The Sports Matrix: Friday 4 November 2011


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The Independent Online

Warburton happy with Clerc catch-up

Sam Warburton saw the funny side of being sat next to Vincent Clerc on his flight home from the World Cup, the player he was sent off for tackling in the semi-final. “It was unbelievable,” the Welshman said.“We just chatted. He’s a good guy.” MORE

Probyn calls for further departures

Former England prop Jeff Probyn feels the exit of Martyn Thomas from the RFU should be just the start. “It’s a good thing he’s gone,” he said. “Some of [the rest of the board] should also fall on their swords. There’s a danger of putting the blame on one man.” MORE

Stockdale aims to beat neck injury

Britain’s Tim Stockdale retains hope of competing in next year’s Olympics, despite breaking his neck last month. The 47-year-old is desperate to repeat the events of three years ago when he competed on Corlate in Beijing. MORE

Fergie celebrates 25 years at United

Sir Alex Ferguson said yesterday he did not want to dwell on the fact that this weekend marks a quarter of a century in charge at Old Trafford. More accurately, he simply did not want to talk about it with a press that he has grown to distrust. MORE

Pakistan players get jail sentences

Salman Butt was sentenced to 30 months in jail for his part in the conspiracy to bowl no-balls in a Lord’s Test match last year, while Mohammad Asif was jailed for a year. Mohammad Amir, 19, will serve six months in a young offenders’ institute. MORE

FA to decide over Rooney appeal

The Football Association will today announce whether or not they will appeal Uefa’s decision to ban Wayne Rooney for three matches for his red card in Montenegro last month. The FA received the legal reasons behind the judgment yesterday. MORE

Cramped prison awaits fixing trio

Three of the men jailed over the match-fixing scandal last night began their sentences in a cold, cramped prison described as “below what could be classed as decent”. Wandsworth Prison has also been referred to as “demeaning” and “unsafe”. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

Is cricket intent on cleansing itself? It is too soon to say. There is one obvious way it might atone for some of the worst of its negligence. It could attempt to rescue the life – and the superb potential – of Mohammad Amir. MORE

Stoke and Fulham win but Tottenham go down in Russia

Stoke moved towards qualification for the round of 32 with a fine 2-1 victory at Maccabi Tel Aviv last night. Dean Whitehead and Peter Crouch scored after the break to put Tony Pulis’s side in command and they held on to take the points despite Roberto Colautti’s injury time consolation. Stoke are now four points clear at the top of Group E with two matches remaining. In Group K, Andy Johnson took his tally to eight goals in eight matches as he struck twice in Fulham’s 4-1 win over Wisla Krakow. A youthful Tottenham side suffered a first defeat in 12 matches as they went down 1-0 at Rubin Kazan. Bebras Natcho’s fine free-kick settled matters against a Spurs side without manager Harry Redknapp, who was discharged from hospital yesterday following a heart operation. Birmingham City recovered from two goals down at St Andrew’s to draw 2-2 with Bruges in a tight Group H encounter, while Celtic recorded an impressive first European win of the season, beating Rennes 3-1 at Parkhead. MORE

City seek advice about Napoli trip

Manchester City are to seek safety advice from Liverpool, Manchester United and Bayern Munich ahead of their trip to Napoli later this month. Supporters travelling to the Italian city have been attacked by “Ultra” fans in recent seasons. MORE

McDowell regrets his pain in Spain

Graeme McDowell has admitted he regrets his actions at the Andalucia Masters last week, when he threw in the towel. “I held my hands up,” he said. “It was a case of ‘Get me out of here to Shanghai’, so I can start at level par again. Embarrassing.” MORE