The Sport Matrix: Wednesday 9 October 2013


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The Independent Online

Januzaj must not play for England, insists Wilshere

Jack Wilshere said yesterday that it would be wrong for the Football Association to push for the natural-isation of Manch-ester United’s teenager Adnan Januzaj, an option it has pursued in recent months with the player yet to choose for whom he will play international football.

Wilshere said that the rule which dictates a player can qualify to represent a country in the international game if he lives for five years in that nation after his 18th birthday was flawed and that, “if you live in England for five years, it doesn’t make you English”.                   

Januzaj (above), 18, is of Albanian- Kosovan descent and was born in Brussels but has so far rejected the opportunity to play for Belgium at youth level. He could play for any of the six former Yugoslavia nations, through his father’s place of birth, and Turkey, through his mother. It is thought that he wants to represent Kosovo, who are not yet recognised by Fifa. MORE

Newcastle seek ticket price cuts

The campaign to bring Premier League away tickets down to £20 is on the brink of a major breakthrough, with Newcastle United preparing to announce a reciprocal deal by which they will charge any club’s away fans that price, if their own are given the same deal. MORE

I’m no Di Canio, insists Poyet

Sunderland’s new manager Gus Poyet says he will not adopt the confrontational policy of former boss Paolo Di Canio. Poyet, who has signed a two-year contract, said yesterday: “I try to make it easy for the players to go on to the pitch and feel comfortable, without excuses.” MORE

Jovetic dreams of sealing Brazil spot

Montenegro striker Stevan Jovetic has spoken about his twin ambitions ahead of his country’s game again England. Jovetic said: “I have two dreams – to win the Champions League with [Manchester] City and go to the World Cup in Brazil with Montenegro.” MORE

Jagielka backs under-fire Hart

England defender Phil Jagielka has thrown his support behind goalkeeper Joe Hart, who has been criticised for his recent mistakes. Jagielka said: “Joe’s a great guy and a fantastic goalkeeper and if he can take it like he has done all the power to him. We all make mistakes.” MORE

Lancaster annoyed with squad timing

England head coach Stuart Lancaster hinted he was frustrated at having to pick his squad in the summer, rather than now,  for the three-match programme in November. It means Sam Dickinson, who has recently impressed, is excluded. MORE

Hotline set up for salary breaches

Premiership Rugby has introduced a hotline for whistle-blowers as part of new salary-cap regulations. This comes after Sale’s Mark Cueto accused some clubs of flouting financial constraints under which clubs are expected to operate.

Nadal back at No 1 but still feels pain

Rafael Nadal has returned to the top of the world rankings after a remarkable comeback but the 27-year-old Spaniard has revealed that he is still having to deal with discomfort in his troublesome left knee. “I have pain a lot of days,” he said. MORE

Five-match stadium ban handed to Ince

Blackpool manager Paul Ince has been given a five-match stadium ban and a £4,000 fine by the FA for his conduct towards a match official after his side’s 2-1 win at Bournemouth. He admitted three charges relating to his actions after the game. MORE

Ainslie seeks swift America’s Cup bid

Sir Ben Ainslie has said the deadline for announcing the outline of a firm British challenge in the America’s Cup is “the end of this month”. “If you leave it much longer than that you definitely won’t get there,” he added. MORE

Cruz’s crusade

Steve Bunce speaks to Orlando Cruz, who will become the first openly gay boxer to win a world title if he beats Orlando Salido for the vacant WBO featherweight title on Saturday. MORE