Fans banned in celery-cutting measure

Posted: March 28, 2007

Chelsea, the two-time defending Premier League champion, banned three fans after they were caught throwing celery during the club's FA Cup replay win at Tottenham on March 19, the team's Web site said yesterday.

Chelsea fans have been singing a sexually explicit song about celery and throwing the vegetable among themselves for about 20 years, but the club warned fans that throwing celery could result in a ban.

The initial warning came after referee's match reports mentioned airborne celery at game. Chelsea warned that it could face sanctions and fans could face criminal charges for the offense. The club also offered a telephone number for fans to call if they see somebody throwing celery.

In other soccer news:

* Four men have been arrested on the island of Crete after part of a man's ear was bitten off during a brawl after Greece's 4-1 loss to Turkey in a European Championship qualifier.

Tennis

* Top seeds Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova lost in the fourth round of the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Fla. Guillermo Canas beat Federer for the second time this month, 7-6 (2), 2-6, 7-6 (5). Serena Williams beat Sharapova, 6-1, 6-1.

* The WTA Tour approved a streamlined tournament schedule beginning in 2009 that will include a longer offseason and fewer top-level events, with the changes designed to increase player participation and reduce injuries.

* Rafael Nadal (foot injury) will skip Spain's Davis Cup quarterfinal match against the United States, April 6-8 in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Philly File

* Soul quarterback Tony Graziani was named the Arena Football League's offensive player of the week for his franchise-record nine touchdowns in a win over Colorado.

* Drexel senior basketball forward Chaz Crawford was named the Mid-Major defensive player of the year by collegeinsider.com.

* Trainer Robert Seeger posted the 1,000th win of his 24-year career when Sambumbe won the 10th race at Philadelphia Park.

* Antonio Tarver will fight Elvir Muriqi on April 22 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City for the vacant IBO light-heavyweight title. It will ABC's first televised bout in more than 7 years.

Sport Stops

* Homer Harris, a star defensive lineman for the University of Iowa and the first black captain of a Big Ten football team, has died at 90 in Seattle.

* The majority owners of Ultimate Fighting Championship have agreed to buy their biggest mixed martial arts rival, Pride Fighting Championships. *

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