Wed, Jan 17, 2007 - Page 18 News List

Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

■ Cricket
Herschelle Gibbs banned

South Africa batsman Herschelle Gibbs was banned for two tests by the ICC on Monday after being found guilty of using a racial slur against Pakistan fans in the first Test. He was heard describing the fans as "a bunch of bloody animals" by a stump microphone on Sunday. The supporters had abused South African spinner Paul Harris while he was fielding near the boundary. Gibbs apologized and unsuccessfully asked match referee Chris Broad to downgrade the charge. "I took into account the mitigating circumstances that the players were provoked by unruly spectators," Broad said.

■ Formula One

BMW-Sauber unveil F1.07

BMW-Sauber's new Formula One car is the first step in a three-year plan that the team hopes will make it a world champion by 2009. "Victories on our own merit are not yet a realistic prospect for 2007. We are aiming for that in 2008," BMW Motorsports director Mario Theissen said. "In 2009 we want to be in contention for the world championship title." Theissen unveiled the new F1.07 yesterday, a race car he called "the first BMW-Sauber." The F1.07 will be carrying less weight and features a shorter, raised nose, a slimmed-down rear and a revised cooling system.

■ Rugby League

Brian Carney retires

Great Britain international winger Brian Carney announced yesterday he is retiring from rugby league, saying he no longer has the desire to play the game. Carney, 30, only arrived on Sunday and started training with his new club Gold Coast Titans on Monday. But the Irish winger told Titans officials that he no longer had the motivation to play and would not see out his two-year deal. Titans managing director Michael Searle said the news was a complete shock. Carney has told Searle and coach John Cartwright that he wants to spend more time with his family and return home to complete his university studies in commercial law. "I have made this decision with a heavy heart and it has been a difficult decision for me to make," Carney said.

■ Soccer

Roma extend coach's tenure

AS Roma announced a contract extension late on Monday for coach Luciano Spalletti. "Details of the agreement between president Franco Sensi and the coach will be announced in a press conference tomorrow," Roma said in a statement. Spalletti is in his second season with Roma. Last season, the Giallorossi finished fifth and were bumped up to second when penalties were handed out in the Italian match-fixing scandal. Roma is in second place after the weekend's 19th-round matches.

■ Soccer

PSG fire Guy Lacombe

Guy Lacombe was fired on Monday by Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and replaced by Paul Le Guen as coach. PSG lost to 10-man Valenciennes 2-1 at Parc des Princes on Saturday -- its fifth home defeat of the season -- and is 17th in the 20-team French league, two points above the relegation zone. "There is an emergency situation: we have to stay in the first division," Le Guen said at a news conference. "There is no miracle recipe or wave of a magic wand, but we'll try with something new." Le Guen signed a two-and-a-half year contract with PSG. He left Rangers on Jan. 4 because of his poor 16-8-7 record with the Scottish Premier League club after just seven months of a three-year contract.

■ Basketball
Webber to sign with Pistons

Chris Webber will sign with the Detroit Pistons, returning to the area where he played in college and was tarnished in a supporters scandal. The five-time NBA All-Star was waived by the Philadelphia 76ers last week. He became an unrestricted free agent after clearing waivers yesterday, freeing him to sign a new deal. "Joining the Pistons will allow me the opportunity to play the game I love in my hometown of Detroit surrounded by my family," Webber said in a statement on Monday. The 76ers cut ties on Thursday with Webber by buying out the final one-and-a-half years of his contract.

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