Sun, Oct 22, 2006 - Page 23 News List

Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

■ El Salvador
Maradona to play friendly

Argentine World Cup hero Diego Maradona is scheduled to play in friendly matches next week in Honduras and El Salvador at events known as "Showbol," a seven-a-side, small-field exhibition, organizers said on Friday. Maradona's plans to participate were confirmed via telephone by Alejandro Mancuso, the Argentine's agent. Maradona was to have arrived on Friday in San Salvador, but his plane was delayed by weather, and his match in the country was rescheduled for Oct. 28, said Erick Acuna, one of the event's organizers. Maradona is also scheduled to play in the city of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, on Wednesday.

■ Germany

Dortmund held by Bochum

Borussia Dortmund failed for a fourth time to move atop the Bundesliga this season, held to a 1-1 draw at home by last-place VfL Bochum. A 30th-minute goal by Theofanis Gekas gave Bochum the lead, while Dortmund was jeered by the crowd of 75,100 at Westfalenstadion after only 20 minutes. Polish forward Ebi Smolarek equalized in the 35th minute for Dortmund, which remained a point behind a lead trio topped by Werder Bremen. "It's unbelievable -- I'd really like to be able to explain it," Dortmund coach Bert van Marwijk said. "We just got more and more nervous." Dortmund was left in fifth with 12 points. Bochum welcomed the draw being routed 6-0 by Bremen last week.

■ Germany

Mooning fan to be quizzed

A Bayer Leverkusen fan who goaded rival supporters by flashing his bum repeatedly during his team's UEFA Cup tie at Club Bruges on Thursday faces court action, a Belgian public prosecutor said. The fan, who has not been named and was not arrested on the night of the match, will be questioned by German police and will receive a summons from a court in Bruges, prosecutor Yves Segaert said on Friday. If convicted, the German man faces a fine and a ban from the stadium. "He pulled his trousers down several times during the match and showed his butt to the Bruges fans," Segaert said. "He did this to annoy some hard core fans and provoke them."

■ China

Dujkovic new Olympic coach

The protracted search for a coach for their 2008 Beijing Olympics team came to an end when Ratomir Dujkovic was put in charge yesterday. The 60-year-old Serbian, who led Ghana to the second round of the World Cup finals earlier this year and has also coached Venezuela, Myanmar and Rwanda, signed a contract which will take him through until the end of the Olympics. The Chinese Football Association has spent much of the year searching for a coach, with media reports linking Frenchmen Jacques Santini and Philippe Troussier, England's Howard Wilkinson and German Berti Vogts with the job. Dujkovic faces a tough task getting a competitive team together in less than two years given the parlous state of Chinese soccer, which has been beset by match-fixing scandals and declining interest from the public.

■ Basketball
Diaw extends Suns contract

Versatile Boris Diaw, who won the NBA's Most Improved Player award last season, signed a five-year contract extension on Friday with the Phoenix Suns. Financial terms were not disclosed, but the extension is believed to be worth about US$8 million per season. Diaw, 24, is scheduled to make US$1.79 million this season. Had he not been given an extension by Oct. 31, he would have become a restricted free agent next summer, with the Suns holding the right to match any offer he received from another team.

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