Zheng Zhi signs for Celtic
China captain Zheng Zhi has signed a two-year contract with Scottish giants Celtic, state media said yesterday. The 29-year-old midfielder signed with the Glasgow club for £10,000 (US$16,250) a week, Soccer News reported. Zheng was a free agent after his contract at English League One club Charlton expired at the end of last season. Newly hired Celtic coach Tony Mowbray was keen to sign Zheng when he was manager at West Bromwich Albion and is finally set to get his man, subject to a work permit being granted.
Madonna fans damage pitch
Bulgaria have raised concerns over the state of the pitch at the Vasil Levski national stadium in Sofia ahead of tomorrow’s World Cup qualifier against Montenegro after fans attending a recent Madonna concert damaged the playing surface. “It’s disgraceful,” Bulgaria’s sporting director Nasko Sirakov told the local soccer union’s Web site, www.bfunion.bg. “Do we have a national stadium or not?” Bulgaria face the prospect of playing former Yugoslav republic in a Group Eight qualifier at the 44,000-capacity venue on a pitch that looks far from adequate for a high-profile game. Bulgaria coach Stanimir Stoilov also blamed stadium officials for allowing last Saturday’s Madonna’s concert to take place just a week before such important match. “These people have no idea how to take care of the pitch, the surface is completely destroyed,” Stoilov told reporters. “There’s no grass on it ... we should sue them for crimes against soccer,” he said.
Player banned for kicking
A Bolivian soccer player has been banned for one year for assaulting an opponent with a flying karate kick after both players had been sent off. Blooming defender Sergio Jauregui was suspended at a meeting of the Bolivian league’s disciplinary tribunal in La Paz following the incident in the derby against Oriente Petrolero on Aug. 23, Bolivian media said on Wednesday. The astonishing attack, featured on video clips posted on various Web sites, left Oriente forward Leonardo Medina needing hospital treatment and put him out of action for two weeks.
Horner forced to quit Vuelta
American Chris Horner has been forced out of the Tour of Spain after sustaining injuries in the mass pile-up that marred the end of Tuesday’s stage, his Astana team said on Wednesday. Another Astana rider, Alexandre Vinokourov, was also caught up in the melee which took down dozens of riders at a roundabout made slippery by the rain, but he will continue, his team said. Horner has a fracture on his left hand, severe bruising on his right hip and a deep cut on his upper lip. The American, who is known for his climbing skills, had been 20th overall at only 23 seconds behind race leader Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland. Wednesday was the first rest day on the three-week Tour of Spain.
Cowboys top value rankings
The Dallas Cowboys are No. 1 in something even before the NFL season begins: total value. The Cowboys are worth US$1.65 billion, the most of any US-based sports team, according to Forbes magazine’s annual rankings. Only Manchester United of the English Premier League is worth more worldwide at US$1.87 billion. The Cowboys lead the rankings for the third straight year and are worth US$100 million more than the runners-up, the Washington Redskins.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said that he had called in the “third umpire” as he announced that recreational cricket would be allowed to resume next weekend. In a radio interview earlier on Friday, Johnson angered thousands of club cricketers by saying that the amateur game was still not safe to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic because of issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms. “It’s the teas, it’s the changing rooms and so on and so forth. There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis,” he said. Johnson had already
Indian police are investigating an alleged betting scandal in which a sham cricket tournament was held in an Indian village and passed off as a Twenty20 contest played in Sri Lanka. Players portrayed as Sri Lankan cricketers played two matches on Monday last week that were broadcast with live commentary on YouTube, media reports said, along with ball-by-ball coverage on top Indian sports Web sites. The organizers hung Sri Lankan advertisements at the ground for added authenticity and put up tents to block the view from outside the remote rural venue, set in farmland next to a busy highway. Police said that they
Taipower on Sunday charged to their third straight win and took over first place in the Taiwan Football Premier League as previous leaders Taichung Futuro suffered their first defeat of the season, while Hang Yuan rallied from two goals down to complete a thrilling 3-2 victory over National Taiwan University of Sport (NTUS). Heading into the 10th round of matches, unbeaten Taichung Futuro led the league with 21 points, but they fell to their first defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss to Tatung at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung. In a match in which both defenses were on top and there
HOTSHOT: Luis Suarez scored his 194th goal for Barca, tying him with Ladislao Kubala as the club’s third-highest scorer, behind Cesar Rodriguez and Lionel Messi With another decisive penalty from Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid on Sunday extended their perfect run after the COVID-19 suspension and moved closer to their first Spanish title in three years. Ramos scored his fifth goal since the season resumed as Madrid defeated Athletic Bilbao 1-0 to maintain a four-point lead over Barcelona, who beat fifth-placed Villarreal 4-1. Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann were among the scorers for Barcelona after assists from Lionel Messi. Ramos converted a 73rd-minute penalty to give Madrid their seventh straight victory and they remain the only team with a perfect record since La Liga resumed. “These three points are very