Federations express unity
International volleyball's national federations yesterday expressed their unity in recognizing the international volleyball federation as the sole governing body for volleyball and beach volleyball. On the opening day of the 30th FIVB World Congress in Tokyo, all 31 members of the FIVB board of administration signed a declaration recognizing FIVB as the only worldwide governing body of the two sports. Jean-Pierre Seppey, a former FIVB general manager, is leading a breakaway group that is setting up a rival volleyball federation. Seppey was fired from his post in August for what FIVB said was embezzling funds through false expense claims to finance a life of luxury.
River Plate leapfrog Boca
River Plate beat Rosario Central 2-0 off goals by Marcelo Gallardo and Radamel Falcao to leapfrog Boca Juniors for the lead in Argentina's first-division race on Sunday. Boca, which has only played 10 of the 12 dates this season, couldn't play when its scheduled match at Racing Club was postponed over security concerns. A dispute arose over policing at a suburban Buenos Aires stadium and a new date was yet to be determined. River has 27 points, followed by Boca and Estudiantes in second place with 25 apiece. Estudiantes was a 3-1 winner over Godoy Cruz of Mendoza in the 12th round.
Sao Paulo, Gremio draw
Danilo fired Sao Paulo ahead in the first minute and Hugo scored for Gremio in the second half to draw the top-of-the-table Brazilian league match 1-1 on Sunday. The result at Porto Alegre's Olympic Stadium slimmed Sao Paulo's lead to seven points from Internacional, which beat Ponte Preta 2-0 on Saturday. Santos, a 2-1 winner over Figueirense, was third, and Gremio dropped from second to fourth.
America break drought
America ended nearly six years without a win against Pumas at Azteca Stadium with a 2-0 victory in the Mexican League on Sunday. Cuauhtemoc Blanco scored in the 32nd minute, and three minutes later Paraguayan Salvador Cabanas doubled the lead for America, which hadn't beaten Pumas at Azteca since Oct. 29, 2000. Guillermo Ochoa made the score stand with an excellent game in goal. With the victory, America has 24 points, two behind soccer league leader Toluca. Atlas and Cruz Azul had 23 each, and Chiapas 22. In Toluca, Josue Castillejos' goal was enough for Diablos to beat winless Santos 1-0, despite playing with nine regulars. Toluca's Argentine coach Americo Gallego decided to rest most of his side for the a Copa Sudamericana quarter-final against San Lorenzo in Argentina on Wednesday.
■ Rugby League
England put France away
England winger Mark Calderwood scored two tries as his side easily defeated France 26-10 in the opening match of their Federation Shield campaign in leeds on Sunday. Wigan star Calderwood, who used to play at Headingley for Leeds Rhinos, grabbed a try in each half and Wakefield's Jamie Rooney, playing out of position at scrum-half, also impressed as he scored one try, set up two others and kicked three goals. Leeds duo Lee Smith and Jamie Jones-Buchanan were also try scorers as Paul Cullen's team dominated throughout against a lackluster French side, made up mostly of players from Catalans Dragons.
No `Hingis effect' in Zurich
The Zurich Open failed to reach its goal of attracting 40,000 spectators, despite the return of Martina Hingis to professional tennis. Organizers said on Sunday that they had sold 35,638 tickets through the week. "I don't think Martina had a big effect on attendance," tournament director Beat Ritschard said. "The `Hingis effect' didn't prove itself." Hingis, who made her comeback this season after about three years of retirement, made her first appearance in six years at the tournament in Switzerland.. The former top-ranked Swiss player reached the quarterfinals, where she was eliminated by third-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia. "Financially, it wasn't a catastrophic scenario. We almost broke even," Ritschard said.