Sun, Jan 09, 2011 - Page 18 News List

SPORTS SOCCER SHORTS

Agencies

ITALY

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.

BRAZIL

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.

ENGLAND

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.

ENGLAND

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.

UNITED STATES

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.

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