SPORTS DAY: Mexicans wave adiós to grim Germany
Your roundup of the sporting news of the day
Defending champs Germany knocked out
Sweden and Mexico both qualified for the round of 16 at the World Cup after the Swedes won 3-0 in their Group F match on Wednesday. But both teams finished on six points and qualified, three ahead of Germany who lost 2-0 to South Korea. Sweden topped the group on goal difference.
Maradona says he’s fine after health scare
Argentina great Diego Maradona said on Wednesday he was fine after appearing to take ill during the South Americans’ rollercoaster World Cup win over Nigeria on Tuesday, but found himself in hot water again after making an obscene gesture at the game. “I want to let you know I’m fine, I’m not nor was I hospitalised,” the 57-year-old said via Instagram.
Neymar scores! And sister dislocates shoulder
When Neymar finally scored against Costa Rica, Brazil cheered, the superstar striker cried, and his sister ... dislocated her shoulder. Brazil’s SporTV reported Wednesday that Rafaella Santos was so excited at her brother’s last-gasp goal in the tricky win against minnows Costa Rica on Friday that she collided with a friend and injured her arm.
Ethnic kin of Swiss scorers rush to pay their finesHundreds of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo have raised enough money to pay the fines imposed on Swiss goalscorers Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri for their celebrations in the World Cup win over Serbia. Both players, who are ethnic Albanians from Kosovo, celebrated by imitating the double-headed eagle displayed on Albania’s flag. Swiss team captain Stephan Lichtsteiner joined them, and they were together fined $25,160 by Fifa. Albanians in Kosovo and elsewhere soon rushed to donate to pay the fines, collecting over $27,000.
IAAF ready to battle over female classification
The International Association of Athletics Federations will not soften its stance on new regulations for female classification and is ready to defend it in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), president Sebastian Coe has said. Coe’s comments follow Tuesday’s meeting in London with Athletics South Africa president Aleck Skhosana in which the concerns of ASA over the new ruling were discussed. ASA and South African double Olympic and triple world 800m champion Caster Semenya have both separately appealed to CAS to have the new regulations that limit the levels of naturally-occurring testosterone in female athletes set aside. Coe and Skhosana met to clarify their positions and with neither side willing to budge they have declared that CAS is the best body to rule on the dispute.
Serena seeded 25th for WimbledonSeven-times Wimbledon champion Serena Williams has been seeded 25th at the tournament this year despite a world ranking of 183 as she continues her return from maternity leave. It means the 36-year-old American, winner in 2016 but absent last year because of her pregnancy, will avoid the big names until at least the third round. Simona Halep and Roger Federer are the top seeds.
Pacific Super Rugby team could crack US, says report
A New Zealand government study released on Wednesday backs a Pacific island team in the Super Rugby competition, believing it could provide a gateway to the potentially lucrative US market. An edited version of the study suggests a game could be played each year in Honolulu, San Francisco, Los Angeles or Salt Lake City, which all have large Pacific populations.
T20GL unhappiness reaches tipping point
The level of dissatisfaction among T20 Global League (T20GL) franchise owners with Cricket South Africa (CSA) has reached tipping point. “We are absolutely disgruntled at the way CSA had handled (or mishandled) its affairs with regard to the T20 Global League‚” said the owner of the Bloem City Blazes‚ Sushil Kumar. That brings the number of owners who have slammed CSA’s handling of the inaugural edition of the T20GL to four of the total of eight.
Cricket has billion-plus fans, survey finds
The football World Cup may be attracting viewers across the planet but cricket has a huge audience too, with a fanbase of more than a billion people, a major new survey says. The report, conducted by Nielsen Sports for the International Cricket Council, put the number of fans at 1.039 billion — mostly male, living in South Asia, and with an average age of 34. However, 39% are female, the survey says, adding that the venerable, five-day Test format remains popular, attracting interest from 70% of fans.
Hamilton hopes to pull away in Austria
The F1 lead has changed hands four times in eight grands prix so far this season but Lewis Hamilton hopes to put more daylight between himself and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in Austria this weekend. The Mercedes driver is 14 points clear of his rival and fellow four-times world champion after winning in France on Sunday and heads to Spielberg where Mercedes have not been beaten since the race returned to the calendar in 2014.
Daly walks after USGA stalls on cart usage
John Daly has told USA Today that he will never play in another US Senior Open, one day after the American was not immediately granted permission to use a cart at this week’s championship in Colorado. The two-times major champion applied for an exemption to use the vehicle due to a persistent knee injury, and the US Golf Association said it had asked Daly for more supporting evidence to justify needing a cart.
AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE