International Sports Briefs

Gunners to play Barca

NYON: Arsenal face Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-finals in a repeat of the 2006 final won by the Spanish giants. Manchester United, beaten by Barcelona in last year's final, face Bayern Munich; Inter Milan are up against CSKA Moscow and Lyon are against fellow French side Bordeaux in the draw made on Friday. The first legs are scheduled for March 30/31 with the second legs on April 6/7. The semi-final draw was also held, with the winner of the United and Bayern tie meeting Lyon or Bordeaux, and Inter or CSKA playing Arsenal or Barca.

Ferguson flays FA

MANCHESTER: Sir Alex Ferguson has launched an angry verbal attack on the FA's disciplinary unit for their failure to punish Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard this week. Gerrard will take his place in the Liverpool team that visits Old Trafford on Sunday. But he could quite easily have been serving a suspension after television replays clearly showed him elbowing Portsmouth's Michael Brown in a confrontation during Liverpool's 4-1 league victory on Monday. "I didn't expect him to be charged," said the Scot. "Simply because it is a dysfunctional unit at the FA. I don't think they know what they are doing. There is no consistency for a start, so you don't expect to get any consistency. I'm not bothered. They can do what they want down there, it's crazy times down there." Armstrong ruled out

MILAN: Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong will not take part in the season opening Milan-Sanremo classic because he is suffering from gastroenteritis, his RadioShack team said on Friday. Armstrong, 38, will be replaced by team-mate Fumiyuki Beppu. "It would have been good to have Lance in the line-up for the start by we prefer not to take any risk," team director Johan Bruyneel said. "It would not be very intelligent to let him start in a race of almost 300 kilometres while not being healthy." Meanwhile, the organisers confirmed Armstrong will be taking part in the Circuit de la Sarthe from April 6-9.