Dracena to Fenerbahce
Cruzeiro defender Edu Dracena reached a four-year agreement on Saturday to play for Turkey's Fenerbahce. The 16-time Turkish league champ paid 5.7 million euros (US$7.2 million) for the 25-year-old Brazilian, whose full name is Eduardo Luis Abonisio de Souza, Cruzeiro said on its Web site. The deal was completed on Saturday afternoon in Cruzeiro's hometown of Belo Horizonte after a meeting between representatives from both clubs. Dracena played 161 matches for Cruzeiro since being acquired in 2003, scoring 13 times. He helped the club win the Brazilian Cup and the Brazilian league in 2003. Dracena, a member of Brazil's national squad in the 2003 Confederations Cup, previously played for Brazilian club Guarani and Greece's Olympiakos.
Official's daughter released
Kidnappers released the 14-year-old daughter of a top official of the Honduran soccer federation, which had postponed five top-division soccer matches this weekend to express solidarity with the family, authorities said on Saturday. Veronica Isabel Sabillon, daughter of Argelio Sabillon, the head of the federation's disciplinary and referees commission, was released unharmed late on Friday in a village about 200km northwest of the capital of Tegucigalpa, the elder Sabillon said.
Kelly, Ramsay in final
Scotland's Richie Ramsay withstood his second penalty in two days to hold off Webb Simpson on Saturday in the semi-finals of the US Amateur Championship at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota. Ramsay was to play University of Missouri senior John Kelly yesterday with the chance to become the first player from Scotland to win the US Amateur since Findlay Douglas in 1898. By advancing to yesterday's finals, Kelly and Ramsay earned an invitation to the US Open and the Masters. "That will be awesome," Kelly said.
■ Horse racing
Bernardini takes Travers
Bernardini dominated Bluegrass Cat in the stretch and easily won the US$1 million Travers Stakes in Saratoga Springs, New York, by seven-and-a-half lengths on Saturday, added to series of impressive perforances. Following wins in the Jim Dandy by nine lengths and the Preakness by five-and-a-half lengths, Bernardini seized the lead just after the start and controlled all the way around the track under cloudy skies at a packed Saratoga Race Course. When Haskell winner Bluegrass Cat moved within a half-length of Bernardini around the turn, the three-year-old colt responded to jockey Javier Castellano by pulling away.
Davies leads at SAS Masters
Laura Davies shot a 4-under 68 on Saturday to take the lead after the second round of the SAS Masters. The four-time major winner was 7-under 137 after 36 holes. Sarah Kemp (67) was two strokes behind in second place, followed by Sherry Byrnes (72) and overnight leader Virginie Lagoutte (74) at 3 under. The 54-hole tournament is played at Bogstad, a parklands course that is Norway's oldest.
Ferdinand doubt for England
England and Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand picked up a toe injury that could keep him out of England's upcoming European Championship qualifying games. Ferdinand sustained the injury on Saturday in Man United's 2-1 victory at Watford in the Premier League. "We think Rio might have a broken toe, so I don't think he will be joining up with England," United manager Alex Ferguson said.
AC Milan move for Oliveira
Brazilian striker Ricardo Oliveira passed a medical exam with AC Milan on Saturday and is close to signing with the team. Milan moved to sign Oliveira from Real Betis after talks to acquire Ronaldo from Real Madrid failed. Milan is seeking a striker to replace Andriy Shevchenko, who left for Chelsea. The 26-year-old Oliveira joined Betis from Valencia in 2004 and was the team's leading scorer in his first season with 22 goals. He moved to Sao Paulo on loan in April to aid his recovery from a serious knee ligament injury and recently returned to Spain.
US triumphs in DecaNation
The US won the DecaNation on Saturday, an athletics meet that pits teams against each other in the decathlon's 10 events. The US won six events and finished with 104.5 points, while Germany -- which won three events -- was second with 100. Poland took third place with 90.5 points, finishing ahead of France, Ukraine, Russia and Spain. France also won six events. Defending long jump world champion Tianna Madison recorded her best performance of the year, leaping 6.60m, while team captain Reese Hoffa won a shot put with a throw of 21.29m. Other US winners included Ryan Wilson in the men's 100 hurdles (13.40 seconds), Jesse Williams in the men's high jump (2.25m), Brianna Glenn in the women's 100 (11.27 seconds) and Dee Trotter in the women's 400m (50.85 seconds).
Windies eye series in India
The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) is finalizing plans for a four-match limited-overs series against India in late January, an official said on Saturday. The board was negotiating with the Board for Cricket Control of India for the series to be played in India, said Zorol Barthley, the WICB's cricket operations manager. The series was originally planned as a triangular with Sri Lanka. However, Indian authorities have decided to play four matches against both teams. "We are still finalizing discussions, but it is looking like four one-dayers against India in India. If we had played the tri-series we would have had four matches play a final, so you could say we are one match short," Barthley said. The Indian board decided to split the series so they could get eight matches in preparation for next year's World Cup -- which will be held in the Caribbean for the first time. "It will be good preparation for us as well. Once all is put in place we will be quite happy with the arrangements," Barthley said.
Red Bull team chief Christian Horner has welcomed Ferrari’s U-turn to support a Formula One engine freeze from 2022. The move gives Red Bull a chance to continue using Honda power after the Japanese supplier exits next year. Speaking ahead of yesterday’s final practice for today’s Bahrain Grand Prix, Horner said that Ferrari’s decision was encouraging for F1 and everyone involved in the business end of the sport. “It’s positive news,” he said. “I think all the manufacturers, all the CEOs of the automotive industry, they all recognize the investment and cost of these engines, particularly with the new technology coming for 2026,
Argentina’s Pablo Matera yesterday said that he was “deeply ashamed” as he was stripped of the captaincy and suspended along with two other players over messages he wrote on Twitter in 2011 to 2013. Just weeks after leading the Pumas to their first win over the All Blacks, the Argentina Rugby Union “revoked” Matera’s captaincy and suspended him, along with lock Guido Petti and hooker Santiago Socino. “The Argentina Rugby Union forcefully rejects the discriminatory and xenophobic comments published by members of the Pumas squad on social media,” a statement read. In the tweets, since deleted, Matera spoke of “running over blacks” with
Taiwan Steel on Sunday celebrated with the Taiwan Football Premier League trophy, despite a 3-1 loss in their final match of the season, while Taipower claimed second place and Tatung’s Ange Samuel scored on a breakaway to claim the Golden Boot with 20 goals. Ahead of all four of Sunday’s matches players, coaches and fans observed a minute’s silence prior to kickoff in honor of Argentine great Diego Maradona, who died aged 60 on Wednesday last week, following a directive received from FIFA. Already assured the title, Taiwan Steel manager Lo Chi-chong fielded a second-string team against defending champions Tatung in Taoyuan. Lo
Argentine prosecutors on Friday were investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of Diego Maradona and whether it could have involved medical negligence, judicial sources said. “There are already irregularities,” a close family member told reporters. Maradona’s lawyer, Matias Morla, had earlier called for an investigation into claims that ambulances took more than half an hour to reach the soccer star’s house in response to an emergency call on the day of his death. A preliminary autopsy report established that Maradona died in his sleep at noon on Wednesday of “acute lung edema and chronic heart failure.” The prosecutors’ office in Buenos Aires has opened