World sports news in brief

Mancini handed daunting task of rebuilding Italy

Tuesday, 2018-05-15 07:16:43
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Roberto Mancini has been named as the new Italy’s national team coach to replace Gian Piero Ventura. (Photo: Reuters)
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Former Inter Milan and Manchester City coach Roberto Mancini was given the daunting task of rebuilding Italy’s national side on Monday following their astonishing failure to qualify for the World Cup.

Mancini, as had been widely predicted, was named as the new national team coach to replace the hapless Gian Piero Ventura, sacked in November after Italy missed out on the World Cup for the first time since 1958.

* France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has withdrawn from next week's Lyon Open and the French Open later this month after failing to recover from knee surgery. Tsonga, who is the defending champion in Lyon, went under the knife in April and said on Twitter on Monday that he was disappointed he would not be able to play either tournament.

* Midfielder Scott Arfield joined Scottish side Rangers from English Premier League club Burnley as a free agent on Monday, becoming manager Steven Gerrard's first signing at the Glasgow-based outfit. The 29-year-old, who made 194 appearances for Burnley since joining on a free transfer from Huddersfield Town in 2013, has been given a four-year contract at Rangers.

* Australian Steve Plain became the fastest climber to scale the highest peaks in seven continents, taking 117 days for a feat popularly called the “Seven Summits”, after he scaled Mount Everest early on Monday, his expedition company in Nepal said. Plain, 36, from Albury, Australia, reached the 8,850-metre peak of the world’s tallest mountain after climbing more than seven hours from the final camp, at the 8,000 m South Col, to claim the record.

* Rafael Marquez could become the third player ever to appear in five World Cup tournaments after he was included in Mexico's preliminary 28-man squad for the finals in Russia. If Marquez, who can play as a centre back or defensive midfielder, walks out for Mexico during the June 14 to July 15 tournament, he would join German midfielder Lothar Matthaeus and Mexican goalkeeper Antonio Carbajal as a five-time World Cup veteran.

* Fulham beat Derby County 2-0 (2-1 aggregate) at Craven Cottage on Monday to move into the final of the Championship playoffs where they will play Aston Villa or Middlesbrough. Second half goals from Ryan Sessegnon and Denis Odoi earned Fulham the victory as they seek a return to the Premier League which they were relegated from in 2014.

* Peru captain Paolo Guerrero will miss the World Cup in Russia after his doping ban, which had just expired, was increased from six to 14 months, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said on Monday. Guerrero tested positive for cocaine following a World Cup qualifier in Argentina in October after drinking a tea containing the substance, CAS said.

* Rising Japanese sensation Naomi Osaka eased into the second round of the Italian Open on Monday with a 6-0 6-3 victory over former world number one Victoria Azarenka, on a day in which local favourite Roberta Vinci called time on her career. Osaka, whose current form could see her mount a strong challenge at the French Open next month, stormed out of the gates, riding her powerful forehand as she pummelled her Belarusian opponent into submission in an hour and 13 minutes. Next up for Osaka is a second-round clash with world number one Simona Halep.

* Indonesia's landmark badminton arena of Istora Senayan was scheduled to host international badminton tournament of 2018 Indonesia Open from July 3 to 8, would now be part of HSBC BWF World Tour Super 1000. The upcoming international badminton tournament, officially called BliBli 2018 Indonesia Open, would offer total prize of US$1.25 million, the largest one any of Badminton World Federation (BWF)-sanctioned tournament so far, the organiser claimed.

* Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain Monday announced that former Dortmund head coach Thomas Tuchel will be the new first-team coach next season after two sides have signed a two-year contract. The 44-year-old German manager will begin his tenure in early July at the start of pre-season training, according to the club.

Reuters, Xinhua