Swansea signs Donnelly
English Premier League newboys Swansea City beat rival bids by Liverpool and Everton to sign highly rated Northern Irish striker Rory Donnelly from Cliftonville on Friday. The 19-year-old — who passed his medical on Friday — will sign a three-and-a-half-year contract when the transfer window officially opens today with the fee, while undisclosed, is more than the original ￡100,000 (US$155,200) they offered earlier. Donnelly’s transfer fee rose after both Liverpool and their city rivals, Everton, declared an interest in the striker, who has scored 17 times this term for the Northern Irish club. “We are delighted to be able to attract one of Northern Ireland’s biggest talents,” Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers said. “I am really looking forward to helping Rory fulfill his potential and, hopefully, over the next few years ensure that Swansea City has another exciting young player blossoming at the club,” he said.
Dockett fined for tackles
Arizona defensive tackle Darnell Dockett was fined a total of US$30,000 by the NFL for two incidents that took place in the Cardinals’ 23-16 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals last week, the league said on Friday. Dockett was fined US$15,000 for tackling quarterback Andy Dalton below the knees and US$15,000 for a high tackle around the shoulders and neck area of running back Bernard Scott. Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch was fined US$10,000 for violating the league’s uniform policy and wearing boots featuring a graphic advertising a product. Fellow Seahawks, Richard Sherman was fined US$15,000 for a high tackle and linebacker Adrian Moten was fined US$7,500 for a late hit. In other fines, Washington Redskins’ safety Reed Doughty and Houston Texans’ defensive end J.J. Watt were fined US$15,000 each for illegal hits on quarterbacks.
Mayweather fined US$1,000
Welterweight boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr pleaded no contest on Friday in Las Vegas to misdemeanor battery against a security guard, prosecutors said. Mayweather, a flamboyant 34-year-old boxer widely regarded as the best defensive fighter of his generation, will pay a US$1,000 fine for the offense, according to the district attorney’s office. Mayweather’s no contest plea to the misdemeanor battery charge was entered by his attorney as part of a larger plea deal that last week saw the boxer admit to wrongdoing in a separate attack on his ex-girlfriend, said Tess Driver, a spokeswoman for the Clark County District Attorney’s Office.
ITF rejects Pakistan bid
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has rejected an appeal by Pakistan to host its Davis Cup tie against Lebanon next year, the Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) has said. “We had filed an appeal against the decision to move the tie and we assured full security arrangements for the visiting team,” PTF secretary Mumtaz Yousuf said of the Asia/Oceania Group Two tie that is scheduled for Feb 10-12. “But the ITF has rejected our appeal.” The tie was originally supposed to be in Lahore and while Lebanon had said they were prepared to play in Pakistan, the ITF moved the tie to Lebanon because of security concerns. Pakistan have not held a Davis Cup tie at home since 2005 because of security issues, though Mumtaz said the ITF had promised to investigate the possibility of allowing the country to choose a neutral venue for future “home” ties.