Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Football in Brief: Carroll's assault charge dropped; England friendly with Denmark; Barnett charged

Newcastle said yesterday they were "pleased" that an assault charge against their England striker Andy Carroll had been dropped. Carroll, who scored again in the weekend's 3-1 win over Liverpool, has been informed by the Crown Prosecution Service that it had reviewed the case against him and decided there was no realistic prospect of conviction.

Carroll was arrested in October after an allegation that he assaulted his former girlfriend, Laurie Henderson, at her home in Northumberland. He was held overnight before being bailed to live with his club captain, Kevin Nolan, by Hexham magistrates.

Three days later Carroll's Range Rover was torched at Nolan's house and graffiti was sprayed on a garage door. A Newcastle spokesman said: "The club is pleased for Andy that the matter has been concluded."

Denmark friendly for Capello's men

England have confirmed they will play Denmark at the Parken Stadium on 9 February.

It had been anticipated that Fabio Capello's side would tackle Argentina in Copenhagen on that day, but the Danish federation raised objections about the date and the South Americans were unable to fulfil the fixture 24 hours earlier, as had been suggested.

Uruguay and Paraguay had been mentioned as possible alternatives but complications quickly became apparent, not least that some senior players would have ended up playing twice in three days once Chelsea's Premier League encounter with Liverpool was shifted to 6 February to accommodate live TV coverage.

Barnett faces FA for ball-throwing

Norwich defender Leon Barnett has been charged with improper conduct by the Football Association after throwing a ball at the referee.

Barnett has apologised to referee Simon Hooper for the incident during Saturday's 2-0 defeat to Portsmouth, but that has not saved him from an FA charge and he has until 6pm today to respond.

Barnett's reaction came after he received a second yellow card for conceding a late penalty.

The 25-year-old told the club's website: "I went in straight after the game to the referee and the gaffer to say sorry for my actions.

"I knew immediately that what I did was wrong. What happened was out of character for me and I wanted to apologise for doing what I did."