World Cup tickets on sale
Tickets for the 2010 World Cup went on sale on the Internet and in bank branches around South Africa on Friday, with organizers declaring it was irrevocable proof that the finals would go ahead in the country. Some 700,000 tickets for the first World Cup hosted in Africa are available for purchase out of a total of just more than 3 million for the 64 games between June 11 and July 11 next year. Fans have until the end of next month to apply for tickets before going into a random draw lottery in April to determine the successful applicants. Ticket prices range from US$20 to US$900, a drastic increase in the standard US$1.50 to US$2.50 supporters pay for entry to South African premier league matches.
Ronaldo crash claim mulled
Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo may face an insurance claim for thousands of dollars over damage to Manchester Airport when he crashed his Ferrari, officials said on Friday. Ronaldo, 23, was uninjured but wrote off his US$286,000 Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano Spider when he smashed into a roadside barrier near the airport on his way to training last month. But now he or his insurance company may have to pay out up to £20,000 (US$28,900) to repair brickwork, railings and a door damaged in the crash. A spokesman for the airport said: “Part of the airport’s infrastructure was damaged in a road traffic accident and as is normal practice, our insurers are talking to the other party’s insurance company.”
Jubilation sparks ruckus
After scoring the fifth goal in Ulbra’s 5-2 win over Brasil in the Rio Grande do Sul state soccer tournament, midfielder Rogerio Pereira apparently lost his sense of direction. Instead of the traditional celebration in front of team fans, who packed Bento Freitas Stadium in the southern Brazilian city of Pelotas on Thursday, he frolicked in front of the fans of the losing team. Enraged by what they considered a taunt aimed at humiliating them, Brasil players pounced on Ulbra players in a free-for-all with team officials also going at each other with punches and kicks. The 15-minute brawl ended when helmeted police troops wielding rubber truncheons rushed into the field to separate the two sides. No one was seriously injured.
Nadal in Davis Cup squad
World No. 1 Rafael Nadal was named in Spain’s Davis Cup squad on Friday for next month’s opening round match at home to Serbia. Nadal’s inclusion came a day after he withdrew from next week’s Dubai tournament on the advice of his doctor, to recover from the knee complaint that hindered his performance in the final in Rotterdam last weekend. Spain’s new captain Albert Costa also included David Ferrer, Tommy Robredo and Feliciano Lopez, as well as Nicolas Almagro as a reserve. Spain will play Serbia on clay in Benidorm, Spain, from March 6 to March 8.
New Zealand, India draw
New Zealand and India battled out a 1-1 draw in the first field hockey test in Wellington yesterday, setting the scene for a tight four-match series. The New Zealand Black Sticks dominated the first half and led 1-0 at the break before India fought back and equalized in the 55th minute. A hard hit into the circle, and the employment of a short passing buildup caught New Zealand unawares and Shivendra Singh capitalized from close range.