Fulham to erect Jacko statue
Premier League side Fulham will erect a statue of Michael Jackson outside the club’s stadium in London to commemorate the late pop star’s friendship with club chairman Mohamed Al Fayed. The figure is scheduled to be unveiled next month. The statue had been slated to be erected outside Harrods department store, but that plan was changed because Al Fayed sold the landmark business last year. Instead, it will be located along the banks of the River Thames next to Fulham’s stadium. The club did not specify if goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer would wear only one glove to honor the late singer.
Sporting chance for NFL star
NFL star Chad Ochocinco, locked out in a union fight with club owners, will have a four-day tryout next week with Sporting Kansas City of Major League Soccer. The receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals played soccer as a child but concentrated on football in high school and has played for 10 seasons in the NFL, which shut down last week over financial issues. “Soccer was always my first sport,” Ochocinco said. “That was my first love. Started from four-years-old and once I got to high school, I had to make a decision on what I wanted to focus on and take me to the next level. Due to the NFL lockout, I’m excited to be able to follow my childhood dream of playing for a Major League Soccer team,” Ochocinco said. Sporting Kansas City manager Peter Vermes said; “We’re always searching for players who can help our team and bringing in new talent. We know that Chad is an exceptional athlete and that he loves the sport of soccer, and he did play a lot when he was younger. We’re excited to see how his skills will translate once he arrives next week.”
Makelele regrets criticism
Paris Saint-Germain captain Claude Makelele said on Wednesday that he regretted criticizing Jose Mourinho, his former coach at Chelsea, in his autobiography. “There were lots of misunderstandings,” said Makelele, who played under Mourinho at the Premier League club. “Before I left [Chelsea], there was a disagreement with Mourinho, but that happens between a player and his coach. He’s someone who gave me a huge amount in my career. I appreciate him enormously.” In his book, Tout Simplement (“Quite Simply”), Makelele wrote: “Mourinho is a born winner. He knows how to use you and motivate you to get the best out of you. The problem is that he says one thing but thinks something else. In that respect, he is a cruel and ambitious calculator. At the beginning, we drank together. The problem is that in the third year, he wanted to get all the credit for himself. No-one could be more famous than him.”
Magath gets the boot
Schalke fired coach Felix Magath on Wednesday despite the club clinching a place in the Champions League quarter-finals, saying in a statement it had “very good reasons” for the move. The Bundesliga club’s board said Magath will leave immediately but refused to divulge further details, citing possible legal action. “From the point of view of Schalke, there are very good reasons for this separation,” the club said on its Web site. Last week, Schalke said that Magath, 57, would leave at the end of the season. In a statement released by his lawyer Magath said; “I regret very much that my successful work for Schalke must end in such an ugly way and I wish the club, the team and the fans all the best and much success from the bottom of my heart.”
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two
Former MLB pitcher Wang Wei-chung has signed the biggest contract with a local team in Taiwan’s professional baseball history, the Wei Chuan Dragons said yesterday. The 28-year-old left-hander signed a five-year US$2.08 million contract with the Dragons, team chairman Hsu Wen-fang told a news conference. It is the biggest contract in the CPBL’s 31-year history, surpassing a three-year, US$1.36 million deal Lin Chih-sheng signed in 2016 with the CTBC Brothers. Although the overall value of Wang’s deal set a new record, his average monthly salary of NT$990,000 (US$33,886) is lower than Lin’s pay of NT$1.2 million per month in 2017