Argentina’s friendly against Brazil was abandoned before kickoff due to a floodlight failure at the Centenario Stadium in the northern Argentine city of Resistencia on Wednesday. The teams, picked only from domestic leagues, were due to meet for the second time in two weeks after Brazil won the first match of the “Superclasico of the Americas” doubleheader 2-1 in Goiania, Brazil, on Sept. 19. The players took the field and lined up for the anthems, but Chilean referee Enrique Osses delayed kickoff until full lighting could be restored after a generator failed. The teams spent more than half an hour on the pitch warming up and chatting among themselves until they were led off again. With no back-up generator available in the vicinity, Osses abandoned the match an hour after the scheduled kickoff time, embarrassing the Argentine Football Association, who had organized the match in Resistencia.
Finance police raid Napoli
Serie A club SSC Napoli came under scrutiny on Wednesday after the finance police raided the club in relation to suspicions of financial foul play, media reports said. According to the ANSA news agency, police, who took away a number of documents from the club, were acting on a mandate from the public prosecutor in Naples. The raid was carried out by Italy’s Guardia di Finanza, a wing of the armed forces which deals with financial crime and smuggling, and comes under the auspices of the Ministry of Economy and Finance. Reports said the documents seized are in relation to an investigation into the purchase and sale of rights on the performances of team players, the relationship with player agents and any related financial movements. Napoli, whose president is former filmmaker Aurelio de Laurentiis, played down the search through their lawyer Mattia Grassani. “It’s a case of gathering information and obtaining documents, but nobody is being investigated and there are no accusations,” Grassani said.
Anti-flopping rule panned
The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) plans to file a grievance and unfair labor practice charge after the league announced an anti-flopping rule in a bid to curb the number of simulated fouls. The NBPA’s decision was in response to an NBA statement earlier on Wednesday that players who flop on the court in an effort to fool referees into calling undeserved fouls on opposing players will be fined. “The NBA is not permitted to unilaterally impose new economic discipline against the players without first bargaining with the union,” NBPA executive director Billy Hunter said in a statement. “We believe that any monetary penalty for an act of this type is inappropriate and without precedent in our sport or any other sport.” The league said it would introduce an incremental system of penalties, starting with a warning for first offenders then a series of fines beginning at US$5,000 and rising to US$30,000 for a fifth violation.
Hosszu rules the pool
Katinka Hosszu continued to rule the pool as she finished the FINA World Cup series opener in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, with a haul of eight gold medals and two bronze on Wednesday. On the second night at Dubai’s Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Sports Complex, the Hungarian — in her first season as a professional swimmer — collected four individual golds and later picked up another in the new mixed team 4x50m freestyle relay.