Monthly Archives: August 2019

Boca Juniors thrown out of Libertadores for fan violence

Paraguay-based CONMEBOL also hit Boca with a $200,000 fine and ordered the club to play four home games behind closed doors and another four away games without its fans.


Four River Plate players were taken to hospital after they were sprayed with an irritant by fans of their bitter rivals on Thursday, causing their Libertadores Cup derby to be abandoned at halftime.

The River Plate medical team had said the players were suffering inflammation of the cornea and needed days to recover.

The rivalry between the two Buenos Aires sides is one of the most heated in the world. It pits Boca, a traditionally working-class team, against up-town rivals known as the “Millionaires”.

The last 16 second leg tie at Boca’s Bombonera stadium was deadlocked at 0-0 when the incident occurred in the tunnel as the players came out for the second half.

Following CONMEBOL’s decision, reached at an emergency session, River advanced to the quarter-finals where they will face Brazil’s Cruzeiro.

The incident was just the latest in a long line of violent events to blight football in South America.

In 2013, a Bolivian fan was killed by a flare fired by Corinthians fans during a Libertadores match.

In Argentina, an average of five people died each year in fan-related violence between 2000 and 2009, according to reform group Salvemos al Futbol, cited in a recent Insight Crime report.

Most of the deaths are related to fights between the barras bravas, Argentina’s hooligan firms.

(Reporting by Daniela Desantis, writing by Sarah Marsh; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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England weaker without Pietersen: Clarke

Australia’s Test cricket captain Michael Clarke says he would love to see Kevin Pietersen back in the England side, but with the Ashes looming, perhaps not too soon.


While he feels for Pietersen, Clarke – at Sydney Airport on Sunday prior to leaving for the two-Test tour of the West Indies – let Andrew Strauss know that England are a weaker side without the prolific South-African born batsman.

Strauss, England’s new director of cricket, last week said a “massive trust issue” would prevent Pietersen from returning to the England team, with Test series coming up against New Zealand and then Australia starting in July.

Clarke, who will captain Pietersen in the Melbourne Stars’ Big Bash T20 side next summer, had mixed feelings over the saga.

“There’s probably two sides for me: there’s the personal side where obviously I feel for KP, because I get on well with him and I’d love to see him back playing for England,” Clarke said.

“His form has been outstanding and he’s still a great player and I know he wants to play, so I feel for him on that side.

“The other side (is) we go there soon to play against England, so any team without Kevin Pietersen in it I don’t think is as strong.

“I have tried to stay pretty quiet and stay out of it.

“I think the last thing we can afford to do as an Australian team is get caught up in what’s happening in England or West Indies or anywhere else.”

Clarke, who was dogged by fitness issues in the lead-up to Australia’s World Cup win last month, said he felt fit and healthy.

West Indies won their last Test against England to square the recent three-match home series 1-1 and Clarke said the world No.8-ranked team possessed a very good bowling attack.

“I think they swung the ball well, whether that was with the brand new ball or reverse swing,” Clarke said.

“They’ve got some handy spinners as well, so I think the conditions we’re about to face are going to be very similar to the subcontinent.

“I think the wickets will be slow and low and will spin and they are coming off some form against England.”

He said conditions would dictate if Australia fielded a dual spin attack, with uncapped leggie Fawad Ahmed supporting offie and first-choice tweaker Nathan Lyon.

Australia will be forced to make a minimum of two changes to the team that played their last Test against India in Sydney back in January.

Batsman Joe Burns didn’t make the touring party and paceman Ryan Harris is being rested for the Ashes series.

Clarke and Mitchell Johnson are the likely replacements, while Mitchell Marsh and Adam Voges are batting options, and Ahmed and paceman Peter Siddle offer bowling alternatives.

At 34, Clarke accepts the upcoming tours of the West Indies and England will be his final visits to those territories, now he has retired from one-day international cricket.

Although focused on the West Indies, Clarke would clearly love to win an Ashes series in England, where he has been part of the last three losing campaigns.

“It would be very special there’s no doubt about it,” Clarke said. “I think the last time we won the Ashes in England was 2001, so it’s been a long time.”

Clarke said he had not spoken to anyone about a mooted rebel T20 league.

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Golovkin extends his KO streak

Gennady Golovkin stopped Willie Monroe Jr in the sixth round to retain his WBA and IBO middleweight titles with his 20th consecutive knockout victory.


Kazakhstan’s Golovkin (33-0, 30 KOs) put on another showcase performance at the Forum in Los Angeles, knocking down the American twice in the second round and again in the sixth round of his 14th consecutive title defence.

“It was a good big drama show,” Golovkin said. “I was happy with my performance. Willie is a very tough fighter.”

When Golovkin floored Monroe (19-2) with a long series of heavy punches in the sixth, the challenger declined to continue after his final trip to the canvas.

“I’m done,” Monroe told referee Jack Reiss.

