Thu, Dec 05, 2019 - Page 16 News List

SPORTS BRIEFS

Agencies

FOOTBALL

Panthers fire coach Rivera

The Carolina Panthers on Tuesday fired head coach Ron Rivera in the wake of the team’s defeat to the Washington Redskins last weekend. Rivera, who guided the Panthers to a Super Bowl appearance, leaves Carolina after nine seasons in charge. “I believe this is the best decision for the long-term success of our team,” Panthers owner David Tepper said in a statement. “I have a great deal of respect for Ron and the contributions he has made to this franchise and to this community. I wish him the best. I will immediately begin the search for the next head coach of the Carolina Panthers.” The 57-year-old’s position came under fierce scrutiny after the Panthers crashed to a 29-21 home defeat against 3-9 Washington on Sunday. The loss was the Panthers’ fourth straight defeat, leaving them at 5-7 for the season and on course to miss out on the playoffs. Rivera, who was appointed in 2011, led the Panthers to a National Football Conference Championship and three NFC South titles during his tenure and was named NFL Coach of the Year in the 2015 season. The Panthers would undertake a “comprehensive and thorough” review of the team’s operation following Rivera’s dismissal, Tepper said.

GOLF

Woods declines Saudi event

Former world No. 1 Tiger Woods on Tuesday said that he had turned down offers to play in the Saudi International tournament, but defended the right of players to participate in the event. Speaking on the eve of the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, Woods said that he had rejected approaches to play in Saudi Arabia, despite appearance fees reportedly in the region of US$3 million. “I just don’t want to go over there,” Woods told ESPN. “It’s a long way.” Golfers participating in the Saudi International faced criticism at the inaugural event, which took place just months after the killing of US-based Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October last year. ESPN reported that Woods had first turned down an approach from organizers to play in this year’s event prior to Khashoggi’s murder and rejected a second offer to play in next year’s tournament, which is to take place from Jan. 30 to Feb. 2. Woods’ comments came after Phil Mickelson became the latest golfer to confirm he would play the event.

RUGBY

RA, Folau settle lawsuit

Former Wallabies fullback Israel Folau yesterday settled his unfair dismissal case with Rugby Australia (RA) and the New South Wales Waratahs, bringing an end to a prolonged and bitter dispute triggered by an explosive social media post. Folau, a fundamentalist Christian, launched legal action after his four-year contract was torn up in May for posting a meme on social media that said hell awaits “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers” and other groups. RA and Folau announced the settlement in a joint statement yesterday after being locked in mediation for about 14 hours. Days before entering mediation at the Australian Federal Circuit Court on Monday, Folau had hiked his compensation claim for lost income and sponsorship from A$10 million to A$14 million (US$6.8 million to US$9.5 million), and reiterated his demand to have his contract reinstated. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

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