Sparta demand apology
Sparta Prague have called on Slavia defender Marek Suchy to apologize for displaying a scarf that read “Death to Sparta” after a Europa League match. Suchy, who is moving to Spartak Moscow on a one-year loan deal held up the scarf following Slavia’s 0-0 draw with Genoa, his last home game. Sparta called his behavior “unacceptable” in a statement on Monday and demanded an apology. The Czech soccer federation’s disciplinary committee has declined to address the incident and instead recommended that Sparta take its protest to UEFA, European soccer’s governing body. Sparta has said it doesn’t plan to do that because it would damage the reputation of Czech soccer.
Rain puts dampener on Test
Rain had the last say on the fifth day of the third and final Test between New Zealand and Pakistan in Napier yesterday after the Kiwis charge for a victory target of 208 in a minimum of 43 overs came to a soggy conclusion with the hosts on 90 without loss. Pakistan had battled their way to 455 all out in their second innings with the Akmal brothers, Umar and Kamran both completing half-centuries yesterday. BJ Watling and Tim McIntosh then put on an unbeaten 90 for the first wicket leaving the Kiwis still needing 118 from a minimum of 18 overs when the rain came to Pakistan’s rescue. The series ended 1-1.
Court suspends ban
A Belgian court on Monday suspended the one-year doping bans given to Yanina Wickmayer and Xavier Malisse. Wickmayer’s lawyers hope the injunction will make 16th-ranked Wickmayer eligible to play as soon as possible. The US Open semi-finalist hopes to receive a wild card for the Australian Open. Shortly after the ruling, she was offered a wild card to the ASB Classic. The Jan. 4 to Jan. 9 tournament in New Zealand serves as a tuneup for the Australian Open, the year’s first Grand Slam event. Wickmayer and Malisse were suspended by a Belgian court on Nov. 5 for breaking World Anti-Doping Agency rules by failing to report their whereabouts for drug testing three times. De Saedeleer said that by suspending the original ruling, the Brussels court made it clear tennis authorities no longer had a legal basis to justify their penalty. Wickmayer claims she was not properly informed of the online reporting requirements for drug-testing that led to her ban.
Patriots rally round Moss
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady have rushed to the defense of wide-receiver Randy Moss after opponents accused him of easing off after physical challenges. Carolina Panthers cornerback Chris Gamble and safety Chris Harris both said on Sunday that Moss rarely performed well after coming in for some physical treatment. The Patriots beat the Panthers 20-10 but Moss made just one catch, a 16-yard reception that ended in a fumble, and the Panthers pair said that was because Moss was known as a player who “shut it down” after receiving some tough attention. “I have a lot of respect for Randy, I think he’s one of our best players,” Belichick said. “I think if you watch other teams defend him they think the same way. Brady said that any failings in the Patriots’ performance were collective. “Randy is one of the best players in the NFL. When it doesn’t go perfect out there, everyone wants to jump on Randy. It’s all of us and we all have to do better,” he said.
As they celebrated Naomi Osaka’s victory in the final of the US Open in New York City’s Flushing Meadows on Saturday, Tokyoites were eager to embrace their heroines’ stand against racial injustice. Osaka, who won her third Grand Slam title with a victory over Victoria Azarenka, has used her platform to support the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, wearing a mask bearing the name of a different African American before each of her seven matches in the championship. She had donned masks bearing the names of Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, George Floyd and Philando Castile. On Saturday, she walked
KEY GOAL: Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei is now free to focus on taking her fourth doubles title of the year with Barbora Strycova; they are due to face Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya Taiwanese No. 1 Hsieh Su-wei on Monday returned to the court for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the WTA Tour, falling to a 6-3, 6-1 defeat to US Open quarter-finalist Elise Mertens, who made a solid transition from the hard courts in New York to the clay at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. “I’m not sure how well I adapted, to be honest,” Mertens told the WTA Web site. “I just feel like I might still be struggling a little. It was also [Hsieh’s] first match of the week, so that was a bit of an
THOROUGH THRASHING: Hualien City beat Taichung Blue Whale 2-1, ending their three-year winning streak with one round of matches left and eight points to spare Hualien City on Saturday clinched this year’s Taiwan Mulan Football League title with one game to spare, by beating Taichung Blue Whale 2-1 at Fu Jen Catholic University in New Taipei City. Hualien City have scored 38 points this season. Blue Whale are second on the scoreboard with 30 points, while Taipei Bravo are third with 23 points. One final round of matches is to be played on Saturday. It is the fourth league trophy for Hualien City, and ends Blue Whale’s three-year winning streak. Hualien had won the title from 2014 to 2016. Both teams defended well, leaving few chances in front
‘FUN TIME’: Denver’s Nikola Jokic said that his team would not accept that anyone else is better than them and the opposition need to play much better than they do Just about everyone had LA versus LA written in for the NBA’s Western Conference finals, but the resilient Denver Nuggets have crashed the party. Behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2009 to face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Game 1 is scheduled to be played tomorrow. This was no ordinary road. The Nuggets fell behind 3-1 in their first-round series against the Utah Jazz before bouncing back with three straight victories. Then they went down 3-1 to the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round before winning in Game 7