Hellas Verona stun Palermo
A goal in either half from 10-man second-tier Hellas Verona was enough to send US Citta di Palermo crashing out of the Coppa Italia fourth round on Tuesday. Luigi Giorgi gave the Serie A side a sixth-minute lead, but less than a minute later Andrea Cocco forced his way through the Palermo defense to level with an angled drive. Verona’s chances of booking a fifth-round clash with Inter dipped dramatically just after the hour-mark when Fabrizio Cacciatore was booked and then shown a red card for dissent. However, the visitors stunned the Sicilians with the winning goal four minutes later after a poor clearance from Carlos Labrin came off the body of Verona’s Daniele Cacia went back into the net.
Zico quits as Iraq coach
Zico quit as coach of the Iraq national team on Tuesday after little more than a year in the post, saying the country’s soccer association had failed to fulfill the terms of his contract. The former Brazil captain’s resignation comes with Iraq still battling for a place at the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil. “I would like to inform via this Web site that I have sent a communication to FIFA ... and to the Iraq Football Association [IFA] declaring that I consider my contract to be void due to the IFA’s failure to abide by its terms,” he said on his Web site. “I will provide further details shortly.” Iraq are third in Group B in the fourth phase of Asian qualifying with five points from five games, trailing second-placed Australia only on goal-difference. Japan lead the group on 13 points. The top two teams qualify directly for Brazil, while the third-placed team goes into a playoff system. Zico is widely considered one of his country’s finest players, but he has refused to coach in his homeland, saying the pressure is too great.
League’s future mulled
European soccer’s governing body are considering scrapping the Europa League in favor of extending the Champions League, UEFA president Michel Platini told yesterday’s edition of the daily Ouest-France. Asked about possible plans to extend the elite Champions League at the expense of the second-tier Europa League, Platini said: “There is an ongoing debate to determine what form the European competitions will have between 2015 and 2018. We’re discussing it, we will make a decision in 2014. Nothing is decided yet.” One of the options being looked at is the possibility of extending the final phase of the Champions League from 32 to 64 teams. The Europa League generates far lower revenue for clubs than the Champions League and has been criticized since it evolved from the UEFA Cup in 2009.
Fans upset over ‘dogs’ slur
Singapore fans have been left feeling angry and hurt after being labeled “dogs” by Malaysian fans during their weekend AFF Suzuki Cup win, a report said yesterday. Video posted on YouTube shows thousands of Malaysian fans chanting “Singapore itu anjing” (“Singapore are dogs”) during Sunday’s group game in Kuala Lumpur, when Singapore beat the defending champions 3-0. Singapore’s New Paper, describing the chant as “vile,” said footage of the incident had been viewed nearly 200,000 times. “Frankly, we are angry and hurt, but we were the minority ... there were just about 1,000 of us there,” one fan told the newspaper. Another said: “You had more than half the stadium calling us dogs. How else would we feel?” Tensions are often high at matches between the Asian neighbors.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker found himself in need of an assist to help the state fight the COVID-19 pandemic. He called on the New England Patriots. One of the team’s private airplanes on Thursday evening landed in Boston after returning from China carrying more than 1 million masks critical to healthcare providers fighting to control the spread of the coronavirus. Members of the Massachusetts National Guard met the airplane and offloaded the containers of masks onto waiting trucks for transport to warehouses for distribution. Baker secured the N95 masks from Chinese manufacturers, but had no way of getting them to the US. He
WAIT AND SEE: The estimated cost of postponement started at US$2 billion and has kept rising, but the IOC has yet to say whether it would help pay for the extra expenses Postponing the Tokyo Olympics to next year would make the event more costly for all parties, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) acknowledged on Thursday, although it offered few details on what the final bill might be. Four directors of the Olympic body held a conference call three days after Tokyo’s new dates were finalized, with the Games pushed back to July 23 to Aug. 8 next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the new dates cleared up any uncertainty about the event’s future, there are still plenty of question marks as the committee begins to work with Tokyo organizers and the
DECREASED TENSION: The US players’ lawyers said that the soccer federation no longer disputes that the jobs of the women’s and men’s national teams require equal skill Women players suing the US Soccer Federation (USSF) said in in court documents filed on Tuesday that the federation has acknowledged that the jobs of male and female soccer players require equal skill. The language seemed to signal a decrease in tension between the parties after language in documents filed by the federation’s lawyers earlier last month provoked widespread outrage in saying that playing on the men’s national team required a higher level of skill based on speed and strength and carried greater responsibility. The fierce backlash — not only from the women players, but also from sponsors such as Coca-Cola —
Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are planning to play a charity golf match next month with Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, CNBC reported on Wednesday. CNBC, which cited an unnamed person familiar with the negotiations, said that the charity match would be held at an undisclosed location without fans and is being organized by the PGA Tour and AT&T’s WarnerMedia. The negotiations are still being finalized, but the match pitting 15-time major champion Woods and Manning against five-time major winner Mickelson and Brady could be aired on live TV and is unlikely to be featured on pay-per-view, CNBC said. “Discussions