Daily Archives: April 6, 2016

Joe Marler to be banned for “gypsy boy” insult

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Joe Marler to be banned for “gypsy boy” insult

England prop Joe Marler had been slapped with a £20,000 fine along with a two-match ban for racial abuse against Welsh forward Samson Lee, with Joe calling him out as a “gypsy boy”.

The comment was made and heard in England’s Six Nations win orer Wales in March, and an apology made to Lee had since been accepted.

Marler, 25, had avoided punishment initially. He avoided sanctions from Six Nations before World Rugby conducted their examination on the incident.

In a statement, Six Nations Rugby said it had made it clear that it did not condone what Marler had said, but that it would not take any further disciplinary action against him.

“Six Nations Rugby fully co-operated with World Rugby’s disciplinary process in this case, and fully supports and endorses World Rugby’s disciplinary regime in international rugby,” it added.

To that end, Six Nations Rugby said that it “has no difficulty” with being overruled by the game’s global governing body.

The fine charge on Marler will be donated to an equality charity in the UK, while his ban will prevent him for joining the Harlequins’ quarter final match against London Irish and the subsequent Premiership trip to meet leader Saracens.

He had previously been allowed to play in England’s final Six Nations game after the organisers decided against punishing him. The Welsh Rugby Union issued its own statement at the time, saying it was disappointed with the Six Nations’ decision not to punish Marler.

But there were different takes on the incident even from each countries’ managerial personnel. England head coach Eddie Jones reprimanded Marler after the incident, but Lee dismissed it as “banter”. Wales head coach Warren Gatland also described the comment as such apologised for his remark later on.

Bayern Munich takes quick winner against Benfica

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Bayern Munich's Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal (R) and Bayern Munich's Spanish midfielder Thiago Alcantara celebrate after the Champions League quarter-final, first-leg football match between Bayern Munich and Benfica Lisbon in Munich, southern Germany, on April 5, 2016. Bayern Munich won the match 1-0.  / AFP / ODD ANDERSEN

Arturo Vidal scored an early goal as Bayern Munich settled for a 1-0 victory against Portugal team Benfica in the first leg match of their Champions League quarter-final encounter.

The Chilean midfielder headed in Juan Bernat’s cross from the left in Bayern first attack of the game, but the five time European Champions failed to build their advantage, struggling to find opportunities against a well-organized Benfica.

There was also a distinct lack of energy to Bayern’s play and the home crowd became increasingly frustrated as the game wore on.

Vidal had most of the chances for the rest of the game, but Benfica’s defenders had also done well to suppress Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller, Bayern’s top-scoring forwards.

Furthermore, most Bayern players appeared curiously lethargic and often let-down by poor decision-making, with an example was when Lewandowski opted to pass to Frank Ribery when one-on-one against Benfica keeper Ederson.

This was Pep Guadiola’s 150th competitive game in charge and also his 114th win in with the Bundesliga champions. Even before the game, he insisted that Benfica had the best defense in Europe, but remains optimistic about Bayern’s chances.

“We had enough goal chances. We’ll go to Lisbon with the intention of winning the game, of scoring a goal or two,” he said.

His counterpart, Benfica boss Rui Vitoria believes that his team too, have what it takes to cause an upset at home.

“It’s all open. Bayern is one of the best teams in the world. But we will give in Lisbon our best.”

“We had our problems, but our attitude was right. I’m very happy with our performance,” he added.

Barca makes comback win against 10-man Atletico Madrid

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Barca makes comback win against 10-man Atletico Madrid

Luis Suarez scored a brace for Barca in the Champions League quarter-finals to help the Catalonians win 2-1 against 10-man Atletico Madrid, and save his team from the humiliation of two consecutive defeats against Madrid clubs.

Atletico were confident and started brilliantly, as Fernando Torres slotted in a pass from Koke between the legs of Marc-Andre ter Stegen after 25 minutes.

However, Torres himself gathered two needless bookings within 7 minutes, and was sent out at the 35th minute.

Just four minutes after his 11th goal in 15 matches against Barca, the former Liverpool striker received a yellow card for a late tackle on Neymar, and another for a foul on Sergio Brusquets.

It was not the first case of indiscipline, as the team had two players sent off in their last La Liga match against the Catalan side. Nonetheless, Atletico held on, defending as a team with cohesion to interrupt the usual Barca style of quick passing.

After a flurry of chances in the second half, Suarez got in from close range after 63 minutes. He tipped in Jordi Alba’s low cross home with his shin to score Barca’s equalizer.

The Uruguayan striker did not stop there, powering into the area to head in Dani Alves’s Cross past Jan Oblak for the winner in the 74th. With that, the European champions took the advantage before the second leg at the Vicente Calderón next week.

But Atletico coach Diego Simeon and Fliipe Luis both hinted that Luis Suarez was “lucky” to remain in the game after he appeared to lash out at Atletico defender Juanfran while off-the-ball.

Suarez appeared to have lashed out at Juanfran in an off-the-ball incident.

“They protect Barça,” defender Filipe Luis gad said. “There is a worry that they’re going to get knocked out. I don’t know what (a Barcelona player) has to do to get sent off.”

On the other hand, Simeone believed that his team is still very much in the game.

“Beyond the inequality there was in the match, we leave with a situation that allows us to have hope,” he said. “I am very happy with my team. Once again, we started winning, we were doing very well.”