Thu, Jan 08, 2009 - Page 18 News List

Soccer Shorts

AGENCIES

■SOUTH AFRICA

Whistleblower shot dead

A South African official who blew the whistle on alleged corruption in the building of a stadium for the 2010 World Cup has been shot dead by unknown gunmen, an official statement said on Monday. Jimmy Mohlala, a member of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), was shot dead late on Sunday at his home in the city of Nelspruit, the Mbombela Local Council Municipality said in the statement. “He was shot by two unknown men who were wearing balaclavas ... the gunmen had been lying in wait outside the Mohlala home in an unmarked vehicle,” it said. Mohlala made headlines a year ago with reports that some members of the ANC wanted him sacked for allegedly turning in a colleague over graft claims in the construction of the Mbombela stadium. His claims sparked an investigation into a range of allegations, including the manipulation of tenders in 2010 construction contracts, SAPA news agency said.

■SPAIN

Keeper regrets fan clash

Espanyol’s Cameroon international Carlos Kameni said on Tuesday he regrets tussling with a fan who told him not to bother renewing his contract with the club after recent blunders by the goalkeeper. “I regret what happened. I neither wanted, nor tried to, attack anyone or create any kind of problem with my behavior but it was very hard for me to hear certain comments while I was training,” he said. “I always give my all in training and matches.” Kameni, whose contract expires at the end of the season, approached the fan on Tuesday at a training session and grabbed him by the scruff of the neck before teammates pulled him away, images on Spanish television showed. “I’m a professional. You should respect my work, respect me,” he shouted at the fan according to the online edition of newspaper El Pais.

■England

Campaigners slam sentence

Road safety campaigners vented their anger on Tuesday after Newcastle United’s Nigerian international striker Obafemi Martins was not banned from driving despite being caught speeding well over the limit. The 24-year-old was driving at 106mph (171kph) in his Porsche on a 70mph road. Newcastle Magistrates’ Court heard on Monday that Martins broke the speed limit last May for fear of missing a flight to see his sick son in Italy. He was fined £550 (US$810) and ordered to pay £400 costs. He also had six points put on his driving licence. District judge Stephen Earl gave Martins credit for his guilty plea and unblemished driving record. But Cathy Keeler of road safety charity Brake, said drivers going faster than 100mph should automatically lose their licence. “Going so much over the speed limit is taking a blatant risk with lives on the road,” she said. “There is absolutely no excuse. For someone who is a role model in the community, this sends out a terrible message that road safety does not matter.”

■England

Brazil star trains with Bolton

Brazilian World Cup winner Denilson could soon be playing in the English Premier League. The 31-year-old, once the most expensive player in the world, is out of contract with Palmeiras and having a trial with Bolton. Denilson was in the Brazil lineup that won the World Cup final against Germany in 2002 although he only went on as an 89th-minute substitute for Ronaldo. He also played in the 1998 final when Brazil lost to France. He then spent seven seasons playing in Spain for Real Betis, who bought him from Sao Paolo in 1998 for a record fee of US$32 million.

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