Alves a victim of ‘racism’
Brazil right back Daniel Alves has been the victim of racism throughout his time in Spain with Barcelona, he said in an interview published on Tuesday. The 27-year-old described how he had been called a “monkey” by fans of Barca’s rivals at many grounds in Spain. “Sadly, I’ve learnt to live with it,” he told the Brazilian daily Folha de Sao Paulo while preparing for Brazil’s friendly against France in Paris yesterday. “I live with it in all the matches, but I don’t feel offended. They insult me, they call me monkey,” said Alves, who has established himself as one of Barcelona’s key players since joining them from Sevilla in 2008. “The fans do it, the players are against it ... My family are unhappy, they complain, but I try to distance myself from it. I consider those people uneducated and don’t give them importance.” Alves, from a poor background in northeastern Brazil, said that despite the efforts of La Liga to sanction fans for racist behavior, racism “is uncontrollable. It will never stop.”
Suspension angers Diego
Wolfsburg’s Brazilian midfielder Diego said he was disappointed to receive a one-match suspension after disobeying the coach’s order and missing a penalty kick. Diego took the penalty even though then-coach Steve McClaren wanted another player to take it. The former Brazil playmaker hit the crossbar. Diego said in a statement on Tuesday that now “there is nothing else to do but accept the decision and cheer on the team in the next match.” Wolfsburg fired McClaren on Monday after it won only one of its last 11 league matches. He left the 2009 German champion battling relegation.
Tonga PM pans rugby rules
Tonga’s prime minister said this year’s Rugby World Cup would not be a real competition because “unfair” eligibility rules prevent Pacific nations from fielding some of their best players. Lord Tu’ivakano said in Nuku’alofa that International Rugby Board (IRB) rules barring a player who has represented one country from ever taking the field for another protected the game’s traditional powers from being challenged. The law is a sore point for Pacific nations, whose best players are often lured to New Zealand or Australia as youngsters, but cannot represent their homeland even after their careers with their adopted countries are over. “If they’re going to have a real World Cup, then they need to give the other countries the chance to have their own players,” he said in an interview Tuesday. Tu’ivakano said Tonga had players in top international competitions who could not represent their country at the World Cup, which runs from Sept. 9 to Oct .23 in New Zealand, robbing the team of valuable experience.
NZC denies misconduct
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) have denied local media reports that pace bowler Tim Southee was involved in an incident on a flight to Dubai as the team were en route to the World Cup. Local media reported that a passenger on the flight had alerted team management about an incident between a player and a female passenger. However, team manager Dave Currie said that after conducting an investigation he had determined the player, who he identified as Southee, had not been involved in anything inappropriate. “Tim met a female passenger on board the plane and spent some time with her,” Carrie said.