Suspensions follow rumpus
The Disciplinary Commission of the Romanian Rugby Federation (FRR) on Tuesday said it had handed down suspensions to players involved in a brawl earlier this month between Farul Constanta and Dinamo Bucharest. Three of Constanta’s Georgian players were hurt in the brawl which erupted after just six minutes when a Constanta player clashed with one of his opponents. Several Dinamo players became embroiled in the scuffle and soon fists were flying in all directions with the Georgians at the center of the fray. Constanta players marched off in protest at the violence, prompting the FRR to award league leaders Dinamo the win against their second-placed opponents. The FRR gave six Dinamo players a seven-match ban with another suspended for 10 matches. Dinamo must also forfeit two home matches following the affray which saw nine players requiring hospital treatment. The chairman of Farul Constanta received a 12-match ban while two of the club’s Georgian stars must respectively sit out 10 and seven games.
South Korea files complaint
South Korea’s soccer association said yesterday it had filed a complaint with the sport’s world governing body against the head of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) for “groundless, bitter accusations.” The row stems from remarks AFC chief Mohamed bin Hammam made in a television interview in which he blasted Korea Football Association chief Cho Jung-yeon, saying he was ready to “cut Cho’s head off.” During the interview, with Qatari TV, Bin Hammam accused Cho of supporting the candidacy of Bahrain’s Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim al Khalifa for a seat on Fifa’s executive committee. Shaikh Salman will challenge Bin Hammam for the seat next month when the Qatari’s term expires. Bin Hammam has since described his quote as a “harmless and widely used Arabic metaphor.”
Coach punches referee
A Brazilian coach pushed a player from the opposing team and then punched the referee on the day his team were relegated. Television pictures showed Comercial coach Pedro Santilli losing his temper during Sunday’s game against Catanduvense in the second division of the Sao Paulo state championship. Santilli, assistant Brazil coach for a brief period in 2000-2001, went on to the field to pick up a spare ball and as he walked back to the touchline barged into a Catanduvense player who collapsed to the ground. He then went over to speak to the referee and suddenly lashed out, landing a right-fisted punch on the official’s chin. Santilli was sent off, while his team lost 1-0.
Steve Gerrard odd one out
Premier League champions Manchester United provided five of the six nominees for the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) player of the season award when they were announced on Tuesday. The only non United player to be nominated is Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard. The United quintet comprise Nemanja Vidic, Ryan Giggs, Rio Ferdinand, Cristiano Ronaldo and goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar. For Giggs it probably represents his last crack at getting the ultimate nod from his peers while Gerrard can hope that he benefits as David Ginola did in 1999 by winning because the vote for the United players is split. Ronaldo is bidding to become the first player to win it on three successive occasions. The decision will be announced in London on April 26.