Wed, Feb 07, 2007 - Page 18 News List

Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

■ Germany

Hamburg goals too small

Hamburg SV have scored fewer goals than any Bundesliga club this season and the Hamburger Abendblatt newspaper has discovered one possible cause -- the goals in their home stadium could be too small. The newspaper reported that the goals in the Hamburg Arena stand 2.39m high, with the crossbar 5cm lower than the prescribed 2.44m. "Obviously we're going to measure that again," HSV spokesman Joern Wolf told Germany's SID sports news agency. "If those numbers reported are correct, we will make sure we have a new goal in place that conforms with the rules by the next match against Borussia Dortmund. It's a good thing no one hit the crossbar last week in the Energie Cottbus match."

■ China

Olympians lose to Chelsea

China's 2008 Olympic team lost their first match against a Chelsea XI 1-0 on Monday while officials moved to quell complaints about the pitch at the English champions' training center. Chinese media reported complaints from the under-21 side about the state of the facilities at the London club's Cobham centre, where they are training for two weeks. "The pitch isn't as good as we imagined," Zhou Haibin, a midfielder with Chinese champions Shandong Luneng, told Titan sports newspaper.

■ Brazil

Aggressive ball boy banned

A ball boy was banned on Monday for hitting a goalkeeper with an iron bar during a regional match at the weekend. The Paulista (Sao Paulo state) soccer federation said on its Web site that Carlos Marcio dos Reis had been suspended for 30 days over the incident during the second division match between Comercial and Botafogo-Riberao Preto. Comercial's Palma Travassos stadium was also closed until further notice and the federation will in future select the ball boys for the team's home matches. TV pictures showed the boy hiding the ball behind an advertising board instead of handing it to Botafogo goalkeeper Marcao. When Marcao tried to fetch the ball, the two argued and the boy hit the goalkeeper several times with an iron bar.

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