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Rediff.com  » Sports » Sports Shorts: Alves fumes, Serena reigns, Indian women's hockey team thrashed

Sports Shorts: Alves fumes, Serena reigns, Indian women's hockey team thrashed

Last updated on: April 29, 2014 18:26 IST

Sports Shorts: 'If I could, I would put a photo of the fan on the internet and shame him'

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Dani Alves has hit out at Spain for being "very backward" in its approach towards racism and believes the fan who hurled a banana on the pitch in Barcelona's game away to Villarreal on Sunday should be publicly shamed.

PHOTOS: Football world 'goes bananas' in solidarity with Dani Alves!

Sports world sees new low after racism rears its ugly head

Images of the Brazilian picking up the banana and taking a bite were beamed around the world and he was widely backed by the football community and celebrities.

Villarreal subsequently announced they had given the supporter a life ban but Alves, who has criticised the level of racism in Spain before, felt it was not enough.

"If I could, I would put a photo of the fan on the internet so that he would be shamed," Alves told Brazil’s Radio Globo.

"There is racism against foreigners. They sell the country as being first world but in certain things they are very backward."

Alves admitted he did not expect his actions to receive so much attention.

"I have been surprised by everyone's support. I did it without thinking. The world has evolved and we must evolve with it."

FIFA president Sepp Blatter was among those who backed the player and tweeted that racism cannot be tolerated.

Alves said that the world governing body should be more proactive.

"FIFA must concentrate on things more important than La Masia. They need to give their attention to more serious things," he said, referring to the recent verdict that Barcelona were guilty of breaching regulations over the transfer of underage players.

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Image: Barcelona's Dani Alves picks up and then eats the banana that was thrown at him during their match against Villareal on Sunday
Photographs: FIFPro/Facebook

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Scotland thrash India in women's Champions Challenge hockey

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India’s women's hockey team was thrashed 4-0 by Scotland and slumped to their second consecutive defeat in the Champions Challenge 1 at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre on Monday night.

They had earlier lost 2-4 to Korea in their opening Pool A match.

They play Belgium next, on Wednesday.

Scotland made a confident start and dominated proceedings. They earned a penalty-corner in the fourth minute but failed to convert it.

The Indians defended stoutly for most of the opening half before the hosts broke the deadlock in the 30th minute through a field goal from Nikki Kidd.

Scotland doubled their lead when Emily Maguire scored another field goal in the 33rd minute.

Scotland added two more goals after the change of ends through Vikki Bunce (41st) and Becky Ward (66th) for a comfortable victory.

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Image: The Indian women's hockey team in action against Scotland in the Champions Challenge


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I-League champions Bengaluru FC finish with flourish

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Super-sub Beikhokhei Beingaichho scored in stoppage time as Bengaluru FC beat Sporting Clube de Goa 2-1 in the concluding match of their dream I-League debut season in which they emerged champions.

After Boima Karpeh (42nd minute) put Sporting Clube de Goa ahead, Bengaluru fought back in the second half and equalised through Robin Singh in the 59th minute before substitute Beingaichho scored the winner in stoppage time to take the champions' tally to 47 points from 24 matches.

Besides the winners' trophy, they earned a cash prize of Rs 70 lakh.

East Bengal, who beat United Sports Club 3-0 at the Salt Lake stadium in Kolkata in another match on Monday, finished second in the standings with 43 points and were rewarded with Rs 40 lakh for their effort.

Salgaocar, who lost to Churchill Brothers -12, finished third, with 38 points. They earned Rs 25 lakh.

Churchill Brothers thus staved saved off relegation.

An own goal from Augustine Fernandes had put Churchill ahead but Salgaocar hit back through Darryl Duffy.

Needing a win to save relegation, Churchill got the result they were hunting for all along as Balwant Singh scored the match-winner in the 65th minute.

Kolkata outfit Mohammedan Sporting got relegated in the process, as the victory helped the Goan side to move up to 25 points, just a point above Mohammedan Sporting.

Image: Bengaluru FC players hoist their coach Ashley Westwood after beating Sporting Clube de Goa and ending their I-League campaign on a winning note.

Photograph: AIFF Media

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Image: Bengaluru FC players hoist their coach Ashley Westwood after beating Sporting Clube de Goa and ending their I-League campaign on a winning note.
Photographs: AIFF Media

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Somdev scores first singles victory in three months

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Somdev Devvarman finally snapped his losing streak in singles with a commanding straight sets victory over Matthew Ebden in the first round of the ATP Portugal Open, in Oeiras, on Tuesday.

