Fan auctions Pele objects
A Brazilian soccer fan hopes to net thousands of dollars from the auction of Pele memorabilia, including the shirt that the legendary player wore for his last appearance with Brazil, media reported on Wednesday. Marcos Batista, 38, is selling about 100 items that he has collected over 30 years, including stamps commemorating Pele’s 1,000th goal, figurines, photo albums and comics. The shirt’s list price is 4,000 reais (US$1,700), with the second-most expensive lot a poster written in Spanish promoting a 1962 documentary on the soccer star, who had won his first World Cup aged 17 four years earlier. The asking price for the King Pele poster is priced at 3,000 reais, Folha de Sao Paulo reported.
FA charges Mou over referee
The English Football Association on Wednesday charged Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho with improper conduct for going onto the pitch and approaching the referee during his team’s 1-0 loss to Aston Villa in the Premier League at Villa Park on Saturday. Mourinho was upset after Chelsea midfielder Ramires was sent off, making the Brazilian the second Blues player to receive a red card in the game after Willian was sent off earlier. His reaction led referee Chris Foy to order the Portuguese from the touchline. The association said in a statement that Mourinho’s “behavior in re-entering the field of play and ... approaching the match referee amounted to improper conduct.” The Chelsea boss has until Monday to respond to the charge.
Trailblazer Kotooshu retires
Bulgarian-born sumo wrestler Kotooshu, the first European to win the prestigious Emperor’s Cup, has announced his retirement. The 31-year-old Kotooshu, whose real name is Karoyan Stefanov Mahlyanov, was promoted to sumo’s second-highest rank of ozeki in 2005 and won the Emperor’s Cup in 2008 for his only championship at the elite level. He was relegated to the third-highest rank of sekiwake for the New Year tournament in January, where he finished with a losing record and was unable to regain his ozeki status. Battling a series of injuries, Kotooshu lost nine straight bouts in the ongoing spring tournament. A Japanese citizen, Kotooshu yesterday said he plans to instruct junior wrestlers as an elder of the Japan Sumo Association. He ends his career with a record of 537 wins and 337 losses.
S Africa fret over Du Plessis
Title contenders South Africa were sweating over the fitness of injured captain Faf du Plessis and premier fast bowler Dale Steyn ahead of their World Twenty20 opener against Sri Lanka tomorrow. The two key players are recovering from hamstring injuries and their availability for the Super-10 Group One match in Chittagong, Bangladesh, will not be known until just before the toss takes place. Steyn aggravated a right hamstring strain suffered during the recent Test series against Australia while playing a warm-up match in Fatullah on Tuesday, where he limped off after bowling 2.2 overs. A statement from Cricket South Africa late on Wednesday said Steyn will “continue to receive treatment from the physiotherapist to give him the best chance of recovery for the opening match.” Du Plessis has a “50-50” chance of playing the opening match, the cricket board added.
If he sits out, one-day captain AB de Villiers is expected to lead the Proteas, whose second match is against New Zealand on Monday.