Fourth fan killed in Brazil
Authorities say a fan was killed in a fight between rival groups in central Brazil, the fourth casualty of fan violence in less than a month. Police said on Sunday that 23-year-old Diego Rodrigo Costa de Jesus was shot dead in a confrontation between supporters from Goias and Vila Nova in the central city of Goiania on Saturday. Two Palmeiras fans were killed last week in a fight in Sao Paulo, and a Guarani supporter died about two weeks ago about 100km from the same city. A series of incidents related to fan fighting this year had already raised authorities’ concerns with Brazil hosting the 2014 World Cup.
Napoli fan stabbed in thigh
A man was taken to hospital on Sunday after being stabbed in the thigh in clashes between rival AC Milan and Napoli fans at a motorway service station near Bologna, Italian news agency Ansa reported. The Napoli fan was taken to the Maggiore di Bologna hospital in the city following the incident at about 2pm. Police were called and three buses, containing about 150 people, were held at the service station. The Napoli fan was not badly injured and was immediately discharged. He is expected to be interviewed by police.
IFA seeks end to game ban
The Iraqi Football Association (IFA) wants an end to a FIFA ban on hosting official matches that was imposed last year, and wants to be able to host friendlies in the interim, an Iraqi socer official said on Sunday. IFA president Najeh Hmoud is scheduled to head a delegation to meet FIFA chief Sepp Blatter in Zurich on April 13 to discuss issues related to the future of Iraqi soccer, association vice president Abdel Khaleq Massoud said. He added that the delegation would propose that Iraq be permitted to host friendly matches in Baghdad while the ban on official matches remained in place. FIFA barred Iraq from hosting matches because of poor administration and organization at a match in Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdistan region, on Sept. 2 last year.
O’Brien apologizes for prank
Former New Zealand Test fast bowler Iain O’Brien has apologized for an April Fools prank in which he announced on Twitter he was coming out of retirement for a second time. The 35-year-old O’Brien, a prolific blogger, took 73 wickets in 22 Tests for New Zealand and made county appearances for Leicestershire and Middlesex, before injuries forced his complete retirement from all cricket earlier this year. He retired from international cricket in 2009, but attempted a comeback when he joined Middlesex the following year. O’Brien apologized yesterday, saying the prank “was meant to be harmless fun,” but had misfired.
Chinaglia dies at 65
Former Italy, SS Lazio and New York Cosmos star Giorgio Chinaglia has died of complications from a heart attack, his son said. The Italian great was 65. Chinaglia died on Sunday at his home in Naples, Florida, his son Anthony said through family friend Charlie Stillatana. Chinaglia was the all-time leading scorer in the North American Soccer League after previously playing for Lazio. Chinaglia had lived in the US since facing accusations in Rome of involvement in an organized crime group that allegedly tried to buy Lazio in 2006. He played for Italy at the 1974 World Cup.