David Beckham to visit
David Beckham and the Los Angeles Galaxy are expected to bring a tourism boost to New South Wales after agreeing to a friendly against Australian side the Newcastle Jets next month. Former England captain Beckham and US international Landon Donovan will headline the one-off friendly match at the Newcastle International Sports Centre on Nov. 27, the third time the Galaxy have traveled to Australia in four years. “This is fantastic news for football fans and for tourism in the Hunter,” Jodi McKay, minister for the Hunter region in New South Wales, said on the team’s Web site. “The phenomenal global interest in David Beckham ... Landon Donovan and the LA Galaxy team means Newcastle and the Jets will be in the spotlight for sports enthusiasts from around the world.”
Omiya Ardija head to quit
Omiya Ardija president Seigo Watanabe has said he will quit the Japanese club following an embarrassing scandal over fabricated attendance figures. The 55-year-old fell on his sword after the “Squirrels” were discovered to have inflated their J-League attendances by more than 110,000 over four years, Japanese media reported yesterday. “I’m angry,” J-League chairman Kazumi Ohigashi told the Nikkan Sports newspaper. “It damages the credibility of the whole J-League. I can’t believe they would do this.” Watanabe said the pressure of trying to meet the club’s target of 300,000 fans in a season by last year had led him to fabricate the numbers. “No one else was involved,” he said in a tearful news conference. “It was poor management, but I wasn’t aware of the J-League’s standards for defining attendance.” The J-League could further punish the club following a special disciplinary hearing and is expected to examine the records of all clubs.
Iker’s love reveals secret
The girlfriend of Real Madrid keeper Iker Casillas, Sara Carbonero, revealed on Tuesday that she is a lifelong supporter of the Spanish giants’ cross-town rivals, Atletico Madrid. “I have been an Atletico supporter all my life. It is the team we watched at home since I was little although I also like the Spanish national team,” Carbonero, a sports journalist, told popular daytime chat show Ana Rosa on Telecinco, the private television station she works for. Carabonero, 25, shot to international fame during the World Cup when her reports on the Spain squad for Telecinco on live television from behind the net sparked accusations that she was distracting Casillas. The controversy abated with Spain’s first ever World Cup triumph. Casillas, 29, kissed Carbonero on the mouth when she interviewed him for Telecinco just minutes after the victory in a broadcast watched by millions in Spain.
Tigana mulls retirement
Bordeaux coach Jean Tigana revealed on Tuesday that his current employers would probably be his final club. “I think this could be my last club because I might take my footballing retirement early,” Tigana, 55, said in an interview with regional daily Sud-Ouest. “As things stand, I’ll go until the end of my contract [which runs until June 2012]. We’ll talk about it with [Bordeaux president] Jean-Louis [Triaud] at the end of the contract.” Tigana, a member of the heralded “Magic Square” midfield that was the heartbeat of France’s 1984 European Championship-winning side, has previously coached Lyon, Monaco, English side Fulham and Turkish outfit Besiktas.
Fickle winds produced farcical scenes yesterday on day two of the America’s Cup challenger series in Auckland, as the so-called “flying” yachts spent almost as much time in the water as above it. “I’m not sure today is a really accurate read because it’s so puffy, it’s shifty,” British sailing legend Ben Ainslie said after his Ineos Team UK maintained their perfect start to the Prada Cup series with a third straight win. The series would determine which of the 23m yachts — which fly above the water balanced on hi-tech foil arms — would challenge defending champion Team New Zealand for
VIRUS RISK: India’s Saina Nehwal tested positive for COVID-19 at the Yonex Thailand Open, while three other players were being retested after receiving conflicting results Taiwanese badminton star Tai Tzu-ying yesterday returned to international competition after an eight-month break with a victory at the Yonex Thailand Open in Bangkok. Twenty-six-year-old Tai, 26, the top-seeded player at the tournament, met 18-year-old Thai player Benyapa Aimsaard in the opening round and narrowly won 21-18, 26-24. Her previous tournament was the Yonex All England Open in March last year, where she won the women’s singles title, before the BWF World Tour was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Benyapa was a last-minute replacement after another Thai player pulled out of the event. It was a rollercoaster match for Tai.
NO FAIRY TALE: Non-league Marine tried to bridge the biggest gap between opponents in FA Cup history, but the part-timers fell to a 5-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur Leeds United on Sunday suffered a humiliating FA Cup exit against Crawley Town as the League Two side swept to a stunning 3-0 win, while eighth-tier Marine’s hopes of causing the competition’s greatest shock were crushed in a 5-0 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur. After the spiking COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc with matches across the third round on Friday and Saturday, the FA Cup was back on more familiar ground on Sunday as Leeds became the competition’s latest big name to be knocked out by feisty underdogs. While Marine’s romantic adventure was cut short by a Carlos Vinicius hat-trick, and Chelsea and Manchester
DOUBLES VICTORY: The men’s doubles pairing of Taiwanese Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin downed Malaysians Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi, and face South Koreans today Men’s badminton world No. 2 Chou Tien-chen yesterday marched into the semi-finals of the Thailand Open, defeating younger opponent Lee Zii-jia 21-17, 21-15 after a rally, while Tai Tzu-ying had no trouble getting past her Canadian opponent in the women’s singles. The top male Taiwanese credited calm and focus in securing his win after briefly falling behind against his 22-year-old Malaysian opponent. “I think I had more patience against him and I won most of the long rallies,” the 31-year-old Chou said of Lee. “He wanted to attack [too much] and maybe he lost some focus,” Chou said. In today’s semi-finals, second-seeded Chou faces