Morales slams FIFA ruling
Bolivian President Evo Morales followed up his goal during a soccer match in Peru’s capital on Thursday by slamming FIFA for imposing “a soccer apartheid” on teams that play at high altitudes. Shortly after arriving in Lima on Thursday afternoon, Morales threw on Bolivia’s green soccer jersey and headed to the “People’s Summit,” an alternative forum to a reunion of Latin American and European heads of state. Morales scored a goal to lead a squad of Bolivian expatriates to a 2-2 tie against members of Peru’s 1970 World Cup team. In a news conference following the game, Morales said FIFA’s ban on international games at stadiums 2,750m above sea level amounted to “discrimination” of teams and communities living at such heights.
Ronaldo mulling transfer
Manchester United suffered a major blow to morale ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League final when it emerged yesterday that Cristiano Ronaldo is considering quitting the club in the summer. “I am happy here but let’s see what happens after the Champions League final,” the Portugal international told a Spanish television station. “I am feeling calm here. I’m happy, but in the future I don’t know. I know Real Madrid like how I play and I know that other teams in Spain like my game as well, so that’s good. It is good to know that other clubs are interested in you. I have said millions of times that I would love to play in Spain.” Madrid have made little secret of their interest and may be prepared to pay a world record fee for the 23-year-old, who has hit an astonishing 41 goals in all competitions this season.
Priamo takes breakaway win
Italian Matteo Priamo, riding for the CSF team, broke away to win the sixth stage of the Tour of Italy on Thursday. Priamo’s compatriot Giovanni Visconti, who rides for Quick Step, took the leader’s pink jersey. Priamo built up a decisive lead over the final run-in of the 232km stage from Potenza to Peschici after a breakaway of more than 160km. “My sole chance was to surprise my rivals,” Priamo said. “If I waited until the last kilometer, I was going to be beaten. After my attack 11km from the finish, I was confident. I knew I could beat Perez.” Priamo dedicated his stage win to Argentine teammate Ariel Maximiliano Richeze, who tested positive for doping last month and was withdrawn from the Giro on the eve of the race. “I dedicate this success to all the team, to Richeze, who is a friend, and my family,” he said. Visconti said he aimed to retain the leader’s jersey at least for another few days and was dreaming of a stage win whilst wearing it. “I want to keep this pink jersey until the individual time trial at Urbino” on May 20, he said, adding: “To win a stage with the pink jersey on my back would be a dream.”
Harbhajan given advice
Renowned sports psychologist Rudi Webster has advised banned India spinner Harbhajan Singh to seek professional help to cope with the emotional demands of competitive cricket. Harbhajan was banned for five one-day internationals this week for a slapping incident involving Shanthakumaran Sreesanth during a domestic Twenty20 league match last month. “Harbhajan must now learn to control his thinking and emotions and to keep his concentration focused and locked into the task at hand, particularly when he is under pressure,” Webster told the Asian Age newspaper. “I am sure there are many professionals in India who can help Harbhajan in those areas,” Webster said.