Fri, Mar 26, 2010 - Page 19 News List

Sport Briefs

AGENCIES

■BASEBALL

Talent drain unstoppable

The commissioner of Japanese baseball said there was little his office could do about the talent drain to the US major leagues. “There is no way to stop this,” Ryozo Kato said at a news conference on Wednesday. “It’s only natural for talented, young Japanese players to want to play in the major leagues. Look at the ballparks in the United States, they are much better than those in Japan.” Eighteen Japanese players played in Major League Baseball last season. Several more like Hisanori Takahashi and Ryota Igarashi of the New York Mets left Japan in the offseason.

■BASEBALL

All-Star caught drug driving

Former Major League Baseball player Dwight Gooden has been charged with driving under the influence of drugs after a car accident early on Tuesday, police said. Police in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey said on Wednesday it was too early to tell what the controlled substance was. Gooden was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child, who was in the car, and driving while under the influence with a child passenger. Police declined to identify the child. Other charges included leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident and reckless driving. Gooden, a four-time All-Star pitcher with a career record of 194-112, was released on his own recognizance, police said.

■SOCCER

Russia aims for World Cup

Russia has “a good chance” of organizing the 2018 World Cup, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday. Addressing the requirements for prospective host countries set out by world football governing body FIFA, Putin said that a number of “taxation problems” would be sorted out. FIFA demands that host countries provide specific taxation and customs facilities as well as easing entry requirements to the country for players, officials and supporters, Putin said. Russia’s rivals for the organisation of the 2018 tournament are the US, Australia, England, Japan, the Netherlands/Belgium, Mexico and Spain/Portugal.

■BOXING

Margarito to make return

Disgraced former welterweight champion Antonio Margarito of Mexico will make his return to the ring after more than a year’s layoff on May 8 in his homeland, promoters announced on Wednesday. Margarito, 37-6 with 27 knockouts, will fight compatriot Roberto Garcia in a 10-round junior middleweight bout at Aguascalientes. Garcia is on a five-year, 14-fight win streak. Margarito had his boxing license suspended for at least a year by California authorities after a plaster-like substance was discovered in his handwraps before a bout in January of last year in which he lost to Shane Mosley.

■SOCCER

Man U freezes ticket prices

Manchester United announced on Wednesday that ticket prices at Old Trafford would be frozen next season. United’s owners, the Glazer family, have been criticised for the size of ticket price rises since their takeover in 2005 and fans reacted angrily when it was claimed further increases were on the cards for next season. United have moved to calm the situation by saying prices will be kept on this season’s level for next season. The move means admission on matchdays to watch Sir Alex Ferguson’s team will continue to cost between £27£ (US$40) and £49, with season tickets ranging from £513 to £931.

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