Hercules, Racing draw
Hercules came away from El Sardinero stadium with a point after a 0-0 draw with Racing Santander on Monday to close the round 16 of the Spanish league. Racing had the stronger first half, while Hercules played better in the second, but neither team generated enough chances to break the deadlock. Racing’s Kennedy Bakircioglu saw two well-taken free kicks come close to beating Hercules goalkeeper Juan Calatayud, and Hercules’ second-half substitute Javier Portillo rattled the woodwork with a free kick of his own in the 70th in the game’s best opportunities.
Benitez affirms his status
Rafa Benitez says he is still the coach of Inter, despite Italian media reports that he is set to be fired. Benitez told Spanish radio station Onda Cero on Monday that “no, I have not been fired.” Benitez said that “I am surprised because I have seen a lot of headlines of newspapers and I have been phoned by a lot of people asking me if I have been fired, and that is not true at all.” Benitez has reportedly angered club officials with his recent comments about team management.
Pacquiao fight ‘a go’: Mosley
“Sugar” Shane Mosley, a former world champion in three weight classes, told the Los Angeles Times on Monday that his adviser was to meet with Manny Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum about a May 7 fight. Hours after sending a Twitter message about a Pacquiao fight that said “the ink hasn’t dried yet, but it’s pretty much a go,” Mosley said prior discussions set the ground for finalizing a deal quickly, the newspaper reported. “We’ve already discussed the fight about three, four weeks ago, so now we’ll go over it again,” Mosley told the Times. One detail that needed to be settled by Pacquiao, according to Mosley, was an exact weight for the fight. Pacquiao could fight at welterweight near 147 pounds or perhaps risk his World Boxing Council junior-middleweight crown.
Australia calls up Khawaja
Australia called up uncapped batsman Usman Khawaja yesterday as cover for captain Ricky Ponting, who is nursing a broken finger ahead of the crunch Melbourne Ashes Test. Selectors said they were showing an “abundance of caution” in adding Khawaja to the squad, adding they were confident Ponting will play in the clash against England starting on Sunday. Pakistan-born Khawaja, 24, who plays for New South Wales, is yet to break into the team after becoming the first Muslim to be selected for an Australian Test squad in June. Ponting has pledged to play in Melbourne despite suffering a small fracture to his left little finger while trying to take a catch during Australia’s crushing win in Perth.
Teen posts naked pictures
An Australian teenager yesterday caused an embarrassing row by posting nude photos of Australian Rules footballers on the Internet, in the latest scandal to afflict the sport. Kim Duthie, 17, said she uploaded the pictures on her Facebook page as an act of revenge, claiming she was impregnated by a player, but was poorly treated by the sport’s bosses. Duthie posted two pictures featuring three St Kilda players, attracting thousands of new Facebook friends, before the club won a court injunction to have the page taken down. Duthie claimed to have 21 compromising pictures of players from various clubs and threatened to start releasing them.