Coach held at gunpoint
Argentine Club Atletico Escuela Presidente Roca coach Cristian Neira quit after being threatened at gunpoint by a benched player. Midfielder Cesar Pagani pulled a gun during training and demanded to be included in the starting lineup on Thursday, Cordoba Soccer League president Emeterio Farias said. “The coach quit,” Farias said in an interview with Radio Suquia on Friday. “The player threatened him with a gun during training. There’s another kid who is playing [in the starting lineup] and the coach thinks he is better, and he has the right to decide who plays.” Farias said Neira decided not to press charges out of fear, but said he reported the incident to the police. “I hope the authorities do something. A guy like this cannot be free,” Farias said. “We can’t allow the violent [people] to push us around.” Roca plays in the Federal C category of Argentina professional soccer, one of the many lower level regional tournaments below the first division.
West Ham head scout fired
West Ham United have fired their player recruitment director for telling agents the Premier League club would not sign any more African players. In an e-mail sent to agents and published by the Daily Mail on Wednesday, Tony Henry complained that African players “have a bad attitude” and “cause mayhem” when they are not in the team. West Ham on Friday said it terminated Henry’s contract “with immediate effect following his unacceptable comments that were widely reported in the press.” Henry’s dismissal came after the English Football Association opened an investigation. Cheikhou Kouyate, West Ham’s Senegalese midfielder, on Thursday wrote on Instagram that he is “African and proud.” West Ham said they are an inclusive club “where, regardless of gender, age, ability, race, religion or sexual orientation, everybody feels welcome and included.”
Fans mock fatal plane crash
The South American Football Confederation has opened a disciplinary procedure against Uruguayan Club Nacional de Football after a group of fans mocked the plane crash that killed members of Brazilian soccer club Chapecoense two years ago. The confederation on Friday said that the probe was launched due to “offensive behaviors that are an attack on human dignity.” Nacional apologized to the Brazilian team in a statement and said they would launch their own investigation to ensure those “responsible get the most severe sanctions.” A video broadcast by Brazil’s Globoesporte Web site shows two Nacional fans laughing and making gestures with their arms imitating a plane crash.
Indian skier into Olympics
Cross-country skier Jagdish Singh has qualified for this month’s Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea, one of only two Indian athletes who will be seen in action at the Games. Singh and veteran luger Shiva Keshavan will comprise the Indian contingent for the Games starting on Friday, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) secretary-general Rajeev Mehta said yesterday. It will be a maiden Olympic appearance for 26-year-old Singh, who booked his place with just one point over the qualification mark. He will be participating in the 15km Nordic skiing freestyle event that is scheduled for Feb. 16. The Winter Games Federation of India is not recognized by the IOA, which has made it tough for Indian athletes to break through to the big stage.
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two
‘GREAT COMPETITOR’: Former French Open champion Garbine Muguruza was tested by American teenager Coco Gauff, before the Spaniard advanced in three sets Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Thursday cruised into the quarter-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia by handing their Japanese opponents a rare “double bagel,” a feat matched by US Open losing finalist Victoria Azarenka in the women’s singles. Top seeds Hsieh and Strycova took just 49 minutes to see off the challenge of Japanese duo Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya 6-0, 6-0 on the clay courts at the Foro Italico in Rome. The Taiwanese-Czech duo saved both break points they faced and converted six of 14, winning 62 percent of their first