Golovkin delighted a Southern California crowd of 12,372 backing the Kazakh champion who has gone from anonymity to stardom in less than three years.

Golovkin made the fight with Monroe when he couldn’t entice bigger-name fighters into the ring, and he named names after the fight, calling out Miguel Cotto and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Golovkin intends to fight two more times this year, staying busy and growing his own reputation as one of the world’s pound-for-pound best fighters.

Eariler, Nicaragua’s Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez also defended his WBC flyweight title in style with a furious second-round stoppage of Mexican veteran Edgar Sosa.

Gonzalez (43-0, 37 KOs) seized the chance provided by his first showcase on HBO with a masterful performance against Sosa, a talented veteran contender. Chocolatito battered Sosa around the ring in the first round and dropped him three times in the second.

“I’m very happy with my performance,” Gonzalez said. “He was a tough fighter, but my power was too much.”

Throwing sharp combinations and showcasing power in both hands, Gonzalez floored Sosa (51-9) twice with brutal right hands before finishing him with a multi-punch barrage against the ropes with 23 seconds left in the second round, forcing referee Raul Caiz Jr. to step in.

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Battered Suns not looking for sympathy

Gold Coast are in a world of pain, but coach Rodney Eade doesn’t expect people to feel sorry for them.


The Suns remain mired near the foot of the AFL table after copping a 92-point hiding from West Coast in Perth on Saturday night.

Gold Coast conceded 12.0 in the third quarter alone, with the performance one of their worst since entering AFL ranks in 2011.

The Suns had just 18 points to their name at three-quarter time before adding some junk-time goals in the final term.

The month ahead looks even more painful for the Suns, with games against Collingwood, Hawthorn, Sydney, and Fremantle to come.

Gold Coast’s horrid run on the injury front has played a major role in their demise this season, with stars such as Gary Ablett, Nick Malceski, Jack Martin, David Swallow, and Jaeger O’Meara among a bulging injury ward.

And silky midfielder Harley Bennell could be added to that list after copping a heavy knock to his knee against the Eagles.

Eade said he felt sorry for his team’s young defence during West Coast’s onslaught on Saturday night.

But he knows his team won’t receive much sympathy from rival clubs.

“There is nothing in the rule book that says people have to feel sorry for us,” Eade said.

“It is a concern when you have got so many players who can use the ball who are out of the side.

“It just exposes guys who are being asked to play roles they are probably not used to.

“We are getting thin on the ground to be honest.

“But we have to regroup and hopefully get a few players back next week.”

Forward Tom Lynch (calf) and Luke Russell (illness) are expected to return against the Magpies, but Ablett is still weeks away as he struggles to recover from a shoulder issue.

Meanwhile, West Coast are shaping as a top-four smoky after their fourth win on the trot kept them in second spot on the table.

The Eagles will start as hot favourites in Saturday’s clash with St Kilda at Etihad Stadium, and they’ll have a fresh Jeremy McGovern and Josh Kennedy to unleash against the Saints.

McGovern was a late withdrawal from the Suns’ clash because of a corked calf, while Kennedy was subbed out late in the third quarter as part of a preservation plan.

“The elbow is still recovering,” Simpson said of the injury Kennedy suffered two weeks ago.

“So to get full recovery, he needs to get through four to six weeks.

“We’ve just got to make sure when we see an opportunity to give him a break, we take it.

“It was a good suggestion from our medical staff.

“Kennedy wasn’t too pleased, but I think we get a fresh JK next week.”

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Bailey stars in Vixens’ upset over Fever

The Melbourne Vixens’ trans-Tasman netball title defence is still alive thanks to an upset 56-48 win over the West Coast Fever on Sunday.


They were led by brilliant shooting from Vixens’ goal-shooter Karyn Bailey, who ended the match with 39 goals from 42 attempts and the MVP award.

The Vixens remain in fourth place on the ladder, but edged closer to the third playoff spot – occupied by the NSW Swifts – with the victory at Melbourne’s Margaret Court Arena.

Following recent loses away to the Swifts and Queensland Firebirds, the Vixens’ title defence was hanging by a thread, and they responded with an emphatic triumph over the Fever, who heading into round 12 were Australian conference leaders.

Bailey was the stand-out, leading the scoring while also creating space in the goal circle for her shooting partner Tegan Philip (17 goals from 24 attempts).

For the Fever, Caitlin Bassett was again accurate with 35 goals from 38 attempts and Natalie Medhurst had 13 goals from 17 shots.

Slow starts have blighted the Vixens’ season, but they were fast out of the blocks in front of a packed house of 5380.

They led 16-13 at quarter time and controlled the momentum of the match from then on.

The Fever didn’t get their usual amount of shots away as Melbourne’s defenders asserted their dominance.

Geva Mentor at goal-keeper was strong, ending the match with three deflections and two intercepts.

With third place in the Australian conference now a battle between the Vixens and the Swifts, the final place could be decided next weekend when the two teams face off in Melbourne again at Margaret Court Arena.

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