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Latest in Sports


Messi dismisses talk of Barcelona Ballon d’Or rift

BARCELONA: Argentine star Lionel Messi on Thursday dismissed talk that defeating his Barcelona teammates Andres Iniesta and Xavi in the race for the Ballon d’Or had strained his relationship with the Spanish pair. "I don’t care what people say. I have the respect and the recognition of my team mates. All my colleagues congratulated me …

DNE

Syria vow to secure surprise quarter-final spot

DOHA: Syria coach Tita Valeriu is confident his surprise-package team can secure a quarter-final spot at the Asian Cup for the first time despite being beaten by Japan. The Syrians face Jordan in their must-win final Group B game on Monday. "We actually played all attacking football and we were looking for the three points," …

DNE

Bin Hammam rules out World Cup date change

LONDON: Asian football chief Mohamed Bin Hammam on Friday ruled out shifting the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to winter or staging tournament matches around the Gulf region. Bin Hammam told Sky News in an interview that he was "unimpressed" by suggestions from FIFA President Sepp Blatter that the tournament could be moved to a …

DNE

Zamalek move for Olympic goalkeeper

CAIRO: Zamalek are in talks with second-division Olympic over the transfer of goalkeeper Mahmoud Abdul-Rahim ‘Gennesh’ to the Cairo club this winter. “I will travel to Alexandria to negotiate the move and I think we could reach a final agreement by next week,” Zamalek chairman Galal Ibrahim told FilGoal.com. According to widespread reports, Olympic are …

DNE

Mido training with Middlesbrough

CAIRO: Free agent Mido surprisingly returned to Middlesbrough’s Rockliffe Park headquarters, where he will be training for a while. The Egyptian nomad, who turns 28 next month, has been without a club since terminating his contract with Ajax Amsterdam last week due to lack of first-team opportunities. Boro manager Tony Mowbray allowed Mido to train …

DNE

Tunisian club Esperance fined $52,000

CAIRO: The African Football Confederation has fined Tunisian club Esperance $52,000 and suspended player Ayman Ben Amor for six matches following trouble at the African Champions League final in November. Esperance was also ordered to play two matches behind closed doors, while Amor was handed a $10,000 fine. Congolese club TP Mazembe, which won the …

DNE

Ahly’s Fadl suffers fresh injury blow

CAIRO: Ahly striker Mohamed Fadl has once again sustained a hamstring injury to become a major doubt for the next league game with MCDR, the Cairo club said. The 30-year-old missed last month’s Cairo derby against Zamalek after aggravating the injury in a 1-1 draw with Arab Contractors. He is now expected to resume full …

DNE

Trika support could ease pressure on Shikabala

CAIRO: Mohamed Abou-Trika’s public support of Shikabala could finally ease crowd pressure on the Zamalek star. In a short and rare telephone interview with Al-Hayat TV, Abou-Trika described Shikabala, 24, as one of the most skilled players in Egypt. "He will play a big role with the national team in the near future," said the …

DNE

Spain leads FIFA rankings; Qatar moves upward

ZURICH: World champion Spain still leads the FIFA rankings, and 2022 World Cup host Qatar was the biggest climber in the standings. Spain heads beaten finalist the Netherlands and Germany, then Brazil and Argentina fill out an unchanged top five. The only top-30 move sees Croatia rise one to No. 9 in a swap with …

DNE

Shikabala, Ghaly back for Egypt against Brundi

CAIRO: Egypt coach Hassan Shehata has all of his men available for Tuesday’s Nile Basin tournament match with Brundi after Shikabala and Hossam Ghaly shook off respective injuries. Zamalek forward Shika missed last weekend’s 1-0 win over Uganda through a hamstring strain. Ahli’s holding midfielder Ghaly missed the Pharaohs’ previous two matches in the friendly …

DNE

Gaish loanee Hefni to feature for MCDR against Ahly

CAIRO: Gaish gave their loanee Ayman Hefni permission to feature for his parent club MCDR against Ahly in the Egyptian Premier League. The rising star moved to Gaish from MCDR on a loan basis for a season and a half starting this month. However, the Military side allowed him to take part in MCDR’s match …

DNE

Ashour seeks his revenge over Matthew

LONDON: Ramy Ashour hopes to have recovered well enough from injury to atone for the theft of his world title dream by Nick Matthew when the 2010 tour’s leading players begin the PSA World Series finals at Queens Club on Tuesday. The charismatic Egyptian called it the biggest disappointment of his career when forced to …

DNE

Ulinzi captain ruled out of Zamalek clash

CAIRO: Kenyan club Ulinzi Stars will be without captain Stephen Ocholla when they play Zamalek in the African Champions League later in January. Ocholla has been injured in December, when Kenya played Ethiopia at the Cecafa Senior Challenge event. He suffered a thigh strain that was supposed to sideline him for up to four weeks, …

DNE

Al-Hadari given Egypt lifeline

  CAIRO: Essam Al-Hadari is in contention to be selected for Egypt’s crucial Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against South Africa, according to goalkeeping coach Ahmed Soliman. Al-Hadari, who recently joined Merreikh from Zamalek, will see his four-month ban come to an end by the start of the new season in Sudan next month. After …

DNE

Egypt cancels Danish camp amid security fears

COPENHAGEN: Denmark’s football association says Egypt has withdrawn an invitation to the Danish Under-21 team to train in Cairo, citing security concerns. Danish association spokesman Lars Behrendt says the Egyptian federation "could not guarantee" the Danes’ security in the midst of persistent anger among some Muslim groups over Danish newspapers’ publication of cartoons depicting Prophet …

