Global sports round-up

Things tense between Mancini & Balotelli

MANCHESTER – Roberto Mancini and Mario Balotelli have been pictured squaring up to each other in an apparent bust-up at the Manchester City training ground.

Coach Roberto Mancini (left) and striker Mario Balotelli were involved in a tussle.

It is reported that tension between the two Italians spilled over into an ugly fracas after Balotelli mistimed a tackle on winger Scott Sinclair during a training session at Carrington.

Balotelli is understood to have taken exception to Mancini’s intervention, leading to the pair having to be pulled apart.

It is reported that City staff including coach Brian Kidd rushed in to separate the duo, and photographs published on Twitter show there was an incident. In the sequence of pictures, Mancini is seen to grab hold of Balotelli’s orange bib in an apparent act of fury before the young striker is dragged away.

Balotelli has failed to hold down a regular place in Mancini’s starting XI since signing from Inter Milan in 2010 for a fee of 22m euros. He has regularly been linked with a move back to

Italy over the past couple of years and the latest controversy again casts his future at the Etihad Stadium into doubt.†


Miandad’s visa above board, says official

BANGALORE – Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid today said the government followed proper procedures in giving a visa to former Pakistan cricket captain Javed Miandad, whose visit has sparked off a political controversy.

Miandad, now a senior official of the Pakistan Cricket Board, would arrive in India January 5 to watch a one-day cricket match between India and Pakistan in New Delhi the following day.

“It`s a decision that has been taken by the government. I can`t blame the home ministry, I cannot blame ourselves; it`s a decision taken by the government. What are the circumstances, what is considered, when is the approval given, what goes into it is something that is an internal government matter,” Khurshid said.

The visit of Miandad, whose son Junaid is married to Mahrukh, daughter of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, wanted in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, has sparked a controversy with leaders of the Congress and the Shiv Sena demanding his visa be cancelled.†


Olympic bottle thrower pleads not guilty

LONDON – A British man went on trial today accused of screaming abuse at Usain Bolt and hurling a beer bottle onto the track as the Olympic men’s 100m final was starting, a climactic moment of the London Games in August.

The court heard that the packed 80,000-seat Olympic Stadium had fallen silent in anticipation of the race when Ashley Gill-Webb, 34, began shouting insults like “Usain I want you to lose, Usain you are bad, you are an arsehole”.

The Jamaican sprinter did not hear the abuse or see a green Heineken bottle land behind the starting line, and went on to win the race in 9.63 seconds, the second-fastest time recorded.

Gill-Webb did not have a ticket to attend the 100m final but had somehow pushed his way to the front of an exclusive seating area, among members of the Dutch Olympic team.

After his outburst, Gill-Webb was confronted by Dutch judoka Edith Bosch, an Olympic bronze medallist, then restrained by volunteer workers and arrested.

He has pleaded not guilty to a public order offence.

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