Robinho, Gravesen brawl
Real Madrid's Danish star Thomas Gravesen and Brazilian teammate Robinho came to blows on Tuesday during a training session in Austria and were promptly "sent off" by coach Fabio Capello, Spain's Cadena Ser radio reported. Robinho reacted furiously after former Hamburg and Everton hardman midfielder Gravesen went in hard with a trademark beefy tackle and the rest of the squad had to intervene after both men's tempers flared. Gravesen's place at Real appears under threat, and Galatasaray of Turkey has been a mooted destination, but Real want around 3 million euros (US$3.8 million) for the veteran.
Kiwis to be compensated
The New Zealand government will pay its national cricket body NZ$406,000 (US$247,000) in compensation for the cancelation of last year's tour by Zimbabwe, Sports Minister Trevor Mallard said yesterday. The tour was abandoned when the government refused visas to Zimbabwean players in protest over human rights breaches by the government of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. "We decided the tour was not appropriate given the Zimbabwean government's continuing human rights abuses," Mallard said. "It is only fair that we now compensate New Zealand Cricket," he said.
Chelsea-Gallas rift widens
France defender William Gallas was absent from Chelsea's training camp on Tuesday in Los Angeles, and the club is threatening action. The 28-year-old Gallas said two months ago he wanted to leave the London club, and he apparently hasn't changed his mind. "William requested extra time off following the World Cup, but was informed he should still report to Los Angeles on the date previously agreed with him," Chelsea said in a statement. "He did not report and further action will now be considered by the club as a consequence." Gallas has one year left on his contract.
Italian season delayed
Italy's soccer season will begin two weeks late because of the fallout from the Serie A match-fixing scandal. The top leagues will start the weekend of Sept. 9 instead of Aug. 28. The Soccer League, which oversees Serie A and Serie B, postponed the start date to "allow sports justice to reach its conclusion," spokesman Manuele Tigani said on Tuesday. Serie A games will kick off on Sept. 10, while Serie B begins on Sept. 9. Also pushed back was the Italian Supercup between Inter Milan and Roma, which will take place on Aug. 26 instead of Aug. 19. Juventus -- which was stripped of its last two Serie A titles and relegated to the second division last month -- appealed its punishment earlier on Tuesday to the Italian Olympic Committee's arbitration court.
Charlton tackles depression
England and Manchester United soccer great Bobby Charlton launched a new project on Tuesday to fight depression through soccer. "It's a Goal!" is a 12-week program targeted at men aged 16-34 who suffer from depression. "Young men who are resistant and even fearful of going into a mental health unit are much more likely to walk into a football stadium," Charlton said. "Once they are here, we can offer them the kind of therapeutic help they just cannot get anywhere else. I really believe this can be a lifesaver," he said. "It's a Goal!" will be based at Old Trafford in Manchester.