The Sport Matrix: Thursday 9 April 2015


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Burger cited for Machenaud clash

Saracens flanker Jacques Burger has been cited for alleged foul play during last Sunday’s European Champions Cup quarter-final game against Racing Metro in Paris. European Professional Club Rugby said that Burger is alleged to have struck Racing scrum-half Maxime Machenaud midway through the match at Stade  Yves-du-Manoir, which Saracens won 12-11.

Figo disputes CAF’s pro-Blatter claim

Fifa presidential candidate Luis Figo has disputed the Confederation of African Football’s claim that all the continent’s 54 votes will go to Sepp Blatter in the elections on 29 May.

The former Portugal international said: “Federation presidents have assured me they would vote for me but were reluctant to say this out loud because they feared reactions against them, their federations and even their countries.”

Newcastle fans  call for boycott

Newcastle United fans, already hoping to hire a plane towing an “Ashley Out” banner over the club’s next home game against Tottenham, are also calling for a boycott of the match and a protest rally against owner Mike Ashley outside St James’ Park.

The aim is to ensure Newcastle are watched by their lowest Premier League crowd to highlight the club’s plight under Ashley on live television.

Schumacher Jnr gets behind wheel

Michael Schumacher’s son Mick looks to be following in his father’s footsteps after completing a test drive in a  Formula Four car in Germany yesterday.

The 16-year-old driver, who began in karting in 2008 using his mother’s maiden name to avoid pressure, completed a session at the Oschersleben circuit.

His father’s manager, Sabine Kehm, who is also managing Schumacher Jnr’s first steps on the motorsport ladder, called for calm and realistic expectations.

“My message is to be realistic with expectations,” said Kehm.

“This is Mick’s very first year in a formula series. He has to learn a lot of new things and make a lot of new experiences because the difference between karting and formula cars is quite big. Give him time, don’t over-react in terms of expectations and just have him go step by step. Of course he will try and do his very best but he also has to learn a lot. This is really just the start of it.”

Earlier this year Schumacher  Jnr walked away unscathed from  a 100mph crash during  pre-season testing.

Sharapova chases Olympic spot

The possibility of playing in the Olympics has prompted Martina Hingis and Maria Sharapova to make rare appearances for their countries in the Fed Cup. Hingis, 34, has rejoined Switzerland’s squad after a 17-year absence in a bid to qualify for next year’s Games in Rio. She will play against Poland in the World Group play-off on 18-19 April. Sharapova is in Russia’s squad for their semi-final against Germany on the same dates.