Tag Archives: shame

Lee Mears retires because of heart condition

Former England and Lions hooker Mears forced to retire because of heart condition

By
Duncan Bech, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

11:36 GMT, 11 February 2013

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UPDATED:

11:44 GMT, 11 February 2013

Former England hooker Lee Mears has been forced to retire with immediate effect due to a heart condition.

An abnormality known to occur in some athletes was discovered during a cardiac screening completed by the 33-year-old Bath front row, who announced his international retirement last year.

'There is a significant potential risk of developing further complications if Lee continues to perform the prolonged strenuous exercises required to be an elite rugby player,' read a statement issued by Bath.

A great shame: Lee Mears has been forced to retire because of a heart condition

A great shame: Lee Mears has been forced to retire because of a heart condition

'He has therefore been advised by a specialist to retire from professional rugby.'

More to follow.

Over the line: Mears scores a try for the British and Irish Lions

Over the line: Mears scores a try for the British and Irish Lions

Stuart Pearce U21 future in doubt as FA delay new deal talks

FA delay talks on new deal for U21 boss Pearce leaving his future in doubt

, winning every one of the six fixtures they played, and even being without Manchester United defender Phil Jones (shingles) and Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling (dead leg), Pearce will be expecting another victory.

Starting roles: Wilfried Zaha and Jonjo Shelvey will feature from the get-go

Starting roles: Wilfried Zaha and Jonjo Shelvey will feature from the get-go

‘It’s a shame Jones is out,’ said Pearce, who will start Wilfried Zaha up front. ‘But he’s picked up shingles, there’s not a lot we can do.’

Liverpool midfielder Jonjo Shelvey will start for the first time since September and wants to make his mark after a disappointing period at Anfield. He has not started a game since a 3-1 defeat at Stoke on Boxing Day.

‘I didn’t think I was the only one that had a bad game that day but I was the one who suffered,’ said Shelvey, who made his senior debut against San Marino in October. ‘I’m still learning. I’ve got to prove I can get back to the seniors.’

VIDEO: Watch Jonjo Shelvey's screamer in England U21 training

Michel Platini: Match-fixing is football"s greatest threat – not racism

Match-fixing – not racism – is greatest threat to football, says Platini (who still wants World Cup 2022 to be moved to the winter)

PUBLISHED:

11:23 GMT, 22 January 2013

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UPDATED:

11:23 GMT, 22 January 2013

Michel Platini believes match-fixing poses the greatest threat to the future of football as the UEFA president reiterated his desire to switch the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to the winter.

While acknowledging the continued spectres of racism and violence, for the Frenchman throwing a game would sound the death knell for the game.

Making a stand: AC Milan midfielder Kevin Prince Boateng (C) left the playing field during a friendly against Pro Patria amid alleged racist chants earlier this month

Making a stand: AC Milan midfielder Kevin Prince Boateng (C) left the playing field during a friendly against Pro Patria amid alleged racist chants earlier this month

Concerns: UEFA president Michel Platini

Concerns: UEFA president Michel Platini

Speaking to French radio station RTL, Platini said: 'Racism and violence – it is a little beyond our control because it is not just about football but also affects the public.

'On the other hand we're directly concerned by match-fixing. For me, this is the greatest shame.

'If tomorrow, we'll see a game and we already know the result, football is dead.'

Football is waging an ongoing war against racism with Kevin-Prince Boateng recently making a stand by walking off the field with his AC team-mates against Pro Patria because of racist chanting.

Platini expressed his admiration, saying: 'It's great, I really liked it. It was very good, I also called to congratulate Milan.'

Speaking about his wish to reschedule the timing of the World Cup in 2022, the former France midfielder added: 'When I told the Emir of Qatar that I would vote for them, I told him two things.

'First, I would fight for it to be in winter.

'It's 50 degrees in the summer in Qatar. If we do not change the date, there are countries that will never receive the World Cup.'

