Benitez’s funeral arranged
With questions still lingering over how international striker Christian Benitez died, the president of his country’s soccer federation said on Tuesday that a private plane had been hired to bring the player’s body home. Autopsy results have not been released by Benitez’s Qatari club, El Jaish, which has refused to say how the 27-year-old forward died on Monday, but Ecuadoran soccer chief Luis Chiriboga said he was told the player had been taken to a hospital with sharp stomach pains, developed peritonitis and died of cardiorespiratory arrest. The team was awaiting a medical report expected yesterday and has promised to pay all expenses to transport the body home. Efforts to repatriate Benitez’s body were being held up by paperwork on Tuesday, but officials said the funeral was planned for today in Quito and that a tribute would be held in the General Ruminahui Coliseum, which holds 16,000 people.
Scolari picks same squad
Luiz Felipe Scolari has picked the same squad that won the FIFA Confederations Cup for the team’s friendly against Switzerland later this month. Scolari selected 20 players for the match in Basel on Aug. 14, with 19 of them drawn from the Cup squad. Paris Saint-Germain fullback Maxwell is the only newcomer. The starting XI from the victory against Spain in the final of the World Cup warm-up tournament in June were summoned, including strikers Neymar and Fred, midfielder Oscar, and defenders Thiago Silva and David Luiz.
Aguero to miss Italy match
Striker Sergio Aguero is missing from an all foreign-based squad coach Alejandro Sabella named on Tuesday for his side’s friendly against Italy in Rome later this month. Aguero, who is nursing an injury, will miss the Aug. 14 match at the Stadio Olimpico in honor of Pope Francis, who will receive the two squads at the Vatican on the eve of the match.
Fluminense hire Luxemburgo
Champions Fluminense have hired coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo to try to put the team back on track after five straight losses in the league. The signing of the former Brazil and Real Madrid coach was announced on Tuesday, a day after Abel Braga was fired following a 2-0 loss to Gremio that left the team in the relegation zone with only nine points from as many matches. The 61-year-old Luxemburgo signed a contract with Fluminense until the end of the year. Luxemburgo is the coach with the most Brazilian league titles — five. He led Brazil to the 1999 Copa America title, but left the national team in 2000.
Beckham to release book
Former international captain David Beckham plans to release a picture book in October featuring images from his playing career in a deal with a UK publishing unit of French media company Lagardere. The former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder, who retired from soccer in May after a brief spell with French champions Paris Saint-Germain, is expected to release the book on Oct. 31 with Lagardere’s UK-based Headline Publishing Group. Beckham earned 115 caps for England, a record for an outfield player, and won the UEFA Champions League, six Premier League titles and two FA Cups with Manchester United.