l Bolton: Manchester United captain Roy Keane was banned for five matches and fined a record £150,000 ($233,100) after being found guilty on two charges of bringing the game to disrepute by the English FA. The suspension is due to start on November 4, though Keane, who is currently recovering from hip surgery, has 14 days to appeal the decision.
The 31-year-old faced disrepute charges over a claim in his autobiography that he deliberately set out to hurt Manchester City’s Alf Inge Haaland in a game in April 2001.
The first charge related to the tackle itself which earned Keane a red card, while the second addressed the question of the Irishman publishing an account of the incident for financial reward.
l Copenhagen: Former Denmark international Stig Tofting, who was on the national World Cup squad this year, has been sentenced to four months in prison for assaulting two restaurant employees here this summer.
The 33-year-old midfielder was dining with several members of the Danish soccer squad on June 23 when a dispute broke out with the staff over singing in the trendy restaurant. The Copenhagen city court found Tofting guilty of assault, a penalty that carries a maximum of 18 months in prison.
Tofting, who plays for English Premier League club Bolton, had denied the initial charges of aggravated assault but admitted he butted heads with an employee in the restaurant and punched another after he was asked to leave.
“I think it’s a tough sentence,” said Tofting as he left the court with wife Bettina. He has two weeks to appeal the decision. It was not immediately known when the Dane would be jailed.
l Berlin: The German coach likely to train Iraq’s national football team wants a contract loophole allowing him to quit the job if war breaks out. “It’s pretty clear: if war comes, there won’t be any soccer,” Bernd Stange said.
Stange, who once coached the former East Germany, said two minor issues and a question of who is responsible for the Olympic team need to be settled before he signs a contract until 2006.
German tabloids have dubbed the well-travelled Stange ‘Saddam’s coach’. He has coached in Oman, Australia and the Ukraine. Stange has already held clinics for Iraq’s coaches.