Aussies banned for drinking
Australia coach Ewen Mc-Kenzie announced on Monday that six members of his tour squad in Europe would receive one-match bans for “inappropriate” drinking. McKenzie said wingers Adam Ashley Cooper and Nick Cummins; front-rowers Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson and Paddy Ryan; and backrower Liam Gill had all drunk so much in the build-up to the Wallabies 32-15 win over Ireland on Saturday that they deserved a one-match ban. The suspensions will be served in next Saturday’s clash against Scotland at Murrayfield, with the exception of Ryan, who will serve his suspension in Australia’s final tour clash against Wales in Cardiff on Saturday next week. “Everyone in our squad is required to comply with and adhere to high standards of ethical conduct both on and off the field,” McKenzie said in an Australian Rugby Union statement. “Those standards were compromised in the lead-up to Saturday’s victory over Ireland, with a group of players making the decision to stay out late and consume inappropriate levels of alcohol during the early hours of Wednesday morning.” In addition, McKenzie also sanctioned a further nine players for “breaches of internal team protocols.”
Chinese youth to get balls
Jack Brewer, a former National Football League (NFL) player, will lead a delegation to Beijing this week aimed at bringing soccer balls to disadvantaged Chinese youth as part of the One World Futbol Project. Brewer, a 34-year-old Texan who spent five seasons as an NFL defensive back, hopes to introduce health and wellness products in China and seeks to use sport to promote social development as well as global cultural exchanges. On Friday, the China World Peace Foundation is to stage a reception at the Peace Garden Museum to kick off the soccer project, with a California-based group making the special balls, which never need pumping with air and will not go flat even when punctured. With plans to distribute at least 1.5 million soccer balls to youth worldwide, the project has enabled about 15 million children in 160 nations to play soccer.
Fabregas resumes training
Cesc Fabregas has returned to training as the Barcelona midfielder continues his recovery from a knee injury, the La Liga leaders said on Monday. Fabregas damaged ligaments in his right knee in their 4-1 win at Real Betis on Nov. 10 and had to withdraw from the Spain squad for friendlies against Equatorial Guinea and South Africa. “The FC Barcelona players returned to training this rainy Monday afternoon after enjoying the weekend off and Cesc participated in the session,” Barca said on their Web site. Barca’s Spain defenders Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba continued to work apart from their teammates as they continue their recovery from injury.
Colon fans riot
Police used rubber bullets to quell rioting fans after players from Argentine side Colon refused to take the field for Monday’s home match against Atletico Rafaela due to seven months unpaid wages. Colon fans tried to storm the club premises in Santa Fe city, while police attempted to break up the riot with rubber bullets, sports daily Ole reported on its Web site. The team could be fined or docked three points. They were docked six points on orders from world governing body FIFA earlier this month over a US$600,000 transfer debt dating back to 2007.