Alhinho falls to his death
Carlos Alhinho, a former Portugal international, died after falling into an empty elevator shaft in Angola, Portuguese club Benfica said. He was 59. Alhinho apparently opened the elevator door at a hotel in Benguela, Angola, and stepped in on Saturday, but the carriage was not there and he fell from the sixth floor. He died despite receiving medical attention at the hotel. Alhinho, who was born in Cape Verde but played for Portugal 15 times, made his international debut against Northern Ireland on March 28, 1973. He played for Portugal’s top three clubs in his professional career, Benfica, Sporting and FC Porto. Alhinho also coached the national teams of Angola and Cape Verde Islands.
Pamuk pans soccer culture
Nobel prizewinning novelist Orhan Pamuk said soccer in Turkey serves nationalist and xenophobic thinking, but that he would still be supporting the country’s team at Euro 2008. Pamuk said in an interview with German weekly Der Spiegel that soccer in Turkey had become “a machine for the production of nationalism, xenophobia and authoritarian thought.” However, the Istanbul-based writer, who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 2006, said that he was “of course, for the Turkish team at the European Championships” even though Turkey coach Fatih Terim was “an ultra nationalist.”
At least eight die at match
At least eight people suffocated in an overcrowded stadium during a match between Liberia and Gambia on Sunday, a doctor and an aid worker said. The eight bodies were taken to the country’s main hospital, said the Liberian Football Association’s chief doctor, Sam Harris. The 33,000-seat Samuel K. Doe Stadium in Monrovia had been packed beyond capacity for the World Cup qualifying match. At one point a metal bar containing upper-level crowds broke under pressure from rowdy fans. Dozens of people fell onto spectators below, causing some to suffocate, said a Liberian Red Cross rescue worker, Emmanuel Johnson. “Other spectators tried all sorts of means to save [them], but could not help. That is why they expired,” Johnson said. He put the death toll at 10. There was no immediate way to reconcile the conflicting tolls.
Cops, players in pitch battle
A player was arrested after being sent off in a Brazilian championship match and riot police used pepper spray and truncheons in fights with his teammates on the pitch on Sunday. Botafogo’s match away to Nautico in Recife was interrupted for 12 minutes by the fighting, which ended with Botafogo defender Andre Luis being bundled out of the stadium with his hands behind his back by around 10 officers. Andre Luis was taken to a mobile police station where he was arrested along with club president Bebeto de Freitas. Both were released after questioning. “Botafogo are outraged at the way we were treated here,” De Freitas told reporters. “Footballers are not bandits and are not to be kicked and punched. This has to stop. The player was wrong, he will be punished and suspended, we have sporting legislation to deal with this. What is not acceptable is for him to have pepper in his face or be prodded in the back with a truncheon.” The trouble broke out when Andre Luis was sent off after being given a second yellow card for a tackle from behind. As he left the pitch, the furious player made gestures to supporters and kicked a bottle into the stands.
Winner helps quake victims
Amy Yang shot a 5-under 67 on Sunday to win the Ladies German Open by four strokes, the South Korean teenager’s first victory as a professional. Yang, an 18-year-old who had a course-record 63 on Saturday, finished with a 21-under 267 total. After the win, she said she would donate the 39,500 euros (US$61,260) in prize money to victims of the recent earthquake in China’s Sichuan Province. “I was thinking about the China earthquake for some time. And I thought, if I win the tournament, I would give them the winnings to help them build up,” Yang said. “A few days ago they had big rains and a lot of them lost their houses. I saw a lot of news. And every time I would be thinking about it. It’s really sad.” Sweden’s Louise Stahle was second on 17 under, while Gwladys Nocera of France was another stroke back in third. Michelle Wie, meanwhile, showed a return to form with a last-round 67 to finish in sixth place, her best result in almost two years.
