The Sport Matrix: Friday 7 March 2014


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The Independent Online

Wilshere in race  to be fit for Brazil

Jack Wilshere’s place at the World Cup finals is in serious doubt after he sustained a hairline fracture to his left foot, ruling him out for six weeks. England manager Roy Hodgson has said he will not take players to Brazil if they are less than  100 per cent fit. MORE

Cleverley criticism saddens Martinez

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has condemned a petition urging England not to take  Manchester United’s Tom Cleverley to the World Cup. Martinez, who had him on loan at Wigan, said: “My disappointment is that he is being judged so aggressively.” MORE

QPR facing £40m fine or transfer ban

QPR have reported losses that are almost certain to result in either an unprecedented £40 million-plus fine or a transfer embargo extending beyond a year, after breaching Financial Fair Play rules. The permitted loss under FFP is £8m; Rangers lost £65.4m last season. MORE

Root’s cruel break a blow for England

England’s Joe Root is a serious doubt for the World Twenty20 after breaking his right thumb on the current tour of West Indies. The batsman’s injury was confirmed yesterday before the squad left Antigua for Barbados and he flew home last night for treatment. MORE

Robshaw happy Poite’s in charge

England captain Chris Robshaw is happy referee Romain Poite will officiate at Sunday’s game with Wales, after Steve Walsh was criticised for his handling of last year’s match. “The French referees are very good – they just get on with things,” he said. MORE

Davies to embrace ‘special’ encounter

Wales’ Jonathan Davies is ready to embrace the atmosphere in their away match with England. Davies said: “I’m sure it will be a hostile atmosphere at Twickenham and a few songs we will not be familiar with. It’s going to be special.” MORE

Muir and Cutts lead GB’s charge

Runner Laura Muir and pole vaulter Luke Cutts lead Britain’s charge of medal hopefuls in the World Indoor Championships, which begin in Poland today. Big names, including Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis-Hill, are missing the competition. MORE

Dennis delivers McLaren warning

McLaren’s returning chief executive Ron Dennis has threatened to dismiss any team member who fails to adapt to his methods for making the car competitive. He said: “If they [the team] match my passion and commitment, we will win.” MORE

Widnes prove too strong for Salford

Widnes Vikings maintained their perfect start to the new season by beating Salford Red Devils 32-18. Danny Tickle kicked six goals and team-mate Kevin Brown scored twice late on to help Vikings to victory.

Michael Calvin

The FA deserves support for making a stand in the case of the “quenelle” gesture by Nicolas Anelka (left), who seemed wilfully ignorant in his identification with Dieudonné M’bala M’bala. MORE