Brahimi wins BBC award
Porto’s Algerian winger Yacine Brahimi was voted the BBC’s African Footballer of the Year on Monday. Brahimi is the first Algerian to win the award, which is chosen by members of the public, after a fine year for club and country. After a record number of votes were submitted from fans in 207 countries, Paris-born Brahimi won the coveted award ahead of Nigeria’s Vincent Enyeama, Gabon’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ivory Coast duo Gervinho and Yaya Toure, the Manchester City midfielder who took the prize last year. “It’s a big honor for me to receive this wonderful trophy. I owe it to my country, Algeria, and to all the people who voted for me,” Brahimi told BBC Sport. “It’s also a trophy for the whole of Africa, because it rewards an African player. So I am really very happy.”
Balotelli post investigated
Liverpool forward Mario Balotelli is to be investigated by the Football Association (FA) for a potentially racist and anti-Semitic social media post, British media reported on Monday. The Italian later deleted the post from his Instagram page. “We are aware of the posting, which has since been promptly deleted by the player,” a Liverpool spokesman told the BBC. “We will be speaking to the player about the issue.” Former FA executive Simon Johnson, who is the chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council, said the 24-year-old should be punished. “We abhor all forms of racism, wherever it is found,” he told the Daily Telegraph. “We call upon the FA to investigate this offensive social media post and to take action if appropriate if we are to succeed in kicking racism out of football.”
Bony not for sale: Monk
It would take an “astronomical fee” for Swansea City to part with in-form Ivory Coast forward Wilfried Bony, manager Garry Monk said on Monday. The 25-year-old has scored 18 Premier League goals this year, two more than his nearest rival Sergio Aguero, and has helped the Welsh team climb to eighth in the Premier League table with six goals in his past seven appearances. According to media reports, Bony was a target for Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur during the close-season, but he remained at the Liberty Stadium and last month signed a one-year contract extension that ties him to the club until 2018. “It would take an astronomical fee for him to go anywhere,” Monk told reporters. “We are not a selling club, we don’t need to sell. We are very much committed with our players and they are committed to us. It shows the work that we are doing with him is paying off. He works very hard on his finishing and his fitness, so all credit to him and long may it continue.”
Pele doing well: hospital
Doctors say Pele is in good condition and will remain off kidney-support treatment. The Albert Einstein hospital said the 74-year-old Brazilian great was reevaluated on Monday and doctors decided not to put him back on the hemodialysis that had been needed to help support his only kidney. The treatment was suspended on Sunday, but doctors said it was possible that Pele would need the hemodialysis again depending on how his body responds. The hospital said Pele remains in an intensive care unit, but is “lucid” and “stable.” The three-time World Cup winner was hospitalized early last week after being diagnosed with a urinary tract infection that stemmed from a Nov. 13 surgery to remove kidney stones.
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