x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Message in Malmo's championship trophy

Keyhole surgery has revealed that the trophy awarded to Malmo, the champions of the Swedish football league, contains a hidden message of support for a Stockholm-based team.

Keyhole surgery has revealed that the trophy awarded to Malmo, the champions of the Swedish football league, contains a hidden message of support for a Stockholm-based team.

Magnus Forssblad, Sweden's former national team physician, opened the trophy after rumours began circulating last month that the silversmith who made the silver football had inscribed secret words of support for his favourite team, Hammarby.

But Forssblad instead found the words "Djurgarden is the best," a reference to Hammarby's Stockholm rival. Speculation has mounted that the silversmith's assistants pulled a prank on their boss.

Asian Cup

Syria have appointed Tita Valeriu to lead the national side at next month's Asian Cup after Ratomir Dujkovic was sacked for failing to return from a trip abroad.

The 44-year-old Romanian guided the Syrian club Al Ittihad to the AFC Cup this season and replaces Dujkovic, who has apparently gone missing, leading the Syria Football Association to cancel the Serbian's contract.

"Al Ittihad showed great co-operation as they agreed to loan us Valeriu to coach the national team," said Farouk Sirriya, the Syria FA president.

Scottish Premier League

The winter weather has again hit the Scottish Premier League card this weekend, with Aberdeen v Motherwell, St Johnstone v Dundee United and Rangers v St Mirren all off.

Confusion surrounded the match in Perth as St Johnstone had announced it cancelled on their website before announcing they were still waiting on a decision, before again confirming it as postponed.

The McDiarmid Park pitch is not a cause for concern, but the conditions mean the trip could be hazardous for travelling fans. Rangers' match is off due to significant water damage at Ibrox caused by a thaw.