Newell’s fans shot by rival
Two Newell’s Old Boys fans were shot dead by a supporter of rival club Rosario Central after a match, local police said on Monday. Besides the two male victims, aged 34 and 39, a 29-year-old woman and a nine-year-old girl traveling in the same vehicle were wounded in a hail of bullets fired from a motorcycle by the assailant, who was wearing a Rosario Central T-shirt. Before the shooting, the driver and the gunman had been arguing as they drove near Newell’s Estadio Marcelo Bielsa on Sunday night. Newell’s and Rosario Central are the two main clubs in Rosario, 300km from Buenos Aires. Fan violence at local matches has grown so dangerous that authorities have banned fans from rival teams from games.
Court clears Ronaldo hugger
A US prosecutor on Monday dropped charges against 20-year-old Canadian student Ronald Gjoka for running onto the field to hug Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo at an International Champions Cup match between Real and Chelsea in Miami in August. Gjoka faced disorderly conduct and trespassing charges after he sprinted onto the field and did a knee slide — imitating the striker’s goal-scoring celebration — and then embraced Ronaldo, who reacted calmly and chatted with Gjoka during a hug that lasted almost a minute and elicited wild cheers from the crowd. After learning of his fan’s legal predicament, Ronaldo wrote a letter to the prosecutor in the case appealing for the charges to be dropped. The student said he hoped to have a chance one day to thank the star personally. “My dream now is just to see him again to say thanks,” Gjoka said.
EU to probe Spanish clubs
Minister of Foreign Affairs Jose Manuel Garcia-Margello on Monday said that the EU will open legal proceedings this week into financial support for Real Madrid, Barcelona and several other top clubs to see if it meets EU state aid standards. The minister said his “government is going to give battle until the end to defend Spanish clubs,” saying they are an essential part of “the Spanish brand.” Brussels has refused to comment on the case, but said EU Commissioner for Competition Joaquin Almunia was to hold a news conference on unspecified issues yesterday. A financial probe could have major repercussions for several clubs since many of them are in financial difficulties. If such aid is deemed illegal the clubs would have to return the money. Garcia-Margello said other clubs were Valencia, Hercules, Elche, Athletic Bilbao and CA Osasuna. Garcia-Margello said the government had already prepared arguments in case Almunia sets the process in motion yesterday. The objections the EU is looking into center on how clubs and local authorities handled fiscal issues.
Oldham player fired for fixing
Oldham Athletic have sacked forward Cristiano Montano for gross misconduct, the English third-tier club said on Monday, following his arrest in a spot-fixing investigation. The 22-year-old was one of six players arrested earlier this month by the British National Crime Agency following a newspaper expose. League One side Oldham suspended Montano without pay on Dec. 8. A statement on Oldham’s Web site from the club’s lawyers said that following a thorough investigation by the Latics into Montano’s conduct, the club’s board decided to sack him immediately. Born in Colombia, Montano moved to London as a child. He signed for Oldham in August last year.
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two
Former MLB pitcher Wang Wei-chung has signed the biggest contract with a local team in Taiwan’s professional baseball history, the Wei Chuan Dragons said yesterday. The 28-year-old left-hander signed a five-year US$2.08 million contract with the Dragons, team chairman Hsu Wen-fang told a news conference. It is the biggest contract in the CPBL’s 31-year history, surpassing a three-year, US$1.36 million deal Lin Chih-sheng signed in 2016 with the CTBC Brothers. Although the overall value of Wang’s deal set a new record, his average monthly salary of NT$990,000 (US$33,886) is lower than Lin’s pay of NT$1.2 million per month in 2017