Ardiles in Falklands crash
World Cup winner and former Tottenham Hotspur player Ossie Ardiles is in hospital following a car crash in the Falkland Islands on Monday night, British media reported yesterday. Argentine Ardiles, 61, was believed to have been in the Falklands making a TV documentary with former Spurs teammate Ricky Villa, also 61. Villa was not believed to have been injured. The South Atlantic News Agency said Ardiles was airlifted to King Edward Memorial Hospital in Stanley, the capital of the Falklands, the BBC reported. The extent of his injuries was unknown, but a nurse at the hospital described Ardiles as “fine,” according to the Mail online.
China gets new soccer head
China’s former table tennis coach was named head of the Chinese Football Association yesterday, in the latest bid to lift the country’s dismal performance in the sport. China dominates table tennis and Cai Zhenhua’s appointment speaks to the nation’s hopes that those winning ways will rub off on its soccer team. China’s squad have only qualified for one World Cup — in 2002 — and their poor results contrast starkly with the country’s stellar performance in other sports. Although China came second in the medal tally at the London Olympics, its soccer team are 92 in FIFA’s world rankings. Analysts say Chinese soccer’s problems are deep-seated, with not enough young people in academies and a weak domestic league. Corruption is also an issue, with two former association heads among eight officials and players sentenced in 2012 for taking bribes and other crimes. Cai’s most pressing task will be hiring a head coach for the men’s soccer team, leaderless since Spaniard Jose Antonio Camacho was fired in June last year.
US military to help in Sochi
The US military on Monday said that air and naval assets, including two ships in the Black Sea, would be made available if needed during the Sochi Winter Olympics to support Russia, which faces militant threats to disrupt the Games. The Pentagon said US military commanders were “conducting prudent planning and preparations” should support be required during the Winter Olympics. The Pentagon statement came the same day that two men said by Islamist militants to have carried out suicide attacks in south Russia appeared in a video donning explosive belts and warning Russian President Vladimir Putin to expect a “present” at the Sochi Winter Olympics.
Inter fans slam president
Inter fans told their new president on Monday to stop smiling and talking business, and not run the triple European champions like a baseball club. Inter have won only one out of eight league games since Indonesian tycoon Erick Thohir replaced Massimo Moratti in November last year. Thohir took over after the International Sports Capital consortium partly owned by him paid 75 million euros (US$101 million) and took on Inter’s debt of about 180 million euros in exchange for a 70 percent stake. He is also part owner of MLS club DC United and the Philadelphia 76ers. “We suggest that Mr Thohir forgets about baseball, American football, the NBA and other realities which are light years away from here, but which he uses as an example and wants to apply to the Inter Milan business model,” the Curva Nord supporters group said on its Web site. “If Mr Thohir cannot find a ‘strong man’ who can manage an Italian football club on various levels he should be more present. Otherwise he is warmly invited to stay at home.”