Thu, May 01, 2008 - Page 18 News List

Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

■SOCCER

Ronaldo in hooker shocker

Ronaldo went into hiding on Tuesday after an encounter with cross-dressing prostitutes that prompted police to investigate whether to charge one with trying to extort money from the three-time FIFA Player of the Year. Police said Ronaldo committed no crime, but he was accused by one prostitute of using drugs and not wanting to pay. Prostitution is legal in Brazil. “It is necessary to clarify that no formal accusations were made against Ronaldo,” read a statement on the player’s Web site. “An advocate of social causes, Ronaldo has never used drugs and has always been admired by children in Brazil and around the world. There are indications of an extortion attempt in which the Milan striker is the only victim.” Ronaldo acknowledged to police he knew they were prostitutes but did not realize they were cross-dressers until getting to a motel in the early hours of Monday morning, when one allegedly tried to extort money from him to hide the story from the media, according to police.

■CRICKET

Marshall bids for Flem spot

James Marshall began on Tuesday his bid to fill the hole in New Zealand’s batting order left by the retirement of former captain Stephen Fleming ahead of the tourists’ Test series with England. Marshall took over Fleming’s No. 3 position in the ongoing tour match against Kent and, at the end of the second day of New Zealand’s three-day game in Canterbury, was 20 not out in a total of 92 for one. Black Caps stand-in skipper Jamie How was unbeaten on 53. “Flem is a hard player to replace,” Marshall said. “He has obviously played a lot of cricket for New Zealand. But it is a different era now, so hopefully whoever takes that role will express their own skills. I don’t think there is pressure to try to be like Flem.” In a day cut short by bad weather, New Zealand lost Aaron Redmond for 14. Earlier Kent declared on their overnight score of 324 for one.

■CRICKET

Players need help: Kumble

Indian cricketers need professional help to cope with their fame and wealth, Test captain Anil Kumble said yesterday. Kumble’s comments in a newspaper column came two days after Harbhajan Singh was banned for the remainder of the domestic Twenty20 league after being found guilty of slapping Shanthakumaran Sreesanth. “There’s so much money in the game now, especially with the India Premier League,” Kumble wrote. “Instead of people blaming whatever happens on ‘too much money’ or justifying incidents by saying things happen in the heat of the moment, it’s important that someone ensures that players are given the right kind of advice, that there are professionals to help them cope with fame and the money it brings.”

■SOCCER

Sven set to leave City

Sven-Goran Eriksson is unlikely to be Manchester City manager next season, his agent said on Tuesday. British media have speculated the former England coach would resign or be sacked after City’s Thai owner Thaksin Shinawatra said earlier this month he was unhappy with the Premier League club’s recent form and wanted change. Asked whether the Swede would still be at the helm at the beginning of next season, Eriksson’s agent Athole Still said: “It’s looking odds against. If Dr Shinawatra was going to give a ringing message of support I think we would have heard it.” Eriksson said he had met Thaksin at the weekend but declined to give details about their discussions.

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