8 View comments FC Copenhagen are refusing to sell tickets for their upcoming Champions League home games to fans with ‘non-Danish’ sounding names.
The controversial system is designed to stop trouble caused by away fans buying tickets in the home end of the Parken Stadium.
Copenhagen face Real Madrid, Juventus and Galatasaray in Group B and club officials are concerned that the limited away allocation will result in opposition fans attempting to sit in amongst the home support.
Home fans only: Copenhagen want to avoid trouble between fans during their Champions League games No entrance: The club are refusing to sell tickets to fans with non-Danish sounding names Some home fans applying to attend the three matches have already been told that they cannot purchase tickets because of ‘security reasons’.
This has left loyal fans upset with the club’s decision and facing the prospect of missing out on arguably their three biggest games of the season.
Copenhagen fan Masoud Barid had his ticket cancelled because of his name.
He told Danish newspaper Ekstrabladet: ‘This is the most degrading thing I have ever experienced.
‘I have no relationship to any of the three teams Copenhagen are due to play.
I just want to go in and support my team.’ Visitor: Ronaldo and his Real Madrid team-mates will play Copenhagen in the Champions League Champions: Serie A winners Juventus will travel to Denmark on September 17 Challenge: Didier Drogba and Galatasaray will be tough opposition for Copenhagen However club secretary Daniel Rommedahl denies that Copenhagen are discriminating against their own supporters.
He said: ‘Safety is always our main concern when it comes to events at Parken.
‘Therefore we make every effort to ensure that fans of our guests only have access to the away section.
‘We were fully aware that our decision would cause a reaction, but it was he best solution.
We are aware that everyone will not agree, but discrimination it is not.’ Easy: Chelsea beat Nordsjaelland 4-0 at the Parken Stadium in last season’s Champions League Copenhagen host Italian side Juventus in their first game of this season’s competition on September 17, and Rommedahl insists that honest fans will still be able to attend, even if their name doesn’t sound Danish.
He said: ‘If a dialogue with the customer shows otherwise, the purchase will be approved.’
6 View comments England will step up security for the return Ashes series this winter because they fear that Darren Lehmann’s inflammatory call for the Australian public to make Stuart Broad cry could lead to attacks on their players.
The ECB have already voiced concerns over the incitement of the Australian public to show aggression towards Broad by the coach in a radio interview and yesterday Andy Flower, the England team director, said steps would be taken to try to ensure the players do not become targets when they defend the Ashes.
You have to take the responsibilities you are given seriously, said Flower in the aftermath of England’s 3-0 Ashes success.
I don t think that was a well-judged thing to say but we are looking forward to going to Australia.
VIDEO Scroll down to watch Darren Lehmann: I hope Broad cries and goes home Security risk: England will step up their team security because of Darren Lehmann’s attack on Stuart Broad (below) The public were excellent there last time so we hope that will be the case again.
There will be extra security for everyone in light of what was said.
We enjoyed our tour of Australia last time and there’s always a little bit of barracking and what-have-you but, in the main, it’s fairly good-natured.
I hope it will be the same this time.
England will turn to their highly regarded security advisor Reg Dickason for guidance when they fly to Australia on October 24 and it is away from the cricket grounds where he is sure to recommend extra protection.
Broad is not the type to stay in his hotel room at night and, being tall and blond, stands out.
Lehmann was given a slap on the wrist by the International Cricket Council when they fined him around 3,000 during the final Test and England are privately surprised Cricket Australia have taken no action against the coach.
At least Lehmann expressed regret.
I ve got to learn and improve, said the rookie coach.
It was a jovial setting but I ve got to get better at that.
The players aren t on their own in trying to improve.
Retained: Broad was brilliant in the series taking 22 wickets Moving on: The pair have now spoken and Lehmann expressed his regret at the comments He also revealed he had talked to Broad about his comments and that now we move on .
Broad tweeted: Spoke to Darren Lehmann last night.
He apologised for his comments, I accepted it.
He said they were made in Jest for banter.
