Stadium worker killed
A worker died in an accident while working outside the World Cup stadium in the Brazilian city of Manaus on Friday, local authorities and the Brazilian Sports Ministry said. “Worker Antonio Jose Pita Martins, 55, died after an accident happened when he was dismantling a crane in the area outside the Amazonia Arena,” the Sports Ministry said. It added in a statement that the accident took place at 8am local time and Martins, a Portuguese national, was rushed to hospital. A hospital statement said Martins had died as a result of multiple head and chest injuries. He was the third person to die while working on or near the ground and the sixth to perish while preparing the 12 stadiums for this year’s tournament. The Amazonia Arena, which should have been completed in December according to FIFA’s original deadline, is behind schedule and workers were rushing to get the job finished.
‘Les Verts’ let chance slip
AS Saint-Etienne missed the chance to keep the pressure on LOSC Lille Metropole in their battle for third place when they were held to a 0-0 draw away to Toulouse on Friday. Although the point moves Saint-Etienne provisionally above Lille on goal difference, Lille can move three points ahead by beating relegation battlers Sochaux-Montbeliard at home. That game was to be played yesterday. In a dull game of few chances, winger Franck Tabanou found himself in a good position in the 52nd minute, but Toulouse goalkeeper Zacharie Boucher saved comfortably, and Saint-Etienne goalie Stephane Ruffier dived to keep out midfielder Oscar Trejo’s shot midway through the second half. League leader Paris Saint-Germain can move eight points clear at the top if they win at second-place Monaco today.
Espanyol win with 10
Hector Moreno’s late goal gave 10-man RCD Espanyol a 1-0 win at home over Granada in the Spanish league on Friday, as the Barcelona-based side ended a four-game winless run. Granada goalkeeper Roberto Fernandez saved Moreno’s first two headers from corner kicks taken by Sergio Garcia, but the defender beat him on his third try after Garcia found Moreno unmarked at the near post in the 78th minute. Espanyol’s Victor Alvarez saw a direct red for fouling Youssef El Arabi from behind with only the goalie to beat in the 29th. The hosts mustered more scoring chances through Garcia’s playmaking and stayed firm in defense. Espanyol provisionally moved into eighth place with their first win after losing in the last two rounds and in both legs of their Copa del Rey quarter-final with Real Madrid. Atletico Madrid leads the league by three points over Barcelona and Real.
Diamanti moving to China
Italy forward Alessandro Diamanti has signed a deal to join Asian champions Guangzhou Evergrande of China, bringing an end to his three-year stint at Bologna. The three-year contract with the 30-year-old is worth 6.9 million euros (US$9.40 million), the Chinese champions, coached by Italy’s World Cup-winning coach Marcello Lippi, said in a statement. Diamanti, capped 17 times by Italy, is set to join Evergrande in Spain, where the club is undergoing preseason training, once he completes his medical. Guangzhou became the first Chinese side to win Asia’s premier club tournament last season when they edged FC Seoul on away goals. They also won the domestic Chinese Super League for a third-straight season.