Rival bodies in tug-of-war
Two rival groups are straining to be declared Singapore’s official body for tug-of-war, a report said yesterday, in a tangled tale heaving with controversy. On one side, the Singapore Athletic Association (SAA) says it runs the sport and its role is recognized by the sport’s world governing body, but pulling in the other direction is the Tug of War Federation of Singapore, which claims backing from the Asian Tug of War Federation, the Straits Times reported. Roped into the argument is the Singapore Sports Council (SSC), which has the authority to recognize one side or the other, but says the state currently has no official body representing the sport. According to the Straits Times, tug-of-war was under the ambit of the SAA until 2009, when its tug-of-war subcommittee detached from the athletics body to form the separate Tug of War Federation. However, the SAA’s current president, Tang Weng Fei, is planning to change the body’s constitution to include tug-of-war. The situation has created confusion for the sport’s 100 or so participants, who would perhaps prefer it if the warring officials pulled themselves together.
Cahill to rejoin Aussies
New York City-based Tim Cahill and Crystal Palace’s Mile Jedinak are among four overseas-based players returning to the Australia squad for their 2014 World Cup qualifying match against Oman in Sydney on March 26. Socceroos head coach Holger Osieck named a 23-player squad yesterday, also including Tommy Oar (Utrecht) and Tom Rogic (Celtic). All four missed last month’s friendly against Romania. Australia will be without captain Lucas Neill and Carl Valeri, who are serving one-match suspensions for the accumulation of yellow cards from previous matches. The Socceroos are second in Group B in the final round of Asian qualifying for Brazil in 2014, eight points behind Japan and only edging Iraq and Oman on goal-difference.
CAS rejects appeal
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Tuesday said it had rejected an appeal by the Hungarian Football Federation against having to play their next home World Cup qualifier behind closed doors for racist behavior by fans. In a statement, the Swiss-based tribunal said it had upheld a Feb. 5 ruling by world soccer’s governing body FIFA, which had been challenged by Hungary. “As a consequence, the decision imposed that the match between Hungary and Romania on 22 March 2013 be played without spectators is maintained,” said the CAS, which is the final court of appeal in world sport. The sanction, accompanied by a fine of 40,000 Swiss francs (US$42,100) was imposed after Hungary fans hurled anti-Semitic abuse during a friendly match with Israel in August last year.
Saints charged after incident
Southampton have been charged with failing to control their players during Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Norwich City in the Premier League, the Football Association announced on Tuesday. The charge relates to an incident at the end of the game that saw referee Mark Clattenburg surrounded by furious Southampton players after awarding Norwich an injury-time penalty. However, goalkeeper Artur Boruc saved the spot-kick from Grant Holt, which left the Saints four points above the relegation zone with nine games to play. The club has until 4pm tomorrow to answer the charge.