Spray to police offside
A vanishing spray which has been used in South America for several years to stop defensive walls creeping forward at free-kicks will feature at next month’s World Club Cup in Morocco next month, FIFA said on Wednesday. FIFA said the spray had been tested at this year’s Under-20 and Under-17 World Cups with “very good overall feedback from the participating referees.” Referees pace the regulation 9.15m between the ball and the nearest defender before spraying a line on the pitch to mark the correct position of the wall. The line then disappears from the pitch within a minute. The spray was developed in Brazil, where it was first used, and Argentina and is licensed by the Argentine company 9.15 Fair Play Limit.
Bulgarian club claims foul
Levski Sofia want the Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) to annul Saturday’s 0-0 Cup draw at city rivals CSKA, saying the hosts fielded a player who failed to turn out for the Bulgaria Under-21 side despite being selected. The 26-times Bulgarian champions want the BFU to award them a 3-0 victory in the first leg of the round-of-16 tie. “Any other decision would be in flagrant contradiction with the general principles laid down by FIFA and UEFA,” Levski said in a letter sent to the BFU on Wednesday. “Moreover, it will set a precedent that will ensure impunity for clubs who refuse to release players for national teams.” CSKA midfielder Ivaylo Chochev was included in the Bulgaria Under-21 squad for the European qualifiers against Denmark on Friday last week and Slovenia on Tuesday, but the club refused to release him because of the “eternal derby,” as matches with Levski are known.
Fiji protest yellow cards
Fiji on Thursday announced plans to lodge a formal complaint about a referee who handed the Pacific Islanders a world record of five yellow cards in a Test against Italy last weekend. Fiji were briefly reduced to 11 men in the first half of the 37-31 loss in Cremona, Italy, when four players were sin-binned during eight minutes of mayhem. Another yellow followed in the second half and Italy also had captain Sergio Parisse sent to the sin bin during his 100th appearance. Fiji Rugby Union acting chief executive Berlin Kafoa said the cards cost his team the match and said they resulted more from overzealous officiating by Welsh referee Leighton Hodges than poor discipline.
Teenager hits huge score
A 14-year-old Indian batsman smashed an astonishing 546 off 330 balls in a school match in Mumbai, recording the third-highest score in any form of cricket, media reports said on Wednesday. Prithvi Shaw, playing for Rizvi Springfield school, compiled the huge score against St Francis school in the Harris Shield, a tournament that brought batting icon Sachin Tendulkar into the limelight more than two decades ago. Shaw hit 85 fours and five sixes, surpassing the previous best score in the competition of 498 by Armaan Jaffar, nephew of former Indian opener Wasim Jaffar, two years ago, the Times Now and CNN-IBN channels said. Shaw’s innings was spread over two days after he was unbeaten on 257 on Tuesday evening. Indian statistician Mohandas Menon tweeted that Shaw’s effort was the third-highest recorded score behind the unbeaten 628 by Englishman Arthur Collins in 1899 and 566 by Charles Eady of Australia in 1901.