Fan trouble: German soccer bosses set up a task force yesterday to tackle a worrying rise in fan violence in the lower leagues. DFB president Theo Zwanziger said he was depressed by the outbreaks of violence at several amateur and lower division matches so soon after the World Cup, where there was little fan trouble. The DFB said 23 police were injured and 22 people arrested in a riot after a regional third division match between Hertha Berlin's second team and Dynamo Dresden on Friday.

Struck by lightning: Six players and a member of the backroom staff at Turkish second division leaders Alanyaspor were injured when they were struck by lightning at the training ground yesterday. Two of the players were seriously hurt and remained unconscious, general manager Mevluthan Cavusoglu said. The team had been preparing for a league match tomorrow against Mersin Idmanyurdu.

Raul backs club: Captain Raul backed Real Madrid's decision to fine and ban striker Antonio Cassano from training with the rest of the team for insulting coach Fabio Capello after last weekend's victory over Gimnastic. "It's a matter for the club and you have to accept the rules of the internal code of behaviour," Raul said. "I think we have to work hard for one another and be aware we are at a great club."

Roma fans: Italian police arrested nine Roma fans after they attacked Olympiakos Piraeus supporters ahead of yesterday's Champions League match. Clashes between rival fans had started late on Monday in the central Piazza Venezia and around the stadium. Two Greek supporters were taken to hospital with slight injuries. Police also had to go to two hotels where Greek supporters were causing trouble.

Costa Rica: Costa Rica have appointed their former striker Hernan Medford as coach. The 38-year-old replaces Alexandre Guimaraes, who resigned after the team lost all three group games at the World Cup in Germany. Medford played at the 1990 World Cup and was also in Costa Rica's squad in 2002.

Hibernian: Scottish Premier League side Hibernian appointed former player John Collins as their new manager yesterday. The former Scotland midfielder, 38, replaces Tony Mowbray who quit to take charge at West Bromwich Albion. Collins, 38, began his career at Hibs.

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