Williams scolded at PGA
Tennis world No. 1 Serena Williams found herself in trouble with security officials at the PGA Tour’s Honda Classic on Friday after she tried to photograph Tiger Woods. Under PGA Tour rules, spectators are not allowed to take pictures or video of players on competition days. A short video posted on CBSSports.com shows a tournament official pulling Williams’s phone down as she was about to snap a photograph with her phone during the second round of the Honda Classic. “Apparently you can’t take pictures of golfers. In my defense peeps always take pics of tennis players,” she tweeted about the episode. Williams did manage to post a picture of Woods driving from the tee on her Twitter account, although it was not clear if she had taken the picture herself. The tennis star also said that the security guard was “mad” and “yelled” at her during the episode.
Gardovich wins narrowly
Evgeny Gradovich scored a split decision win over Australia’s Billy Dib to take the International Boxing Federation featherweight title on Friday. Russia’s Gradovich, who improved to 16-0, landed a strong left hook to Dib’s face, stunning him. Dib, who was bloodied from the left hook, dropped to 35 wins and two losses. Both fighters had a point deducted in the eighth round, but Gradovich won by scores of 114-112 on two scorecards. One judge scored the fight 114-112 in favor of Dib. Gradovich chose to fight the Australian after Luis Franco pulled out of the bout a month ago because of a dispute with his promoter.
Magic asks LeBron to dunk
Earvin “Magic” Johnson will boost the prize money for the NBA dunk contest from US$100,000 to US$1 million if LeBron James takes part, the five-times NBA champion said on Friday. James has never competed in the showcase event held on All-Star weekend, but has been pounding down impressive dunks in warmups to Miami Heat games, prompting calls for his participation. “Please LeBron, get in the dunk contest. I’m going to put up a million dollars,” former Los Angeles Lakers point guard Johnson said on ESPN’s pre-game telecast. “A million dollars from Magic to LeBron. Please get in the dunk contest. I go every year. I want to see you out there. A million to the winner.”
Getafe crush Zaragoza
Getafe on Friday beat Real Zaragoza 2-0 in a game where both teams finished with 10 men, pushing the struggling side to the brink of the La Liga relegation zone. After starting the season well, Zaragoza have slumped to nine weeks without a victory. Getafe rose to eighth place with a third consecutive win.
Frankfurt continue losing
Eintracht Frankfurt failed to score for the fourth match in a row and had manager Armin Veh sent off as they slumped to a 1-0 home defeat by Borussia Moenchengladbach in the Bundesliga on Friday. Luuk de Jong’s first-half header was enough for Moenchengladbach in a clash of two teams chasing a place in next season’s Champions League. Veh was dismissed after he protested against a decision in stoppage-time. Eintracht stayed fourth, the Champions League qualifying round spot, with 38 points from 24 games, while Moenchengladbach climbed to sixth, four points behind.
Rain washes out T20 game
The first Twenty20 international between South Africa and Pakistan was abandoned because of rain at Kingsmead, Durban, on Friday. Rain fell for most of the afternoon and was still falling at the scheduled time for the toss. Although the pitch area was covered, there were large puddles on the outfield and ground staff said it would have taken at least two hours to get the field ready if the rain stopped. The umpires called off the match about half an hour after it was due to start. The second and final match in the series is scheduled for Centurion today. South Africa and Pakistan will also play five one-day internationals, starting in Bloemfontein on March 10.
FIFA supports goal-line tech
FIFA is willing to allow goal-line technology decisions to be shown to fans on big screens in stadiums and to TV viewers. In a document to be assessed by soccer’s rulemakers yesterday, FIFA reversed its previous stance that referees could be undermined if the results from the high-tech aids were revealed. FIFA president Sepp Blatter said fans “must” know what the computers are telling referees on contentious goals. “It’s not secret,” Blatter said on Friday ahead of the International Football Association Board meeting in Edinburgh. “Once we have the technology and it shows it’s a goal or not a goal, we have to be transparent, otherwise there’s no need to do it. We will do it. It is something we need in football,” he said. Competition organizers will have the final say and be able to prevent the decision of a goal-line technology system being publicly known, as it is in tennis, while referees have the power to ignore the goal-line decisions. English FA general secretary Alex Horne said he would welcome TV viewers being able to see how a device ruled on a disputed goal. “Certainly the broadcasters need to have that accessibility ... to show the goal-line incident, because that’s at the heart of the integrity of the decision that has to be made,” Horne said.
Taiwan lose opener
Taiwan lost their opening AFC Challenge Cup Group A match 2-1 to India at the Thuwanna YTC Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar, yesterday. India’s Jewel Raja opened the scoring five minutes before halftime, but Taiwan leveled through Lee Tai-lin seven minutes into the second half. The opening match of the qualifying tournament looked to be headed for a draw, until Raja fired India’s second with just two minutes to go. Group A also features Myanmar and Guam, who kicked off later yesterday. Taiwan next face hosts Myanmar tomorrow, with the team finishing top of the qualifying group guaranteed of a place in the finals in the Maldives next year, while the team finishing second faces a playoff round. Taiwan’s final match is against Guam on Wednesday.
Italy to ponder ‘passports’
The Italian soccer federation (FIGC) is considering introducing biological passports and surprise tests to combat doping. Anti-doping is listed as one of the key points for discussion at next week’s federation board meeting. FIGC anti-doping commission president Pino Capua says a project is already underway, and it could start with Italy’s national team. The FIGC says that testing is planned this year for 941 professional soccer matches in Italy, with a total of 2,804 tests — 300 of them EPO and blood tests — at a cost of about 1.5 million euro (US$1.95 million).