WORLD CUP : Offside

FIFA clears Kewell

BERLIN: Australia’s Harry Kewell will not be suspended and has been cleared to play his team’s next match, FIFA said on Tuesday. The decision by FIFA’s disciplinary committee came after German referee Markus Merk complained that the Australian winger insulted him after Brazil’s 2-0 win during a finger-wagging outburst lasting several minutes. The decision to clear Kewell was made because of the inconsistent report by the referee, FIFA said. Kewell said afterward his exchange with Merk was “just the heat of the moment stuff.” Australian team officials said later he regretted the on-field outburst.

Time to relax: Blair

LONDON: British Prime Minister Tony Blair swapped politics for soccer in a guest appearance on a call-in radio show for World Cup fans on Monday. The secret for England’s success in Germany was for the players to relax, Blair advised. “They just need to get out there and enjoy their football,” he said. Asked about England’s two unimpressive victories so far in Group B, Blair said: “If you don’t play good football, then you won’t win (the trophy) because in the end you’re up against sides who are too good.” Blair was appearing on BBC Radio Five Live to take questions from callers to the “606” show.

Englishman arrested

FRANKFURT: A 23-year-old man from England was arrested with 91 forged tickets in his possession, Frankfurt police said. The man, whose name was not released, was taken into provisional custody over the weekend at Frankfurt airport after police received a tip. Also on the weekend, two other Britons were provisionally arrested in the area of the city’s main train station on suspicion of dealing illegally in tickets. The men, aged 55 and 60, had 80 genuine tickets in their possession, police said.