Fri, Sep 04, 2009 - Page 19 News List

Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

■SOCCER

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.

■SOCCER

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.

■SOCCER

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.

■CYCLING

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.

■FOOTBALL

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.

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