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A black footballer who was released from his club is bringing a claim for race discrimination, it has emerged.

Mark McCammon, 33, claims he and other black players at Gillingham FC were treated differently from white players.

The player confirmed the story, which appeared in the Sunday Telegraph, saying only: "I'm hopeful that truth will prevail but I can't comment any further at this stage."

The newspaper said the case was believed to be the first race discrimination claim brought by a professional footballer.

McCammon, a Barbados international forward, signed a three-year contract with League Two club Gillingham in 2008, and was released three seasons later.

The former Charlton, Swindon, Millwall and Brighton player is currently with Conference team Braintree Town.



John Terry is understood to have been stripped of the England captaincy.

The move follows concerns over the defender being the figurehead of the national team with a forthcoming racism trial hanging over him.

Football Association chairman David Bernstein had contacted all the other members of the 14-strong board to seek their views after the announcement that Terry's court case will not take place until July 9 - after Euro 2012.

It is understood that the majority view of the board members was that Terry should stand aside as captain.

Terry has been accused of racially abusing QPR's Anton Ferdinand, a charge which he denies.

It would be the second time the Chelsea captain has been stripped of the England armband having also lost it two years ago after allegations surrounding his private life came to light. More than one board member argued strongly that Terry should not be the England figurehead with such a serious charge hanging over him, and that the FA should act immediately rather than putting off a decision until the next board meeting on February 23.



Egypt began three days of mourning on Thursday after 74 people were killed in an eruption of violence at a football match that sparked new anger against the military rulers for failing to ensure security.

The rioting in the northern city of Port Said on Wednesday night marked one of the deadliest incidents in football history and sent shares on the Cairo stock exchange plunging in Thursday trade.

Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzuri told an emergency session of parliament on the tragedy that the Egyptian football association's director and management board had been sacked, as had the Port Said security chief.

Ganzuri added that the governor of Port Said had resigned his post and his resignation accepted.

Clashes erupted as soon as the referee blew the final whistle in a match which saw home team Al-Masri beat Cairo's Al-Ahly 3-1.

Al-Masri fans flooded the pitch, throwing rocks, bottles and fireworks at Al-Ahly supporters, causing chaos and panic as players and fans ran in all directions trying to flee, witnesses said.

Photos of bleeding players circulated on the Internet.

Gunfire was also reported on the main road leading to Port Said from Cairo, and troops were deployed to prevent further clashes.

State television ran footage of riot police standing rigidly in rows as pandemonium erupted around them.

Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim has said most of the deaths were caused by the crush but medics said some people were stabbed.

The health ministry said 74 people were killed, including a policeman. Hundreds were also reported wounded. Police said 47 people had been arrested.

The ruling military announced three days of national mourning.

Stocks in Cairo tumbled by 4.6 percent, with the EGX-30 index of leading shares falling from 4.688 points at opening to 4.471 points.

The clashes -- blamed by the Muslim Brotherhood on supporters of fallen president Hosni Mubarak -- came as Egypt struggles with a wave of incidents linked to poor security.

Politicians, fans and players took to social media to express their fury over the clashes, which cap a year of political upheaval and unrest after the uprising that unseated Mubarak.

"There are dead people lying on the ground! There are dead people in the changing room," Al-Ahly striker Emad Meteab told the team's satellite channel.

"I won't play football anymore until these people get justice," a furious Meteab said.

Egypt's hated police force, which recently came under fire for its heavy-handed tactics, had been given instructions to deal carefully with protesters, sources said.

State television said Egypt's military ruler, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi who took power when the Mubarak was ousted on February 11 last year, sent two military planes to fly out the players and the injured from Port Said late Wednesday.

He stressed that the country's security was "fine" as he waited at a Cairo airport to meet the players and wounded fans.

In Geneva FIFA President Sepp Blatter said he was shocked by the incident. "This is a black day for football. Such a catastrophic situation is unimaginable and should not happen," he said.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced that a minute of silence will be observed at the Africa Cup of Nations this weekend in memory of those killed and injured in the disaster.

"African football is in a state of mourning," said CAF president Issa Hayatou.


LONDON - Arsenal staged a remarkable recovery from 2-0 down to beat Aston Villa 3-2 as they kept their FA Cup hopes alive with a dramatic fourth round win at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

The Gunners, without a major trophy since winning the FA Cup seven years ago, were booed off by their own fans at half-time with their realistic chances of winning a trophy this season left hanging by a thread after a Richard Dunne header and Darren Bent strike had put Premier League rivals Villa 2-0 in front.

But three goals in seven second half minutes courtesy of two Robin van Persie penalties separated by a Theo Walcott effort, after an Alan Hutton clearance rebounded in off the England international, turned the match on its head.

"We wanted to stay in the Cup," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told ESPN when asked how the Gunners had recovered.

"Two-nil was very harsh for us at half-time. It was just a question of keeping our structure and then we got an early (goal to make it) 2-1."

Frustrated Villa manager Alex McLeish added: "We had a terrible eight minutes...The goal they (Arsenal) got gave them a huge lift and they scored the second goal far too quick after that."

Arsenal, still in the Champions League but 18 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City, will now play either Sunderland or second-tier Middlesbrough in the last 16 after they drew 1-1 earlier on Sunday.


