Bowyer banned after Sagna challenge

Bowyer banned after Sagna challenge

LONDON – Birmingham City mifielder Lee Bowyer will be suspended for three games after accepting a Football Association charge of violent conduct for a challenge on Arsenal’s Bacary Sagna, the English governing body announced Tuesday.
Referee Peter Walton told the FA he would have sent-off Bowyer if he had seen the incident during title challengers Arsenal’s 3-0 Premier League win away to Birmingham at St Andrew’s on Saturday. Bowyer will now miss Tuesday’s league match at

Spanish Primera Liga – Ronaldo double steers Real Madrid to tense win

MADRID – Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 18th and 19th league goals of the season as Real Madrid started 2011 with a tense 3-2 win at derby rivals Getafe on Monday to close to within two points of champions Barcelona at the league summit. Portuguese star Ronaldo smashed home an 11th-minute penalty to open the scoring before Angel di Maria set up German international Mesut Ozil for a second on 19 minutes.
Ronaldo grabbed his second on 57 minutes after Getafe had got a foothold in

Goalkeepers need more attention, says Faisal

LAHORE – The Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) will organise the first-ever AFC Level 1 Goalkeeping Coaching Course from March 10 at Lahore, under directives of President Faisal Saleh Hayat. Coaches will be trained in skills pertinent to goalkeeping. This course covers a more specialised aspect of football, as goalkeepers are of great importance for the outcome of the game. Coaches for this specialist course must have at least the AFC C-Coaching Certificate, and have to continue

Govt supports Milan, claims Berlusconi

ROME – Italy Prime Minister and AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi claimed on Tuesday that his club has the backing of the country’s government.
Berlusconi visited the team at a preparation camp in Rome ahead of Thursday’s trip to Cagliari in Sardinia.
And after doing so he bizarrely claimed that Milan’s success is directly tied to national happiness. “When Milan win everyone in Parliament celebrates with me and there are happy faces, but when we lose everyone is a little

ATP Chennai Open – Berdych starts new season in style

CHENNAI – Top seed Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic opened his campaign in the 450,000-dollar ATP Chennai Open with a fluent win over Frederico Gil of Portugal on Tuesday.
The world number six needed just 45 minutes to defeat the 101st-ranked Gil 6-0, 6-1 in a first round match at the Nungambakkam Tennis stadium in the southern Indian city. Gil was facing a total rout when he trailed 5-0 in the second set, but managed to hold his serve at that stage to win his only game in

German player admits match-fixing bribes

BERLIN – A former striker at Bundesliga club St. Pauli was quoted by a magazine on Tuesday admitting to pocketing more than 100,000 euros (134,000 dollars) in bribes to fix five matches in 2008.
The Stern weekly cited Rene Schnitzler as saying in an interview that he had received the cash to manipulate five away matches during the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 seasons when the Hamburg outfit were still in the second division.
He said an agent named “Paul” handed him the money to

Top seeds sent packing in Brisbane

BRISBANE – The women’s draw at the Brisbane International was thrown wide open on Tuesday after top seeds Samantha Stosur and Shahar Peer were bundled out in the second round by unheralded opponents.
World No.6 Stosur was beaten by fellow Australian Jarmila Groth 6-2, 6-4 in the tournament’s biggest shock, while earlier in the day the Czech Republic’s Lucie Safarova outlasted second seed Peer 3-6, 6-1, 7-5. With third seed Nadia Petrova losing on Monday, Frenchwoman Marion

Aamir hopes to come out clean in Doha hearing

LAHORE – Suspended paceman Aamir has reiterated
that he has not done anything wrong, adding that he has full faith in the ICC. He hoped to come out clean after the hearing before the ICC panel in Doha.
“I have always played Test matches, but
the upcoming hearing in Doha would not
only be the longest but also the toughest
test of my career. I am hopeful that like the
on-field matches, I would be able to
perform well in this test (hearing) too”,

