Landis starting own team
Floyd Landis is using money he earned by taking down Lance Armstrong to start his own team. The man whose own doping saga cost him the 2006 Tour de France title and helped expose Armstrong’s cheating said he is building a developmental team for next year that would be based out of Canada. He said this is his way of trying to rebuild trust in a community that has viewed him skeptically since he lied about taking performance enhancers in a 2007 hearing. Landis and his legal team split about US$2.75 million off the Armstrong settlement because he brought a whistle-blower lawsuit that triggered the case. Landis now runs a business in the Colorado mountains that specializes in marijuana and hemp-based products designed to relieve chronic pain. His company is to sponsor the new team.
Facebook buys Copa rights
Facebook on Friday bought the television rights for the Copa Libertadores from next year to 2022, adding South America’s premier club competition to a growing list of tournaments in its broadcast portfolio. The social media network bought exclusive rights to transmit Thursday night games, as well as shared rights to broadcast games played on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, the South American Football Confederation said. The Thursday agreement covers all of the confederation’s 10 member nations, with the other days including all games except in Brazil. Under the deal, 46 matches a year — 27 of them exclusively — would be broadcast online in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Sierra Leone suspended
FIFA on Friday suspended Sierra Leone because of government interference in how its national federation is run. FIFA acted six days before Sierra Leone is scheduled to play an Africa Cup of Nations qualifying game in Ghana. The intervention aims to protect elected Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) president Isha Johansen, a rare example of a woman heading a FIFA member federation, and her general secretary. FIFA asked that both officials “be allowed to access the SLFA premises without further delay to ensure that the operations of the SLFA, including FIFA-funded projects, are not jeopardized.”
Attacker facing 12 years
The man who attacked two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova with a knife at her Czech home in December 2016 is facing up to 12 years in prison, a prosecutor’s office said on Friday. The 33-year-old culprit was charged with blackmail, among other things, the office said in a statement. World No. 4 Kvitova suffered career-threatening injuries to her playing left hand as she fought off the intruder at her home in Prostejov.
EPL launches ‘FIFA’ league
The English Premier League (EPL) is launching an e-sports spinoff competition. Gamers are to represent the competition’s 20 teams in playoffs, feeding into the televised “ePL” final in London in March 28 and 29 next year. They are to play the Electronic Arts Sports FIFA game. Unlike the annual FIFA eWorld Cup, the ePL is to initially offer no cash prizes. The ePL kicks off in January next year with British residents aged at least 16 eligible to enter the online qualification on either PlayStation or Xbox One. The top 16 players per club on each platform are to then take part in the playoffs in February and March.