Thu, Jun 15, 2006 - Page 19 News List

Soccer Shorts

AGENCIES

■ Australia
Reveler falls off street sign

A South Korean soccer fan was in critical condition yesterday after falling off a street sign while celebrating his country's victory over Togo in the World Cup, police said. The case prompted police to warn revelers to tone it down. The 25-year-old man, whose identity was not released, was among around 5,000 fans who flooded downtown Sydney early yesterday after watching South Korea bring home a 2-1 victory over Togo. The man climbed on top of a street sign, but fell heavily to the pavement, police said. Police administered first aid to the man until an ambulance arrived and to took him to Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, where he was placed on life support.

■ Scotland

England followers at risk: fan

Scottish First Minister Jack McConnell has stoked anti-English racism by refusing to support the England team playing at the World Cup in Germany, an England fan charged in remarks published yesterday. Allan Robinson, 44, accused McConnell of putting English people living in Scotland at risk, after Robinson's windows were smashed because he was displaying the St. George's flag, the Times reported. Police said that they were investigating an "act of vandalism" on Robinson's home in Coatbridge in which three windows were smashed during the opening game of the tournament last Friday. Asked last month whether he would be supporting England, McConnell said: "No, I will not. Scotland is not there and that's disappointing. And there are people who think that as First Minister I should automatically support England instead. But football is not about politics, so I will not be."

■ Thailand

Boisterous fans shot dead

Thai police are searching for a gunman who shot and killed two soccer fans at a beach resort after complaining they were cheering too loudly during a broadcast of Italy's World Cup opener against Ghana, officials said yesterday. The two men, both Thais, were watching Italy's 2-0 win over Ghana at a restaurant on Monday at the Thai beach resort town of Pattaya, and erupted in roars when Italy scored its first goal, said Panipha Wattakul, a girlfriend of one of the victims. A man seated at a nearby table asked them to quiet down, prompting a heated argument during which the man pulled out a handgun and shot the soccer fans at point blank range, said colonel Somnuek Chanket, the Pattaya police chief. The victims were identified as Chamlong Rongsaeng, 30, and Somnuek Sonkun, 41. Police know the identity of the gunman, who fled after the shooting, Somnuek said.

■ Brunei

All bets are off, police insist

Police are boosting patrols in public meeting places to prevent soccer fans from gambling, drinking alcohol or disturbing the peace during World Cup broadcasts, a news report said yesterday. People caught placing bets on World Cup matches face a maximum one-year prison sentence and a fine under laws that make gambling illegal, Peng Ang Lee, director of the police criminal investigation department, was quoted as saying by the Borneo Bulletin newspaper. Authorities will also fan out across coffee shops and outdoor restaurants to arrest "undesirable elements that turn wild, creating noise or bringing alcoholic drinks to watch the matches," the daily reported.

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