Thu, Jun 22, 2017 - Page 16 News List

SPORTS BRIEFS

Agencies

SOCCER

FIFA clear Man United

FIFA have cleared Manchester United of any wrongdoing in the transfer of midfielder Paul Pogba from Juventus, but said on Tuesday that it had opened disciplinary proceedings against the Italy-based side. World soccer’s governing body had asked United for information about Pogba’s world-record £89 million (US$112 million) transfer from Juventus following leaks that claimed to give details about the huge deal. A book titled The Football Leaks: The Dirty Business of Football alleged that Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola, had made more than 40 million euros (US$44.5 million) from the deal, 27 million euros of which was paid by Juventus. “We can confirm disciplinary proceedings have been opened against Juventus. We cannot comment further as proceedings are ongoing,” a FIFA spokesman told ESPN. “We can confirm no disciplinary proceedings have been opened against Manchester United.”

FOOTBALL

Brady backs China game

China will stage a regular-season NFL game “down the road” as the sport targets a more global fanbase, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said yesterday during a visit to Beijing and Shanghai this week. Brady said that it was his “dream” to play a game in China before he retires. Richard Young, managing director of NFL China, said that despite several challenges: “We really believe that a regular-season game is the right way to go, because you want to see the real thing [and not an exhibition game], and China demands the real thing and we want to respect that growing fanbase.” Last year, reports said that the NFL was working to stage a game in China next year. “To get a real game over here, you have to understand that teams only have eight home games, so one team is going to have to give up one-eighth of their home-team schedule, which is a difficult thing,” Young said. The logistics are difficult, but “not impossible,” he said. “They’ve got to fly a long, long way and then go back [to the US] and compete the next week in a very physical sport. So do I think it is going to happen in the future? Yes, I do, but it’s down the road and we need a lot of things to sort out before we’re going to have the game.” Young said that before China hosts a game, the sport needed to become “relevant” in China, adding: “We need to make the sport less foreign.”

RUGBY UNION

NZ captain to return

All Blacks captain Kieran Read has overcome a thumb injury and is to face the British and Irish Lions in the first Test in Auckland on Saturday, teammate Sam Whitelock said. Read was sidelined with a broken thumb in April, but he is now “ready to go,” Whitelock said. “He’ll hopefully bring that Kieran Read way of playing, he’ll lead from the front,” Whitelock told reporters. “It’s awesome when he does that, and he plays great rugby when he’s being himself and taking the lead.” While throwing a player straight into a Test series after an injury could be considered risky, Whitelock said Read had prepared meticulously to meet the Lions at Eden Park. “He’s always targeted this game to get back. He’s had time to get his head around it,” the second-rower said. “He’s been working really hard with the trainer and physios to get right for this game. When he gets that opportunity, he’ll take it with both hands.”

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