Flamengo cut costs, coach
Flamengo, one of Brazil’s biggest and most popular clubs, have sacked coach Dorival Junior after he refused to accept a cut in his wages. “After two months of negotiations aimed at reforming the terms of the contract signed last year, Flamengo and coach Dorival Junior did not reach an agreement which was satisfactory to both parties, despite progressing in the talks,” the club said in a statement. The 50-year-old, who has coached at more than a dozen Brazilian clubs, had been at the helm for nine months. “The salary was not in line with Flamengo’s reality,” club director Paulo Pelaipe told the Sportv cable channel. “Flamengo want to honor our commitments and we weren’t able to maintain the coach’s salary levels.” Flamengo struggled to pay the wages of their employees on time last year and the new administration, which took over in January, have said they are determined to cut costs.
Ex-All Black in knife trouble
Former All Blacks flanker Jerry Collins has been arrested in Japan on charges of illegally carrying a kitchen knife in a department store, police said on Sunday. The 32-year-old, who played for New Zealand in 48 international games from 2001 to 2008, including the 2003 and 2007 World Cups, was arrested on Saturday in the central industrial city of Hamamatsu, police said. According to press reports, Collins caught a security guard’s attention when he went behind a sales counter at the store. When approached, the New Zealander pulled out the 17cm blade from his pocket and placed it on the counter. It is illegal in Japan to carry weapons with blades longer than 15cm without police permission. Collins told police that he “kept the kitchen knife for self-defense,” according to the reports.
Neureuther wins slalom
Felix Neureuther finished the season in style when he won the last slalom of the season in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, on Sunday and promised closer fights with World Cup winner Marcel Hirscher in the future. The German avenged his World Cup defeat in the discipline by beating Hirscher by 0.36 seconds, in a combined time of 1 minute, 52.20 seconds. The victory, his third this season, was especially sweet for Neureuther, who had to receive injections before the race after suffering with severe back pain. Crowned overall World Cup champion for the second year in succession, Hirscher finished the season with 1,535 points, with nearest rival Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway 309 points adrift. Hirscher also won the slalom globe. In the slalom standings, Hirscher beat his German rival and friend Neureuther by 244 points.
Maze underlines dominance
Slovenian Tina Maze brought her remarkable season to a suitable end on Sunday in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, winning the final race of the World Cup campaign, the giant slalom. The 29-year-old overall World Cup champion — who was recording a record 24th podium finish of the season — timed 2 minutes, 16.67 seconds over the two legs to finish ahead of Tessa Worley of France (2:17.02) and Swiss skier Lara Gut (2:18.05). Maze has also captured the super-G and slalom crystal globes. Such has been the dominance of the Slovenian that, aside from her 11 race wins, she became only the second skier ever, man or woman, to break the 2,000 points barrier.
PSG waste two-goal lead
Paris Saint-Germain missed out on an opportunity to open a seven-point gap at the top of Ligue 1 when they threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at AS Saint-Etienne on Sunday. Saint-Etienne trailed to early goals by Javier Pastore and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but the home side snatched a point thanks to Alex’s own-goal and a superb effort by Francois Clerc. David Beckham took a couple of last-gasp free-kicks, but to no effect. PSG have 58 points from 29 games and lead Olympique Lyonnais by five points. Saint-Etienne are fourth on 49 points, two behind Olympique de Marseille. Les Verts are one point ahead of OGC Nice, who missed out on the opportunity to take third place when they slumped to a 1-0 defeat at bottom side AS Nancy-Lorraine earlier on Sunday. Earlier, Toulouse and Girondins de Bordeaux played out a goalless draw. “Frankly, that was bloody boring,” Bordeaux coach Francis Gillot told a news conference.
Star back after heart attack
Adrian Purtell made his first appearance after a career-threatening heart attack in May last year in Bradford Bulls’ 34-12 Super League win over Hull KR. Purtell played the whole of the Bulls’ defeat to Leeds 10 months ago and began to suffer chest pains before his condition worsened on the journey home. The 28-year-old center, who featured for Canberra and Penrith in Australasia’s National Rugby League before moving to Europe, was given the all-clear to resume training in December. The green light to play again came last week and, named among the replacements for the clash with Hull KR, he came off the bench to rapturous applause at Odsal after 24 minutes.
Aussies win cup in Malaysia
Australia won the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup on Sunday, defeating hosts Malaysia 3-2. The final went down to the wire with Trent Mitton scoring the winner in the game’s dying moments. The home team had taken the lead courtesy of a penalty corner by Faizal Saari in the third minute. Australia fought back and Nick Budgeon scored from their first penalty corner in the 29th minute. A minute later Craig Boyne added a second off a field attempt. Ahmad Tajuddin Jalil scored the equalizer in the second half, but the match ended with heartbreak for the hosts in the 70th minute. South Korea took bronze after beating New Zealand 2-1.
Juve triumph at Bologna
Juventus remained on course to defend their Serie A title with a 2-0 away win to Bologna as challengers SSC Napoli stayed nine points behind with a hard-fought 3-2 win over Atalanta BC on Sunday. Elsewhere, Francesco Totti scored AS Roma’s second, and his 226th in Serie A, to help his side to a 2-0 home win over Parma. Roma jumped two places to sixth and ahead of depleted city rivals SS Lazio, whose torrid month continued with a 1-0 reverse in Turin where a late goal by Jonathas secured Torino’s eighth win of the campaign. Lazio have now won only once since a 2-0 defeat of Atalana in mid-January. Elsewhere, Mario Balotelli scored twice as AC Milan beat US Citta di Palermo 2-0 at the San Siro to send the Sicilians back to the bottom of the table. ACF Fiorentina are in fourth place after a 3-2 win over plucky Genoa at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, while AC Chievo Verona claimed a 2-0 away win at Delfino Pescara 1936. AC Siena and Cagliari drew 0-0. Inter’s trip to Sampdoria was postponed due to harsh weather conditions.