Healy cited for stamping
Ireland prop forward Cian Healy was cited on Monday for stamping on England front row Dan Cole during Sunday’s Six Nations international in Dublin. Healy is set to appear before a disciplinary hearing in London today and, if the citing is upheld, risks a ban that could rule him out of the rest of the Six Nations after he was charged with contravening Law 10.4 (b), which states “a player must not stamp or trample on an opponent.” Tempers flared in the 14th minute of England’s 12-6 win when Healy used his boot on Cole’s ankle at a ruck formed following a collapsed maul, sparking a mass brawl. Match referee Jerome Garces of France took no action at the time, but Healy has since been cited by Italian citing commissioner Alberto Recadini. The recommended suspension for a low end stamping offense is two weeks, the mid-range five weeks and the top end nine weeks, up to a maximum of a year.
Keshi quits as Nigeria coach
Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi told a South African radio station on Monday that he had resigned after leading his country to the Africa Cup of Nations title. “I gave the national football federation my letter of resignation immediately after the final, but I have not heard from them,” Keshi told public broadcaster SABC. Keshi dropped hints last week of his unhappiness with Nigerian soccer officials in Durban before the semi-final drubbing of Mali, telling a press conference he would “pack his bags and leave” if unwanted. “If, back home, they do not like what I am doing, well, you cannot force someone to like you,” he said. Keshi captained Nigeria to victory over Zambia in the 1994 final and guided his country to a 1-0 win over Burkina Faso on Sunday in a Soweto final settled by a Sunday Mba goal five minutes before halftime. The coach was reportedly furious when he discovered that Nigerian officials had booked a flight home for the squad immediately after the quarter-final against favorites Ivory Coast.
Betis held by Valladolid
Real Betis Balompie failed to capitalize on their chances and were held to a 0-0 draw at home by Real Valladolid on Monday in a mid-table clash in La Liga. Betis were the more attacking side and created five chances compared with none for the visitors halfway through the second half, but poor finishing and solid goalkeeping by Daniel Hernandez kept the game scoreless. Valladolid then upped the pace until Serbian defender Antonio Rukavina was sent off for a second yellow card in the 75th minute for a foul, with replays indicating he had made a clean challenge. Betis defender Antonio Amaya was sent off in stoppage-time for a dangerous high kick, leaving both teams with 10 men.
Deportivo sack Paciencia
Domingos Paciencia was relieved of his duties as RC Deportivo de La Coruna manager on Monday after just five weeks in charge of the La Liga strugglers. “Portuguese coach Domingos Paciencia and his colleagues won’t coach the first team any more. Jose Angel Franganillo took charge of training today [Monday],” the Galician outfit announced via their Web site, two days after an embarrassing 3-0 home defeat to Granada. The 44-year-old Paciencia, a former Porto star, replaced Jose Luis Oltra on Dec. 31, but his reign produced just one victory in six matches, a sequence of results that left promoted Deportivo bottom of La Liga on 16 points from 23 matches, six adrift of safety.