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                                | pdf edition | Monday November 21 2011                                                                         Sport
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Harry Redknapp given Tottenham tonic as
Aston Villa are made to suffer
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Andy Murray could pull out of ATP World
Tour Finals with groin injury
World No3 aggravates problem in his opening match • Scot lost 6-4, 7-5 to dogged Spaniard David Ferrer   Page 2




André Villas-Boas says Chelsea’s visit to
Bayer Leverkusen is ‘massive’
Chelsea manager retains confidence of Roman Abramovich • Villas-Boas: Chelsea must ‘find winning ways straight away’   Page 3




Arsène Wenger says                                  Pat Cummins                                          SPL’s £80m TV deal                     Manchester United
he will stay on as                                  holds nerve to help                                  with Sky and ESPN                      expect Wayne
Arsenal manager                                     Australia tie series                                 kicks expansion into                   Rooney to be fit to
Page 4                                              with South Africa                                    touch Page 7                           face Benfica Page 8
                                                    Page 6
LeBron James: I can                                                                                      Football news in brief                 Mario Balotelli
understand why a lot                                Lifetime Olympic ban                                 Page 8                                 can handle hostile
of people were upset                                for drug cheats leaves                                                                      Naples, says Roberto
Page 4                                              BOA isolated Page 6                                                                         Mancini Page 9




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Page 2 G24 Sport                                                                   Monday November 21 2011                    23:19 GMT

                                                                       some intention of disturbing Tottenham with breaks on the
                                                                       flanks.
Harry Redknapp given Tottenham tonic                                       The tactics had no effect because the opposition could not be
as Aston Villa are made to suffer                                      kept at bay. Villa did not have a calm period in which to execute
                                                                       whatever plan had been concocted for this test.
Kevin McCarra at White Hart Lane                                           There was little left to lose for the visitors. So it was that Villa
                                                                       strove to go on the attack and did enjoy a corner kick as well as a
Tottenham Hotspur [http://tinyurl.com/5nwt7b] took third
                                                                       little flurry. Even so, there was no indication that the balance of
place in the Premier League [http://tinyurl.com/6yneax] with
                                                                       play had altered.
this win, but they looked capable of reaching far greater heights
                                                                           The bout of boldness even let Tottenham practise their
as verve continues to rise in this squad. Although Aston Villa
                                                                       counterattacking. Adebayor could have completed a hat-trick as
[http://tinyurl.com/d7dtzk]’s doggedness showed that morale
                                                                       early as the 52nd minute but having broken clear from the half-
is intact, the victors’ satisfaction was far wider than the result
                                                                       way line he slipped his shot wide of the near post. That was not
suggests and Emmanuel Adebayor could have had far more
                                                                       an indication that hunger was fading in the striker.
than the two goals.
                                                                           That hat-trick stayed on his mind and, coming in from the
    Tottenham, craving a stadium that will generate greater
                                                                       left, he curled an attempt fractionally beyond the post with
means, could feel disadvantaged by comparison with this
                                                                       Given helpless. There is a gusto to Tottenham and it can be
season’s Champions League clubs but they have turned a
                                                                       found in more than one area of the line-up. The zest pours out
comparative lack of means into an advantage. They had the
                                                                       of a team egged on by its run of victories.
confidence of men who know their careers might well be on
                                                                           McLeish will not be soothed, but his team had endurance. A
the rise. A total of 22 points from their previous eight League
                                                                       spectator would have been taken aback to remember that this
matches simply emphasised that Aston Villa would have to be
                                                                       was simply a 2-0 lead as the closing 20 minutes approached.
prepared for suffering.
                                                                           It might have appeared cruel to bring on a poacher such as
    Conversely, some of the play in the opening exchanges was
                                                                       Jermain Defoe, but Redknapp was being practical. Rafael van
surely medicinal for Harry Redknapp, the Tottenham manager,
                                                                       der Vaart has had a hamstring problem and it would have been
who took his place in the dug-out for the first time since minor
                                                                       senseless not to protect him by curtailing his participation in a
heart surgery. He must have pined ever more than is customary
                                                                       game already decided.
for a return to normal life when, in his absence, others had the
pleasure of keeping watch over such accomplished football.
    No one wasted time thinking of scoring statistics here when
there was such conviction and flair to the attacking. If the side
                                                                       Andy Murray could pull out of ATP
could be castigated for its work in the first half the criticism lay   World Tour Finals with groin injury
in that slight lack of cold-bloodedness. Villa were permitted
to be just 1-0 down after 45 minutes, but Spurs had at least           • World No3 aggravates problem in his
ensured they did not get too fretful since the lead was taken
                                                                       opening match • Scot lost 6-4, 7-5 to
early.
    After 14 minutes Gareth Bale turned a corner-kick back into
                                                                       dogged Spaniard David Ferrer
the goalmouth and Adebayor was athletic enough to convert              Kevin Mitchell at the O2 Arena
the opportunity with a scissors kick. If Tottenham were to
                                                                       If Andy Murray [http://tinyurl.com/548xkw]’s season really
be faulted it was for dallying before they extended the lead.
                                                                       is over, he is not leaving us clutching our sides. Nobody does
There was even a sense that they were luxuriating in their zest
                                                                       gloom quite like Murray. Cut down by a gluteal injury in Basel
and technique. While ruthlessness was not at the forefront
                                                                       and inconvenienced in defeat on Monday by the flare-up of a
of the hosts, they were sufficiently purposeful to leave their
                                                                       groin strain picked up in training after his exit in Paris a week
opponents 2-0 down by the interval.
                                                                       and a half ago, he views his chances of continuing in the ATP
    For the sake of variety, Spurs scored a second in relatively
                                                                       World Tour Finals [http://tinyurl.com/ygoszab] this week with
mundane fashion in the 40th minute. Bale’s delivery from the
                                                                       all the Christmas cheer of Ebenezer Scrooge.
left was treacherous and James Collins seemed to confuse his
                                                                           He may decide when he wakes up on Tuesday, he said. If not,
goalkeeper Shay Given as he failed to deal with it. Adebayor was
                                                                       he could leave it until a minute before his next scheduled match
on hand to prod the ball home for a second goal.
                                                                       on Wednesday. Either way, he will not enter the O2 Arena in a
    The opposition barely received much notice. Gabriel
                                                                       red suit on a sled singing Jingle All The Way.
Agbonlahor was a willing runner but a finisher such as Darren
                                                                           It was the groin rather than the buttock that went on
Bent might have despaired of ever getting a chance.
                                                                       Monday, as the pugnacious David Ferrer – long considered
    Villa have not had such prominence of late, but they have
                                                                       (affectionately) a pain in the backside by his peers – beat him
generally shown some degree of resilience in away games, even
                                                                       6-4, 7-5, the first proper shock of the tournament. Roger Federer
if they did come to White Hart Lane without a victory on the
                                                                       and Rafael Nadal each dropped a set on the first day but won.
road in this campaign. This match, all the same, constituted
                                                                       Murray faces the prospect of spending the rest of the week in an
the start of a demanding spell that sees Villa face most of the
                                                                       ice bath with needles in his hip as his main rivals scrap over first
prominent clubs before 2011 draws to a close. It would have
                                                                       prize-money of $1.6m (£1m) and end-of-year bragging rights.
been natural if the apprehension had deepened before they
                                                                       Federer may even reclaim the No3 ranking Murray took from
reached the respite of the interval.
                                                                       him recently.
    Alex McLeish had not intended that his team would stay so
                                                                           The Scot received courtside treatment between sets
far back. There was a pair of strikers and there may have been
                                                                       yet moved well enough in the concluding session. It was a
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007                                                                             guardian.co.uk
Page 3 G24 Sport                                                                 Monday November 21 2011                 23:19 GMT

