Sofia derby sparks violence
Two policemen were injured and 70 fans arrested in the area around the derby between archrivals Levski Sofia and CSKA Sofia on Saturday, the Ministry of the Interior said, as racial tensions ratcheted up the violence. Supporters groups had threatened attacks against the growing number of immigrants in three Sofia suburbs, prompting police to bolster security around their shelters. Eight fans were arrested after trying to provoke four African immigrants outside the capital’s central mosque before the game, the ministry said. Another 62 arrests were carried out before, during and after the game of rowdy fans who carried knives and other objects that are banned in stadiums. Levski and CSKA are the country’s most popular teams and traditional archrivals, so their fans frequently clash. CSKA won Saturday’s game 3-0 and are currently second in the table after 13 matches.
Mou sent off, sits with fan
A starstruck Chelsea supporter had an unexpected surprise during his side’s 4-1 win over Cardiff City on Saturday when he found himself sitting beside manager Jose Mourinho. Mourinho was sent to the stands by referee Anthony Taylor with 20 minutes to play in the Premier League game at Stamford Bridge and clambered into a vacant seat next to Chelsea fan Sean Buxton. Buxton quickly uploaded a picture of himself and Mourinho on his Twitter account, @Sean_Buxtonzz, alongside the caption: “OMG [oh my God] morinho [sic] is sitting next to me!!!!!” He later added: “He’s taking the piss with the leg room.” The picture quickly drew close to 10,000 retweets. Chelsea’s fans swiftly commemorated the incident with a chant, singing: “Jose Mourinho, he sits where he wants.”
PSG blank Bastia 4-0
Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani both struck twice to inspire Paris Saint-Germain to a comfortable 4-0 victory over a hapless SC Bastia and lift the capital side three points clear in Ligue 1 on Saturday. In other matches, Nigerian goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama saved a late penalty to preserve LOSC Lille Metropole’s 1-0 win against last year’s champions Montpellier Hearult, while En Avant de Guingamp came back to defeat Evian Thonon Gaillard 2-1. Nantes continued their sparkling return to the top flight by defeating AC Ajaccio 1-0 in Corsica, while Algerian Foued Kadir gave Stade Rennais a 2-0 lead, before basement dwellers Valenciennes stormed back to salvage a 2-2 draw.
Birsa saves Milan at Udinese
A stunning long-range strike by Valter Birsa helped AC Milan end their poor run of Serie A form with a scrappy 1-0 home win over Udinese on Saturday. In the day’s other, match Cagliari came from a goal down to beat 10-man Catania 2-1 on their return to the Stadio Comunale Sant’Elia stadium after an 18-month absence in which they played at the Stadio Is Arenas. Birsa gave injury-ravaged Milan, who were without a host of players — including striker Mario Balotelli — their third league win of the season following a 22nd-minute counterattack. Despite a far from convincing display during which Brazilian Kaka made an uneventful 20-minute cameo appearance, Massimiliano Allegri’s side leapfrogged Udinese into eighth place with 11 points from eight games. Cagliari occupy 10th position in the table, while Catania are fifth from bottom.
Province, Sharks in final
Western Province are to host next week’s Currie Cup final against the Sharks after both sides triumphed in their home semi-finals in South Africa’s premier domestic competition on Saturday. Western Province, who have home advantage after finishing top of the pre-playoff standings, beat the Golden Lions 33-16 at Newlands. The Sharks followed up with a 31-22 win over Free State Cheetahs to set up a repeat of last year’s final, which Western Province won 25-18 away in Durban. Saturday’s final is the first in Cape Town for 12 years.
Simpson leads in Vegas
Former US Open champion Webb Simpson maintained a solid four-shot lead at the PGA Tour’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open after shooting a third round four-under 67 on Saturday. Simpson completed 54 holes at Summerlin course at 19-under-par 194. Chesson Hadley also shot 67 during his third round and is in second place at 15-under, while Jeff Overton (68) sits in third at minus-14 and Jason Bohn (69) has sole possession of fourth at 13-under. Sean O’Hair carded the low round of the day with an eight-under 63 to vault into a share of fifth place with Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa (68), Ryan Moore (69), Russell Knox (69), J.J. Henry (70) and William McGirt (64) at 12-under 201.
Pistol-shooting champ shot
A former pistol-shooting champion who twice represented Thailand at the Olympics has been killed in Bangkok by attackers who fled on a motorcycle, police said yesterday. Jakkrit Panichpatikum, 40, a household name in the kingdom, was shot late on Saturday as he drove to the house of his estranged wife. Two men on a motorcycle followed Jakkrit and shot him several times as he approached his wife’s house, police said. Jakkrit was recently in the limelight after his mother and his wife filed a complaint to police alleging he had assaulted and threatened his wife. As well as appearing to enjoy his bad boy image, Jakkrit was Thailand’s best shooter, reaching the quarter-final of the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and competing in last year’s London Games.
Wozniacki, Beck to face off
Top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark was scheduled to play Annika Beck of Germany in yesterday’s final of the Luxembourg Open. Wozniacki, ranked ninth in the world, swept past third-seeded Sabine Lisicki of Germany 6-4, 6-4. She has lost only one set all week. Beck advanced to her first WTA final when Stefanie Voegele of Switzerland had to retire hurt at 7-5, 1-0 in their semi-final. Wozniacki has 20 career titles, but yet to win one this year. She and Beck were to meet for the first time.
Amir ‘can get ban review’
Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir’s five-year ban will be reviewed only after the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) anti-corruption code is updated, the game’s governing body said on Saturday. The ICC board was informed that a more robust and strengthened anti-corruption code will be submitted for discussion and approval at the next meeting in January. England’s Giles Clarke heads a working group revising the laws under which Amir was banned for five years in 2010 for spot-fixing during a Test at Lord’s. Amir was jailed in London for cheating and released early for good behavior, while former teammates Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt were also jailed and banned for several years.