Bundle for Beckham's car
A 1997 BMW car once owned by England football captain David Beckham has sold for more than ?90,000 pounds (US$170,000) on eBay -- to the dismay of the man who sold it two months ago for less than a fifth of that. Businessman John Pearson said on Wednesday that the realization of how much money he had lost was "like winning a small lottery jackpot and losing the ticket." The BMW M3 convertible, bought by Beckham for ?42,000 during his first full season at Manchester United in 1997, sparked a bidding war on Internet auction site eBay, receiving 140 bids. It eventually sold to an anony-mous buyer for ?90,100, compared to the ?16,000 Pearson received when he sold it privately two months ago.
FIFA to test chip in ball
FIFA is planning to test a special device involving a micro-chip sensor inside the ball next month as a possible solution to goal-line disputes during matches. However, world soccer's ruling body has repeated its opposition to the use of video replays despite a clear-cut error in Tuesday's English Premier League game between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford. The new device, reportedly being developed by ball manufacturers Adidas, will be tested at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on Feb. 26, the day before the English League Cup final. But it cannot be used in the final itself as Mitre balls are used in competitions organized by the English League, not Adidas ones. Meanwhile the arguments raged on after Spurs were denied a late winner in the 0-0 draw at Old Trafford on Tuesday. Both the referee and linesman failed to spot that a 50m shot by midfielder Pedro Mendes had crossed the line by at least a meter before United goalkeeper Roy Carroll scooped it clear.
Maradona back in rehab
Diego Maradona returned to Cuba to continue drug addiction treatment on Wednesday after defying doctor's orders and taking a month-long Christmas break with his family in Argentina. Maradona has been undergoing treatment for his addiction to cocaine since September, five months after spending 10 days in the intensive care unit of a Buenos Aires hospital with heart and breathing problems. Although he had spent much of the last four years at a spa on the Caribbean island, he has been subjected to a much stricter regime in his latest bout of treatment. Maradona appeared on several television shows during the last month where he seemed to be in good spirits. "I always said we were going to see another Diego, a different Diego, because he has not been consuming drugs," Damboriana said.
49ers coach, manager fired
Coach Dennis Erickson and general manager Terry Donahue have been fired by the San Francisco 49ers, who finished with the league's worst record. The 49ers also dismissed general manager Terry Donahue, 60, who had recently signed a four-year contract extension worth US$5 million. The 57-year-old Erickson had three years and US$7.5 million left on his contract. The move is not surprising since the once-proud franchise, which won five Super Bowls between 1981 and 1994 and was a perennial playoff contender, finished with a 2-14 record and owns the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 draft. "They were both extremely disappointed because they wanted to see this thing through," San Francisco owner-vice chairman John York. San Francisco last finished 2-14 in 1979, Bill Walsh's first year as coach.