by exchange rules.

The club have also failed to hold an AGM within the usual timescale and confirmed in a statement to PLUS that they were considering withdrawing their listing on the exchange in the long term.

Disqualified: Whyte was barred from being a director in 2000

Disqualified: Whyte was barred from being a director in 2000

Rangers claimed the delay in finalising
the audit was 'principally' related to an ongoing tax tribunal which,
according to Whyte, could result in a bill of 75million if they lose
the dispute with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.

PLUS described Whyte's failure to disclose his previous director
disqualification as 'a particularly serious breach' of their rules for
four reasons.

The statement continued: 'First, disclosure of Mr Whyte's director disqualification was expressly required by the PLUS Rules.

'This is because the information is material to investors and other persons doing business with the issuer.

'Investors and others doing business with the issuer are entitled to
such information to enable them to form a view on the nature and
character of an issuer's administration and management.

'The information relating to Mr Whyte goes to the reputation of Rangers FC's board of directors.

'Mr Whyte's director disqualification may have an effect on the
prospects of Rangers FC as an issuer traded on the PLUS-quoted market as
well as on Rangers FC's ability to raise further funding if required at
a future date.

Standing firm: Rangers fans outside Ibrox

Standing firm: Rangers fans outside Ibrox

'The failure by Rangers FC to disclose this information has generated
adverse publicity for Rangers FC which has harmed its interests.

'Secondly, PLUS is a Recognised Investment Exchange under Part XVIII of
FSMA 2000 and exercises regulatory functions with respect to the
PLUS-quoted market including, but not limited to, the protection of
investors and the maintenance of an orderly disclosure-based market.

'A consequence of non-disclosure by Rangers FC of information required
to be announced by the PLUS Rules is that PLUS was impeded from
exercising its regulatory functions.

'Thirdly, the Regulation Department at PLUS and Rangers FC's PLUS
Corporate Adviser met with officers of Rangers FC, including Mr Whyte on
8 November 2011.

'Before and after this meeting, PLUS and Rangers FC's PLUS Corporate
Adviser had been requesting Rangers FC to make an announcement on a
Regulated Information Service to disclose Mr Whyte's director
disqualification.

'Despite this, no announcement was made by Rangers FC until 30 November.

Chequered past: A Rangers fan raises a banner outside Ibrox

Chequered past: A Rangers fan raises a banner outside Ibrox

'PLUS considers this delay to be unreasonable, and is evidence of
Rangers FC's deliberate, negligent or reckless attitude to the PLUS
Rules…and Rangers FC's lack of willingness to correct the breach in a
timely fashion.

'Fourthly, PLUS takes seriously the failure of Rangers FC to disclose Mr
Whyte's director disqualification to other regulatory bodies, namely
the Panel on Takeovers and Mergers (Takeover Panel) and the Scottish
Football Association.

'Whilst PLUS does not rely on any breaches of regulations other than the
PLUS Rules to reach its decision, the lack of disclosure to other
regulatory bodies further illustrates that the failure to disclose was
deliberate, negligent or reckless and Rangers FC's lack of willingness
to make an announcement in a timely fashion.'

Three days after Rangers went into administration, the SFA confirmed
they would conduct a full independent inquiry into the activities of the
club and investigate whether there have been any potential breaches of
their Articles of Association.

They said attempts to obtain information relating to their 'fit and
proper person' requirement – regarding owner Whyte – were restricted by
the club solicitors' failure to share information.