Sevilla, Osasuna advance
Luis Fabiano’s hat trick helped Sevilla to a 4-0 win over Ponferradina and Walter Pandiani’s goal helped Osasuna beat Getafe 1-0 on Thursday in the Copa del Rey. Ponferradina, a third-division club, brought a 1-0 first-leg lead, but Fabiano evened the tie in the 29th minute after heading Ndri Romaric’s cross beyond goalkeeper Alejandro Garcia. Jesus Nava headed the Brazil international into the clear in the 49th for him to coolly chip over Garcia for a second. Fabiano ensured the Cup holders progression to the last 16 in the 67th after scoring from a low volley. Sevilla capped the 4-1 aggregate through Enza Maresca in injury time. Getafe goalkeeper Jacobo Sanz was at fault in the 32nd minute after delivering a lazy pass straight to Pandiani. The Italian striker managed to rush the net and score over Jacobo for coach Jose Antonio Camacho’s first victory and the Basque club’s first goal in 437 minutes.
Basques threaten boycott
Basque players may boycott a friendly against Iran next month because of a dispute over the team name for the Spanish region’s representative side. One hundred and sixty-five current and former Basque players said in a statement on Thursday that they will not be available for the Dec. 23 match if the Basque soccer federation returns to calling the team Euskadi instead of Euskadi Herria. The federation changed the name to Euskadi Herria last July at the urging of the players, who felt it was a better overall reference to the players’ origins. The Basque Country had been referred to as Euskadi since 1990. Twenty-seven players from Basque club Athletic Bilbao and others from a variety of clubs ranging from Real Sociedad to Panathinaikos signed the letter. Like other Spanish regions, players native to the Basque Country occasionally gather to compete in friendlies against international teams.
Club may sue Brit plumber
Real Mallorca were examining legal options after a potential British buyer reneged on a deal to purchase the Spanish club on Thursday. President Vicente Grande said Mallorca would “always defend its interests” after Paul Davidson pulled out of a reported 38 million euro (US$49 million) deal. “It’s not good that the club is on sale for so long,” Grande said on the club’s Web site. Mallorca have been hit by financial instability with reported liabilities of 830 million euros. Grande said the club, who are 11th in the league table, would not be affected by the fallout. “Mallorca is in good economic shape,” Grande said. David, who heads a British-based pipefitting company Fluid Leader Group Plc, was set to purchase a 91 percent share.
Capello bans ketchup
England coach Fabio Capello told his players to stop eating fried food and ketchup as part of his efforts to lift the team following its failure to qualify for the European Championship. Capello has taken England to the top of its qualifying group for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, with some of the improvement apparently due to an improvement in diet and discipline. “I have, for example, impressed upon them the advantages of a Mediterranean diet over ketchup and chips [french fries],” Capello said in an interview with FIFA Magazine. “I have also put some rules of conduct in place for when the national team meets up, from eating breakfast together to the use of mobile phones, which must be switched off from time to time,” he said.
Valuev to take on Holyfield
World heavyweight champion Nikolai Valuev will defend his WBA title against ex-champ Evander Holyfield in Zurich on Dec. 20, Valuev’s promoter announced on Thursday. The 35-year-old, 2.15m Russian is confident of victory over 46-year-old American Holyfield, who will be bidding to become world champion for the fifth time. “Holyfield was a great champion,” said Valuev, who is managed by German promoters Sauerland. “He is very experienced, but I have no doubts that I will beat him. I take this fight very seriously.” The clash will take place in Zurich’s Hallenstadion, where Muhammad Ali stopped German heavyweight Jurgen Blin in the seventh round of their meeting in 1971. Four-time heavyweight champion Holyfield boasts a record of 42 wins and 27 KOs with nine defeats — four of which have come in the last six years — while Valuev has 49 wins and 34 KOs with one defeat.
Fourth skipper quits Vendee
Alex Thomson became the fourth skipper to abandon the Vendee Globe solo around-the-world yacht race when he decided on Thursday that repairs would take too long. Thomson had turned his Hugo Boss yacht back to Les Sables d’Olonne on the west coast of France after a crack to the port side hull caused flooding. He hoped to continue, but inspections showed he would not be ready to sail out again by Wednesday’s restart deadline. “Repairs would take weeks rather than days,” Thomson said. “I am gutted, absolutely gutted. To have put everything into this for the last four years, and battling to get away like we had to do, this just feels so unjust.” French skippers Yannick Bestaven, Marc Thiercelin and Kito de Pavant also quit after losing their masts in rough seas. Lorick Peyron has a narrow lead over French rivals Sebastien Josse and Jean-Pierre Dick.
NBA fines Theus US$25,000
The NBA fined Sacramento Kings coach Reggie Theus US$25,000 on Thursday for criticizing officials following a loss to the Detroit Pistons. The league also penalized the Kings US$25,000 for Theus’ actions. Theus said it was “ridiculous” that the Pistons took 36 foul shots to just 17 for the Kings in Detroit’s 100-92 victory in Sacramento on Tuesday.
Bulls sign Lindsey Hunter
The injury-depleted Chicago Bulls signed veteran point guard Lindsey Hunter, who was expected to join the team for the game on Thursday against the Dallas Mavericks. With a Bulls backcourt thinned by injuries, the 37-year-old Hunter brings 15 years of experience to the team. He played 24 games for Detroit last season. Guard Kirk Hinrich could be out for three months after thumb surgery, and Larry Hughes hasn’t played this season because of a preseason shoulder injury.
Yankees, Marte clinch deal
Left-hander Damaso Marte is remaining with the New York Yankees after agreeing to a US$12 million, three-year contract that includes a club option for 2012. New York last week declined a US$6 million option on the 33-year-old reliever, choosing to pay a US$250,000 buyout. Marte was acquired with outfielder Xavier Nady from Pittsburgh on July 26 for pitchers Ross Ohlendorf, Jeff Karstens and Daniel McCutchen and outfielder Jose Tabata. Marte went 1-3 with a 5.40 ERA in 25 games for the Yankees and 5-3 with a 4.02 ERA overall.
APPROPRIATE RESPONSE: The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan expressed ‘sincere regret’ for publishing the image on its in-house magazine and Web site A satirical mock-up depicting the Tokyo Games logo as the novel coronavirus has been pulled from online after Olympic organizers branded it “insensitive” and said that it infringed copyright. The design combines the distinctive, spiky image of the coronavirus cell with the blue-and-white Tokyo Games logo. It appeared on the cover of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan’s magazine. The Tokyo Games have been postponed until next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has left hundreds of thousands of people dead and halted sport worldwide. Club president Khaldon Azhari yesterday said that the club had decided to withdraw the image and remove
Uncertainty grips next year’s postponed Tokyo Olympic Games: Will there be fans or empty stadiums in 14 months? How will thousands of athletes, staff members and technical officials travel, be housed and stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic? And the Tokyo Games are not the only event. China, where COVID-19 was first detected, is to hold three mega-sports events in the year after the Tokyo Olympics are set to close. The World University Games in Chengdu, China, are to open, with up to 8,000 athletes, only 10 days after the Tokyo Games close. Next come the Beijing Winter Olympics beginning on Feb. 4, 2022,
When South Korea’s domestic women’s golf tour held its premier event last week — without spectators because of the COVID-19 pandemic — no fewer than three of the world’s top 10 players took part. The country of 52 million people has a disproportionate share of the women’s world golf rankings, providing eight of the current top 20. In a demonstration of their prominence, South Korean women have won at least one major every season since 2010, with coronavirus cancellations perhaps the biggest threat to their run this year. The phenomenon, players and commentators have said, results from driven parents, intense training, a highly
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