BCC to host tournament
The British Chamber of Commerce will be holding its first international soccer tournament at Taipei European School’s Wen Lin Campus tomorrow. Spectators are invited to join in the fun from 12:30pm to 5pm at No. 727, Wen Lin Rd, Shihlin. Snacks and refreshments will be available. Friends, spouses and children of the players and other interested spectators are welcome to go along to the warm-up event before the World Cup begins next Friday.
Benitez offered pay-off
Liverpool have offered coach Rafael Benitez a £3 million (US$4.5 million) deal paving the way for the Spaniard to leave the club in the summer, the Times newspaper reported on Wednesday. The report said the club’s board had proposed the deal to ease Benitez out after a disappointing season that saw the five-time European champions place seventh in the Premier League, missing out on lucrative Champions League qualification. Benitez would normally be entitled to £16 million in compensation for leaving early, having signed a five-year contract only in March of last year, but with reported debts of £351 million, Liverpool will not be able to manage that much and hopes of a compromise appear to be founded on the belief that the coach might walk if the club does not commit to major investment.
Ken Griffey Jr retires
Seattle Mariners slugger Ken Griffey Jr, whose 630 career home runs rank him fifth on the all-time list, retired after a 22-season career, the team said on Wednesday. The 40-year-old, 13-time All-Star outfielder was selected first overall by Seattle in 1987 and also spent time with the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago White Sox, before returning to the Mariners last year. “Ken is both the finest ballplayer I have ever known and one of the finest people I have ever known,” Mariners president Chuck Armstrong said in a statement. Griffey ends his illustrious career trailing only Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714) and Willie Mays (660) for home runs.
‘Mechanical doping’ probed
The International Cycling Union (UCI) will examine the issue of so-called “mechanical doping” involving battery-powered motors at a meeting next week with bike manufacturers. UCI president Pat McQuaid said on Wednesday he did not believe rumors sweeping the sport that racers were cheating by getting extra power from motors hidden in their bike frames. “We have no belief at the moment that it’s actually a fact,” McQuaid said in a telephone interview, but he said the subject is on the agenda of a routine meeting between the UCI and industry representatives on Monday. “We want to make sure that, as batteries on bikes progress, the UCI is in a position to monitor completely any usage there might be in an unfair way.” McQuaid said the UCI had been in contact with Davide Cassani, who claims to have tested a motorized bike that could help a rider cheat.
Engoulvent wins prologue
Frenchman Jimmy Engoulvent, riding for the Saur-Sojasun team, won Wednesday’s Tour of Luxembourg prologue, while seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong finished fifth. Engoulvent, 30, repeated his prologue success from the 2007 edition as he came in nine seconds ahead of teammate and compatriot Cyril Lemoine, while Swiss racer Grefory Rast was third, also nine seconds off the pace.