Team sacrifices lamb
Bulgarian club Pirin Blagoevgrad have sacrificed a lamb on their home pitch in the hope it will turn results their way, local media reported yesterday. Pirin have just returned to their ground, which was being repaired for several months, at the end of last month only to suffer a 3-1 loss to Chernomorets Burgas — their first defeat in nine league matches. Pirin then lost 2-0 at Lokomotiv Plovdiv last week to slip to 10th in the standings. The lamb was killed at the center of the field with goals then painted with the animal’s blood on Friday — a day before Pirin’s home match against Beroe Stara Zagora. “We just can’t afford losing again at our stadium,” coach Stefan Grozdanov was quoted as saying in the 7 Dni Sport daily. “But I think our footballers are feeling uneasy when playing at our pitch after the repair. They seem like stepping on pins,” he said.
Winning streak ended
Borussia Moenchengladbach ended Eintracht Frankfurt’s three-game winning streak with a 2-0 Bundesliga victory in Frankfurt, Germany, on Friday. Marco Reus scored with a header in the sixth minute. Michael Bradley played a through ball to Raul Bobadilla, who chipped it over goalkeeper Oka Nikolov and Reus finished the move from close range. Defender Dante rose above Frankfurt’s defense to also score with a header in in the 56th. The win ended Moenchengladbach’s already fading relegation worries.
Essex players investigated
Two Essex players are being investigated by police over allegations of “match irregularities,” the English club said on Friday, the opening day of the new county championship season. A statement from Essex Police read: “Following allegations received about two Essex County Cricket players involved in match irregularities, we have initiated an investigation and are working closely with Essex County Cricket Club and the English Cricket Board.” The Press Association understood the allegations to be related to betting, but there was no official comment from the county or the England and Wales Cricket Board. Essex Police refused to name the players under investigation.
Threat made for World Cup
FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke said there had been a terrorist threat to the World Cup, but it would not stop organizers from holding the month-long soccer tournament. Valcke commented on Friday on writings in an online magazine that talked about “how beautiful” it would be if a bomb exploded at the match between the US and England in the city of Rustenburg. Valcke said FIFA had received information about the threat and World Cup organizers were working at “the highest level of security.” The comments appeared to come from a contributor to a militant e-magazine called Yearners for Paradise, not usual sites used by al-Qaeda and other groups to make threats. In the article, the author said he was not a spokesman for al-Qaeda.
Zaveck retains title
Slovenia’s Jan Zaveck on Friday retained his International Boxing Federation welterweight crown with a 12th-round technical knockout of challenger Rudolpho Martinez of Argentina in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Zaveck, 34, making his first defense since winning the title in December, now has 29 wins under his belt, including 16 knockouts, for just one defeat.
‘CRIMINAL ACT’: The UCI said it ‘strongly condemns’ Dylan Groenewegen’s ‘dangerous behavior,’ which left Jakobsen in critical condition and injured other cyclists Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen was in a coma on Wednesday, in “serious” condition, after he was thrown into and over a barrier at 80kph in the conclusion to the opening stage of the Tour de Pologne. Footage showed 23-year-old Jakobsen, of the Deceuninck-Quick-Step, racing elbow-to-elbow with fellow Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen of Jumbo-Visma as both men frantically tussled in a tight sprint to the line in Katowice. However, Jakobsen came off worst, somersaulting over the barriers before colliding with a photographer after Groenewegen had veered suddenly to the right, squeezing his rival into the security wall. “His condition is very serious. His life is
WEEKEND MATCHES: While Tatung FC made good on their chances early on, Taiwan Steel rallied to win the game 2-3 and move to the top with Taichung Futuro Sunday’s action saw Taichung Futuro, Taipower FC and Taiwan Steel tied for first place on 30 points in the Taiwan Football Premier League, while Hang Yuan FC picked up a point to take the No. 4 spot on 25 points after holding Taipower to a scoreless draw. In Taoyuan, Tatung FC hosted Taiwan Steel. It was an exciting matchup, as the visitors rallied from 2-0 down to take the game with three goals. Tatung made good on their chances early on. Honduran midfielder Elias Argueta opened the account 15 minutes into the game with a low shot from the right. Three minutes
Ronnie O’Sullivan delivered a scathing attack on the next generation of snooker players after he made the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championship on Sunday, ending Chinese star Ding Junhui’s world championship dream. The mercurial 44-year-old Englishman won an enthralling high-quality second-round encounter 13-10 to set up a quarter-final clash with three-time champion Mark Williams. When asked by the BBC whether he thought he would remain at the top of the game for this long, the Briton, who turned professional in 1992, said the poor quality of younger players had secured his position and that something drastic would have to happen
Max Verstappen informed his Red Bull team that he would not be driving “like a grandma” in Formula One’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix on Sunday — and he was as good as his word. The Dutch 22-year-old seized his opportunity at Silverstone, ending dominant Mercedes’ run of four successive wins this season and moving up to second place overall, 30 points behind leader Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen’s confidence shone through early on, after slotting into third place behind the two Mercedes, when he was told by race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase to take care of his tires. “Mate, this is the only chance of being