The Sports Matrix: Friday 14 December 2012


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The Independent Online

Football: Outrage at Uefa's let-off for Serbia's race controversy

Uefa's attempts to combat racism were under fire again last night after European football's governing body imposed a £65,000 fine on Serbia and ordered their under-21 side to play one match behind closed doors as punishment for racist chanting and violence during and after their defeat to England in Krusevac in October.

Four Serbian players and two coaches were also banned for their part in the after-match fracas which marred the European Championship play-off.

Two England players, Thomas Ince, pictured above, and Steven Caulker, were given bans of one and two matches respectively.

The FA is likely to appeal against the bans issued to Ince and Caulker but will wait to receive Uefa's written reasons before determining its next course of action. Alex Horne, general secretary of the FA, described Uefa's decision as "disappointing". Lord Ouseley, the chair of Kick It Out, called the outcome "paltry". Sport Minister Hugh Robertson was disappointed "given the widespread racist abuse aimed at England's players". MORE

Football: Benitez laps up Chelsea's victory

Chelsea's interim manager Rafa Benitez praised his side after beating Monterrey 3-1 to progress to Sunday's final against Corinthians. "We played with a high tempo, scored great goals and showed some good movement, so it was a great performance," he said. MORE

Football: Usmanov teams up with Henry

Arsenal's shareholder Alisher Usmanov has formed an alliance with Thierry Henry to put further pressure on the club hierarchy to offer him a place on the board. On Monday, Henry is understood to have attended a charity dinner with Usmanov in Moscow. MORE

Football: Lampard waiting for contract talks

Frank Lampard says he is still waiting for Chelsea to open negotiations with him about a new contract. The midfielder's deal expires in the summer and Lampard said: "Talks about a one-year extension, a two-year extension don't exist. Nothing has been said." MORE

Cricket: Morgan to captain England's T20 side

Eoin Morgan will captain England's Twenty20 team for the two matches against India next week. Morgan will replace Stuart Broad, who is leaving the tour after a recurrence of a bruised heel that has troubled him in India. MORE

Fourth test: Root shows grit as England wobble

Test debutant Joe Root, 21, impressed by finishing unbeaten on 31 in tricky conditions. He shared an unbroken 60-run partnership with Matt Prior (34) as England closed on 199-5 on the first day of the fourth Test in Nagpur. MORE

Rugby union: Hartley handed two-week ban

The Northampton hooker, Dylan Hartley, has received a two-week suspension for striking Ulster's Rory Best during a Heineken Cup match last week. He will have only four club matches in the new year to press for an England recall. MORE

Rugby union: Care mourns loss of 'legend' Tate

England scrum-half Danny Care paid tribute to the former Sale forward David Tait, who fell to his death from an apartment block in Hong Kong. Tait was 25. Care described Tait as "a good friend and an absolute legend of a bloke". MORE

Golf: Watson praises 'No 1 pick' Woods

Tom Watson has been named US Ryder Cup captain for 2014 and said he had a good relationship with Tiger Woods. He said: "Whatever has been said before is water under the bridge. He's No 1 on my pick list." MORE

Football: Barry banned for Newcastle game

Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry has been banned for one match after admitting to abusing Mark Clattenburg, the fourth official during the derby defeat to Manchester United last Sunday. Barry, who has been fined £8,000, will miss City's trip to Newcastle tomorrow. MORE

Interview: Greg Rutherford

Rutherford's long jump gold, won amid the more vaunted feats of Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah on "Super Saturday", has made him hungry to achieve more success, he tells Simon Turnbull. MORE