The Sport Matrix: Friday 27 September 2013


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The Independent Online

Taylor wants Fifa to act over 'hybrid' boots issues

Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, has urged Fifa and boot manufacturers to introduce new safety regulations on "hybrid" boots in the aftermath of the incident that forced Wayne Rooney to miss England's World Cup qualifiers earlier this month.

Rooney has been wearing a protective headband having needed 10 stitches in his forehead after being caught by Phil Jones during a Manchester United training session – the second time in just over a year that he has suffered a similar injury.

The injuries are believed to have been caused by boots – known as "hybrids" – that use a combination of traditional metal studs and new-style blades that are made of plastic and can become sharp when exposed to concrete surfaces.

"Wayne is a very high-profile player and both these incidents could have ended his career," said Taylor. "The boot manufacturers are becoming more and more aware there is a problem but I think it's something that needs to come from football with regard to health and safety issues."

Taylor added: "This is something we want to pursue with Fifa."

AVB: Jose and I are no longer friends

Andre Villas-Boas comes face-to-face with his former mentor Jose Mourinho for the first time when Spurs play Chelsea tomorrow. Villas-Boas conceded their relationship has "broken down" but that they retain a "mutual respect" for one another. MORE

Moyes 'still getting to know players'

Manchester United manager David Moyes still seems unable to grasp that the side are his team. After United beat Liverpool, he said: "They are a really good team." Earlier he said: "In many ways I am still getting to know some of the players." MORE

England impress with emphatic win

England's women made it two wins and 14 goals from their first two World Cup qualifiers as they thrashed Turkey 8-0 at Fratton Park last night. After beating Belarus 6-0 on Saturday, caretaker manager Brent Hill's side shone again, with Toni Duggan striking a hat-trick in the rout. MORE

Butland moves to Barnsley on loan

England goalkeeper Jack Butland has moved from Stoke City to Championship side Barnsley on an emergency three-month loan. Barnsley said the 20-year-old, who made his England senior debut in a friendly against Italy in 2012, would be in the squad for tomorrow's match at Leicester City.

Warrington clinch Grand Final spot

Warrington eased into the Super League Grand Final for the second consecutive season after beating Huddersfield Giants 30-22 last night, with Joel Monaghan and Simon Grix scoring twice for the Wolves. Wigan, meanwhile, play Leeds tonight in the other semi-final. MORE

IRB backing key to new competition

The Irish, Scottish and Welsh governing bodies said they would not allow their professional teams to participate in any new competition – such as the proposed Rugby Champions Cup – that did not meet with their approval , or with that of the International Rugby Board.

Cookson set for 'critical' UCI vote

Brian Cookson, the president of British Cycling, goes into today's vote for the UCI presidency with campaigners calling for a change of governance from the incumbent, Pat McQuaid. "It is critical that he [McQuaid] goes," said Jaimie Fuller, who has led a campaign to oust McQuaid. MORE