Blues’ Faria gets ban, fine
Chelsea assistant manager Rui Faria was hit with a six-match stadium ban and fined ￡30,000 (US$50,640) on Thursday following his furious rant at the officials during Sunderland’s shock 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge last month. The Football Association found Faria guilty of two charges of improper conduct after Jose Mourinho’s long-time assistant had to be restrained during a fiery touchline exchange with referee Mike Dean and fourth official Phil Dowd in the closing stages of the match. The incident was sparked by Dean’s decision to award a controversial penalty to Sunderland when Blues defender Cesar Azpilicueta slid in to challenge Jozy Altidore, causing the Black Cats striker to tumble even though there was little intentional contact. Fabio Borini converted the spot-kick to seal a Sunderland victory, which dealt a major blow to Chelsea’s hopes of winning the Premier League.
Female fans rip up Koran
Two fans were convicted on Thursday of tearing up a copy of the Koran during an English soccer match and throwing the pieces in the air. Julie Phillips, 50, ripped pages from the Islamic holy book and handed them out to fellow away supporters to shred during offensive chanting, Birmingham Magistrates’ Court heard. Phillips and fellow Middlesbrough fan Gemma Parkin, 18, both from the northeast English town, were found guilty of a religiously aggravated public order offence. The incident happened during the second-tier English Championship 2-2 draw between hosts Birmingham City and visitors Middlesbrough at St Andrew’s Stadium on Dec. 7 last year. Phillips was ordered to pay ￡730 and Parkin ￡620 in fines, court costs and victim surcharges. They had both denied knowing that the book being torn apart was the Koran, saying the book was handed to them on their way to the stadium.
Canucks fire Tortorella
The Vancouver Canucks fired head coach John Tortorella on Thursday after he led the NHL team to their worst campaign in 15 years in his first season behind the bench. The fiery coach, who was relieved of his duties along with assistant coach Mike Sullivan, was unable to breathe life into a Canucks team that has been in freefall since losing in the Stanley Cup Finals in 2011. “Today we are making an important change in the direction of our team,” Canucks president Trevor Linden said in a statement. “We have a lot of important work to accomplish this off-season as we build our management and coaching staff, improve our roster and connect with our fans.” Since losing to the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Finals, the Canucks have failed to win a playoff series, falling in the first round in 2012 and last year, and missing out on the post-season this year.
Trump gets first major
Two days after acquiring the iconic Open venue Turnberry, US billionaire Donald Trump was awarded his first major on Thursday with the announcement of the site of the 2022 PGA Championship. The last of the year’s four majors, the PGA Championship is to be staged at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, in 2022, the USPGA said in a statement. “When you get acknowledged to have one of the majors, anyone of the majors, but having the PGA is a very, very big deal,” Trump said on a conference call. “It’s very important to me.