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Juventus stand to be shut after racist chant

»Juventus have been ordered to close a stand for next week's home Serie A match against AS Roma after some of their fans sang a racist chant in Wednesday's Italian Cup win over Napoli.

The ‘Curva Sud’ (south end stand) will be shut after fans occupying that area of Juve's stadium “directed a chant formed of expressions of racial discrimination at another team’s player” in the 3-0 victory, the Italian Soccer League said in a statement on Friday.

A group of the Turin club's fans sang “there are no black Italians”, a chant that cost them a stadium ban last season when directed at Inter Milan forward Mario Balotelli.

Balotelli, an Italy under-21 forward of Ghanaian descent, is frequently the victim of abuse from fans of Juventus and other teams.

Nagasaki drops out of Japan's 2020 bid race

»Nagasaki has abandoned its ambitions to host the 2020 Olympics after the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) rejected a joint bid with Hiroshima.

Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue informed the city's local assembly of the decision on Friday but offered full cooperation to Hiroshima should the city table a solo bid. JOC chief Tsunekazu Takeda last month told officials of Hiroshima and Nagasaki -- the only cities to have suffered a nuclear attack -- that co-hosting was not possible.

"While the Olympic charter continues to state one city per (bid) country, the options for an atom-bombed city to stage the Games are obviously limited," Taue told Japanese reporters.

Trulli laughs off Ecclestone’s idea

»Formula One needs steady rules rather than any radical change like Bernie Ecclestone's “shortcuts”, Italian driver Jarno Trulli said on Thursday. “This is not a game, this is a sport,” he said after a seat fitting at his new Malaysian-backed Lotus F1 team at their factory in rural eastern England.

“I think Bernie sometimes has very clear ideas but this (the shortcut idea) is just not possible in Formula One.”

Formula One's commercial supremo Ecclestone, perhaps not entirely seriously, suggested on Wednesday that grand prix drivers would be able to do more overtaking if allowed to take shortcuts during races.

“I've tried to push the teams with a number of proposals. Imagine a shortcut which a driver can use five times every race. It would stop people getting stuck behind others. It would be good for TV,” the 79-year-old said at Ferrari's pre-season ski retreat.

Maradona’s earring fetches 25,000 euros

»The earring that was confiscated from Diego Maradona as part payment of his tax arrears in Italy has been sold to an anonymous woman at auction for 25,000 euros, a spokesman for the agency organising the sale said on Thursday.

The piece of jewellery was taken by police while Maradona was in Italy at a weight-loss clinic in September. The Argentina coach owes the Italian inland revenue more than 30 million euros stemming from unpaid taxes when he played for Napoli and helped them to win the Serie A title in 1987 and 1990.

Dokic, boyfriend questioned by police

»Police have spoken to the coach and boyfriend of Australia's Jelena Dokic after the pair were involved in an altercation with a passenger and cabin staff on a domestic flight, her agents said on Thursday.

Dokic's coach Borna Bikic and his brother Tin, who is the world number 58's long-term boyfriend, initially argued with a female passenger who had complained Tin Bikic kept knocking her seat on a Hobart to Melbourne flight on Thursday. The argument escalated to include one of the cabin crew and the pair were met by police when the flight arrived in Melbourne, Dokic's agents IMG said in a statement.

"They were spoken to about their behaviour and no further action will be taken," the statement said. Dokic was not involved in the incident, the statement said.

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