Sat, Mar 05, 2011 - Page 18 News List

SPORTS BRIEFS

Agencies

FOOTBALL

Panthers sign Shockey

The Carolina Panthers signed four-time Pro Bowl tight end Jeremy Shockey in a bid to give their sputtering offense a boost, the NFL team said on Thursday. Shockey, who was released by the New Orleans Saints last week, joins a Panthers squad that finished last in the 2010 season and an offense that had an NFL-worst 196 points. “We are very pleased to add Jeremy to our football team,” Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said in a report posted on the team’s Web site. “He is a highly competitive player with a good skill set and a wealth of experience. He should make a solid contribution to our offense.”

SOCCER

No men in women’s team

FIFA on Thursday confirmed that there were no men in the Equatorial Guinea women’s team that qualified for June’s World Cup in Germany, despite allegations from rival countries. “There are no men in the Equatorial Guinea women’s team,” said Jurg Nepfer, who is responsible for education and technical development at FIFA. “There’s no proof. It doesn’t exist. We can’t comment, there are no comments to make.” Nepfer was speaking during a tour of countries that have qualified for this summer’s women’s World Cup. Equatorial Guinea were accused of having two male players in their women’s team during November’s Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa. The country’s soccer federation, Feguifoot, flatly rejected the accusations. At the time, Feguifoot media officer David Monsuy said: “They are saying that Genoveva Ayong Man and Salimata Simpaore are men. It was the press in Nigeria who started it, with Cameroon following afterwards.”

HOCKEY

Tough guy had brain disease

Bob Probert, who made his living for 16 seasons by pounding on other hockey tough guys, suffered from a degenerative brain disease when he died last year, a new report revealed on Thursday. The hard-drinking former NHL enforcer officially died of heart failure at age 45. However, Probert was battling other demons at the time of his death and that’s why he asked that his brain be analyzed once he died. Boston University researchers said on Thursday that analysis of Probert’s donated brain revealed that he had Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). Probert, who played nine seasons with Detroit and seven with Chicago, is the second hockey player from the program at the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy to be diagnosed with the disease following his death. Reggie Fleming, a 20-year veteran who carved out a career in the 1960s, also suffered from CTE.

SOCCER

Pique tight-lipped on Shakira

Spanish World Cup star Gerard Pique on Thursday told reporters that he would prefer to talk about soccer than discuss his burgeoning romance with singing superstar Shakira. The 24-year-old Barcelona center-back has become the focus of intense media attention in Spain this week after pictures of him hand in hand with the 34-year-old Colombian singer were published in gossip magazines. “I’d like it if people only talked about me from a sporting perspective but I get the impression that, ultimately, it’s inevitable,” said Pique during a press conference at Barca’s training center. “I think that the other aspect sells more.” He added: “I accept that people can criticize me for sporting reasons but what I don’t like is when they use an easy excuse and say that my performances are affected by my private life. If we’re here it’s to talk about football.”

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