A round-up of today's other stories in brief
Van Persie will not face FA action over Cabaye elbow
Manchester United forward Robin van Persie will not face retrospective action from the English FA over an apparent elbow to the face of Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye in Sunday’s Premier League match at St James’ Park.
It is understood match referee Howard Webb did not see the incident during the game, but on reviewing television evidence he did not deem it worthy of a sending-off offence, so no further action will be taken.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew said after the game that he felt the incident warranted further investigation, saying: “He has looked at Yohan and he has elbowed him, and I think that perhaps needs to be looked at, if I am honest.”
No action will be taken either in regard to Newcastle midfielder Cheick Tiote, who appeared to stamp on Tom Cleverley’s leg, or to Stoke defender Robert Huth, who was involved in a similar incident with Liverpool forward Luis Suarez.
In both cases, the incidents were seen by officials at the time and therefore no further action can be taken.
Balotelli handed recall to Italy squad
Italy coach Cesare Prandelli says he toyed with the idea of dropping Mario Balotelli from his squad for the upcoming qualifiers against Armenia and Denmark after being left “hurt” by the Manchester City striker’s decision to schedule laser eye surgery during the last international break.
Balotelli was among six players recalled by Prandelli for the double-header after missing games against Malta and Bulgaria last month as he recovered from the procedure.
Prandelli felt it was unfortunate that Balotelli put his club commitments before those of his country, but admitted that – given the striker’s stunning form for the Azzurri at Euro 2012 – it would have been wrong to leave him out of his selection on this occasion.
“We now need to understand if he wants to become a champion. The blue shirt is a wonderful thing for all players,” Prandelli said. “I had some thoughts but then I thought of the games he has played for his country and I was comforted.”
Domenico Criscito, Alberto Gilardino, Andrea Ranocchia, Antonio Candreva and Stephan El Shaarawy were also recalled.
Rodgers furious at Suarez 'vilification'
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has hit out at the unjust “vilification” of striker Luis Suarez after more diving allegations were levelled at him.
In Sunday’s goalless draw at home to Stoke, Suarez went down theatrically in the penalty area which led to Potters manager Pulis calling for three-match bans for players who dive.
Defender Robert Huth has, however, escaped punishment despite appearing to stamp on Suarez after the Football Association confirmed the incident was seen by officials at the time and therefore no further action can be taken. That has left Rodgers outraged.
“As manager of this football club I find it incredible that in nearly all the coverage about Luis Suarez this weekend, very little focus has been placed on the fact that he was actually the victim of a stamping incident within the first five minutes of the game,” he told liverpoolfc.com.
“At this moment there seems to be one set of rules for Luis and another set for everyone else.”
Ronaldo to link up with Portugal squad despite injury
Cristiano Ronaldo will link up with the Portugal squad as scheduled today after Real Madrid confirmed the shoulder injury he suffered in El Clásico last night was not serious.
The former Manchester United man hurt himself attempting an extravagant overhead kick in the second half of the 2-2 draw against Barcelona and looked troubled by the joint thereafter.
But Madrid are confident he will be okay to play in Portugal’s two World Cup qualifiers over the next eight days, against Russia on Friday and Northern Ireland a week tomorrow.
A club statement read: “Cristiano Ronaldo will today join the rest of the Portugal squad. The Real Madrid forward, who suffered a sprained left shoulder during the match against Barcelona, was examined at his home this morning by Real Madrid doctors, who have said that his injury is not serious and that he does not need to undergo more tests in a hospital.”
Portugal have made a strong start to their campaign, winning 2-1 in Luxembourg and 3-0 at home to Azerbaijan.
Rangers chief gives McCoist his full backing
Rangers chief executive Charles Green has handed manager Ally McCoist his full backing following the shock defeat by Stirling.
Rangers suffered their first defeat in the Scottish Third Division with a 1-0 reverse on Saturday in their fourth away game without victory.
Green says he is looking to bring stability to Ibrox and sees the manager as a crucial factor in his plans.
Green said: “There is no chance of Ally being sacked. Yes, Saturday’s defeat was an embarrassment. But no one more than Ally knows what happened at Stirling was unacceptable.
“We’ve got to get a lot of things sorted at the club and we’ve never said it was going to be easy.”