Thu, Nov 15, 2007 - Page 19 News List

Sports Brief

AGENCIES

■ FORMULA ONE

Schumacher still the fastest

Michael Schumacher was the fastest in testing on Tuesday in his first return to Formula One racing since retirement. The seven-time F1 champion, who retired at the end of the season last year, went around the Circuit de Catalunya in 1 minute, 21.918 seconds in Ferrari's F2007 car. The 38-year-old Schumacher, who hasn't raced since the Brazilian Grand Prix in October last year, will be joined by current Ferrari driver -- and former teammate -- Felipe Massa as winter testing continues.

■ SOCCER

Whisky offer turned down

France coach Raymond Domenech turned down the offer of a bottle of Scotch whisky from a Scottish journalist in Clairefontaine on Tuesday. The France coach said that the last time he had accepted a bottle of Scotch from another Scottish journalist, his side had lost to Scotland -- the only team to have beaten them twice in the Euro 2008 qualifiers. Scotland play world champions Italy on Saturday in Glasgow and they could give France a headache by qualifying for Euro 2008 by beating the Italians. That would qualify Scotland for their first major international competition in ten years, but defeat for Alex McLeish's side would qualify France even before their final encounter against Ukraine next week.

■ RUGBY UNION

Du Preez to join 'Boks tour

Scrumhalf Fourie du Preez will join the South Africa squad in Britain for their two-match rugby tour after all. However, vice captain Victor Matfield was negotiating a release before the squad leaves tomorrow. Du Preez married last Saturday and told selectors convener Peter Jooste he would join the squad in Cardiff on Monday from his honeymoon. It was thought du Preez might skip the short tour to fix the shoulder injury he has carried since the Super 14, but he will wait until after the tour to decide on whether or not it needs an operation. Matfield was uncertain whether to tour or stay with his family for as long as possible before a stint with French second division club in Toulon, starting in January.

■ SOCCER

Hundreds pay last respects

Hundreds of people on Tuesday paid their last respects to an Italian youth who was shot dead by a policeman during a scuffle between rival soccer supporters at the weekend. Gabriele Sandri, 28, was killed on Sunday at a highway rest area in circumstances that remain unclear. His death sparked violent clashes between soccer supporters and security forces in several Italian cities including Rome, Sandri's hometown. The city provided a public space for mourners to file past Sandri's casket. Hundreds of friends, relatives and a large number of Lazio fans, many wearing scarves with the Roman club's colors, attended.

■ SOCCER

FC Thun players arrested

Twelve current or former players of Swiss club FC Thun were arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of having sex with a minor. Nine other men were also taken into custody by police in the Swiss canton of Bern. The men are accused of having sexual relations with a 15-year-old girl. The age of consent in Switzerland is 16. Authorities identified none of the men by name, in line with Swiss privacy laws, but police spokesman Juerg Mosimann said 12 were current or former Thun players. The sexual relations appeared to have occurred on more than one occasion, police said in a statement, adding that the encounters appeared largely consensual.

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