MOE helps Brother Elephants
The Ministry of Education (MOE) is lending a helping hand to the Brother Elephants in their search for a new owner, Minister of Education Chiang Wei-ling said yesterday. “The ministry has been in talks with two or three potential bidders,” Chiang said on the sidelines of a meeting of the legislature’s Education and Culture Committee. Chiang said the ministry and its Sports Administration have contacted local conglomerates about taking over the Elephants, but declined to identify potential buyers as it could hinder negotiations. Since the CPBL only has four teams, Chiang said his ministry cannot sit idly by when one says it plans to pull out. Once an Elephants deal is struck, the ministry will also help push for the establishment of a fifth professional baseball team, he added. The Elephants’ owner announced on Saturday that the team is being put up for sale because it has incurred heavy losses. Chiang said yesterday that the development of baseball remains a priority for the government and it will work with the league to prevent any recurrence of game-fixing in the future.
Catania sack coach Maran
Rolando Maran, who led Catania through one of their best seasons last term, became the third Serie A coaching victim of the campaign when he was fired on Sunday. The club immediately named Luigi De Canio as his replacement. Maran was dismissed one day after the Sicilians lost 2-1 to Cagliari, leaving them with five points from eight games. “The club thanks [Maran] for the work he has developed and wishes him all the best in his career,” Catania said on their Web site. The 50-year-old took over before the start of last season and led them to an impressive eighth, equaling their best-ever finish. De Canio’s last coaching job was at Genoa last year, where he was sacked after six months.
Hodgson, Rio join FA group
The English Football Association announced on Sunday that England manager Roy Hodgson and Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand have joined a commission to investigate the England squad’s failings. Their appointments take the number of people on the commission to 10, after FA chairman Greg Dyke unveiled a provisional eight-man lineup earlier in the month. The commission will look at ways to increase the number of English players playing in the Premier League and is expected to present a report by the end of March next year. Mixed-race Ferdinand’s appointment comes after FA board member Heather Rabbatts criticized Dyke for originally naming an all-male, all-white commission.
Evra hits back at critics
France and Manchester United defender Patrice Evra on Sunday delivered a vicious tirade last week aimed at several pundits, including France’s 1998 FIFA World Cup winner Bixente Lizarazu, after they criticized him over a half-time talk he gave his teammates during France’s 2014 World Cup qualifier with Belarus last month, in which he was a substitute. France won the game 4-2, ending a run of five games without a win or a goal, but still ended up having to contest a playoff to see if they reach the finals. Evra, notorious for his role in France’s strike-hit 2010 World Cup campaign, did not take the criticism well. He called Lizarazu and three other pundits “tramps” and “parasites” on French TV program Telefoot. He was later ordered by French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet and France coach Didier Deschamps to come to Paris to explain the remarks.