WARSAW, Poland - Soccer hooligans clashed with rival fans and police before and during Polands game against bitter rival Russia on Tuesday, leaving 15 injured while more than 100 people were detained.
Following scattered fighting in the Polish capital before the match, police fired rubber bullets at a group of fans who attacked them with bottles and stones near an outdoor fan zone in central Warsaw where about 75,000 people were watching the game on huge screens.
The game ended in a 1-1 tie. None of the injured, which included a police officer, were in life-threatening condition. About 5,000 Russian fans marched to the match at the National Stadium to celebrate the Russia Day national holiday. It was seen as provocative to many Poles.
One of the most violent incidents occurred during the march. Polish hooligans attacked Russians, who responded violently. The two sides, made up of dozens of men, kicked and beat each other in the face, while flares could be seen exploding in their midst.
LONDON - The future of Everton midfielder Tim Cahill remains unclear after clubs in Saudi Arabia and China became the latest to make a move for the Socceroo star.
Reports have suggested Saudi club Al Hilal have made a multi-million dollar offer to lure the midfielder to the Middle East while Press Association Sport understands Chinese side Guizho Renhe have made an official approach to the 32-year-old.
Last week Cahill turned down a $US16 million ($A16.29 million) three-year deal from an unnamed club in Saudi Arabia.
The midfielder, who played a starring role in Australias 1-1 draw in their World Cup qualifier against group leaders Japan in Brisbane on Tuesday, has made no secret of his desire to one day play in the Middle East.
He has two years remaining on his contract at Goodison Park and is happy at the club he joined in 2004 but it is believed he would consider a move overseas
ROME - Italy striker Antonio Cassano was forced to issue a statement on Tuesday denying he is homophobic, after he made disparaging remarks about homosexuals during a press conference at Euro 2012.
I am sincerely sorry that my declarations have sparked controversy and protests in the gay community: homophobia is a feeling that does not belong to me.
I did not want to offend anyone and in no way do I want to question the sexual freedom of people, Cassano said in a statement posted on the website of the Italian football federation.
Cassano made the statement after using a vulgar term used to describe homosexuals. If they are faggots, it is their problem, Cassano had said when asked earlier in the day if he believed there were any gay footballers in the Azzurri squad.
I am not saying more, otherwise I will be attacked from all sides. I hope there is none in the Nazionale. The question referred to a recent book about homosexuality in sport,
The champion in love, by Alessandro Cecchi Paone, who wrote that there are at least two undeclared gay players in the Italian national team.
TEHRAN - Qatar held fancied Iran to a goalless draw to walk away with a point in their Asian World Cup qualifier at the Azadi Stadium on Tuesday.
After a 4-1 thrashing by South Korea in Doha last week, Qatar put a great deal of effort into their defence to frustrate the hosts, who have qualified for three World Cups, in front of a packed crowd at Irans most famous football stadium.
Qatar now have four points from three matches, having beaten Lebanon in Beirut in their opening game two weeks ago. Iran, too, have four points, thanks to a win over Uzbekistan.
The Qatari defence, the subject of much ridicule after their match against South Korea, kept the Iranians at bay, hardly giving them a clear chance at goal.
A 30th minute shot by Iran captain Javed Nekounam was the best chance the hosts had, but unluckily for them the ball hit the crossbar.
DOHA - Oman held Iraq to a 1-1 draw in an Asian World Cup qualifier on Tuesday, keeping alive the Gulf nations hopes of advancing. The draw leaves both teams tied with Australia at two points in Group B, five behind Japan.
Oman, which also drew with Australia last week, struck in the eight minute when Mohammed al-Balushi headed home an overhead cross from Hussain Ali al-Hadhri.
Iraqs star striker Younis Mahmoud equalised in the 37th minute from the penalty spot. The penalty was awarded after Oman defender Abdul al-Mukhaini was called for a handball. Qatar served as Iraqs home ground for Tuesdays match.
FIFA has banned Iraq from hosting international matches because of safety concerns in the war-torn country.
United signs powell
MANCHESTER, England - Manchester United on Tuesday completed the signing of England Under-18 international Nick Powell from Crewe.
The 18-year-old, who had also been targeted by Premier League side Everton, has passed a medical and will join the club at the beginning of July on a four-year deal.
We have scouted Nick for months now, said manager Sir Alex Ferguson. He is an exceptional talent and has been schooled well at Crewe.
Im delighted he has chosen to come to United. He has a lot to offer and we are all looking forward to working with him. Powell made his senior debut at aged 16.
His last appearance for Crewe came in the League Two play-off final at Wembley in May when he scored in the win over Cheltenham. An attacking midfielder, he is expected to fill the void created by Paul Pogbas imminent exit for Juventus.
It really is a dream come true to be signing for Manchester United, said Powell.
PARIS - FIFA has hit out at the Israeli authorities for the alleged illegal detention of Palestinian football players and called for their release, it emerged on Tuesday.
Acting upon information received from several sources including the Palestine Football Association, and a FIFAPro media release, world footballs ruling body said in a statement that several players had been detained illegally.
It added that the health of one in particular, Mahmoud Sarsak, was very delicate due to the effects of a 90-day hunger strike. FIFA has called on the Israeli Football Association (IFA) to make contact with the relevant authorities in the country in a bid to secure the players release.
The FIFA statement said: In a letter to the Israel Football Association (IFA) FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter expressed grave concern and worry about the alleged illegal detention of Palestine football players.