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The Sports Matrix: Thursday 17 November 2011



Suarez charged over racism row...

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was last night charged over claims he racially abused Manchester United defender Patrice Evra during last month's league meeting. Evra is likely to be supported by his team-mates' testimonies during the FA hearing. MORE

...but Blatter thinks handshake is cure

Fifa president Sepp Blatter has denied any existence of a racism problem, claiming a handshake would cure all ills. "I would deny it," he said. "There is no racism. Maybe one player has a word or a gesture... [but] at the end of the game we shake hands." MORE

Struggling Ponting may be at the end

Australia play South Africa in Johannesburg this morning, in what could be the final Test match for Ricky Ponting. A new national selector starts after this game and Ponting has gone 12 innings without a 50, and almost two years without a century. MORE

Halsall ready for ‘special’ pressure

Fran Halsall admits there will be a special kind of pressure on her as she attempts to win five medals at next summer’s London Olympics. “It’s absolutely different to every other competition,” the 21-year-old swimmer said. MORE

Woods opts to tee off in Abu Dhabi

Tiger Woods will begin next season's campaign with the European Tour's Abu Dhabi Championship, ending his long affiliation with the Dubai Classic. The former world No 1 is expected to pocket at least £1.7m just for turning up to the January event. MORE

Capello: Jones can live up to greats

England coach Fabio Capello believes Phil Jones has the potential to match past greats Franco Baresi and Fernando Hierro. "I have found in my career two players [of Jones' type]," he said. "He is a talent. He can play always at the top level." MORE

Track delays force US GP back to 2013

Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed that the United States Grand Prix will not take place next year following delays in the construction of the Texas track. "The contract we proposed to them is 10 years from 2013," he said. "We said we would wait for them." MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

Martin Johnson's resignation has underlined the chronic confusion that grips the Rugby Football Union. Rob Andrew, apparently so pivotal, has come to rival the old Mafia chieftain John Gotti for the title of Teflon Man. MORE

Johnson walks away after World Cup disaster

Martin Johnson resigned as England manager yesterday, one month on from England's quarter-final World Cup exit to France. When asked whether it was the Mike Tindall furore which prompted his resignation, Johnson said: "There's no one thing that tipped me over the edge. I've taken a lot of things into consideration." Rob Andrew, director of elite rugby at the Rugby Football Union, insisted that he was "absolutely not considering resignation", and that there was a "widespread misunderstanding" of his role. Andrew's task now is to appoint a replacement. Former Italy coach Nick Mallett last night ruled himself out of the running. MORE 

RFU face tough task in manager search

The size of the task facing the RFU in identifying Martin Johnson's successor has been highlighted by former South Africa coach Eddie Jones. "The structure's the thing," he said. "You wouldn't get involved unless the pieces were in place. Are they? Not at the moment." MORE

Sinfield: 'unity' has helped lift England

Kevin Sinfield has put England's performances down to improved team spirit ahead of Saturday's final. "That togetherness has not always been there," he said. "But this group now is very good. This is the most together international group I've been involved in." MORE