Time Out

Four referees banned

NAIROBI: Tanzania football authorities on Wednesday banned four referees for life after they confessed to taking a bribe of $152 in a premier league match. “The four referees accepted that they were bribed ahead of the match between Mtibwa Sugar and Majimaji in Songea earlier this year,” said Florian Kaijage, a spokesman for the Tanzania Football Federation. He said the ban against Othman Kazi, Omari Miyala, Omari Mfaume and Kamanga Tambwe followed a complaint about bad refereeing after Mtibwa lost the match 1-0. Kaijage said Majimaji were fined $7,575 for their role in the scam. — AFP

Newcastle slip again

LONDON: Newcastle suffered another setback in their bid for a quick return to the Premier League as the fallen giants were beaten 2-1 at Scunthorpe on Tuesday. The Magpies, playing outside the English top-flight for the first time in 16 years, are now without a win in four matches after two goals from Martyn Woolford gave tiny Scunthorpe a famous victory. Newcastle remain in second place, level on points with leaders West Bromwich Albion. — AFP

Kenny defiant

LONDON: Former Republic of Ireland international goalkeeper Paddy Kenny promised to “bounce back” after his appeal against a nine-month drugs ban was dismissed by the Football Association here on Tuesday. The 31-year-old Sheffield United shot-stopper was handed the suspension last month after testing positive for the banned stimulant ephedrine. Kenny challenged the length of the ban but failed to have it reduced, even though officials accepted he wasn’t trying to deliberately enhance his performance by taking an ‘over the counter’ medicine for a chest complaint. — AFP

Southgate sacked

LONDON: Former England international defender Gareth Southgate was sacked as manager of Championship side Middlesbrough on Wednesday just hours after they had beaten Derby 2-0. Victory had not only ended a run of three successive home defeats but placed them fourth in the table just a point adrift of leaders West Brom. However, chairman Steve Gibson said he had decided with great regret to sack the 39-year-old, who had been in charge since June 2006 after playing more than 200 times for them since signing from Aston Villa in 2001. — AFP

Hoggard gets offer

LONDON: Former England seamer Matthew Hoggard has been offered a three-year contract by Leicestershire. Hoggard, who has spent all of his first-class career with his native Yorkshire, is on the lookout for a another county after failing to agree a new deal at Headingley and being released last week by White Rose chiefs. Hoggard spent 15 seasons with Yorkshire and was their leading bowler in the County Championship last season with 46 wickets. In his 67 Tests for England between 2000 and 2008, Hoggard took 248 wickets and was a member of the side that regained the Ashes in 2005. — AFP

Jones gets green light

BERLIN: Schalke 04 midfielder Jermaine Jones was on Wednesday given the green light to play for the United States at next year’s World Cup having turned his back on Germany. The 27-year-old, who has duel German and American citizenship, made three appearances for Germany in friendly matches in 2008, but under FIFA rules is allowed to switch to the US. Jones confirmed that FIFA had approved his change of federation and he looks set to play for the US at next World Cup. Jones is back in training after two operations on his shin, but says he has had no contact yet from USA team manager Bob Bradley. — AFP