Change the date: Platini wants the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to be moved to the winter

Change the date: Platini wants the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to be moved to the winter

Dean Richards exclusive – bloodgate in the past

EXCLUSIVE: Bad blood is in the past as Richards aims for the top again with resurgent Newcastle

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 21 December 2012

Four months into his second coming as a coach and Dean Richards has had a perfect return; 15 wins from 15 games with Newcastle and not one jibe about the reason for his ‘sabbatical’.

In the depths of his post-Bloodgate exile, when the three-year ban he had to serve surely felt like a lifetime of pain and punishment, this scenario would have been nothing more than an idle fantasy.

Yet, the legendary former England and Lions No 8 is now at the forefront of a promising salvage operation on Tyneside and relishing an unexpectedly warm embrace from the game he adores and missed so much.

Turnover: Richards is rebuilding at Newcastle after the shame of Bloodgate

Turnover: Richards is rebuilding at Newcastle after the shame of Bloodgate

‘I’ve not had one comment about the past, which is quite strange,’ said Richards. ‘I had been expecting something, but there has not been a single remark, which is bizarre. Sorry, I should qualify that – I’ve not had one negative comment about it, which is slightly different. People have commented, but seem to be accepting me for what I am. A lot of people have said how pleased they are that I’m here.’

The welcome he has received, at his own club and elsewhere, has touched Richards. That has been the bonus element in this reintegration process. But the principal source of satisfaction stems from simply being involved again, day after day, and seeing lots of hard graft paying off in the results that have followed, even if, on a personal level, he has taken time to get his bearings.

‘I love it,’ he told Sportsmail, after overseeing a training session at Kingston Park in the build-up to Sunday’s home Championship clash with London Scottish. ‘Being around a team again has given me a real buzz. It is one of the things that you miss, when you have your – sabbatical. I had my three years out and missed that involvement. Now I’m back, I’m enjoying the buzz, I love being around players and coaches, being around a winning team.

‘I had watched a lot, but there is no doubt there was a huge amount of rustiness; there still is. You don’t get up to speed straight away, but I’ve got enough quality people around me who have pushed me in the right direction.’

He feels he’s changed, too, although he doesn’t believe that has anything to do with his exit from Harlequins in 2009.

‘With
everything I’ve been through in the last few years, I’m a bit more
relaxed on match day,’ said Richards. ‘Wellsy (forwards coach John
Wells) finds it very frustrating because he has gone totally the other
way! He is far more animated and I’m there with my feet up, just
watching and analysing. I’m not very demonstrative in the changing rooms
either, rather than bringing out the old hair-dryer!’

Scandal: Richards clashes with Leinster coaches after bringing Nick Evans back on the field

Scandal: Richards clashes with Leinster coaches after bringing Nick Evans back on the field in 2009

Ronan O'Donnell (left) and physio James Allen
BACK FROM THE SIN BIN: THE RETURN OF RICHARDS

AFTER being banned from coaching for three years following the ‘Bloodgate’ scandal, Dean Richards is back and eyeing promotion with Newcastle. Here are the key stats for the former England forward.

Born: July 11, 1963
Clubs: Roanne, Leicester
England caps: 48 Lions caps: 6
Coaching career: Leicester, FC Grenoble, Harlequins, Newcastle
Coaching honours: 4 Premiership titles, 2 Heineken Cups

This is his second such assignment – trying to conjure an immediate return to the Premiership. In 2005-06, his first season at Quins, he took them straight back up. Richards is now helping the Falcons fly again, as they try to build on a 12-point lead at the top of the Championship table.

‘When I arrived at Quins, the fanbase was down to 3,500-4,000 per game; it has been very similar here,’ he said. ‘With the success we had that year and hopefully the success we have this year, the fans will come back.

‘It is similar in terms of the mental state of people when I arrived. A lot of people were very down; the club had gone down, though it wasn’t until July we knew for sure. Once that news broke, there was a real dropping of jaws and the realisation set in. The main difference is that I arrived at Quins and we had Andre Vos, Will Greenwood, Andrew Mehrtens, Ugo Monye – guys like that who were already in situ. We don’t quite have the leaders here who we had at Quins back then, which made a big difference.’

