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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
WEEKEND MATCHES: While Tatung FC made good on their chances early on, Taiwan Steel rallied to win the game 2-3 and move to the top with Taichung Futuro Sunday’s action saw Taichung Futuro, Taipower FC and Taiwan Steel tied for first place on 30 points in the Taiwan Football Premier League, while Hang Yuan FC picked up a point to take the No. 4 spot on 25 points after holding Taipower to a scoreless draw. In Taoyuan, Tatung FC hosted Taiwan Steel. It was an exciting matchup, as the visitors rallied from 2-0 down to take the game with three goals. Tatung made good on their chances early on. Honduran midfielder Elias Argueta opened the account 15 minutes into the game with a low shot from the right. Three minutes
Ronnie O’Sullivan delivered a scathing attack on the next generation of snooker players after he made the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championship on Sunday, ending Chinese star Ding Junhui’s world championship dream. The mercurial 44-year-old Englishman won an enthralling high-quality second-round encounter 13-10 to set up a quarter-final clash with three-time champion Mark Williams. When asked by the BBC whether he thought he would remain at the top of the game for this long, the Briton, who turned professional in 1992, said the poor quality of younger players had secured his position and that something drastic would have to happen
Max Verstappen informed his Red Bull team that he would not be driving “like a grandma” in Formula One’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix on Sunday — and he was as good as his word. The Dutch 22-year-old seized his opportunity at Silverstone, ending dominant Mercedes’ run of four successive wins this season and moving up to second place overall, 30 points behind leader Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen’s confidence shone through early on, after slotting into third place behind the two Mercedes, when he was told by race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase to take care of his tires. “Mate, this is the only chance of being
FULL GAME: Henry Sosa pitched nine innings for the Guardians, allowing only six hits all night, while the Monkeys’ offense were also shut out of their game Outfielder Lin An-ko carried a big bat this week — before his Uni-President Lions ran into the Fubon Guardians last night — blasting four home runs, including a grand slam as his side won four games in a row and moved into second on the CPBL table. However, the Lions could not sustain their super-charged offense for the whole week, as they were shut out 4-0 by the Guardians in New Taipei City. Fubon’s rookie catcher, Jhang Jin-de, took a page from Lin’s playbook. With two men on, Jhang smacked a three-run homer in the sixth inning. Henry Sosa of the Dominican Republic