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Since 1st March, 1999
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Scolari says yes to Portugal

Lisbon: Brazil’s World Cup-winning coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has agreed to guide Portugal through to the 2004 European championships which the country is hosting, his agent said.

“Luiz Felipe Scolari is the coach of the Portuguese squad until July 2004, until the end of the European championships,” Acaz Fellenger told private radio TSF.

He said Scolari had informed Portuguese football association president Gilberto Madail of his decision by phone Wednesday but a contract will only be signed in January. Portugal automatically qualify for the tournament as hosts. The association was authorised at the beginning of the month to hire a foreign coach to revive Portugal’s fortunes and Madail had said 54-year-old Scolari was his first choice.

Sotomayor’s veiled hint

Paris: High jump world-record holder Javier Sotomayor gave a veiled hint that he retired because he had taken banned substances, the Cuban athletics federation told world governing body International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF), it emerged Thursday.

“About a month ago, the Cuban federation sent us a letter to inform us that Sotomayor was retiring and that he was aware that there were banned substances in his body,” IAAF spokesman Nick Davies said. The 35-year-old 1992 Olympic champion, who retired from competition in October last year, failed a doping test twice — in 1999 and 2001.

Cut-price Games in Greece

Athens: Watching the 2004 Olympics in Athens will be cheaper than the Sydney Games of 2000, the organisers boasted Thursday.

Marton Simitsek, the executive director of the organising committee (ATHOC), said that the price range will be from 10 to 300 euros. “The average price of tickets will be 34 per cent cheaper than those in Sydney with our objective being to offer the greatest number of Greeks the chance to enjoy the unique experience,” said Simitsek.

Pak players denied visas

Karachi: Pakistan’s squash federation on Thursday slammed as “disrespectful” Belgium’s refusal to issue visas to five of its squash players and an official who were to attend next week’s World Open Squash tournament there. “

It’s disrespectful to Pakistan’s contribution to the game of squash and we are dejected,” Pakistan Squash Federation secretary, Sajid Waheed, said.

Marseille arrest

Marseille: Jean-Michel Roussier, former deputy president of French soccer giants Marseille, was arrested Thursday as part of an inquiry into transfer irregularities at the first division outfit during the 1990s, police said.

Roussier, the club’s deputy president from early 1995 to April 1999, was questioned by revenue investigators as part of the case relating to former Marseille coach Rolland Courbis.

Strike to continue

Lima: Players at leading Peruvian club Universitario have voted to continue a strike which forced the club to field an under-20 team in a championship match last Sunday, local media reported on Wednesday.

n Cricket: Australia vs England 3rd Ashes Test, Day I live from 7.57 am on STAR Sports n Soccer: English Premier League 2002-03, Totenham Hotspur vs Leeds United from 8 am on ESPN n Cricket: South Africa vs Sri Lanka 2nd ODI, live from 5.55 pm on STAR Sports

n Actor Fardeen Khan with the cricket World Cup trophy crafted in silver and gold in New Delhi on Thursday. The trophy, valued at $62,000, is being displayed in India and other countries taking part in the 2003 tournament in South Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe. (AFP)

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