Tue, Mar 29, 2011 - Page 18 News List




Japan game rescheduled

The Asian Champions League clash between Kashima Antlers and Sydney FC which was postponed after this month’s disaster in Japan will now take place in Tokyo on May 10, the Australian club said yesterday. The A-League side’s trip to Kashima on March 16 for a Group H match was called off after the deadly March 11 earthquake. The return match at the Sydney Football Stadium has been brought forward to April 13, the club added. Kashima’s home stadium was damaged in the earthquake, so they will host Sydney at Tokyo’s National Stadium in May.


Neymar in banana ruckus

Brazil star Neymar was at the center of a racism row after the teenager said a banana was thrown at him during Sunday’s 2-0 friendly win over Scotland in London. Santos striker Neymar scored twice to seal Brazil’s win at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, but the 19-year-old’s memorable day turned sour when he was allegedly subjected to a racist attack. A Brazilian press officer confirmed a banana had been thrown on the pitch and Neymar, who is a transfer target for Chelsea and Real Madrid, told Brazilian television that he suffered abuse throughout the match. In the past, bananas have often been thrown at colored players by racist fans in stadiums across Europe, but the practice had died out recently. Neymar had been booed by Scotland fans after a lengthy spell of treatment for a first-half injury, but it is not certain who threw the banana as the fruit came from a section of the ground largely populated by Brazilian supporters. Scotland boss Craig Levein said: “I don’t know anything about that.”


Tired Libya lose qualifier

A 60-hour journey from their conflict-torn homeland did not end happily for Libya as they lost 4-2 to South Africa on Sunday in a 2012 London Olympics qualifier. The outcome could have been worse for the North Africans as they trailed by four goals midway through the second half at Sinaba Stadium in Daveyton township 50km east of Johannesburg. An own goal conceded under no pressure and a late Sami al-Ghulla goal left the Libyans with some hope ahead of the second-round return match over the weekend of April 8-10 at a venue to be announced. Tournament organizer FIFA is unlikely to allow Tripoli to be used. That could mean a switch to Mali capital Bamako, where the Libyan senior team were to play a 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against the Comoros Islands yesterday. Libya coach Branko Smiljanic said he was sick and his 16-man squad tired after the two-and-a-half-day journey from Tripoli to Johannesburg by road and air via Tunisia and Europe. “South Africa have a very good team, but the late goals offer us a slight chance of overtaking them when we meet again. Our concentration levels were very poor in the early stages,” the Serb said. “Libyan league football has been suspended and this obviously had a big effect on our performance. South Africa made us run a lot and that tired my players, who were not at peak fitness.”


‘Destabilization must stop’

Marseille president Jean-Claude Dassier on Sunday tried to allay fears of Didier Deschamps leaving the club by saying that he did “not doubt for one second” that the coach would stay put next year. “I’ll do what I must so he stays,” Dassier told Canal Plus. “I’ve seen that the transfer market opened early at Marseille. It’s a clear undertaking of destabilization of the club and it must stop.”

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