NHL-union talks break off
Labor talks between the National Hockey League (NHL) and union representing its locked-out players broke off on Tuesday with no progress to report, raising the prospect that the first block of regular-season games will soon be canceled. The two sides met for about two hours in New York, where they discussed the definition of hockey-related revenue, but did not address the core economic issues standing in the way of a new collective bargaining agreement. “We don’t really have any progress to report. As a matter of fact, no progress was made,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told reporters. “Today wasn’t overly encouraging, that’s for sure.” No further talks between the two sides are scheduled. The 2012-2013 NHL season is scheduled to begin on Thursday next week.
NZ cancels Tyson’s visa
In a reversal, Mike Tyson has been denied entry to the country whose indigenous Maori people he says inspired his facial tattoo. New Zealand authorities yesterday canceled an entry visa for the former heavyweight champion and convicted rapist, days after the prime minister spoke out against his planned visit. Tyson had earlier been granted an exemption to New Zealand immigration rules to speak at a charitable event next month, “Day of the Champions.” Tyson’s 1992 rape conviction would have normally made him ineligible to enter the country. Associate Immigration Minister Kate Wilkinson said in a statement yesterday that the original decision to let Tyson enter was “a finely balanced call” and that the charity that would have benefited from his visit had now withdrawn its support. Speaking to the APNZ news agency this week before his visa was canceled, Tyson said his tattoo was inspired by New Zealand’s indigenous Maori culture. “Other than that I’ve never heard of Maori people, so I’m looking forward to come down there and see them,” he told the agency.
Cagliari sack manager
Serie A strugglers Cagliari announced the sacking of manager Massimo Ficcadenti on Tuesday. Ivo Pulga will be the team’s new handler, according to a statement on the Sardinian club’s Web site www.cagliaricalcio.net. “Today we announce the termination of the contract between the club and Massimo Ficcadenti,” said a brief statement by Cagliari, the only top-flight team without a win in six games. Pulga, who will be assisted by Diego Lopez, led team training on Tuesday in preparation for the weekend fixture against Torino.
Players face fraud charges
A court lodged preliminary fraud charges on Tuesday against five players, including Olympic champions Nikolas Karabatic and Samuel Honrubia, suspected of fixing a match involving the Montpellier team. Reports vary between 11 and 12 people in total who have been charged, but Sipa news agency said they include Karabatic’s brother, the siblings’ girlfriends and a cafe owner who is suspected as an organizer. The investigation into the alleged fixing centers on a May 12 match in which Montpellier lost 31-28 to Cesson-Rennes. The Montpellier team had already won the league title. The charged were freed after making bail, but were forbidden from making contact with Montpellier, forcing those who play for the team to be removed from the squad. Some of those accused conceded through their lawyers that they placed bets on the game, but deny the criminal offense of match-rigging.