frustrating, perplexing performance by Murray, of a piece
with efforts when he is at a low ebb. His answers to gentle
interrogation were mostly monosyllabic.
                                                                      André Villas-Boas says Chelsea’s visit to
    “Disappointing,” he said. “Didn’t feel great.” Asked about        Bayer Leverkusen is ‘massive’
his body language, which approximated to that of Robespierre
being led to the guillotine, he said: “Don’t know. I mean, I          • Chelsea manager retains confidence of
felt flat, in the second set especially. And, yeah, I don’t know,     Roman Abramovich • Villas-Boas: Chelsea
whatever … however I was feeling contributed towards that.
                                                                      must ‘find winning ways straight away’
Yeah, I don’t really know what else to say.”
    He did say he would have pulled out before the start of the       Dominic Fifield
tournament had it not been this one, or one of the majors. For
                                                                      André Villas-Boas [http://tinyurl.com/6984yfj] retains the
someone who rarely walks away from tough challenges, that
                                                                      support of the Chelsea [http://tinyurl.com/5ybu55] owner,
was an admission that spoke loudly about the seriousness of his
                                                                      Roman Abramovich, and the club’s board despite what
injury. And yet there is hope. As he pointed out, it is possible to
                                                                      the manager concedes has been “the worst start for quite
go through with one early win – but highly unlikely.
                                                                      some time” to a season but the Portuguese admits that the
    This was Murray’s first setback against Ferrer on a hard court
                                                                      Champions League game at Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday
in six matches. Indeed the Spaniard had taken only one set from
                                                                      has become “massive”.
12 in those encounters and Murray was considered odds-on to
                                                                          The defeat by Liverpool [http://tinyurl.com/82wwwd9]on
add to the 16 wins he had collected in 17 matches since the US
                                                                      Sunday was Chelsea’s third in four league games, leaving them
Open. Only fleetingly did that look likely in the two hours the
                                                                      12 points from Manchester City and amid a clutch of clubs
match lasted.
                                                                      challenging for a place in the top four. Villas-Boas had declared
    Ferrer is the Joe Frazier of tennis [http://tinyurl.com/
                                                                      after the 2-1 reverse his belief that Abramovich would not
63kuyy], favoured by fans of tenacity rather than those
                                                                      be minded to dismiss him, having paid Porto £13.3m [http://
thunderstruck by glamour. Although he is ranked fifth in the
                                                                      tinyurl.com/5tldly7]to secure his release last summer and with
world on merit, he suffers like the late Smokin’ Joe from the
                                                                      the prospect of compensating him for the remainder of his
perception of his strengths: a refusal to contemplate lost causes
                                                                      contract if he were to wield the axe again.
and an uncluttered, muscular game that can unsettle more
                                                                          There remains solid support behind the 34-year-old within
flamboyant opponents on his better days.
                                                                      the club’s hierarchy, with an acknowledgement that his tenure
    Monday was one of those days.
                                                                      is still very much in its infancy. Villas-Boas was appointed with
    It was a glum one for Murray, who was disabused of any
                                                                      the future in mind, charged with overseeing the rejuvenation
fleeting temptation to regard himself as Muhammad Ali
                                                                      of this squad. Although there is concern at the current plight
in this little contest. He was a break up in each set but his
                                                                      – anxiety that would be heightened should Chelsea lose in
concentration wavered as mistakes mounted between some
                                                                      Germany on Wednesday, a result that would most likely see
exquisite shot-making, anomalies that puzzled his opponent.
                                                                      them competing for second place in their Champions League
    Ferrer said he felt the power of Murray’s serve and added
                                                                      group – faith is retained that the management can recover the
in halting English: “I think maybe he had a little problems, but
                                                                      side’s form.
not too many strong problems, no? Because he can play all the
                                                                          The players trained normally at Cobham on Monday, with
match.”
                                                                      those involved in Sunday’s defeat conducting a warm-down
    Murray is a wounded prisoner of the odds. If fit to continue,
                                                                      session, though recent stuttering results have prompted some
he probably needs two good wins from his remaining group
                                                                      predictable grumblings of discontent within the dressing
matches to have any hope of reaching the semi-finals – or for
                                                                      room. There have been suggestions that some senior players
Novak Djokovic’s right shoulder to fall off.
                                                                      have been unsettled by the constant tinkering of the team’s
    Ferrer thoroughly deserved his victory, in the last event
                                                                      rearguard, with the side showing uncharacteristic vulnerability
of the season before they all go back to their warm-weather
                                                                      at the back. A move for Bolton Wanderers’ England centre-back
training camps and prepare for more well-paid punishment in
                                                                      Gary Cahill is anticipated in the midwinter transfer window.
the new year.
                                                                      The player would cost around £16m and would renew what has
    Adding not insult but at least hubris to injury, Federer took
                                                                      been a largely successful partnership with John Terry with the
the arena microphone after Murray’s defeat to accept the Stefan
                                                                      national side.
Edberg sportsmanship and ATPWorldTour.com fans’ favourite
                                                                          Yet for now Villas-Boas has continued to back his players
awards, just a few days after damning the Scot with faint praise
                                                                      publicly despite the team’s worst start to a league season in 11
for winning three tournaments on a weakened Asian swing
                                                                      years. “It looks bad for us at this moment because it has not
recently [http://tinyurl.com/7ok2tlp].
                                                                      been the brightest of starts – the worst for quite some time – but
    Murray had responded with dignity, saying he would let his
                                                                      we have to have belief,” he said. “We have to believe in the
tennis do the talking. On Monday that on-court conversation
                                                                      work we are doing to get back to winning ways.
was muted. If the tennis gods had conspired to make this a
                                                                          “The players have immense talent and I have faith in them,
black day for Murray, they could not have done much better.
                                                                      and you can’t forget we are still in all four competitions. But
                                                                      now we have to focus just on what we are doing. The Premier
                                                                      League has got more difficult but it’s not impossible [still to win
                                                                      it]. We have to trust the December fixtures and, above all, we
                                                                      have to find the belief again to fight for the title.”
                                                                          Next month Chelsea must confront Newcastle United,
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007                                                                         guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                   Monday November 21 2011                23:19 GMT

