IOC boss lauds Sochi
Newly elected International Olympic Committee (IOC) chief Thomas Bach said on Thursday last week that Russia was ready to provide “excellent conditions” for athletes at the Winter Olympics in February next year. “We are very pleased with preparations,” Bach told a news conference in Tokyo where he was visiting for the first time since the Japanese capital won the right in September to host the 2020 Summer Olympics. “The athletes will have excellent conditions in Sochi,” said the German, who visited the Black Sea resort last month where he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Bach said the quality of the Olympic village was good and it was close to competition venues. “Having stayed in quite a number of Olympic villages, I can say I was really, really impressed,” he said.
Video replays shunned
Golf took another stand against video evidence on Tuesday by announcing a new decision that it would not penalize a player whose ball moves at rest if the movement is only detected by enhanced pictures. It was the second time in the last two years that the US Golf Association and Royal & Ancient have established new guidelines involving video. The next edition of Decisions on the Rules of Golf effective from Jan. 1 will include three new decisions, the most significant being 18/4. It says that when “enhanced technological evidence” shows that a ball moved, it will not be deemed to have moved if not “reasonably discernible to the naked eye at the time.” Decision 18/4 was an offshoot of Decision 33-7/4.5 in 2011. Under that decision, officials can waive disqualification for an incorrect scorecard if a player was unaware of a rules violation.
Germany player killed
It has been confirmed that former Germany youth international Burak Karan, 25, died during an air raid on the Syrian town of Azaz last month, after allegedly traveling there to assist anti-Assad forces. Tributes from his teammates and managers have been pouring in. Kevin-Prince Boateng, the former Tottenham and Milan midfielder, wrote on Twitter: “RIP my brother Burak. K!! I will never forget our time together, you were a true friend. Burak was a close friend of mine in my youth. What happened afterwards I don’t know, nor can I influence it!!!” A video of Karan posted on YouTube fueled speculation that the player became radicalized after retiring from sport. It shows him wearing a turban and carrying a machine gun. Text below the video claimed that “he left home to fight fisabilillah [for the sake of Allah] against [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad’s injustice.” Karan’s elder brother Mustafa claims he had traveled to the Turkish-Syrian border mainly to collect donations and guarantee their fair distribution.
Ban for dangeous tackle
Australia center Tevita Kuridrani has received a five-week suspension for a dangerous tackle on Ireland’s Peter O’Mahony in Australia’s 32-15 victory in Dublin on Saturday. Kuridrani received a straight red card for the tackle in the 72nd minute and appeared at an International Rugby Board disciplinary hearing on Tuesday. The suspension ruled Kuridrani out of Australia’s final two games on their end of season tour against Scotland and Wales, placing greater pressure on coach Ewen McKenzie’s playing stocks. McKenzie suspended six players from their game against Scotland after they breached team protocols in the lead-up to the Ireland Test.
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