RIO ASTONISHED BY SEPP’S COMMENTS

England and Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has said he is astonished by Sepp Blatter’s claim that football does not have on-field racism problems.

The Fifa president said incidents on the pitch could be settled by a handshake after the game, but later claimed he had been misunderstood.

“Tell me I have just read Blatter’s comments wrong… if not then I am astonished,” said Ferdinand on Twitter.

Ferdinand later sent a direct tweet to the 75-year-old head of world football.

In it, he said: “Your comments on racism are so condescending it’s almost laughable. If fans shout racist chants but shake our hands is that OK?”

The former England captain later added: “I feel stupid for thinking that football was taking a leading role against racism – it seems it was just on mute for a while.”

Blatter’s comments come at a time when Chelsea captain John Terry is being investigated by the police and the Football Association over alleged racist remarks made to Ferdinand’s brother, QPR defender Anton Ferdinand, in a recent game between the two sides.

 

By sportroom

Friendly match results

DAVID VILLA saved Spain from an embarrassing defeat in Costa Rica. The Barcelona striker fired home in the last minute as the world champs came from 2-0 down. Randall Brenes and Joel Campbell put Costa Rica ahead. But David Silva pulled one back with seven minutes left before Villa’s strike. Nicklas Bendtner hit the winner as DENMARK beat FINLAND 2-1 in a friendly in Copenhagen. Alexei Eremenko put the Finns on the front foot but Liverpool’s Daniel Agger hit back for 1-1. Then Sunderland’s on-loan hitman Bendtner broke free to nab the winner. Fulham striker Clint Dempsey scored for USA in a 3-2 win in SLOVENIA. Thomas Muller, Miroslav Klose and Mesut Ozil fired GERMANY to a 3-0 win against HOLLAND. ITALY were downed by URUGUAY striker Seb Fernandez’s goal.

By sportroom

international friendly

ENGLAND 1-0 SWEDEN

England recorded their first win against Sweden since 1968 to complete a satisfactory Wembley double-header for coach Fabio Capello after Saturday’s victory against World Cup holders Spain.

Once again, the margin was narrow as England overcame the disappointing Swedes when Gareth Barry’s first-half header was deflected in off Daniel Majstorovic for the country’s 2,000th goal.

The Wembley attendance of 48,876 was the lowest for an England game since the stadium was rebuilt – and the relatively sparse crowd and subdued atmosphere may have contributed to the low-key nature of the affair.

Portugal secured their place at Euro 2012 with an emphatic 6-2 second leg victory over Bosnia-Hercegovina.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Helder Postiga both scored twice while Bosnia’s Senad Lulic was sent off as Portugal reached the finals in Poland and Ukraine.

Czech Republic midfielder Petr Jiracek scored a late goal in Montenegro as they went through 3-0 on aggregate.

Croatia also qualified with a goalless draw against Turkey after their 3-0 first leg win in Istanbul.

News

ROONEY’S APPEAL DATE ITS BEEN SET.

The England striker, 26, received the punishment after being sent off for kicking Miodrag Dzudovic during the 2-2 draw with Montenegro last month.

If the ban is upheld, Rooney will miss all of England’s Euro 2012 group matches in Poland or Ukraine.

The hearing will take place a week after the tournament draw is made.

Uefa said in a statement: “The Uefa Appeals Body will deal with the case of England striker Wayne Rooney on Friday, 9 December at Uefa’s headquarters in Nyon.

AC MILAN are weighing up a January loan swoop for Chelsea star Didier Drogba.

The Italian champions could be without Antonio Cassano for six months after he underwent successful surgery on a minor heart defect.

Milan have also been linked with a move for Drogba’s fellow Blues striker Nicolas Anelka, but Milan vice-president Galliani admits a bid for the Ivorian is more likely.

He said: “If Cassano had not suffered this problem, we would not go to the market in the first place, but we will see.

“If he can recover quickly, we will not sign any striker in January. However, if we sign a player, it will only be on a loan basis, until June.

“If Anelka continues to score, we will see. He is an important player, but I was in love with Drogba when he was at Olympique Marseille.”

With Fernando Torres Chelsea’s first choice pick up front this season, Drogba, 33, and Frenchman Anelka, 32, have seen their playing time limited.

The pair are also facing stiff competition from youngsters Daniel Sturridge and Romelu Lukaku, while Salomon Kalou is another option for boss Andre Villas-Boas.

Drogba has scored one goal in seven Premier League games this term, while Anelka has fared little better, netting just once in nine appearances.

NANI is to be given a mega pay rise in a new contract deal by Manchester United to see off interest from Italy.

United plan to move the Portuguese winger, already on £90,000 a week, up to the next tier of their pay-scale alongside the likes of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand on a reported £130,000 a week.

Both Milan clubs and Juventus are showing interest in a summer raid.

But United top brass have pencilled in talks with Nani’s representatives for early in the New Year, when the 24-year-old has 18 months left on his contract.

Boss Sir Alex Ferguson will resist any attempts to cash in on the £30million- rated star, who he signed from Sporting Lisbon for £18.5m in 2007.

That is likely to mean an improved four-year deal.

The Old Trafford chief is convinced Nani can develop along the same lines as Portugese legend Cristiano Ronaldo.

By sportroom