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.
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.
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.
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.
Anderson stays with Bengals
The Cincinnati Bengals signed Willie Anderson to a five-year contract extension that will keep the right tackle with the National Football League club through 2011. Financial terms of the deal were not released, but reports have the extension worth around US$32 million. Anderson's current deal was to expire at the end of the upcoming season. "This is a huge move and commitment on our part and I'm obviously excited about it," Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis said. "It's great to know that one of our fine players and real team leaders is committed to be a part of our team for the long term."
■ Auto racing
Prize ceremony sparks row
Turkish Grand Prix organizers will face a disciplinary hearing after a controversial prize-giving ceremony at last Sunday's race drew complaints from Cyprus. The race organizers will be joined by the Turkish Automobile Sports Federation for the hearing before the FIA World Motor Sport Council on Sept. 19 in Paris, FIA said on Thursday. The meeting will "hear charges that they have acted in breach of FIA Statutes, the International Sporting Code and the 2006 Formula One Sporting Regulations." The race's winner, Ferrari driver Felipe Massa, received the prize from Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat. The government of Cyprus was angered by organizers introducing Talat as president of the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state -- which only Turkey recognizes -- in the north of the war-divided island.
Ullrich, T-Mobile reach deal
Jan Ullrich reached an agreement with T-Mobile to end his contract after having been fired by the team amid doping allegations. The 1997 Tour de France winner was let go on July 21 as a result of being linked to a widespread doping scandal in Spain centered around Madrid doctor Eufemiano Fuentes. "Jan Ullrich and T-Mobile have ended their negotiations and agreed on an early end to his rider's contract," Ullrich's Web site said. The 32-year-old German had threatened T-Mobile with court action after the team fired him.
Truth will out, Inzamam says
Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq is confident his team will be cleared of ball tampering charges he described as concocted and unjustified. "Different stories are circulating after the Oval Test fiasco, but I have no doubt we will be cleared and the truth will come out soon," he wrote in his Urdu-language column in Daily Jang yesterday. "[Umpire Darrell] Hair laid out a web to involve the Pakistan team in controversy and ball tampering. ... In time everyone will know who is telling the truth and who did injustice with who," Inzamam said in the column.
The NBA said was re-evaluating its training program in China following allegations of abuse of young players by local staff and harassment of foreign staffers at a facility in Xinjiang. The comments come after a report by ESPN that quoted unnamed American coaches as saying that Chinese coaches hit young players. One American coach who worked at a camp in Xinjiang complained of harassment by local police, the sports network said. “The allegations in the ESPN article are disturbing,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum said in an e-mail statement on Thursday. “We ended our involvement with the basketball academy in Xinjiang in June
Taiwan Steel on Sunday grabbed three points with a narrow 1-0 win against Hang Yuan FC, to move into the No. 2 spot on the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) log, while Taipower FC beat NTUS 2-0 to maintain first place. Taking advantage early in the match of opposition defenders who had not yet settled down, Taiwan Steel’s attacking trio of Wu Chun-ching, Marc Fenelus from the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Benchy Astama from Haiti pushed forward with good passes. After only one minute of play, Fenelus dribbled from the right flank, feeding a short pass inside the penalty area to
LEAVING IT LATE: Rakuten added late runs last night to add to wins on Wednesday against the Brothers and the Lions on Friday that went down to the last batter The Rakuten Monkeys rallied to post three late runs for another close win, prevailing 5-3 over the Uni-President Lions yesterday as Taiwan’s second-half CPBL season got started with lower scoring output, but exciting finishes. It was Rakuten’s third win in a row. In two games this week, they seized victory in dramatic fashion with their last at-bat and have drawn level with the CTBC Brothers on top of the table after yesterday’s results, 0.5 games in front of the Fubon Guardians and 1.5 games ahead of the Lions. It was tied at 1-1 early, with Rakuten hosting the Lions at the Taoyuan Intenational
STAYING COOL: Hamilton said that his ‘heart nearly stopped’ when he noticed the puncture, but he kept going to beat Alain Prost’s total of six home wins in France Lewis Hamilton said he feared he might not make it home when a last lap puncture almost derailed his charge to a record seventh British Grand Prix victory on Sunday. “I didn’t think I would make it round the last two corners,” the world champion said. The front left tire of his Mercedes had delaminated and deflated on his final lap, leaving the six-time world champion to nurse his vehicle to the finish as second-placed Max Verstappen hunted him down. “I just can’t believe it,” Hamilton said. “It was heart-stopping. I backed off and stayed chilled and was so glad it happened on