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Chelsea manager José Mourinho has hinted that he did not witness his Barcelona counterpart Frank Rijkaard enter the referee's dressing room during a Champions League match at the Nou Camp. European governing body Uefa has charged the Premier League leaders with bringing the game into disrepute after Mourinho accused Rijkaard of speaking to referee Anders Frisk at half-time in the first leg of the first knockout round tie on February 23. Uefa specifically cited Mourinho, his assistant Steve Clarke and security man Les Miles.
Chelsea, who were leading 1-0, lost 2-1 after striker Didier Drogba was sent off. "I am the manager and I have people who assist me," said Mourinho on Monday at a presentation to Israeli and Palestinian coaches. "If something happens in the football stadium and I don't see and if some of my people arrive and tell me 'I saw this, this happened', and then the other one comes and says, 'I saw the same', I say it's true, because I cannot work without loyalty, I have to believe my people."
Mourinho did not refer to the incident directly and said he would not comment on Chelsea matters. "Of course, I am not a perfect man. No chance. Of course I have a lot of bad qualities, but the people who work with me know that I am very loyal so I have to stand with my people."
Frisk has subsequently retired from refereeing after saying he had received death threats from Chelsea fans. Chelsea advanced to the quarter-finals after winning the second leg 4-2 at Stamford Bridge on March 8.
Luton regained top spot in Coca-Cola League One as Hull crashed to a 1-0 defeat at struggling Oldham. The Hatters came from behind to ease past hosts Torquay 4-1 at Plainmoor to go three points clear of the Tigers, who failed to find a way past Oldham's resilient defence. Third-placed Tranmere were humbled at home to Doncaster, going 2-0 down within the first five minutes before eventually losing 4-2.
Southend moved into the Coca-Cola League Two automatic promotion places with a 2-0 win at Cambridge. A controversial late equaliser gave promotion- chasing Macclesfield a point in a 1-1 home draw with Boston. Leaders Yeovil host struggling Notts County today.
Indian captain Saurav Ganguly blamed his team's defensive batting approach for their 168-run loss in the third and final Test against Pakistan in Bangalore. The hosts, 25 without loss overnight, were 102 for one at lunch but were bowled out for 214 in the last two sessions as the Pakistani spinners dominated to draw the series 1-1. "We lost too many wickets quickly because we got too defensive," Ganguly said. "It was not a conscious effort to get in a negative mode but it cost us." Set 383 to win, Ganguly said India planned to wait in the morning session before deciding whether to go for the win. "We just wanted to bat and not worry about the target, but wickets kept falling. A lot of credit should be given to the Pakistani bowlers - it was a good effort. A few good balls and some bad shots led to our defeat."
Meanwhile, India leg spinner Anil Kumble has been omitted from the 14-player squad for the first two games of India's one-day international series against Pakistan starting on Saturday. The 34-year-old Kumble claimed 17 wickets in the three-Test series. Batsman Vangipurappu Laxman, wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik and opening batsman Gautam Gambhir were the other Test squad members left out.
Adam Gilchrist smashed an unbeaten half-century and Glenn McGrath edged closer to his 500th career wicket as Australia seized control of the third and final Test with New Zealand on Monday. Gilchrist hit 60 not out from 62 balls to help Australia post a first-innings total of 383 and grab a 91-run lead in Auckland.
McGrath, bidding to become the fourth bowler to take 500 Test wickets, took his career total to 497 when dismissing Craig Cumming and James Marshall, leaving New Zealand in deep trouble at 11 for two when bad light stopped play on the third day at Eden Park. England suffered their first defeat at the Women's World Cup in South Africa as they slipped to a seven-wicket reverse against India at the Laudium Oval. Charlotte Edwards top-scored with 58 and Arran Brindle finished unbeaten on 51, but four wickets from Jhulan Goswami ensured England were all out for 139 in 49.3 overs after choosing to bat first on a low-scoring wicket.
India then slipped to 35 for three in reply to put the match in the balance but an unbroken stand of 106 between Anjum Chopra (64no) and Rumeli Dhar (42no) saw India home with 4.1 overs to spare.
England coach Richard Bates said: "It was a blip today but we're looking forward to putting in good performances in the rest of our matches to stay on track for the semi-finals." Numbersixvalverde got up in the dying strides to win a thrilling Powers Gold Label Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse. Ruby Walsh made steady headway in the second half of the marathon contest on the Martin Brassil-trained nine-year-old before bringing him to the front after jumping the last. Numbersixvalverde, a 9-1 shot, then ran on too strongly for the leg-weary Jack High (10-1), last year's runner-up Marcus Du Berlais (9-1) and Howaya Pet (33-1).