Galatasaray win league
Galatasaray SK on Monday were crowned champions of Turkey’s top flight for a record 20th time after perennial Istanbul rivals Fenerbahce SK had four men sent off in a 2-2 draw at Basaksehir FK. With one round of games remaining, Fenerbahce needed nothing less than a win against Basaksehir, a fast-growing Istanbul side, to keep any title hopes alive. However, two goals from Mehmet Batdal within ten minutes in the second half were hammer blows to Fenerbahce’s lingering hopes. Diego of Brazil struck back for Fenerbahce after 80 minutes and Pierre Webo of Cameroon added another on 88 minutes, leading to frantic closing minutes as Fenerbahce looked for a winner. With tempers fraying, four Fenerbahce players were sent off in the last 10 minutes — Mehmet Topuz, Bruno Alves of Portugal, Caner Erkin and Webo — leaving the visitors with just seven players on the field. The result leaves Galatasaray with an unassailable five-point lead at the top of the table and also Turkey’s automatic UEFA Champions League spot for next season. Fenerbahce are set to finish second and the third-biggest team in Istanbul, Besiktas JK, will finish in third place irrespective of the results in Sunday’s matches. Galatasaray’s victory means the team has now won a record 20 titles, one more than Fenerbahce on 19. Under Turkish tradition, Galatasaray will now be the first in Turkish football history to wear four stars on their shirts. A Turkish team is awarded a star for every five championship victories.
Peru call up veterans
Old faithfuls Claudio Pizarro, Jefferson Farfan and Juan Vargas, all in their 30s and with little playing time at their European clubs this term, made the cut as Peru yesterday named a 23-man squad for the Copa America. Pizarro, 36, has made only 13 Bundesliga appearances for Bayern Munich this season, most of them as a second-half substitute, and failed to score. Farfan, 30, has missed most of Schalke 04’s campaign with injury and Vargas, 31, has been a secondary player at ACF Fiorentina in Serie A. However, coach Ricardo Gareca clearly felt he needed their experience after Peru slumped to a 1-0 home defeat against Venezuela in his first game in charge last month. The squad also includes striker Paolo Guerrero, 31, who was top scorer at the last Copa America in 2011 when the team surpassed expectations by reaching the semi-finals. Twice former winners, Peru face Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela in Group C of the 12-team tournament in Chile.
Raza banned for two years
Pakistan spin bowler Raza Hasan has been banned for two years after failing a doping test, the nation’s cricket board said. The 22-year-old left-armer returned an “adverse analytical finding” from a urine sample taken during a domestic tournament in January, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said in a statement. The board declined to name the substance. Raza, who has played one one-day international (ODI) and 10 Twenty20 matches for Pakistan, was notified on March 24 and subsequently failed to send a written request for a hearing within 14 days, the PCB said. “Therefore, in accordance with anti-doping rules and with the approval of the competent authority, Mr Raza Hasan is being imposed with a ban that will make him ineligible to participate in the sport of cricket for a period of two years,” the board said. Raza made his ODI debut against Australia in Dubai in October last year and played his last international match in a T20 against New Zealand in the Gulf city in December last year.
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Growing concern over health standards in e-sports has prompted a new federation to pledge to address the problem, as players fall victim to conditions ranging from wrist injuries to obesity, stress and diabetes. The retirement of top Chinese player Jian Zihao, better known by his gaming handle “Uzi,” sent tremors through the booming sport, whose revenues are predicted to reach US$1.1 billion this year, according to industry analyst Newzoo. The 23-year-old, hailed as an “icon” of the League of Legends game, stepped away from e-sports in June, saying that “chronic stress, obesity, irregular diet, staying up late and other reasons” had given
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The Braves were dealt a double blow as the Mets’ Jacob deGrom struck out 10 in six innings to help New York snap a five-game skid with a 7-2 victory on Monday, and as Atlanta top pitcher Mike Soroka went down with a torn Achilles tendon in the third inning. “There’s no sugarcoating this night,” Atlanta slugger Freddie Freeman said. “It stinks. It really does.” Soroka crumpled to the ground on a seemingly routine play, breaking toward first to cover the bag on a grounder to Freeman’s right. “When you lose, in my mind, one of the top pitching arms in this entire