Omar Fraile wins stage
Spaniard Omar Fraile won the 11th stage of the Giro d’Italia, a hilly 161km trek from Florence to Bagno di Romagna, although Dutchman Tom Dumoulin clung to his overall lead, despite several attacks from his rivals on Wednesday. Dimension Data rider Fraile beat former world champion Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates) at the end of a long breakaway. France’s Pierre Rolland (Cannondale-
Drapac) finished third. Briton Geraint Thomas, who had gained some ground back in Tuesday’s time trial after a crash in the ninth stage, was unable to follow the top guns in the last climb.
Players end CSL contracts
Professional Footballers Australia chief executive John Didulica yesterday said that Robbie Kruse and James Holland are free agents after terminating their contracts with Chinese Super League (CSL) club Liaoning Whowin due to unpaid wages. Didulica said in a statement that Kruse and Holland had signed for the club in January, but have left after their contractual obligations were not met. “The players had placed the club on notice to remedy the situation, however the club has failed to do this,” Didulica said.
Pakistan’s Nawaz suspended
All-rounder Mohammad Nawaz has been suspended for two months for failing to report a suspect approach to indulge in corruption, the Pakistan Cricket Board said. The 23-year-old, who has played three Tests, nine one-day internationals and five Twenty20 matches for Pakistan, admitted to the charges and has also been fined 200,000 Pakistan rupees (US$1,910), the board said in a statement. Nawaz’s ban is effective from Tuesday, but he could return to cricket after a month if he fulfilled certain criteria, it said.
Fellaini sustains injury
Midifelder Marouane Fellaini is doubtful for Manchester United’s last league game and next week’s Europa League final after sustaining an injury in Wednesday’s goalless draw at Southampton. Belgian international Fellaini was substituted in the 75th minute and had a brief talk with manager Jose Mourinho before walking straight down the tunnel with what appeared to be a muscle problem. “Fellaini, on top of his experience, he says it’s not a tear,” Mourinho told the club’s Web site. “He says it was a minimal thing, but minimal can be a big thing.”
McGregor signs contract
The long-rumoured bout between undefeated US boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr and mixed martial arts champion Conor McGregor is halfway to becoming a reality after the Irishman signed a deal for the fight, it was announced on Wednesday night. UFC president Dana White broke the news during a television interview for TNT. “The McGregor side is done, I’m starting to work on the Mayweather side now,” White said. “I’ve got one side done. If we can come to a deal [with Mayweather], the fight will happen.” McGregor confirmed the deal in a statement released to Themaclife.com. “The first, and most important part of this historic contract has now officially been signed... We now await Al Haymon and his boxer’s signature in the coming days,” the statement read.
A sudden shortage of locks in Australian rugby union has opened the door for Matt Philip to reclaim his Wallabies jersey, but the Melbourne Rebels player says that the uncertainties wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic have left him with a difficult choice. The Australian yesterday named Philip among 16 Rebels players either set to leave the Super Rugby club or seriously considering it, underscoring the challenge Rugby Australia faces to retain talent. Linked with a move to Section Paloise Bearn Pyrenees, commonly referred to as Pau, in France’s Top 14, Philip said that he had yet to settle his playing future, and
When Chinese Super League club Tianjin Tianhai surprisingly thrashed Rafael Benitez’s Dalian Yifang 5-1 to stay in the league in November last year, disgruntled fans were quick to allege corruption — the legacy of a murky past that exploded into scandal 10 years ago. Benitez, who led Liverpool to the 2005 UEFA Champions League title, was perplexed by one of the heaviest defeats of his coaching career, saying: “This is a game that I don’t quite understand.” Despite fan complaints to the Chinese Football Association (CFA), no case was brought and there is no evidence of wrongdoing. However, the haste with which some
As professional soccer returned to Denmark, fans used Zoom to be part of the action. Thousands of Danish soccer fans on Thursday logged on to the conferencing software and were transported to Ceres Park for a league match between AGF and Randers that heralded the resumption of the nation’s pandemic-affected soccer season. While the stadium itself was without fans, the faces of thousands of supporters who joined the Zoom call were shown on giant screens that ran along one side of the pitch. Families wearing club shirts and scarves cheered inside their living rooms. Some were seen clenching their fists in joy after
It is the land of the world champions, but is it really a soccer country? That is the question that some in France have been asking this week while its European neighbors work to bring the sport back after the COVID-19 shutdown. Debate has raged ever since Ligue 1 decided in late April to bring a premature end to the season with 10 rounds of matches unplayed. By contrast, two weeks have passed since the Bundesliga restarted, while Italian Minister for Sport Vincenzo Spadafora on Thursday confirmed that Serie A would return on June 20, and La Liga and the English Premier