DNE

Pieters shoots 7-under 66 to lead Africa Open by 1

EAST LONDON: Branden Grace holed a 9-iron approach at the 18th hole to get within a shot of Brandon Pieters for the Africa Open lead after Thursday’s partially completed first round. Grace’s eagle lifted him to 6-under 67, with Pieters’ early 66 holding up when play was halted with 24 players still on the course …

DNE

Wind is AWOL at Tournament of Champions in Hawaii

KAPALUA: Another PGA Tour season got under way at Kapalua with chatter about who and what was missing at the Tournament of Champions, only this time it didn’t involve Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson. Significant this year was the absence of Geoff Ogivly, the first defending champion in 50 years to not play in this …

DNE

Returning from injury, Venus loses to Zvonareva

HONG KONG: Venus Williams lost to second-ranked Vera Zvonareva 6-4, 6-2 on Thursday at the Hong Kong Classic exhibition tournament in her first match since the US Open. Williams was sidelined with a left knee injury for the last part of the 2010 season and is using the tournament as her only warm-up for the …

DNE

Nadal and Federer on course for Qatar Open final

DOHA: Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer remain on course to meet in the Qatar Open final after both won their quarterfinals in straight sets on Thursday. Federer, a two-time champion in Doha, routed sixth-seeded Viktor Troicki 6-2, 6-2 in just 65 minutes and will face third-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semifinals. Top-ranked Nadal was given …

DNE

Sports Talk/ Water woes

Politics shouldn’t interfere with sports but sometimes it can’t be helped, especially when your life depends on it. When countries at the source of the Nile decide that it’s time to set new water quotas, then you know it’s time to host the new, ever so friendly Nile Basin Football Tournament. To recap, countries at …

DNE

Villarreal, Madrid, Atletico reach cup quarters

MADRID: A second-half burst of goals saw Villarreal rally from a two-goal deficit Thursday for a 4-2 win over Valencia that put it into the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey. Marco Ruben’s 63rd-minute strike ensured Villarreal advanced after a scoreless first leg. Ruben tapped into an open goal after Cani’s one-two with Giuseppe Rossi …

DNE

Zamalek hitman apologizes for angry SMS

CAIRO: Zamalek striker Ahmed Gaafar apologized to manager Hossam Hassan after informing the latter that he wanted to leave the club via a mobile message. Gaafar was obviously angry after Hassan surprisingly dropped him from the team’s starting line-up in last week’s Cairo derby draw against Ahly. The Zamalek coach, who revealed Gaafar’s angry SMS …

DNE

Preview: Egypt begin preparation for South Africa

CAIRO: The friendly Nile Basin tournament began on Wednesday with hosts Egypt aiming to warm up for a crucial 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers campaign this year. Hassan Shehata’s men entertain Tanzania in Group A, which also includes African minnows Uganda and Burundi. Despite the insignificance of the regional tournament, the Egypt manager is …

DNE

Nile Basin tournament kicks off under ‘No to Terrorism’ slogan

CAIRO: The Egyptian national team will inaugurate the first Nile Basin Countries football tournament Wednesday with a match against Tanzania at the Arab Contractors Stadium. The tournament, comprising seven teams and played under the slogan "No to Terrorism," cancelled its opening ceremony after the attack on Al-Qeddesine Church in Alexandria claimed 23 lives and left …

DNE

Ahly to play three friendlies in winter break

CAIRO: Ahly are planning to play three friendly matches during the stoppage of the Egyptian Premier League. The games are scheduled for January 10th, 14th and 17th while Ahly’s opponents are yet to be determined. The Cairo side have just re-appointed highly-rated coach Manuel Jose. They are to play their first competitive match under the …

DNE

Mido parts ways with Ajax

CAIRO: Egyptian hitman Mido terminated his contract with Ajax Amsterdam by mutual consent on Tuesday. "It’s over now. I agreed with Ajax’s officials to annul my deal," the towering man told FilGoal.com. "Now I’m a free to join any other club in the current winter transfer window. "I received several offers from Spain and England …

DNE

Shikabala backtracks on Egypt decision, set to join camp

CAIRO: Zamalek star Shikabala has backed down on his decision not to play for Egypt and is set to join the team’s camp ahead of this week’s Nile Basin friendly tournament. The 24-year-old announced that he doesn’t want to play for the national team after being subjected to hostile chants from Ahly supporters in last …

DNE

Ghaly ready to play as goalkeeper for Egypt

CAIRO: Ahly captain Hossam Ghaly says he is ready to fill in whatever position manager Hassan Shehata asks him to play in, even if he was used as a goalkeeper. The 28-year-old excelled as a sweeper for Ahly during the past few weeks, which saw the Egyptian champions switch back to their traditional 3-5-2 formation …

DNE

Coach Younes quits Egypt’s U-20 team

CAIRO: Coach Mostafa Younes has quit Egypt’s U-20 team for the sake of his media job, FilGoal.com has learnt. The former Ahly star informed Egyptian FA chairman Samir Zaher of his decision to resign after a meeting on Wednesday afternoon. His resignation came just few weeks after the EFA said Younes had decided to snub …

DNE

Women’s soccer clinic held to build program in Egypt

CAIRO: “They’ve come really because the concept of ‘soccer without borders’ is one we all understand,” commented United States ambassador to Egypt Margaret Scobey. Recently, the United States embassy in Cairo, with the help of the Egyptian Football Federation, recruited the help of the Soccer Without Borders organization to come to Egypt and hold soccer …

DNE