Whistle shocker earns ban
An amateur player in Italy has been given a 20-month ban for trying to force a whistle down a referee’s throat. Andrea Biondi was sent off by the referee in his Florence-based team Albereta 72’s 2-2 draw at Sancat. After being dismissed for insulting the referee he grabbed the back of the ref’s head and tried to push the whistle into his mouth, the Ansa news agency reported. Biondi continued to threaten the referee as he left the field, the agency said.
Fans threaten Brazilian star
Veteran star Roberto Carlos may leave Brazilian soccer because Corinthians fans have been threatening his family. Roberto Carlos told the Lancenet Web site on Thursday he has been receiving threatening telephone calls and people have been following him ever since the club were eliminated from the Copa Libertadores last week. The former Real Madrid star said “things are getting out of hand” and that he will move somewhere else if a club makes him a good offer. “I’m reconsidering some things,” he said. “I’ve been threatened a lot by phone, and my family, too. There are even motorcycles following my car on the streets.” After Corinthians’ loss to Deportes Tolima in the Copa Libertadores last week, fans threw rocks at the team’s bus, damaged players’ cars and painted the walls of the club’s headquarters with protest messages. The Agencia Estado news service said on Thursday the Los Angeles Galaxy will make an offer for Roberto Carlos. “I’m not going to another Brazilian club, but to a team from abroad is a different thing,” Roberto Carlos said.
Bulgaria, Estonia seek probe
The Bulgarian and Estonian soccer federations want UEFA to investigate their international friendly in Antalya, Turkey, on Wednesday after the match ended 2-2 with all four goals coming from the penalty spot. “It was strange to see four penalties in one game,” Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) president Borislav Mihaylov said on Thursday. “The situation becomes even more confusing taking into account the fact that all three goals in the previous match were also scored from penalties.” Latvia beat Bolivia 2-1 just before the Bulgaria-Estonia game. Hungarian referee Krisztian Selmeczi was in charge of both matches. “The friendly was organized by an agency with whom we’ll not work anymore,” Estonia FA spokesman Mihkel Uiboleht told local media. “We received information of a possible manipulation even before the game as the same agency also organized the match between Latvia and Bolivia and there was the same scenario there.”
No beer for Aussies
Australia’s players were told not to drink alcohol during the recent Ashes series for fear they would become more susceptible to injury, according to fast bowler Ryan Harris. A few beers after the day’s play has long been a tradition in Australian cricket, but Harris said the attitude towards alcohol had changed. “Drinking now is seen as not great,” Harris, who coincidentally suffered a stress fracture in his ankle during the series, told Sydney’s Daily Telegraph. “Guys are basically told not to drink. Heading into the Ashes it was said to them, ‘If you drink you put yourself at risk of injury and missing out.’” The Australia team is sponsored by a brewery and local folklore has it that former Test star David Boon, now a selector, drank 52 cans of beer on a flight from Sydney to London in 1989.