Flower was forced to confront speculation over his future after his third successive Ashes triumph but reiterated: I don t look too far ahead because you never know what’s round the corner.
We ve got the challenge of a return series but at the moment let the players reflect on a job well done.
‘I m still enjoying the job very much.
One man moving on is Hugh Morris, who is to leave his role as managing director of the England team to take over as chief executive and director of cricket at his old county, Glamorgan.
Morris has been one of England’s unsung heroes since 2006-07 and former England captain Andrew Strauss is his most likely replacement.
Meanwhile, on the day two Australian reporters said they saw England players urinating on the Oval outfield as they celebrated on Sunday, it emerged that Monty Panesar had been officially forgiven for his own urinary indiscretion.
Panesar was overlooked for the final Test after being sacked by Sussex.
Now he is on loan at Essex.
But Flower said: I would imagine, all being well, that he will be available for selection.
Return: Monty Panesar should be available for the Ashes tour in Australia this winter
1 View comments Lots of footballers are said to have a good engine and plenty of Premier League stars have flash cars.
If they aren’t rocking up in a 4×4 then you will probably spy them in a Ferrari or possibly a Bentley.
But there’s none of that for Steven Naismith, the Scotsman who prefers to roll up at Everton’s Finch Farm training ground in his classic Mini.
Mini statement: Everton’s Steven Naismith passes through the security gates at Finch Farm in his Mini Scotsman: Naismith battles with England’s James Milner at Wembley The 26-year-old forward is clearly far less materialistic than his Belgian team-mate Kevin Mirallas, pictured in his gold Bentley Continental GT.
Glamorous cars are all part of the footballer’s image and have regularly been commented on (remember West Ham’s baby Bentley brigade?).
But Naismith is not the first player to opt for a regularly-priced car.
Tottenham’s Benoit Assou-Ekotto drives a Smart car to training and even Didier Drogba was spotted cruising around London in a Mini Cooper’s during his time at Chelsea.
But let’s not get carried away.
Assou-Ekotto also has a collection of Ford Mustang Shelby GT500s while Drogba has no shortage of wheels in his driveway.
Bentley Continental GT: Kevin Mirallas arrives at training in his customised gold supercar Porsche: Leighton Baines arrives at training in his German sportscar amid speculation surrounding his future Range Rover: Ross Barkley arrives in his modified 4×4 on Friday morning Chelsea legend: Didier Drogba leaves the Cobham Training Centre in his Mini Fueling up: Tottenham’s Benoit Assou-Ekotto takes his Smart car to the petrol station
Cronulla Sharks coach Shane Flanagan was sacked amid doping investigation – Photograph: SNTV Former Cronulla CEO Bruno Cullen says an alarming lack of governance threatens to bring the NRL club down, amid accusations cash payments were made to skipper Paul Gallen outside the salary cap.
Coach Shane Flanagan, who is said to have been aware of the payments to Gallen, is also accused of using a secret bank account off the club’s books, in revelations made by the ABC’s 7.30 programme on Tuesday.
Cullen, who quit just five months after being appointed to run the Sharks by the NRL in March as ASADA ramped-up investigations into their supplements program, described the situation at the club as “chaotic”.
“It was an invitation for things to happen, it was a disaster waiting to happen and all things have eventuated,” he said.
Emails were obtained in which former sponsor, Sami Chamoun director of security company E Group, claims cash payments were made to Gallen outside the salary cap.
It is believed payments to a number of players run up to $250,000 and were never properly registered as third-party player agreements.
“I know cash sounds terrible, and that’s something I won’t go there with that, but the arrangement was for him to make a payment to Paul, do the sponsorship and make the third-party payment,” Cullen said.
“Now whether he paid that by – and I don’t want to sound flippant – by cash, by cheque, by jars of vegemite, whatever, he made the payment.
“But the problem is more the documentation of that from a salary cap point of view, it wasn’t formalised the way it should’ve been.” Accusation were also made that Flanagan operated a high performance unit bank account off the club’s books, despite the previous board ordering it be shut down.
