FIFA suspends Nigeria
FIFA suspended Nigeria from international soccer on Monday because of “government interference” in the running of Nigerian soccer. World soccer’s governing body said the decision followed a bid by the Minister of Sports to restart the league without relegations, pressure to oust the Nigerian Football Federation’s acting general secretary and court action barring elected members of the federation’s executive committee. “During the period of suspension, the NFF will not be able to be represented in any regional, continental or international competitions, including at club level, and also not in friendly matches,” FIFA said in a statement.
Coca-Cola demotes Rooney
Coca-Cola will no longer use Wayne Rooney’s image on cans and bottles following allegations over the England striker’s private life. Following newspaper allegations that he cheated on his then-pregnant wife with a prostitute, Coca-Cola announced on Monday that it had stopped using his image to promote its Coke Zero drink. “Last month we amended our marketing plans on Coke Zero,” Coca-Cola said in a statement. “Given the situation at that time we did not feel it was appropriate to run an on-pack promotion featuring Wayne Rooney.” Coca-Cola said it had not decided whether the move was permanent. The world’s largest soft drink maker added that it will continue to use the Manchester United player for other forms of promotion. Rooney’s contract with Coca-Cola is widely reported to be worth more than ￡500,000 (US$792,000) a year.
Doping details emerge
The New York Times is reporting that Alberto Contador had eight times the allowable amount of a chemical which indicates doping in his system during this year’s Tour de France, which he won for the third time. A urine sample taken on July 20 showed a plasticizer -— found in intravenous bags like the ones used for endurance-boosting blood transfusions. Contador tested positive for clenbuterol one day later, and was subsequently provisionally suspended by the International Cycling Union. Reports out of France and Germany last week also said traces of a plasticizer were found in Contador’s urine. Contador has repeatedly denied doping or having a transfusion, instead blaming the clenbuterol on contaminated meat.
Australia sweetens purse
Next year’s Australian Open will offer a record US$24.2 million in total prize money, organizers said yesterday, outstripping the most recent purses at its rival grand slams. The A$25 million (US$24.2 million) includes A$2.2 million for both the men’s and women’s singles winners, with A$1.1 million to each runner-up at the event, which runs from Jan. 17 to Jan. 30. It compares with US$21.7 million at this year’s Wimbledon and US$22.1 million at the French Open, at current exchange rates, and US$22.6 million at the US Open.
Timberwolves top Lakers
Michael Beasley scored 21 points in his Timberwolves debut and Minnesota beat the Los Angeles Lakers 111-92 on Monday in their preseason opener in London. Kobe Bryant put in a brief appearance for defending champion Los Angeles as he continues recovery from offseason knee surgery. Bryant started, but went scoreless in little more than 6 minutes, missing all three shots.
‘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
Taiwan Steel on Sunday grabbed three points with a narrow 1-0 win against Hang Yuan FC, to move into the No. 2 spot on the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) log, while Taipower FC beat NTUS 2-0 to maintain first place. Taking advantage early in the match of opposition defenders who had not yet settled down, Taiwan Steel’s attacking trio of Wu Chun-ching, Marc Fenelus from the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Benchy Astama from Haiti pushed forward with good passes. After only one minute of play, Fenelus dribbled from the right flank, feeding a short pass inside the penalty area to
STAYING COOL: Hamilton said that his ‘heart nearly stopped’ when he noticed the puncture, but he kept going to beat Alain Prost’s total of six home wins in France Lewis Hamilton said he feared he might not make it home when a last lap puncture almost derailed his charge to a record seventh British Grand Prix victory on Sunday. “I didn’t think I would make it round the last two corners,” the world champion said. The front left tire of his Mercedes had delaminated and deflated on his final lap, leaving the six-time world champion to nurse his vehicle to the finish as second-placed Max Verstappen hunted him down. “I just can’t believe it,” Hamilton said. “It was heart-stopping. I backed off and stayed chilled and was so glad it happened on
The Chicago Blackhawks and the Montreal Canadiens, with the fewest wins of any NHL playoff teams, ignited the rink returning from a COVID-19 hiatus with upset triumphs in Saturday openers. NHL Rookie of the Year candidate Dominik Kubalik inspired the Blackhawks to a 6-4 victory over the Edmonton Oilers in game one of their best-of-five qualifying series at Edmonton, Alberta, scoring two goals and assisting on three others. “We were ready to go, and I think the game was pretty good,” Kubalik said. “I felt pretty good and everything went my way, so it’s nice, but it’s just the first game,