The Sports Matrix: Thursday 15 December 2011


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The Independent Online


Torres to remain at Chelsea – for now

Chelsea are not considering offloading Fernando Torres in next month's transfer window, despite his poor form since his move from Liverpool. The club have dismissed speculation the Spanish international could be available for as little as £20m, insisting that the 27-year-old remains "part of the club's long-term plans". However, manager Andre Villas-Boas is open to the idea of a summer sale, for the right amount. MORE

Upson off as Stoke go down in Turkey

Stoke were consigned to second place in Group E after suffering their first European defeat of the season, by 3-1 at Besiktas. Despite leading via Ricardo Fuller, Tony Pulis's side suffered after Matt Upson's straight red card, shipping three goals. MORE

Fulham Fall out after late leveller

Fulham crashed out of the competition at Craven Cottage following a last-minute Odense equaliser. Martin Jol's side led 2-0 through Clint Dempsey and Kerim Frei, only for Odense to reply through Hans Andreasen and Djiby Fall to put Fulham out. MORE

Redknapp repels England rumours

Harry Redknapp has again dismissed reports linking him with the England job next summer. “I don’t look that far ahead,” said the Spurs manager prior to tonight’s final Europa League group match at Shamrock Rovers. “I don’t know what will happen.” MORE

Suarez to offer Evra testimony

Luis Suarez will appear in front of a Football Association disciplinary commission to give his side of the clash with Manchester United’s Patrice Evra that ended with the Liverpool forward accused of racism. Opening submissions were made yesterday. MORE

Ritchie leaves SW19 for Twickenham

Former Wimbledon tennis chief executive Ian Ritchie has been announced in a similar position at the Rugby Football Union. “English rugby has a very bright future,” he said. “I am determined to help create a legacy that will benefit the sport.” MORE

O'Sullivan in danger of slipping out of 16

Ronnie O'Sullivan could lose his elite top-16 place for the first time in 18 years following two years without a rankings title. His decision not to enter the last two Tour events could allow two of the chasing pack to overhaul him, leaving him to contest qualifiers. MORE

2012 ticket sales pass £500m mark

Organisers of the 2012 London Games have so far raised £527m through ticket sales, their chief executive, Paul Deighton, has announced. Ticket holders will have the opportunity to resell unwanted tickets through the official website next month. MORE

Westwood: Donald must duck critics

Lee Westwood has leapt to the defence of compatriot Luke Donald, following criticism of the world No 1's failure to win a major. "People don't realise how well he's played," Westwood said. "I don't think anyone should demean what he has achieved." MORE

Brown shown exit door at Preston

Phil Brown has been sacked by League One side Preston after less than a year in the job. The 52-year-old departs with the club sitting 10th following a run of two wins in 14 games. "Performances have not been impressive," chairman Peter Ridsdale said. MORE

Australia top order called to boot camp

Australia's batting order have been summoned to a "batting boot camp" next week following poor performances and recent similar experiences suggest the fortunes of Ricky Ponting's side could improve. MORE

Smith calls for ruthless streak

South Africa's captain, Graeme Smith, has urged his side to carry the fight to the Sri Lanka tourists in the first Test, starting today at Centurion. "We've played good cricket, but haven't landed that killer blow," he said.

Opinion: James Lawton

Luka Modric and David Silva were both taunted with cries of "cheat" last weekend. One reason this lingers in the mind so strongly is that they were entirely innocent of contravening the laws of the game. MORE