Santos player accuses cop
A row involving Brazil teenager Neymar at Santos’ match with Ceara on Sunday developed into a mass brawl in which teammate Marquinhos was struck in the ribs, allegedly by a policeman. After the final whistle in Santos’ 2-1 defeat at Ceara’s Castelao ground in the Brazilian championship, Neymar became embroiled in an argument with home defender Joao Marcos. Players from both sides began fighting and police came onto the pitch to break them up with television replays showing Marquinhos being pushed by a policeman. Marquinhos said the policeman hit him in the ribs with his truncheon although this was not visible in the replays. “I was pulling Neymar [away from the fighting] and the cop gave it to me with his truncheon in my ribs,” Marquinhos told reporters. Santos, who won the Paulista championship and Copa Brasil earlier in the season, have recently gone off the boil and are sixth in the standings with 31 points, 10 behind leaders Fluminense.
Hatton distraught after sting
British former world champion Ricky Hatton is “distraught and devastated” after newspaper allegations of cocaine use, his spokesman said on Sunday. Hatton, who last fought in May last year, was filmed by the News of the World appearing to snort white powder in a Manchester hotel toilet. “He’s very upset and very down as you’d imagine,” his spokesman Max Clifford told BBC radio. “He said he feels he’s let everyone down: himself, family, friends and the many fans who have been nothing but supportive. He does recognize that he’s in a bad way mentally and been in a bad place for some considerable time, a year or so,” Clifford said. “He needs to face it full on and show the courage he always did whenever he climbed into the ring. We all have to wait and watch and see what happens but what I’m hoping is that he tackles it with courage. I hope this will bring him to his senses and make him face up to a problem that has been concerning people for a while.”
Kiwi coach renews deal
Ricki Herbert, who steered New Zealand’s unbeaten World Cup campaign, has signed on as national coach for a further two years. Herbert has been New Zealand coach since 2005 and guided their first successful World Cup qualifying campaign since 1982. New Zealand were unbeaten in South Africa — drawing with Slovakia, Paraguay and Italy —but failed to progress to the tournament’s second round. Herbert signed a new contract with Football New Zealand at a news conference in Wellington yesterday, ensuring he stays in charge of the New Zealand team through qualifying for the 2013 Confederations Cup. He said he hoped to coach New Zealand through to the next World Cup in Brazil in 2014.
Wales appoint Flynn
Brian Flynn has been hired as Wales caretaker coach for the team’s two European Championship qualifiers next month following the resignation of John Toshack. Flynn, who had been Wales youth-team coach, will take charge of the senior side’s matches against Bulgaria in Cardiff on Oct. 8 and Switzerland in Basel four days later. Toshack quit on Thursday, less than a week after Wales opened their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign with a 1-0 loss in Montenegro. The former Liverpool striker had been in the post since 2004. Flynn, who is reported to be one of the favorites to replace Toshack on a permanent basis, says “I shall give it my all to try and achieve results and stake a claim for the job.”