Names In The News
EPL side Crystal Palace's JASON PUNCHEON has been fined £15,000 ($25,011) and "warned as to his future conduct after he admitted a Football Association charge for Twitter comments he made" in relation to Talksport analyst NEIL WARNOCK, who coached Puncheon at Queens Park Rangers in '11. Puncheon "took exception to comments made by Warnock on Talksport after the player had missed a penalty against Tottenham in January and posted several comments on the social media site -- in which serious claims were made" (PA, 3/4). ... The England & Wales Cricket Board has recruited former Super League referee STUART CUMMINGS, who recently "stepped down from his position in charge of the Rugby Football League's match officials department," to work with its umpiring panel this summer (London GUARDIAN, 3/4).
PUYOL TO LEAVE BARÇA: Barcelona captain CARLES PUYOL "announced he will leave Barcelona at the end of the current season, but may still continue his career at another club." Puyol has been "dogged by knee injuries going back more than 18 months," and admitted last May that he had "come close to retiring when suffering several setbacks" during the '12-13 season. Puyol, "who turns 36 in April, has also been hampered by knee problems throughout the current campaign." He held a "surprise news conference" before Barça training on Tuesday afternoon to announce the decision (ESPN, 3/4).
RONALDO ON WORLD CUP: Former Brazilian footballer RONALDO wrote an article in Spanish newspaper El Pais 100 days before the start of the World Cup. In the article, Ronaldo wrote, "It seems like it was yesterday when Brazil won the rights to host the FIFA World Cup. I remember the feeling I felt knowing my country was going to host the most important football event on the planet. ... Effectively, with the celebration of the World Cup and the Olympic Games in 2016, we have the opportunity to show the world that we are a country that is passionate for sports. But we also are a strong country economically and a leader in biotechnology and we are among the greatest producers of meat, minerals and soy" (EL PAIS, 3/4).
TENNIS HALL OF FAME: Former BBC Sport commentator JOHN BARRETT has been inducted into the Int'l Tennis Hall of Fame. He joined the BBC in '71 and became the corporation's "Voice of Tennis" until his retirement in '06. He is also "a tennis historian." Cambridge graduate Barrett "is only the eighth journalist to be honoured by the organisation" in its 60-year history and will be one of five people to be recognized this year. Others in the "Class of 2014" are former world No. 1 LINDSAY DAVENPORT, five-time Paralympic Medalist CHANTAL VANDIERENDONCK, coach NICK BOLLETTIERI and former U.S. Tennis Association President JANE BROWN GRIMES (BBC, 3/3).