The Sports Matrix: Thursday 24 May 2012

 

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The Independent Online

Barton handed 12-match ban over fracas at City   

The Queen's Park Rangers captain, Joey Barton, will miss almost a third of next season after being handed a 12-game suspension by the Football Association following his behaviour in the 3-2 defeat against Manchester City earlier this month.

The 29-year-old midfielder was last night considering an appeal against the length of the ban. He was dismissed by referee Mike Dean on the final day at Eastlands for striking Carlos Tevez, before proceeding to knee Sergio Aguero from behind and thrust his head at City captain Vincent Kompany. Barton earned an automatic four-game ban as the red card was his second of the season, with further four-game suspensions added for each of the following two incidents. MORE

Ennis: Rivals may get it right on night

British gold-medal prospect Jessica Ennis says that she could be powerless to stop her rivals beating her at the Olympics, if they "get it right on the night". "I can't do anything about how they perform," said the heptathlete in an interview with i. MORE

I believe I'm the best, says McIlroy

Rory McIlroy expects to challenge for the PGA Championship, which begins at Wentworth this morning. "On my day, I believe I can beat anyone in the world," said the 23-year-old world No 1. "You have to believe that you're the best, and I do." MORE

Torres guaranteed future at Chelsea

The Chelsea chief executive, Ron Gourlay, has told Fernando Torres he will be at the centre of next season's side, following remarks from the Spaniard about his reduced role at the club. Didier Drogba has left and Salomon Kalou is also going. MORE

Strauss wants to remain as captain

Andrew Strauss has no intention of giving up the England Test captaincy, a year after quitting the one-day job. "I love captaincy, I love the challenge," he said. "It is what makes me get out of bed in the morning. This is what I find exciting at this stage." MORE

Chambers hopes for Bolt inspiration

Dwain Chambers will race against Usain Bolt tomorrow, hoping to be dragged to an Olympic qualifying time in Ostrava. The British sprinter, who was recently cleared to compete at the Games, has clocked 10.52 sec and 10.32 sec this year but needs 10.18 sec. MORE

London Welsh furious at RFU bar

The Rugby Football Union yesterday ruled that London Welsh had failed to meet the criteria for promotion to the Premiership. The Exiles spoke of "grave disappointment" and hinted at the possibility of launching legal action. MORE

Keane: Rooney will get bored at Euros

Roy Keane has warned that boredom could be a problem for Wayne Rooney at Euro 2012, as he sits two games out through suspension. "I think Wayne will have a problem," Keane said. "Roy [Hodgson] will have to get the balance right in training." MORE

Kean's future is 'totally confused'

Blackburn Rovers have admitted that a decision on the manager Steve Kean's future may not be made until next month. "Everything is in confusion," said co-owner Venkatesh Rao. "In the next month we will have a proper situation to talk about." MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

There is a strong theory that Gary Neville was appointed by England to monitor the state of mind of his former team-mate Wayne Rooney. Rooney was a joyless figure at the World Cup in South Africa, out in England's remote camp. MORE

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