■ RUGBY UNION
SRU evicts Edinburgh
Edinburgh have been kicked out of Murrayfield and told to repay £1.4 million (US$2.8 million) to the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU). Edinburgh ended their operating agreement with the SRU on Thursday, who reacted by immediately withdrawing use of Murrayfield as a venue for matches and training. The SRU also demanded that their advance funding be handed back as a row sparked by Edinburgh's threat to take court action against the SRU over Magners League and Heineken Cup fees turned increasingly bitter. Edinburgh, one of two professional clubs in Scotland, had already withdrawn 12 players from Scotland training for a week last month. A statement from the SRU said: "Scottish Rugby has confirmed today that the operating agreement between Edinburgh Rugby and Scottish Rugby has been terminated by Edinburgh Rugby."
Duo spoils Flintoff's return
Pakistan duo Mushtaq Ahmed and Naved ul-Hasan combined to put Sussex on top of the English county championship on Thursday and spoil Andrew Flintoff's return to duty. Sussex beat Lancashire by 108 runs at Liverpool with Mushtaq Ahmed and Naved ul-Hasan taking four for 71 and three for 10 respectively. Chasing 242 to win, Lancashire were bowled out for just 133 with Flintoff making nine. Earlier, Muttiah Muralitharan took three wickets to finish with eight for the match as Sussex were bowled out for 268 in their second innings. England all-rounder Flintoff is slowly feeling his way back from ankle surgery and is hopeful of returning to the national side in time for the one-day series against India later this month.
Becks may debut in Toronto
David Beckham's much anticipated Major League Soccer debut could still come in Toronto today, a Los Angeles Galaxy spokesman said on Thursday. The former England captain has missed the Galaxy's last three games with a nagging ankle injury since his brief debut appearance for the MLS side in a friendly against Chelsea on July 21. He failed to travel with his new teammates to Texas on Tuesday as they completed their SuperLiga group campaign with a thrilling 6-5 win over FC Dallas, instead remaining in Los Angeles for continued treatment. "David will travel to Toronto with the squad on Friday," the Galaxy spokesman said. "None of the squad trained today, they all stayed inside to work on weights in a regeneration session. The decision on whether he will play against Toronto FC will be made once we arrive there."
Alex receives work permit
Brazil defender Alex has been given the green light to complete his move to Chelsea after being granted a work permit on Thursday. The Premiership club successfully appealed the British Home Office decision to refuse Alex a permit and he will now fly to England to negotiate personal terms and undergo a medical. Alex, who has spent the last three seasons at Dutch club PSV Eindhoven, had returned to Brazil earlier this week after his aborted attempt to enter the country. A Chelsea statement confirmed: "At a hearing today, Alex was granted a work permit. He still has to agree personal terms with Chelsea Football Club and have a medical."
Player injures spine
Denver Broncos linebacker Warrick Holdman was hospitalized on Thursday after suffering a spinal cord concussion in practice, the NFL team said. Holdman suffered the injury during a morning workout after appearing to hit the crown of his helmet on another player's helmet, according to multiple reports. A team spokesman said Holdman was transported to hospital, where he was to be kept overnight for observation. "He went numb for about 30 or 40 seconds, but he got his feeling back, which is a good sign," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said. "But I don't know anything for sure. Normally when someone gets that feeling back, it's usually a positive sign."