Bin Hammam banned for life
Asian soccer chief Mohamed Bin Hammam was banned for life yesterday after being found guilty of trying to buy votes ahead of last month's FIFA presidential election.
Bin Hammam, Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president since 2002, was found guilty by FIFA's ethics committee of bribery in a meeting with Caribbean officials in Port of Spain, Trinidad in May, the committee's deputy chairman Petrus Damaseb said.
The 62-year-old Qatari, who has also been on FIFA's executive committee since 1996, withdrew his presidential candidacy on May 29 and Swiss Sepp Blatter was re-elected unopposed for a fourth term three days later.
Former CONCACAF president Jack Warner, provisionally banned with Bin Hammam for his involvement in the Port of Spain meeting, resigned in June and a case against him was dropped. Bin Hammam did not attend the two-day hearing at FIFA headquarters but was represented by two lawyers.
His spokesman said the Qatari rejected the committee's findings: "He maintains his innocence, he will continue to fight his case through the legal routes that are open to him."
QPR to keep hold of Taarabt
Queens Park Rangers have confirmed that captain Adel Taarabt will not leave the club during the summer transfer window. The 22-year-old playmaker was a key figure in the west Londoners' Championship triumph last season, picking up the Football League Player of the Year award for his performances, and speculation had linked him with a host of elite European clubs throughout the summer.
Paris St Germain were thought to be close to completing a deal but Taarabt will now be staying with the Premier League newbies. "We are pleased to confirm that Adel Taarabt will be staying at QPR this summer," said a statement released on behalf of majority shareholders Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore.
New Rangers boss Ally McCoist was denied victory in his first game in charge as his side were held to a 1-1 draw by Hearts in their Scottish Premier League opener yesterday. David Obua opened the scoring for Hearts before Steven Naismith hit back in the second half for Rangers.
However, the champions could not find the goal to begin their title defence with a win and Hearts could have snatched the win when goalkeeper Allan McGregor was called into action with a superb save to deny Obua.
Aberdeen held by Saints
Ten-man Aberdeen were held to a goalless draw by St Johnstone at Pittodrie. Dons right-back Ryan Jack was shown a straight red card for a wild lunge on Rangers transfer target Murray Davidson in the game's major talking point after 65 minutes. Aberdeen had enjoyed the better possession and chances prior to the sending-off, but were unable to find a way past Peter Enckelman in the Saints goal.
Elsewhere, Stevie Hammell scored his first Motherwell goal in seven and a half years to get his team's campaign off to a perfect start with a 3-0 win against Inverness.
Hammers seal Taylor switch
West Ham have completed the signing of Bolton midfielder Matt Taylor for an undisclosed fee. The 29-year-old's move to London further strengthens the Hammers, who have already brought in Newcastle captain Kevin Nolan and Stoke's Abdoulaye Faye to Upton Park this summer as they bid to make an instant return to the Premier League.
"This is a great opportunity to come and play for a fantastic football club," Taylor said. "This is a big club with a lot of heritage. It is a big challenge for me which I am looking forward to, to be part of helping the team get back up to the Premier League and do that as soon as possible.
Kean signals Diouf exit
Blackburn boss Steve Kean has confirmed he expects El-Hadji Diouf to leave the club this summer. The Senegal forward failed to report for pre-season training and earned a fine of two weeks' wages last week, and it now appears he has played his last game for Blackburn.
"I think it's probably the time for El-Hadji," Kean said. "But it will depend on who is interested." Kean said he was hopeful a new deal will be agreed with striker Benjani, who had been unhappy with an initial offer from the club.
Heinze joins Roma's ranks
Argentine defender Gabriel Heinze has become AS Roma's latest recruit, the Serie A team announced yesterday. The 33-year-old former Manchester United and Real Madrid player was officially presented on Saturday after his move from Olympique Marseille where he spent the previous two seasons. "It's a great honour to wear this shirt," Heinze said. "It's easy to say yes to a club like Roma."
Sligo go two
clear at top
A 0-0 draw at home to St Pat's last night saw Sligo Rovers move two points clear at the top of the Airtricity League.
The best chance in a tense tie came on 60 minutes when Alan Kirby curled a close-range effort past the post.
Sligo Rovers: Clarke, Keane, Peers, McGuinness, Greene, Ryan, Ndo, Kirby (Russell 77), Cretaro (Dillon 60), Doyle, Blinkhorn (Powell 60)
St Patrick's Ath: Rogers, Pender, Kenna (Shortall 68), Guthrie, Bermingham, Murphy (D McMillan 70), McFaul, Bradley, Mulcahy, Kavanagh (Daly 76), North
Referee: D Hancock
Sunday Indo Sport