DONETSK: FIFA president Sepp Blatter said goal-line technology was a “necessity” after officials controversially denied Ukraine a goal against England in their Euro 2012 match on Tuesday. Marco Devic thought he had equalised for the co-hosts to bring them potentially within a goal of qualifying for the quarter-finals but Hungarian officials waved play on after a magnificent clearance from England defender John Terry. Television replays suggested the ball had crossed the line. Goal-line technology is expected to be formally sanctioned by the International Football Association Board (IFAB), who govern the laws of the game, on July 5. Blatter used Twitter to make clear he supported that move.
Nadal to carry flag
MADRID: Gold medallist Rafael Nadal will carry the Spain flag at the opening ceremony for the London Games, the country’s Olympic committee (COE) said on Wednesday. The world No 2, who recently won a record seventh French open title, has won 11 Grand Slam tournaments. Nadal was the unanimous choice of the COE board and local media reported he was chosen ahead of sailing duo Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez. The 26-year-old will be attending his third Olympic Games. Nadal competed in the doubles in Athens in 2004 and won the singles in Beijing four years ago. World No 1 Novak Djokovic will carry Serbia’s flag at the opening ceremony on July 27.
Hammers sign Diame
LONDON: Promoted West Ham United have agreed to sign Senegal international midfielder Mohamed Diame from rivals Wigan Athletic on a three-year contract, the Premier League club said on Wednesday. The 25-year-old will join the east London side on July 1 when his existing contract expires. Diame is West Ham’s third signing since they secured promotion but the first outfield player. West Ham’s other two signings are Irish goalkeeper Stephen Henderson, whose arrival on loan from Portsmouth has become permanent, and former Finland international goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen from relegated Bolton Wanderers.
Djokovic seeded top
LONDON: Champion Novak Djokovic and French Open winner Maria Sharapova were named as top seeds for Wimbledon as the grasscourt grand slam mostly followed the rankings to draw up the list for the championships that begin on Monday. In the men’s side, Rafa Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray completed the top four while defending women’s champion Petra Kvitova was seeded fourth. Serena Williams was seeded sixth but her sister Venus, champion five times in southwest London, will be the one player the majority of the seeds will want to avoid as she missed out on a top 32 placing since she is currently ranked 55th.
Chiellini ruled out
KRAKOW: Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini will miss the Euro 2012 quarter-final against England in Kiev on Sunday after suffering a thigh injury. “It is clear that he cannot play on Sunday but we will try to get him fit for the rest of the tournament hoping Italy go further,” team doctor Enrico Castellacci said in a statement after bringing forward medical tests originally due on Wednesday. Chiellini suffered the injury in Monday’s 2-0 Group C win over Ireland and was replaced by fellow centre back Leonardo Bonucci, who is now likely to keep his place alongside Andrea Barzagli against the English.
Euro exit no tragedy
KIEV: Euro 2012 co-hosts Ukraine fought bravely to the last minute and were victims of chance and human error, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said on Wednesday, adding the country had achieved a victory by hosting the championship. Ukraine lost 1-0 to England in Group D on Tuesday, failing to reach the quarter-finals, after controversially being denied an equaliser even though the ball may have crossed the line. “They tried to seize the victory until the last moment,” Azarov told a government meeting. “But sports is sports and, like life, it has everything — luck, randomness, mistakes and unfairness. One should not make a tragedy out of that.”