The 102-ranked Indian beat the No 64-ranked Australian 6-2, 6-3 in 73 minutes.

The victory in the euro 485,760 clay-court event is Somdev's first after five straight first-round defeats in the last three months.

His last singles victory on the ATP tour was over Juan Martin del Potro, who retired hurt midway through the first round in the ATP 500 Dubai event in February.

He next faces top seed and world No 6 Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic.

Somdev broke Ebden early to take a 2-1 lead and raced away with the opening set.

The second set was keenly fought. The players were locked 3-3, but Somdev broke the Australian in the seventh and ninth games to clinch a confidence-boosting victory.

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Image: Somdev Devvarman
Photographs: Getty Images

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Serena reigns

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World No.1 Serena Williams has held on to her top position in the latest women's tennis rankings issued by the WTA.

The American 17-time Grand Slam champion dominates the standings with 12, 375 points, followed by Chinese ace Li Na at the second spot with 7265 points.

Meanwhile Serbian Jelena Jankovic moved up to a place to seventh with Germany's Angelique Kerber dropping down to eighth, while the highest ranked South African is Chanelle Scheepers, who dropped eight spots to No 80.

WTA top 10 as of April 28:

1. Serena Williams (United States) 12,375 points

2. Li Na (China) 7,265

3. Agnieszka Radwanska (Poland) 5,980

4. Victoria Azarenka (Belarus) 5,441

5. Simona Halep (Romania) 4,695

6. Petra Kvitova (CzechRepublic) 4,295

7. Jelena Jankovic (Serbia) 4,070

8. Angelique Kerber (Germany) 4,010

9. Maria Sharapova (Russia) 3,961

10. Dominika Cibulkova (Slovakia) 3,830 

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Image: Serena Williams
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Image

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Man City, PSG breach UEFA financial fair play rules

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Manchester City and Paris St-Germain have both been found to have breached UEFA's financial fair play (FFP) rules, British media reported on Tuesday.

Man City, PSG face UEFA punishment for breaching FFP rules

The clubs had received settlement offers from European soccer's governing body and would need to decide whether to accept the sanctions or try to negotiate lesser punishments, the BBC said on its website.

The lesser punishments may vary from a reprimand to a fine or European squad restrictions. The British broadcaster said "under 20" clubs had failed to meet the criteria.

In February, UEFA secretary general Gianni Infantino said 76 European clubs out of 237 originally assessed had been asked to submit additional information about their finances ahead of the new rules which come into full effect next season.

The rules are being introduced to force clubs to live within their means and prevent those with rich owners from simply spending their way to success.

In principle, clubs cannot spend more than their generated revenue although they are allowed cash injections of up to 45 million euros ($62.2 million) over three years. Spending on training facilities and youth development is exempt.

UEFA, ManchesterCity and PSG management were unavailable for comment.

The BBC said if an agreement between clubs and UEFA's club financial control board could not be reached over the sanctions, outstanding cases would go to an adjudicatory panel for a final decision.

While settlements offered to each club had not been disclosed, UEFA could reveal the outcomes as early as Friday, the broadcaster added.

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Image: Manchester City players at a training session
Photographs: David Ramos/Getty Images

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Mourinho denies FA misconduct charge

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Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho denied on Monday a Football Association (FA) charge of misconduct and requested a non-personal hearing in relation to comments made after his side's shock defeat against Sunderland on April 19.

The FA said a date for the hearings of Mourinho and assistant coach Rui Faria, who has admitted two charges of misconduct and also requested a non-personal hearing, had yet to be set.

Mourinho sarcastically congratulated referee Mike Dean and Mike Riley -- the head of the refereeing body -- after the 2-1 defeat against relegation-threatened opponents which ended Mourinho's 77-game unbeaten league record at StamfordBridge.

The Portuguese, whose side are second overall and still in the title chase, described Dean's performance as "unbelievable" and "fantastic" before suggesting Chelsea had been continually disadvantaged in the title race by refereeing decisions.

"Congratulations to Mike Riley, because he's the referees' boss," Mourinho had said.

"What they are doing during the whole season is fantastic, especially in the last couple of months, especially in matches involving the teams that were in the title race -- it's absolutely fantastic."

