Raid over Ronaldo no-show
South Korean police on Thursday raided a sports agency as part of a fraud inquiry after Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo sat out a friendly last month in Seoul, enraging thousands of fans. The raid was intended to investigate whether The Fasta agency lied by claiming Ronaldo was guaranteed to play, police said. A criminal complaint accuses The Fasta of swindling about 6 billion won (US$4.96 million) of ticket sales by saying that the contract with the Italian club obliged Ronaldo to play for at least 45 minutes, and not warning buyers that he might not appear. The striker stayed on the bench throughout the game, with Juventus saying he was rested on medical advice because of muscle fatigue.
Aussie preservation push
Greater emphasis is to be placed on celebrating and preserving Australia’s rich, but often overlooked, soccer history after an official heritage committee was announced yesterday. Football Federation Australia said that it is acting on one of the new board’s priorities to recognize the game’s history by launching plans to centralize memorabilia collected over time, with a longer-term ambition to establish a soccer museum. As part of the push, the federation is to introduce annual awards to recognize those who have played a significant part in the game throughout its history in Australia.
Neymar rape case dropped
Brazilian prosecutors are dropping a rape case against Neymar, they said on Thursday, likely bringing an end to the most serious of charges against the Paris Saint Germain striker. The former Brazil captain was accused of raping a model in a Paris hotel room, but he alleged that the encounter was consensual and prosecutors could not find evidence to contradict that. A judge must now sign off on the decision that had been recommended by police, but Neymar’s family celebrated the announcement as the end of the matter. “Son, let’s make our life move on and on, always with the head held high, the heart calm and the peace and quiet of the innocent,” Neymar Sr said. He still faces a separate inquiry into whether he committed a crime by posting intimate photographs online.
Ruiz ‘race cutter’ dies at 66
Rosie Ruiz, the Boston Marathon course-cutter who was stripped of her victory in 1980 and went on to become an enduring symbol of cheating in sports, has died at 66. Ruiz, who was also known as Rosie Vivas, died in Florida of cancer on July 8, an obituary said. An unknown who did not look or act like she had just run 42km, Ruiz finished first in the women’s division in Boston in 1980 in a then-record time of 2 hours, 31 minutes, 56 seconds. Even as she was awarded her medal and olive wreath, her competitors wondered how a woman they had not ever heard of — or seen on the course — could have won. Grilled by the Boston Athletic Association about her training methods and pace, she had no answers and did not seem to recognize terms that would be common for elite marathoners; she also could not identify landmarks she would have passed on the course. Two Harvard students soon came forward to say they saw her join the race near Kenmore Square near the finish.
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
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
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