SPORTS DAY: Boks will miss their Marx in Tests
Your roundup of the sporting news of the day
Marx out for six weeks
The good news is that star hooker Malcolm Marx will not require surgery on his hamstring injury‚ but the bad news is he has been ruled out for at least six weeks. This means he will miss South Africa’s Tests next month against Wales and England. At best he’ll be back for the last Test against England at Newlands on June 23. His absence will be a huge loss for the Springboks and their new coach, Rassie Erasmus, because he was one of their few star performers in an otherwise miserable season last year.
Folau again courts controversy
Wallabies star Israel Folau has again courted controversy by posting a social media link to a video opposing same-sex marriage and referring to “sexual perversions beyond description”. The devout Christian, one of Australia’s most marketable players, caused a storm last month when he said gay people were destined for hell. He escaped sanction by sports chiefs. A defiant Folau, 29, last week said he had no regrets. In the video on his Twitter feed on Tuesday, the late US evangelist David Wilkerson warns against “tolerance” of same-sex marriage.
Former player vows harassment suit
Former Aussie Rules player Joel Wilkinson announced plans on Wednesday to sue the sport’s governing body over claims he suffered years of racial abuse and sexual harassment during his career. The Sydney-born Wilkinson, who is of Nigerian descent and played for the Gold Coast Suns, alleges the Australian Football League failed in its duty of care despite requests for help. He alleges he was subject to discrimination, vilification and harassment on racial and religious grounds by AFL staff, his club, club officials and team-mates, as well as opposition players and spectators. He also claims he faced racially motivated sexual harassment in the changing rooms by other players, and that he was not offered future employment with the AFL, the Suns and other clubs because he spoke up about racism and associated with other players subjected to discrimination.
SOCCERAustralia keen on Iniesta
Australian football chiefs plan to contact the agent of Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta to sound him out about a move to the A-League, reports said on Wednesday, as the domestic competition looks to recruit a marquee star. Spain’s Sport website named the A-League as the World Cup-winner’s “preferred destination” this week, although Japan’s Vissel Kobe is also seen as one of his possible next moves. On Tuesday, China’s Chongqing Lifan denied reports that the 33-year-old legend will be joining them “as a player”, but left the door open to future co-operation in some capacity. Football Federation Australia’s website indicated the governing body planned to contact Iniesta’s agent after he announced he will leave Barcelona at the end of the season.
Club staff docked pay after damaging brand
Fabio Cannavaro’s Guangzhou Evergrande docked the pay of five backroom staff on Wednesday for “damaging the club brand” after star defender Zhang Linpeng was forced to wear another player’s shirt with the name and number covered by yellow tape. This happened during the first half of Tuesday’s Asian Champions League last-16 first leg at Chinese rivals Tianjin Quanjian, after match officials told Zhang, Evergrande’s No 5, to change his shirt because it had blood on it. Evergrande staff were unable to immediately rustle up a replacement “5” jersey, so they gave the centre back substitute Zhang Wenzhao’s “15” shirt with yellow tape over the “1”.
Struggling club offers $1.5m per win
A struggling Chinese football club will dish out more than $1.5-million in cash per game to inspire its demoralised players to victory – but they’ll be docked money if they lose. Guizhou Hengfeng are bottom of the Chinese Super League after losing eight of their first nine games, including five on the bounce. Club boss Wen Wei treated the team and staff to a lavish dinner on Tuesday, two days after they were thrashed 5-1 at Tianjin Teda, and proposed the victory bonus for each of the next two games, local media said.
GOLFTiger to roar again at British Open after absence
Three-time British Open winner Tiger Woods is to play in this year’s championship for the 20th time, but the first since 2015, tournament organisers announced on Wednesday. The 42-year-old American, a 14-time Major winner, returned to competitive golf this season after missing most of the previous two years through injury, and finished tied for 32nd at last month’s Masters. Woods plans to tee it up at Carnoustie for the 147th Open, said the organisers.
TimesLIVE, AFP, Reuters