Ramirez to play in Japan
Former MLB slugger Manny Ramirez has joined Japanese independent league team the Kochi Fighting Dogs, the club said on its Web site. The 44-year-old, who has also played in Taiwan after retiring from the major leagues in 2011 as one of only 25 players to pass 500 home runs, is set to play in the four-team Shikoku Island League. The Fighting Dogs posted a picture of the Dominican Republic native, describing him a little underwhelmingly as having been “active in Boston Red Sox etc.” Ramirez, in his first year on the Hall of Fame ballot, hit .352 with Taiwan’s EDA Rhinos of the Chinese Professional Baseball in Taiwan in 2013.
Indian body backtracks
Already threatened with being suspended and stripped of government funding, the Indian Olympic Association has stepped back from a proposal to appoint two tainted former officials as honorary life presidents. Tirlochan Singh, a senior association official, said that president N. Ramachandran on Monday wrote a letter to the Indian minister of sports explaining that the honorary awards were just a proposal and not been bestowed. The ministry earlier said that Indian government recognition of the association would be revoked unless the positions for Suresh Kalmadi and Abhay Singh Chautala were withdrawn. Kalmadi and Chautala, former association presidents, had been unanimously proposed for the positions, which were largely ceremonial and did not give any voting rights, during a in Chennai last month. Kalmadi spent time in jail on corruption charges relating to the 2010 Commonwealth Games before being released on bail. Chautala is facing trial on finance-related matters.
Clemson win championship
Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson threw a two-yard touchdown pass to Hunter Renfrow with 1 second to play to lift them to a 35-31 victory over Alabama in college football’s championship game in Tampa, Florida, on Monday. The Tigers avenged their 45-40 loss to the Crimson Tide in last year’s final. Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts had given the Crimson Tide — unbeaten in 14 prior games this season — a 31-28 lead with 2 minutes, 7 seconds remaining. Watson responded by piloting a nine-play, 68-yard drive for the win, saying he told his teammates in the huddle not to panic because “we were built for moments like this.”
France gains from Euros
Hosting the Euro 2016 tournament cost France less than 200 million euros (US$211 million) and brought 1.221 billion euros into the nation, according to figures released by the French Ministry of Sports yesterday. There was controversy over the public funds poured into the tournament, with 24 million euros — double the expected cost — spent on security in light of an increased terrorist threat. The state spent a further 160 million euros on building and renovating venues for the event, while private funds and tournament organizer UEFA covered the remaining costs. Euro 2016 brought 1.221 billion euros into the country both in tourism and spending directly related to the organization of the tournament, according to data compiled by the Centre of the Law and Economics of Sport at Limoges University and consultancy firm Keneo.