■ Hockey Robitaille moves to Kings \n \nFree agent Luc Robitaille signed a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday, as he returns for a third stint with the NHL team. Robitaille is the highest-scoring left winger in hockey history with 631 career goals. He played the last two seasons for the Detroit Red Wings. But the 37-year-old scored just 11 goals and 20 points with the Red Wings last season, after a 30-goal effort during Detroit's Stanley Cup season in 2001. \n \n■ Basketball \nKidd re-signs with Nets \n \nThe New Jersey Nets made an official announcement on Thursday that free agent guard Jason Kidd had re-signed to a multi-year contract. Kidd had visited the San Antonio Spurs, but the Nets said on July 11 that he would stay with the two-time defending Eastern Conference champions. That statement was ratified by Thursday's announcement. The team did not release contract details, but reports have the deal being for six years worth between US$99 and US$103 million. "We are obviously delighted to re-sign Jason to a long-term contract," Nets president Rod Thorn said. \n \n■ Soccer \nNewcastle reign in Asia \n \nGoals from captain Alan Shearer and Shola Ameobi gave Newcastle United 2-1 win over 10-man Birmingham City in Thursday's opening game of the Football Association Premier League (FAPL) Asia Cup. Shearer converted a penalty in the 37th minute after City's Ireland defender Kenny Cunningham was dismissed -- and now faces a suspension -- for having felled Wales forward Craig Bellamy in the box. Birmingham's goal also came from a penalty, converted by substitute Paul Devlin in the 73rd minute, just two minutes before substitute Ameobi's header booked his side into Sunday's final against either Chelsea or Malaysia's national side. \n \n■ Golf \nLanger gets Ryder charge \n \nBernhard Langer was Thursday named as captain of the European Ryder Cup team that will defend the trophy against the US in Michigan next year. The highly respected German, 45, succeeds Sam Torrance. Last year, Torrance led Europe to victory by 15-1/2 points to 12-1/2 at The Belfry but did not want to be considered again. "It's a fabulous honor to be named European captain," Langer said. "I've never made a secret of how much I enjoy being part of the Ryder Cup, and to be captain makes me very proud, especially as the first German golfer to hold this prestigious honor." The Ryder Cup is scheduled for Sept.17 to Sept. 19 at Oakland Hills, Michigan. The US team will be captained by Hal Sutton. \n \n■ Athletics \nMom wins Death Valley race \n \nA 42-year-old mother from Arizona won a 217km, 28-hour-plus ultramarathon in temperatures that reached 51?C. Pam Reed defended her title on Wednesday in a race that begins at the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere and ends halfway up 4,348m Mount Whitney -- the highest point in the contiguous US. Reed finished the ultramarathon in 28 hours, 26 minutes and 52 seconds -- ahead of the first male finisher. "God was very good to us today -- we had less sun," Reed said. Dean Karnazes, 40, finished first among men in 28:51.26. "It was as close to hell as I ever want to get," said Karnazes, of San Francisco. \n■ Motor racing Jaguar hunt driver \n \nJaguar are still looking for a Formula One test and reserve driver after Brazilian Antonio Pizzonia rejected the offer, team bosses said on Thursday. Rookie Pizzonia was replaced as a regular race driver by Briton Justin Wilson this week after a disappointing 11 starts without a point. He turned down a reserve role. Jaguar managing director David Pitchforth said the door was still open for the 22-year-old but Jaguar was looking for someone to fill the role. \n \n■ Soccer \nMexico joins Brazil in finals \n \nRafael Marquez banged in a 45m strike on Thursday to give Mexico a 2-0 win over Costa Rica and secure a CONCACAF Gold Cup finals berth. Mexico will play Brazil in the final tomorrow. Brazil advanced on Wednesday with a 2-1 overtime victory against the US in Miami. Because Brazil is an invited guest to this tournament, the championship of North and Central America and the Caribbean, Thursday's win earned Mexico a berth in the 2005 Confederations Cup in Germany. Costa Rica earned a shocking 2-1 victory over Mexico in the qualifying rounds for last year's World Cup. \n \n■ Basketball \nChina denies Yao injury \n \nChina's basketball association yesterday denied reports that Houston Rockets center Yao Ming broke a bone during practice with his homeland's national team, saying he suffered only a cut eyebrow. "It's just a cut," said Xu Minfeng, a spokesman for the association. "The bone was not broken." State newspapers on Wednesday quoted a doctor for the Chinese team as saying the 22-year-old Yao suffered "some fractures" in a bone above his left eye in a collision this week with another player. The doctor said Yao would need a week to recuperate.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said that he had called in the “third umpire” as he announced that recreational cricket would be allowed to resume next weekend. In a radio interview earlier on Friday, Johnson angered thousands of club cricketers by saying that the amateur game was still not safe to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic because of issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms. “It’s the teas, it’s the changing rooms and so on and so forth. There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis,” he said. Johnson had already
Hong Kong media reported that police briefly detained a man in a Liverpool team jersey who shouted “long live Liverpool” during anti-government protests on Wednesday, over suspicion that he was inciting independence. In-Media reported that the man was across the street from police officers who were conducting stop-and-searches on a group of protesters, when he shouted: “Long live Liverpool.” Others reportedly cheered and joined in the chant, before officers detained him. The man told In-Media that police had accused him of inciting Hong Kong independence, which now is a punishable crime. He said that he has been a fan of the English soccer
Indian police are investigating an alleged betting scandal in which a sham cricket tournament was held in an Indian village and passed off as a Twenty20 contest played in Sri Lanka. Players portrayed as Sri Lankan cricketers played two matches on Monday last week that were broadcast with live commentary on YouTube, media reports said, along with ball-by-ball coverage on top Indian sports Web sites. The organizers hung Sri Lankan advertisements at the ground for added authenticity and put up tents to block the view from outside the remote rural venue, set in farmland next to a busy highway. Police said that they
Raptors guard Fred VanVleet is already in Florida with the rest of his Toronto teammates, and he knows the time to take a stand and counter the NBA plan to restart the season has passed, but his opinion on the matter has not changed. “It sucks,” VanVleet said on Monday in a videoconference of his choice to return to the court during the COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter campaign. “It’s terrible timing, but that’s been 2020 for us. We all know the right thing to do is to not play, to take a stand. Morally, yes, that makes sense, but