the leaders City and Tottenham Hotspur, games Villas-Boas               season, and in September he had spoke of staying with Arsenal
will see as opportunities to thrust his team back into the title        for “another 14 years”.
race. “But the most important thing is finding winning ways
straightaway,” he said. “If possible, against Leverkusen which
is a massive game. Then we have three games in the Premier              LeBron James: I can understand why a
League where we must try to get nine points. The challenge              lot of people were upset
is to have the belief and strength to fight for those nine
points. But if we get nine points, it would put us in a different
perspective.”
                                                                        The Miami superstar on his controversial
    Villas-Boas’s position has not been helped by Guus Hiddink’s        move from Cleveland, the NBA lockout and
sudden availability [http://tinyurl.com/7pspksr]following               why he bought a stake in Liverpool • Read
Turkey’s failure to qualify for Euro 2012 [http://tinyurl.com/          the full transcript of the interview here
7enj7qw]. The Dutchman, who enjoyed a successful spell as
                                                                        Donald McRae
interim manager at Stamford Bridge after the dismissal of Luiz
Felipe Scolari in February 2009, winning the FA Cup, revealed           The long wait for LeBron James [http://tinyurl.com/395ojgg]
on Monday that he is still in regular contact with Abramovich           unfolds in a luxury hotel suite large enough to fit a stylish
[http://tinyurl.com/d5ppn4y], for whom he briefly worked as             apartment. It is a very big space for small talk with a quartet
a football adviser in an unofficial capacity. The 65-year-old was       of people I have just met. But these are the people assigned
a candidate to replace Carlo Ancelotti in the summer before             to a basketball superstar visiting London. They, in turn,
Chelsea turned to Villas-Boas following his successes with              are expected to liaise with the separate group of “LeBron’s
Porto.                                                                  people” who are with him a floor above us in this swish Soho
    Hiddink has yet to determine which “prestigious project” he         establishment.
would like to oversee next, though the timing of his comments               There has been much discussion between the different sets
about his relationship with Abramovich could be deemed                  of people and my interview with James has been arranged,
unhelpful. “The relationship was and has been and will be very          cancelled, rearranged and now simply delayed. I had called it off
good,” he said. “When I go to London I am always welcome at             two days previously when told that LeBron’s people were not
Cobham and the stadium. We don’t speak every week but every             prepared for him to discuss either the smouldering controversy
now and then there is contact and I feel very welcome, always.          surrounding his move last year from the Cleveland Cavaliers
I will take some time off and we will see what the future brings.       to the Miami Heat [http://tinyurl.com/272uekh] or the current
But I feel I have enough energy to go on and, what the future           lockout which has prevented the start of the NBA season
brings, we will see.”                                                   [http://tinyurl.com/7c3snk3].
    Yet there is no appetite at present to find a permanent                 He would not be here, attending a London School of
position for Hiddink at Stamford Bridge – Michael Emenalo was           Basketball day earlier this month, if not for a lockout which
promoted to the role of sporting director over the summer – and         could ruin the entire NBA [http://tinyurl.com/c9n76h] season.
faith is apparently retained in the current set-up.                     And it would be impossible to interview James without asking
                                                                        him about the way in which, during the summer of 2010,
                                                                        he opted to showcase his new choice of team as a television
Arsène Wenger says he will stay on as                                   extravaganza he called “The Decision”.
Arsenal manager                                                             After seven years as their star player, James phoned
                                                                        Cleveland just minutes before announcing Miami as his
                                                                        destination live on television. Disappointed rivals and
• ‘I will stay and that’s it’, says 62-year-old                       indignant fans unleashed furious condemnation. For James,
Frenchman • Wenger had raised quit fears                                who has long proclaimed his intention of using his “brand” to
in L’Equipe interview                                                  help him become a billionaire, the vehement reaction was a
Staff and agencies                                                      painful surprise.
                                                                            It is my turn to be surprised. The interview had been
Arsène Wenger [http://tinyurl.com/5kg6f5] has moved to allay            salvaged when James’s team backtracked and agreed that he
fears that he may leave Arsenal [http://tinyurl.com/3fh47r] at          would answer questions about “The Decision”. Even more
the end of the season.                                                  strikingly, the people looking after LeBron’s people try their
    The Frenchman had indicated in an interview with L’Equipe           best – and when James finally arrives his entourage of eight
[http://tinyurl.com/dx7tonx] that he would review his position          disappear behind the divide of our massive suite. King James
at the Emirates at the end of the season, voicing his frustration       and I settle down alone on a plush sofa. As a gentle prelude,
over the departures of Cesc Fábregas to Barcelona and Samir             now that he is a minority shareholder in Liverpool [http://
Nasri to Manchester City.                                               tinyurl.com/3vgdlvf], I ask him about his tweet in October on
    But the 62-year-old told Arsenal’s website on Monday: “I            Twitter. Having visited Anfield, and seeing Liverpool [http://
have a few more years to go,” he said. “I will stay and that’s it. It   tinyurl.com/42nq4e] draw 1-1 with Manchester United, he
was a little sentence if you read well.                                 hailed an “unbelievable experience”.
    “I can only speak for me – the club can decide to get rid of            James smiles and polishes the memory: “That came from the
me tomorrow morning and I cannot interfere with that decision           simple fact of how passionate and loyal those fans are. But to
– but I am totally committed here and I will show you that at the       walk through the facility the day before – to see all the history
end of the season.”                                                     and achievements was very powerful. Liverpool have won 19
    Wenger’s current contract runs until the end of the 2013-14
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007                                                                         guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                 Monday November 21 2011                 23:19 GMT

