The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Zero tolerance from referees

Rome: Referees in Italy were told Tuesday that they can take legal action against coaches, players and clubs officials who discredit them.

“The message is that there will be zero tolerance,” said an Italian football federation (FIGC) spokesman. “If an individual, for example a referee, approaches the federation and says he intends to take legal action, he can be given authorisation without it affecting the work of the sporting justice system.”

The new measures are to be brought in following a weekend of controversy in Serie A. On Sunday Enrico Preziosi resigned as president of strugglers Como in protest at the way the referee handled his side’s 0-1 defeat at Bologna.

El Guerrouj returns in June

Rabat: Triple 1500m world champion Moroccan Hicham El Guerrouj will run his first competitive 5,000m next June in the Czech Republic, Morocco’s official MAP news agency said on Wednesday.

El Guerrouj, who will try for gold in both the 1500 and 5,000m at next year’s world championships in Paris and the Athens 2004 Olympics, intends to give a press conference next Monday in Prague to announce his plans.

MAP said he would run the 5,000 metres on June 12 at the Ostrava Grand Prix meeting, in a tribute to legendary Czech long distance runner Emil Zatopek.

El Guerrouj, 28, the world record holder at 1500 and 2,000m and the mile, has said it would take only one 5,000 to prepare him for the world meet at the end of August.

Rally comes to Turkey

Paris: Turkey will host a round of the World Rally Championship for the first time next February after being confirmed on the 2003 calendar on Wednesday.

World motor sport’s governing body, the International Automobile Federation (FIA), confirmed the calendar for next year on Wednesday following a vote of the World Motor Sport Council. The Rally of Turkey, which replaces the Safari Rally, will take place from February 26 to March 2 as the third event of the season after the Anatolian Rally was upgraded to a world event.

China fight for wushu in 2008

Hong Kong: The ancient Chinese learned that the best way to fight a bigger and stronger enemy was not to start swinging away, but rather to use mental discipline and dexterity to win.

“It’s not about attacking,” explains Lam Wing-Kit, coach of the Chinese martial arts club at the University of Hong Kong. “We learn to face our opponent with confidence and defend ourselves without exerting unnecessary force.”

Lam was talking about wushu — that’s kung fu to most westerners — but China hopes to boost their chances for more gold by featuring it in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Ban on Serb club

Sarajevo: Bosnia’s Football Association has banned Serb club Borac Banja Luka from playing at its home ground due to violent and offensive behaviour by its supporters at a league match with Zeljeznicar Sarajevo.

The competition committee of the Bosnian Fa imposed an indefinite ban late Tuesday on the Borik stadium until its disciplinary body ruled on the case.

Changes in heat ‘policy’

Sydney: Australian Open officials Wednesday released changes to the tournament’s extreme heat policy in a bid to protect tennis players and fans at next year’s Grand Slam event. The first Grand Slam of 2003 will be held from January 13-26, when the heat can be at its most severe. Under the changes, the required maximum temperature for outdoor matches to be suspended will be lowered.

n Soccer, Uefa Champions League from 9 am and 2.30 pm on ESPN n Soccer, English Premier League — Newcastle United vs Arsenal from 12 noon on STAR Sports n Cricket, Sachin Tendulkar Programming from 8.30 pm on ESPN

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