Sports Shorts: Manchester United seal Kroos deal
Manchester United have agreed a deal to sign Bayern Munich midfielder Toni Kroos and are set to make a stunning move for his team-mate Arjen Robben.
According to Daily Mail, a £20million deal for Kroos was agreed when David Moyes was still in charge at Old Trafford and his successor, former Bayern coach Louis van Gaal, has said the move can go ahead.
Kroos, 24, flourished under Van Gaal at Bayern and is keen to work under his old coach again.
The same is true of Robben, who was one of Van Gaal’s first signings in Germany when he joined from Real Madrid for £20m in 2009.
The 30-year-old winger has recently signed a three-year deal but that is unlikely to discourage Holland coach Van Gaal, who will be working with Robben at the World Cup.
United are understood to have agreed a £27m fee with Southampton for left back Luke Shaw and Borussia Dortmund centre half Mats Hummels is a target.
Image: Toni Kroos
Photographs: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters
Evert not surprised by McIlroy's split with Wozniacki
Golfer Rory McIlroy's decision this week to call off his wedding with former world number one tennis player Caroline Wozniacki is no surprise, according to Chris Evert who suffered similar heartache 40 years ago.
Eighteen-times grand slam champion Evert was engaged to fellow American tennis champion Jimmy Connors in 1974, the year both won the Wimbledon title, but the so-called golden couple cancelled their wedding.
McIlroy, twice a major champion, announced on Wednesday that he had changed his mind about marrying Dane Wozniacki despite the wedding invitations having already been posted.
"It doesn't surprise me," Evert, who was 19 when engaged to Connors, said in an ESPN conference call ahead of next week's French Open.
"I look back at Jimmy and I. To look at two players that are in the prime of their career and are striving to be No. 1, (you) don't see each other.
"I mean, I was married in my 20s to my tennis. That was the only way I could put all my emotions and energies into that goal. I was in awe that it (McIlroy and Wozniacki's relationship) worked as long as it did.
"I can't believe it. They must be just different kind of people. I understand 100 percent, you're married to your career. You're using your emotions. You're using the mental capacity that you have.
"You're putting everything into it. That's what it takes to be the best."
Evert has since been married three times, to former British tennis player John Lloyd, downhill skier Andy Mill, with whom she had three sons, and Australian golfer Greg Norman -- all of them ending in divorce.
Image: Caroline Wozniacki and Rory McIlroy
Photographs: Francois Nel/Getty Images
Jeevan lone Indian left in Uzbekistan ATP Challenger
Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan entered the semi-finals of an ATP Challenger for the first time in his career after a quick straight-sets victory over Russia’s Mikhail Ledovskkih, even as Saketh Myneni bowed of the US $50,000 tournament in Karshi, Uzbekistan, on Thursday.
The unseeded Indian, ranked 359, won 6-3 6-2.
The Russian was perhaps tired following a qualifying campaign and then playing a long and energy-sapping match on Wednesday.
After breaking Ledovskkih early in the first set, the left-hander from Tamil Nadu had no problem in clinching the match in 49 minutes.
"I am serving well. It has been a good week so far," Jeevan, who next faces Chase Buchanan, said.
Among other Indians, Davis Cupper Myneni lost both his singles and doubles matches while Divij Sharan's campaign also ended in the doubles with partner Liang-Chi Huang.
Myneni lost his singles quarter-final 1-6, 2-6 to Nikoloz Basilashvili. Then, partnering third seed James Cluskey, he lost in the doubles semi-finals to Sergey Betov and Alexander Bury.
Sharan and Huang, seeded fourth, were beaten 3-6, 3-6 by Mao-Sin Gong and Hsien-Yi Peng in another semi-final.
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Image: Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan
Tainted Armstrong stripped of Legion d'Honneur
Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong has been stripped of the "Legion d'Honneur" award, the best-known recognition in France.
Armstrong was given the rank of "Chevalier" -- or Knight -- in the "Legion d'Honneur" in 2005, the last year of his seven consecutive Tour de France victories. He was later stripped of those titles for doping, reports Sport24.
