Prisoners protest IPL TV ban
Hundreds of inmates at a prison in Kolkata have gone on hunger strike after they were not allowed to watch Indian Premier League cricket matches, officials said yesterday. B.D. Sharma, the inspector general of West Bengal prisons, said the protest began after guards rejected prisoners’ demands to be able to watch the matches that are being broadcast on a private channel. “They are free to watch the national channels aired by the state-run network, but we can’t allow inmates to watch private channels for security reasons. We have to go by the rules,” Sharma said. The protest, by 500 inmates at the Alipore Central Jail in Kolkata, was continuing yesterday, Sharma said.
Under-fire keeper speaks out
Liverpool reserve goalkeeper Charles Itandje, banned for 14 days for inappropriate behavior during the Hillsborough memorial service, said British media had blown the affair out of proportion. Television footage showed Itandje smiling at a ceremony for the 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy, where 96 Liverpool fans died in a crush while attending an FA Cup semi-final. “It is a 30-second video montage that was given senseless proportions. My behavior should be judged over a one-hour video,” Itandje told Sunday’s French sports daily Aujourd’hui Sport. “You know the papers here [in Britain], they do a lot with not much. I even heard I was dancing!” Itandje added he did not feel liked at Anfield. “What happened will not do much to change my situation at the club since I am already on the transfer list,” he said. “I don’t want to be paranoid but I hope this whole story is not linked to my situation at the club. I was supposed to leave last summer. I am kind of the unwanted player in the squad.”
President slams own fans
Action must be taken to end Italian soccer’s culture of racism, Juventus president Giovanni Cobolli Gigli said on Sunday. Inter goalscorer Mario Balotelli was racially abused by some home fans during Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Juve. “In the name of Juventus and the great majority of our fans, I express a firm condemnation of the racist chants against Inter player Mario Balotelli,” Cobolli Gigli told Italy’s ANSA news service. A section of Juve fans sang “a black Italian does not exist” toward Balotelli on Saturday. The 18-year-old is of Ghanaian descent but was born in Palermo.
Ref fails to turn up for game
An Argentine third division game was called off on Sunday because nobody told the referee he had been selected to take charge, officials and media reports said. A club official said referee Ariel Montero was sleeping at his home, nearly 600km away, when worried colleagues called him two hours before kick off to ask his whereabouts. The Clarin newspaper said that around 1,000 fans had traveled to see the game between Alumni de Villa Maria and Racing de Cordoba. “The linesmen were in the hotel and Montero hadn’t arrived and so they started to get worried,” Alumni president Guillermo Morelatto said. “They called his house and he didn’t know anything. He was sleeping. Apparently, the Council [championship organizers] said that they hadn’t told him. The assistants spoke to him and he said he hadn’t been told. There was a mix-up.” Clarin said that Racing refused to accept a substitute official and the police would not allow the kick off time to be put back to give Montero time to arrive.