Lee gains from collapse
South Korean Lee Seon-hwa took advantage of a monumental collapse by Sophie Gustafson to win the LPGA Ginn Tribute with a playoff victory over Australian Karrie Webb. Lee hardly seemed positioned for her third career title entering the round in Charleston, South Carolina, trailing overnight leader Gustafson of Sweden by nine shots. Gustafson, who was six shots in front of Webb at the start of play, completely fell apart. The Swede had five bogeys and two double bogeys over her final 15 holes and finished at seven-over-par 79, tying for fourth at 11-under 277. Lee made the most of her chance. She carded a 67 for a 14-under total of 274 and beat Hall of Famer Webb at the first playoff hole to claim the first prize of US$390,000.
Officials to probe claim
Japanese officials will launch a probe into comments by Akiko Morigami that a national coach asked her to throw a doubles match at the French Open. Morigami said a national team coach had asked her to deliberately lose the match as a defeat would boost partner Aiko Nakamura’s chances of qualifying for the Beijing Olympics by freeing her up for a tournament this week. “At this stage we are not really clear on who said what, but we will investigate the incident,” Japan Tennis Association (JTA) managing director Koji Watanabe said yesterday. “If it turns out a national coach did say that then it’s a matter for the [JTA’s] technical committee. It would be dangerous to make any decision before we have established the facts.” French Open organizers also plan to investigate Morigami’s comments after a 6-0, 6-1 first round defeat by Taiwan’s Chan Yung-jan and Chuang Chia-jung in Paris on Friday. “It wasn’t Nakamura’s coach who said it,” Morigami told Japanese media. “It was a different coach. I was angry because it’s not something you say to a player before a match.” The Japanese No 2 insisted she and Nakamura had tried their best against the Taiwanese pair despite their capitulation at Roland Garros.
Rossi wins in Italy again
Valentino Rossi won the Italian Grand Prix for the seventh straight time on Sunday and increased his lead in the MotoGP series. It was the third consecutive victory for Rossi, who also won in France and China. Casey Stoner was second, 2.201 seconds behind followed by Dani Pedrosa, 4.867 back. Rossi leads the series with 122 points, while Pedrosa is second with 110.
China wants to unite its 1.4 billion people through soccer, while also using the sport as “a bridge to work with the rest of the world,” Chinese Football Association secretary-general Liu Yi told reporters in an interview published yesterday. Liu spoke about what lies behind the country’s push to become a major soccer power by 2050. Under Chinese President Xi Jinping — who is described by state media as an “avid soccer fan” — the world’s most populous country has grand plans to host and even one day win a World Cup. Liu spoke about “using football to motivate the whole nation.” “Football is
‘JOB NOT DONE’: The outfielder, who hit a homer and stole two bases, said that players ‘have to be good at all aspects of game all the time and not take plays off’ Los Angeles outfielder Mookie Betts put himself in rarefied company with a standout performance in the Dodgers’ Game 1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in the 116th World Series on Tuesday. Betts sparked the Dodgers’ four-run fifth inning with a walk and two stolen bases, joining Babe Ruth as the only players in World Series history to record such an inning. After walking to lead off the inning, Betts stole second base. After Corey Seager walked, Betts reached third on a double steal, giving the Dodgers runners on second and third with one out. Betts took an aggressive stance off the bag
TENNIS Federer eyes Australia Roger Federer is practicing pain-free after undergoing two knee surgeries this year and said that he expects to return to the circuit at the Australian Open in January. The 39-year-old Swiss reached the semi-finals at Melbourne Park at the start of the year, but missed the rest of the season after undergoing a second arthroscopic procedure on his right knee. “I’m on the right track,” he told German-language magazine Schweizer Illustrierte. “I’m gradually coming back, but I’m going to take my time and don’t want to put any pressure on myself. I will only take part in a
Marcus Rashford once again sank Paris Saint-Germain after netting the decisive goal in a 2-1 Champions League win in the French capital. Rashford, who scored the winning spot-kick when United knocked PSG out two seasons ago, drilled home a low shot three minutes from the end, which won a thrilling Group H contest at a near-empty Parc des Princes. United had taken the lead in the 23rd minute when Bruno Fernandes slotted home from the spot at the second attempt, but Anthony Martial inexplicably headed Neymar’s corner into his own net 10 minutes after the break. The rest of the match was an