Thursday, April 18, 2024

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Acerbi sent home after allegedly racially abusing Juan Jesus
ROME, March 18: Inter Milan defender Francesco Acerbi was sent home from Italy’s national team training camp on Monday amid an allegation he racially abused Napoli counterpart Juan Jesus in Sunday’s Serie A match.Juan Jesus, who is Black, was visibly upset in the second half when he walked up to the referee, who then called over Acerbi.In close-up television images, Juan Jesus seemed to be telling the referee that Acerbi had used a racist slur. Juan Jesus was also pointing at his shirt sleeve, which had a Keep Racism Out’ badge – as part of the league’s anti-racism campaign.Acerbi joined up with the Italy squad in Rome before the Azzurri fly to the United States on Tuesday for friendly matches against Venezuela and Ecuador but the 36-year-old has now been replaced by Roma defender Gianluca Mancini.The Italian football federation said in a statement that in accordance with the Azzurri’s internal policy, Acerbi spoke to Italy coach Luciano Spalletti and the players and explained his own version of “the presumed racist expression” he allegedly used.“From the Inter defender’s account, pending that what happened is reconstructed with full respect to the autonomy of the sporting justice system, it emerged that there was no defamatory, denigrating or racist intent on his part,” the FIGC said.“It was nevertheless agreed to leave Acerbi out of the squad for the next two friendly matches in the United States, to guarantee the necessary serenity to the national team and to the player himself, who will return to his club today.” Both Acerbi’s agent and Inter did not immediately respond to requests for a comment and the player has not said anything on his social media accounts.Juan Jesus would not confirm afterward what happened. (PTI)

Mizoram stun Punjab to seal quarterfinal berth
PUNE, March 18: Hockey Mizoram stunned Hockey Punjab 4-2 to take the seventh spot in the quarterfinals of the 14th Senior Women National Championship 2024 at the Major Dhyanchand Hockey Stadium Nehrunager, Pimpri on Monday.The win enabled Hockey Mizoram to top Pool F with three wins from as many games ahead of Hockey Punjab, Hockey Himachal and Hockey Rajasthan.Lalrinpuii (6th, 9th minutes) struck a brace, while skipper H Lalruatfeli (26th) and Marina Lalramnghaki (54th) converted two penalty corners for the winning side.Hockey Punjab’s goals came from sticks of Taranpreet Kaur (35th) and Rajwinder Kaur (51st), both from penalty corners.Hockey Mizoram, thus, joined Hockey Madhya Pradesh, Hockey Maharashtra, Hockey Jharkhand, Hockey Haryana, Hockey Association of Odisha and Hockey Bengal in the knock-out round, with one more spot up for grabs from Pool G.In the quarterfinals, Hockey Madhya Pradesh will take on Hockey Bengal, Hockey Jharkhand will play Hockey Mizoram and Hockey Haryana will clash against Hockey Association of Odisha.Hockey Maharshtra’s opponent in the quarterfinal will be decided on Tuesday as they will take on the winners of Pool G.Meanwhile in other matches on Monday, Assam Hockey beat Le Puducherry Hockey 2-1 in an inconsequential Pool D tie. (IANS)

Trabzonspor fans invade pitch, attack Fenerbahce players
ISTANBUL, March 18: Turkish police have detained 12 people after fans of top tier football club Trabzonspor invaded the pitch following a home loss against Fenerbahce, touching off violent scuffles between the fans and visiting players.The Trabzonspor fans charged onto the pitch as Fenerbahce players celebrated their 3-2 win following the final whistle of the Turkish Superlig game in the Black Sea coastal city of Trabzon late Sunday.Some Fenerbahce players hit back at fans who kicked or punched them, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported. Security staff later helped the Fenerbahce players down the tunnel into the locker rooms.The incident came just months after the president of top-flight club Ankaragucu was arrested for punching a referee following a match, prompting the Turkish Football Federation to briefly suspend league games. (PTI)

India bag six medals at Polish Grand Prix
WARSAW, March 18: Paris Olympics quota winners Akhil Sheoran and Anish Bhanwala won a gold medal each as Indian shooters ended their Polish Grand Prix campaign with six medals.Sheoran won gold in the men’s 50m rifle 3-positions Match 2 with a record score of 468.4.Patrik Jany of the Czech Republic was 2.2 points behind at second spot at the Grand Prix Wroclawia & Dolnego Slaska.Both the scores were higher than the existing world record of 466.1, held by Jany’s countryman Jiri Privratsky.Bhanwala won gold in the men’s 25m rapid-fire pistol at the Jozef Zapedzki Grand Prix held simultaneously.Navy shooter Niraj Kumar was also impressive, finishing with two bronze in both the men’s rifle 3P matches, becoming the only Indian to finish with two medals.Niraj also shot impressive scores of 595 and 594 in the two qualification matches. In the first match, he finished third behind Jany and Rio Olympic silver medallist Serhiy Kulish of Ukraine. (PTI)


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