Sat, Dec 23, 2006 - Page 18 News List

Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

■ Boxing

Ex-champ's slayer convicted

A Dominican air force sergeant was convicted in the slaying of former boxing champion Agapito Sanchez, the Santo Domingo prosecutor's office said on Thursday. Sergeant Diogenes Nova Rosario shot Sanchez twice in the stomach on Nov. 15, last year during a fight at a Santo Domingo shop where the boxer had been playing dominoes, prosecutor Angel Tejeda Fabal said in a statement. The 35-year-old former junior featherweight champ died two days later from the gunshot wounds. Nova was sentenced to 15 years in prison and ordered to pay court costs and a US$31,000 fine to the boxer's relatives.

■ Soccer

Real inject fresh blood

Real Madrid have boosted their squad with the signings of Argentines Gonzalo Higuain and Fernando Gago. Higuain received the club's white jersey on Thursday at his official presentation in the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. He completed his 13 million euro (US$17.1 million) move from River Plate on Wednesday and has signed a six-and-a-half-year contract. "I am going try and prove that those who showed confidence in me were not mistaken, I'm going to try and win everyone's respect through hard work," Higuain said. Real confirmed on Thursday the signing of Boca Juniors' Fernando Gago. Gago has agreed to a six-year contract and was due to be presented yesterday, Madrid said in a statement on its Web site. The club gave no details of the fee. On Wednesday, Boca said on its Web site that the Spanish club would pay US$27 million for the 20-year-old midfielder. Boca originally wanted to keep Gago until June next year, and wasn't willing to cede on its transfer fee demand. Boca president Mauricio Macri traveled to Spain earlier this week to hear Real Madrid's offer, but returned on Wednesday without news to announce. But Argentine media reported that the deadlock was ended late Wednesday after Gago renounced his 15 percent of the transfer fee.

■ Soccer

Irureta quits Real Betis

Real Betis coach Javier Irureta resigned on Thursday after just six months in charge. Irureta guided Betis to just three wins from its first 15 games of the season. "My contract has been rescinded by mutual agreement but I made the first move. We could have continued like this for much longer but it wasn't good," said Irureta, who added he took the decision before Betis' 1-0 win over Gimnastic Tarragona on Wednesday. "Betis has a lot of life left. In fact it's still in the Cup and as it has a game in hand in the league it can avoid relegation. But there is a lack of confidence for one reason or another and we have taken this decision," the coach was quoted as saying by the Web site of sports daily Marca.

■ Winter Sports

N Korea backs games bid

North Korea has officially backed South Korea's bid to host the 2014 Winter Olympics, organizers said yesterday. The announcement is welcome news for the Pyeongchang 2014 bid committee, which is promoting the resort's claim to the event partly on the grounds that it would foster reconciliation on the divided peninsula. Pyeongchang, located 150km east of the capital Seoul, is vying with Salzburg in Austria and Russia's Black Sea town of Sochi. Mun Jae-duck, president of the North Korean Olympic Committee, wrote to the bid committee on Wednesday to confirm his support, it said in a statement. It said the letter was also sent to Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee.

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