SPORTS DAY: Neymar paid R44m a month ... and that’s not all
David Isaacson rounds up the sporting news
Neymar gets R44-million a month
Paris Saint-Germain pays 12 of the 13 largest player salaries in the French league, led by Neymar, who makes €3.07 million (R44-million) gross a month, more than twice as much as the next highest earner, sports daily L’Equipe reported on Tuesday. Behind Neymar, PSG players occupy the next seven places: Uruguayan Edinson Cavani makes €1.54-million a month, French teenager Kylian Mbappe earns €1.5-million and Brazilian defender Thiago Silva makes €1.33-million. Then come Argentine midfielder Angel Di Maria and Brazilian defender Marquinhos, both on €1.12-million, Italian midfielder Thiago Motta (€875,000) and Argentine Javier Pastore (€770,000).
US pilot Justin Olsen is still hoping to compete in the two-man bobsled at the Winter Olympics despite undergoing an emergency appendectomy in South Korea on Monday, the US Olympic Committee said on Tuesday. The 30-year-old, a gold-medallist in the four-man bob in 2010, was admitted to hospital with acute appendicitis in Gangneung on Monday night, a week before the two-man competition begins.
More Russians appeal exclusion
Thirty-two Russian athletes appealed their Pyeongchang Olympics exclusion by the International Olympic Committee over a doping scandal in their country, the Court of Arbitration for Sport said on Tuesday. The IOC has invited only 169 carefully screened Russian athletes who will compete as independents after the nation was banned over the Sochi 2014 doping scandal from the Games starting this week.
Pound lashes IOC response to Russia doping
Former world anti-doping chief Dick Pound slammed the Olympic response to the Russian doping scandal on Tuesday, warning “we talk more than we walk” and saying that the Games’ credibility had taken a serious hit. “I believe that in the collective mind in a significant portion of the world and among the athletes of the world, that the IOC has not only failed to protect clean athletes but has made it possible for cheating athletes to prevail against the clean athletes,” said Pound. “We talk more than we walk. The athletes and the public at large in my view no longer have confidence that their interests are being protected. Our commitment to both is in serious doubt and with respect I don’t think we can talk our way out of this problem.”Naked ‘bunny girl’ freezes tail off in fur protest
A half-naked activist sporting bunny ears and a fluffy tail braved the Olympic chill in Pyeongchang to protest the fur trade Tuesday but, shivering on high heels, side-stepped the thorny issue of dog meat. As temperatures plunged to minus 16 degrees celsius, hardy animal rights campaigner Ashley Fruno, peeled off down to just a white bra and knickers while waving a sign that read “champions don’t wear fur” outside the Olympic media centre. However, despite withstanding the bone-chilling cold for more than 15 minutes in her skimpy undies, she insisted People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals had no plans to protest South Korea’s controversial dog meat trade. “It’s certainly cold out here, but it’s nothing compared to what the animal go through on fur farms,” she told reporters.
Guards withdrawn over virus outbreak
More than 1,200 security guards have been withdrawn from the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics because of a norovirus outbreak, organisers said Tuesday. Out of the group, 41 suffered a sudden onset of vomiting and diarrhoea on Sunday. They were transferred to hospital and most were diagnosed with a norovirus infection. Norovirus is highly contagious and can also be spread through food or water contamination.
Wales name unchanged team for England
Wales will field an unchanged team against England in the Six Nations at Twickenham on Saturday after kicking off their campaign with a convincing home win over Scotland. Only winger George North, who was left out because of injury doubts but proved his fitness with a try for his club Northampton Saints at the weekend, comes onto the bench, displacing Owen Watkin.
Jockey bags world record win
For years, Brazilian jockey Jorge Ricardo battled for one of the least heard-of, yet toughest titles in sport — most horse races won — and on Monday he got there with a 12,844th victory. The win in the rain at Rio de Janeiro’s Hipodromo race track equalled the extraordinary world record held by Ricardo’s career-long Canadian rival Russell Baze. But with the California-based Baze already retired, Ricardo, a grizzled 56-year-old who has been racing since he was 15, now needs only one more win — practically a formality — to own the record.MOTORSPORT
Mercedes team up with Hilfiger
Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton will be wearing Tommy Hilfiger this season after his Mercedes team announced a partnership with the global fashion brand on Tuesday. The multi-year deal to be the official apparel partner comes after Hugo Boss switched to the all-electric Formula E championship.
Goosen to coach Italy until 2020
Marius Goosen will remain as Italy defensive coach until June 30, 2020 “giving continuity to the relationship started in the summer of 2016,” the Italian rugby federation announced on Tuesday. The 47-year-old South African — director of rugby at Italian Pro14 franchise Treviso — has been part of the national setup since the arrival of Irishman Conor O’Shea as head coach in March 2016.
The disgraced former Pakistan captain Salman Butt has arrived in Bangladesh to play his first full-fledged competition outside his homeland since serving a five-year ban for spot fixing, an official said on Tuesday. Butt has committed to a full season for Dhaka Premier League giants Mohammedan Sporting Club, a club captained by Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan. The former Pakistan skipper is expected to make his debut against Brothers Union on Wednesday.