Sports Briefs


Fri, Dec 22, 2006 - Page 22

■ Soccer
FIFA lifts ban on Iran

FIFA officially lifted Iran's ban from international competition on Wednesday. The governing body of world soccer said it has held "a series of cooperative negotiations" with Iranian authorities to ensure that the sport is free from political interference. FIFA said the sides agreed to create a provisional board within the Iranian soccer federation that would draft and pass new statutes for the body and hold leadership elections. Iran was suspended from international competition last month after FIFA accused the government of interfering in the federation's affairs.

■ Golf

Wie endorses Pyeongchang

South Korean ski resort Pyeongchang received a boost on Wednesday in its bid to win the right to host the 2014 Winter Olympics as teenage golf star Michelle Wie agreed to become an honorary ambassador. The 17-year-old American whose parents are South Korean agreed after months of negotiations to accept the role after further talks with the chairman of the did committee, Han Seung-soo. Wie, who has yet to triumph on the senior US women's LPGA tour but has finished third at two majors, the Kraft Nabisco and the US Open, and fifth at the LPGA Championship this year, said that it had not been a difficult decision to come to.

■ Golf

Casey wins Shot of the Year

Britain's Paul Casey added the Shot of the Year award on Wednesday to his long list of achievements for the year. The Englishman receives a trophy and £2,000 (US$3,942) to donate to a charity of his choice after his spectacular hole-in-one during Europe's Ryder Cup victory at the K Club in Ireland in September. "I feel very privileged to win the Shot of the Year," Casey said in a news release. "There were so many great shots played during the season and I feel very lucky that mine has been voted the best. It is a very special award." Casey holed his four-iron from 213 yards at the 14th hole as he and David Howell beat Stewart Cink and Zach Johnson 5 & 4 in the Saturday fourballs.

■ Cricket

Michael Vaughan recalled

Former captain Michael Vaughan was recalled yesterday to an England one-day squad which is missing Steve Harmison, who has retired from limited-overs international cricket. Vaughan, recovering from long-standing knee problems, has been included in a 16-man squad to compete in the tri-nations tournament with Australia and New Zealand next month and early February.