The contrast that has struck Richards the most is nothing to do with the comparative depth of leadership within his current club and his previous one. It is not the clubs’ markedly different catchment areas – a huge northern region with a low density of ‘chimney pots’, as opposed to a small southern region crammed full of them at Quins.

And it is nothing to do with the gulf in travel times that have played havoc with his fondness to share a post-match beer with the opposition. The most striking contrast has been in the landscape of the league.

There is now a play-off system; semi-finals and a final, on a home-and-away basis. And after London Welsh’s promotion via appeal last summer, there are Minimum Standards Criteria that the Championship clubs regard as redundant. Richards doesn’t hold back in condemning the situation.

Reprieved: London Welsh were promoted to the Premiership on appeal earlier this year

Reprieved: London Welsh were promoted to the Premiership on appeal earlier this year

‘The Championship is different now,’ he said. ‘It is a bizarre scenario we find ourselves in – not knowing what is happening until May 29 and this Minimum Standards Criteria rubbish. You can’t plan conditioning, you can’t plan recruitment, no one knows where they stand.

‘It is a very ill-thought out process and whoever came up with it needs speaking to. It doesn’t have the ambience and rugby culture that was evident when I was there with Quins.

‘It has lost something because of what happened last year, which I think is wrong. What the London Welsh scenario means is that it doesn’t matter what facilities and structures are in place, you can just find a club 40 miles away and play there. There is no incentive to build foundations, to have a strong academy, to develop a side and a community and a culture.

‘You have to have a culture and strong roots, yet there is no encouragement to do that from the RFU because of the play-off structure and the Minimum Standards going out the window. It has become a real dog’s dinner. It is quite sad.’

Richards is adamant Newcastle will ‘do things right’. As the business end of the season approaches, he expects several other clubs to recruit heavily to ambush the Falcons in the play-offs, but he will not countenance a similar strategy. He feels the squad is of Premiership standard already.

Richards sets his sights incredibly high. ‘The ultimate goal is to win the European Cup,’ he said. ‘It will take a few years, but there’s no reason why we can’t get up there.’

Positive thinking, a long winning run and no negative comments about ‘the past’ – a perfect return indeed.

Arrigo Brovedani is only Udinese fan at Sampdoria Serie A clash

Loneliness of the (ONE) long distance fan: Solitary Udinese supporter in away end at Sampdoria for Serie A clash

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UPDATED:

00:19 GMT, 12 December 2012

When Udinese travelled to Genoa for their Serie A game against Sampdoria on Monday, just one man showed up to support them in an otherwise empty away section.

The prospect of a 600-mile round trip from Udine in the north east of Italy to Genoa appeared too much for most Udinese fans, leaving wine merchant Arrigo Brovedani to plough a lone furrow in the away end of Sampdoria’s Stadio Luigi Ferraris.

'I was in Genoa for a work meeting
and usually take a trip round the area around this time of year, but it
was pure coincidence Udinese were playing there at the same time. So I
took advantage and organised a ticket,' the 37-year-old told udinetoday.it.

'If I am in a city where Udinese
happen to be playing, clients tend to send me free tickets, as they know
my passion for the team. This time it wasn’t possible and I had to sort
it out myself.

Keeping you up Arrigo Brovedani, Udinese's solitary fan for their Serie A match against Sampdoria, takes in the atmosphere

Keeping you up Arrigo Brovedani, Udinese's solitary fan for their Serie A match against Sampdoria, takes in the atmosphere

Three points: It was a successful trip for loyal follower Brovedani as Udinese won 2-0

Three points: It was a successful trip for loyal follower Brovedani as Udinese won 2-0

'I made the journey to Genoa, arrived
at the stadium and only then did I realise I was the only Udinese fan
there! At that point the stewards asked if I wanted to sit in the main
stand, but I insisted on going into the away end, seeing as I had paid
for that ticket.

'I had the Udinese flag with me, as I
carry it everywhere in my car. The Samp fans applauded me after we
scored and they were really very kind. The stewards offered me coffee,
then the Samp directors arrived to give me a team jersey.