league championships [in fact, they have won 18] and it meant a       freshen me up. But looking back I can understand why a lot
lot to read about King Kenny and Steven Gerrard – a hometown          of people were upset. That definitely wasn’t my intention: to
kid who now captains the team. And then to be at Anfield and          upset people.”
see 40,000 fans screaming at the top of their lungs, the whole            Does he wish he could change what he did in the summer of
game, was an unbelievable experience for me.”                         2010? “I can’t say I would change anything – because it would
    I grin back at the smooth King Kenny reference. When              change so much that is leading to the future. But, yeah, there
he met Liverpool’s manager, did he find it easy to tune into          is definitely a better way I could have handled it, as far as the
Dalglish’s Glaswegian accent? “King Kenny is something else!          whole TV thing is concerned, and the same goes for the build-
His accent is very strong. So it was very difficult to understand     up to the announcement. A lot of people were hurt by it – and
what he was saying – but it was great being around him and            I definitely apologise to them. At the same time, you should
[Luis] Suárez and Gerrard and Dirk [Kuyt] and those guys. I was       never be afraid to do what you believe in.”
very humbled that they knew me.”                                          James insists that, in choosing to show “The Decision” on
    More significantly, James’s interest in the club is centred on    television, he was motivated by a desire to plough back the
a belief that Liverpool have the potential to widen their global      money he earned into ordinary communities. “My thinking was
appeal. “Absolutely,” he says. “Any time you have so much             built around those kids who would benefit from me making
history and so much power behind their story, there is great          this decision, all these underprivileged kids that would get the
potential to continue that expansion. Liverpool are definitely        millions and millions of dollars that I would receive. That was
one of those clubs. They really are like Man U – and the Dallas       my whole motivation.”
Cowboys and the New York Yankees. There are some teams and                Yet he is still perceived by many to be greedy and egotistical?
logos you see, no matter where you are in the world, and you          “Yeah, well, that’s definitely how it’s been projected. You
know exactly who they are and what they mean. I see Liverpool         can get angry but, you know, I’m satisfied when I go to those
in that group.”                                                       kids’ clubs all over the United States that they don’t forget
    If he declines to confirm the exact size of his small stake in    the moment when their gymnasium was refurbished, or their
Liverpool, James warms to the idea that, like him, the club is        library or media centre, and they went from big old computers
in passionate pursuit of a long-lost championship. It has been        to laptops. To be a part of those clubs makes me smile. As a
over 20 years since Liverpool won their last league title; while      professional athlete a lot is going to be said about you – but I
James is still chasing his first NBA championship ring after eight    just try to move forward and achieve my goals. You’ve got to go
seasons. “It definitely gives me another incentive to be part of      through the tornado to get to the clear weather. I feel we went
that team. They’re striving to be a champion and I’m striving         through it and now we’re headed on the right path.”
to do the same. It would be great if we could do it in the same           James clearly does not need his “people” to protect him. He
year.”                                                                speaks as calmly here as he does when endorsing the London
    This June, in a Miami team featuring two other free-agent         School of Basketball as a way of providing structure and focus
All-Stars in Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, James fell at the            to young British players and when plugging his latest Nike
final hurdle – losing 4-2 to the Dallas Mavericks [http://tinyurl.    shoe, the LEBRON 9. Yet he has been sufficiently scarred to be
com/6ny9to4]. James might be dismissed by many for his                evasively diplomatic about the lockout – which is a complicated
corporate sensibility but defeat hurt him badly. When did he          wrangle between the owners and players over how they should
get over the loss? “A couple of days ago,” he says, laughing          split the $4bn (£2.5bn) revenue the NBA generates. The owners
wryly. “It stayed with me a couple of months. It was definitely       argue that, to increase the league’s competitiveness, the players
heartbreaking. [But] I really believe it’s made me a better player.   need to substantially reduce their current 57% claim. While
And I’m a better person as well for it – just in terms of focusing    agreeing to that demand the players have refused to go below
harder, zeroing in even more. It’s made me critique my game           52% and have completely rejected the owners’ stipulated 50-50
and work out who I am as a person. We faced a great team in           split.
Dallas and I don’t think enough people gave them the credit               We met last Monday when it briefly appeared as if a quick
they deserve. They were so excited to write and talk about us         resolution might be realistic. “I believe it is,” James said then.
they often forgot about the Dallas Mavericks. But they have two       “It’s a sensitive subject, but I’ve always been optimistic that
Hall of Famers in Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd.”                      there will be a season this year. Both sides know how important
    James admits a more personal hurt. “It’s definitely tough,        the game of basketball is. We know that the fans make the
sometimes, when you read a lot of negative things that say            game. Without the fans there is no us.”
you’re selfish or you don’t play the right way. But, for me, I’ve         Yet even then, before the latest breakdown of talks, it was
only played one way: for the team.”                                   easy to sense the owners digging in for a bitter battle. “I don’t
    Can he understand why he was criticised by so many past           think anyone wants a long battle. I think both sides want to
great players who felt he had sacrificed his own legacy by            be fair to one another and try to figure out a deal. Right now it
linking up so calculatedly with Wade and Bosh – rather than           hasn’t worked out but I believe that, with David Stern [the NBA
trying to drive Cleveland to a championship? “Of course I             commissioner] and the owners, and Billy Hunter on our side on
understand that. But people talk as if I’m done. I’ve got years       the players’ association, we will figure out a way.”
left to build my individual legacy – if that’s what they want to          When the most charming member of the LeBron entourage
call it. But, right now, it’s all about my team’s legacy.”            is sent over to tap her watch politely, I try to get King James
    Was James taken aback by the ferocious criticism of his           to speak more plainly. What did he think of the American
screening of “The Decision”? “Um, yeah. I was surprised by            broadcaster Bryant Gumbel’s accusation that Stern operates as
it because I was making a decision for myself. I was doing            “a modern plantation overseer” towards his multimillionaire
something that I believed was going to make me happy and              players? “I didn’t get the opportunity to sit down and watch

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007                                                                        guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                   Monday November 21 2011                 23:19 GMT

