Laporta gets death threats
Barcelona: Barcelona president Joan Laporta has received a spate of venomous messages including death threats believed to come from the club’s extreme Boixos Nois section of fans.
“Laporta, we’re going to kill you” was one of the chilling messages daubed on his home front door on Wednesday night. Another read: “The Nou Camp (Barca’s ground) is our home, yours is the tomb.” Laporta has become a hate figure among the ‘Boixos Nois’ after adopting a zero tolerance policy against the violent elements in the Catalan side’s fan-base. Barcelona’s regional government fully supports Laporta’s bid to eliminate the ‘Boixos Nois’ from the club.
Sports minister Josep Maldonado said: “We are with Barca and its president in the fight against violence.”
Triple ton by Love
Melbourne: Discarded Australia Test batsman Martin Love became the first player to score a triple century in domestic cricket in almost 10 years in Queensland’s first innings of 605 for seven declared against Victoria on Friday.
Love, who made his maiden Test century against Bangladesh in Cairns in July but was then dropped when Damien Martyn returned from injury, scored 300 not out in reply to Victoria’s 381 for nine declared. Former Australian batsman Dean Jones was the last player to score a triple century in domestic cricket when he scored 324 for Victoria against South Australia in the 1994-95 season.
Smith arrested, dropped
London: Leeds United striker Alan Smith has been dropped from the England squad following news of his arrest over allegations that he threw a bottle into the crowd during a match.
Smith had been called up at the last minute by England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson to help solve their striker crisis ahead of Sunday’s friendly international against Denmark at Old Trafford in Manchester.
However, only a few hours after his arrival at the England squad’s hotel the Football Association were forced to act on the news that Smith had been interviewed by police earlier in the day. Eriksson has called up Southampton forward James Beattie as cover.
Brazil book Athens berth
Osaka: South American champions Brazil clinched a ticket for the Athens Olympics when they defeated world silver medallists the United States in the World Cup women’s volleyball tournament on Friday. Their 25-15, 25-23, 25-20 victory made it nine wins and only one defeat for Brazil to secure a top three place in the 12-team round robin and one of the three berths available here for the Olympics.
Friendly called off
Rome: European champions AC Milan and fellow Italian giants Juventus have called off their proposed friendly match which was to have taken place in Saudi Arabia in December following Wednesday’s suicide bomb attack in Iraq. Milan announced the decision saying that security fears had prompted the cancelling of the December 23 fixture. Earlier on Thursday, Italy’s Football League said it would donate its Christmas fund to the families of the 18 Italian victims of the Iraq car bomb attack.
Beijing: Manchester United have offered Dalian Shide more than a million pounds for their 18-year-old Chinese striker Dong Fangzhuo, a newspaper reported on Friday. “Our attitude is very positive, but the matter is still at a preliminary stage,” Shide general manager said.
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