Saturday, May 14, 2011

Manchester United Wins Record 19th English Title

Manchester United became the champions of England for a record 19th time when a Wayne Rooney penalty kick earned it a 1-1 draw at Blackburn Rovers on Saturday, and the point United needed to win Premier League Title.

It was a nervous afternoon for United after it fell behind when Brett Emerton scored for Blackburn after 20 minutes. Rooney equalized for United with a penalty kick in 73rd minute.

The penalty was awarded when Referee Phil Dowd consulted with a linesman after Blackburn keeper Paul Robinson appeared to collide with Javier Hernández.

After lively arguments from both sides, Rooney sent Robinson the wrong way from the spot, for his 15th league goal of the season.

The win sealed United’s 12th title since the Premier League began in 1992-93 and the 19th over all, surpassing the record it had shared with Liverpool for the last two seasons. United had won consecutive Premier League titles from 2006-7 through 2008-9 before Chelsea won last season.

For the first time since 1951, top division games were played on the same day as the F.A. Cup final. Although three teams threatened with relegation — Blackpool, Blackburn Rovers and Wolverhampton Wanderers — were in action, the results proved inconclusive.

Blackpool won, 4-3, against Bolton Wanderers but remained in the bottom three as Wolves won, 3-1, at Sunderland.Blackburn’s draw with United kept it one point above the drop zone, while in the other match West Bromwich Albion beat Everton, 1-0.

FIFA OFFICIALS PLANS LAWSUIT The embattled FIFA executive committee member Worawi Makudi of Thailand is planning to take legal action against the former English F.A. chairman David Triesman after being implicated in a bribery scandal.

Worawi said Triesman’s allegations, made in Britain’s parliament on Tuesday, that he had demanded television rights for a proposed friendly between England and Thailand in return for his 2018 World Cup vote had tarnished his reputation.

“The claims Triesman made are groundless and I am putting together a legal team to fight these charges,” he said Saturday. “I have a very strong case and I will present evidence to prove these allegations are not true. I don’t know why they were made.”

AFRICAN CLUBS FINED Egypt’s Al Ahly and Tunisia’s Club Africain have been fined and ordered to play games behind closed doors as a result of fan violence last weekend.

The African confederation’s disciplinary committee, meeting in Cairo, ordered Al Ahly to play its opening African Champions League group stage game in an empty stadium after a player was hit by a flare in its last cup game.

Club Africain, eliminated in the last round, will have to play its next two home matches in the continental competition without spectators as punishment for fans’ efforts to attack a referee.

Violence at matches across North Africa has increased significantly since the political unrest in the region began. Last weekend, Tunisian authorities ordered all Ligue 1 games played behind closed doors.

Games in Algeria’s top flight have also been closed to spectators, while rioting at leagues in Egypt and Morocco has led to threats the season could be prematurely halted if the violence continues.

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