SPORTS BRIEFS

Agencies

Fri, Apr 20, 2012 - Page 18

OLYMPICS

Beckham makes Games cut

David Beckham’s hopes of playing for a combined British team at the Olympic Games in his native London remained intact after he survived the latest whittling down of manager Stuart Pearce’s squad. Pearce, also currently the caretaker boss of the England national side, reduced his initial 191-man list to 80 players on Wednesday. They are now being contacted by the Football Association to see if they are available for Games duty. If he remains fit, it seems likely Beckham, 37, will become one of the over-age players in what is primarily an under-23 tournament when former England fullback Pearce names his 18-man squad at the end of next month.

SOCCER

Jakarta to fight suspension

Indonesia’s soccer association is considering appealing a FIFA-imposed four-match ban on one of its coaches who accused a referee of bribery during a World Cup qualifier, it said yesterday. Aji Santoso received the suspension after he was sent to the stands during a 10-0 loss to Bahrain in February for claiming money was influencing the outcome of the match refereed by Lebanese Andre Al Haddad. The coach of the country’s under-23 team was acting as caretaker coach of the national side when in the 75th minute of the Bahrain match, he was overheard by an official saying: “There is money [involved] here.” Bahrain needed to beat Indonesia by a nine-goal margin to have a hope of reaching the next round of qualifiers. Following the match, FIFA launched its own investigation into the result as well as suspending and fining Santoso for his behavior. On Thursday, Bob Hippy, of the Football Association of Indonesia, said: “FIFA’s sanctions are one-sided. We’ll wait for them to announce the results of the full investigation and will appeal if we find the suspension is not fair.”

RUGBY UNION

Michael Lynagh stabilized

Former Australia captain and World Cup winner Michael Lynagh was in stable condition yesterday after suffering a stroke, rugby officials said. The 48-year-old, regarded as one of rugby’s all-time greats, was rushed to hospital in Brisbane, Australia, on Monday night complaining of headaches and blurred vision. “Former Queensland Reds and Wallabies captain Michael Lynagh was hospitalized in Brisbane on Monday night after suffering a stroke,” the Queensland Rugby Union said in a statement. “Mr Lynagh remains in a stabilized condition in the Royal Brisbane Hospital and is undergoing tests in an effort to discover the cause of the illness.” Lynagh, who now lives in Britain, won 72 caps for Australia in the 1980s and 1990s, as well as having a distinguished state career for Queensland.

SOCCER

Pirates go top in SA

The Orlando Pirates went to the top of the South African Premiership table on Wednesday despite squandering numerous chances in a 0-0 Soweto derby draw at Moroka Swallows. While the Buccaneers were collecting one point as the title race heads, overnight leaders the Mamelodi Sundowns suffered a shock 2-1 home defeat by the mid-table Platinum Stars. SuperSport United, whose hopes of a fourth title in five seasons had dimmed after a goal drought, snatched a late 1-0 victory at relegation-threatened Santos in Cape Town to stay in the hunt. Title-holders the Pirates have 47 points with five rounds left of the richest African national soccer championship with a US$1.3 million first prize followed by the Sundowns (46), the Swallows (43), SuperSport (42) and the Kaizer Chiefs (40).

SOCCER

Lippi not at Evergrande

Big-spending Guangzhou Evergrande denied that Marcello Lippi has signed a multibillion-dollar contract to manage the Chinese club, weeks after the former Italy coach dismissed such reports. Numerous Chinese media outlets, citing Italian reports, have said Lippi was poised to take the helm on a huge contract. “The reports about him are sheer rumor,” Evergrande’s owner Xu Jiayin told Xinhua news agency on Wednesday. The China Daily said yesterday that Lippi had signed a US$13 million contract and had already bought a home in the southern city. Evergrande president Liu Yongzhuo expressed confidence in current coach Lee Jang-Soo, a South Korean who led Evergrande to their first Super League championship last season, but did not totally rule out a move for Lippi. Lippi, who has managed Juventus, Inter and other top Italian clubs, was quoted earlier this month on goal.com as saying: “There is no chance of that [Guangzhou] at all. There is no truth in this story whatsoever. Zero percent of it is true.”

BASEBALL

Indians’ Gomez suspended

Cleveland Indians pitcher Jeanmar Gomez has been suspended for five games for intentionally throwing at Kansas City Royals Mike Moustakas, Major League Baseball said on Wednesday. The incident occurred in the bottom of the third inning of the Indians 11-9 win on Saturday, when Gomez intentionally hit Royals third baseman Moustakas in retaliation for Royals pitcher Jonathan Sanchez hitting Choo Shin-soo in the Indians’ half of the inning. Gomez was ejected from the contest. Unless appealed, Gomez is scheduled to begin serving his suspension during Cleveland’s game on Wednesday next week against the Seattle Mariners.

ATHLETICS

Rudisha to race in US

Kenya’s David Rudisha will become the first men’s 800m world record-holder to race in the US since 1984 when he takes part in the Diamond League meet at New York in June, organizers said on Wednesday. Not since Britain’s Sebastian Coe won two medals at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics has a reigning 800m world record-holder competed on US soil. “I have run in many great cities and countries, and to finally come to New York is exciting for me,” Rudisha said. Rudisha, whose only loss since 2009 came last season in Milan, broke the 13-year-old 800m world record of Wilson Kipketer in 2010 with a run of 1 minute, 41.09 seconds and lowered the mark to 1:41.01 a week later. He has recorded four of the six fastest times in the event’s history.

BASKETBALL

Pat Summit steps down

The most successful coach in women’s college basketball is stepping down. Pat Summitt is leaving her job as Tennessee’s coach and taking the title of “head coach emeritus,” with longtime assistant Holly Warlick being promoted to replace her. Tennessee released a statement on Wednesday announcing the move. Summitt will report to the athletic director and help the women’s program she guided to eight national titles. The 59-year-old Summitt said in a statement she loved being head coach, but recognizes the time has come to step into a new role. The move comes less than a year after her diagnosis with early onset dementia. Warlick has been Summitt’s assistant for 27 seasons and was a three-time All-American with the Lady Vols.