The Sports Matrix: Wednesday 17 October 2012


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The Independent Online

England to try again today after rain delay in Warsaw

England endured a frustrating evening in Poland last night after their Group H encounter was postponed until this afternoon due to a waterlogged pitch in Warsaw.

Despite forecasts of heavy rain and showers affecting the city all afternoon, the roof of the National Stadium remained open, allowing puddles to develop on the playing surface.

England manager Roy Hodgson did not allow his outfield players to train on the sodden turf and, after inspections by referee Gianluca Rocchi, above, it was announced that the teams will reconvene this afternoon for a 4pm kick-off.

England's Under-21 side qualified for next summer's European Championship after securing a 2-0 aggregate win in Serbia. The match was marred by racist chants and violence after the final whistle as players and officials fought on the pitch.

Scotland and Wales both beaten

Wales and Scotland both lost 2-0 on their travels in Group A, leaving the Celtic cousins filling the bottom two positions in the table. Wales went down in Croatia, goals from Mario Mandzukic and Eduardo; Belgium beat the Scots, Christian Benteke and Vincent Kompany scoring.

Ireland eventually break down Faroes

The Republic of Ireland produced a strong second-half display to beat their Group C opponents Faroe Islands 4-1 in Torshavn. After a goalless first-half, Marc Wilson scored before Jonathan Walters, Darren O'Dea and an own goal secured the win. MORE

Giroud earns point against Spain

A late goal from Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud earned France a 1-1 draw against defending champions Spain in Madrid. The hosts, on a run of 24 consecutive qualifying wins, went ahead through Sergio Ramos, while Barcelona's Cesc Fabregas had a penalty saved. MORE

Strict new code of conduct revealed

The new code of conduct for England players will limit players' use of Twitter, video games and even room service. The Football Association's code, already in place among Roy Hodgson's players, also reminds them of their responsibilities as role models. MORE

Massa to stay with Ferrari next year

Felipe Massa will remain at Ferrari next season in an unchanged line-up alongside Fernando Alonso. The Brazilian has struggled for form, with the Italian constructor linked with a move for Sebastian Vettel for the following campaign. MORE

Cardiff ready to play hardball

Cardiff Blues have insisted they are deep in negotiations with Jamie Roberts over an extension to his contract. The Lions centre has been linked with a move to leading French sides, with Alex Cuthbert also rumoured to be about to move. MORE

Grabarz almost gave up high jump

Olympic bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz came close to giving up high jumping last year for a job restoring cars. "[The offer] was on the table," he said. "It had a two-week deadline. I decided to pull my finger out and start performing." MORE

Yankees left to watch World Series

Next week the World Series begins, but one of Major League Baseball's biggest names, the New York Yankees, will not be featuring. Rupert Cornwell examines the end of an era for one of sport's most famous teams. MORE

Frankel's little bro runs his first race

Frankel's half-brother by Oasis Dream, Morpheus, makes his debut at Nottingham today, with connections saying: "He's taller, lengthier, racier, perhaps not as robust physically – but more straightforward mentally." MORE

Jonny Brownlee

"[Winning bronze in the Olympics] has changed my life. You can't do anything wrong. I'm getting stopped in the street – people treat you differently. It has changed my life completely." MORE