QPR fire Niel Warnock
Neil Warnock was fired as manager of Premier League strugglers Queens Park Rangers (QPR) on Sunday, the club said. The west London side are currently just a point above the relegation zone and have lost six and drawn two of their last eight league matches. They needed a last-minute goal to secure a 1-1 draw at third division Milton Keynes Dons in the FA Cup third round on Sunday. It was too much for QPR’s Malaysian businessman owner Tony Fernuandes, who took over the club early in the season. Now Mark Hughes, who has been in charge of several Premier League clubs, as well as Wales, is among those linked with replacing Warnock at Loftus Road. QPR’s statement acknowledged Warnock’s role in leading the club back to the top-flight for the first time in 15 years last season, but stressed: “The board’s commitment to retaining our Premier League status ultimately led to this decision.”
Downing arrested for assault
Liverpool winger Stewart Downing has been arrested on suspicion of assault, British media reported on Sunday. The 27-year-old, who has 32 caps for England, was involved in an alleged confrontation with a woman in a pub in Yarm, in the northeast of England early on Sunday morning. “Police were called to an incident at a pub on Yarm High Street shortly before 1am on Sunday, Jan. 8,” Cleveland police said in a statement. “A 27-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of assault and a 32-year-old woman has also been arrested on suspicion of assault.” Liverpool had no comment on the reports. The arrest comes at a bad time for the Premier League club who are still dealing with the fall-out from two high-profile incidents of alleged racist abuse. Forward Luis Suarez was banned for eight games by the FA for abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra, while Merseyside police arrested a man on Saturday in connection with alleged abuse during Friday’s FA Cup victory over Oldham Athletic.
Pieterson to play for Delhi
England’s batting star Kevin Pietersen has left the Deccan Chargers to play for the Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League this year, his new franchise said on Sunday. Pietersen, who turned out for Bangalore Royal Challengers in 2009 and 2010, had signed up with the Hyderabad-based Chargers last year, but could not play for them following a hernia surgery. The exciting right-hander was picked up by the Virender Sehwag-captained Delhi Daredevils during the transfer window for the fifth edition to be played from April 4 to May 27. “We are pleased to add Kevin to our line-up,” said T.A. Sekhar, the cricket head of GMR Sports, owners of the Delhi Daredevils franchise.
Contador weighed for honey
Champion cyclist Alberto Contador has been awarded the peculiar honor of receiving his weight in honey, a delicacy of the Spanish town of Penalver. Contador, along with his bike, were weighed on a scale set up in the town square on Saturday. The total was multiplied by six for the Spanish rider’s major stage wins (three at the Tour de France, two at the Giro d’Italia and one at the Spanish Vuelta). Spain soccer coach Vicente Del Bosque received the honor last year that is given to promote the local product. Contador is awaiting the verdict of the Court of Arbitration for Sport on his alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs in the 2010 Tour.