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Sport Brief

25th Apr 2014
SPORT BRIEF footballMan City Manager Manuel Pellegrini has put Ivorian Yaya Toure’s participation in the World Cup into doubt f

Athletics

Virgin Money London Marathon – (April 13):Mo Farah’s eagerly anticipated debut over 26.2 miles turned into a painful ordeal on the streets of the capital when he trailed home in eighth place in the Virgin Money London Marathon.

Even his pre-race target to break the British record proved well beyond him as he crossed the line in 2hrs:8:21 – 68 seconds outside the mark set by Steve Jones in Chicago 29 years ago. Farah was also nearly 4 minutes slower than Kenya’s world-record holder Wilson Kipsang, who raced away from the field to shatter the course record with a time of 2:4:29 and claim his second London title in three years.

“It was pretty tough,” admitted Farah. “I had no experience of this but I’m quite disappointed today. You try things and if it doesn’t work at least you have given it a go.”

Boxing

Trainer Freddie Roach recently said he sees the possibility of a showdown between Manny Pacquiao and his former fighter Amir Khan in the near future. Roach, who guided Pacquiao to become the only eight-division world champ in the sport, is hopeful that Golden Boy and Top Rank promotions will eventually settle their disputes to arrange bouts involving fighters from their respective camps.

One of these exciting bouts he’s looking forward to see is the battle between Pacquiao and Khan. “Never say never…they sparred together quite a bit. Amir always does well in the early rounds but Manny always took charge in the second half of the fight when they sparred. But when they did spar it was fun to watch and very entertaining.” said Roach.

Cricket

A number of news agencies have decided against covering cricket’s Indian Premier League Twenty20 competition in India and the UAE, due to the exclusion of some photo agencies from covering matches. Thomson Reuters, Agence France-Press and Associated Press will send no reporters or photographers to the tournament, which began on April 20, as a protest against the IPL’s limit on editorial freedom.

The photo agencies, including Getty Images and Action Images, supply publishers of editorial newspapers and websites around the world with images from sporting events in numerous countries without problems, but have been excluded from covering the seventh edition of the IPL following a disagreement regarding the commercialisation of images.

Pakistan is hoping to play at least six series against India as part of a deal apparently struck at the recently concluded International Cricket Council (ICC) Board Meeting. Pakistan cricket chief Najam Sethi said his country will get eight years of series, including archrivals India, earning $300 m, after agreeing to the revamp of the game’s governing body.

Pakistan had opposed changes to the ICC which hand the majority of powers and revenues to the “big three” of international cricket, India, Australia and England. The suggested reforms were approved by majority at the ICC Board meeting in February, during which Pakistan and Sri Lanka abstained from voting.

After an ICC meeting in Dubai on April 10, the Pakistan Cricket Board announced it would conditionally support the reforms – to be officially signed in June this year – which Sethi said will bring major benefits to cash-strapped Pakistan. The PCB is now waiting for a final confirmation from the BCCI following its Working Committee meeting, which will take place at the end of this month.

Football

World Cup buzz: IVORY COAST: Man City Manager Manuel Pellegrini has put Yaya Toure’s participation in the World Cup into doubt. Man City look set to win the Premiership without influential midfielder Toure after he limped out of the 3-2 defeat to Liverpool, sparking fears he will miss the rest of the season. With City already 1-0 down, Toure attempted to curl a long-range effort towards the Liverpool goal but appeared to injure his groin in the process. Despite attempting to play on, the Ivorian was on the attack again when he collapsed to the floor in pain. Pellegrini admitted that the 30-year-old in action again this season.

FRANCE:Samir Nasri has admitted he is “more pessimistic than optimistic” about going to the World Cup. The Man City says coach Didier Deschamps has refused to explain why he was left out of the last two squads. But Nasri, who was also overlooked in 2010, insisted he should only miss out on Brazil because of his on-field performances. Nasri was banned for three games after his behaviour at Euro 2012 – and has not been selected since the first-leg defeat in the World Cup playoff in Ukraine in November.

WORLD RANKING AS OF APRIL 10, 2014

Muslim countries in the top 100 (WC/qualified for World Cup):
21-Ivory Coast (+3) WC
24-Egypt (+2)
25-Bosnia and Herzegovina (-4) WC
25- Algeria (same) WC
37- Iran (+5) WC
39-Turkey (-1)
49-Tunisia (-5)
53-Uzbekistan (+2)
59-Mali (-3)
61-Burkina Faso (+1)
62-Libya (+9)
63-Senegal (+6)
64-Jordan (+2)
67-UAE (-6)
70-Albania (-16)
75-Saudi Arabia (same)
76-Morocco (+1)
81-Oman (same)
85-Azerbaijan (+6)
95-Qatar (+6)
100-Iraq (+3)

Squash

Women’s Champion Fiberglass Texas Open, Houston, USA (April 8-13): Egyptian teenager Nour El Sherbini claimed the biggest world tour title of her career when she upset India’s No4 seed Dipika Pallikal in the final.

The match brought to a climax a sensational week for the 18-year-old qualifier from Alexandria who removed three seeds – including Malaysia’s event favourite and world No7 Low Wee Wern – en-route to the final of the WSA Gold 50 event at The Downtown Club at the Met. Pallikal, the world No12 from Chennai, was celebrating the biggest Tour final of her career – while world junior champion El Sherbini was continuing the form of her life which had seen the youngster reach last month’s WSA World Championship final after upsetting world number one Nicol David.

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