Cullen was not aware of the account and asked if it was concerning he said: “definitely.
“You just don’t do things that way, no.
Every dollar that comes into the club, and therefore every dollar that goes out of the club, should going through the club’s central account and be recorded and accounted for.” Dozens of NRL stars have been issued with interview notices by ASADA, including 14 Cronulla players headed by Gallen, John Morris, Ben Pomeroy, Wade Graham and Ben Ross.
Cullen, says key staff members at the Sharks failed to ask crucial questions about the legitimacy and safety of the supplements regime introduced by biochemist Steve Dank in 2011 and that there are no records of who paid Dank for his services.
It was revealed the pharmacist whom Dank used in 2011 has been found guilty of professional misconduct and penalised by the Pharmacy Board.Cullen said the survival of the Sharks now rests on the club righting the wrongs of the past and ensuring they do not make the same mistakes again.
“I’m not too sure whether they’ve learnt their lesson or not,” he said.”Worst-case scenario, I fear for them and a whole lot of things about player suspension, players suing the club for loss of income, players suing the club for player welfare.
“Best-case scenario, they’ll be fine.
They have the commercial development to fall back on.
Worst-case scenario, they are going to have some huge challenges.”
The tariff for the charged players’ offences ranges from a minimum five-year ban up to life.
Photograph: Alamy Nine players have been charged with corruption offences during this year’s Bangladesh Premier League.
The news was confirmed on Tuesday in a joint statement by the Bangladesh Cricket Board and the International Cricket Council, whose anti-corruption and security unit (Acsu) oversaw the Twenty20 tournament.
The charges relate to “an alleged conspiracy within the Dhaka Gladiators franchise”, with three distinct offences ranging from match-fixing to spot-fixing and failure to report illegal approaches.
Seven of the individuals, who have not been named, are charged with one of the two types of fixing and have been provisionally suspended by the BCB and ICC.
The tariff for their offences ranges from a minimum five-year ban up to life.
The remaining two are charged with failure to report an approach, which carries an upper limit of a five-year ban.
All nine have 14 days to consider the charges before entering a plea.
The ICC chief executive, David Richardson, praised the work of Acsu in uncovering the alleged conspiracy and also revealed other players had been forthcoming in providing evidence.
“Considering the limited resources available to the Acsu and the limitations that apply to its ability to uncover sufficient evidence to disrupt conspiracies of this kind, I am pleased that this investigation has led us to this outcome,” he said.
“Whilst we have charged some individuals with failing to report corrupt approaches that were made to them, it is important to stress that this investigation has also been built upon, among other things, evidence gathered from other individuals who not only rejected corrupt approaches made to them, but then did what they were supposed to do, and reported them to the Acsu.
Congratulations to Stephen Fry for speaking out on Russian human rights abuses in regards to their anti-gay laws (Report, 8 August).
Considering the $35bn investment the Russians are putting into what for them is a very symbolic event, one wonders whether a larger international boycott could be formed around Moscow’s intransigence over the conflict in Syria.
As all other diplomatic avenues have failed, this could make Putin think twice about his continued refusal to allow the UN security council to speak in a united voice towards a conflict that has killed over 100,000 people.
What is more, we now know that Saudi Arabia offered Russia $15bn worth of deals for them to move on Syria so perhaps Riyadh could host the Winter Olympics instead.
James Denselow London If there is one man who has the power to take steps towards ending the catastrophe in Syria, it is President Obama.
If there is any single leader to whom he needs to talk towards that end, it is President Putin.
Obama should have convened direct high-level talks with Putin and others a long time ago.
His refusal now to meet with Putin (Report, 8 August) amounts to a dereliction of duty by the leader of the free world.
Dr Brendan O’Brien London I find it refreshing that we still have a few independent countries such as Russia that won’t be bullied into submission by the US, nor by people like Stephen Fry who want to dictate how it should behave.
Malcolm Howard Banstead, Surrey
Stuart Broad appeals for the wicket of Australia’s David Warner, who was given not out after an umpires review on day four of the third Test.
Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA It really is a sad day when “DRS use” becomes more tiresome to the mind than “DFL maximum” or “DFS Sale”.
But it is hogging an agenda that ought to be dominated by the deeds of England and Australia cricketers.
Instead we are yattering on about Hot Spot which most people surely thought had disappeared into obscurity along with Michael Barrymore and Strike It Lucky and parameters and protocols and third umpire interpretations.
Players, so we are led to believe by the conspiracy theorists, are tampering with their bats by attaching Hot Spot-defying tape to the outer edges of them to avoid snick-detection (stealth-bats as someone succinctly put it) and presumably sandpaper to the inside edges to enhance the chances of a nick showing up there.
This is scientific bilge as much as anything.
International Cricket Council bigwigs are flying in and out as if they were members of the UN security council trying to quell an uprising rather than checking on the competence of a cricket official to interpret television pictures.
If we did not know better, it might be said that this is August and the Silly Season when, to judge by newspaper stories, more people get bitten by dogs or fall foul of obscure diseases than at any other time of year.
The idea of the Decision Review System originally sprang from the fertile cricket mind of Duncan Fletcher, who beyond anyone else will appreciate the delicious irony of his current position as head coach of the country, India, that steadfastly refuses to use it, and became the cause c l bre of the then ICC cricket manager, Dave Richardson.
As he is now ICC chief executive we can safely assume that simply abandoning DRS as a failed experiment will not be on any agenda in the near future.
Its purpose, so it was said at the time, was to eliminate ‘howlers’ which is, of course, nonsense: it is there to try to ensure as many correct decisions as possible, which is not the same thing at all.
We are assured, by the ICC, that more ‘correct’ decisions are being made these days as a result of its implementation, although presumably the benchmark for this is the technology itself, which by its very nature has its own flaws and margins of error.
The idea that the umpire’s decision is final, a cornerstone of the spirit of cricket enshrined in the laws, is effectively defunct.
But let us take this at face value and say that the principle of a technology-based decision-making process, strictly as an adjunct to the human umpire, is a good thing.
Why, then, does it appear more often to be asking questions than providing answers? In its entirety the DRS has three components.
First comes the technology, which includes Hawk-Eye for ball-tracking together with a predictive element; Hot Spot as a means of detecting edges by thermal imaging; Pitch Mat, designed to help identify where the ball pitches in relation to the stumps; slowmotion and superslowmotion as well as real-time pictures in high definition; audio from the stump mics; pictures for line decisions; and very likely a Nespresso machine to keep the third umpire awake.
Next there is the human element, which starts with the players and umpires on the field and then involves the third umpire.
Finally comes the process by which reviews and other decisions are made.
It is abundantly clear that, when all these elements are added together, their inherent flaws compound and create the potential for volatility.
The technology, even without the human element, will never be 100% reliable, as the Indian cricket board’s president, Jagmohan Dalmiya, insists it should be before his country sanctions its use.
He is just talking mischievous nonsense: even his car surely has the potential to get a puncture once in a while but he probably still uses it.
What can happen, though, and probably will as a matter of urgency now before the game degenerates into a laughing stock, is that the flaws in each part are addressed and rectified as far as possible.
This might mean abandoning Hot Spot in the first instance, for the technology supplied in this series is obviously not up to the mark and scarcely an advertisement for the future procurement of updated equipment being trialled at the moment.
It will certainly mean re-examining the parameters within which the dreaded ‘umpire’s call’ fall, the more fairly to reflect the more slender margin of error in the technology.
No review should be lost for a single ‘umpire’s call’ and more than that should be automatically not out whatever the on-field decision.
A real-time Snickometer, also being trialled, while again not definitive, should be a priority.
Most pertinent, though, has to come the realisation that the job of third umpire is not something that can be done on a rotational basis but is a specialist job requiring specialist training.
There is no reason why a third umpire technician (for that is what he, or indeed she, would be) needs the same training as an onfield umpire.
This is about interpreting the evidence of technology.
It will not be long before there is a university degree in it.