The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Batistuta adieu confirmed

Buenos Aires: Argentine goal machine Gabriel Batistuta confirmed his international retirement after he failed to make Marcelo Bielsa’s squad for an upcoming friendly against Japan.

The 33-year-old forward, whose goals for Fiorentina and current team Roma in Italy’s Serie A have made him one of the most feared strikers in recent times, said however he had his own reasons for the decision.

“I’ve made the decision because of my age, and because of the time needed for other important competitions. Everything I could have ever contributed to the national team, I have already given.”

Sania in semi-finals

Hyderabad: India’s Sania Mirza thrashed Kim Kilsadonk of The Netherlands 6-3, 6-1 to enter the semi-finals of the ITF women’s circuit tournament being played at Manila.

Sania would now meet formidable Uzbek Ivonov Israilova in the semi-finals on Saturday, according to information received here. It would be the third time that the two would be meeting each other after having won one match each.

Costly fight for Lizarazu

Berlin: France defender Bixente Lizarazu faces a fine from his club Bayern Munich following a fight with teammate Niko Kovac in training on Thursday. Bayern coach Ottmar Hitzfeld, who talked to both players, said after the session that he had decided to fine Lizarazu.

“He lost control of himself and there will be a fine for that,” Hitzfeld said. The training session had already been marred by a number of fouls when Lizarazu and Croatia midfielder Kovac started fighting.

Training had to be interrupted when assistant coach Michael Henke was unable to separate them. The atmosphere at Bayern has been tense since the club's embarrassing elimination from the first phase of the Champions League last week, but Hitzfeld played down the incident.

"It proves that the team is alive," he said.

Bergkamp too violent, says FA

London: The English Football Association (FA) charged Arsenal’s striker Dennis Bergkamp with violent conduct on Friday following his clash with Blackburn Rovers’ Nils-Eric Johansson in a match at Highbury last month.

Television replays showed Bergkamp stepping on the grounded Swedish defender during Blackburn’s 2-1 Premier League win at Highbury on October 26.

The FA intervened after the incident was missed by match referee Graham Barber. Bergkamp faces a suspension and a possible fine if found guilty by the FA. The Dutchman has 14 days in which to respond to the charge.

Di Canio to quit club

London: Paolo Di Canio has revealed he will leave West Ham as the Premier League club have not offered him a new contract.

West Ham were knocked out of the League Cup on Wednesday and are in deep trouble in the league. Di Canio has vowed to help the club out of their current crisis but revealed it is determined to let him leave. “There is no offer — not even with a pay cut,” the Italian striker said.

n Cricket, India vs West Indies, 2nd ODI from 9am on DD Sports n Cricket: First Ashes Test, Day III live from 5.27am on STAR Sports n Cricket: South Africa vs Sri Lanka 1st Test, Day II live from 1.25pm on STAR Sports nSoccer: Spanish league live from 2am on ESPN

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