A Legion of Honour official, who wasn't authorized to be quoted by name, said she was unable to indicate when the decision was made to remove Armstrong's award.
She said the organization doesn't traditionally announce it publicly when honourees lose their decoration.
The Legion of Honour was created under Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, and roughly a million people have received France's highest honour so far.
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Image: Lance Armstrong
Photographs: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images
English FA imposes worldwide betting ban on players
All professional players in English soccer will be banned from betting on matches anywhere in the world, the Football Association said on Wednesday.
The ruling, which will come into force from August 1, was ratified at the governing body's Annual General Meeting and covers players from the Premier League down to the non-league Football Conference and its lower regional divisions.
"Participants covered by the ban will be prohibited from betting, either directly or indirectly, on any football match or competition that takes place anywhere in the world," the FA said in a statement.
The ban also includes betting on any other football-related matters.
"For example, the transfer of players, employment of managers or team selection," the FA said.
FA rules currently forbid players from betting on matches in which they are involved or that they can influence.
Among players found to have breached the betting rules are Tottenham Hotspur winger Andros Townsend and StokeCity's Cameron Jerome, who was on loan from CrystalPalace last season.
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Image: England football captain Steven Gerrard and teammates
Photographs: Phil Cole/Getty Images
Bayern repeat call for goal-line technology in Bundesliga
Bayern Munich have again called for the introduction of goal-line technology in the Bundesliga, only days after the double winners benefited from a lack of it during the German Cup final on Saturday.
Bayern beat Borussia Dortmund 2-0 with both goals scored in extra time but the losing side were aggrieved that a Mats Hummels header midway through the second half was not allowed to stand.
Television replays clearly showed the entire ball had crossed the goal-line before it was cleared.
Clubs from Germany's top two divisions voted against the introduction of goal-line technology two months ago but Germany's football league (DFL) said this week they would review the matter if a club filed another request.
"We submitted this application for the introduction of goal-line technology only for the Bundesliga at the earliest possible moment so as to protect referees," Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said in a statement.
"It is unbearable to see referees who do not have replays, slow motion or even mathematical calculations to be pilloried in public."
Earlier this season Bayer Leverkusen's Stefan Kiessling scored a 'phantom goal' against Hoffenheim when the ball went in through the side netting.
In the March 24 vote by the 36 clubs from the first and second divisions, only half of the top-flight clubs -- including Bayern and Dortmund - were in favour of goal-line technology while only three of 18 second tier teams backed the idea.
A two-thirds majority is needed and many clubs are against it because of the technology's cost.
This is why Bayern's request refers only to the top division, Rummenigge said.
"From media coverage of the issue it seems cost is the main reason why second division clubs overwhelmingly rejected it," he said.
The English top-flight became the first domestic league to use technology in August and the system worked well throughout the entire season.
Dubbed Goal Decision System (GDS) and developed by the Hawk-Eye company, the system gives referees a ruling within a second, their watch buzzing to tell them when the ball has gone in.
Goal-line technology will also be in use at the World Cup in Brazil in June and July.
Image: Bayern Munich supporters
Photographs: Michaela Rehle/Reuters
Former Man United manager Moyes accused of assault in bar
David Moyes, who was sacked as manager of Manchester United last month, has been accused of assaulting a man in a bar in northern England, a police source said on Thursday.
The incident occurred in the Emporium wine bar in Clitheroe north of Manchester on Wednesday night and no one has been arrested, police said.
"It was reported that a 23-year-old local man had been assaulted by a 51-year-old man. He did not require hospital treatment," Lancashire Police said in a statement.
Moyes, 51, was not named but a source confirmed he was involved in the allegation.
"Inquiries are ongoing and we are speaking to a number of people to try to establish the circumstances," the police statement said.
"There are a number of differing accounts which we need to work through to try to establish exactly what has happened."
Moyes was fired by the English Premier League club after just 10 months in charge having presided over a disappointing campaign in which United finished.
He was linked earlier on Thursday with a return to management with Scottish champions Celtic after manager Neil Lennon stood down.
Image: David Moyes
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images