SPORTS DAY: Neymar’s World Cup chances in doubt
And more of the day’s top sporting news
Neymar out for three months, says team doctor
Neymar faces a race against time to be fit for this year’s World Cup finals after the Brazil team doctor was quoted on Thursday saying that he would be out for up to three months with a foot injury. The 26-year-old, who became the world’s most expensive player last August when PSG paid €222-million to sign him from Barcelona, is to undergo surgery on a fractured metatarsal and a sprained ankle this week. Brazil’s team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar said Neymar will need up to three months to recover from the injury. Five-times World Cup winners Brazil kick off their World Cup campaign against Switzerland on June 17. “We have time to recuperate him and it will all be done to ensure he is ready as quickly as possible so that he will have enough time to prepare adequately and arrive in top condition for the tournament,” Lasmar added.
Boks face huge task, admits Rassie
New rugby coach Johan “Rassie” Erasmus acknowledged Thursday that he faces a “huge task” reviving fallen giants South Africa. The twice world champions are ranked only sixth in the world after winning just 11 of 25 Tests in the past two seasons, during which they twice conceded 57 points to New Zealand. Those humiliating losses cost Allister Coetzee his job. “I really believe we have the players and the rugby intellectual property to turn things around and mount a serious challenge at the 2019 Rugby World Cup,” said Erasmus. “We have 18 Tests and just under 600 days until Japan 2019 and a lot of planning has already gone into our Rugby World Cup preparations.”
Roaring profit after Lions tour
New Zealand Rugby, which generally runs at a loss, announced a record NZ$33-million profit on Thursday on the back of last year’s British and Irish Lions tour. The 10-match tour was virtually a sellout, with 342,000 tickets sold as tens of thousands of Lions fans flooded into New Zealand for an event that only happens once every 12 years. It said government data estimated the economy as a whole benefited to the tune of NZ$245-million.Jones to quit public transport after abuse
England coach Eddie Jones is to quit using public transport after being on the receiving end of verbal and physical abuse. The morning after Six Nations champions England’s shock 25-13 defeat by Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday — just their second loss in 26 Tests under Jones — the Australian travelled by himself on a standard class train ticket from Edinburgh to Manchester to be a guest of retired Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford. “I was massively surprised. It wasn’t comfortable.” Asked if the abuse was physical or verbal, Jones told reporters at England’s training camp in Oxford: “A bit of both. It’s part of the challenge. As an Australian coaching England, there were always going to be challenges and that’s just one of them.”CRICKET
KP wishes Strauss well
Kevin Pietersen said he now gets on “really well” with Andrew Strauss as he wished the wife of his fellow former England captain a full recovery from cancer. “I actually get on really well with Straussy and I’ve had some real good conversations with Straussy because he’s going through some real personal hardships at the moment,” Pietersen told reporters after making a man-of-the-match 48 for the Quetta Gladiators as they beat Islamabad United in a Pakistan Super League match in Sharjah on Wednesday. “And I’m being serious when I say that cricket is insignificant when Andrew Strauss is feeling what he’s feeling, with his wife and cancer, so you put all the nonsense to one side.”
Fanning to retire
Australia’s three-time world surfing champion Mick Fanning, who famously fought off a shark attack while competing in South Africa, has announced his retirement from the sport. The 36-year-old said the Pro Bells Beach event in the Australian state of Victoria later this month would be his last. “I’m just not enjoying it as much as I was in the past,” said Fanning, world champion in 2007, 2009 and 2013. His encounter with a great white shark during the J-Bay Open in Jeffreys Bay in 2015 made global headlines. He survived the terrifying ordeal, captured on live TV, unscathed, but it rattled him.
Wilder to prove he’s the most dangerous heavyweight
WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder believes he is the most dangerous man in the division, saying that he could beat anybody at any time ahead of his title defence against Luis Ortiz on Saturday. Wilder, nicknamed the Bronze Bomber, has won all 39 of his professional fights, with only one of those victories being by a points decision. The 32-year-old has held his heavyweight title since 2015. The American is raring to take on WBA, IBF and IBO world champion Anthony Joshua, who has said former champion Tyson Fury was his biggest threat.
World champion Bosse charged for role in brawl
France’s 800m world champion Pierre-Ambroise Bosse has been charged for his role in an altercation last August during which he was wounded, prosecutors in Bordeaux said on Thursday. A man of 24 was charged on September 1 last year for attacking Bosse in a casino car park in Gujan-Mestras, in the southwest of France where the runner has trained since childhood. The injuries ended the athlete’s season. The attacker in turn filed a complaint against Bosse, accusing him of provoking the brawl by throwing a beer can, leading to the widening of the investigation.
AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE