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Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012

Spurs boss Redknapp cleared of tax evasion


LONDON — Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp was cleared of tax evasion Wednesday, removing a key barrier to his chances of becoming the next England coach.

Redknapp was found not guilty of two counts of concealing $295,000 of transfer bonuses in a Monaco bank account while in charge of Portsmouth.

Former Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric was also found not guilty of two counts of cheating the public purse after the two-week trial at Southwark Crown Court.

Mandaric hugged Redknapp as the verdict was announced, and their supporters cheered from the back of the courtroom.

The 64-year-old Redknapp managed Portsmouth from 2002 to 2004 and returned in 2005 after a brief spell at Southampton before moving to Tottenham in 2008.

He has fought the accusations while enjoying the most successful period of his managerial career at Tottenham. Redknapp is the favorite to replace Fabio Capello after the European Championship this summer.

Britain's tax auhtority said it had "no regrets" about taking the case to trial.

"It was vitally important that the facts were put before a jury for their consideration," said Chris Martin, assistant director of criminal investigations at HM Revenue and Customs. "We accept the verdict of the jury but I would like to remind those who are evading tax by using offshore tax havens that it always makes sense to come forward and talk to us before we come to talk to us."

Sawa ruled out of camp


OSAKA — FIFA Women's World Player of the Year Homare Sawa has been diagnosed with a muscle strain in her right calf requiring about three weeks of recovery, her Nadeshiko League team INAC Kobe Leonessa said Wednesday.

The injury means Japan women's national team captain Sawa will be ineligible to participate in a national team training camp getting started Friday in Wakayama Prefecture.

Sawa initially complained of discomfort in a prematch practice session before Kobe drew 1-1 with the Barcelona women's team in a friendly last Thursday in Spain. She was substituted after the first half of the game and later underwent treatment for the injury.

Sawa, 33, was diagnosed at a Kobe hospital following her return to Japan on Wednesday.

Norio Sasaki's minicamp is scheduled to run until Monday, after which Japan will kick off the Olympic year at the Algarve Cup being held in Portugal from Feb. 29 to March 7.

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