'At the final whistle when I left,
Samp fans came towards me and offered me a drink, complimenting me on my
passion. It’s a shame I couldn’t stay long, as I had to run due to work
commitments.'

Sampdoria midfielder Andrea Poli, left, and Udinese defender Dusan Basta battle for the ball

Sampdoria midfielder Andrea Poli, left, and Udinese defender Dusan Basta battle for the ball

Even though Serie A attendances have
been dwindling in recent years, with fans believing that the atmosphere
in stadiums has been killed off by stricter safety regulation and
hard-to-obtain supporter identity cards, just one man turning up to support an
away team is unprecedented.

Indeed, attendances in Italy's top flight this season are amongst the weakest of the leading
divisions on the continent.

Sampdoria forward Mauro Emanuel Rivero Icardi, right, holds off Udinese Brazilian midfielder Marques Loureiro Allan

Sampdoria forward Mauro Emanuel Rivero Icardi, right, holds off Udinese Brazilian midfielder Marques Loureiro Allan

With an average attendance of 21,876, the division averages over
20,000 less than the Bundesliga, which leads the way with an
average crowd of 42,299.

The Barclays Premier League comes in with an average attendance of 35,629
while La Liga is lagging behind with an average of 29,665.

Gaetano Berardi of Sampdoria, right, executes a sliding tackle on Udinese midfielder Emmanuel Agyemang Badu

Gaetano Berardi of Sampdoria, right, executes a sliding tackle on Udinese midfielder Emmanuel Agyemang Badu

Udinese
fans have become further disillusioned with their own football club due
to a perceived lack of ambition from the club’s owners, with leading
players including Mauricio Isla, Kwadwo Asamoah and Alexis Sanchez all
sold in recent seasons.

But
it proved to be a worthy trip for Brovedani, as he saw Udinese
secure a 2-0 win to take the club into 8th position in Serie A.

His presence was a source of amusement
for the home support, who, rather than subjecting him to any abuse,
instead cheered the man and he reciprocated their affection with an
enthusiastic wave.

Antonio Di Natale, left, celebrates his goal during the 2-0 win for Udinese

Antonio Di Natale, left, celebrates his goal during the 2-0 win for Udinese

William Gallas fears Champions League blow for Tottenham

Gallas fears Spurs will miss out on Champions League after late Everton defeat

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UPDATED:

15:08 GMT, 10 December 2012

William Gallas believes Tottenham must learn to close out matches or it will cost them a shot at the Champions League.

If Premier League matches ended at 80 minutes this season Spurs would be top of the table, but once again Spurs let a lead slip this time against Everton.

Tottenham conceded two goals in injury time that turned a 1-0 victory into a cruel 2-1 defeat and David Moyes’s side replaced them in the crucial fourth spot.

Late show: Nikica Jelavic stunned Spurs to clinch a last-gasp win for Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday

Late show: Nikica Jelavic stunned Spurs to clinch a last-gasp win for Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday

Yellow peril: Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris stands dejected after his side lose the game in the dying moments

Yellow peril: Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris stands dejected after his side lose the game in the dying moments

The Spurs defender told the Evening Standard: 'Football is a bit funny — I’ve seen the good quality at Tottenham but for some reason, we lose the funny games at home or away and I can’t explain it.

‘We have to pass one more step to be on the [same level as the] top three and I don’t know when it is going to happen. I hope it will this season but it is a shame because when we get very near, something always happens and we draw or lose.

‘In our squad, we have some players that have experience now so I don’t think it is about a lack of maturity. For example, yesterday we did almost everything right but they scored that goal which killed us. It is difficult to explain but sometimes you need luck.

‘When I was at Chelsea, we had that luck to win some games even if we were not playing good. But Tottenham is different. I hope it will change this season or next.

Words of warning: William Gallas has called for improvement at Spurs or risk losing out on a top four place

Words of warning: William Gallas has called for improvement at Spurs or risk losing out on a top four place

‘We gave everything yesterday and had no luck. If you go back, [Gylfi] Sigurdsson hit the crossbar and it would then have been 2-0 but it didn’t happen. They scored late and it is very difficult to accept. When we came here, our target was to take the three points and at the beginning of the game, we played well.

