Healy cited for stamping
Ireland prop forward Cian Healy was cited on Monday for stamping on England front row Dan Cole during Sunday’s Six Nations international in Dublin. Healy is set to appear before a disciplinary hearing in London today and, if the citing is upheld, risks a ban that could rule him out of the rest of the Six Nations after he was charged with contravening Law 10.4 (b), which states “a player must not stamp or trample on an opponent.” Tempers flared in the 14th minute of England’s 12-6 win when Healy used his boot on Cole’s ankle at a ruck formed following a collapsed maul, sparking a mass brawl. Match referee Jerome Garces of France took no action at the time, but Healy has since been cited by Italian citing commissioner Alberto Recadini. The recommended suspension for a low end stamping offense is two weeks, the mid-range five weeks and the top end nine weeks, up to a maximum of a year.
Keshi quits as Nigeria coach
Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi told a South African radio station on Monday that he had resigned after leading his country to the Africa Cup of Nations title. “I gave the national football federation my letter of resignation immediately after the final, but I have not heard from them,” Keshi told public broadcaster SABC. Keshi dropped hints last week of his unhappiness with Nigerian soccer officials in Durban before the semi-final drubbing of Mali, telling a press conference he would “pack his bags and leave” if unwanted. “If, back home, they do not like what I am doing, well, you cannot force someone to like you,” he said. Keshi captained Nigeria to victory over Zambia in the 1994 final and guided his country to a 1-0 win over Burkina Faso on Sunday in a Soweto final settled by a Sunday Mba goal five minutes before halftime. The coach was reportedly furious when he discovered that Nigerian officials had booked a flight home for the squad immediately after the quarter-final against favorites Ivory Coast.
Betis held by Valladolid
Real Betis Balompie failed to capitalize on their chances and were held to a 0-0 draw at home by Real Valladolid on Monday in a mid-table clash in La Liga. Betis were the more attacking side and created five chances compared with none for the visitors halfway through the second half, but poor finishing and solid goalkeeping by Daniel Hernandez kept the game scoreless. Valladolid then upped the pace until Serbian defender Antonio Rukavina was sent off for a second yellow card in the 75th minute for a foul, with replays indicating he had made a clean challenge. Betis defender Antonio Amaya was sent off in stoppage-time for a dangerous high kick, leaving both teams with 10 men.
Deportivo sack Paciencia
Domingos Paciencia was relieved of his duties as RC Deportivo de La Coruna manager on Monday after just five weeks in charge of the La Liga strugglers. “Portuguese coach Domingos Paciencia and his colleagues won’t coach the first team any more. Jose Angel Franganillo took charge of training today [Monday],” the Galician outfit announced via their Web site, two days after an embarrassing 3-0 home defeat to Granada. The 44-year-old Paciencia, a former Porto star, replaced Jose Luis Oltra on Dec. 31, but his reign produced just one victory in six matches, a sequence of results that left promoted Deportivo bottom of La Liga on 16 points from 23 matches, six adrift of safety.
STANDINGS: The Uni-President Lions’ victory pushed the CTBC Brothers to first place after they won their third straight game, beating the Fubon Guardians 6-3 The big bats of the Uni-President Lions were on fire in the CPBL yesterday as they crushed the Rakuten Monkeys 21-5 in Taoyuan, with outfielder Lin An-ko driving in seven runs on five hits and two homers. The result enabled the CTBC Brothers to take the No. 1 spot after they beat the Fubon Guardians 6-3. It was a highlight reel for the Taiwanese-Argentinian star Lin, who drilled two homers amid a heated home-run race between himself, now on 16 for the season, and Lions teammate Su Chih-chieh, who is on 18. Lin performed outstandingly, collecting five hits at six at-bats to drive
GERMAN LEADER: Liverpool’s 19th English title, one behind Manchester United’s record of 20, owes much to the transformational impact of coach Juergen Klopp Liverpool on Thursday ended a 30-year wait for the English title as they were crowned Premier League champions, triggering jubilant scenes as fans ignored social distancing measures to celebrate uproariously. Juergen Klopp’s men sealed a 19th league title with a record seven games remaining after Chelsea’s 2-1 defeat of second-placed Manchester City left the defending champions an unbridgeable 23 points adrift. Liverpool’s first English title since 1989-1990 — delayed by the COVID-19 suspension — earns them their maiden trophy in the Premier League, which was introduced in 1992-1993 and has been won 13 times by their archrivals Manchester United. Klopp was in tears
WOLFSBURG BEATEN: Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski scored from a penalty, his 34th league goal this season, finishing as the top Bundesliga scorer for the fifth time Werder Bremen gave themselves hope of avoiding relegation from the Bundesliga by thrashing Cologne 6-1 to grab a playoff place on the last day of the season, while champions Bayern Munich routed VfL Wolfsburg before lifting the trophy on Saturday. Japan striker Yuya Osako scored twice as Bremen stole the lifeline of the relegation/promotion playoff place from Fortuna Duesseldorf, who lost 3-0 against Union Berlin and were relegated with SC Paderborn, finishing one point behind Bremen. “We put in a great performance under pressure, but we are aware that we haven’t achieved anything — in the relegation playoff, the emotions will be
Alexis Lafreniere was supposed to walk on stage on Friday night in Montreal as the top pick in the NHL draft. After the COVID-19 pandemic paused the hockey season and postponed that possibility, Lafreniere was supposed to find out Friday night where he would be going when the league held its draft lottery. Instead, he must wait a little bit longer. Chaos reigned at the NHL draft lottery, with the No. 1 pick still up for grabs in a second lottery drawing among the eight teams that lose in the qualifying round of the playoffs — if play resumes. “We all knew