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Thursday, 28 March 2013

FIVE STORIES YOU NEED TO READ 28 MARCH 2013

Here are some top stories in World Soccer who just have to read.
1. FIFA to investigate Montenegro fans
FIFA are gathering information which could lead to disciplinary action for Montenegro after reports of abusive behaviour from a section of their fans toward England players after their 1-1 World Cup qualifier draw surfaced.

2. Double blow for Sunderland
Sunderland have confirmed that Steven Fletcher and Lee Cattermole have been ruled out for the remainder of the season.
Striker Fletcher sustained an ankle ligament injury while on international duty with Scotland and his absence will be a big blow for the struggling Black Cats.
The 26-year-old has featured in all but two of Sunderland's Premier League matches this term and is the club's leading goal scorer with 11 goals.
Club captain Cattermole has undergone surgery on the knee injury that has dogged him all season, restricting him to just 14 appearances in all competitions.
A statement on the club's website read: "Cattermole underwent an operation on his knee and Fletcher sustained ankle ligament damage whilst on international duty with Scotland.
"It is not known at this stage if Fletcher will require an operation, with the injury requiring further assessment in the coming weeks.
"Both players will play no further part in the Black Cats' 2012-13 Barclays Premier League season."

3. Rio's return not ruled out
England manager Roy Hodgson says he would want further discussions about Rio Ferdinand's fitness before considering whether to give the defender another international chance.
Hodgson picked Ferdinand in his initial squad for the World Cup double-header against San Marino and Montenegro, only for the defender to withdraw, citing an "intricate" and "pre-planned" training programme.
The 34-year-old then travelled to Qatar to commentate on England's hammering of San Marino, a move which was widely seen as an own goal by the Manchester United defender.
Hodgson said: "If he is going to play in the future there will have to be further discussions, not least about his fitness programme and his club.
"But I have absolutely nothing to add to what I said when his name came up before and I have no interest in discussing someone who isn't here."
The England manager was however happy to discuss the form of Ferdinand's replacements, Joleon Lescott and Chris Smalling, who played in the 1-1 draw with Montenegro.
"The two centre-backs did very well," Hodgson added.
"Smalling was excellent and Joleon Lescott did a very good job as well.
"I would have thought if there are two players who deserve to come out of this game with credit rather than any negativity it is the two centre-backs.
"Certainly it would be extremely unfair to suggest it was the performance of Smalling and Lescott which culminated in us drawing the game rather than winning it."

4. Van Persie happy at United
Manchester United striker Robin van Persie has hinted he may end his career at Old Trafford.
The 29-year-old says Sir Alex Ferguson's proven track record in getting the best out of older players such as 39-year-old Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes (38) may keep him at the champions-elect.
Van Persie told Dutch magazine Voetbal International: "For the next few years I will be at Manchester United - and maybe longer. United could be my last club.
"You have a number of clubs in Europe where older players can find it good, where they are valued. You used to have that at Juventus and AC Milan, Manchester United today is a good example. So who knows how long I will stay at the club.
"There is a new challenge for me every day at United. My development is an ongoing process. That gets an extra boost when you are surrounded by new coaches and team-mates, all with their own ideas, in a totally new environment."
"Rene's (Rene Meulensteen, Manchester United's first-team coach) training is always designed with a view to the next opponent.
"Every week we are prepared for the specific playing style of the opponent, we must each play to deal with a style. That is our strength. We have our own qualities and we know in detail where the weak points of the opponent are."
For his part, Giggs believes he will soon be one of several over-40s playing football at the top level in England.
The veteran Welshman - English football's most decorated player - believes advances in sports science make it easier for players to prolong their careers if they retain the desire keep playing.
"With the involvement of sports science, players are looking after themselves more - and the facilities are so much better," Giggs said.
"So if they want to, and if they have the desire, players can go on a lot longer than they used to."

5. Luis Suarez tussle with Gonzalo Jara to be examined by FifaWorld governing body Fifa is looking into an altercation involving Liverpool striker Luis Suarez during Uruguay's match with Chile on Tuesday.
Chile's Gonzalo Jara tangled with him at a corner and footage appears to show Suarez aim a subtle punch at Jara, who plays for Nottingham Forest.
The two exchanged words but referee Nestor Pitana took no action.
"We are still collecting all the post-match reports, since the officials have got 24 hours to send them," Fifa said.
"Based on the mentioned reports, Fifa will proceed accordingly."

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