Fri, Jun 12, 2009 - Page 19 News List

Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

■SOCCER

Scotsman backs England

While most Scotland fans hoped outsiders Andorra could spring a major shock by beating England at Wembley in Wednesday’s World Cup qualifier, one Scottish punter rejoiced in a home win. A customer of leading British bookmaker Ladbrokes in Livingston, near Edinburgh, staked £135,000 (US$220,787) on an England win — with Fabio Capello’s men at odds as short of 1/200 to defeat the minnows. England’s 6-0 thrashing of Andorra meant the customer won a mere £675 as a result of his substantial bet. Ladbrokes spokesman Robin Hutchison said: “I don’t know what’s less believable, a Scotsman backing England or someone risking £135,000 to win peanuts.”

■CYCLING

Evans back in yellow

Germany’s world time-trial champion Bert Grabsch of the Columbia team won the fourth stage of the Dauphine Libere race in Valence, France, on Wednesday, a 42.4km time trial. The 33-year-old German outpaced Australia’s two-time Tour de France runner-up Cadel Evans by just seven seconds. However, Evans regained the overall leader’s yellow jersey he lost on Tuesday to Dutchman Niki Terpstra, who could only finish in 114th place, over five minutes behind the stage winner.

■SOCCER

Materazzi stays on at Inter

Italian World Cup winner Marco Materazzi has extended his contract with Serie A champions Inter Milan by one year to next year, the UEFA Web site reported on Wednesday. “He always played well when we needed him last season,” Inter president Massimo Moratti said of a player who was used sparingly during the 2008-2009 campaign. Materazzi, a 35-year-old center-back, has 41 Italy caps to his name but featured in only eight leagues matches last season, which was his eighth at the San Siro.

■SOCCER

Bafana demand bonus

South Africa’s hot-and-cold national team Bafana Bafana are demanding increased bonuses to play in the Confederations Cup, just four days away from the start, the local soccer association said on Wednesday. “The call to represent your country should be an honor ... not about how much you will get paid. There are many players out there who would appreciate the opportunity,” South African Football Association (SAFA) spokesman Morio Senyane said. He refused to say what players were demanding, but newspapers reported that Bafana Bafana players were demanding 34 million rand (US$4 million), while SAFA was prepared to pay the team 14 million rand. “As far as we are concerned the matter is closed, we made the offer way in advance and we never received any counter offers from the players until now,” Senyane said. The players were not available for comment.

■ICE HOCKEY

Stars fire coach: source

The Dallas Stars fired coach Dave Tippett on Wednesday, the first major move by the NHL team under new general manager Joe Nieuwendyk. A person familiar with the decision confirmed the firing to reporters on condition of anonymity because the team was not releasing the news. The Stars hired Nieuwendyk, who helped them win a Stanley Cup in 1999, 10 days ago. Canadian cable sports channel TSN quoted unidentified sources as saying the Stars had asked for permission to talk to former Los Angeles Kings coach Marc Crawford. Tippett was hired on May 21, 2002, and had a 271-59-162 record in six seasons.

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