the Bryant Gumbel piece so I can’t really comment. I know, as           but the ball rolled away for four, and the tourists continued to
a player, when I’m on the court, I try to play the best I can and       whittle away the runs required.
represent the NBA the best I can.”                                          With five still needed, the South Africa captain, Graeme
    This is James in full corporate flight but, nodding at me and       Smith, brought Tahir back into the attack, rather than keeping
all his people, it is also possible to believe he would rather be on    faith with Vernon Philander, who had innings figures of five for
court. “At the start of every season for the last eight years I’ve      70 and was later named man of the series.
always known I’ve been going back to work. So this lockout has              The audacious move almost paid off three balls in when the
been difficult, really difficult, and for the simple fact that I love   leg-spinner thought he had Cummins lbw. South Africa used a
playing the game at a high level. I miss playing right now.”            review to challenge the not-out verdict, but without success.
    James even claims to miss the booing that usually trails him.           Cummins left the next ball, which sneaked past his off
“I miss it right now with the lockout, feeding off the opposing         stump, before crunching the fifth of the over away through
crowd and them booing you – in a good way. Some of ‘em, they            midwicket to the boundary. He finished unbeaten on 13 from 15
boo you because they don’t like you personally – but they don’t         balls.
know you personally. They haven’t had the opportunity to sit                “I was a little bit nervous when I came in at the end. I just
next to you. If they did, they might have a totally different idea      tried to swing as hard as I could,” Cummins said.
about you.”                                                                 Australia had been 142 for three overnight, a position which
    Visit Nikebasketball.com [http://tinyurl.com/yjbctaa] and           gave both teams cause for optimism, but a washed-out morning
londonschoolofbasketball.com [http://tinyurl.com/7qc8gk7]               session meant they were kept waiting.
for more information on James’s range of shoes and the London               The Australians lost their captain, Michael Clarke, for just
School of Basketball.                                                   two, bowled by Philander, and resistance from Ricky Ponting
                                                                        came to an end on 62 when he slashed a menacing delivery
                                                                        from Morne Morkel to Jacques Rudolph at slip.
Pat Cummins holds nerve to help                                             Philander pinned Hussey lbw, and at 215 for six the tourists
Australia tie series with South Africa                                  were in trouble, with their hopes seemingly resting on Haddin
                                                                        and Johnson, the tail looking brittle.
                                                                            Their partnership had reached 72 when Haddin got a thin
• South Africa 266 & 339; Australia 296 &                               edge to an away-swinging delivery from Philander, Mark
310-8 • Australia won by eight wickets to                               Boucher pouching the catch.
tie series 1-1                                                              Siddle then chipped Steyn to Tahir with the team total on
                                                                        292, and South Africa were again looking favourites. They could
Staff and agencies
                                                                        not dislodge Johnson or Cummins though.
The 18-year-old debutant Pat Cummins followed up his six-                   Clarke explained he was “yelling like an absolute goose” in
wicket haul with the winning boundary as Australia secured a            the final stages of the match, but said: “I couldn’t be happier
drawn series against South Africa by taking victory in a frantic        with the result.”
finish in Johannesburg.                                                     Clarke could not fail to be impressed by the newest
   The 18-year-old was a hero with the ball earlier in the match        Australian cap, saying of Cummins: “He’s a hell of a talent. It’s
and came in to bat with Australia wobbling on 292 for eight, still      not just opposition players, but the Aussie guys know how good
needing another 18 runs.                                                he is. It is about now managing Cummins and making sure he
   He rode his luck, offering Dale Steyn a caught-and-bowled            becomes one of the all-time greats.”
chance, before pulling the match-deciding four off Imran Tahir.             Smith, reflecting on the series, said: “We both threw a lot of
   At the other end, Mitchell Johnson finished unbeaten on 40,          punches and we’ve ended up level again. I must give credit to
while Brad Haddin’s 55 and 39 from Mike Hussey had earlier              Australia today, to chase 310 a few of their guys stepped up and
helped nudge Australia towards their target of 310.                     performed really well.”
   Australia lost the opener in the two-match series by eight
wickets in Cape Town, but on Monday seized their chance to
make up for that disappointment.                                        Lifetime Olympic ban for drug cheats
   Cummins could hardly have made a more spectacular debut,             leaves BOA isolated
and was named man of the match for his achievements.
   “Just to get a Test match is unbelievable. Obviously this is a
great win,” Cummins said at the presentation ceremony. “We              • BOA rule deemed illegal ‘extra sanction’
came from behind and this just tops it off. It was great to bowl        by Wada • Appeal to court of arbitration for
them out yesterday and to contribute was even better.”                  sport likely
   He bowled tidily in South Africa’s first innings before ripping
                                                                        Owen Gibson
through their batting lineup when the home side batted next,
rooting out six batsmen.                                                The World Anti-Doping Agency has warned the British Olympic
   The New South Wales paceman has no batting pedigree to               Association [http://tinyurl.com/6h53an6] that it is now isolated
speak of but did not let that unsettle him when Peter Siddle’s          in global sport in arguing that athletes found guilty of doping
tame dismissal brought him to the middle this afternoon.                offences should face an additional ban barring them from the
   Johnson looked secure, so that may have eased his nerves,            Olympic Games for life.
but the inexperience of Cummins versus the seasoned                         After Wada ruled that the BOA was no longer compliant with
professionals in South Africa’s attack looked like a no-contest.        its code on Sunday the Wada director-general, David Howman,
   Steyn got half a hand to the chance Cummins offered him,             confirmed it would go to the court of arbitration for sport if the
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007                                                                          guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                 Monday November 21 2011                  23:19 GMT

