Euro tickets held back by FA
London: Tickets for England’s European championship qualifier against Slovakia on June 11 have been held back by the Football Association.
England could be forced to play the Group VII match at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium behind closed doors as punishment for crowd trouble at the game against Turkey at Sunderland on April 2.
European governing body Uefa’s disciplinary committee will meet on May 1, when the disorder, which led to more than 100 arrests, and allegations of racism will be discussed.
The FA announced the delay in selling the tickets on its website on Tuesday, adding that further details would be announced “in due course.”
Springbok logo for seniors
Cape Town: The leaping springbok logo on the jersey of South Africa’s Rugby Union team has been redesigned and will be the sole preserve of the senior national team, officials said on Tuesday. The new logo features the springbok and the king protea flower sitting above the word ‘springbok’, although there will be no rugby ball.
The Springboks and all South African national age group teams wore the old logo —which was redesigned in 1996 — but new government policy permits only national senior teams to carry the king protea emblem. The new logo will make its first appearance in a Test match when Scotland play South Africa in Durban on June 7.
Nel fined, gets 6-match ban
Johannesburg: South African fast bowler Andre Nel was fined and suspended for six matches by the United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCBSA) on Tuesday after admitting to drink driving.
Nel, a member of the South Africa A squad touring Australia, was arrested by police in Hobart on Friday on suspicion of drunk driving. The police released Nel to team management, who sent him home to South Africa.
The 25-year-old faced a disciplinary hearing where he pleaded guilty to a charge of bringing the game into disrepute.
A UCB statement said Nel had been fined all the match fees he earned in Australia, which amount to rand 17,280 ($2,248), and had been suspended for six matches he would have played under the auspices of the UCB.
Milan’s miseries multiply
Milan: AC Milan have suffered another injury blow with midfielder Andrea Pirlo ruled out for the rest of the season with a fractured knee cap.
Italy international Pirlo was injured during Milan’s 0-0 draw with Ajax in their Champions League quarter final, first-leg match last week. The Serie A club were optimistic that Pirlo would make a quick return to action after initial tests showed no tendon damage, but a second scan revealed damage to his knee cap which the club say will keep him out of action for 30 to 40 days.
Another Milan midfielder, Dutch international Clarence Seedorf, will not play again this term after he suffered knee ligament damage in Amsterdam.
Club captain Paolo Maldini broke his nose during the Milan derby but should be able to play in the second-leg against Ajax next week, probably wearing a protective mask.
Vallecano sack coach
Madrid: First division basement club Rayo Vallecano sacked coach Gustavo Benitez on Monday after the Paraguayan failed to revive the fortunes of the Madrid-based side. Benitez was dismissed after a 1-1 home draw with Athletic Bilbao on Sunday left the club three points adrift at the bottom.
Reserve team coach Antonio Iriondo is taking charge of the team until the end of the season.
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