Real Madrid president to be elected on Sunday
MADRID: The new president of Real Madrid will be chosen on Sunday when club members vote for one of five candidates bidding to take charge of the nine-time European champions.
The 85,000 "socios" have been subjected to just over a month of intense campaigning from construction magnate Juan Miguel Villar Mir, businessman Juan Palacios, former president Lorenzo Sanz and lawyers Ramon Calderon and Arturo Baldasano.
The winner will be expected to turn round Real's sporting fortunes after their worst run of form in 52 years and determine the future direction of the biggest-earning club in world football.
Each candidate has presented his programme backed up with a daily diet of radio, television and newspaper interviews, promotional meetings and visits to supporters' clubs.
Beckenbauer hints at top UEFA post, rules out FIFA
BERLIN: Franz Beckenbauer said on Thursday he would be interested in running for the job of UEFA president, but ruled out a bid to become president of FIFA in the foreseeable future.
Beckenbauer, 60, who is the only man to win the World Cup as captain (1974) and then coach (1990), and is currently the president of the German organising committee for these finals, said he would be interested in standing for the UEFA presidency if Lennart Johansson, 76, was to retire.
Beckenbauer was responding to comments made by current FIFA president Sepp Blatter in the German media on Thursday in which the Swiss was quoted as saying that Beckenbauer did not want to be FIFA president, nor could he be because of his other commitments.
Beckenbauer replied: "He's right. And I don't speak six or seven languages fluently like Mr Blatter either which you need to be the president of FIFA.
"But it would be different with UEFA. In Europe everyone speaks English and my English could be better but it is good enough."
FIFA clears Arsenal over Beveren links
LONDON: World soccer's ruling body FIFA cleared Arsenal on Thursday of breaching the rules governing the ownership of clubs after a TV report linking the London team with Belgium's Beveren.
"After carefully analysing the documents and statements provided by the (English) Football Association in relation to an alleged breach of club ownership rules by Arsenal and Beveren ... there is no evidence or indication of any infringement of the relevant regulations," FIFA said in a statement. "The FA had already reached the same conclusion, having been requested by FIFA to investigate the case."
Arsenal denied wrongdoing after being accused earlier this month of making secret payments to Beveren.
BBC's Newsnight programme reported that a police probe in Belgium had concluded that the Premier League club, losing Champions League finalists this year, had paid Beveren one million pounds (US$1.82 million).
The north London club, in a statement to Newsnight, confirmed a technical relationship with Beveren since 2001 but denied controlling the club.
Russian women win 10th Euro Cup, France take men's
MALAGA, Spain: Tatyana Lysenko, who reclaimed the women's hammer world record last weekend, set a European Cup record and led Russia to a 10th consecutive win in the tournament on Thursday.
The 22-year-old smashed the previous record of 74.48 metres with a throw of 76.50, though she remained short of last Saturday's 77.41.
"The wind didn't bother me, I just made a few technical mistakes. I will try to do better next time out," said Lysenko.
Russia's women accumulated a massive 155 points, to finish 43.5 ahead of second-placed Poland on 111.5 and third-placed Ukraine on 99.
Russia and Poland qualified for the World Cup in Athens on Sept 16-17, while Britain, Sweden and Romania were relegated.
It was much closer in the men's where France won the final event of the day, the 4x400 relay, to snatch victory from Russia by a mere two points. France finished on 118 and Russia on 116 to qualify for the World Cup.
Britain, who avoided relegation last year only because Malaga had a nine-lane track, came in third with 109.
Spain, Italy and Finland were relegated. Although last year's winners Germany finished eighth they will be in Munich in 2007 as hosts.
Two Chinese riders join top pro club
China starts its vamped-up Olympic cycling medal campaign after two young and promising riders joined the high-level performance pro club Skil-Shimano Professional Cycling Team, a Pro Continental Team.
The two Chinese are 22-year-old Fang Xu from Dalian of Liaoning Province, the 2004 national road championships 16th place finisher and 2005 championship time trials 18th place finisher, and 23-year-old Jin Long from Luoyang of Henan Province, the 2005 10th National Games team pursuit winning team member and points race fifth-place finisher.
"To learn from the world's top riders, competing with Skil-Shimano in high-level event will give us more chance at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing," said Jiang Guofeng, official from the China Cycling Association.
" Co-operation will upgrade the level of cycling sport in China. We hope the two young Chinese will achieve good results on the team."
The two riders have good motivation to succeed and great physical potential to be big riders, Iwan Spekenbrink, team manager of Skil-Shimano. "They have won lots of respect from other team members," the Dutchman added.
The Skil-Shimano team, with six first-place, two second-place and one third-place results in pro competitions this year has come to China and is preparing for the Tour Qinghai Lake, starting later this month.
Guilin hosts model car championships
The Chery Cup China National Radio Controlled Model Car Championships will be held in scenic city Guilin of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region from August 5 to 10.
The event, organized by the China State General Administration of Sports, the Ministry of Education, the Central Committee of China Youth League, the China Association for Science and Technology, and All-China Women's Federation, and sponsored by leading China's auto brand Chery Automobile Co Ltd, will attract over 300 participants from the Chinese mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions.
The level of play of the event is the highest of its kind in China featuring China's adult, youth and junior enthusiasts, including this May's China Third Sports Games runner-up Kuang Zihao from Guangdong Province.
The International Federation of Model Auto Racing (IFMAR) is a worldwide organization with offices in Europe, North and South America and Far East. It governs RC racing through four international governing bodies, or "blocs" representing 42 members countries and regions. The China Model Automobile Council was established in 1995 and joined the IFMAR in 2003.
(China Daily 07/01/2006 page10)