Italian strike looms
The Italian soccer players’ association will meet Serie A officials again today in an effort to avoid an upcoming strike following almost five hours of talks on Monday. Last week the union announced that players would strike during Serie A matches on the weekend of Sept. 25 and Sept. 26 because of a dispute over a collective contract with the league which guarantees soccer players’ basic rights. “Talks will continue, but at the moment the strike is still on,” association president Sergio Campana told reporters. “We’ll meet again on Wednesday and next Friday, but we are miles apart on two of the eight points of the new contract proposed by the league: the obligation of a player to accept a transfer and the possibility of a club making players train away from the first team.” Serie A chief Maurizio Beretta and Italian soccer federation president Giancarlo Abete both said when they arrived for the meeting that they were hopeful of stopping the strike. A media backlash against the players, many of whom are millionaires, has criticized them for not being in touch with the economic and working hardships of ordinary Italians.
Macau Open postponed
Next month’s Macau Open golf tournament has been postponed, the Asian Tour said yesterday. “The Macau Open, which was slated from Oct. 21 to 24 has been postponed by the event promoter, the Macau Sports Development Board,” the Asian Tour said in a terse statement. An Asian Tour spokesman said he had no idea if the US$500,000 event would be scheduled later this year. “Only the Macau Sports Development Board can tell that,” he said. Telephone calls to the Macau Sports Development Board went unanswered yesterday. Chinese media reports attributed the postponement to the Macau board’s failure to rope in a private sponsor for the event, the staging of which was getting more and more expensive every year. The event has been run since 1998 and winners have included eight-time European champion Colin Montgomerie.
Iverson may head to China
Former National Basketball Association MVP Allen Iverson is contemplating a move to China. Iverson, who is getting no interest from NBA teams, was contacted by a Chinese team last month, his agent Gary Moore said. Moore declined to name the team or provide more details. The 35-year-old Iverson is at the tail end of his career and isn’t getting any calls from the NBA, which opens training camps in two weeks. “We’re very astonished, to say the least, that not one team has contacted us with any interest,” Moore said. If Iverson heads to China he would follow former all-star Stephon Marbury who played last season for Shanxi Zhongyu of the Chinese Basketball Association. Iverson is 17th on the NBA’s career scoring list with 24,368 points.
Almeria, Sociedad draw
Substitute Jose Leonardo Ulloa scored during injury-time as Almeria rallied to draw 2-2 against Real Sociedad in the Spanish league on Monday. Real went ahead after only eight minutes with Raul Tamudo’s header from near the penalty spot before Pablo Piatti drew the hosts even after scoring from Fabian Vargas’ pass. Francisco Sutil put Sociedad back ahead in the 33rd after beating goalkeeper Diego Alves, but Argentine forward Ulloa moved free to fire the ball past Claudio Bravo to secure a point for Almeria. Sociedad has four points to close the second round of games, while Almeria has two.