Fenerbahce appeal rejected
Turkish league champions Fenerbahce on Thursday lost their appeal against being banned from Europe’s top club competition over a match-fixing probe, local media reported. Fenerbahce were prevented from entering the Champions League because of the scandal, with runners-up Trabzonspor taking their place instead in Thursday’s draw. “The arbitration committee of the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) judged that the TFF conformed to the rules and the appeal was rejected,” Anatolia news agency reported. Last month, about 30 people were charged and jailed pending trial in a probe into alleged match-fixing and bribery in Turkey’s first and second divisions last season. Among them is the president of Fenerbahce, Aziz Yildirim. The TFF said on Wednesday that UEFA had warned that either Fenerbahce should withdraw from the competition or the TFF should ban the club to prevent UEFA starting its own disciplinary investigation.
Ameobi junior rescues Toon
Sammy Ameobi scored his first Newcastle United goal to give the Premier League side a 2-1 extra-time victory over third-tier Scunthorpe United in their League Cup second-round tie on Thursday. Ameobi, the younger brother of Magpies striker Shola, hit the winner in the 113th minute after Scunthorpe had led thanks to Chris Dagnall’s 14th-minute opener. Ryan Taylor leveled for Newcastle 10 minutes from the end of normal time. “I’ve been saying privately he [Sammy] could threaten a place in this first team,” Newcastle manager Alan Pardew said. “He was terrific tonight and it was a fabulous goal.”
Flanagan’s death suicide
The death of former Baltimore Orioles pitcher and Cy Young Award winner Mike Flanagan was ruled a suicide as a result of a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head, the Maryland medical examiner said on Thursday. Baltimore County police said no note was found, but an investigation showed that Flanagan, 59, who was found dead on Wednesday, had been upset about financial issues.
Dykstra facing jail term
Former major league star Lenny Dykstra has been charged with allegedly exposing himself to women he contacted through the Craigslist Web site, prosecutors said on Thursday. Dykstra, who played for the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets, could face up to six months in jail and a fine of US$1,000 if convicted. The Los Angeles attorney’s office said Dykstra is accused of finding victims by placing Craigslist ads seeking personal assistants or housekeepers. The 48-year-old allegedly exposed himself to women on several occasions between 2009 and this year.
Boy’s dream comes true
Sidney Crosby’s return from concussion is uncertain following several recent consultations with medical specialists, but the Pittsburgh Penguins captain found time this week to make one of his fans very happy. Crosby, who has not played in the NHL since suffering a concussion in early January, spoke to an 11-year-old boy who is battling cancer, giving him various tips about the sport and words of encouragement. “I am really lucky to have the opportunity to help others and I am glad I was able to talk to Matthew,” Crosby said in a statement on Thursday about his telephone conversation with the Ontario boy, who said the chat was a dream come true.