Leaders lose at Den Haag
Dutch league leaders Twente lost 3-2 at ADO Den Haag after recovering from two goals down before Mike van Duinen struck the killer blow two minutes from time on Saturday. The defeat left them level on 19 points with champions Ajax, who missed the chance to go clear at the top when they were held to a 0-0 draw at home to bottom side RKC Waalwijk. Two goals in four minutes after halftime had lowly Den Haag ahead, but Twente’s Luc Castaignos and Roberto Rosales leveled the scores, only for Van Duinen to snatch the late winner. Also on Saturday, Rydell Poepon scored twice as NAC beat Go Ahead Eagles 5-0, while SC Cambuur beat Utrecht 3-1.
Blatter gets tough on racism
FIFA president Sepp Blatter wants tougher sanctions over racism, with teams kicked out of tournaments and points deducted. Blatter, speaking at the Football Association’s 150th anniversary gala in London, became the latest high-profile figure to react to accusations of racism in the game after Manchester City’s Yaya Toure claimed he was the target of monkey chants during last week’s UEFA Champions League clash at CSKA Moscow. “It has been decided by the FIFA congress that it is a nonsense for racism to be dealt with by fines, you can always find money from somebody to pay them,” Blatter said. “It is a nonsense to have matches played without spectators, because it is against the spirit of football and against the visiting team, it is all nonsense. We need to eliminate teams from a competition or deduct points. Only by such decisions is it possible to go against racism and discrimination. If we don’t do that it will go on and go on, we have to stop it, we need the courage to do it.”
Aussies, Italy get victories
Australia lined up an easier route to the Rugby League World Cup final when they beat hosts England 28-20 in an entertaining tournament opener at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on Saturday. Most of the Kangaroos had not played for more than a month and found themselves 10-0 down after 20 minutes, but that is when they finally clicked and scored four successive tries to lead 22-10 soon after halftime. Their fifth try, a backline string finished by left winger Darius Boyd in the 71st minute, seemed to seal the result, but England then scored an opportunist try by Josh Charnley and needed the conversion to be within a converted try on the scoreboard to make the final four minutes tense. However, Kevin Sinfield’s sharp-angled kick flew wide. Meanwhile, Italy showed that their shock 15-14 win over England was no fluke when they swamped Wales 32-16 on their World Cup debut. The second match of the doubleheader was tit for tat until after halftime, when Italy’s fitness and speed began to tell.
Goodell wants London team
National Football League (NFL) commissioner Roger Goodell wants to see league teams established in both Los Angeles and London, as long as the process is conducted in “the right way,” he said on Saturday. Speaking at a forum for European NFL fans in London ahead of yesterday’s game at Wembley between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the San Francisco 49ers, Goodell was asked which city he would prefer gain a league franchise first. “It doesn’t matter,” Goodell replied. “I’d love to be back in Los Angeles, but it has to be done the right way, we have to do it successfully... I want both [London and Los Angeles], but it doesn’t matter which one is first.”