Rui Faria was sent to the stand after he confronted Dean following the referee's awarding of Fabio Borini's match-winning penalty.

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Image: Jose Mourinho
Photographs: Ian Walton/Getty Images

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Serie A: Juve overcome early scare to move closer to title

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Juventus overcame an early setback, a rain-soaked pitch and feisty opponents to win 3-1 at relegation-threatened Sassuolo on Monday and stand on the brink of a third successive Serie A title.

Simone Zaza, co-owned by the two clubs, gave Sassuolo a ninth-minute lead before Juventus levelled with a Carlos Tevez shot which deflected off Alessandro Longhi in the 35th.

Andrea Pirlo then provided a sublime pass for Claudio Marchisio to put the visitors in front on 58 minutes and Fernando Llorente backheeled the third in the 76th.

The result left Juventus on 93 points from 35 games, eight ahead of AS Roma with three matches each to play.

Juventus will wrap up the title if they beat Atalanta at home on May 5 or if Roma fail to beat bottom club Catania on Sunday.

Sassuolo are joint 17th with Bologna on 28 points. The bottom three in the 20-team table go down.

"It was a really a difficult game because of the weather, the pitch and Sassuolo who put us under a lot of pressure,” Marchisio told Sky Sport Italia.

"This match reflected our season, as we got through with character and determination. We’re nearly there."

With a Europa League semi-final second leg against Benfica looming on Thursday, Juventus coach Antonio Conte left Stephan Lichtsteiner and Leonardo Bonucci out of the starting lineup and his side were quickly on the ropes. 

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Image: Claudio Marchisio of Juventus celebrates after scoring the goal 1-2 during their Serie A match against US Sassuolo Calcio at Mapei Stadium in Sassuolo on Monday
Photographs: Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

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Hosts Sassuolo gave Juve some anxious moments

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In pouring rain, Sassuolo forward Nicolas Sansone sounded an early warning with a shot across goal before Zaza opened the scoring. His angled shot deflected off Angelo Ogbonna and slipped between Gianluigi Buffon and the near post.

The hosts were threatening a second until Juventus took a quick free kick and Tevez rifled home a low, deflected shot.

It would have been the Argentine’s 19th goal of the season but Serie A’s official website gave it as an own goal by Sassuolo defender Longhi.

With pools of water starting to appear on the pitch early in the second half, Sansone played a neat-one two with Zaza and fired over from the edge of the area as Sassuolo threatened again.

Instead, Juventus went ahead when a clearance out of the Sassuolo defence went straight to playmaker Pirlo, who lobbed a first-time pass over the defence for Marchisio to fire past Gianluca Pegolo.

Juventus wrapped the game up when substitute Lichtsteiner’s low cross from the right was cheekily back-heeled into the net by Spaniard Llorente.

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Image: Kwaddwo Asamoah of Juventus and Marcello Gazzola of Sassuolo vie for possession during their Serie A match at Mapei Stadium on Monday
Photographs: Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

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Ecclestone denies claims of avoiding HMRC 'settlement'

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Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has denied accusations that that he avoided a potential tax bill of more than one billion pounds by settling a long-running Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigation into his affairs with a payment of ten million pounds.

In an upcoming BBC programme, it is claimed that HMRC investigated the Ecclestone family's tax affairs for nine years before offering to settle for a 10 million-pound payment from the family trusts in 2008.

The report mentioned that Ecclestone transferred his F1 assets to his ex-wife Slavica in the 1990s, following which they were later moved to one of the family's trusts in the tax haven of Liechtenstein, with the programme saying that they have information Slavica paid the F1 boss about 100 million pounds each year since their divorce.

However, Ecclestone said the payment was not a settlement to call off the investigation and that it was instead the amount HMRC found he had underpaid in tax, adding that his tax bill would be about two billion pounds if he was shown to be involved in the trust.

Ecclestone further said that the trust was irrelevant and that the payments from his former wife were installments on the money she owed him from their divorce settlement and claimed that he was the victim of a blackmail scam.

HMRC, which has faced severe criticism over its willingness to do ''sweetheart deals'' to settle disputes with big business and the super rich, said that the settlement of all disputes is ''governed by their published litigation and settlement strategy, ensuring that they only settle for the tax that is owed and which would otherwise be achieved through litigation''. 


Image: Bernie and Slavica Ecclestone
Photographs: Getty Images

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