World Sports News in Brief

Simeone pledges future to Atletico despite player exodus

Thursday, 2019-05-23 06:39:50
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Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone reacts - Champions League - Round of 16 First Leg - Atletico Madrid v Juventus - Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid, Spain - February 20, 2019. (Photo: Reuters)
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Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone has pledged his future to the Liga club despite an expected exodus of senior players from the Estadio Metropolitano in the close season.

In February, the former Argentina midfielder, who spent two separate spells at Atleti as a player, renewed his contract until 2022, meaning he is headed for a decade in charge. Simeone, 49, has won seven trophies with the club, including two Europa League titles, one Copa del Rey and one La Liga title, and has taken them to two Champions League finals, losing in 2014 and 2016 to Real Madrid.

* Australia's Caleb Ewan claimed the 11th stage of the Giro d'Italia on Wednesday after a bunch sprint at the end of a 221-kilometre ride from Carpi to Novi Ligure. The Lotto-Soudal rider edged Arnaud Demare (Groupama–FDJ) and Pascal Ackermann (Bora–hansgrohe) to add to his victory on stage eight.

* Sevilla's Joaquin Caparros is stepping down as manager but will stay on as part of the technical staff, the Liga club said in a statement on Wednesday. The 64-year-old, appointed for a third spell in March following Pablo Machin's sacking, met club President Jose Castro and Sporting Director Monchi during Sevilla's post-season tour of Tanzania where the decision was reached by all parties. Caparros has been in charge of the five-time Europa League winners for 167 games and led the club to a sixth-place finish in La Liga this season and Europa League qualification.

* Olympique de Marseille coach Rudi Garcia said on Wednesday that he will leave the Ligue 1 club at the end of the season. Frenchman Garcia, who guided Marseille to the Europa League final last season, has struggled to deliver results this term, with the team failing to qualify for the Champions League and currently sixth in the Ligue 1 standings.

* The Spanish Referee's Committee has said Video Assistant Refereeing (VAR) in La Liga has helped in all aspects of the game after their first season with the new system. VAR checked 4,293 actions - an average of 12 per match - in the 380-game La Liga season, intervening a total of 121 times (3.14 per game) and leading to 114 changed decisions.

* Ghana striker Aasamoah Gyan has bowed to a presidential request to make himself available for next month's Africa Cup of Nations just 48 hours after announcing his international retirement. Gyan quit the national team on Monday but he released a fresh statement on Wednesday, saying he had had a change of heart after being asked to play at the June 21-July 19 finals in Egypt by Ghana president Nana Akufo-Addo.

* Germany will be without injured midfielder Toni Kroos and goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen for next month's Euro 2020 qualifiers while recovering first-choice keeper Manuel Neuer was provisionally included in the squad on Wednesday.

* Bundesliga runners-up Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday signed Belgium international Thorgan Hazard from Borussia Moenchengladbach on a five-year contract in their second big transfer in two days. Dortmund, who also signed Germany international Nico Schulz on Tuesday, said 26-year-old attacking midfielder Hazard, brother of Chelsea's Eden Hazard, had signed a deal to 2024. Joining Gladbach in 2014, he scored 13 goals this season and set up another 12 in 35 matches in all competitions.

* Charles Leclerc will race around his home streets in a Ferrari for the first time in Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix, a boyhood dream come true, while Kimi Raikkonen is attending his 300th Formula One Grand Prix in Monaco.

* Chris Hughton said he was "hugely disappointed and surprised" to be sacked as Brighton and Hove Albion manager after securing a third successive Premier League campaign for the club. Brighton ended Hughton's four-and-a-half year reign last Monday, the day after his side's 4-1 defeat by Manchester City meant they ended the season in 17th spot.

* Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni has recalled Sergio Aguero to his squad for the Copa America after having frozen out the Manchester City striker since taking over from Jorge Sampaoli after the World Cup. Scaloni also retained Paulo Dybala in his 23-man squad named on Tuesday, despite the Juventus forward's lean season with the Italian giants.

* Boxing should keep its place at next year's Olympic Games but recognition of AIBA, the governing body of the sport's amateur version, should be suspended, the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) executive board recommended on Wednesday. The IOC said in a statement that it would instead set up a task force to organise the boxing competitions, including the qualification events to be held between January and May.

* A record total of 457,861 applicants have registered for a ballot place in the 2020 London Marathon, organiders said in a statement on Wednesday. The new world record represents an increase of 10.5% on last year's previous world record of 414,168 applicants for the 2019 race.

* Teenager An Se-young scored a big upset by toppling top-ranked Tai Tzu Ying 2-1 to pace the Republic of Korea for a 3-2 win over Chinese Taipei, qualifying for the quarterfinals as the Group 1C winner on the last day of the group matches at the 2019 Sudirman Cup in Nanning on Wednesday. The 17-year-old An stunned the 24-year-old Tai 14-21, 21-18, 21-16 in 66 minutes in the women's singles, continuing her giant-killing momentum after the 50th-ranked Korean scored an easy victory over the 27th-ranked Cheung Ngan Yi for an overall 4-1 win over Hong Kong, China on Monday.

Reuters, Xinhua