Brief news from the sporting world...
â¢ FOOTBALL: Southampton players were asked by the 2,400 fans who endured the 5-2 League Cup humiliation at Watford on Wednesday night, to refund their ticket costs yesterday. Supporters group SaintsAway have written to the club asking if the players who appeared in the fourth round debacle at Vicarage Road will stump up the Â£30,000 as an act of goodwill. The travelling fans will exempt third-choice goalkeeper Alan Blayney from their request, but they have won backing from at least two other groups of fans for their initiative.
â¢ RUGBY LEAGUE: GB coach Brian Noble copied his Australian counterpart yesterday, by including two uncapped players in his 19-man squad for Saturday's Tri-Nations match at Wigan. St Helens hooker Mick Higham and Wigan loose forward Sean O'Loughlin are both hoping to make their Test debuts, while Leeds three-quarter Chev Walker earns a recall. Bradford stand-off Iestyn Harris was, as expected, ruled out of the reckoning after being badly affected by the flu virus sweeping through the camp and coach Brian Noble admits there are concerns over other members of the squad.
â¢ MOTOR RACING: Two Georgia State Patrol troopers were suspended without pay yesterday for letting NASCAR driver Bill Elliott hop a ride in their helicopter when they were supposed to be reporting about marijuana fields. The troopers spent two hours shuttling Elliott from his home in Dawsonville, where he had dropped off an airplane, back to Blairsville, where his car was parked, while anti-drug officers on the ground waited for details about the location of the marijuana fields.
â¢ SKATING: Two national team coaches and several senior skating officials resigned this week as South Korea was stunned by tales of harsh training and physical punishment in its top-ranked short track speedskating team. The dark side of South Korean short track speedskating came to light after six top female skaters, four of them teenagers, deserted their training camp alleging beatings by coaches. After the alleged abuse was reported, two coaches stepped down and seven board members of Korea Skating Union resigned on Wednesday.