Thu, Dec 25, 2008 - Page 19 News List

Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

■SOCCER

Romario plans to sue Vasco

Romario is planning to sue Vasco da Gama for US$16.4 million he says the club owes him in payments, local media reported on Tuesday. The debt stems from image rights and other payments the club allegedly failed to pay the veteran striker, who retired this year after his contract with Vasco expired. Vasco officials acknowledged the debt last year and said they were paying the player, but Romario’s lawyers told the O Globo newspaper that the club stopped paying the installments in August. Vasco officials claimed they stopped the payments because the club was short on money. Romario alleges that the team’s new sponsorship deals have put the club in position to make the payments again. Both parties said they were willing to reach an agreement, but Romario’s lawyer Norval Valerio said the player would sue the club early next year if the club doesn’t resume the installments. Vasco, four-time national champions, were relegated to the second division of the Brazilian league after a dismal campaign this year. Romario began his career with Vasco in 1985. Considered one of the top Brazilian strikers of all time, Romario led Brazil to their fourth World Cup title in 1994, when he was named FIFA player of the year.

■FORMULA ONE

Karthikeyan pans Mallya

India’s first Formula One driver Narain Karthikeyan said he was never interested in joining Force India and criticized team co-owner Vijay Mallya for saying no Indian was good enough to drive in F1. “I spent a frustrating time with Jordan, where I had a car that just could not perform. I have no desire to be with another pedestrian team that’s low on performance and loud on talk,” Karthikeyan told the Hindustan Times newspaper yesterday. Indian billionaire Mallya bought into the Spyker team last year and renamed it Force India. He told the newspaper recently that neither Karthikeyan nor the country’s next hope, Karun Chandhok, were good enough for his team. Force India failed to score a point in its first season and confirmed this month that Italian Giancarlo Fisichella and German Adrian Sutil will race for them again next year.

■SOCCER

Spain launches 2018 bid

The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) plans to submit a joint bid with Portugal to host the 2018 World Cup. “The board have finalized today the formal tender for Spain’s candidature to organize the 2018 World Cup to be held jointly with Portugal,” the RFEF said in a statement on Tuesday. The winning bid will be announced in December 2010. European champions Spain and Portugal declared their interest in hosting the tournament after FIFA said it would welcome bids for both the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. FIFA president Sepp Blatter said Spain, alone or with Portugal, were strong candidates for 2018, as were England and the Netherlands with Belgium. Australia, China, Mexico and Russia have also expressed interest.

■SWIMMING

Pellegrini diagnosed

Italy’s 200m freestyle Olympic champion Federica Pellegrini said she had been diagnosed with a form of asthma, which caused her to hyperventilate during a race at the Italian winter championships last month. “I gave a big sigh of relief today as I did a test in Verona and I’ve finally found out what my problem is,” the 20-year-old told the ANSA news agency. “I have bronchial spasms, basically I suffer from asthma. There’s no problem about being unfit for competition.”

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