Player accused of assault
The Brisbane Lions said yesterday they were aware of “serious allegations” made against one of their players, reportedly that he tipped a man out of his wheelchair while waiting for a taxi in Brisbane on Sunday night. “The club has launched an immediate investigation into the matter as it had not previously been made aware of the allegations,” it said in a statement. Reports said a 40-year-old man had complained to police on Thursday about the incident in which he was allegedly tossed out of his wheelchair after being approached by a group of players. They then allegedly threw food at him as he lay on the ground and took the taxi he was waiting for, reports said. On Tuesday, another AFL player was fined and forced to apologize to a dwarf entertainer who was set on fire at an end-of-season celebration.
O’Driscoll remains bitter
Brian O’Driscoll admitted on Thursday that he still harbors “resentment” toward British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland over his non-selection for the third Test against Australia earlier this year. The Irish center was dropped by Gatland for the decisive match in Sydney, but the Lions went on to secure a 41-16 victory to win the series. O’Driscoll said he has still not forgiven the New Zealander for the snub. “Yeah, there’s resentment, of course,” O’Driscoll said. The 34-year-old admitted that watching Welshman Jonathan Davies wearing his jersey had been a disappointing conclusion to his fourth and final Lions tour. “When you’re left with disappointment that way, you can’t but feel a little bit of resentment,” he said. “I might have been able to do a decent job within that part of the team, the way they played in that game. That is absolutely not taking anything away from Jonathan’s performance. But I guess it comes back to you backing yourself, feeling you too could have done some things that maybe others didn’t do on the day.”
Burke moves to Flames
Brian Burke, who helped assemble the 2007 Anaheim Ducks’ Stanley Cup winning team, has been hired as the president of hockey operations for the Calgary Flames, the NHL team said on Thursday. “To be able to bring in someone who has won a Stanley Cup, it’s a great thing,” said Flames general manager Jay Feaster. The well-traveled Burke most recently worked as a scout for the Anaheim Ducks after being sacked as general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Burke also served as general manager with Anaheim, Vancouver and Hartford. Burke said at a news conference on Thursday he would have a background role with the club.
Black Caps name squad
Uncapped leg-spinner Ish Sodhi and all-rounder Corey Anderson have been promoted from the New Zealand A team to the Test squad for a two Test series in Bangladesh next month. Anderson has played for New Zealand in limited-overs internationals, but has not played a Test. “Essentially this squad builds on the team that toured England in May,” new national selection manager Bruce Edgar said in a statement yesterday. “The key was to take a consistent approach to selection and provide continuity for the players.” New Zealand coach Mike Hesson said Bangladesh would be a good place to give the leg-spinner an opportunity to continue learning his craft. Injuries to Martin Guptill (finger), Daniel Vettori (Achilles) and Tim Southee (ankle) meant they were not considered for the series, which starts in Chittagong on Oct. 9.
Calls for silent celebration
Chile’s team and fans were encouraged not to celebrate their first goal in yesterday’s World Cup qualifier against Venezuela in memory of thousands who were tortured 40 years ago at the match’s venue. Days after a military coup on Sept. 11, 1973, around 12,000 suspected leftists were rounded up and herded into the National Stadium, which was used as an interrogation and torture center. The viral campaign, #goldesilencio (silent goal), which quickly trended on Twitter, was run by human rights campaigners Amnesty International. A video used footage of the time with words superimposed saying: “To all Chile’s players we want to ask that when the first goal arrives — don’t shout. Keep down in your throat that shout that comes from the soul. Squeeze your fist so your hand doesn’t raise to the sky. And if you really want to celebrate, make the stadium quiet.”
Wales boss misses flight
Wales manager Chris Coleman was late arriving in Macedonia for yesterday’s World Cup qualifier between the countries due to what the Football Association of Wales (FAW) described as “a passport issue.” The delay meant that Coleman missed both the pre-game press conference and final training session, with assistant coach Kit Symons reported to be set to step in for him at the Phillip II Arena in Skopje. “Manager Chris Coleman will arrive in Skopje later tonight [Thursday] after a passport issue delayed his departure from Cardiff,” read a statement on the FAW Twitter feed. Coleman’s assistant Kit Symons fulfilled Wales’ pre-match press obligations and he played down the incident. Symons and the Welsh FA refused to clarify what had caused Coleman to be delayed, but it is understood he lost his passport and, having obtained a replacement, was travelling from London Heathrow to Skopje via Vienna.
Aussie plays down comment
Socceroo Archie Thompson has made light of his comment that Brazilian Neymar, who recently moved to Barcelona for US$74 million, was overrated, putting the remark down to jetlag or mistranslation. Australia take on the 2014 World Cup hosts in a friendly in Brasilia today and Thompson livened up pre-match exchanges by saying he thought Neymar was overrated and his teammate Oscar was a better player. Forward Neymar responded to the Melbourne Victory striker in a news conference with the withering question: “What’s his name?” according to Brazilian media reports. “It was the jetlag or the Brazilian reporter didn’t understand my Portuguese,” New Zealand-born Thompson quipped in a Tweet from Brasilia on Thursday.
Player appeals biting ban
An Australian player in South Africa is appealing his seven-game ban for biting, saying he sunk his teeth into an opponent’s arm by mistake because he had his mouth open while scoring a try. The South African Rugby Union said Griquas lock Rory Arnold’s appeal would be heard yesterday. He was banned until after Oct. 19, ruling him out of the rest of the regular season in the Currie Cup. Arnold was sent off straight after scoring and following a television review prompted by complaints from Cheetahs hooker Ethienne Reynecke, who showed bite marks on his arm to the referee. In his initial disciplinary hearing on Tuesday, Arnold said he crossed the tryline with his mouth open and pressure from a tackle forced his head down onto Reynecke’s forearm.