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Chinese soccer boss gets new job in motor sports
Chinese soccer head Wei Di will leave his office and take over automobile and motorcycle sports under the State General Administration of Sport on Friday, the official website of the sports authority, reported on Thursday.
According to Sports.cn, the 58-year-old Wei will attend a meeting at the automobile and motorcycle sports administrative center on Friday morning, when his appointment will be announced.
Wei, who assumed office with the Chinese Football Association in 2010, was reportedly replaced by Zhang Jian, the head of the Department of Policy and Regulation under SGAS, on Jan 16.
Wei was said to have requested a stay at the CFA.
Zhang, 46, accompanied Cai Zhenhua, deputy director of SGAS, on a visit to Japan to research soccer last year. He also delivered a speech on the problems facing Chinese soccer at a sports forum last May.
The sports authority hasn't confirmed the change.
Barca says Abidal faces checkup on his liver
Barcelona defender and French international Eric Abidal will be hospitalized for up to four days for checks on his liver transplant, the Spanish club said on Wednesday.
"Eric Abidal will spend between three and four days at Hospital Clinic in Barcelona for examinations of the development of the transplant that he underwent last April," the team said. "By express wish of the player, the club is asking for the utmost respect for his privacy and confidentiality."
The 33-year-old player returned to training with his Barcelona teammates in December after getting the all-clear from doctors.
He had a liver transplant operation on April 10, 2012, just over a year after a tumor was removed from the organ.
Transplant specialists at the time questioned whether Abidal would be able to make a return to top-flight soccer, given the potential risk of damage to the new liver.
Red cards nearly spoil Real's advance to semifinals
Real Madrid survived red cards for Fabio Coentrao and Angel Di Maria and an injury to Iker Casillas to draw 1-1 in Valencia and qualify for the King's Cup semifinals, 3-1 on aggregate, on Wednesday.
Karim Benzema netted just before halftime to put Jose Mourinho's side 3-0 up in the tie, before Coentrao picked up a second yellow card for a handball in the 51st minute.
Valencia pulled a goal back from the ensuing free kick when Tino Costa's low free kick surprised Real's reserve keeper Antonio Adan.
Adan had to replace Casillas in the 15th minute after Real defender Alvaro Arbeloa accidentally kicked his left hand while trying to clear a loose ball in the area.
Di Maria picked up a foolish red card two minutes from time after kicking out at Valencia defender Joao Pereira as the two tussled for a ball. Real will face either holder Barcelona or Malaga in the last four. Barca will visit the Rosaleda on Thursday, with that tie level at 2-2.
Brazil calms fear of room shortages at World Cup
Brazil's sports minister predicted the country will have more than enough hotel rooms for the 2014 World Cup and will avoid a repeat of the price gouging that occurred ahead of last year's UN conference in Rio de Janeiro.
Soccer's governing body, FIFA, has raised concerns that Brazil lacks the quantity and quality of hotel rooms it expects for host countries, but sports minister Aldo Rebelo said private investors were improving lodging in the 12 venue cities.
"The concern of the private sector is different from that of some observers," Rebelo said on Wednesday. "They think there will be a surplus and that will result in a decline in prices. We are confident there will be a balance and will be watching so that tourists and journalists are not threatened with extortion."
The concerns follow a rush for rooms in Rio last June when hotels in the city, known for its sparse stock of outdated and overpriced lodgings, hiked prices by as much as five times the regular rate ahead of a UN development conference.
AC Milan boss hopes for deal to bring in drogba
Didier Drogba would be a great addition to AC Milan's squad, coach Massimiliano Allegri said on Wednesday as Italian media speculated that a deal was in the offing.
"Champions of his quality are very welcome," Allegri told Sky of the 34-year-old, currently with Cote d'Ivoire at the African Nations and keen to leave Shanghai Shenhua only months after joining from Chelsea following its Champions League triumph.
"(Chief Executive Adriano) Galliani knows if we are talking about a doable deal. Certainly Drogba would increase the technical level and belief of the squad."
Milan, only sixth in Serie A but in the Champions League last 16 where it faces Barcelona, has also been linked in the media with Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli despite club owner Silvio Berlusconi questioning his combustible personality.
AFP - Reuters - China Daily
(China Daily 01/25/2013 page22)