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BRIEFS

Death threat to N. Ireland star

Belfast: Neil Lennon, forced to pull out of a soccer international following a sectarian death threat, says it is too traumatic for him to play for Northern Ireland.

Lennon, a Catholic, withdrew from the friendly against Cyprus in Belfast just hours before he was due to lead his team out as captain on Wednesday. The caller said the threat was from a Protestant paramilitary group.

Lennon said “enough was enough” and he would never play for his country again.

“It’s a real pity that it all has to end like this,” he told the BBC on Thursday. “My parents were pretty distraught. Obviously I can’t put them through this every time,” he said.

The 31-year-old midfielder, who plays club football for Scottish champions Celtic, nearly quit after he was booed by Protestant Loyalist fans in a February 2001 international following his transfer to Celtic in late 2000.

Title for India seniors

Hyderabad: India seniors defeated Thailand 25-21, 25-16, 25-16 to lift the Sivanthi Adityan volleyball gold cup and a cash prize of Rs 1.5 lakhs by topping the table with eight points in the international tournament, which concluded here Thursday.

Earlier, Myanmar defeated Indian colts 16-25, 20-25, 25-22, 25-18, 17-15 to take the second slot with six points while the Indian colts had to settle for third place.

Keane awaits FA decision

London: Manchester United captain Roy Keane will discover early in September whether or not he will face disciplinary action and a possible suspension following his controversial autobiography. The Irishman is likely to be charged with misconduct by the FA after his admission that he targeted Manchester City’s Alf Inge Haaland for revenge in a now-infamous tackle in April last year. If he is found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute, he may face a suspension of up to four matches. The FA have come under pressure to bring the matter to a head given that it has dominated the football world since the book was serialised earlier this month.

However, they are determined to wait until they have read the full passage in which Keane discusses the incident in his book, rather than relying on the extracts which have already appeared.

Pena on loan to Strasbourg

Strasbourg: Brazilian striker Jesus Pena has joined Racing Strasbourg on a one-year loan from Portuguese side Porto, the French first division club said on Thursday.

Strasbourg said the 28-year-old Pena, who had been planning to return to Brazil with Flamengo, decided to try his luck at Strasbourg after discussions with the French club’s manager Marc Keller on Wednesday.

Pena joined Porto in 2000 from Palmeiras to replace compatriot Jardel and was top scorer in the Portuguese league that season with 24 goals.

Bangladesh squad

Dhaka: Bangladesh will send a 74-member squad, including 49 athletes, to the Asian Games to be held in Pusan from September 29 to October 14.

Bangladesh will participate in eight disciplines, including shooting, in which the country won a surprise gold at last month’s Commonwealth Games at Manchester.

The upcoming 14th edition of the Asian Games will be the largest ever with an expected participation of about 11,600 athletes and officials from 43 countries.

Vietnam fire U-23 coach

Hanoi: Vietnam have fired their French under-23 team coach Christian Letard after defeats to India and Singapore in the LG Cup international tournament City last month.

The Federation’s director of national teams Nguyen Si Hien said on Thursday that Letard had accepted the decision.

n Cricket: India vs England, third Test Day II live from 3.30 pm on ESPN n Soccer: Asian Super Cup from 7 pm on STAR Sports n Soccer: English premier League from 11.30 pm on STAR Sports n Soccer, Uefa Super Cup: Real Madrid vs Feyenoord live at midnight on ESPN


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