Clubs fined over violence
Panathinaikos and AEK Athens were fined 120,000 euros (US$152,100) on Friday following the violence which marred their derby match earlier in the week. Monday's game was delayed by 20 minutes after fighting between rival fans led to 20 people being injured. A spokesman for AEK said the club had already lodged an appeal against the fine. Panathinaikos are expected to follow suit. Another Athens club Ionikos have been docked four points and fined 80,000 euros after club president Christos Kanellakis was found guilty of trying to hit a referee after a league game.
Bonds to be free agent
San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds will become a free agent at the earliest opportunity and the team has yet to enter talks with him about staying, his agent said on Friday. Bonds, 21 home runs away from breaking Hank Aaron's career record of 755, will be able to file for free agency the day after the World Series concludes. "We've had no discussion up to this point," Jeff Borris, Bonds' agent said in a telephone interview, referring to the Giants. Bonds, 42, has been with the Giants for 14 of his 21 years in Major League Baseball and played a major role in the BALCO steroids scandal that plagued professional sports.
University drops range idea
Peking University has dropped a plan to build a golf practice range on its campus because of charges that the sport is too elitist, the official Xinhua news agency said yesterday. The prestigious university, a birthplace of the anti-establishment Cultural Revolution movement in the 1960s, announced in August that it would build the range as part of its physical education program. The plan sparked controversy among students and internet bloggers. Some said the sport was healthy and a useful networking skill, but others complained it was an activity for the rich and inappropriate at a university serving students from a range of backgrounds.
Club denies razor rumor
Sheffield United have insisted that the training ground confrontation between striker Ade Akinbiyi and Claude Davis has been resolved. According to Friday's edition of the Daily Mail, Davis approached Akinbiyi while holding a razor as an argument, following the defender's sending-off against Everton last week, escalated. In a statement later Friday, the club said: "Following the allegations in a national newspaper concerning an alleged flare-up between Claude Davis and Ade Akinbiyi, Sheffield United has concluded its investigation. "The two players did have a difference of opinion, the sort of which occurs often in dressing-rooms throughout the land. Contrary to reports, no razors or knives were involved, the pair have shaken hands and the disagreement has been resolved."
Bayern's Podolski out
German international forward Lukas Podolski is out for three weeks, his club Bayern Munich said on Friday, after suffering an injury in training. Podolski, who signed for the German double winners from relegated Cologne in the close season, has injured his heel and is also out of Germany's Euro 2008 qualifier against Cyprus on Nov. 15. The 21-year-old, young player of the tournament at the World Cup, was injured in a clash with Dutch midfielder Mark van Bommel. He is struggling this season, though, having scored only one league goal, despite boasting an impressive record of 24 strikes in 38 international matches.