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3-match ban for Ferdinand

London: Tottenham Hotspur striker Les Ferdinand will be banned for three matches after his sending-off in a reserve game against local rivals Arsenal on Monday. The FA said on Wednesday that Ferdinand would serve the ban even though the incident took place in a reserve match, not a first-team game.

“The FA can confirm that Ferdinand’s sending-off was for violent conduct, and that he will serve his three-match ban from Monday, December 30,” the FA said on its website. Ferdinand was dismissed after clashing with Arsenal defender Stathis Tavlaridis in the first half of Spurs reserves’ 0-3 defeat. He will miss Spurs’ Premier League and FA Cup games at Southampton in January and the League Match against Everton.

Rossi living in fear

Milan: Motorcycling world champion Valentino Rossi says he is living in fear after receiving threats from a group carrying out a parcel bombing campaign in Italy and Spain.

Rossi is under police protection after letters sent with parcel bombs to Spanish airline Iberia’s Italian offices contained references to him and his team Honda’s links to Spanish petroleum firm Repsol.

“Certainly I have fear,” Rossi told the daily Gazzetta dello Sport on Wednesday, “because there is nothing I can do to change this situation.”

Interior ministry sources have said the four parcel bombs, all of which were defused safely, appeared to be linked to the case of two Italians, convicted and jailed in Spain more than 20 years ago for anarchist activity.

Repsol sponsors Rossi’s Honda team and media reports say that the threatening letters urged him to change his sponsor but the 23-year-old said the arrangement was nothing to do with him.

Simeone baulks at saucy moves

Milan: Lazio’s tough midfielder Diego Simeone says his teammates should find a more manly way to celebrate goals than imitating a teenage dance craze.

Lazio, second in Serie A, have celebrated goals by doing The Ketchup Song dance, made popular by Spain’s Las Ketchup.

Argentine striker Claudio Lopez celebrated his three goals against Inter Milan earlier this month by jiggling around like the girls who have been at number one across Europe.

“You can’t celebrate like that,” Simeone said.

Players arrested

Newcastle: Three Celtic players were in police custody on Wednesday after being arrested following an incident at a nightclub in which a press photographer’s camera was allegedly stolen. Northumbria police said in a statement that a number of Celtic players were arrested over the alleged robbery at the bar in Newcastle on Tuesday night.

Arena to stay on

Chicago: Bruce Arena has signed a new four-year deal to remain coach of the US soccer team, the US Soccer Federation said on Tuesday. Arena, 51, guided the US to the quarter finals at the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea, a run that featured victories over Portugal and Mexico.

n Football, English Premier League: Sunderland vs Liverpool from midnight on ESPN n Cricket, India in New Zealand: Second Test, Day I highlights from 2.00 pm on STAR Sports n Cricket, India in New Zealand: Second Test, Day II, live from 3.35 am (Friday) on STAR Sports


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