Sat, Sep 27, 2014 - Page 18 News List

SPORTS BRIEFS

Agencies

SOCCER

Qatar to be fine hosts: Emir

Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on Thursday said the Gulf state will put on one of the finest World Cups in history when it hosts the tournament in 2022. Qatar and soccer’s world governing body FIFA are coming under increasing pressure to take the 2022 showpiece away from a country that has little sporting infrastructure or soccer culture, while there have been accusations of bribery in the bidding process. Europe’s top leagues are also firmly against any suggestion that the World Cup be moved to the winter to avoid the sweltering summer months in Qatar, while there have been allegations of horrific working conditions for migrant workers building stadiums and infrastructure. “People should understand that Qatar had the best bid, and Qatar will provide and will do one of the best World Cups in history, and I’m sure about that,” the sheikh told CNN. “People don’t want to accept, don’t want to realize that a small country, Arab, Muslim country, can host a big event like that.” He said that Qatar was ready to host either a winter or summer World Cup. “Our bid was for it to be in summer,” he said. “At the end, it’s up to FIFA to decide when is the best time.”

SOCCER

Gyan denies ritual killing

Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan has broken his silence to defend himself and his family against “wild and ludicrous” media reports that he was involved in an alleged ritual killing of a disappeared rapper. The striker used his Twitter account to post a link to a statement issued through a lawyer to set the record straight after the disappearance in July of rapper Castro and his girlfriend, Janet Bandu. The pair were on holiday with Gyan in the coastal town of Ada when they disappeared while using a jet ski, which was recovered without any trace of their bodies. “Sadly, the expression of empathy during a person’s moment of grief and utter dismay does not sell in the media,” the statement said. “What sells in the media, and what indeed sold and is still selling in the media in Ghana, are wild allegations and rumors directed especially at Asamoah Gyan, ranging from the absurd... and ending with the ludicrous — that he sacrificed him spiritually to enhance his career.”

ATHLETICS

Isinbayeva to take year off

Double Olympic pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva will not compete next year, but is fixing her sights on the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016, the Russian said on Thursday. “I am now fully busy with my daughter and family, and doing only light exercises. I will start full training no earlier than June 2015,” she wrote on her Instagram page. The 32-year-old, the world-record holder and a three-time world champion, gave birth to a daughter in June. “The main goal for me is the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, so in 2015 I will not participate in competition,” she added.

GOLF

Mark Brown cards a 59

Mark Brown shot a 59 at the Tauranga Open in New Zealand yesterday, beating par by 11 strokes and joining a small group of players to have carded a round under 60 in a professional tournament. The former European Tour player sank a 14-foot putt on the par-four 10th hole — the last of his round — to return the best score of his career. Brown carded 26 with a blaze of birdies on his second nine, but did not realize until late in his round he was in with a chance of breaking 60. “I actually lost track,” he said. “I did a wee tally up on the second-to-last hole and realized I just needed one more birdie. Luckily the 10th hole is relatively straightforward.”

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