Alba, Mata get Spain callup
Left-back Jordi Alba and winger Juan Mata, both scorers in Spain’s 4-0 Euro 2012 final victory over Italy on Sunday, were called up to the Spanish squad for the London Olympics on Tuesday. Spain will bid to add the Olympic title to their collection after becoming the first side to successfully defend a European Championship title, as well as the first to win three consecutive major tournaments after Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup. Alba — who signed for Barcelona from Valencia at the end of last month and was one of the big revelations of the tournament — Chelsea’s Mata and Athletic Bilbao’s Javi Martinez are the only members of the Euro 2012 winning squad to feature in the Olympic list. Coach Luis Milla will trim the 22-man squad down to 18 names ahead of the July 26 to Aug. 11 Games, where Spain will bid for their second Olympic soccer title after their triumph in Barcelona in 1992.
Sturridge has meningitis
Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge has tested positive for meningitis, according to reports yesterday. The 22-year-old fell ill over the weekend and was admitted to St Mary’s hospital in Paddington for tests. Doctors suspected Sturridge might be suffering from the viral strain of the disease, whose symptoms are generally mild and which can be overcome without the need for medical treatment. Tests were run and returned positive. Although his condition is said to have improved over the past 48 hours, his place in the 23-man Great Britain soccer squad, named on Monday, is now in doubt. Stuart Pearce’s squad are set to meet at the Team GB holding camp in Loughborough next weekend, and Football Association (FA) medical staff will assess the results of tests before deciding if Sturridge can still play a part.
Odom leaves US squad
The pool of players that the US will draw from to select their Olympic men’s basketball team shrunk further on Tuesday with the withdrawal of the Los Angeles Clippers’ Lamar Odom. Odom told USA Basketball men’s national team head coach Mike Krzyzewski that he will not be available to try out for the team this month. “While it is unfortunate to have lost the players we have, coach Krzyzewski and I remain extremely confident with the group of players we’ll have at our training camp in Las Vegas,” USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said. Seven players have been lost from the original set of Olympic hopefuls, leaving 15 others to fill 12 Olympic spots and a July 7 deadline for Krzyzewski to name a final roster.
Anger over defense plans
Britain will deploy missile defense systems in residential areas of London, including on the roof of a block of apartments, to defend against an aircraft attack on the Olympic Games, the government confirmed on Tuesday. The plan has angered people leaving nearby who have launched legal action to block the move, which they say will endanger lives because of the possibility of accidents and the prospect that aircraft could be shot down over densely populated areas. “This is the biggest sporting event in the world, and with that comes the huge responsibility to deliver it safely and securely,” British Home Secretary Theresa May said. The anti-aircraft missile systems — one large and mounted on a trailer, the other handheld — will be deployed at six locations around the Olympic Park.