Mainz, Wolfsburg draw 0-0
FSV Mainz 05 and VfL Wolfsburg drew 0-0 in an uneventful match in the Bundesliga on Friday, likely ruining Wolfsburg’s hopes of playing in the Europa League. Wolfsburg is three points away from a European spot, having played one more match than Bayer 04 Leverkusen and Hannover 96. Earlier, Greuther Fuerth won promotion to the Bundesliga for the first time after drawing 1-1 at FSV Frankfurt. The second-division leader has 10 points more than Paderborn in third place, with two rounds remaining. The top two teams advance directly, with Eintracht Frankfurt also likely to return to the top tier.
Western Force sack coach
Australia’s Western Force Super Rugby franchise have sacked coach Richard Graham after he said he would move to the Queensland Reds at the end of the season. Graham had been expected to see out the remainder of the season with the Force before his move to Queensland, where he will replace Reds coach Ewen McKenzie, who is moving to a director-of-coaching role. However, the Force said late on Friday that after meetings with players and the board, they had decided that Graham would leave the Perth-based team’s coaching position immediately.
Israel suspends games
The head of Israel’s soccer association says he has suspended the rest of the matches in the top two divisions this weekend because of on-field violence. Israel Football Association head Avi Luzon called off yesterday’s Premier League and National League games, after players brawled at the end of a match between Hapoel Ramat Gan and Bnei Lod on Friday. Luzon told Channel 2 TV: “I don’t want someone getting killed on the football field, heaven forbid. With all due respect to football, I don’t want football played tomorrow after today’s events.”
Calls to end dog slaughter
Borussia Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp and former Germany star Lars Ricken on Friday called for an end to the slaughter of stray dogs by Euro 2012 co-hosts Ukraine. The two men posed for a photograph to denounce “these massive and cruel slaughters,” said Ricken, who retired in 2009. “It’s not about boycotting the Euro, but to have a humane attitude towards all living things,” he said. The pair believe neutering strays would be the best long-term solution.
Henry pokes fun at England
Rugby World Cup-winning All Blacks coach Graham Henry has poked fun at the England rugby team, describing its players in tongue-in-cheek comments as “a shambles” who should “self-destruct and start again.” Henry made the comments while replying to a question from an England supporter at a fundraising dinner on Thursday in Auckland, New Zealand. When contacted later by reporters, Henry said he did not want his comments published. However, the organizer of the dinner said Henry was an experienced public speaker who knew the media “could be there and would be there.” Henry, who was once linked to the England coaching job, has previously said the English are “world champions at wasting talent.” He told his English questioner on Thursday, again perhaps in jest, that England players are “smarmy” and “the height of arrogance.” He added that former England manager Martin Johnson is “a good guy.”