ITV has landed two out of the three England group games for next year's Euro 2012 tournament.

The network will again share the rights to the competition with the BBC, broadcasting all 31 matches between them with both screening the final.

ITV1 will show the England clashes with France and Ukraine, while the BBC will host the game against Sweden.

But the BBC will have first choice if England make it through to the quarter-final stage and the rights to both semi-finals under the deal.

The tournament kicks off on June 6, with the BBC broadcasting the Poland v Greece opening match.


The Government has spent nearly £750,000 on tickets for the London 2012 Games.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has been allocated 8,815 tickets, including 213 for the opening ceremony. These alone cost £194,525 and include 41 of the top-priced opening ceremony tickets costing £2,012.12.

They have also paid out £71,490 for 143 tickets for the closing ceremony, according to the figures revealed in a Freedom of Information request by Sky News.

Almost two thirds of the 1.9 million people who applied in the six-week first round of Olympic sales ended up empty-handed. A total of 1.2 million people ended up with nothing, with only 700,000 - 36% - being successful.

The DCMS put bids in for tickets for all the Government and, it is believed, its allocation will be shared out across government departments.

Many dignitaries, heads of state and business leaders across the world will fill some of the best seats at the opening and closing ceremonies which will be used as a showcase for Britain. Sought-after tickets for track cycling, with a total of 224 tickets to the Olympic Park velodrome sessions, are among the DCMS allocation.


A three-minute chorus of bells will be rung out across Britain to signal the start of the first day of the London 2012 Games.

The mass bell-ringing, masterminded by Turner Prize winner and musician Martin Creed, will begin at 8am on July 27 2012 when the aim is for all the bells in the country to be rung as quickly and as loudly as possible.

The performance, entitled Work No 1197, will be part of the London 2012 Festival to welcome to Britain the 205 nations who will compete at the Games.

Creed, who was born in Wakefield and raised in Glasgow, said: "It is by the people and for people. On the morning of the opening of the Games it is a massive signal that something is happening."

London 2012 now need thousands of members of the public to make the event, based on the tradition that bells are rung to mark special moments, a reality.

Anyone can take part, from ringers using the largest church and town hall bells through to hand bells, school bells, a single bell and even the bell on a bicycle. Community groups, clubs and individuals are all welcome to take part, London 2012 said.


Tennis star Novak Djokovic tasted victory at Wimbledon - by eating the famous Centre Court grass.

The Serbian fell on his back after defeating Rafael Nadal in four sets then knelt over and picked some of the hallowed turf and put it in his mouth.

The 24-year-old wowed a 15,000 capacity crowd - and more than 10,000 around Wimbledon - with his blockbusting tennis.

Nadal, who surrendered his title and top world ranking to Djokovic with defeat, could not cope with his combination of speed and brutal shot selection.


The organisers of the London Olympics have been drawn into further controversy after it emerged that around 150,000 tickets marketed to Britons were snapped up by other European Union residents.

People in other EU countries obtained just under 5% of the three million tickets which went on sale in the first round ballot, the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) confirmed.

EU law meant they were free to apply for the tickets, despite being allocated their own batch of seats.

Priti Patel, the Conservative MP for Witham, Essex, told the Sunday Telegraph: "British taxpayers and Londoners who have paid through their taxes to fund the Games will be alarmed and hugely disappointed to see they were not given priority on tickets when they went on sale. The system is a farce."

Alison Seabeck, the Labour MP for Plymouth Moor View, agreed some people will feel "rightly aggrieved that they won't be able to share in this fantastic event".

The figures do not include the second round sale of 2.3 million tickets which began on Friday.


Wimbledon officials have beefed up security after a little-known protest group tried to stage a demonstration within the ground.

Democracy campaigners 15M London - which has a movement in Spain, where it originated - attempted to smuggle banners and tins of paint inside SW19, where it was feared they would target a high-profile match.

The 14 protesters, all Spanish and wearing yellow T-shirts, sent the grounds into lockdown with a Metropolitan Police helicopter monitoring the massive queue. It was feared the group would target world number one Rafael Nadal who was playing on Court One.

Thousands of fans - who had already queued throughout the night in the hope of seeing some of the top stars play - were delayed as bosses closed the gates for an extra 45 minutes.

Ian Ritchie, chief executive of the All England Lawn and Tennis Club, said it was not known if the 125th championships would be targeted again but security had been increased.

He said: "We put a particular message out looking at strengthening the presence on the court. We have service stewards from the armed forces - we have 650 of them.

"They are hugely equipped to deal with the situation as well as the G4S security. For all we know, we have to be prepared for people coming back in on Monday."

A police spokesman said: "At approximately 10.30am today a number of people were stopped in the queue at the tennis for Wimbledon and items were also found near to this group, believed to be for use in a demonstration or publicity stunt.

"The police informed the All England Lawn Tennis Club which delayed the opening of the gates where additional searches took place. A number of individuals are not being allowed access to the tennis following the searches. No arrests were made."

15M London put a message on its website saying: "Important: don't go to Wimbledon - mission aborted." The activists describe themselves as "a movement of outraged citizens" fighting for people rather than economic powers.


Photo by MDales, Press Association