Eritrean team disappears
Eritrea’s national soccer team has disappeared while visiting Uganda, in what would be potentially the fourth team to abscond from authoritarian Eritrea, officials said on Monday. Police were alerted after 16 soccer team members disappeared after losing to Rwanda 2-0 in a regional tournament, the Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA) said. “The police have been notified,” CECAFA official Moses Magogo said, adding that the players failed to return to their hotel after a shopping trip in Kampala. Thousands leave the Red Sea nation every month, fleeing conscription and a hardline government that jails critics in harsh desert labor camps, and is ranked worst in the world for press freedom, the UN says.
National team get new boss
Argentinian Jorge Sampaoli was appointed manager of the national team on Monday, replacing compatriot Claudio Borghi, who was sacked last month. Sampaoli, 52, has been tasked with securing the country’s place at the 2014 World Cup from sixth place in the qualifying table after they failed to build on a bright start to the qualifiers and lost three in a row. “I take this job on with a huge responsibility and obligation hanging over me to take Chile to Brazil [where the World Cup is being held],” Sampaoli said. Sampaoli got the job on the back of guiding Universidad de Chile to three national titles and the South American Cup last year. His task is not insurmountable, as while the team are sixth after nine games, the top four qualify automatically while the fifth can still make it through a play-off, they only trail fourth-placed Venezuela on goal difference.
Valladolid beat slow Sevilla
Two early goals gave promoted Real Valladolid a 2-1 victory at Sevilla that moved them up to seventh in La Liga and the brink of the European places on Monday. Miroslav Djukic’s side have 21 points from 14 games, one behind Malaga in fifth and Getafe in sixth who are tied on 22 points. Wildly inconsistent Sevilla, who have beaten third-placed champions Real Madrid and fourth-placed Real Betis Balompie at home this season, left the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan to whistles from the crowd and are 11th with 18 points. Valladolid’s German winger Patrick Ebert netted on a break away after only two minutes and midfielder Oscar squeezed a shot over Diego Lopez for the second in the 12th. Sevilla struggled to react until visiting striker Manucho headed into his own net just after the restart, but their fightback was hindered when Gary Medel was sent off in the 64th minute for a second yellow card.
Hoffenheim fire manager
Struggling Bundesliga side TSG1899 Hoffenheim sacked manager Markus Babbel on Monday, the day after a 4-1 drubbing by Werder Bremen left them 16th in the table and with nine defeats in their past 10 matches. The 40-year-old former Germany international — who has previously coached Hertha BSC Berlin and VfB Stuttgart — will be replaced temporarily by the under-23 team manager Frank Kramer. “The deteriorating situation on the sporting front and the negative atmosphere left me no choice,” general manager Andreas Mueller said. Mueller said that Babbel — whose overall record was seven wins, eight draws and 14 defeats — had worked hard, but that things simply had not worked out. “I am conscious of the work that Markus has put in. What is dreadful is that the team didn’t follow his lead on the pitch,” he said.
‘CRIMINAL ACT’: The UCI said it ‘strongly condemns’ Dylan Groenewegen’s ‘dangerous behavior,’ which left Jakobsen in critical condition and injured other cyclists Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen was in a coma on Wednesday, in “serious” condition, after he was thrown into and over a barrier at 80kph in the conclusion to the opening stage of the Tour de Pologne. Footage showed 23-year-old Jakobsen, of the Deceuninck-Quick-Step, racing elbow-to-elbow with fellow Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen of Jumbo-Visma as both men frantically tussled in a tight sprint to the line in Katowice. However, Jakobsen came off worst, somersaulting over the barriers before colliding with a photographer after Groenewegen had veered suddenly to the right, squeezing his rival into the security wall. “His condition is very serious. His life is
Growing concern over health standards in e-sports has prompted a new federation to pledge to address the problem, as players fall victim to conditions ranging from wrist injuries to obesity, stress and diabetes. The retirement of top Chinese player Jian Zihao, better known by his gaming handle “Uzi,” sent tremors through the booming sport, whose revenues are predicted to reach US$1.1 billion this year, according to industry analyst Newzoo. The 23-year-old, hailed as an “icon” of the League of Legends game, stepped away from e-sports in June, saying that “chronic stress, obesity, irregular diet, staying up late and other reasons” had given
WEEKEND MATCHES: While Tatung FC made good on their chances early on, Taiwan Steel rallied to win the game 2-3 and move to the top with Taichung Futuro Sunday’s action saw Taichung Futuro, Taipower FC and Taiwan Steel tied for first place on 30 points in the Taiwan Football Premier League, while Hang Yuan FC picked up a point to take the No. 4 spot on 25 points after holding Taipower to a scoreless draw. In Taoyuan, Tatung FC hosted Taiwan Steel. It was an exciting matchup, as the visitors rallied from 2-0 down to take the game with three goals. Tatung made good on their chances early on. Honduran midfielder Elias Argueta opened the account 15 minutes into the game with a low shot from the right. Three minutes
Ronnie O’Sullivan delivered a scathing attack on the next generation of snooker players after he made the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championship on Sunday, ending Chinese star Ding Junhui’s world championship dream. The mercurial 44-year-old Englishman won an enthralling high-quality second-round encounter 13-10 to set up a quarter-final clash with three-time champion Mark Williams. When asked by the BBC whether he thought he would remain at the top of the game for this long, the Briton, who turned professional in 1992, said the poor quality of younger players had secured his position and that something drastic would have to happen