Football: Boere stabbed in the eye

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The Independent Online
JEROEN BOERE, the Dutch striker who played for West Ham United, Crystal Palace and Southend United, has lost an eye after being stabbed during a fracas at a bar in Tokyo.

The 31-year-old, who plays for Omiya Ardija in the Second Division of the J.League, became involved in a fight at about 4am on Friday and was stabbed in the left arm and eye by two assailants. The police said two men attacked the player after an argument with the group of people he was with, which included his wife.

Omiya Ardija officials said Boere, who scored nine goals in 11 matches this season, had an operation to remove a ruptured eye and will remain in hospital for about a month.

Liverpool expect to sign Vladimir Smicer in the next few days after agreeing a pounds 3.75m fee for the Czech international winger with the French club Lens. "I'm hoping we can conclude a deal to sign him early next week," Liverpool's executive vice-chairman, Peter Robinson, said. Smicer scored in Lens' 1-1 draw at Strasbourg in the French League yesterday.

Liverpool indicated their interest in acquiring Smicer once it became clear that Steve McManaman would be leaving to join Real Madrid, who will be determined to wrest the Spanish title from Barcelona next season. Barca wrapped up the championship last night, with three games to play, when a 4-1 victory away to Alaves put them 13 points clear of Real Mallorca, who have a game in hand.

"These players have all worked to the same objective." said Barca's under- pressure Dutch coach Louis van Gaal. "Our objective is always to put on a great show and win the title. We've done that today."

There were mixed fortunes in Asia for the two clubs who had to give best in the Premiership title race to Manchester United. Arsenal lost 4-3 to Thailand in Bangkok, but Chelsea beat Instant Dict in Hong Kong.

Thailand's captain, Kiatisuk Senamuang, scored twice to inspire his side's surprising victory over last season's Double winners at the National Stadium. Kanu also claimed two goals to bring Arsenal back to 3-3 with half an hour left to play, but Kiatisuk's second in the 88th minute, with a low shot from the corner of the penalty area, proved to be the winner.

In Hong Kong, Gianfranco Zola and Mikael Forsell scored a goal each as Chelsea beat Instant Dict 2-1. They outplayed one of the leading teams in the Hong Kong league, whose consolation goal came midway through the second half from the much-travelled former Leeds United striker, Ian Baird.

Chelsea's Marcel Desailly is one of a number of players being pursued by Marseilles, whose president, Robert Louis-Dreyfus, said he had a positive reaction when he approached the French international centre-back. Louis- Dreyfus confirmed Marseilles were interested in signing Arsenal's Kaba Diawara.