Johnson praises Beer for patience

SYDNEY – Australian debutant Michael Beer was denied his maiden test wicket in the most gut-wrenching fashion by a no-ball call on Tuesday but the way he responded was a big positive, according to team mate Mitchell Johnson.
England opener Alastair Cook had just passed 600 runs for the series and was heading towards a half century on 43 when Beer tempted him into a shot which ballooned into the air and was caught by Ben Hilfenhaus.
Cook walked but umpire Billy Bowden called

Federer-Nadal dominance hard to break: McEnroe

HONG KONG – American tennis legend John McEnroe said Tuesday that there were no likely challengers who could break Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’s stranglehold on the game’s top tournaments.
“Federer and Nadal are two of the greatest players that have ever lived,” McEnroe told reporters ahead of the exhibition Hong Kong Tennis Classic. “I see excellent players, bordering on great players, but I don’t see them breaking and winning majors,” he added.
The Swiss Federer and his

Hopman Cup – Serbs march towards final as Ivanovic survives injury scare

PERTH – Serbian Ana Ivanovic overcame an injury scare as her top seeded nation closed in on a berth in the Hopman Cup final with a 3-0 win over Australia in the mixed teams tournament on Tuesday. Ivanovic gave her country the lead with a straight sets win over Alicia Molik in the women’s singles, 6-4, 6-0, but felt a sharp pain in her left knee in the third game of the second set.
The world number 17 pulled up sore after the last point of the third game, in which she broke the

India take lead after Sachin and Steyn do battle

CAPE TOWN – Sachin Tendulkar and Dale Steyn fought out a titanic battle before India took a two-run first innings lead on the third day of the third and final Test against South Africa at Newlands on Tuesday.
Tendulkar, Test cricket’s all-time leading run-scorer, made 146 in an Indian total of 364, while Steyn, the world’s number one fast bowler, took five for 75.
By the close, South Africa had reached 52 for two in their second innings to take a lead of 50 into the last two

Park continues training with Australian coach

SEOUL – South Korean Olympic swimming champion Park Tae-Hwan has signed up with his Australian coach Michael Bohl until the 2012 London Olympics, Park’s agency said Tuesday. The 2008 Olympic 400 metres freestyle gold medallist and Bohl have agreed to extend their contract, which expired in November, until the London Games, SK Telecom said.
“I’m glad to continue training with Bohl,” Park said in a statement. “I will try my best to stand on the peak once again through the upcoming


LAHORE – Chairman PCB Mohammad Ijaz Butt, COO Subhan Ahmad and PCB officials have extended their deep sense of grief over the tragic death of Governor Punjab and former treasurer Pakistan Cricket Board Salman Taseer.
The PCB staff extend their condolences and pray that the departed soul may rest in eternal peace and may Allah Almighty give strength to the grieved family to bear this irreparable loss.

Putin rescues Russian F1 ace Petrov

MOSCOW – Vitaly Petrov, Russia’s first and only Formula One driver, is to receive funding from state-run high-tech company Rostekhnologii following a deal brokered by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, local media reported on Tuesday.
Petrov, his manager Oksana Kosachenko, Rostekhnologii chief Sergei Chemezov, and Leonid Mikhelson, head of private gas firm Novatek, hammered out the details of the new sponsorship deal during a meeting with Putin. “The number of automobile sport

Hissam, Qublai hit the stride in Toyota Cup

LAHORE – As many as three matches were decided in the Toyota Cup Polo Tournament here on Tuesday at the Lahore Polo Club ground.
In the opening match of the day, Master Paints Whites outplayed Master Paints Blacks 9-2

Federer takes the roof off in Qatar Open

DOHA – Roger Federer began the season which he hopes will see him add to his record 16 Grand Slam titles with a fighting win and a finish which took the roof off in the first round of the Qatar Open.
The tennis legend was forced to save three successive set points to get past Thomas Schoorel, an enterprising 21-year-old qualifier from The Netherlands, but then concluded the match amidst laughter and tumultuous applause for a shot which should get endless on-line video replays.