Player on rape charge
Arsenal player Graham Stack has been charged with the rape of a 21-year-old girl at his home, police said on Wednesday. The 23-year-old goalkeeper, who is on loan this season at Millwall, was charged following the alleged rape in Beckenham, south east London on Sept. 1. A Republic of Ireland Under-21 international, Stack was bailed to appear at Bromley Magistrates Court on Nov. 23. Another 22-year-old man was also charged with sexual assault.
Players fined for fight
Pittsburgh linebacker Joey Porter and Cleveland running back William Green were fined US$10,000 apiece by the National Football League on Tuesday for a fight before a game on Sunday. The Browns' Terrelle Smith was slapped with the same fine for getting involved in the altercation. Prior to the Steelers' 24-10 victory, Porter and Green exchanged a flurry of punches in a wild scene. A host of players came in the break up the skirmish but not before Porter caught Green with a punch, bloodying his lip. Both players were ejected while Smith stayed in the game.
Daei breaks 100-goal mark
Iran's Ali Daei became the first ever player to score 100 international goals when he hit four in a 7-0 rout of Laos in a World Cup qualifier on Wednesday. The talismanic striker now has 102 goals in 133 appearances for Iran, who clinched a place in next year's final round of the 2006 Asian World Cup qualifiers with victory in Tehran. The 35-year-old Daei, who has had spells at German clubs Bayern Munich and Hertha Berlin, passed Hungarian great Ferenc Puskas' previous record haul of 84 goals a year ago. Pele is third in the all-time list with 77 goals for Brazil.
Aquilini buys Canucks
Vancouver businessman Francesco Aquilini bought half of the Vancouver Canucks from American John McCaw. The purchase price was not immediately disclosed. The surprise sale came during the NHL lockout, which has wiped out the season so far. "We got a fair deal. We're very happy," Aquilini said on Wednesday. "Local ownership adds value, it puts deeper roots in the community. I think it's a good thing. People have been wanting that for a long time." McCaw has said for years that he would like to sell all or part of the team to local owners. After many years of losses since the US billionaire bought the club in 1995, the Canucks turned healthy profits the past two seasons.
Swedish Olympic great dies
Swedish Olympic wrestling champion, Mikael Ljungberg, has died aged 34, the Swedish Wrestling Federation said yesterday. Ljungberg's greatest career achievement was winning the heavyweight class (Greco-Roman style) at the 2000 Sydney Games. It was Sweden's first Olympic wrestling gold in 48 years. He won the bronze medal in the same division at the 1996 Atlanta Games, and was also a two-time World Champion and twice won the European championships. Ljungberg died at a hospital in his home city Gothenburg on Wednesday. The cause of death was not disclosed. Ljungberg's death was "a great loss for wrestling," said Tony Stigsson, president of the Swedish Wrestling Federation.