Croatian fans sentenced
Five Croatians who were arrested in Serbia last month after a massive fan brawl at a match are to serve four to six months in prison as part of a plea bargain deal. Lawyer Maja Trkulja on Tuesday said they are expected to serve their prison sentences in Serbia and be banned from entering the country for another five years. The group pleaded guilty to “violent behavior at a sports event” while at the match between Belgrade rivals Red Star and Partizan. At least 20 people were injured.
French headquarters raided
Police on Tuesday conducted raids at the French Rugby Federation headquarters amid an investigation into an alleged conflict of interest involving federation president Bernard Laporte. A person with direct knowledge of the investigation said that the national financial prosecutor’s office ordered the searches at the national rugby center in Marcoussis, where the squad is preparing for the Six Nations. Laporte’s place of residence was also raided, the person said. French Minister of Sports Laura Flessel last month gave justice officials the conclusions of an investigation into Laporte, who has denied accusations that he pressured the federation’s appeals board to reduce sanctions against Montpellier, which is owned by his close friend. The ministry said Laporte on June 30 last year contacted the appeal commission’s president and said that the call resulted in a change of decision.
A-Rod to join ESPN crew
Alex Rodriguez is again taking over for Aaron Boone, this time moving into the ESPN booth for Sunday Night Baseball. ESPN on Tuesday announced that A-Rod is to join its crew as an analyst. “I’m looking forward to this new chapter in my broadcasting career,” Rodriguez said in a statement. “It’s an exciting time in baseball and now I get that front-row seat to tell that story every Sunday night on ESPN, as well as calling my fourth post-season on Fox, where I started this journey.” Rodriguez and the new crew are to make their debut on March 29, when the San Francisco Giants visit the Los Angeles Dodgers on opening day.
Neville now women’s coach
Former Manchester United defender Phil Neville was on Tuesday appointed permanent head coach of the England women’s team, replacing Mark Sampson, the Football Association announced on its Web site. “This squad is on the verge of something special and I believe I can lead them to the next level,” he said. England are ranked third in the world and are expected to mount a strong challenge at next year’s World Cup in France.
Veteran group denied ad
The NFL has denied advertising space in the Super Bowl for a veterans group that declined to alter language about standing for the national anthem. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy on Tuesday confirmed that American Veterans submitted an advertisement last week with the message “Please Stand.” McCarthy said the league asked the group to consider other options, such as “Please Honor our Veterans” or “Please Stand for our Veterans.” The two organizations were unable to agree on language in time to meet production deadlines.
DRIVING AMBITION: ‘I was excited by playing at the Olympics ... Who knows what’s going to happen? Hopefully, I could have a chance to win a medal,’ Tiffany Chan said After just three tournaments this year, a chance of Olympic glory postponed and two weeks alone in quarantine, golfer Tiffany Chan could be forgiven for feeling sorry for herself. Instead, Hong Kong’s first LPGA Tour player is sporting a broad grin and taking the positives from the game’s COVID-19 shutdown, determined to establish herself in the fiercely competitive world of women’s golf. The talented 26-year-old kept herself fit physically and mentally during the lockdown, and is happy to be back on the fairways since the easing of coronavirus restrictions last month. “When I came back to Hong Kong [in March], I actually did
Eleven-year-old skateboarder Sky Brown, who is hoping to become Britain’s youngest Olympian next year, fractured her skull and broke bones in her left hand after falling from a ramp during a training session in California. Brown posted a video of the accident on Instagram, but reassured supporters that she was fine. “I don’t usually post my falls or talk about them ... but this was my worst fall. I just want everyone to know that it’s OK — don’t worry, I’m OK,” she said. “I’m going to push boundaries for girls with my skating and surfing. I’m going for gold in 2021
Zhu Ting stands tall in China — and not just because she is 1.98m tall. The 25-year-old farmer’s daughter has emerged from a poor village life to become a totem of the country’s sporting ambitions. As captain and figurehead of China’s women’s volleyball team, the reigning Olympic champions, Zhu is one of the country’s biggest stars. State television once feted her as “an invincible and dominant superhero.” A nurse fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in March posted a photograph of herself wearing a white protective suit with a picture of the volleyball star drawn on it — also scribbled were the words: “Proud that
A feel-good campaign allowing fans to have cardboard cutouts of themselves at Australian rugby league games has been hijacked by pranksters, with a notorious serial killer among those making an appearance — while one TV show edited an image of Adolf Hitler into the crowd. The NRL launched “Fan In The Stand” to coincide with the sport’s return at the weekend after its season was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Supporters are barred from stadiums under strict health protocols, but can pay A$22 (US$15) to have their photograph printed on a life-size cutout and placed in the stands of