'Maybe in the last 10 minutes in the first half, Everton pushed a lot but we went back to the dressing room with a 0-0. In the second half we played better and we scored.

‘What we have to know is that the game is never finished until the referee blows his whistle. Yesterday showed that we have to be much more focused at the end of the game.’

Emmanuel Adebayor threatens to quit Togo over ongoing pay dispute

Adebayor threatens to quit Togo over ongoing pay dispute

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UPDATED:

20:16 GMT, 28 November 2012

Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor has threatened to quit playing for Togo unless an ongoing pay dispute can be resolved.

The 28-year-old forward claims that he and his team-mates have not been paid for playing against Morocco earlier this month.

And Adebayor expects many players will turn their back on the national team if the Togo football association continue to refuse to pay the players the money they are owed.

Dispute: Tottenham's Emmanuel Adebayor has threatened to retire from international football with Togo over a pay dispute

Dispute: Tottenham's Emmanuel Adebayor has threatened to retire from international football with Togo over a pay dispute

'If this does not change, then I will retire from international football and many will stop playing for our country,' Adebayor told Togo’s Radio Frequence1.

'In our FA everyone thinks about their own pockets. Some players have not received their money, some have received half of it.

'Players come to me to ask about their money. It is a shame. I asked the Moroccan Federation how much they paid our Togolese FA. They told me that they paid €35,000 to President Ameyi.

'The president has the money because the Moroccan FA will not lie to me. If this continues, then no one will play for others to fill their pockets.'

Cash v Country: Adebayor says a number of players have not been paid for turning out in a match with Morocco earlier this month

Cash v Country: Adebayor says a number of players have not been paid for turning out in a match with Morocco earlier this month

Southwell flooded and closed until January

Water nightmare… Southwell closed for the year after being submerged by floods

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UPDATED:

09:38 GMT, 28 November 2012

Southwell racecourse will be closed until at least the New Year after severe flooding left the track under nine inches of water.

Wednesday's meet has been transferred to Wolverhampton after the Nottinghamshire track was submerged by extreme weather conditions for the second time in five years.

Submerged: Southwell meetings have been cancelled until the New Year

Submerged: Southwell meetings have been cancelled until the New Year

Eight all-weather flat meetings scheduled for next month have been switched to Lingfield and Wolverhampton while Tuesday's jumps meeting has been offered to other tracks.

Course clerk Roderick Duncan told the Daily Star: 'We had just short of 50 millimetres of rain on Saturday and going into Sunday and we’ve had a further 10 or more since.

Water shame: Meetings have been moved to Wolverhampton and Lingfield

Water shame: Meetings have been moved to Wolverhampton and Lingfield

Water shame: Meetings have been moved to Wolverhampton and Lingfield

'This added to the high water levels alongside the River Trent which was almost at the top of its banks has caused widespread flooding in the area.

'Unfortunately we had to abandon Monday and Tuesday’s fixtures but transferred today’s card to Wolverhampton.

Water shame: Meetings have been moved to Wolverhampton and Lingfield

Water shame: Meetings have been moved to Wolverhampton and Lingfield

'We have on-going talks with the Environment Agency and Trent Valley Drainage Board to improve this situation in the future.'

Officials also revealed that the drying out and repair process has already begun and it is hoped racing can resume in January.

Chelsea must cope without John Terry, says Roberto Di Matteo after West Brom defeat

We must cope without JT, warns RDM after Chelsea concede 18 goals in 8 games

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UPDATED:

14:12 GMT, 18 November 2012

Roberto Di Matteo has challenged Chelsea to show they can cope without skipper and defensive lynchpin John Terry and stop leaking so many sloppy goals.

The Blues boss is set to put more emphasis on making his side hard to beat by changing personnel and formation after the 2-1 defeat at his former club West Brom.

Chelsea have now conceded 18 goals in their last eight games in all competitions and collected two points from their last four Barclays Premier League matches.

