Sun, Jun 03, 2007 - Page 22 News List

Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

■ SOCCER

Pizarro joins Chelsea

Bayern Munich striker Claudio Pizarro joined Chelsea on a free transfer on Friday. The Peru international became the London club's second signing of the close season after Reading midfielder Steve Sidwell moved to Stamford Bridge on another free transfer last month. "I think it's very important for me to win some titles and I have the chance to win them here," Pizarro told the club's official Web site. "I had some interesting offers but the most important thing was that I talked to the coach [Jose Mourinho], I talked to the people here and they were very interested."


■ CRICKET

Flintoff to return this season

England allrounder Andrew Flintoff is likely to return to action before the end of the season after having surgery on his left ankle on Friday. The 29-year-old Flintoff missed England's last two tests against West Indies with the injury that has troubled him for several months. The England and Wales Cricket Board said the surgery was successful, but did not set a date for Flintoff's return or say whether he was expected to play in England's tests against India in July and August. "Early signs are that the operation was routine and Andrew will begin his rehabilitation accordingly following successful removal of tissue," it said.


■ SOCCER

Figo wants to play on

Portuguese midfielder Luis Figo admitted on Friday that he is considering extending his stay at Inter Milan, despite having previously indicated a wish to leave the Italian champions. Figo said he wanted to play on for another year or two, but ruled out a return to his first club, Sporting Lisbon. "For the moment I'm going to look into playing on for another year or two," he told a press conference. "Inter really want me to stay. There are doors open to me. I made a great choice two years ago [in joining Inter] but I'm going to think about whether I want to stay playing at the top level." The 34-year-old was linked with a move to Saudi club Al Ittihad during the January transfer window.


■ SOCCER

Colombia mulls boycott

Colombia may boycott the 2010 World Cup qualifiers unless FIFA reverses its decision to ban international matches at high altitude, the government's top sports authority said on Friday. Everth Bustamente, director of the Coldeportes sports institute, said the government also discussed the idea of a boycott with Peru and Ecuador, which are also be affected by FIFA's decision to prohibit games from being played at altitudes above 2,500m. "We've discussed together the possibility of withdrawing from the World Cup qualifiers in the extreme case that FIFA doesn't review this clearly antidemocratic measure," Bustamente said on Friday.


■ SOCCER

Nigerian gets 13 years

A French court on Friday sentenced a Nigerian former soccer player who played for a top French club, Godwin Okpara, to 13 years in prison for the rape of his adopted daughter. Okpara's wife received 15 years for her rape and torture, while his mother-in-law received a five-year sentence for failing to come to the aid of a person in danger. After the verdict, Okpara's wife, Linda, sarcastically turned on their daughter, Tina, saying: "Thanks. Thanks a lot, Tina. Good luck in France." She then danced in the accused's box and made incomprehensible remarks toward her daughter, who stared at the ground.

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