Sydney to host gay tourney
Australia yesterday won the right to host the world gay rugby championships in Sydney in 2014, with organizers hoping the event will help address homophobia in sport. The Sydney Convicts Rugby Club, Australia’s first gay rugby union team, said the International Gay Rugby Association and Board had announced it had the rights to host the seventh bi-annual Bingham Cup. “When the Bingham Cup is played in Sydney it will further dispel the myth that gay men cannot play tough contact sport,” head of the Sydney bid committee, Andrew Purchas, said. “The tournament will shine a national spotlight on homophobia in sport, which is still endemic to many of our country’s sporting fields and experienced by young gay athletes.” The Bingham Cup is named after American gay rugby player Mark Bingham, who died on United Airlines Flight 93 when it crashed into a Pennsylvania field during the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in the US.
Strauss accepts ICC role
Former England captain Andrew Strauss has returned to cricket following his retirement after accepting a role with the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday. Strauss retired in August in the aftermath of the Kevin Pietersen row, which coincided with England losing their position as the world’s top-ranked Test team. Pietersen sent provocative text messages to South African players reported to have contained criticism of Strauss, who decided to walk away following his team’s Test series defeat against the Proteas. However, it was felt even then that Strauss, who captained England in 50 Tests, would return to the game in a more political role. The 35-year-old’s appointment as one of two past players on the ICC’s cricket committee was supported unanimously by the world game’s governing body. Strauss has replaced former West Indies pace bowler Ian Bishop. Meanwhile, former India captain Anil Kumble, 41, was the unanimous choice to replace Clive Lloyd as chairman of the committee. The ICC’s 16-member cricket committee meets twice a year to consult on playing matters and offer recommendations to the ICC.
Uruguay defend Suarez
Uruguay lashed out at FIFA vice president Jim Boyce on Thursday, claiming his criticism of Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, who is at the center of a diving storm, was “unacceptable.” Boyce was reported to have described Suarez’s theatrical tumble against Stoke City in the Premier League on Sunday as “cheating,” adding that the tendency for players to easily fall to the ground was a “cancer” in the game. The Uruguay Football Association (UFA) has written to FIFA president Sepp Blatter, claiming that Suarez has been unfairly singled out by Boyce. The UFA said that Boyce’s comments are “encouraging and provoking hostility” toward Suarez.
Girardi’s father passes away
The father of New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi died last Saturday after a battle with Alzheimer’s, the club said on its Web site. Jerry Girardi was 81. Joe Girardi said he only told a few of his staff members after learning of the death as the Yankees were travelling to Baltimore to open the American League Division Series, which began on Sunday. “I didn’t really want to talk about it,” Girardi said. “I didn’t want to take away from what we were trying to do here, because I know my dad wouldn’t. The one thing my parents always taught me was [to] finish the job at hand.”
Murray not keen on books
World No. 3 Andy Murray says he is not much of a reader despite hours to kill on the grueling tennis tour, revealing he gave up less than halfway through his last book ... Harry Potter. The Scot, whose US Open win last month gave Britain its first Grand Slam men’s champion since the 1930s, was speaking after Novak Djokovic professed a hankering for the delights of university life, saying he was a keen reader. “I don’t read books. I mean, I go on the Internet a lot and read stuff online, but I don’t read books. I haven’t read a book since I was about 14, 15,” said the 25-year-old Murray, defending champion at the Shanghai Masters. “I got halfway through the third Harry Potter book. It was the first one that was really, really big. It was like 600 pages. I stopped around 200. I haven’t read a book since then.” Multilingual world No. 2 Djokovic, also 25, said earlier this week he had missed out on a normal education, adding that despite all the travel, chances to soak up new experiences were limited.
Cole to face FA punishment
Ashley Cole faces punishment from the Football Association (FA) after the Chelsea defender admitted a charge following his foul-mouthed outburst on Twitter. Cole described the FA as a “bunch of twats” in an angry tweet last week after the English game’s governing body cast doubt on his evidence in an investigation into allegations his Chelsea team-mate John Terry racially abused QPR’s Anton Ferdinand. Although the England left-back deleted the post and issued an immediate apology, the FA still charged Cole and on Thursday he requested a non-personal hearing which will determine his punishment. A statement on the FA’s Web site read: “Ashley Cole has admitted an FA charge in relation to a Twitter comment which was improper and/or brought the game into disrepute.”
Donaire to fight Nishioka
Filipino champion Nonito Donaire, who has 10 knockouts in his past 13 fights, will put his WBO and IBF titles on the line when he faces Japan’s Toshiaki Nishioka today at the Home Depot Center outdoor stadium. The 29-year-old Donaire (29-1, 18 KOs) enters the super bantamweight fight riding an 11-year, 28-bout winning streak which includes an impressive knockout victory last year over Fernando Montiel. In February, Donaire captured the vacant WBO 122-pound (55kg) title, winning a gritty split-decision battle over former world champion Wilfredo Vazquez. Five months later, he added the IBF title with a unanimous decision over Jeffrey Mathebula. Donaire has won his past three fights by decision and would like nothing more than a knockout against Nishioka. Nishioka (39-4-3, 24 KOs) is on a winning streak of his own, having won 16 consecutive fights, dating back eight years.
AIG to sponsor All Blacks
For the first time in the 107-year history of the world’s most successful rugby team, the New Zealand All Blacks jersey will feature the logos of two sponsors. The All Blacks rugby jersey will bear the logo of AIG after the New Zealand Rugby Union signed a five-and-a-half-year sponsorship deal yesterday with the American insurance giant. The logo of German sportswear manufacturer Adidas has been displayed on the jersey, beside the traditional silver fern symbol of New Zealand, since 1999. The Adidas logo will remain on the right side of the jersey while the larger AIG logo, in white lettering, will now dominate the front of the jersey.