The Guardian’s Dominic Fifield and Ewan Murray report that Newcastle’s Emre Belozoglu is denying allegations from former Metro Star Tim Howard that he uttered racist abuse at the Everton goalkeeper and his teammates last Saturday.

The Football Association is seeking to interview Howard, who is understood to have complained to Dermot Gallagher, the referee for last Saturday’s match at Goodison Park, who included the comments in his report to Soho Square. Howard and the centre-halves Joleon Lescott and Joseph Yobo reacted furiously to comments made by Emre (above) just before half-time after Gallagher awarded the visitors a penalty.

“I spoke with Emre and he said that he never said anything racist to the player,” said the player’s agent, Ahmet Bulut. “His best friend at Newcastle is Obafemi Martins, who is black. These claims are not true. Emre never had any problems when he played in Turkey or Italy and he has never had any problems with other players in England either. On the field he is an aggressive player, like other players are, but he would never make racist remarks. My English is bad, but his is even worse and he wouldn’t even know these racist words.”

Supporters seated in the Gwladys Street stand indicated that they had heard Emre’s comments and would complain to the FA. No complaints were made to Merseyside Police at the time.

Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro is amongst those calling for a global ban on capital punishment, a stance inspired by Saddam Hussein’s execution last weekend. From Ansa (link taken from The Offside) :

“Saddam Hussein was a despot and totally despicable from a moral point of view, but he was a human being, and as such it is not right for someone to take his life away,” said the Real Madrid defender, who recently won the 2006 European Footballer of the Year Award and the FIFA World Player prize.

“It is time to stop this barbarism,” Cannavaro continued.

“Italy’s anti-death penalty initiative is sacrosanct It is right to do everything possible to stop decisions like this being taken anywhere in the world”.