Gerrard not guilty

LIVERPOOL: Liverpool and England football star Steven Gerrard was found not guilty of affray on Friday over an alleged assault on a businessman during a bar brawl. The player showed no emotion when the verdict was read out, after 70 minutes of jury deliberation. Judge Henry Globe told Gerrard: “The verdict is a credible verdict on the full facts of this case, and you walk away from this court with your reputation intact.” Gerrard was accused of being part of a group that injured Marcus McGee at the Lounge Inn nightclub in Southport near Liverpool, northwest England, in December last year. — AFP

Brazil ‘can afford’

SAO PAULO: Brazil is financially well-equipped to stage the 2014 football World Cup as well as the 2016 Olympic Games, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said. “We meet all the requirements for the World Cup but we want more — we also want the 2016 Olympic Games, Lula said. The president promised 29.7 billion euros would be available to fund the 2014 World Cup. The International Olympic Committee is to make a final decision on October 2 about the location of the 2016 Olympics, with Rio de Janeiro, Madrid, Tokyo and Chicago in the running. — AFP

ICoast official jailed

ABIDJAN: A top Ivory Coast football administrator was sentenced to six months in jail for his role in a stadium stampede during a World Cup qualifier that killed 20 people and injured more than 130. Albert Kacou Anzouan, president of the Ivorian Football Federation’s (FIF) match organising committee, was also fined 750 euros for manslaughter, causing involuntary injury as well as fraud. Fans, desperate for a rare chance to see their idols forced their way through the gates of the 35,000 capacity Houphouet-Boigny Stadium and tumbled down the steps of the terracing to be crushed by those behind on March 29. — AFP