Sat, Feb 28, 2004 - Page 18 News List

Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

■ Soccer

World Cup touts start early

Touts are already offering tickets for the 2006 World Cup in Germany even though they will not go on sale until next year, FIFA said on Thursday. A Web site was shut down after a German court, advised of the offence by soccer's world governing body, found an internet provider guilty of trying to sell the non-existent tickets. "Anybody attempting to sell tickets on the internet is taking a huge risk because the tickets have not even been printed yet," Wolfgang Niersbach, vice-chairman of the FIFA committee organizing the 2006 championships, said in a statement. FIFA said it regularly monitored Web sites for illegal offers and would not be shy from taking legal action.

■ Boxing

Klitschko brothers to fight

The Klitschko brothers will fight in the US within two weeks of each other for two vacant heavyweight titles, their promoter said on Thursday. Wladimir Klitschko will take on Lamon Brewster in Las Vegas on April 10 for the WBO title. Two weeks later, his older brother, Vitali, will fight Corrie Sanders for the WBC title. The venue for that fight still remains to be set, promoter Klaus-Peter Kohl said. The WBC title was left vacant when Lennox Lewis retired earlier this month after beating Vitali Klitschko last June in Los Angeles. Klitschko was leading Lewis on all three scorecards after six rounds before deeps cuts to his eye led the fight to be stopped. Sanders, the former WBO champion from South Africa, knocked out Wladimir Klitschko in the second round last March in Germany.

■ Swimming

Ex-coach `defamed'

Former Australian national swim coach Greg Hodge was defamed by a television news program that portrayed him as a stalker, a state supreme court jury ruled yesterday. Hodge was banned last year from having contact with the national and Olympic training squads while stalking allegations against him were investigated. Emma Fuller, a 20-year-old swimmer, told a television current affairs program last October that Hodge was stalking her and that she'd applied for a restraining order. Hodge sued Channel Nine network over the program which aired Fuller's allegations that Hodge had behaved inappropriately toward her when she was a 12 and living with his family. A jury of two men and two women took 30 minutes to decide that the program had defamed Hodge. The jurors found that the program portrayed Hodge as "a pervert who had preyed upon Emma Fuller while she was a child under his care and protection" and had insinuated he was unfit to train Australia's Olympic swimmers.

■ Soccer

Blatter sticks his nose in

FIFA president Sepp Blatter says he would be happy to see one British soccer federation with Celtic and Rangers facing Manchester United and Arsenal in the same league. "It is a headache to have four British associations," Blatter was quoted as saying after watching Celtic beat Czech club Teplice 3-0 in the UEFA Cup on Thursday. "If they were together there would be a wonderful Premier League and more. But that's not up to FIFA to interfere. It is a matter for the Scottish Football Association and the English FA." England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have always had separate Football Associations.

■ Cricket

Australia all out for 233

Spin bowlers Muttiah Muralitharan and Upul Chandana shared six wickets between them yesterday as Australia slumped from a modest start to be all out for 233 in its fourth one-day international against Sri Lanka. Batting first after winning the toss, Ricky Ponting's side made a promising start amassing 28 runs for the first wicket at nearly six runs per over at Colombo's R.Premadasa Stadium. But shaky batting saw Australia slump to 3-62 by the 13th over. Later, the Australians lost their last five wickets for 32 runs to be dismissed in the 48th over. Left-arm seamer Nuwan Zoysa produced the initial breakthrough having Adam Gilchrist caught behind by Kumar Sangakkara for 14. Matthew Hayden perished attempting a sweep against Chaminda Vaas, only to be caught by Zoysa for 15. Legspinner Kaushal Lokuarachchi, returning to international cricket after serving a four-month ban, produced results with his third ball when No. 4 batsman Damien Martyn was caught at extra-cover by Zoysa.

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