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In brief: FIFA on wrong side of judge's verdict

GUNTER HIRSCH -- remember that name. It should be recorded in the annals of football history, but it's unlikely to be.

Hirsch, a 67-year-old German lawyer and judge, became the first person to willingly step off FIFA's gravy train last week when he resigned from its ethics committee -- on a point of principle no less.

In the letter he wrote to the president of FIFA's Ethics Commission, he stated that "the events of the past few weeks have raised and strengthened the impression that responsible persons in FIFA have no real interest in playing an active role in resolving, punishing and avoiding violations against ethic regulations of FIFA."

Whew! That's telling them. After suspending and fining six individuals for corruption in the past year, FIFA probably thought that would calm things down for a while, but Herr Hirsch isn't fooled.

With the Germans and the English in agreement on this, is there any chance of a 'putsch' at the top of the FIFA leaderboard? No, we didn't think so either, but it does no harm to ask the question.

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IN marked contrast to FIFA, which reacts to any sort of government interference in a national association by suspending them, the entire Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) board will resign to defuse a row with the country's military regime that threatened funding for the Rugby World Cup.

The government had threatened to withhold three million Fiji dollars (€1.25 million) in grants for this year's World Cup unless the board quits following an official probe that found the FRU mismanaged a fundraising lottery.

Sports minister Filip Bole, whose government seized power in a bloodless 2006 coup, said the board agreed to step down at a meeting last Thursday and the FRU would elect new officials at the end of February. In a statement on the government website on Friday, he said funding for Fiji's campaign in New Zealand could now be released.

The row centres on a lottery the FRU organised in late December, which Fiji's Commerce Commission found had been improperly run. The consumer watchdog found more than 155,000 of the 350,000 Fiji dollars raised in the lottery was missing and funds were used for improper purposes, including sending an FRU official to the Hong Kong Sevens in March last year.

Maybe we should get them over here to find out what has happened to all the funds raised in this country which are supposed to be used for sports funding.

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Kerry footballer Kieran Donaghy's natural talent isn't just limited to sport -- the sharp shooter has now turned his hand to rapping. Recently, the Presentation Primary School in Tralee released a 21-track album called Little Stars and Donaghy features as a guest performer on the song titled Star Rap.

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the website, An Fear Rua, came up with an interesting question recently when they asked if their readers could name five hurlers who played in the All-Ireland championship and share their names with types of fish. The famous five are Paul Codd of Wexford, Liam Salmon of Galway, Mick Roche of Tipperary, Ned Rea of Limerick and Dick Lyng of Wexford. But our favourite was the poster who came up with a sixth -- Clare's 'Fingers' O'Connell.

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One of Cork's most promising young hurlers Brian 'Bud' Hartnett is seeking a transfer from junior club Russell Rovers to Midleton.

But Hartnett, who was one of Cork's minor stars last year, scoring 1-14 in the quarter-final of the Munster MHC against Tipperary, may have to miss out on 96 weeks of cllub hurling to go ahead with the move.

Ten days ago, Hartnett scored 1-2 for a Cork Development Squad against Davy Fitzgerald's LIT. He is a brother of former Cork player, Kevin, who still plays with Russell Rovers.

It is expected that his transfer application will be presented at the first county board meeting of the year on January 25. If Russell Rovers object to the move and the player is determined to press ahead, he will have to spend a spell on the sidelines.

Seán Ryan, Marie Crowe

and Fergus McDonnell


Sunday Indo Sport