Referee, player charged
Singapore has charged a referee and a player with conspiring to fix the result of a Malaysian Super League game. The Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau said referee Shokri Nor and former player Thana Segar, both Malaysians, agreed to take a bribe of 15,000 ringgit (US$4,755) to fix last Tuesday’s match between Singapore’s Lions XII and Sarawak FA. The bureau said Nor was scheduled to officiate the game, but was arrested and replaced on the day of the match when police learned of the plot. If found guilty, the men face a fine of up to S$100,000 (US$78,211) or a maximum jail term of five years, or both.
Hawk-Eye to be tested
FIFA says the Hawk-Eye goal-line technology system will be tested at Wembley Stadium in London when England plays Belgium in a friendly on June 2. It is the final scheduled test of Hawk-Eye in a recognized match before FIFA’s rules-making panel meets on July 2 in Kiev. The panel, known as IFAB, is considering whether to approve the English camera-based system or the Danish project, GoalRef, for use. GoalRef, which uses magnetic sensors to track the ball’s path, is being tested in Danish league matches. FIFA says test results during the game will not be available to match officials and will not influence the result. Hawk-Eye has been tested at a semiprofessional match played in Southampton last week.
Batista in Shanghai for talks
Former Argentina national coach Sergio Batista landed at Shanghai’s Pudong Airport yesterday for talks with Chinese soccer club Shanghai Shenhua about becoming their new boss. When asked whether he was in town to sign for the club as their manager, the 49-year-old simply nodded. Club spokesperson Ma Yue was at the airport to greet him. “We are close to signing him as head coach, there are just a few details to sort out,” he said, adding that Batista would not be ready to take charge for Sunday’s Chinese Super League game at home to Guizhou Renhe. One of Batista’s party, who did not give his name, but identified himself as the Argentine’s manager, said Batista is set to sign a formal contract today. With Chinese clubs enjoying a boom with heavy financial investment, instant results are expected. League leaders Guangzhou Evergrande sacked Lee Jang-soo last week and replaced him with former World Cup-winning coach Marcello Lippi, despite the South Korean winning the Chinese league title last year and getting them through to the last 16 of the Asian Champions League. Shangai languish in 14th place of 16 teams in the Super League, with just 11 points from 11 matches — 14 points behind the leaders.
Santos through to semis
Defending champion Santos defeated Argentina’s Velez Sarsfield on penalties on Thursday to advance to the semi-finals. Alan Kardec scored in the 78th minute to give Santos a 1-0 victory in the return leg and force a penalty shootout in Santos, Brazil. Velez won the first leg last week 1-0 in Buenos Aires. Under tournament rules, no extra time was played, with the decision coming immediately on penalties. Santos won 4-2. Velez Sarsfield played with 10 men after the 40th minute, when ’keeper Marcelo Barovero was sent off following a reckless tackle on Neymar just across the 18m line as both raced for a loose ball.