Fri, Feb 09, 2007 - Page 22 News List

Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

■ Soccer
Australia thrash Taiwan

Australia all but secured their place in the next stage of qualifying for the Beijing Olympics with an 11-0 thrashing of Taiwan in the first leg of their play-off in Adelaide on Wednesday. It was just one goal short of the record win for an Australian Olympic team after the 12-0 result against Vanuatu in 1996. Melbourne Victory midfielder Kristian Sarkies scored four goals with Adelaide United striker Bruce Djite scoring once and setting up five others. The second leg of the play-off takes place in Taipei next Wednesday.

■ Soccer

Player knocked out in brawl

Chinese under-21 international Zheng Tao was knocked unconscious and taken to hospital following a brawl in a match against Queens Park Rangers at the English club's training ground on Wednesday, according to media reports. The violent fracas caused the referee to abandon the friendly in west London with QPR winning 2-1 in the second half. Xian Chanba defender Zheng was unconscious for five minutes after the fighting. "I've never seen anything like it in my life," a witness told the Web site of the Ealing Gazette. "There were punches, kung-fu kicks and all sorts. It was absolute mayhem."

■ Football

Kiel pleads guilty to felony

San Diego Chargers safety Terrence Kiel pleaded guilty on Wednesday to felony and misdemeanor drug charges for shipping codeine-based cough syrup to Texas, part of a plea bargain that could allow him to avoid jail time. Kiel was ordered to undergo counseling for gambling and do 100 hours of volunteer work. If he does that before his Aug. 7 sentencing and remains law-abiding, the felony conviction will be dismissed and he'll be placed on probation, San Diego County Superior Court Judge Stephanie Sontag said. Kiel still has a Feb. 20 court appearance after being cited for urinating in public last Dec. 18 in downtown San Diego.

■ Olympics

Mascots could be dangerous

Beijing police have issued a health warning over the cuddly Beijing 2008 Olympics mascots known as "Fuwa" after seizing nearly 30,000 counterfeit versions, including some made with toxic materials. The state-run Beijing News said yesterday that it was the largest haul of such fakes to date. However, the report did not specify how many of the 30,000 toys contained the toxic materials or what those ingredients were.

■ Cricket

ICC derides Hair lawsuit

The International Cricket Council (ICC) said yesterday there was no merit in Australian umpire Darrell Hair's claim of racial discrimination on the part of cricket's world governing body and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). The sacked umpire had filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against the ICC and the PCB on Wednesday. "The ICC does not believe there is merit in this claim and will vigorously defend the matter," the council said in a statement. Hair was sacked from the ICC's elite panel of umpires after Pakistan complained about his role in a ball-tampering row in the forfeited Oval test against England last August. "The ICC has noted reports that umpire Darrell Hair has instructed his lawyers to issue an application to the London Central Employment Tribunal alleging racial discrimination by the International Cricket Council and the Pakistan Cricket Board," the statement said.

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