Sex-for-fixing refs jailed
Three Lebanese referees pleaded guilty in Singapore yesterday to accepting free sex from a gambling-linked global syndicate in return for rigging a match in the city-state, with two jailed and sentencing deferred for the third. A district court judge jailed assistant referees Ali Eid, 33, and Abdallah Taleb, 37, for three months, but deferred sentencing until today for referee Ali Sabbagh, whom state prosecutors said was the most culpable. The assistant referees broke down into sobs and repeatedly looked up as if to thank God after Judge Low Wee Ping said they could be freed by later yesterday or today, after remission for good behavior and due to time already served awaiting sentence. Turning to Ali Sabbagh, 34, the judge said: “I need time to consider your sentence. I don’t, for the moment, accept that you should be sentenced to six months.”
Dortmund striker to stay
Borussia Dortmund’s prized striker Robert Lewandowski will not be making his anticipated move to UEFA Champions League winners and Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich in this transfer window, the club’s chief executive office Hans-Joachim Watzke said yesterday. Bayern, who completed a treble-winning season earlier this month, were fully expected to poach Lewandowski from the Champions League runners-up after they already persuaded talented Dortmund midfielder Mario Goetze to join them for next season.
Cooper caught up in fracas
Dumped Wallaby Quade Cooper has been involved in an incident at a Brisbane hotel in which he had beer thrown over him, reports said yesterday. Cooper, 25, was drenched in beer by a patron at the Normanby Hotel on Sunday, shortly after he was told he would not be part of the Wallabies squad for this month’s three-Test series against the touring British and Irish Lions, News Ltd newspapers reported. A witness told Brisbane’s the Courier-Mail the patron goaded Cooper, provoking an argument and threw a plastic cup of beer over him. “Quade did nothing and, to be honest, I was surprised he didn’t retaliate because I would have,” the witness said. “He was hit with a full cup of beer. He was soaked in it. “There was an argument and Quade stood up to him, but he was never going to throw the first punch.” Cooper has a suspended fine hanging over him after he was sanctioned by the Australian Rugby Union in October last year for bringing the game into disrepute by criticizing the Wallabies and coach Robbie Deans.
Youngest player debuts
Yorkshire’s 15-year-old pace bowler Matthew Fisher became English county cricket’s youngest post-war player after he was handed his senior debut on Sunday. Fisher was named in the side to face Leicestershire at Scarborough in a 40-over match, having taken six for 25 against the Foxes in a second XI match earlier last week. Yorkshire confirmed on Twitter: “Matthew Fisher will become the youngest player to feature in a competitive county match aged 15 years and 212 days.” Fisher was originally included in the match-day squad two days ago, at which point Yorkshire’s first-team coach Jason Gillespie said: “Matthew deserves his call-up into the squad. We monitor the progress of all our players and the feedback I have received from [second-team coach] Paul Farbrace on the way Matthew has been playing has been excellent.”