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The Sport Matrix: Wednesday 24 April 2013
Suarez set to fight FA over increased ban for Anfield bite
Luis Suarez gave notification last night that he is ready to fight a lengthy Football Association ban for biting Branislav Ivanovic, by denying the FA’s claim that a standard three-match ban is insufficient given the extraordinary nature of the incident.
Suarez, above, did accept the FA’s charge of violent conduct following the clash with Ivanovic during Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with Chelsea at Anfield on Sunday. The Liverpool forward was clearly seen biting the arm of the Chelsea defender in the second half and has accepted a fine by his club and offered an apology to Ivanovic.
However, the FA’s statement last night gave warning that Suarez could contest any decision made by the Independent Regulatory Commission, which will today decide the player’s fate.
“Luis Suarez has accepted a charge of violent conduct, following an incident with Branislav Ivanovic in Sunday’s fixture,” the FA statement read. “However, Suarez has denied the FA’s claim that the standard punishment of three matches is clearly insufficient.” MORE
Bayern rout Barça and close on final
Bayern Munich have one foot in next month’s Champions League final after thrashing Barcelona 4-0 in last night’s semi-final first leg in Germany. Thomas Müller scored in either half, with Mario Gomez and Arjen Robben putting the Germans in control after the interval. MORE
Sprinter Sacre completes treble
Sprinter Sacre completed a trio of elite wins in taking the Champion Chase at Punchestown yesterday but was pushed all the way by Sizing Europe. The favourite won by just over five lengths to add to his Cheltenham and Aintree successes. MORE
Sport of kings faces its greatest crisis
It may be overstating matters to talk of the Turf’s “Lance Armstrong moment”. But nor can the scandal that convulsed the sport this week be dismissed as a mere vignette to sustain its picaresque traditions. MORE
Ferdinand revels in win with dig at City
Rio Ferdinand taken a swipe at deposed champions Manchester City after his United side reclaimed the title on Monday. “It’s always sweet,” he said of the Old Trafford win. “And it’s nice to do it here, in the right way and in style, not on goal difference [as City did last season].” MORE
Anderson is ready for Ashes sledging
James Anderson has admitted he is likely to indulge in sledging at some point during this summer’s Ashes. “If you’re trying to challenge people verbally it kind of just happens,” the England bowler said. “It’s not really a pre-planned thing.” MORE
SW19 to raise roof... and prize-money
Plans were announced yesterday for a retractable roof to be built over Wimbledon’s No 1 Court, with new locations to be found for many of the outside courts. The SW19 tournament is also to increase prize-money by more than 40 per cent, rising to a total fund of £22.6m. MORE
Glorious Gayle enters record book
West Indies opener Chris Gayle smashed the fastest century in history in the Indian Premier League, hitting three figures from just 30 balls as he struck 175 not out for Bangalore. “I’m lost for words,” Gayle, who hit a record 17 sixes, said. MORE
Opinion: James Lawton
Sir Alex Ferguson continues to operate at the height of his powers as British football’s most decorated manager. The reason, some close to him have suggested, is a unique ability to remake himself. MORE
Jonny’s return fails to pull in crowd
Jonny Wilkinson’s return to Twickenham with Toulon this weekend is likely to be played in a stadium just a quarter full. Only 20,000 tickets have been sold for the Heineken Cup semi-final with Saracens. “Clearly, it is not ideal,” Saracens chief executive Edward Griffiths said. MORE
McIlroy set to represent Ireland
Rory McIlroy is likely to represent Ireland rather than Great Britain at the 2016 Olympics, having played for the country as an amateur. “There may be a regulation within the rules that would require him to,” said the R&A chief executive, Peter Dawson. MORE
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