Chaos interrupts semi-final
Thirteen people were arrested after about 40,000 people stormed the 35,000-capacity Darulmakmur Stadium during the Malaysian Football Association Cup second-leg semi-final between Pahang and Johor Darul Takzim, forcing the game to be called off amid chaotic scenes, police said yesterday. Fans threw water bottles and stones, and stormed the pitch on Tuesday night in Kuantan, Pahang State. The outburst was apparently sparked when some spectators were denied entry, district police officer Aziz Ahmad told reporters. Thirteen men were arrested and were being investigated for damaging property, he said, adding that several people sustained slight injuries.
Monaco to sign Spain stars
Atletico Madrid’s Colombian striker Radamel Falcao was in the principality on Tuesday negotiating a transfer to AS Monaco as Real Madrid’s Portuguese defender Ricardo Carvalho completed his move to the Ligue 2 champions. Sources said the duo were set to undergo their medicals later that day, but added that Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes was not present, despite also being close to making a move to the Stade Louis II. Monaco are believed to have agreed a fee of about 60 million euros (US$77.2 million) for Falcao, which would make him the most expensive player in French soccer history. Falcao, 27, won last year’s Europa League and has netted 28 goals this season for Atletico, who he also helped to glory in Spain’s Copa del Rey. Carvalho, 35, has signed a one-year contract with the option of a further year after his deal with Real Madrid expired. Valdes, 31, was believed to be in the principality on Monday, but Barcelona are yet to finish their season and he has one year remaining on his contract.
Reds acquire Kolo Toure
Liverpool on Tuesday revealed they have agreed to sign Ivory Coast defender Kolo Toure when his Manchester City contract expires on July 1. The 32-year-old joined City from Arsenal in a deal reported to be worth ￡16 million (US$24.1 million) in 2009 and was joined at the club by his younger brother and fellow Ivory Coast international, Yaya Toure, a year later. Kolo Toure was initially installed as City captain, but he lost his place in the starting lineup after being handed a six-month ban for failing a drugs test in March 2011. Despite his ban, he leaves City with FA Cup and Premier League winners’ medals. Kolo Toure’s arrival at Anfield will provide Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers with experience at centerback, following Jamie Carragher’s retirement.
Neymar nervous about Barca
Barcelona-bound forward Neymar has been feeling nervous ahead of his blockbuster transfer to the Spanish champions from Santos Futebol Club once he has finished playing in the Confederations Cup next month. Before Barca finally clinched a deal last weekend, other major European teams had for the past two years sought to lure him away from the Brazilian club where he started his career. “What I feel are chills in my stomach,” the 21-year-old forward said, referring to his impending move, though he added: “Right now, the focus is the Confederations Cup.” Neymar will have to live up to a price tag estimated at about 74 million Brazilian reals (US$35.82 million) by media. A national soccer federation spokesman said Neymar was expected to fly to Spain next week for his official presentation with Barca before returning by midweek, to train with Brazil for the Confederations Cup.
Ex-quarterback found dead
A former college football quarterback who went missing over the weekend has been found dead in Michigan. Lake County Undersheriff Dennis Robinson said Cullen Finnerty’s body was found on Tuesday. Robinson says the cause of death was not yet known, but authorities did not suspect foul play. Finnerty led Grand Valley State University to three Division II national titles and more than 50 wins during his four years as a starter in Allendale, Michigan, last decade. Authorities have said family members had expressed concern that the 30-year-old may have suffered “a mental episode” before going missing on Sunday while fishing along the Baldwin River.
Turkish Open to see Woods
World No. 1 Tiger Woods is to compete in the inaugural Turkish Open in Antalya in November, the European Tour said on Tuesday. The US$7 million event at the Montgomerie Maxx Royal course in Belek will form part of the new Final Series on the Race to Dubai, Europe’s lucrative end-of-season equivalent of the US Tour’s FedExCup competition. Fourteen-time major winner Woods also featured in last year’s unofficial World Golf Final in Turkey played at the nearby Antalya Golf Club. The Turkish Open is to be held from Nov. 7 to 10 and will have a 78-strong field.
Anti-racism app launched
English soccer’s main anti-racism organization is working on creating a mobile phone application for players to report abuse. Kick It Out yesterday released details of an app for fans to lodge complaints about racist abuse at matches from August. In a survey of 5,463 fans by Kick It Out, 75 percent said that discriminatory language and behavior among supporters is still a problem at matches in Britain. Almost half of fans reported hearing racist or homophobic taunts directed at players or match officials, with 73 percent calling for better stewarding at matches. “The majority of football fans have told Kick It Out they want action to get rid of discrimination at all levels of the game,” Kick It Out director Roisin Wood said. “These new reporting tools will allow fans to help clubs and the relevant authorities target instances of discriminatory behavior more consistently while maintaining healthy and vocal rivalries.” The app will be free on iPhone and Android devices, and the reports are sent to the clubs and the Football Association.
South Africans get physical
South Africa’s cricketers have turned to physical challenges in their bid for elusive limited-overs success in the Champions Trophy starting in England and Wales next week. Part of their preparations have taken place in Amsterdam, where they have taken on a bike challenge, canoed canals and clambered to the top of the city’s tallest building. The tasks, ahead of a one-day international against the Netherlands tomorrow, are part of a rigorous training camp that coach Gary Kirsten hopes will give the team an extra edge. The Proteas’ buildup has also included some testing physical work set by polar adventurer Mike Horn. Horn, who has walked around the equator, solo circumnavigated the Arctic Circle and walked to the North Pole in winter, last year had the South Africans climb a 3,000m peak in sub-zero temperatures and then made them mountain-bike back to their hotel. South Africa play India in Cardiff on June 6 in the opening match of the tournament, followed by matches against Pakistan and the West Indies.