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Reversal of fortune as Ireland get to go to Argentine event

HOCKEY: In an amazing turnaround, Ireland will be represented at the men's Champions Challenge event in Argentina next month after a remarkable fundraising campaign.

Just a week after the Irish Hockey Association (IHA) announced that their squad was being withdrawn, a statement has been issued confirming the about-turn.

The reversal was prompted by a flood of corporate support and donations from supporters, which pulled in more than €50,000 in just three days.

The IHA board of management originally pleaded lack of a coach for the controversial opt out. But it quickly emerged that finance was the real reason and hockey enthusiasts lost no time in making up the shortfall.

It is expected that the new coach, almost certain to be a foreigner, will be appointed before the end of the week to succeed Paul Revington.

Irish captain Ronan Gormley described the 'Get Green Machine Going' fundraising drive as inspirational.

"What has taken place over the last week is simply remarkable. On behalf of the Irish men's team, I would like to thank, from the bottom of my heart, all those who have contributed," Gormley said.



Tyson granted an Australian visa

BOXING: Australia has granted Mike Tyson a visa one week after he was barred from entering New Zealand due to his 1992 rape conviction.

A spokeswoman from Australia's Department of Immigration and Citizenship said it had granted the former heavyweight boxing champion an entertainment visa to cover the duration of his tour to Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth on a speaking tour starting next month.

She said officials had carefully weighed the pros and cons of his visit, and of his character, given his criminal past, before making the decision.



South Africans awaiting apology

CRICKET: South Africa's players are "awaiting an apology" for the suggestion from England cricket chief David Collier that some of their number provoked Kevin Pietersen into sending controversial text messages.

Pietersen was left out of the final Test between the two nations this summer and omitted from the World Twenty20 squad following allegations texted members of the South Africa team criticising then England captain Andrew Strauss.

ECB chief executive Collier claimed Pietersen's messages were replies to South African players, who had "provoked" him.



Khan: I will never take fight lightly

BOXING: British boxer Amir Khan believes fighters would be wrong to dismiss his ability as he looks to recover from consecutive defeats.

The 25-year-old will face Carlos Molina in Los Angeles on December 15 after losses to Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia and, although Khan will not underestimate his unbeaten opponent, he knows he needs to win to silence his critics.

He said: "This is the time when I have to prove myself and I will prove myself come December 15.

"One thing I have never done is taken any fight lightly."

MLB Play-offs: Oakland 2 Detroit (Detroit lead the best-of-five series by 2-1), Cincinnati 1 San Francisco 2 (Cincinnati lead the best-of-five series by 2-1).


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