International Sports Briefs
Fans attack players
ROME: Juventus players were pelted with missiles by their own fans ahead of Sunday’s Serie A home clash against Atalanta at Turin’s Stadio Olimpico. As the team boarded their bus from the hotel they stay at on the night before games, they came under fire from a hail of beer bottles and eggs, reported Ansa. Fans also tried to prevent the bus from leaving and the police had to intervene to allow Juve’s players to escape unscathed. Fans had also hurl abuse at the team, singling out in particular three players: Fabio Cannavaro, Jonathan Zebina and Felipe Melo.
Andy set for Charity
MIAMI: Andy Roddick will play in next Saturday’s Champions for Chile earthquake relief exhibition match. Tournament director Adam Barrett said the former world No 1 had told him that he will play at the doubles exhibition featuring himself, Fernando Gonzalez, and retired stars Gustavo Kuerten and Jim Courier even if he is involved in the men’s ATP final the following day. The earthquake relief effort comes in the wake of the charity Hit for Haiti first inaugurated by Roger Federer prior to the Australian Open to benefit that earthquake ravaged Caribbean island.
Zola hints at quitting
LONDON: West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola has hinted he may quit Upton Park in the aftermath of Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Stoke. Only goal difference is keeping Zola’s side above the Premier League relegation zone following the east London club’s sixth successive defeat. The Italian, who was strongly criticised by Hammers co-owner David Sullivan after the midweek loss to Wolves, could be ready to walk away as the pressure starts to take its’ toll. Asked whether he would consider resigning, Zola said: “I have to find out what the problem is. If the problem is me then why not?”
Carson earns praise
LONDON: West Bromwich Albion manager Roberto Di Matteo saluted revitalised goalkeeper Scott Carson after he played a key role in the Championship promotion-chasers’ 1-1 draw against Reading. Di Matteo’s side are one point behind leaders Newcastle, who host Nottingham Forest on Monday, thanks to a string of saves from Carson and Gabriel Tamas’s 86th minute equaliser at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday. “Scott Carson was top drawer. He kept us in the game. He was brave and everything you look for in a goalkeeper,” Di Matteo said.
BERLIN: Stuttgart’s Germany midfielder Sami Khedira could miss World Cup finals in South Africa after damaging knee ligaments during Saturday’s 2-1 win at Bayern Munich. The 22-year-old was injured tackling Germany teammate Miroslav Klose in the first-half and is expected to miss the whole of April, but should not need an operation. Stuttgart’s medical staff said Khedira should be back for their last two Bundesliga matches before the season ends on May 9, with Germany coach Joachim Loew set to announce his World Cup squad the week before.
Iniesta ruled out
MADRID: Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta will miss Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg at Arsenal and is a doubt for the return leg on April 6 due to a thigh injury, the club said on Sunday. The 25-year-old Spanish international picked up the injury during the European champions’ 1-0 win at Mallorca in La Liga on Saturday. He came off with a thigh muscle problem in the 49th minute and was replaced by Argentine international Lionel Messi. Medical tests carried out on Sunday confirmed the extent of his injury, the club said in a statement.