Tuvalu joins Olympic family
The Pacific island chain of Tuvalu and the former Yugoslav republic of Montenegro were voted into the Olympic movement on Friday, bringing the International Olympic Committee (IOC) membership to 205 nations. Montenegro split from Serbia last year, part of the breakup of the former Yugoslavia. It has a population of about 620,000. Tuvalu, formerly known as the Ellice Islands, is a chain of five Polynesian islands with a population of about 12,000. It gained independence from Britain in 1978.
■ Rugby Union
All Black avoids conviction
All Blacks center Ma'a Nonu avoided conviction for the second time on an alcohol-related charge when he appeared in a Wellington court on Friday. Nonu was charged with breaching a bylaw which prohibits the consumption of alcohol in parts of central Wellington. The Wellington District Court was told on Friday the charge had been withdrawn because Nonu had completed police diversion. Diversion allows a person charged with a minor offense to avoid conviction by performing community work or making some restitution. The court heard Nonu had made a donation to the Salvation Army. In 2004 Nonu also received diversion when he appeared in court on charges of disorderly behavior and resisting arrest. Police said it was not uncommon for a person to twice receive diversion for minor offenses and Nonu had not received special treatment.
Coach plays down reports
Chile coach Nelson Acosta played down reports his players had been involved in an unsavory incident at their hotel but said he was looking into the allegations. Acosta, whose team were due to face Brazil in the quarter-finals of the Copa America yesterday, said the episode had been exaggerated by Chilean media. The reports suggested the incident, which came a day after Chile drew 0-0 with Mexico to qualify, included the consumption of alcohol and damage to the hotel. "The version the directors gave me was that there was a problem ... and the behavior of the players was not good," Acosta said. "When I spoke to the players at practice, they basically denied everything, although they said they were there. It seemed they made a mistake but nothing like what people are saying," he said. "There has to be some evidence, otherwise it is the word of one person against the other," Acosta said.
Leeds Utd facing oblivion
Debt-ridden English club Leeds United could go out of existence next week after being put up for sale by the club's administrators. A statement from KPMG on Friday said it had made the decision because of a legal challenge by Britain's Revenue and Customs service over ?7.7 million (US$15.48 million) owed to the government by the 88-year-old Yorkshire club. The tax man is also disputing chairman Ken Bates' proposed plan to take the club out of administration by offering creditors just eight pence in the pound. KPMG decided to put the club up for sale after a High Court ruling on Friday postponed a hearing in the case until Sept. 3 and set a deadline of 5pm tomorrow for offers to buy the club, which has debts of about ?35 million. Seven years ago Leeds reached the Champions League semi-finals and they have been English champions three times in 1969, 1974 and 1992.