Blatter blasts bombings
FIFA president Sepp Blatter on Wednesday condemned the deadly attacks at the Boston marathon, urging authorities to pull out all the stops in preventing such tragedies. “What happened in Boston is a drama, a tragedy,” the head of world soccer’s governing body said in Spanish, speaking to reporters as he wrapped up a two-day visit to Cuba. “It was an attack on sport, and it was an attack on one of the most popular sports there is: marathons.” US investigators have said they believe the two bombs, which killed three people and injured about 180 at the marathon on Monday, were packed in pressure cookers. It is “incredible ... [how] violent” society has become, Blatter said. “The only thing ... [to be done] is for every precaution to be taken to ensure the safety of sporting events,” he said. Blatter, who visited the Dominican Republic and Haiti before moving on to Cuba, recalled the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, praising it for its security and called it a “party to humanity.”
Barca to visit Malaysia
Spanish giants Barcelona are to play a friendly against a Malaysian XI at the 100,000-capacity Bukit Jalil Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, organizers said yesterday. Barcelona managing director Antoni Rossich announced the Aug. 10 fixture alongside Asian Football Confederation vice president Prince Abdullah Ibni Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah in the Malaysian capital. It will be the four-time European champions’ first fixture in Malaysia, where they will face a side led by the country’s national team coach K. Rajagopal. Tito Vilanova’s side, who are closing in on another La Liga title and Champions League honors, have already announced plans to play in China on Aug. 3 and Thailand on Aug. 7 during their pre-season Asian tour.
Mexico, Peru draw 0-0
Mexico ’keeper Jesus Corona made four of his six saves in the second half to help preserve a 0-0 tie with Peru in an exhibition match on Wednesday night. The game drew a raucous, mostly pro-Mexico crowd of 46,288 fans that waved red, white and green flags and blew horns long before the match began at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California. Fans unfurled a large replica of the Mexican team jersey that stretched over parts of three sections in the southern end of the stadium before introductions. Not even the absence of four of Mexico’s top players, including Javier Hernadez, dulled the pre-game festivities. Mexico took just one shot on goal, a penalty-kick by Angel Reyna in the 70th minute, that keeper Jose Carvallo stopped.
Tindall bouncer convicted
A New Zealand bouncer who leaked CCTV footage of former England center Mike Tindall’s drunken antics during the 2011 Rugby World Cup was convicted yesterday of stealing the video. The grainy images of Tindall flirting with an old flame just weeks after marrying Zara Phillips, Queen Elizabeth II’s granddaughter, created global headlines and were blamed for derailing England’s World Cup campaign. A jury in the Invercargill District Court found that Jonathan Dixon, a bouncer who worked at the nightclub where Tindall had been drinking that night, dishonestly obtained property by accessing the venue’s computer system. Prosecutors said Dixon had hoped to sell the footage to the British tabloid newspapers for up to ￡1.3 million (US$1.97 million), but posted it on the Internet when the plan failed. He will be sentenced in June.