SPORTS BRIEFS

Agencies

Thu, Mar 14, 2013 - Page 18

TUG-OF-WAR

Rival bodies in tug-of-war

Two rival groups are straining to be declared Singapore’s official body for tug-of-war, a report said yesterday, in a tangled tale heaving with controversy. On one side, the Singapore Athletic Association (SAA) says it runs the sport and its role is recognized by the sport’s world governing body, but pulling in the other direction is the Tug of War Federation of Singapore, which claims backing from the Asian Tug of War Federation, the Straits Times reported. Roped into the argument is the Singapore Sports Council (SSC), which has the authority to recognize one side or the other, but says the state currently has no official body representing the sport. According to the Straits Times, tug-of-war was under the ambit of the SAA until 2009, when its tug-of-war subcommittee detached from the athletics body to form the separate Tug of War Federation. However, the SAA’s current president, Tang Weng Fei, is planning to change the body’s constitution to include tug-of-war. The situation has created confusion for the sport’s 100 or so participants, who would perhaps prefer it if the warring officials pulled themselves together.

SOCCER

Cahill to rejoin Aussies

New York City-based Tim Cahill and Crystal Palace’s Mile Jedinak are among four overseas-based players returning to the Australia squad for their 2014 World Cup qualifying match against Oman in Sydney on March 26. Socceroos head coach Holger Osieck named a 23-player squad yesterday, also including Tommy Oar (Utrecht) and Tom Rogic (Celtic). All four missed last month’s friendly against Romania. Australia will be without captain Lucas Neill and Carl Valeri, who are serving one-match suspensions for the accumulation of yellow cards from previous matches. The Socceroos are second in Group B in the final round of Asian qualifying for Brazil in 2014, eight points behind Japan and only edging Iraq and Oman on goal-difference.

SOCCER

CAS rejects appeal

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Tuesday said it had rejected an appeal by the Hungarian Football Federation against having to play their next home World Cup qualifier behind closed doors for racist behavior by fans. In a statement, the Swiss-based tribunal said it had upheld a Feb. 5 ruling by world soccer’s governing body FIFA, which had been challenged by Hungary. “As a consequence, the decision imposed that the match between Hungary and Romania on 22 March 2013 be played without spectators is maintained,” said the CAS, which is the final court of appeal in world sport. The sanction, accompanied by a fine of 40,000 Swiss francs (US$42,100) was imposed after Hungary fans hurled anti-Semitic abuse during a friendly match with Israel in August last year.

SOCCER

Saints charged after incident

Southampton have been charged with failing to control their players during Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Norwich City in the Premier League, the Football Association announced on Tuesday. The charge relates to an incident at the end of the game that saw referee Mark Clattenburg surrounded by furious Southampton players after awarding Norwich an injury-time penalty. However, goalkeeper Artur Boruc saved the spot-kick from Grant Holt, which left the Saints four points above the relegation zone with nine games to play. The club has until 4pm tomorrow to answer the charge.

SOCCER

Brazil, Bolivia play for fan

Brazil will play Bolivia in a friendly, with all proceeds from the match to be donated to the family of Kelvin Beltran, a 14-year-old fan who was killed by a firework during a recent Copa Libertadores game. The match will take place on April 5 in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia. Brazil are to pay their own costs and hand their share of the gate money to the Beltran family, Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) president Jose Maria Marin said. “They will go, play and come back on the same day,” Marin said. “It’s a sacrifice, but they will do it to show sporting solidarity, not just on behalf of the CBF, but from the Brazilian people.” Bolivian police arrested 12 fans of Sao Paulo-based club Corinthians and charged them with homicide after a firework set off on Feb. 20 in the away end hit San Jose fan Beltran, killing him instantly. A 17-year-old Brazilian later turned himself in to Bolivian authorities and took responsibility for the incident. All 13 are still in police custody.

SOCCER

Rio spared punishment

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand will not face punishment over an off-the-ball clash with Chelsea striker Fernando Torres, the British FA said on Tuesday. Television pictures showed Ferdinand appearing to catch Torres from behind in the latter stages of Chelsea’s 2-2 draw at Old Trafford in Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final. The Spaniard fell to the floor before being helped to his feet by Ferdinand, in an incident that did not appear to be witnessed by match referee Howard Webb. However, an FA spokesman told Britain’s Press Association that the veteran defender would not face retrospective action.

BASKETBALL

Jordan hit with paternity suit

The mother of a 16-year-old boy who she says was fathered by Michael Jordan wants the retired NBA legend to take a paternity test, Atlanta television and radio stations reported on Tuesday. Basketball Hall of Fame icon Jordan denies any connection to the teenager, Grant Pierce Jay Jordan Reynolds, and wants the case dismissed and Pamela Smith punished for making false claims, WXIA-TV and WSB radio reported. In addition to having Jordan take a paternity test, Smith wants the former Chicago Bulls superstar to pay child support. Smith says she has known Jordan for years and they began a relationship in the late 1980s before he led the Bulls to six NBA crowns in the 1990s. “My son has the right to know who his father is,” Smith said. Six-time NBA champion Jordan claims that “Taj” Reynolds, who posted a homemade video on YouTube declaring Jordan was his father and that they had met and talked about the matter, is actually the son of Smith and her ex-husband.

RUGBY UNION

Jamie Noon to retire

Former England international center Jamie Noon is to retire at the end of the season, his French club Brive announced on their Web site on Tuesday. Noon, who will turn 34 in May, was capped 38 times and was a member of the 2007 World Cup squad, playing in the first two pool matches before a knee injury ruled him out of the rest of the tournament. England, who were the defending champions, went on to reach the final, but lost to South Africa. He played most of his club rugby for English side Newcastle before joining Brive in 2009.