Maradona gets appointment
Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona, fired in July as coach of Dubai’s Al Wasl, has been appointed as Honorary Ambassador of Sports in Dubai under a deal inked at a media conference. In terms of the one-year contract signed between Maradona and the Dubai Sports Council on Sunday, the 51-year-old star will leverage his experience to develop the game of soccer in the Gulf emirate. Maradona was fired as coach of Al Wasl only one year after being appointed to the job, after failing to win a trophy last season. The star — who as a player almost singlehandedly guided Argentina to the 1986 World Cup trophy and then to the 1990 final — had another year left on his contract. The value of the contract with DSC was not revealed, but media reports said it could exceed US$5 million, which is the amount Maradona would have received as a compensation for his contract being terminated with Al Wasl. Maradona denied at the press conference that he was retiring from coaching by taking up the honorary ambassador’s post, insisting that he just wanted a break.
Jones-Drew ends holdout
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew ended his 38-day contract holdout on Sunday, even though he had not succeeded in getting a new contract with the NFL club. Jones-Drew led the league with 1,606 rushing yards last season. He has two years left on a five-year contract worth US$31 million. He is scheduled to make US$4.45 million this season and US$4.95 million next year, but wanted to renegotiate. “My stats suggest that I’ve been elite for the past three years and I just wanted to be compensated for it,” Jones-Drew said at a news conference on Sunday. Jones-Drew, who failed to report for pre-season training and exhibition games, said that he met with head coach Mike Mularkey on Sunday.
Donald apologizes for tweet
Luke Donald has apologized for criticizing golf course architect Gil Hanse in a tweet that was meant to be private. Donald made bogey on the par-five 18th hole at the TPC Boston, where Hanse reconfigured the green with severe slopes off the edges. Donald thought he was sending a direct message on Saturday night, but instead the very public tweet started with Donald’s cellphone number and then said: “Gil Hanse is a (expletive). Haha.” Within minutes, Donald deleted both tweets. Donald says it was a mistake that he takes full responsibility. He apologized on Sunday to anyone offended, starting with Hanse. He also received countless phone calls after he published his number. Donald said: “That’s what I deserve.”
Hamlin wins Sprint Cup
Denny Hamlin won his second straight Sprint Cup race on Sunday, holding off Jeff Gordon in a green-white-checkered finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. Martin Truex Jr appeared to be positioned for his first win since 2007 until Jamie McMurray smashed the wall on the front straightaway, bringing out a caution with three laps to go. The leaders went to pit road, and Hamlin’s crew got him back on the track first, just ahead of Truex. While Truex struggled to get up to speed on the restart, Hamlin pulled away with Gordon right on his bumper. Hamlin took the series victory lead with four, putting him in position to top the standings when the 12-drive Chase starts.