Fri, Jan 16, 2009 - Page 19 News List

Sport Briefs

AGENCIES

■SWAZILAND

No prostitutes for visitors

Police on Wednesday shot down suggestions that tourists should be allowed to hire prostitutes if they visit the kingdom for the 2010 World Cup in neighboring South Africa. Police spokesman Vusi Masuku said police would act against sex workers as long as a 19th century law banning prostitution remains in force. Swaziland hopes to benefit from a predicted influx of hundreds of thousands of soccer fans for the tournament in June. A spokesman for the local organizing committee, Bongani Dlamini, had earlier told local media that the issue was being looked into. “During the 2010 World Cup tournament, we are expecting tourists from all walks of life. After we have taken a decision on prostitution, we will then make a statement or even advise the tourists accordingly,” Dlamini said. Dlamini said the committee had to consider that in some countries, sex workers were not outlawed. “For example, when a tourist who needs the services of a sex worker arrives and finds that prostitution is prohibited, we will advise him accordingly that he has to propose for love to a Swazi girl first and then consent for sex,” he was quoted as saying.

■PALESTINE

Players die in Gaza attacks

Two prominent Palestinian players were killed by Israeli forces this week in the Gaza Strip, the Palestine Football Association (PFA) said on Wednesday. In a statement posted on its Web site, the PFA said a former member of the national team, Ayman al-Kurd, a 28-year-old with three children, was killed two days ago by Israeli shelling. The PFA also reported that Wajih Mushtahi, a member of the Palestinian Olympic soccer team, was killed this week in Gaza. The Islamic Jihad militant group said in a statement that Mushtahi was one of its fighters and had died in combat.

■BRAZIL

Clubs don’t need Viagra

Palmeiras and Gremio denied they are thinking of using Viagra to combat oxygen depletion during high-altitude Copa Libertadores matches. The issue emerged this week when reporters asked Gremio trainer, Alarico Endres, about the potential use of Viagra during the South American championship. “We’re going to analyze everything that could benefit the players in [high] altitude,” Endres said. But Gremio physician Marcio Bolzoni said Endres was misinterpreted. “Gremio would never uses professional athletes to experiment with a drug,” Bolzoni said. “If it is proven that it enhances an athlete’s performance, its use will be immediately considered as doping.” Palmeiras doctor Claudio Pavanelli told the GloboEsporte Web site: “Viagra may be a potent vascular dilator, but it is no use pumping more blood to the muscle if it does not have the capacity to receive it. It would be like equipping an old car with a bigger gas tank but keeping the same engine.”

■INDIA

Size matters for federation

Tall, strong and physically imposing — that’s the new mantra for talent scouts in India. Skill-wise, India is on a par with other nations but the team lacks physique, All India Football Federation’s technical director Colin Joseph Toal said this week at an under-13 soccer festival in the city of Jamshedpur. “Hence, we are focusing on talented footballers with good height and strong physique,” Toal said. India are ranked 20th in Asia after clinching the AFC Challenge Cup last August. The national team has shown improved results in the last two years under British coach Bob Houghton but are still ranked 142nd in the world. On Wednesday they lost 2-1 in a friendly to Hong Kong.

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