Sat, Jul 07, 2007 - Page 18 News List

Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

■ FOOTBALL

Falcons sign Japanese star

The Atlanta Falcons on Thursday signed Noriaki Kinoshita, a native of Osaka, Japan, who played the last three years with the Amsterdam Admirals of NFL Europa. Kinoshita ranked fourth in NFL Europa in kickoff returns with 532 yards and added 21 catches for 308 yards and two touchdowns. Last year, Kinoshita led the league in kickoff returns with 19 for 530 yards, an average of 27.9 yards per return. Kinoshita is the second player from Japan to sign with the Falcons. The first, tight end Nachi Abe, lasted 10 days in the 2000 preseason.

■ SOCCER

Materazzi to sue UK papers

Italy defender Marco Materazzi is taking legal action against three British newspapers over their reporting of the incident in last July's World Cup final when he clashed with Zinedine Zidane, the BBC reported on Thursday. Zidane responded to verbal provocation by Materazzi by headbutting him to the ground, earning a red card in his last game before retiring from soccer. Materazzi has decided to seek damages against the Sun, the Daily Mail and the Daily Star over claims about what he said to the Frenchman, said the Italian's lawyer Steven Heffer. "He is taking legal action to clear his name," Heffer was quoted as saying on the BBC's Web site. Materazzi received a two-match ban from FIFA over the incident. Zidane has never revealed exactly what he said to him, only that the insult related to his mother and sister.

■ OLYMPICS

`Uncivilized' face the boot

Beijing plans to start clearing beggars and other "uncivilized" elements from major city subway stations next week as it continues sprucing up for next year's Olympics, state media reported yesterday. Enforcement teams will begin patrolling four key lines on Monday to chase out the beggars, peddlers and performers who flock to subway stations during the summer to escape the city heat, the Beijing News said. "This behavior is disturbing normal order and impacting the passenger situation and subway environment," the paper quoted an unnammed official with the Beijing Mass Transit Railway Operation Corporation as saying. Any found to have broken any laws or regulations will be turned over to authorities, it said. Other press reports said in March that Beijing planned to round up undesirables and ship them out of the city as part of Olympic clean-up efforts. It would expand holding centers for beggars, hawkers, operators of illegal taxis and other lawless elements, who would then be shipped back to their home provinces, in an operation set to begin sometime this year, the reports said.

■ CRICKET

England's Anderson fined

England fast bowler James Anderson has been fined 50 percent of his match fee for breaching the International Cricket Council's (ICC) code of conduct during Wednesday's one day international defeat by the West Indies. Anderson was found to have breached a clause relating to "inappropriate and deliberate physical contact between players in the course of play," the ICC said in a news release on Thursday. The England player twice nudged against batsman Runako Morton during his brief stay at the crease and, after the West Indian was dismissed, ran towards him to start a verbal confrontation. Match referee Mike Procter found Morton not guilty of a clause relating to offensive language or gestures.

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