Juve sign Toni from Genoa
Juventus have completed the free signing of former Italy striker Luca Toni from Genoa, the Turin giants revealed on Friday. The 33-year-old former Bayern Munich and Fiorentina forward, who has 16 goals in 47 caps for Italy, signed an 18-month deal. According to Italian news agency Ansa, the deal means Genoa will save 6 million euros (US$7.8 million) that were due to Toni as a signing on fee when he joined on a free from Bayern at the beginning of the season and he revealed that he couldn’t say no despite the pay cut needed to accept Juve’s offer. “You can’t say no to Juve, I’m realizing a dream, I’m delighted,” he said at his official unveiling. “When I was offered the move I didn’t hesitate and I had no problem taking a pay cut. I have confidence [in Juve] because I’ve seen the hunger and the desire to get results. I know the group, I know most of the lads and I believe.” Toni, a member of Italy’s 2006 World Cup winning squad, had scored just three goals in 16 games this season for Genoa.
Faker facing jail sentence
A player who faked his own kidnapping to get out of a team training session faces up to six months in prison, police said on Friday. Somalia, a player for the Rio club Botafogo, made a police report on Wednesday alleging he had been carjacked by an armed man and forced to drive around for two hours — when the training was happening — before being robbed of money and jewelry, but inconsistencies in his complaint raised suspicions and officers quickly discovered that security video footage from Somalia’s home didn’t back up his story. Police chief Juliana Domingues said the player could now face a serious criminal charge for making up the crime. Media reports said Somalia had returned home at 4am and likely thought up the kidnap ruse to make sure his club did not dock his salary.
Sidwell signs for Cottagers
Former Chelsea midfielder Steve Sidwell returned to his native London on Friday when he signed for Fulham for an undisclosed fee on an initial six-month deal. The 28-year-old Sidwell, who had also interested Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Ham United, joined Aston Villa from Chelsea in 2008 after initially making an impact in the top flight with Reading. “I’m delighted my move to Fulham has been finalized, and I’m looking forward to training with the squad and helping the club make steady progress up the table in the second half of the season,” he said.
Rangers accept Miller bid
Rangers striker Kenny Miller is heading to the English Premier League after the Scottish giants accepted a bid from Birmingham City, it was confirmed on Friday. Birmingham will pay an initial fee of ￡600,000 (US$933,000) for Miller, whose contract at Ibrox expires in the summer. Miller is now studying the personal terms offered by Birmingham before finally deciding whether or not to move to St Andrew’s.
Okafor commits suicide
Former Nigerian international defender Uche Okafor, who featured at the 1994 and 1998 World Cups, killed himself at his Texas home, police said on Friday. The 43-year-old Okafor was found hanged in the upstairs of his Dallas-area home. He was discovered on Thursday by his former wife after a friend had tried to contact him, police spokesman Oscar Hinojosa said.
The NBA said was re-evaluating its training program in China following allegations of abuse of young players by local staff and harassment of foreign staffers at a facility in Xinjiang. The comments come after a report by ESPN that quoted unnamed American coaches as saying that Chinese coaches hit young players. One American coach who worked at a camp in Xinjiang complained of harassment by local police, the sports network said. “The allegations in the ESPN article are disturbing,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum said in an e-mail statement on Thursday. “We ended our involvement with the basketball academy in Xinjiang in June
Coming from the business world, New York Liberty owner Joe Tsai (蔡崇信) did not understand why his WNBA franchise did not have a chief executive officer similar to the team’s NBA counterpart the Brooklyn Nets, which Tsai also owns. For Tsai, it was about equality, so he did something about it. The 56-year-old Taipei-born billionaire businessman and philanthropist promoted Keia Clarke to the position last week — making her the first chief executive officer in the team’s history. The WNBA veteran became the third black woman to currently be in charge of a franchise in the league, joining Los Angeles Sparks president
LEAVING IT LATE: Rakuten added late runs last night to add to wins on Wednesday against the Brothers and the Lions on Friday that went down to the last batter The Rakuten Monkeys rallied to post three late runs for another close win, prevailing 5-3 over the Uni-President Lions yesterday as Taiwan’s second-half CPBL season got started with lower scoring output, but exciting finishes. It was Rakuten’s third win in a row. In two games this week, they seized victory in dramatic fashion with their last at-bat and have drawn level with the CTBC Brothers on top of the table after yesterday’s results, 0.5 games in front of the Fubon Guardians and 1.5 games ahead of the Lions. It was tied at 1-1 early, with Rakuten hosting the Lions at the Taoyuan Intenational
MONEY MATTERS: While COVID-19 played a major role in the decision, the CTBA also found it hard to secure sponsorship, and ticket sales would have been affected The Yonex Taipei Open badminton tournament has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a funding shortfall, the CTBA said yesterday. This was the first time that the tournament, a Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Tour Super 300-level competition, has been canceled since it began in 1980. The Taipei Open has been held annually since 1980. The tournament was to be played at the Taipei Arena from Sept. 1 to Sept. 6, with total prize money of US$500,000. The CTBA said that it was deeply concerned about whether the Taipei Open would proceed as scheduled after the BWF announced changes