Chen wants ‘Dream’ walk-up
Taiwanese pitcher Chen Wei-yin of the Baltimore Orioles has picked Mandarin pop idol Jay Chou’s latest hit, Dream, as his new walk-up song at Orioles home games. Chen will begin using the song when he rejoins Baltimore’s starting rotation next week at the earliest and will become the first major league pitcher to use a Mandarin tune to set the mood for his entrance. The left-hander previously used US rapper Nelly’s Just a Dream as his walk-up song. The 27-year-old said he wanted to introduce Taiwanese pop music to US baseball fans through Chou’s new hit. “Although I’ve lived abroad for many years, I’ve never stopped listening to Mandarin songs and I hope to share my favorite tunes with American baseball fans,” Chen said. Dream was composed by Chou, with the lyrics written by famous Taiwanese ultramarathon runner Kevin Lin.
FIFA plans joint 2030 cup
FIFA wants the centenary World Cup in 2030 to be jointly staged by Uruguay and Argentina, who met in the final of the inaugural tournament, Argentine Football Association president Julio Grondona said on Thursday. In 1930, Uruguay, then the double Olympic champions, beat Argentina 4-2 in the showpiece match at the Centenario Stadium in Montevideo in front of a crowd of more than 80,000. “FIFA wishes to celebrate the World Cup’s 100 years in Argentina and Uruguay, I can confirm that,” said Grondona, also senior vice-president of world soccer’s governing body. “[An agreement] has been signed by the two associations. What will we do? We’ll see, but surely something of quality,” he told Argentina’s Radio 10.
S Korea okays North’s visit
The South Korean government yesterday authorized the North Korean women’s soccer team to enter the South to take part in the East Asian Cup, amid fresh attempts to ease tensions between the political rivals, its Unification Ministry said. “The government on Friday authorized the visit of the North Korean women’s soccer team which will be participating in the 2013 East Asian Cup,” the ministry said in a statement. It will be the first time in more than four years that a team representing the North visits the South. The championship runs from July 20 to July 28 in Seoul and Hwaseong. South and North Korea, China and Japan are to contest the women’s finals.
FIFA suspends Cameroon
Cameroon were suspended from international soccer on Thursday, just 15 minutes after they had been boosted by the news that they were being awarded three World Cup qualifying points for an unrelated matter. The provisional ban imposed by FIFA due to government interference in the country’s soccer federation came soon after Cameroon learned they would go top of their qualifying group because Togo had fielded an ineligible player against them. “The FIFA statutes oblige member associations to manage their affairs independently and with no influence from third parties,” world soccer’s governing body said in a statement. FIFA said a committee would be set up to revise the local soccer body’s statutes and organize elections, and that the ban would be lifted once the authorities “allow the new normalization committee to enter the [soccer body’s] headquarters and to carry out its activities unhindered.” If that does not happen by Sept. 6, then Cameroon will not be able to play their final World Cup qualifier against Libya.
Buenos Aires to host Games
Buenos Aires will host the 2018 Youth Olympic Games after beating the Colombian city of Medellin in an International Olympic Committee vote on Thursday. Glasgow was eliminated in the first round of voting and the Argentine capital won 49 votes to Medellin’s 39 in the second round. Four Buenos Aires bids for the senior Olympics, the most recent for the 2004 Games, have ended in rejection. “We won on our experience in staging major sporting events and the compactness of the venues,” Gerardo Werthein, president of the Argentine Olympic Committee, told reporters. “We have bid four times for an Olympics, this event is tailor-made for our country, for our possibilities.” The choice of Buenos Aires appeared to break with an unwritten principle that the Youth Games should be staged in cities which are too small to have any hope of staging the senior Olympics.
Riis aware of doping: report
Danish cyclist Michael Rasmussen has told anti-doping authorities Saxo-Tinkoff manager Bjarne Riis knew about widespread doping in his team, but the manager is unlikely to face disciplinary action, a newspaper wrote on Thursday. Rasmussen told anti-doping authorities that Riis had “full knowledge of the widespread use of doping substances in his cycling team,” citing “several sources with knowledge of the matter,” daily Politiken reported. Rasmussen himself declined to confirm the report, which surfaced on Wednesday. It came as the Saxo-Tinkoff team owner left the Tour de France on Wednesday, denying his exit was linked to a Danish probe into the use of doping by cyclists. Riis won the 1996 Tour de France, but admitted in 2007 that he used banned substance EPO to secure victory — despite that his win has not been officially erased from the record books.
Vettori out for six months
Injury-plagued New Zealand spinner Daniel Vettori announced yesterday that he will be sidelined for at least six months, but refused to call time on an international career stretching back 16 years. Vettori said he had informed New Zealand Cricket he could not accept a Black Caps’ contract for the upcoming season as he knew much of the year would be spent in rehabilitation after an ankle operation. The 34-year-old said it would be at least six months before he knew whether he could make a return to full fitness and he would make a decision on his future then. The left-armer is New Zealand’s second-highest Test wicket taker with 360 scalps in 112 matches and has also contributed 4,516 runs to bolster the Black Caps’ often fragile batting. He has set himself the goal of becoming only the second Test player after India’s Kapil Dev to take 400 wickets and score 4,000 runs.
NRL fines seven clubs
Seven clubs in Australia’s National Rugby League (NRL) have been slapped with fines for breaching salary cap provisions in an echo of the 2010 scandal that saw the Melbourne Storm stripped of two championships. The clubs were fined a total of A$503,407 (US$460,000) after the league completed an audit of last season, the NRL said in a statement. The Cronulla Sharks were the hardest hit with a A$150,000 fine, with the other affected clubs in the 16-team league fined between A$4,700 and A$144,393. The Storm were plunged into crisis in 2010 after the NRL stripped them of their 2007 and 2009 titles, and fined them A$1.7 million for cheating the salary cap over several years.