Plenty to ponder: Roberto Di Matteo insists his side must learn to cut out sloppy goals

Plenty to ponder: Roberto Di Matteo insists his side must learn to cut out sloppy goals

Pain game: Chelsea are without injured captain John Terry for three weeks

Pain game: Chelsea are without injured captain John Terry for three weeks

The absence of Terry with a knee injury for three weeks after only just returning from a four game domestic ban has added to their woes ahead of Tuesday's away Champions League clash with Juventus.

Di Matteo said: 'Clean sheets certainly give you a chance to win games and we certainly have to improve on that side.

'Defensively we just weren't good enough. Of course we miss John (Terry). He is an important player for us.

'He gives us a lot of confidence at the back and in general to the team.

'It's a shame that he is injured – but we will have to do without him until he comes back – and improve.'

Di Matteo added: 'It's trying to find the right balance for us, whereby we can still create chances to win games.

'Maybe it's a time where we might have to change a bit in terms of our selections and the way we play but certainly we have to start with paying more attention defensively.

Fall guys: Juan Mata reacts in disappointment after Chelsea's defeat at the Hawthorns

Fall guys: Juan Mata reacts in disappointment after Chelsea's defeat at the Hawthorns

'Against West Brom, the first goal came from a cross and our defenders should have done better in dealing with that cross.

'We also had enough bodies in there to deal with the second goal as well.'

At least left-back Ashley Cole should be available in mid-week after appearing on the substitute's bench at the Hawthorns after his hamstring injury denied him a 100th England cap in Sweden.

Di Matteo is also conscious of Chelsea suffering their now accustomed decline in fortunes during November and the need to at least partially address their annual slump.

After the trip to Turin, they entertain league champions Manchester City next weekend and can ill afford to lose if they want to remain realistic title contenders.

He said: 'They are two massive games coming up we've got the players with a lot of experience.

'We've been in this position before but, for some reason, November for our club is a bad month and it seems to again be the case this year. we have to try and address that.'

Chelsea looked more menacing when
Daniel Sturridge was switched to being the main striker after an
anonymous contribution from Fernando Torres.

Di Matteo said: 'I think we were pushing on and putting West Brom a bit more under pressure.

'Sturridge had at least two very good chances. He showed that he has an impact there.'

Crash and burn: Di Matteo was concerned that some of his international players were tired after their mid-weeks excursions

Crash and burn: Di Matteo was concerned that some of his international players were tired after their mid-weeks excursions

In
Chelsea's defence, Di Matteo was forced into five changes because of
gruelling trips back from mid-week internationals particularly for
several of his players.

He said: 'Players came back from mid-week fatigued and not in the right condition to start the game.'

Albion's
man of the match Shane Long headed his side in front and, after Eden
Hazard's equaliser, turned provider to set up the winning goal for Peter
Odemwingie.

Millwall player Josh Wright has watch stolen

Police called as Millwall midfielder Wright has 8,000 watch stolen in latest theft

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UPDATED:

08:49 GMT, 9 November 2012

Millwall have been forced to call in the police after Josh Wright became the latest player to have their watch stolen from the club's dressing room.

The midfielder, who is the younger brother of TOWIE star Mark, had his 8,000 Cartier taken while he was training.

Wright, 23, is the third victim of such a theft after two of his Lions team-mates had their designer watches stolen during Millwall's 4-0 win over Huddersfield.

Theft: Josh Wright has had his watch stolen at Millwall

Theft: Josh Wright has had his watch stolen at Millwall

Police and the club are studying CCTV footage.

'The watch was brand new — I had only just bought it,' Wright told The Sun.

'I felt sick when I went back into the dressing room and discovered it had been stolen. It wasn’t just because the watch was expensive — the insurance should cover that.

'It was the thought of someone — probably someone I know at the club — going through my pockets.

'It’s a shame because we’re such a close-knit friendly club.

Police called: Several players have been the victims of theft

Police called: Several players have been the victims of theft

'I can’t believe someone is doing this.'

The latest raft of thefts comes eight months after two players suffered the same fate.

Wright added: 'The sooner they catch the person or persons responsible the better.

'And when they do I hope that they are named and shamed.'