PETA seeks slaughter ban
Animal rights group PETA has called on UEFA to ban the “ritual slaughter of animals” after a sheep was sacrificed prior to Kazakh side Shakhter Karagandy’s Champions League playoff match against Celtic. The organization has written to UEFA president Michel Platini asking him to use his influence to ensure that the governing body’s “prestigious competitions are not tainted by such horrifying cruelty.” Shakhter killed the sheep before training for their home first leg tie against Celtic on Tuesday. “The ritual slaughter of animals deeply upsets caring people worldwide and is already the subject of controversy,” PETA’s associate director Mimi Bekhechi said in the letter. “May I please have your assurance that you will not permit the proposed killing of animals at stadiums that will host European football matches?”
Anya gets Scotland call-up
Watford’s Ikechi Anya on Friday received his first Scotland call-up after being named in the squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Belgium and Macedonia next month. Anya, who can play at full-back or in midfield, was born in Glasgow to a Nigerian father and Romanian mother. The 25-year-old began his career at Wycombe Wanderers in the English lower leagues, but was released and moved to Spain to resurrect his career at the Glenn Hoddle Academy following a short spell with Northampton Town. Anya impressed in Spain and won a contract with Sevilla before moving to Championship club Watford last year after playing spells with several Spanish clubs. “He is a late developer,” Scotland manager Gordon Strachan said. “He is a guy who has seen there is a chance and worked hard.”
Club fined over Nazi banner
Hungarian club Ferencvaros was fined by national sports authorities on Friday after fans commemorated the death of a suspected Nazi war criminal. The Budapest club was fined 800,000 forints (US$3,580) after supporters unfurled a banner honoring Laszlo Csatari during a game last Saturday against rivals MTK, a club favored by the Jewish community. Csatari, who was awaiting trial for allegedly sending 12,000 Jews to death camps, died on Aug. 10. “We can only repeat that any [political or racist] remark or action, hidden or overt, has no place on the pitch,” the Hungarian soccer association said in a statement on its Web site. It added that the fine was low as the club had distanced itself from the fans’ actions and had cooperated in finding the culprits.
Lehmann called hypocrite
Former Australian captain Ian Chappell has accused coach Darren Lehmann of hypocrisy in attacking England’s Stuart Broad for “blatant cheating” during this season’s first Ashes Test. Lehmann’s comments in an Australian radio interview saw him fined 20 percent of his match in the ongoing fifth and final Ashes Test at The Oval. Broad angered Australia during England’s first Test win at Trent Bridge when he refused to walk after a thick edge deflected off the wicketkeeper’s gloves to slip. Chappell said Australians, who have traditionally always waited for the umpire’s decision, were in no position to complain about opponents who did exactly the same thing. “I don’t like to be called a cheat and basically he [Lehmann] is calling all people who don’t walk a cheat, which would include himself,” Chappell told BBC Radio Five on Friday.