Jones: My son is so sick I won’t be back for Aussies
MIDDLESBROUGH goalkeeper Brad Jones has broken his silence over his four-year-old son being diagnosed with leukaemia. The Australia reserve keeper left the Socceroos training camp in South Africa to rush to his son’s bedside in France. ‘The World Cup is irrelevant for me now,’ Jones admitted. ‘When I walked into the room and Luca smiled when he saw me, that was worth more than anything the World Cup could ever give me.’ Jones learnt of his son’s illness when his ex-wife Julie called him last Friday, the night before the USA friendly in Australia. ‘I went numb,’ he said. ‘All sorts of things start going on in your head.’ Jones has ruled out rejoining the Socceroos later. ‘The treatment will last for five weeks and I want to be here as much as I can,’ he said.
KEVIN-PRINCE Boateng’s FA Cup final horror tackle on Michael Ballack has cost him a dream move back to Germany. Portsmouth administrator Andrew Andronikou says the £5million-rated former Tottenham midfielder is an outcast in his country. The Ghana player was booked for the tackle that put German ace Ballack out of the World Cup with an ankle injury. Andronikou said: ‘We had a meeting with two German clubs before the FA Cup final. They are not ringing us now. I certainly believe the reason for that is the Boateng tackle on Ballack.’
WORLD Cup chiefs have sparked a new ticket row by admitting thousands of seats are still unsold. FIFA, who released a batch of tickets on Monday, revealed 42 of the 64 fixtures have not sold out. England fans can get top seats at the June 23 Slovenia game for £100 at fifa.com. Tickets to June 27’s second-round tie in Bloemfontein, which England will play if they are group runnersup, are £125. And seats are available for the semi-finals and final. FIFA said the seats will go on sale for these games, plus Friday’s South Africa v Mexico opener and the June 25 Portugal v Brazil match.
BAYERN Munich winger Arjen Robben is out of Holland’s opener with Denmark after a hamstring injury in Saturday’s 6-1 warm-up win over Hungary. The former Chelsea and Real Madrid wide man is hoping to return later on.
ECCENTRIC Chile boss Marcelo Bielsa has banned the press from his training ground, and his men from the internet. Players are not to contact friends or family via Facebook or Twitter, and nighttime internet use is forbidden.
STOKE goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen said he cried when he dislocated a shoulder at Chelsea as he feared his World Cup chances had gone. The Denmark No 1 said: ‘I thought at 34 this would probably have been my last World Cup and now it was over.’
INTER MILAN midfielder Sulley Muntari has returned to training with Ghana after a thigh injury in the Holland friendly. He is still a huge doubt for the opener with Serbia in Pretoria on Sunday but gives hope to a team already missing Chelsea’s Michael Essien.
FRANCE defender William Gallas is refusing to speak to the media at the World Cup. The Arsenal centre half was due to meet reporters at the French press centre in Knysna yesterday but did not turn up.