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Cameras catch Vieri in act

Rome: Inter Milan striker Christian Vieri could become the latest player to face trial by television after the Italian international was caught on camera, stamping an opponent.

Vieri was seen treading on Ezio Brevi’s outstretched leg as the Como defender lay on the ground during Inter’s 2-0 win at the Giuseppe Sinigaglia Stadium Monday.

The Italian Football Federation’s (FIGC) rules state that television evidence can only be used if the referee did not witness the incident.

Pierluigi Collina, who refereed this year’s World Cup, was close to the incident, but it was not clear whether he actually saw what Vieri did to Brevi. Therefore Collina’s report, which will be submitted to the FIGC this week, will decide whether Vieri faces punishment.

Federation backs Trap

Rome: Under-pressure Italy coach Giovanni Trapattoni has been given the backing of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC), the ruling body’s vice-president said on Monday.

Amid speculation that he could lose his job, Trapattoni met with Federation president Franco Carraro on Monday to discuss Italy’s recent poor results including last month’s defeat by Wales. “Trapattoni is staying as coach of the team and his position is not based on any time restriction,” FIGC vice-president Giancarlo Abete said.

The FIGC had earlier dismissed reports suggesting that England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson had been targeted to replace Trapattoni. Italy’s next game is a friendly against Turkey on November 20.

Rafter mulling comeback

Sydney: Former tennis world number one Pat Rafter said on Monday he would soon decide whether to take up the racket again after a year off the courts.

“Obviously it’s a decision I’ve still got to make and I’ve got to make it very quickly,” Rafter said. “The stress fracture in my arm has settled down. I had that tested and the body seems to be in pretty good shape at the moment,” Rafter said.

Pioline hangs up racket

Paris: France’s Cedric Pioline announced his retirement from professional tennis on Sunday after losing in the doubles final at the Paris Masters with Brazilian Gustavo Kuerten.

Pioline, 33, who turned professional in 1989, won five career titles and reached the US Open final in 1993 and the Wimbledon final four years later — losing to American Pete Sampras on both occasions.

Senegal offer

Dakar: Senegal have offered Frenchman Guy Stephan the post of national coach but no deal has yet been signed, officials said on Monday.

Senegalese football federation president Malick Sy met with Stephan for a third time at the weekend but a final decision would be made in the middle of the month.

Stephan, 45, was an assistant coach of France side at the World Cup where Senegal upset the defending champions in Seoul in the opening match of the tournament on May 31.

Greek heat

London: Evening starts for the 2004 Athens Olympics marathons appear likely because of the humidity and fierce heat in the Greek capital during August. The IAAF medical commission will now be asked for its opinion.

n Cricket: Legends of Cricket from 8.30 pm on ESPN n Football: Premier League 2002-03 from 11.30 pm on ESPN n Football: Spanish Football League 2002-03 from 4 pm on Star Sports n Tennis: Masters Series from 10.30 pm on Star Sports


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