Sat, Sep 02, 2006 - Page 19 News List

Sports Briefs


■ Egypt
Defender dies while training

Egyptian international defender Mohammed Abdel Wahab died of a heart attack while training with his club, champions Al-Ahly, on Thursday. The 22-year-old collapsed on the pitch and was immediately transferred to a nearby hospital but resuscitation efforts failed. The young defender won all national and continental awards with his Cairo club and was also part of the squad that won the African Cup of Nations in February. "He did not clash with another player, he just fell to the ground," a club spokesman told the BBC. Wahab's death comes three years after Cameroon international midfielder Marc Vivien Foe collapsed and died during a 2003 Confederations Cup semi-final in France.

■ Italy

Juve withdraws appeal

Juventus has decided to withdraw its appeal to an ordinary court in the Italian match-fixing scandal, bringing relief to soccer authorities. Juventus said on Thursday its board had decided to give up the appeal after receiving "signals of willingness" from sports officials to resolve the situation fairly. Juventus has had meetings with soccer and other sports officials in Rome throughout the week. A July 25 sports tribunal ruling stripped Juventus of its last two Serie A titles and relegated the club to the second division with a 17-point penalty.

■ Germany

Shoe battle settled

The national team's soccer players won the right to wear the shoes of their choice on Thursday after a bitter dispute with their federation. Adidas, which has outfitted the Germany team for decades, agreed to let the players chose their own shoes even as it extended its contract with the German Soccer Federation until 2014. The players threatened to boycott a 3-0 friendly win against Sweden two weeks ago, angry because they felt a promise was broken to meet their demands. The fight to break the Adidas monopoly was led by a group of top players with contracts with other sports manufacturers.

■ England

Welsh team in plane scare

An airplane carrying the Welsh national soccer team was forced to make an emergency landing on Thursday because of a cracked windscreen. The chartered plane took off from Cardiff, Wales, at 2:30pm and landed 30 minutes later in Bournemouth, on the south coast of England. The flight, which was carrying the Wales squad, coaching staff and officials, was bound for Prague, Czech Republic, for the team's 2008 European Championship qualifier against the Czechs today. Wales FA spokesman Ceri Stennett said passengers felt a jolt and could feel the plane descending quickly. "But there was no panic, the players travel by plane a lot and they handled it well," Stennett said. "But I must admit it was a bit unnerving."

Zhang in flying fish flop

Hoping for a birdie, top Chinese golfer Zhang Lianwei (張連偉) found a fish instead. Zhang was in mid-swing at a Chinese Omega Tour event on Thursday when a hefty carp decided to perform some out-of-water acrobatics beside the 14th hole at the Grand Shanghai course. Startled, Zhang muffed the shot and took a bogey on the hole rather than the intended birdie. He shot a 69 for the round, ending the day in a five-way tie for first at the Shandong Leg event. "I thought someone had thrown a huge stone into the water," said the 41-year-old Zhang, a pioneer of Chinese professional golf and the first Chinese player to appear in the Masters at Augusta in 2004.

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