BOA appealed, as it has indicated it will do.                         to catch “sophisticated dopers”.
    Howman said its decision was straightforward once the Cas            “Wada does not undertake the testing, it is undertaken
had decided that an International Olympic Committee rule              by national anti-doping agencies. We monitor the testing,”
forbidding athletes from appearing in the Games that followed         said Howman. “We have indicated we are not that happy
a ban should be dropped in the wake of a challenge from the           with testing programmes in that they are not detecting the
United States Olympic Committee and the 400m gold medallist           sophisticated dopers. We think we need to do more from that
LaShawn Merritt.                                                      perspective as we go forward.”
    “The board considered the report, which included the Cas
decision in the IOC and USOC case and the implications for
the BOA. The reasoning in the IOC decision was that article           SPL’s £80m TV deal with Sky and ESPN
45 of the IOC charter was deemed to be an extra sanction, and         kicks expansion into touch
extra sanctions are not allowed under the code,” Howman
said. “Wada is responsible for anti-doping rules and all of our
signatories have agreed they will conform with those rules. By
                                                                      • ‘No room to manoeuvre’ dashes fans’
going beyond them, a signatory is not conforming. It’s really as      hopes of more clubs • Deal guarantees four
simple as that. The decision the board took was that the BOA          Old Firm matches per season
rule was an extra sanction.”
                                                                      Ewan Murray
    If the BOA loses its appeal at the Cas, expected to be
heard within three months, then the British athletes Dwain            The Scottish Premier League [http://tinyurl.com/6nes77]
Chambers, and Carl Myerscough, and cyclist David Millar would         has agreed a television deal with Sky Sports [http://tinyurl.
be eligible for 2012.                                                 com/628xqdp] and ESPN [http://tinyurl.com/nzd7pg] which
    The BOA has suggested that other countries, including New         will run until the end of the 2016-17 season. They will pay a
Zealand and Canada, are in the same boat because they too have        combined £80m to continue to screen 30 live SPL matches each
extra bans that could be considered “additional sanctions”. But       per season. The figure represents an increase of £3m a year on
Howman said those countries had only introduced their rules           the existing broadcast agreement due to end in 2014.
to reflect the IOC’s charter and were in the process of amending          Central to the deal is the continuation of four Old Firm
them. “The IOC dropped the rule [and] the NOCs that have that         matches each season. This removes the possibility of the
rule have agreed it will be null and void,” he said.                  meaningful expansion of the 12-team SPL for which supporters
    Howman said Wada’s decision to find the BOA non-                  have campaigned.
compliant was nothing to do with the wide-ranging attack on               The SPL’s chief executive, Neil Doncaster, stressed that
Wada’s methods by the BOA chairman, Lord Moynihan, last               a bigger division is not financially viable. “There is no room
week, which he labelled “misguided”.                                  to manoeuvre in terms of expanding. Fourteen teams might
    “The decision the board took on Sunday is solely associated       potentially work in terms of having a split league and retaining
with the Cas decision. What we were disappointed with was             four Old firm games. Maybe. That would be feasible.
Lord Moynihan’s speech in which he not only talked about that             “But it has never been feasible to have 16, 18 or 20 because
decision but a lot of other things in terms of anti-doping. He        you automatically mean going to one home game and one away.
was a little bit misguided and he wasn’t really adhering to the       We think that will take £20m out of Scottish football. That is a
factual situation. It does become disappointing when a person         massive amount of money per season, in terms of lost gate and
of his eminence takes that track.”                                    TV revenue. The lost gate revenue is not to be underestimated.
    The IOC has the ability to ban countries if they are not          So going to 16, 18 or 20 – financially – is impossible.”
compliant with the Wada code but it has confirmed there is no             The SPL had considered not extending its TV contracts
chance of that happening and underlined its confidence in UK          beyond this season, which it was entitled to do due to a
Anti-Doping’s testing procedures.                                     break clause in the existing deal which runs to the summer of
    “It is important to make it clear that the anti-doping agency     2014. Had it done so, the SPL could have established its own,
in the UK – the UKAD [UK Anti Doping] – is fully compliant. The       standalone pay-per-view channel.
BOA has only been deemed non-compliant on a technicality                  Doncaster said: “The attraction of five years’ stability,
rather than any unwillingness of the BOA to fight doping,” an         on increased terms, with blue-chip broadcast partners at a
IOC spokeswoman saidon Monday.                                        time when you need a new title sponsor, made it a fairly easy
    “We are confident that the BOA and UKAD will do their             decision.
utmost to ensure clean British athletes will compete in London            “Let’s look at the context. The Football League is 25% down
and this ruling will have absolutely no effect on British athletes    in terms of reported figures for its live deal. Other rights sellers
competing in London.”                                                 in the marketplace are suffering similar reductions, whether
    UKAD said it agreed with the BOA that the best place to           it be broadcast deals or sponsorship deals. In that context,
resolve the issue was the Cas. “For all UK athletes, we hope that     giants like Sky Sports and ESPN have come to the table and
a definitive ruling can be reached at the earliest opportunity,” it   demonstrated a much-improved level of confidence in Scottish
said in a statement.                                                  football and delivered more money. That’s the reality.
    Howman, who also confirmed that Wada’s budget had been                “Against the global economic context, where rights values
frozen at $27.9m (£17.8m) for the coming year due to the wider        are down, Sky and ESPN were willing to bid more for a product
economic chill, said Moynihan was “just wrong” to say that the        they were already contracted to for another two and a half
global anti-doping body was “toothless”. But he did concede           years.”
that there was more to be done to improve testing programmes

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007                                                                         guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                               Monday November 21 2011                23:19 GMT


Football news in brief                                              Manchester United expect Wayne
                                                                    Rooney to be fit to face Benfica
• Stoke’s Tony Pulis may appeal against
£10,000 fine • Manager criticised referee                           • Rooney to play despite missing training
after Carling Cup defeat                                            with bruising • Sir Alex Ferguson hopes to
Agencies                                                            build on defensive improvement
Tony Pulis is considering an appeal against his £10,000 fine        Paul Wilson
imposed for comments made about the referee Lee Probert             Wayne Rooney [http://tinyurl.com/5cvd2u] is expected to be fit
after a Carling Cup defeat by Liverpool last month. Stoke’s         for the Champions League [http://tinyurl.com/4859on] game
manager denied a Football Association charge of improper            against Benfica [http://tinyurl.com/cuk89w] on Tuesday night,
conduct but, after a personal hearing, an independent               according to his manager. Sir Alex Ferguson [http://tinyurl.
regulatory commission ruled against him and he was fined and        com/5pnu8q] said the reason the Manchester United [http://
warned about his future conduct. Pulis told Stoke’s website:        tinyurl.com/bjgxtp] striker missed training on Monday was
“I have requested written reasons and I am considering              because he was still nursing bruises from the Swansea City
an appeal.” Pulis said after the match that Probert should          game [http://tinyurl.com/crfd2z9]at the weekend, but thought
have sent off Jamie Carragher for a challenge on Matthew            he should be able to make the final European group game at Old
Etherington – “If one of our players had committed it, I would      Trafford after an extra day’s rest. Jonny Evans should also have
have expected him to get sent off” – and criticised the referee     recovered from a tight hamstring, though Chris Smalling will
for disallowing a Jon Walters header and not giving a penalty for   not be ready until Saturday.
a foul on Peter Crouch. PA                                             Level on points at the top of Group C after a 1-1 draw in
    The Serious Fraud Office has been asked to investigate          Lisbon, both teams know a win would secure a top-spot finish
allegations that Fifa members asked for money and an honour         under the head-to-head rule. A draw would see both qualify
during England’s bid for the 2018 World Cup. Damian Collins,        were Basel to slip up at Otelul Galati, but Ferguson prefers to
the Conservative MP who is campaigning for Fifa reform, has         think both teams will be trying to win. “It should be quite an
written to Richard Alderman, the director of the SFO, asking        open battle, with both teams wanting a win, and that’s certainly
him to investigate claims made to a parliamentary committee         the result we will be looking for,” the United manager said.
by the former England 2018 chairman Lord Triesman in May.           “Finishing top of the group is always a great bonus, not just
Collins believes the allegations could involve breaches of          because you avoid the other group winners in the next round
the Fraud Act and the Bribery Act. The FA ordered James             but because you get to play your second game at home. To
Dingemans QC to prepare a report on the Triesman allegations.       my mind that’s the real advantage, because sometimes the
His report was passed to Fifa, which said it had found “no          difference in quality between teams finishing first and second is
elements in this report which would prompt the opening of any       not that great. It is more important to have the away leg first, I
ethics proceedings”. PA                                             always think.”
    The referee Babak Rafati was released from hospital on             Ferguson has his own expert on Portuguese football in Nani,
Monday after he was found seriously injured in his hotel room       although the former Sporting Lisbon player admitted his record
on Saturday. Rafati failed to arrive for pre-game preparations      in derby games against Benfica was mixed. “Lost one, drew one,
with his assistants at their hotel two hours before a game          won the other,” he said. “But the rivalry is intense, like City v
between Cologne and Mainz 05. He was found by his assistants        United here. They were always tough games. Benfica have a
in his hotel-room bath tub. Agencies                                strong midfield and will play some good football but probably
    The Aston Villa full-back Habib Beye has joined the club on     with a lot of care because they know they are playing away and
a three-month loan. He joins his fellow Senegal international El    we are on our own ground. I feel if we can control the midfield
Hadji Diouf at Doncaster as part of a transfer policy spearheaded   area we have a good chance.”
by the agent Willie McKay. PA                                          Since the 6-1 defeat in the Manchester derby [http://tinyurl.
    Norwich City have passed details of alleged racist abuse of     com/6jubjo2]brought the new Premier League reality into
the striker James Vaughan to the police. Vaughan, who is out        United’s life with a jolt, it is Ferguson’s side that has been
of action with a knee injury, received abusive messages on his      playing with care, though, as the manager points out, they have
Twitter account. The Norwich chief executive, David McNally,        been controlling games, too. United have kept five successive
also used Twitter to thank internet users for bringing the matter   clean sheets in the five matches since City’s spree, and won
to their attention. McNally wrote: “We have handed details to       three of them by a single goal. That statistic would have been
the police and cannot comment any further.” PA                      four but for the late own goal for Galati in the last Champions
                                                                    League game at Old Trafford, but Ferguson makes no apology
                                                                    for tightening things up, nor for withdrawing Rooney from the
                                                                    front line of attack to a position in midfield.
                                                                       “It is not a big issue for me,” he said. “Players have
                                                                    addressed the situation well, collectively we have been good
                                                                    and I have been happy with the results. We have won five games
                                                                    in a row, so we have got some momentum again. We have made
                                                                    some changes to the team from the start of the season partly
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007                                                                     guardian.co.uk
Page 9 G24 Sport                                                                 Monday November 21 2011                 23:19 GMT

