Thu, Jul 14, 2016 - Page 16 News List

SPORTS BRIEFS

Agencies

SOCCER

China to host tournament

China is to host an annual national team tournament starting from next year, entertainment and property conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group said yesterday as it seeks to build a sporting empire. The announcement comes as Chinese companies snap up foreign players and clubs as the country increases its influence on the global game. The FIFA-approved “China Cup” will be launched in January next year with a four-game tournament featuring China and three teams from Europe and the Americas, Wanda said in a statement, without identifying the non-Chinese participants. The company expects the cup, which Wanda says is a collaboration with the Chinese Football Association and the Asian Football Confederation, to eventually feature eight competitors from “among the world’s top-ranking national A teams,” the statement said. “As the host country, China will automatically qualify to enter its national team in the tournament, gaining the opportunity to climb up FIFA ranks,” Wanda added. Wanda holds a key stake in Atletico Madrid and is a top-tier sponsor of FIFA.

OLYMPICS

Report ‘could ban Russia’

The leader of the US anti-doping effort says nothing short of removing the Russian flag from this summer’s Olympics would suffice if an upcoming report about Russian doping is as damning as expected. The report, due to be made public on Monday, is expected to include details about the Russian sports ministry telling its drug--testing officials which positive tests to report and which to conceal. If those details do show up in the report, Travis Tygart, the CEO of the US Anti-Doping Agency, told The Associated Press he would support the same sort of action for all Russian sports that track and field’s governing body, the IAAF, took regarding the country’s track team: It barred the team, but gave a small number of athletes who could prove they were clean a chance to compete under a neutral flag. “If it’s proven true, and there’s been intentional subversion of the system by the Russian government ... the only outcome is they can’t participate in these Olympic Games under that country’s flag,” Tygart said.

SOCCER

Semi-pros beat Celtic

Scottish giants Celtic crashed to a 1-0 Champions League defeat to Lincoln Red Imps on Tuesday with the goal scored by Lee Casciaro, a policeman in his day job. Manager Brendan Rodgers’ first competitive match in charge was a humiliating affair, with 34-year-old Casciaro inflicting the hammer blow in the 48th minute. This was one of 1967 European champions’ Celtic’s worst ever defeats in the competition, and it left the Hoops counting on turning this second qualifying tie around in the return leg at Parkhead next week. For Rodgers it was the worst possible start to his Celtic career.

TENNIS

Niculescu wins in Bucharest

Monica Niculescu won her opening match for only the second time in five tournaments when she overpowered fellow Romanian Andreea Mitu 6-2, 6-4 at the Bucharest Open in Romania on Tuesday. Other winners in straight sets included second-seeded Sara Errani, No. 4 Laura Siegemund of Germany, No. 6 Danka Kovinic of Montenegro, No. 7 Anastasija Sevastova of Lativa and wild card Francesca Schiavone.

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