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Football news

Another Pro Patria match halted

Italian fourth-tier club Pro Patria were back in the news for the wrong reasons on Saturday as another match they were involved in had to be stopped because of racism.

Pro Patria’s youth team was playing at Casale when the home side stopped before half-time because of an alleged racist insult towards one of their players – Thiago Ribeiro.

Ribeiro reacted angrily and was sent off after punching a Pro Patria opponent. Casale officials then decided to call a halt to the game which they were losing 2-0.

Earlier this month, Milan’s Kevin-Prince Boateng led his team-mates off the pitch during a friendly against Pro Patria in protest at racial abuse by opposing fans.

Cisse on the move

QPR striker Djibril Cisse has joined Qatari club Al Gharafa on loan for the rest of the season.

The 31-year-old will remain with the club – who are managed by former Portsmouth boss Alain Perrin – until the summer.

Cisse has made 21 appearances in all competitions for QPR this campaign, scoring four goals, but has dropped down the pecking order since the Loftus Road club signed Loic Remy from Marseille.

The former Liverpool man joined the Hoops a year ago, scoring six goals in eight games as they avoided relegation, although he was also sent off twice.

Saints great blasts club chairman

Matt Le Tissier has accused chairman Nicola Cortese of having “a bit of an ego problem” following his decision to sack manager Nigel Adkins. The Saints hero said he was stunned by news of Adkins’s exit and slammed Cortese for his failure to account for his decision.

Le Tissier said: “I don’t know if Nigel was becoming too popular and the chairman didn’t like it – he does appear to have a bit of an ego problem.

“It is a little bit bizarre, but some of the decisions that have been made have been a little bit bizarre since the current chairman took over. I think he’s been looking to get rid of Adkins for a while now.”

No concern over Zabaleta injury

Manchester City have played down concerns over defender Pablo Zabaleta’s foot injury. The in-form right-back was hurt in a clash with Brede Hangeland in the second half of City’s 2-0 Premier League win over Fulham at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

Zabaleta returned to action after leaving the field for treatment but limped off and was substituted. But first-team coach David Platt does not think Zabaleta’s problem is serious.

Platt said: “He has gone over on his ankle. We don’t have another game for a week.

“We will have another look but I would be surprised if he was out for next week.”

Juventus reveal Llorente talks

Fernando Llorente appears set to join Juventus after the Italian champions revealed they were close to completing a deal for the Spain striker.

Llorente announced at the start of the season that he would leave Athletic Bilbao when his contract runs out in the summer.

There had been reports the 27-year-old could leave San Mames before then, but Juve’s general director Giuseppe Marotta indicated any move would likely wait until after the season.

“I do not deny that with Llorente and his entourage we are very advanced in our talks,” he was quoted as saying.

“I am very optimistic about this although we may have to wait until July 1.”

Frankfurt chief criticises fans

Eintracht Frankfurt chairman Heribert Bruchhagen has criticised his club’s own fans for their behaviour during Satur-day’s 3-1 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen.

The game was halted for almost 10 minutes when flares were lit by a group of people among the visiting supporters.

It was the latest incident which comes as the German football association (DFB) is trying to crack down on the use of pyrotechnic material inside German stadia.

“It’s just this same old group of trouble-seekers – they are not fans,” Bruchhagen said.

“We thought that the numerous measures and talks held over recent weeks had done something. This has thrown us back significantly.”

Sahin goosebumps during return

Nuri Sahin admitted he had “goosebumps” after making his return to action for Borussia Dortmund 18 months after leaving them to join Real Madrid.

Sahin played the final five minutes of Dortmund’s 5-0 win at Werder Bremen on Saturday, debuting for the club for the second time after returning on loan from Real for the next 18 months.

“It was pure goosebumps,” he said.

“To get such a reception was out of the ordinary and I’ve got to thank those crazy fans, in a positive sense. I just couldn’t wait to get onto the field again.”

Sahin had spent the last six months on loan at Liverpool.

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