Wed, Jul 27, 2011 - Page 19 News List

SPORTS BRIEFS

Agencies

SOCCER

Podolski’s captaincy stripped

Germany forward Lukas Podolski has been stripped of the captaincy by Cologne and Brazilian defender Pedro Geromel appointed as his successor, coach Stale Solbakken said on Monday. Solbakken, yet to take charge of a competitive match since joining the club last month, acknowledged the decision could stir up discontent less than two weeks before the start of the Bundesliga season. “I can understand the reactions this decision will provoke and I can understand the disappointment of some fans, but I ask the fans to understand my decision is for the benefit of the whole team,” the coach told reporters. “Pedro Geromel will, as captain, exemplify the new culture of the team and embody our new overall sporting concept.”

CRICKET

New Aussie opener named

Phillip Hughes has been confirmed as the successor for dumped opener Simon Katich in an Australia squad, which includes two untried fast bowlers coming in at the expense of Ben Hilfenhaus and Doug Bollinger for the three-Test series in Sri Lanka. Australia selector Andrew Hilditch said 22-year-old Hughes deserved his chance to open the innings with vice captain Shane Watson, who had formed a successful partnership with Katich since 2009. The 35-year-old Katich didn’t have his national contract renewed this season. Allrounder Steven Smith was also cut from the squad. Trent Copeland and 21-year-old James Pattinson were selected ahead of Hilfenhaus and Bollinger, while Michael Beer held his spot as the specialist spin bowler.

SOCCER

Messi not joining US tour

Lionel Messi is among several Barcelona players who will not play for the reigning UEFA Champions League winners in their upcoming three-match US tour. The Spanish side’s star striker will be resting after playing in the Copa America this month for Argentina. Also missing from the Barca lineup for the US matches will be Daniel Alves, Javier Mascherano and Alexis Sanchez. Barca will open the US visit on Saturday against English Premier League champions Man United in suburban Washington. Barcelona will also play Mexican sides Chivas Guadalajara on Wednesday next week in Miami and Club America in Arlington, Texas, on Aug. 6.

SOCCER

N’Zogbia fee agreed on

Aston Villa have agreed a fee for Wigan Athletic winger Charles N’Zogbia, the two Premier League clubs said on Monday. Neither club disclosed the fee, but media reports said the player would cost about £9.5 million (US$15.46 million). “We will now discuss personal terms with the player and arrange a medical, with a view to completing the transfer later this week,” Villa said on their Web site. The 25-year-old N’Zogbia is a direct replacement for Stewart Downing, who joined Liverpool this month in a £20 million deal.

FIELD HOCKEY

India bodies agree to truce

India’s two warring bodies have agreed to a temporary truce and will jointly run the sport until the end of next year. The Indian Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports said in a statement on Monday that the federations would form a joint executive board, which will select national teams as well as organize tournaments and camps. Ruling body HI was formed by the Indian Olympic Association in 2008 following IHF’s suspension because of bribery allegations. HI was also recognized by the sport’s world governing body, but the IHF’s status was restored by an Indian court last year.

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