Thigh injury rules Dortmund's Guendogan out for first leg


Borussia midfielder Ilkay Guendogan will miss tonight’s first-leg tie after suffering a thigh injury.

The Germans might also be without full back Marcel Schmelzer after he turned an ankle in training.

With Ukrainian football’s three-month winter break due to finish on March 1st, Shakhtar are at full strength.

Taison, signed from Kharkiv Metalist, is ready to make his competitive debut.

The Ukrainian champions have played friendlies in sunnier climes after winning the final match of the first half of their domestic season, 2-0 against Kryvbas Kryvyi Rih. Dortmund slipped to a 4-1 defeat against Hamburg at the weekend with striker Robert Lewandowski shown a first-half red card.

Although Kevin Grosskreutz and Patrick Owomoyela, two potential replacements for Schmelzer, have also been ruled out of the match, Neven Subotic may be drafted in to strengthen the defence.

The centre-back suffered a calf injury in January but played in a reserve team friendly on Sunday.

Inter fined €15,000 over fans’ racist chanting against Balotelli

Inter Milan have been fined €15,000 for some of their fans chanting racist slogans about their former striker Mario Balotelli during a Serie A match on Sunday.

Balotelli was the target of abuse by Inter fans during their 3-1 home win over Chievo Verona.

Serie A said in a statement Inter had been fined because their fans “directed insulting chants and expressions of racial discrimination towards the player of another team”.

Balotelli, who played for Inter before moving to Manchester City in 2010, had upset Inter fans during his time at the club by wearing an AC Milan shirt on a television programme.

Milan and Inter are due to meet in Serie A on February 24th and Inter president Massimo Moratti said he hoped there would be no repeat of the abuse.

“I am very sorry,” he told reporters when asked about Sunday’s events. “I hope it doesn’t happen in the derby.”

Wada urge soccer to increase testing of players for EPO

The World Anti-Doping Agency have called on soccer to do more to combat the threat to the sport, questioning whether Premier League players in England are tested enough for EPO and other blood-boosting drugs.

“Football is not testing frequently enough for EPO; they can do more and we are encouraging them to do more,” said John Fahey, the president of Wada. EPO, which increases red blood cell counts to boost endurance artificially, was one of the cocktail of drugs used in professional cycling from the early 1990s and is at the centre of the ongoing Operacion Puerto trial in Spain.

In the wake of the fallout from the investigation that led to Lance Armstrong being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life, the spotlight has fallen on other sports including soccer and tennis.

David Howman, the director general of Wada, said that after years of trying they were now making significant progress with professional team sports in the US and called on soccer to follow the example of Major League Baseball.

“We had a meeting last week with Major League Baseball. They now do more testing and are doing more analysis of more substances than many international sports federations.”

FA contact Leeds for Diouf’s version of racial abuse

The English FA has contacted Leeds United to ask for El-Hadji Diouf’s version of events as part of an investigation into footage which showed the striker being racially abused during a match at Millwall in November. Millwall have also reopened an investigation into the incident, saying they are “appalled” by footage shown on Sky Sports News on Monday night.

The film appeared to show the Senegal international alerting the referee, Mark Halsey, and making stewards aware of his allegations but Millwall insisted no complaint of racist abuse was made by the player at the time.

The FA is now investigating the footage – and not just the incident with Diouf.

It is understood Leeds have provided the governing body with the Senegal striker’s version of what happened.

An FA statement said: “We were concerned by the video footage and we have requested a copy for our full consideration.”

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