Wed, Oct 25, 2006 - Page 19 News List

Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

■ Soccer
Fans injured in clashes

At least 10 people were injured on Monday when rival soccer fans clashed before a Greek league match. Hundreds of Panathinaikos and AEK fans fought inside the Olympic stadium before the match started, breaking through police cordons and hurled rocks and flares at each other. Clashes also broke out outside the stadium. Panathinaikos is in second place in the 16-team league, while AEK is seventh.

■ Soccer

Valencia captain injured

Spanish giants Valencia will be without captain David Albelda for between six and eight weeks, the club revealed on Sunday night. Albelda, 29, suffered a severe sprain to his right knee in Sunday's 1-0 home win over Osasuna, damaging the internal lateral ligament. He will not need an operation but will need around two months of rest and physio-therapy. But that means Valencia's captain will miss the club's last three Champions League group D matches. Valencia are top of that group with nine points. They are also joint top of the Spanish "Liga" on 16 points with Barcelona, though Barca leads on goal difference. Valencia's injury list is already long this season, with Albelda now joining fellow Spanish internationals Ruben Baraja, Carlos Marchena and Vicente Rodriguez on the sidelines.

■ Soccer

Colo Colo fans banned

Colo Colo fans will not be allowed to travel as a group to the second leg of their team's Copa Sudamericana quarter-final against Gimnasia LP later this week in Buenos Aires to avoid security problems, the provincial government said on Monday. "If the Chileans come, they're not going to go in, unless they buy tickets and mix with the local public, with all the risks that implies," Mario Gallina, head of the provincial Sports Security Committee, told radio Rivadavia. But Gallina said the security of the Colo Colo players and the team delegation would be assured by local authorities.

■ Rugby Union

Tuqiri to play center

Star winger Lote Tuqiri will likely play at center in Australia's rugby Test against Wales at Cardiff on Nov.5, the first on its European tour, Wallabies coach John Connolly said yesterday. Regular center and captain Stirling Mortlock will miss the match with a knee injury and Connolly said Tuqiri will probably return to the role he filled successfully in three tests in Europe last year. "With Stirling injured, it's probably fair to think that Lote may move in one," Connolly said at the Wallabies' pre-tour camp in Sydney.

■ Football
Browns' Baker faces surgery

Cleveland Browns corner-back Gary Baxter was scheduled to undergo surgery yesterday to repair torn tendons in both knees. Baxter suffered the injury while trying to break up a pass in the first half of the Browns' 17-7 loss to Denver. Browns coach Romeo Crennel said he had never seen an injury like Baxter's in his coaching career. The Browns estimate that Baxter will be sidelined for at least one year. It is possible that he may miss the entire 2007 season.

■ Football

Merriman gets suspended

Linebacker Shawne Merriman of the San Diego Chargers, who is the league's reigning defensive rookie of the year, has been suspended for four games for violating the NFL's steroids policy. Merriman, who is appealing the suspension, registered eight tackles on Sunday in the Chargers' 30-27 loss at Kansas City. Nicknamed "Lights Out" for his propensity to deliver big hits, Merriman plays with a non-stop motor and is the leader of the San Diego defense, which entered Sunday ranked third in the NFL. Merriman, 22, has registered five-and-a-half sacks and 27 tackles in six games this season.

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