Casillas, Xavi win Spanish sports award

Updated 05 September 2012
0

Casillas, Xavi win Spanish sports award

MADRID: Spain captain Iker Casillas and team mate Xavi have been jointly awarded the nation's most prestigious sports prize, the Premio Principe de Asturias de los Deportes, the jury announced yesterday.
Real Madrid goalkeeper Casillas, 31, and Barcelona playmaker Xavi, 32, have helped Spain to consecutive European Championship triumphs with a World Cup in between, the country's first, and were put forward for the award by FIFA president Sepp Blatter.
They have been friends since they competed together at the Under-20 World Cup in 1999 despite playing for bitter club rivals Real and Barca and the jury said that was one of the reasons they had been selected.
Their friendship had "helped resolve disputes between players of different clubs, promoting fair play and the philosophy of the team as the basis for sporting success," the jury wrote.
"It's true that there was tension at times but friendship comes before everything else," Xavi said on the sidelines of Spain's training camp in Madrid after learning of the award.
"It's recognition of our work but also of this generation of players, some of whom have been friends for 15 years," he added.
Blatter said the award reflected the "fantastic work" done in Spain's soccer academies, both at club level and with the national teams.
"It's something that goes beyond what they have achieved in football," he said, in an interview with Spanish sports daily Marca published on Wednesday.
"Casillas and Xavi are an example on the field of play but also as people when they are away from pitch."
Previous winners of the award include Sebastian Coe (1987), Seve Ballesteros (1989), Steffi Graf (1999), Lance Armstrong (2000) and Rafael Nadal (2008).
The Spanish soccer team won it in 2010 following their World Cup victory in South Africa.
The award will be presented next month by Spain's Prince Felipe and his wife Princess Letizia. Recipients receive a representative sculpture by Spanish artist Joan Miro and 50,000 euros ($62,800).

 


Ex-England forward Beardsley suspended over racist comments

Updated 57 min 9 sec ago

Ex-England forward Beardsley suspended over racist comments

  • Peter Beardsley suspended from all football-related activity for 32 weeks
  • Beardsley, who denied the allegations, has also been ordered to complete a face-to-face education course

LONDON: Former Newcastle Under-23s coach Peter Beardsley has been suspended from all football-related activity for 32 weeks after he was found guilty of making racist comments.
The England international, who played for Newcastle and Liverpool, was charged earlier this year by the Football Association with three counts of using racist language.
The 58-year-old’s departure from the Premier League club was confirmed in March after he was placed on leave while an investigation into bullying was carried out.
An FA statement said: “All three breaches of FA Rule E3 were denied but subsequently found proven based upon the results and findings of Newcastle United FC’s disciplinary proceedings.”
It added: “An independent regulatory commission has suspended Peter Beardsley from all football and football-related activity for a period of 32 weeks until 29 April 2020.”
The commission’s report described Beardsley as a “towering figure in football” and said his football reputation was “beyond question.”
But it found: “On the three occasions which are the subject of the charges, he made remarks which were obviously racist and were wholly unacceptable.
“Even if he did not intend to do so, he plainly did cause offense. It is particularly important at a time when racism in football is prevalent that remarks of the kind made by Mr. Beardsley are punished severely.”
Beardsley, who denied the allegations, has also been ordered to complete a “face-to-face” education course.
In a statement released on his behalf by his solicitors, Beardsley spoke of his disappointment at the decision, but vowed to return to football.
It said: “Peter Beardsley is very surprised and disappointed by the decision of the regulatory commission.
“It was almost impossible for Peter to clear his name because of the serious flaws and contamination of evidence that occurred in the disciplinary process before Newcastle United and by the unusual fact that the FA Rules put the burden of proof on him to prove his innocence in the proceedings.
“After a long process which has been unnecessarily protracted, Peter feels vindicated that the commission has expressly found that he is not a racist.”