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Global sports round-up

Police investigating racist tweets

DERBYSHIRE – Derbyshire Police said today they were investigating alleged racist comments made on Twitter involving Chelsea player Ashley Cole and Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand.

Cole, who gave evidence at team-mate John Terry’s racism trial last week, was labelled ‘choc-ice’ by a Twitter user thought to live in Britain. The user posted a message to 33-year-old Ferdinand shortly after Terry had been cleared of a racially aggravated public order offence at Westminster Magistrates’ Court last week.

Former England captain Terry was accused of abusing Ferdinand’s younger brother Anton during a Premier League match between Chelsea and QPR.

“Looks like Ashley Cole’s going to be their choc ice,” said a tweet directed to Ferdinand.”Then again he’s always been a sell out. Shame on him.”

Ferdinand replied with: “I hear you fella! Choc ice is classic! hahahahahahha!!”

The term ‘choc-ice’ is understood to have racial connotations meaning a person is ‘black on the outside’ and ‘white on the inside’.

Ferdinand deleted the post but it was captured by Twitter users who spread it across the social networking site. He defended his actions claiming the tweets were ‘slang’ for someone who is acting ‘fake’.

“What I said yesterday is not a racist term. It’s a type of slang/term used by many for someone who is being fake. So there,” he posted.†

Obama backing ’92 Dream Team

WASHINGTON – Add President Barack Obama to the list of people who disagree with Kobe Bryant’s boast that this year’s USA Olympic basketball team could beat the Dream Team of 1992.”

This is a generational thing,” Obama said during a halftime interview with ESPN2 as it broadcast an exhibition game last night with Brazil at Washington’s Verizon Center.

“I was around in ’92, I was a Bulls fan, so I’ve got to go with the original Dream Team.”

Bryant said recently that this team – deep and athletic with the likes of Bryant, LeBron James and Kevin Durant – would even beat the 1992 lineup. Its members included Hall of Fame players Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Scottie Pippen and Chris Mullin.

“I suspect that Michael and ‘Sir Charles’ and others would point out they were probably never down at any point in any of their games,” Obama said. “But this is a great team, unbelievable talent.”†

Indo-Pak series gets Imran Khan’s vote

ISLAMABAD – Former Pakistan captain Imran Khan today hailed the revival of cricketing ties with India, saying the resumption of one of the world’s great rivalries was good for the sport.

India yesterday invited Pakistan for a short limited overs series in December-January, the first bilateral encounter between the neighbours in five years.

India stalled cricketing ties with Pakistan in the wake of terror attacks on its commercial hub Mumbai in November 2008, which were blamed on militants based across the border.

“I welcome India’s decision to revive cricket with Pakistan,” Khan told reporters. “Anything which can bring both the countries to negotiations and normalcy is very good and we must appreciate that.”

The thaw came after Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari asked Indian premier Manmohan Singh to restore ties during a lunch meeting in New Delhi in April this year.

India also invited Pakistan’s domestic Twenty20 champions Sialkot Stallions for the Champions League to be held in South Africa this year.†

Hollioake called to court over debts

PERTH -†Adam Hollioake, the former England cricket captain, has appeared in an Australian court over debts estimated at A$23m ($22m) after the property development company that he ran in Perth with his father, John, after retiring from cricket went bankrupt.

Hollioake, whose company has been declared bankrupt, has appeared in court to answer questions about his financial affairs and to confirm how much money he owes to about 40 creditors, including another England captain, his Surrey and England team-mate Alec Stewart.

Hollioake, 40, said†he was a victim of the financial crisis, saying: “Alec understands the position I got myself into, as do the other creditors, apart from one who is determined to stamp me into the ground.

“What happened was mostly out of my hands, although I accept that I did not apply the same professionalism in my business affairs as I did in my cricket.”†††††

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