Thu, Jul 16, 2009 - Page 19 News List

Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

■SOCCER

Police arrest Romario

Former Barcelona and Brazil striker Romario was arrested on Tuesday for neglecting to make alimony payments to first wife Monica Santoro, Brazilian media reported. Romario, who helped Brazil win their fourth World Cup title in the US in 1994, might have to spend the night in a police cell, media reports said. Romario, 43, had two of his six children with Santoro before they separated in 1995.

■SOCCER

South African strike ends

A strike by workers at South Africa’s World Cup stadiums ended after an agreement on a wage dispute in the early hours of yesterday, public television reported. The week-long strike threatened the completion deadlines of five venues for next year’s World Cup and other major projects associated with the world’s most watched sporting event. The SABC reported unions accepted a 12 percent wage offer after 15 hours of “intense talks.” Construction workers had demanded 13 percent. Employers lost a bid to get construction workers to waive their right to strike in future. Zwelenzima Vavi of the union federation COSATU said workers would return to work this morning after signing the agreement. “It is a huge relief, we are hosting a World Cup next year and we can’t afford a delay in the construction of the stadiums,” Vavi said.

■TENNIS

Serena meets Obama

US President Barack Obama welcomed Wimbledon champion Serena Williams to the White House on Tuesday. “It was amazing,” Williams said. “I love President Obama; he has such an unbelievable presence, and he seems to be so normal — and he noticed my shoes. I think that was the highlight of the whole day, was he liked my shoes.” Williams said she was wearing 13cm heels for the presidential visit. “He asked me, ‘Should I be wearing high heels?’ So I thought that was kind of funny because he may have been right,” Williams said. “Because it is a job hazard for me, but I insist on wearing them.” Williams got to meet Michelle Obama and the rest of the first family. “I didn’t know she had such an amazing personality,” Williams said. “She had me cracking up and laughing. I knew she was a great person, but now I really understand how important this first family is to the United States. And the kids were just so cute and sweet, and the dog was nice.”

■SOCCER

Raul praises Ronaldo

Real Madrid captain Raul heaped praise on his new team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo on Tuesday, calling the Portuguese international winger “super nice” and “hardworking.” “He is super nice, normal and very harworking,” he told a news conference in Maynooth, Ireland where the club began a nine-day pre-season training camp on Tuesday. “He is integrated. He seems very happy. In the media it seems like everything he does and says, every gesture, has a lot of meaning but he is much more normal than people think,” the 32-year-old said. Real signed Ronaldo from Manchester United last month on a six-year deal worth around 94 million euros (US$131 million) and he will reportedly be paid 13 million euros each season, making him the most expensive player in the world. The 24-year-old, was officially unveiled before some 75,000 ecstatic Real fans on July 6 at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium, is being protected by several security guards during his stay in Ireland. Real will play a friendly match against current Irish champions Shamrock Rovers on Monday, two days before its training camp in Ireland ends.

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