Tuesday 25 April 2017

In brief: IFA state case over player departures

Soccer

The Irish FA's attempt to prevent more Northern Ireland-born players opting for the Republic was heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport yesterday.

The IFA took a case to the Lausanne-based body after Daniel Kearns became the latest North-born player to switch to the Republic.

Like Manchester United's Darron Gibson, Kearns changed allegiance after playing at youth level for Northern Ireland.

A result from the case is not expected for several weeks.

Portsmouth's Marc Wilson and Everton's Shane Duffy have also switched allegiance over the last year. Duffy's case differs from those of Gibson, Wilson and Kearns in that the Everton player does have a parent or grandparent who was born in the Republic of Ireland.

Rugby

South Africa's second-row troubles deepened yesterday when lock Andries Bekker was ruled out of Saturday's Tri-Nations clash with Australia because of a back injury.

Bekker suffered an acute disc injury late in the second half of the world champions' 31-17 defeat by New Zealand on Saturday and will miss the match against the Wallabies in Brisbane.

The Springboks are already without first-choice second-row Bakkies Botha, who was banned for nine weeks after headbutting New Zealand scrum-half Jimmy Cowan in the opening-round defeat.

Cricket

The second day of the first Test between Sri Lanka and India at Galle was called off due to heavy rain and a wet outfield.

Sri Lanka had reached 256-2 at the end of a rain-shortened first day, thanks to centuries from captain Kumar Sangakkara and Tharanga Paranavitana.

Yesterday's washout damages Muttiah Muralitharan's hopes of reaching 800 Test wickets in his last game before retirement -- he currently has 792 scalps.

Irish Independent

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