Real Madrid top rich list
Real Madrid have passed Manchester United as the most valuable soccer team in Forbes’ annual estimates. Forbes valued Real Madrid at US$3.3 billion in rankings released on Wednesday, up 76 percent from last year’s estimate of US$1.88 billion. Man United, who have been No. 1 since Forbes started the list in 1994, were second at US$3.17 billion, a 42 percent increase. Barcelona were third at US$2.6 billion, followed by Arsenal (US$1.33 billion), Bayern Munich (US$1.31 billion), AC Milan (US$945 million), Chelsea (US$901 billion), Juventus (US$694 million), Manchester City (US$689 million) and Liverpool (US$651 million). Milan were the only team among the top 10 estimated to decline in value over the past year, dropping 4 percent.
PSG out of cup on penalties
Paris Saint-Germain crashed out of the French Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday after losing a shootout to Evian Thonon Gaillard in which Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva missed penalties. Evian scored all three of their penalties to win 3-1 in the shootout after the match ended 1-1 to progress to the semi-finals. Ibrahimovic’s spot kick was saved by Bertrand Laquait, while Thiago Silva struck the crossbar. PSG forward Ezequiel Lavezzi scored with his penalty but Cedric Barbosa converted Evian’s winner. Javier Pastore gave PSG an eighth-minute lead, but Evian leveled in the 43rd when an unmarked Saber Khelifa prodded in from close range after a counterattack. PSG midfielder Thiago Motta was sent off in the 88th minute for a foul on Barbosa. Girondins de Bordeaux are also through after winning 3-2 at second-division club Lens.
Pistorius staying at home
Murder-accused sprinter Oscar Pistorius does not plan to return to international athletics in the immediate future, his agent said on Wednesday, after a snub from the organizers of a London meet. “Oscar has no plans to compete internationally at this point,” said Peet van Zyl, dismissing suggestions Pistorius had planned to compete at the July 26-28 Anniversary Games, but was not invited. The comments come after organizers of the three-day Anniversary Games at London’s Olympic Park said the South African Paralympian would not be welcome. “I don’t want to see the Sunday of the Anniversary Games turning into a media circus,” UK Athletics chairman Ed Warner said. Last month the double amputee, who is known as the “Blade Runner,” successfully challenged his strict bail conditions, opening the door for him to travel abroad and fueling speculation about a return to the track.
IOA delays crucial meeting
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has postponed a crucial meeting with the nation’s sports minister which was expected to resolve issues which led to the country’s suspension by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). IOA acting president Vijay Kumar Malhotra was scheduled to meet Indian Sports Minister Jitendra Singh yesterday but that meeting has been delayed until next week. The IOA is caught between complying with a government sports code which puts age and tenure restrictions on officials, and meeting IOC demands for government to stay out of the election and appointment of Olympic officials. The IOC suspended the Indian association in December last year, and has invited IOA and sports ministry officials to a meeting in Lausanne next month.