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Since 1st March, 1999
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Wenger, Houllier to get OBEs

London: Arsene Wenger and Gerard Houllier, French managers of English soccer teams Arsenal and Liverpool, will be feted next month for their “outstanding contribution to British football”, Britain said on Thursday.

The two men, who have brought French flair to the Premier League, will be awarded honorary OBEs on July 9th.

“With skill and passion, Messieurs Houllier and Wenger have led two of the country’s greatest clubs, Liverpool and Arsenal, to glory at home and in Europe,” foreign secretary Jack Straw said.

On Saturday, the British government will announce a full list of honours, granted every year to mark Queen Elizabeth’s birthday.

Zidane calls for charity match

Paris: Zinedine Zidane is calling for a charity match between the French 1998 World Cup-winning team and Olympique Marseille to help earthquake-ravaged Algeria.

“I want to organise a match between the 1998 French Bleus and Olympique Marseille in Marseille,” the Real Madrid and France playmaker told L’Equipe on Thursday.

“We have to help these people because human beings have to show solidarity with each other. I was born in France but my roots are in Algeria. It’s my parents’ country of birth,” said Zidane, born and raised in Marseille.

Zidane told L’Equipe the date of a possible game had not yet been set.“We'll think about it. It's always difficult to gather 25 or 30 people but I think it would be possible to do it at the beginning of autumn, maybe early October.”

Staple diet on way out

Sydney: Australian sportsmen have a reputation for being tough but images of a Rugby League player having a head cut closed with a staple gun have proved too much even for hardened sports officials.

The Australian Rugby League said on Thursday it would ban the use of medical staple guns on the field of play after fans nation-wide saw gruesome images of a player being treated during a Rugby League match on Wednesday.

NSW player Michael De Vere had several stitches put in a cut above his eye in Wednesday night’s annual State of Origin match against bitter rivals Queensland. De Vere, his head swathed in bandages, resumed playing immediately after treatment.

Matthaeus eyes Schalke top job

Berlin: Lothar Matthaeus was quoted on Thursday as saying he could imagine himself returning to the Bundesliga to coach Schalke 04. “Schalke would be a challenge,” the Partizan Belgrade coach told the Bild.

“The situation there is difficult because last season was not that good,” the 42-year-old said of the Gelsenkirchen club, which is looking for a coach for next season.

“They need a strong personality and someone who is used to pressure,” added the 1990 World Cup-winning captain, who won a national record 150 caps for Germany.

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