because of injuries, with Tom Cleverley and Smalling being                Mancini also expressed his confidence in Balotelli to cope
injured and Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic missing matches.          if, as the club fear, he faces some of the racial abuse that
    “When you get hit by a list of injuries you sometimes have        accompanied him throughout Serie A when he was a player
to have a rethink, because it can unsettle the balance of the         for Internazionale. “He has played in Naples maybe 10 times
team. So we are playing in a slightly different way but the           already in his career. “I won’t be thinking about the crowd
performances have been good. We have all worked really hard           reaction when I decide the team. He is making real progress and
defending and making sure we keep the ball well, so that when         I think the fans in Italy know and understand now that Mario
you get the chance you can produce enough football to win the         can be an important player for the national team.”
match. I always say the same thing at this stage of the season            City’s two victories against Villarreal have moved them
and that is you want to get to New Year with a chance. Top            ahead of Napoli in Group A. “If we win, it is finished,” Mancini
would be fine, but near the top still means the run-in would          said. “If not, it will go to the last game and we know that it will
present us with an opportunity.”                                      very difficult for us because Bayern Munich are a top team and
    Ferguson’s tactical shift has already answered one criticism      even if they are already through they will make sure to play a
of United this season, that they were presenting opponents            good game.
with too many opportunities to score. Now he is having to face            “We know Napoli can be dangerous and put us under a lot of
down a second, related grumble: that his side are no longer           pressure. They are a strong team and, playing at night, in their
playing their usual, expansively entertaining brand of football.      own stadium, they normally beat everyone. So it will be a hard
“What we are doing is controlling games more,” Ferguson said.         game. But we also know we can do everything if we play well.”
    “At Swansea on Saturday we may have won by just the one               The club have prepared for this tie by sending a letter to
goal but we were always in control. We dominated the game in          each of the 900 City supporters who have travelled to Italy,
the first half and they made a really good change at half time,       passing on safety advice about the areas of Naples to avoid and
they brought on a more recognised midfield player and started         recommending that they do not wear club colours. Balotelli
to get stuck in and win more possession, but I never thought we       was scheduled to take part in the official Uefa press conference
were in danger of losing the match. I always thought we were          alongside Mancini but the club decided to pull him out rather
in control. Since the derby we have controlled and won our two        than risk the player saying something that might inflame
games away from home in the Premier League, and if you can            tensions.
do that you are doing a good job.”                                        Sergio Agüero, a more popular figure in Naples given that his
                                                                      father-in-law is Diego Maradona, stood in while Mancini talked
                                                                      of his hope that the game could take place without the knife-
Mario Balotelli can handle hostile                                    related incidents that accompanied Liverpool’s visit to Naples
Naples, says Roberto Mancini                                          last season and led to six Bayern Munich fans being stabbed
                                                                      before their tie here last month.
                                                                          “I don’t think it will be a big problem. This kind of thing can
• Manchester City manager puts faith in                               happen in every stadium in every city, everywhere. But I’m sure
volatile striker • City players at training                           our fans will be able to support the team and see the city. I think
given taste of what to expect                                         Naples is beautiful. Our supporters have the opportunity to see
                                                                      a beautiful match and a beautiful city.”
Daniel Taylor in Naples

Roberto Mancini [http://tinyurl.com/ygc2p7j] goes into the
match that could determine whether Manchester City [http://           Manchester City determined to
tinyurl.com/4jsgmx] progress to the Champions League [http://         demolish Napoli’s wall of sound
tinyurl.com/4859on] knockout stages insisting his players have
nothing to fear from the hostile atmosphere for which Napoli
[http://tinyurl.com/4lo4d7]’s Stadio San Paolo is famed and           Napoli boast Italy’s loudest fans but it is not
backing Mario Balotelli to come through whatever reception            just the noise that could rattle Manchester
awaits him on his return to Italy.                                    City in the Champions League
   After taking only one point from their opening two games,
                                                                      Daniel Taylor in Naples
City will qualify for the next stage with a game to spare if they
become the first team to beat Napoli at their own ground in           Perhaps the best way to explain the type of racket Manchester
a European tie since 1994. Mancini knows from experience              City [http://tinyurl.com/4jsgmx] can expect under the
how intimidating San Paolo can be for visiting teams but the          floodlights in Naples is to examine why their opponents can no
City manager is also aware of overplaying the effect of the           longer shoehorn upwards of 70,000 spectators into the stadium
Neapolitan crowd. “Look at me,” he said. “I played there for 13       where they like to boast they create the most raucous din in the
years and I’m still alive and here.”                                  whole of Italy.
   His squad had their first taste of what to expect from a group        The Stadio San Paolo – a shrieking, fire-cracking,
of Napoli supporters at the airport as the team set off to train in   graffiti-covered kaleidoscope of colour – may not have a roof
the stadium. “Hostile is not the word,” Micah Richards posted         and there may be an athletics track separating the pitch from
on Twitter. Mancini, however, believes his players should have        the ultra curves but the noise was still loud enough for the
the nerve to cope with the atmosphere. “The Napoli fans are           nearest high-rise apartment blocks to start swaying a few years
very passionate but these are the kind of matches the players         ago.
should want to play. If we play our football and don’t think             Large cracks had appeared on the walls before the
about all the other issues, I don’t think it will affect us.”         Neapolitan authorities ruled that the number of fans jumping
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007                                                                        guardian.co.uk
Page 10 G24 Sport                                                                Monday November 21 2011                   23:19 GMT

