South Korea go to Olympics
South Korea reached their seventh successive Olympic Games with a game to spare on Wednesday when they cruised past Oman 3-0 in Muscat. Midfielder Nam Tae-hee put Korea ahead inside the first minute, with FC Seoul striker Kim Hyun-sung doubling the score in the 68th minute. Kim Min-woo added the third just four minutes later. Hong Myung-bo’s South Korea, who have a four-point lead over second-placed Oman, round off their qualifying campaign on March 14 when they face a Qatar side needing a win to have any hope of claiming the Group A runners-up place. In Group C, Japan virtually made sure of their place in a fifth successive Olympics, thanks to a confident 4-0 thrashing of Malaysia. Japan now have 12 points, three ahead of Bahrain — who they face in their last game — and Syria. In Group B, the United Arab Emirates are three points ahead of Uzbekistan, after a 1-0 win over Australia in Dubai. Uzbekistan lost ground on Tuesday when they lost 2-1 to Iraq.
Loss puts Siena in drop zone
Siena remained just two points above the Serie A relegation zone after a 1-0 defeat at home to Catania on Wednesday. Francesco Lodi scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot midway through the first period, after a handball by Alessandro Gazzi, who also gave away a spot-kick in Sunday’s 4-1 defeat at Lecce. Catania, who were 16th at kick-off, just one place above Siena, moved up into mid-table and are now nine points above the drop zone.
Reja resigned again: report
Lazio coach Edy Reja has had his resignation rejected by the struggling club, Italian press reported on Wednesday. Reja and the team have come in for heavy criticism after Sunday’s 5-1 defeat at Palermo, their sixth in 11 matches since the turn of the year. If true, it would not be the first time this season Reja had resigned, but been convinced to stay on having taken similar action at the beginning of the season. However, Reja left with the team on Wednesday to head to Spain to play Atletico Madrid in the Europa League. Lazio are fourth in Serie A and level on points with third-placed Udinese in the final Champions League qualification place.
Morrison gets another fine
West Ham midfielder Ravel Morrison was fined ￡7,000 (US$11,000) by the Football Association on Wednesday for a homophobic Twitter post. Morrison, who joined West Ham from Manchester United in the January transfer window, made the remark during an exchange with another Twitter user. The 19-year-old was also warned as to his future conduct after admitting a charge under Rule E3 of the governing body’s disciplinary code. This prohibits the use “of abusive and/or insulting words including a reference to a person’s sexual orientation.” Morrison was widely regarded as one of the most talented youngsters ever to be unearthed by Manchester United, but was sold by the English champions to second-tier West Ham amid ongoing off-the-field problems. Two days after winning the FA Youth Cup last year, Morrison was fined ￡600 by a court for throwing his girlfriend’s mobile phone out of a window during an argument. He also pleaded guilty to two counts of witness intimidation last year and has a police caution for assaulting his mother.