Tue, Jul 24, 2007 - Page 18 News List

Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

■ SOCCER

Yeung biding his time

Hong Kong businessman Carson Yeung, who recently become the major shareholder of Birmingham City, said yesterday he's holding off on taking over the English Premier League team outright. Yeung's company Grandtop International Holding completed a deal last week to buy 29.91 percent of Birmingham City shares. The shares were bought from club presidents David Sullivan, Ralph Gold and David Gold, managing director Karren Brady and director Roger Bannister, all of whom still have stakes in the club.

■ JUDO

Brazilian, Cuban fans scuffle

A scuffle between Brazilian and Cuban fans at the judo forced the hasty departure of Brazilian Sports Minister Orlando Silva in the latest flare-up in the nations' rivalry at the Pan American Games on Sunday. Home fans were upset after a judge gave Cuban Sheila Espinosa the victory over Brazil's Erika Miranda in the under 52kg women's final. The fans began booing and throwing plastic cups and other objects at the judge and Espinosa. At the same time, an altercation began in the stands after fans were upset with the celebration of members of the Cuban delegation, which included former athletes such as volleyballer Regla Torres. Brazil's former Olympic champion Aurelio Miguel, a commentator for a local TV station, also got involved in the melee.

■ SOCCER

Premier League injects funds

The Premier League on Sunday agreed to pump more than £90 million (US$185 million) into the Football League in a bid to reduce the financial chasm that separates the top flight clubs and the lower league sides. The first Premier League initiative begins next season with a three-year "solidarity package" under which £31.8 million will be invested into youth development, community activities and the Football League's member clubs. Football League chairman Lord Mawhinney is confident the investment will help Championship clubs compete with their more distinguished counterparts.

■ BASKETBALLl

Yi to play for the Bucks?

Basketball star Yi Jianlin will likely play for the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks, Chinese state media reported yesterday, contradicting reports last week that the move had been ruled out. Officials with the Guangdong Tigers, Yi's Chinese team, said the earlier reports were wrong, the Beijing Daily Messenger said. "Yi will play for the Bucks after all," it quoted the team's vice general manager Liu Hongjiang as saying, giving no reason for the apparent turnaround. Yi's camp made it clear before the June 28 NBA draft that they did not want the 2.12m power forward to play for Milwaukee, one of the NBA's smallest markets and a city with a tiny Asian population.

■ BASEBALL

Coach killed by foul ball

Minor league coach Mike Coolbaugh of the Tulsa Drillers died in North Little Rock, Arkansas, on Sunday after being struck in the head by a ball during a game, police said. The Texas League game against the Arkansas Travelers was suspended in the ninth inning after Coolbaugh was struck by a hard-hit foul ball off the bat of Tino Sanchez and taken to Baptist Medical Center-North Little Rock. Phil Elson, spokesman for the Travelers, said Coolbaugh was struck by the ball on the right side of his head, or on the forehead - "I'm getting conflicting reports," he said.

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