up and down had left the flats rocking to the point they were in      of saying that the Premier League leaders should not expect
danger of collapsing. Napoli [http://tinyurl.com/4lo4d7] were         any favours. Napoli will play Villarreal, who have not picked
ordered to reduce their capacity by 1,000 supporters every            up a single point in their four games. So it is understandable
match until tests showed it was safe. All of which explains why       that he does not want to go to the final game with qualification
the backdrop to the tie that will go a long way to determining        still undecided. “This is the hardest of all the qualifying
whether City reach the Champions League [http://tinyurl.              groups,” he said. “It is not easy. But if we lose, our season is not
com/4859on] knockout stages will include a banner in Curva B          finished.”
that reads: “Sito Detesserato”. Danger Site.                              Yet a club of City’s ambitions do not want to be grubbing
    The restrictions mean there will be just below 60,000             around in the Europa League. “We want to win in Naples for
inside the now antiquated stadium that will probably always           this reason,” Mancini said. “We want to play in the Champions
be associated with the way Diego Maradona used to stick out           League but it could be that Bayern will want to knock us out.”
that chest and tease, bewitch and mesmerise a succession of           First, though, City may have to turn down the volume in
opponents.                                                            Naples.
    Mancini has mentioned the “incredible atmosphere” just
about every time he has been asked about this tie. But football
is still waiting for the day when someone leaps from the crowd        Banks to act out war-game scenarios to
to score a goal, and the visiting manager was entitled to make        counter sudden systems failure
his case that City have been sufficiently hardened up under his
watch not to be affected by stagefright.
    They arrived in Italy after becoming the first club to win 11
                                                                      Banks will have work out how fast can they
of their first 12 matches in the Premier League era. They have        return to normal business after a simulated
accumulated 42 league goals, when last season it took until           cyber attack causes systems to fail
5 February to reach that total. They are also the first team to
                                                                      Jill Treanor
score twice or more in 14 consecutive top-flight matches since
Manchester United in 1959. They are, in short, playing with a         Cash machines that cannot be filled with money or pin
fearlessness that emboldened Mancini to remark, before the 3-1        numbers failing to work at supermarket check-outs are among
defeat of Newcastle United [http://tinyurl.com/bt7mp4u] on            the scenarios that will be played out in a series of high-level
Saturday that his team were now at the same level as Barcelona        wargames by 87 City firms.
and Real Madrid [http://tinyurl.com/86fv4p7].                            Under the auspices of the Financial Services Authority,
    The City manager, addressing a predominantly Italian              firms will be asked to imagine what might happen if next year’s
audience in the bowels of the San Paolo, had moderated that           Olympics causes traffic gridlock or if there is a cyber attack that
boast a little here. “The problem we have is that we have been        prevents technology functioning smoothing.
building these things for only one and a half years,” he said.           The market wide exercise is the first since 2009 and takes
“We’ve probably built everything too quickly. We still need to        place at a time when the industry is gripped by the eurozone
improve and for now we are closer to Napoli than we are Real          crisis but regarded as essential by regulators [http://tinyurl.
Madrid or Barcelona.”                                                 com/5vujwh] for contingency planning in the year ahead.
    Nonetheless there was a clear confidence in everything               The firms will have to work out how quickly they can return
he said. “We’ve got the guys already,” he said, when asked            to “business as usual” during the two pretend scenarios that
whether his team needed a genuine Messi-level superstar. “We          will be played out across the City on Tuesday from 8am.
have Balotelli, Agüero, Dzeko, Nasri, Silva … I just think it’s too      Transport disruption during the Olympics might stop
early in terms of our development.”                                   security vehicles carrying cash reaching hole-in-the wall
    Napoli have not lost any of their past 10 European ties,          machines while staff might not be able to get to work. A cyber
dating back 17 years, which reflects how this has the potential       attack might stop pin numbers being recognised at point of
to be one of City’s more difficult assignments since Mancini          sale terminals, for instance, or prevent customers accessing
took over almost two years ago.                                       information about their bank accounts.
    On the flipside Walter Mazzarri’s team have won only two             The FSA designs the topic of the exercises and works
of their past eight Serie A games. Mancini was asked whether          closely with the tripartite authorities – the Treasury, the
his team would go for broke and replied: “Yes, it is important to     Bank of England [http://tinyurl.com/6p8mpm] as well as
have this mentality. We want to go there and play our football        the FSA – on how the firms respond to such situations. The
and show that Manchester City can be a very good football             UK financial sector continuity website [http://tinyurl.com/
team.”                                                                corupes] said that the focus will be on firms’ dependencies on
    They have demonstrated that virtually all season but              “telecommunications and the internet”.
Mancini had been similarly confident before they played                  A spokesman for the FSA said: “The market wide exercise is
against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in September. “We          carried out to assess and improve the resilience of the financial
will win in Germany,” he had said after the preceding 1-1 home        services sector, during a major operational disruption and is
draw against Napoli with which they took their first tentative        an important part of planning for major disruptions. There
steps into the competition. Instead they lost 2-0 [http://tinyurl.    are no ‘passes’ or ‘fails’ – the exercise is about firms assessing
com/6fhtj98]and Carlos Tevez set in place the mutiny that has         their business continuity systems and updating them where
left him awol somewhere in Argentina.                                 necessary and the authorities identifying areas for further
    Bayern will be City’s final opponents and, even if the            attention”.
Bundesliga side have already qualified, Mancini made a point             The last such war game took place in 2009 – delayed from
                                                                      2008 when banks were gripped by the credit crunch – when
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007                                                                          guardian.co.uk
Page 11 G24 Sport                                                    Monday November 21 2011   23:19 GMT

it was the fifth such exercise and looked at a “severe weather
scenario”, building on the flooding in the summer of 2007 and
the snowfall of 2009 – and actually took place at a time of severe
weather and flooding.




guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007                                            guardian.co.uk

				
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