World Sports News in Brief

Sepp Blatter to attend World Cup in Russia - spokesman

Wednesday, 2018-06-13 07:32:57
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Former FIFA President Sepp Blatter leaves the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) after being heard in the arbitration procedure involving him and FIFA in Lausanne, Switzerland, August 25, 2016. (Photo: Reuters)
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Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has received an open invitation from President Vladimir Putin to attend the World Cup in Russia and intends to take it up, Blatter’s spokesman Thomas Renggli said on Tuesday. Blatter was suspended from the sport for six years for ethics violations in 2015 amid the biggest corruption scandal to shake FIFA.

* Germany landed in Moscow on Tuesday (Jun 12) to attempt to successfully defend their World Cup title and hoping to leave the political controversy surrounding Mesut Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan behind them. The intent is clear - Germany want to become the first team for 56 years to retain the World Cup.

* French World Cup star Thomas Lemar looks set to quit Monaco and join Atletico Madrid, the two clubs revealed on Tuesday (June 12). The slightly built Lemar looked set to join Arsenal a year ago but Monaco pulled out of the potential £92-million (EUR100 million) deal after selling a string of other stars.

* FIFA members will decide on Wednesday (June 13) whether the 2026 World Cup should be played in North America or return to Africa for just the second time, in Morocco. The choice is clear - between a slick bid based on gleaming stadiums in the United States, Mexico and Canada or an ambitious attempt from Morocco based on as-yet largely unbuilt facilities.

* A group of 14 Russian girls will act as ballgirls in the opening match of the World Cup on Thursday, the first all-female group to do so. The girls, aged 13 to 16, from Agryz, a small town of 19,000 people some 800 km (500 miles) east of Moscow, were selected by the Russian national team after making a sponsor’s shortlist of “inspiring entrants” to a national junior football tournament.

* Egypt forward Mohamed Salah remains a doubt to face Uruguay in their World Cup opener on Friday, the country’s football association has said. The Liverpool player, who sustained a shoulder injury in the Champions League final against Real Madrid last month, took part in light training on Monday but the Egyptian FA’s managing director Ehab Lehita said it was too early to say whether he would play against the South Americans.

* Barcelona Open runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas recorded his first grasscourt victory on the ATP Tour by beating Australian John-Patrick Smith 3-6 6-3 6-4 in the first round of the Libema Open at Hertogenbosch on Tuesday. Australian Bernard Tomic is trying to reignite his career after slipping to 181st in the rankings and recorded his first victory since October 2017 with a 6-4 6-2 win over American Kevin King.

* Former world heavyweight champion David Haye announced his retirement from the sport on Tuesday following his defeat by Tony Bellew in May. The 37-year-old Briton won 28 and lost four of his 32 fights since turning professional in 2002.

* At least 20 people have been arrested by Spanish police over allegations of match-fixing in football, relate to Spain’s women’s top flight and men’s Tercerca Division (fourt tier), Spanish newspapers El Confidencial and El Pais reported on Tuesday. The arrests were carried out in the autonomous regions of Andalusia and Extremadura, the papers said.

Reuters, CNA