Fri, May 16, 2008 - Page 23 News List

Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

■ SOCCER

FC Thun players convicted

Four FC Thun players convicted of having sex with a minor are to be reinstated, the club said in a statement on Wednesday. The players, two with the first division club’s first team and two with the under 21s, were fined between 2,700 Swiss francs and SF4,950 (US$2,561 and US$4,692) and ordered to pay compensation to the victim by a court on Tuesday. The court heard contact between the four men and the underage girl took place with her consent in the players’ homes. The four had been suspended from playing and training in February pending the outcome of the criminal proceedings. The club said in the statement that the courts had now dealt with the players and the club did not wish to punish them further. “Therefore they will be reintegrated immediately,” it said.

■ CRICKET

Officials seek Stanford deal

Cricket chiefs are seeking a compromise to salvage Texan billionaire Allen Stanford’s multimillion pound investment in English cricket which threatens to run into conflict with the sport’s laws. Stanford wants the trademark black bats that have been used in the inter-island Twenty20 tournament he has bankrolled in the West Indies to feature in a proposed series of highly lucrative matches between England and his Caribbean All Stars side. But last week Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the guardians of cricket’s rulebook and the owners of London’s Lord’s Cricket Ground, revised the regulations regarding the composition of bats. Although primarily designed to ensure modern materials such as carbon fibre are not used in addition to the traditional willow, the new rules also include a section forbidding changes to the natural color of a bat’s blade.

■ SOCCER

Tommy Burns dies at 51

Former Celtic manager Tommy Burns has died after battling cancer, the club announced on their web site (www.celticfc.co.uk) yesterday. He was 51. “It is with great sadness that Celtic confirmed this morning that Tommy Burns has passed away,” the club said. “Tommy, a true Celtic legend and wonderful man, will be sadly missed by us all. Clearly, our thoughts are very much with Tommy’s wife Rosemary and his family at this extremely difficult time.” Burns began playing for Celtic in 1974, winning eight Scotland caps, before going on to manage the club, steering them to a Scottish Cup victory over Airdrie in 1995.

■ SOCCER

Lee talking to Japan clubs

South Korean striker Lee Dong-gook is talking to five Japanese teams including Kyoto Purple Sanga after being released by English Premier League side Middlesbrough this week, his agent said yesterday. “We cannot disclose all the teams under negotiation but we plan to make our pick within the next three months,” Kim Ki-hoon told Yonhap news agency. “We believe we have no need to hurry, although we hope for the earliest deal possible.” The 29-year-old played for South Korea’s Pohang Steelers before moving to England in January of last year. He said on Wednesday on his return home that he plans to sign with a team where he can fully utilise his potential. “I will join a club where I’m wanted and I can be of help. I’ll take my time to weigh up my decision,” he said, adding he has learnt a lot in the highly competitive Premier League. Lee struggled to break into the first team at the Riverside Stadium after his free transfer from the Pohang Steelers.

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