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Bans for Totti, Candela

Rome: AS Roma striker Francesco Totti and winger Vincent Candela received one-match bans from the disciplinary committee of the Italian Football Association on Tuesday for incidents during last weekend’s Roma-Juventus match.

Both were sent off in the last five minutes of the game: Candela for a dangerous tackle on Juventus defender Alessandro Birindelli and Totti for insulting the referee. Birindelli was also red-carded after reacting violently to Candela’s challenge, and was handed a one-match ban.

The bans, however, deepen the gloom around the embattled Roman side, ninth in the table, as they prepare to face second-placed AC Milan away on Saturday.

Ian Thorpe stalkers lose

Sydney: A man and woman who stalked world swimming champion Ian Thorpe at his local pool lost their appeal against a restraining order granted to Thorpe — and had the restrictions made tougher. On October 29, Thorpe was granted an Apprehended Violence Order in a suburban Sydney court against aganst Taylor Martin and Vernon Ray Hopkins.

Sukur signs for Blackburn

Blackburn: Turkish striker Hakan Sukur has signed a contract with English Premier League side Blackburn Rovers until next summer, the club confirmed on Wednesday.

The 31-year-old, who played for his country in last summer’s World Cup, has been a free agent since being released by Italian side Parma earlier this year. “I am delighted Hakan is joining us and I know what he is capable of, having worked with him before,” said Blackburn manager Graeme Souness, who managed Sukur at Galatasaray. Sukur, 31, arrives in England carrying a groin injury amid concerns that he may require a hernia operation.

China seeks postponement

Beijing: China has asked the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to put back the date of the 2008 Olympic Games by several weeks, the president of the co-ordination committee said Wednesday.

Beijing wants the Games to be put back from the IOC-imposed start date of the end of July-beginning of August because the weather will be too hot, Hein Verbruggen told a press conference.

Clement out for 2 months

Paris: Frenchman Arnaud Clement will be out of action for two months with a wrist injury, French sports daily L’Equipe reported on Wednesday.

“I have to keep a splint on my right wrist for one month. Then, I won’t touch a racket for another month,” said Clement. “I’m expecting the worst, which is not to play the Australian Open and miss the Davis Cup first round and the Marseille tournament,” he added. He was forced to pull out of the Davis Cup squad just before the final against Russia.

Surgery for Kafelnikov

Moscow: Yevgeny Kafelnikov, replaced during Russia’s Davis Cup triumph, underwent surgery to remove a varicose vein in his left leg in a Zurich hospital on Tuesday.

“Everything went well and he feels fine right now,” said Davis Cup captain Shamil Tarpishchev, after a telephone conversation with Kafelnikov.

n Cricket: South Africa vs Sri Lanka — Fourth ODI highlights from 7.30 am on ESPN n Soccer: English Premier League — Liverpool vs Manchester United from 5 pm on ESPN n Table Tennis: ITTF Pro Tour — Polish Open from 2 pm on STAR Sports


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