Materazzi wins libel payout
Italy defender Marco Materazzi has won a hefty libel payout from British newspaper the Sun over claims that he called France’s Zinedine Zidane “the son of a terrorist whore,” his lawyer said on Thursday. Britain’s biggest-selling daily, which published an apology in May, has agreed an out-of-court damages settlement, the Inter defender’s lawyer Steven Heffer said. Materazzi has accepted an undisclosed six-figure sum over claims that he used vile, racist abuse during the 2006 World Cup final at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium. The 35-year-old brought High Court libel proceedings over a series of British tabloid articles over the incident in soccer’s biggest showpiece final. After a verbal altercation in extra-time, midfielder Zidane headbutted fellow goalscorer Materazzi and was sent off.
Frederiek Nolf found dead
Belgian cyclist Frederiek Nolf, competing in the Tour of Qatar, was found dead in his bedroom on Thursday morning prior to stage five, one of the race chiefs, Eddy Merckx, said. Nolf, a member of the Topsport Vlaanderen team, was found dead by teammate Kristof Goddaert in their 14th floor shared room at the Ritz-Carlton. Organizers of the race, Amaury Sports Organization, confirmed the death of Nolf and the day’s stage — from the Camel Race Track to the Doha Foundation — was preceded by a minute’s silence in his memory. “Out of respect for Frederiek Nolf, the riders will form a cortege throughout the stage,” Merckx said. Nolf’s teammates, in shock at the news, did not start the stage. The Belgian rider, who turned professional last year, would have celebrated his 22nd birthday on Tuesday.
PSV thrash ADO, go fourth
Balazs Dzsudzsak scored three and Nordin Amrabat added two more to engineer PSV Eindhoven’s 6-0 hammering of ADO The Hague in the Dutch league on Thursday. PSV’s new striker Ola Toivonen also scored his second successive league goal for the defending champions, converting Carlos Salcido’s long-range pass in the 47th minute. Thursday’s win helped PSV move to fourth in the standings with 38 points, just two weeks after Dwight Lodeweges replaced Huub Stevens as head coach.
Rossi still recovering
World champion Valentino Rossi has not yet fully recovered from a “scary” domestic accident in which he cut his hand and foot. While he was closing the curtains at his home in Italy, the Italian rider fell onto a glass table and cut his left hand and the sole of his foot. “It was very scary because there was a lot of blood everywhere, you know, and I go to [doctor Claudio] Costa and he puts some stitches,” Rossi told Dorna Sports on Thursday. “In 10 days I will be OK,” Rossi said, waving two bandaged fingers.
Nacional draw and advance
Nacional drew with Ecuador’s El Nacional 3-3 and advanced 8-3 overall into the Copa Libertadores second round on Thursday. Playing with the freedom of a five-goal cushion from the first leg of the preliminary round, Nacional raced ahead 3-0 only for El Nacional to salvage some pride with a plucky comeback in a six-goal first half. Nacional will be in Group 3 with Argentina’s River Plate, Uruguay’s Nacional and Peru’s Universidad San Martin. The match was switched to La Olla Stadium in Asuncion after part of a stand collapsed at the Defensores del Chaco Stadium on Sunday, killing two policemen.