The German soccer federation opened an investigation on Wednesday into the chaotic scenes during a relegation match between Fortuna Duesseldorf 1895 and Hertha BSC Berlin that forced the referee to stop the game three times. Duesseldorf secured promotion to the Bundesliga top tier on Tuesday with a 2-2 draw against Hertha. The game was held up twice when fireworks and flares landed on the field, and once more with less than two minutes of stoppage-time to be played when Duesseldorf fans prematurely stormed the pitch. The German federation said its supervisory committee has launched a probe into the incident to work out an “appropriate” punishment for those responsible. Hertha said on Wednesday they would submit a legal complaint to annul the result.
Lopes happy, wedding off
Portugal fullback Miguel Lopes, a surprise pick for Euro 2012, said it was the happiest day of his life when coach Paulo Bento called him up, even though it forced him to scrap his wedding plans. “I had to talk to a lot of people, but they understood why I had to cancel the wedding and gave me a lot of support, another day will come,” Lopes, 25, said on Wednesday. He did not specify if his wife-to-be was one of the people who understood his decision, but admitted the first thing he did after hearing about the call-up was to kiss his fiancee, Monica Pina. “This is the happiest day of my life,” the Braga player said. Lopes’ wedding had been scheduled for the same day as Portugal’s pre-tournament friendly against Macedonia on Saturday next week.
No apologies, Tevez says
Striker Carlos Tevez insisted on Wednesday he would not apologize to Sir Alex Ferguson after waving a mocked-up tombstone of the Manchester United boss during Manchester City’s Premier League title celebrations. “It seems that Ferguson is the president of England. Because each time that he speaks badly of a player or talks nonsense about me, no one comes out to say that he has to apologize. When you make a joke, you have to apologize. But I’m not apologizing,” Tevez said on returning to Buenos Aires after helping City to their first title in 44 years. The 28-year-old Argentina striker held up a banner designed to look like a gravestone and bearing the words “RIP Fergie” as City celebrated their title triumph over Manchester United during an open-top bus parade. Manchester City later released a statement apologizing to Ferguson and criticizing Tevez, while the player — who it is believed took the banner from a fan — also said he “didn’t mean any disrespect.”
Star eyes Premier League
Japanese star Shinji Kagawa said he wants to play in the Premier League after meeting with Manchester United coach Alex Ferguson. The 23-year-old Kagawa has one year left on his contract with two-time Bundesliga champion Borussia Dortmund, but has declined the club’s extension offer. Kagawa returned to Japan on Wednesday after meeting with Ferguson earlier this week. “I want to go to a team where it’ll be challenging for me,” Kagawa said. “It’d be nice if I end up playing in the Premier League.” Ferguson attended the German Cup final in Berlin on Saturday, when Kagawa scored one goal and set up another to help Dortmund rout Bayern Munich 5-2 in what might have been his last game for the club.