Sat, Jul 15, 2006 - Page 19 News List

Sports Briefs


■ Soccer
`Mr World Cup' passes on

The top World Cup official in Berlin has died, four days after shooting himself in the head just hours after the final, the German press reported yesterday. The Berliner Morgenpost quoted a spokeswoman of the Charite hospital as saying Juergen Kiessling, 65, passed away on Thursday. Known in Berlin as "Mister World Cup," Kiessling took a handgun to himself late last Sunday at his home in the suburb of Reinickendorf hours after Italy won the championship. A press report earlier this week said Kiessling had left two notes, one to his young daughter and the other to the rest of his family. It quoted the police as saying the letters had referred to "political problems." But his son issued a statement on Thursday saying the reasons were "personal." Kiessling was the top sports official in the city-state of Berlin's government and was a World Cup coordinator for FIFA.

■ Soccer

FIFA grills Materazzi

Marco Materazzi appeared before FIFA's disciplinary committee yesterday to answer questions about what he did to provoke Zinedine Zidane to head-butt him during Italy's World Cup final victory over France. The Italian defender met with officials at FIFA's headquarters in Zurich yesterday morning, FIFA spokesman Nicolas Maingot said. Materazzi is being investigated based on statements by Zidane, who was sent off for ramming his head into the defender's chest in extra time of last Sunday's final in Berlin.

■ Shooting

Paralympic marksmen crash

A member of the New Zealand Paralympic shooting team was killed and two teammates were injured in an automobile accident near Sargans, Switzerland, on Thursday, Paralympics New Zealand and the New Zealand Shooting Federation said. Simon Grant, 42, died in the accident, which occurred at 8:15am local time, while team members were driving to a training venue. Two other occupants of the car, shooter Dwayne Woolliams and official Kris Mason, were reported in a stable condition in a local hospital, the sports organizations said in a joint statement. The New Zealand athletes are competing at the IPC world shooting championships at Sargans.

■ Rugby

Lomu back on All Black trail

Legendary rugby winger Jonah Lomu will renew his bid to regain his All Black place today when he takes the field in an Auckland club match. Since receiving a kidney transplant in 2004, 31-year-old Lomu has been trying to resurrect his glory, days but a stint with Welsh side Cardiff was cut short in April by an ankle injury. Lomu has resumed training and has been named to play on the wing for club side Massey in Auckland's North Harbour competition. "He's No. 11 if I can find a jersey big enough for him. You might see him at No. 3," said Massey coach Graham Lowe, referring to jerseys reserved for hulking front row forwards. "He's fizzing, he's on a mission," Lowe said.

■ Baseball
Cincinnati Reds make trades

The Cincinnati Reds overhauled their rickety bullpen on Thursday, getting Gary Majewski and Bill Bray in an eight-player trade that sent outfielder Austin Kearns and shortstop Felipe Lopez to the Washington Nationals. The playoff-hopeful Reds also acquired shortstop Royce Clayton, infielder Brendan Harris and pitcher Daryl Thompson from the last-place Nationals. Clayton most likely would replace Lopez, who made the Major League Baseball All-Star game last year. The Reds gave up reliever Ryan Wagner, a first-round pick in 2004 who has struggled the last two seasons. Cincinnati's bullpen has dragged it down the last two months, giving up the most homers in MLB. The Reds came out of the All-Star break at 45-44, trailing St Louis by four games in the NL Central and in the middle of the wild-card race.

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