Fax breakdown nixes move
The German football league has rejected a request to clear the planned transfer of Hamburg’s Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting to Cologne after a broken fax connection caused the clubs to miss the deadline. The DFL said on Thursday that it turned down the request from Cologne. It said transfer deadlines “are binding for all clubs” and help protect the integrity of competitions. The contract between Choupo-Moting and struggling Cologne arrived at the DFL 12 minutes after the winter transfer window closed on Monday. Choupo-Moting picked Cologne over West Bromwich Albion with a half-hour to spare, but when his father and agent tried to fax the contract, the connection broke down.
Fowler has dig at Torres
Former Liverpool star Robbie Fowler has displayed his anger with Fernando Torres for leaving the club by mockingly wearing one of the Spaniard’s No. 9 jerseys. Fowler, who plays for the Perth Glory in Australia’s A-League, donned the shirt yesterday as part of a fundraiser for Queensland state flood victims, saying “there is nothing wrong with the front of the shirt, it is the name on the back.” Fowler, who scored 183 goals in 367 games for Liverpool, added: “It is quite apt to wear it for a worthy cause as it is something myself or any other Liverpool fan wouldn’t be seen in.”
Lost passport delays surgery
Tottenham Hotspur defender Ledley King’s groin operation has had to be delayed after he lost his passport. “He should have had his operation today,” manager Harry Redknapp told the London Evening Standard after Spurs beat Blackburn Rovers 1-0 at Ewood Park on Wednesday night. “He couldn’t make it. Why? It’s a long story. [It’s] next week now,” he said. “He couldn’t find his passport, so he couldn’t fly out to have it done. He mislaid it. He was going to see a lady in Germany,” the frustrated Spurs boss said. Tottenham have an injury crisis in defense and midfield with Younes Kaboul not due to return to training for four weeks after surgery on his right knee and Michael Dawson suspended. Jonathan Woodgate is just getting back to fitness after a groin injury that has kept him out for more than a year while William Gallas has been struggling with a hip problem. Steven Pienaar missed the trip to Blackburn after being knocked out in a clash of heads in training. “The other South African [defender Bongani Khumalo] thought his head was the ball and knocked him unconscious in training,” Redknapp told reporters. Luka Modric is also out for two weeks after having his appendix removed while Gareth Bale has been sidelined after a back spasm.
Inter beat struggling Bari
Inter reignited their Serie A title charge thanks to midfielder Houssine Kharja setting up a 3-0 win at bottom side Bari on Thursday. The victory lifts the defending champions to seven points behind leaders AC Milan, who drew 0-0 with Lazio on Tuesday, while a game in hand for Leonardo’s third-placed side makes the scudetto run-in even more interesting. Inter’s bid for a sixth straight title was floundering under Rafael Benitez, who left in December after six months in charge, but Leonardo has quickly rediscovered the spark which took them to the treble last term. Kharja broke the deadlock on 70 minutes when he finished off some good interplay with Samuel Eto’o. Giampaolo Pazzini then scored on the counter attack deep into stoppage time before substitute Wesley Sneijder added the final goal.