Month: February 2007

Thomas banned, Wales won’t appeal

Gareth Thomas banned until Feb 28thThere was a strong possibility of it happening… Gareth Thomas – the former Wales and Lions captain no less! – has possibly ended his international career in shame. I mentioned previously about Trevor Brennan having no excuse for his actions during the Ulster game – well his partner in crime has paid a much higher price.

He will miss out on the first 3 matches of the Six Nations , with speculation rife that he will find it difficult to get back into the squad late in the competition. Should he not be able to do so, then he may also be at risk of missing a spot in the Wales’ World Cup squad.

From the BBC:

The Toulouse back, 32, was found guilty of “aggressively attempting to enter one of the seating areas” during last month’s Heineken Cup win over Ulster.

He was also found guilty by an ERC disciplinary panel of making an offensive hand gesture towards fans.

“Whilst we think there are grounds for challenging the sentence, neither Gareth nor the WRU consider it would be in his best interests, or the best interests of the game, for an appeal to be lodged.”

Thomas himself added: “I would like to thank my team-mates, coaches and the WRU for the support I have been given during this very difficult time. “Now I just want to resume training and support the Wales team to a victory over Ireland in Cardiff on Sunday.

“I will be with them heart and soul just like every other Welsh fan. I will be standing shoulder to shoulder with the team throughout the Six Nations.”

An ERC statement said the starting point for the offence was a 12-week ban, but the sentence was reduced on the basis of Thomas’ remorse.

Italy suspends all football indefinitely

Riot outside Italian football stadium
Wow, crazy news from Italy this evening – the commisioner of the Italian football federation (FIGC) has suspended all football in the country indefinitely after a policeman was killed during a riot outside the Sicilian derby between Catania and Palermo tonight.

The policeman, named as Filippo Raciti, was 38. According to reports, he was struck in the face by a small explosive while attempting to deal with fighting outside the stadium. He was taken to hospital but died from his injuries.

I have demanded a stop to all activity of football in Italy. Enough is enough. It’s a situation that I cannot speak of. To lose your life at 38 is incredible. This is not a sport.

The football tournaments will remain suspended until we solve the violence in our football. It’s unacceptable that such incidents happen in a country like Italy.

At this moment I’m not thinking about [the bid to host the European Championships in 2012] but should we lose because of this situation, we would deserve to lose it.

Italy vs Romania on Wednesday and the under-21 fixture against Belgium on Tuesday will not go ahead as things stand.

This is just mad… Italians are soccer-crazy and this is a serious blow to the sport.

Relevant news stream on google.

Irish rugby player on steroids?

This one’s a bit laughable but I’m intrigued by the way this conversation has gone on the boards.ie rugby forum.

It started out with some debate over why Simon Easterby got the number 6 jersey for the Wales – Ireland Six Nations match this Sunday, and then turned into “it’s rumoured that Neil Best has been dropped for doing steroids”. It’s like chinese whispers 🙂

Extra controversy points for Dave as he says he’s not really too  worried about professional rugby players “doing cycles”.