UN body wants ‘green’ Cup
The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) urged world soccer governing body FIFA on Tuesday to do more to ensure an environmentally friendly 2014 World Cup in Brazil. A UNEP study assessed South Africa’s performance at the 2010 World Cup and highlighted lessons Brazil could learn as it gears up to host the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. “The investment in environmental management is not sufficient. This issue needs to be addressed by FIFA,” it said. “FIFA should consider compensating for its own carbon footprint and encourage its partners to do the same,” it added.
Vandals attack mascot
An inflatable model of Brazil’s 2014 World Cup mascot, a smiling three-banded armadillo, has been removed after being attacked by vandals, the second such incident in less than a week. The 7m high inflatable armadillo was removed from its spot near Brasilia’s Esplanade of the Ministries, an enormous boulevard flanked by public buildings, after youths attacked it with knives, Brazilian media said. Last week, another model was damaged after it was attacked during demonstrations in the southern city of Porto Alegre. Models of the mascot have been placed in several Brazilian cities, including Sao Paulo. The mascot was unveiled one month ago and its name — Amijubi, Fuleco or Zuzeco — is to be decided by a public vote.
McGrady heads for China
Seven-time NBA All-Star Tracy McGrady says he is heading for China to play for the Qingdao DoubleStar Eagles in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA). The 33-year-old McGrady said on his official Web site he is excited to play for the Eagles in eastern China and that “it will be an honor” to play for the Chinese people. A woman who answered the phone yesterday at the basketball club said she had no information. McGrady’s announcement did not give terms for the one-year contract. He played for the Atlanta Hawks last season. McGrady is the latest NBA player to join the CBA, following Stephon Marbury who led the Beijing Ducks to the CBA championship in the past season.
Generali Ladies starts
Julia Goerges beat 2007 champion Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia 6-4, 7-6 on Tuesday in the opening round of the Generali Ladies in Linz, Austria. She is to next play Romina Oprandi of Switzerland, who routed Alexandra Cadantu of Romania 6-2, 6-1. Andrea Petkovic of Germany defeated Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of Czech Republic 7-6, 6-2 to set up a match against either second-seeded Ana Ivanovic or Monica Niculescu of Romania. Bethanie Mattek-Sands advanced by beating seventh-seeded Tamira Paszek of Austria 6-2, 6-4. Her next opponent is Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain, who defeated Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia 6-3, 6-4. Simona Halep of Romania led Lesia Tsurenko 3-0 in the opening set when the Ukrainian pulled out because of a right-shoulder injury. Halep next plays top-ranked Victoria Azarenka or Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands. Also, Mallory Burdette of the US beat Ksenia Pervak of Kazakhstan 6-3, 6-4. Pervak lost in qualifying, but replaced 2009 champion Yanina Wickmayer after the Belgian withdrew shortly before the match because of exhaustion. Burdette’s next opponent is Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium, who defeated Alize Cornet of France 6-4, 6-3.
Kaka set to play friendly
Kaka looks set to be picked by Brazil for their friendly against Iraq today, in what would mark his return to the national team for the first time since the 2010 World Cup. The Real Madrid midfielder practiced among the usual starters Tuesday, playing alongside playmaker Oscar and strikers Hulk and Neymar ahead of the match in Sweden. Coach Mano Menezes has hinted that Kaka would get a chance in midfield, even though Chelsea’s Oscar has recently taken over as the team’s playmaker. Kaka was picked for some friendlies last year, but was ruled out due to injuries. His last game was Brazil’s elimination in the World Cup quarterfinals. Menezes also used Adriano to replace Daniel Alves, who dropped out from the squad because of a left thigh injury.
‘Sunny’ Sytch arrested
A former WWE wrestler has been arrested in Connecticut for a fourth time in weeks on charges stemming from domestic violence cases. Branford police say 39-year-old Tamara Sytch, who was known in the ring as “Sunny,” was arrested Monday when officers say they found her drunk and asleep in her former home. A court order banned her from being in the Branford residence. Sytch was arrested three times last month on charges including third-degree strangulation, disorderly conduct and violating a protective order. The new charges include third-degree criminal mischief. Bail was set at US$25,000. The WWE says Sytch was last under contract in 1998. It said after her arrests last month that it paid for three rehabilitation stints for her and will continue to help her if she wants it.
Tyson obtains Aussie visa
Australia granted Mike Tyson a visa yesterday, one week after New Zealand barred the former heavyweight boxing champion from entering that country due to his 1992 rape conviction. Officials carefully weighed the pros and cons of his visit and of his character given his criminal past before making the decision, said Cian Manton, a spokeswoman for Australia’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship. She said he was warned the privilege could be revoked if he broke any laws. He was scheduled to visit both countries on the “Day of the Champions” tour to give inspirational talks about overcoming adversity in his life. New Zealand immigration authorities initially granted him a visa before a charity withdrew its support and officials reversed their decision.
Fellaini out with injury
Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini has been sidelined for three weeks with a knee injury and will miss Belgium’s World Cup qualifiers against Serbia and Scotland. The influential 24-year-old was injured during Saturday’s Premier League match against Wigan Athletic and is to recuperate in Belgium, his country’s soccer association said. “Fellaini suffered a small tear at the juncture of muscle and tendon in the knee. The injury was revealed during a scan,” a statement on the Belgian FA Web site said. “Fellaini was injured last Saturday during the match between his club Everton and Wigan Athletic. He will be out three weeks. It has been agreed with his club Everton FC he will rehabilitate in Belgium during this period,” the Belgian FA added. Belgium play Serbia in Belgrade tomorrow before they take on Scotland in Brussels on Tuesday. The Belgians are second in Group A, behind Serbia on goal difference, on four points after two matches.