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Another honour for Ronaldo

London: Real Madrid striker Ronaldo has been named World Soccer magazine’s player of the year following his heroics for Brazil in the 2002 World Cup finals. Ronaldo came back after three years of injury blight to score eight goals at the World Cup, including both in the 2-0 final victory over Germany. It was the highest individual tally in the finals since West Germany’s Gerd Mueller hit 10 in 1970.

The latest issue of the English-based magazine said Ronaldo polled more than 26 per cent of the votes cast by readers. The prestigious awards began in 1982. German midfielder Michael Ballack was second, while Ronaldo’s Madrid and Brazil teammate, defender Roberto Carlos, was third. The awards World Player of the Year: Ronaldo (26.17 %). Manager of the Year: Guus Hiddink (South Korea, 28.33 %). World Team of the Year: Brazil (24.36 %).

A tale of struggle in SA

Durban: History of cricket in South Africa during the apartheid era seems to resemble the political and social pattern in which the Indians and other blacks had to struggle for equality in the province of Kwazulu-Natal. Shedding light on this struggle in the province to promote the game against all odds is a book, Blacks in White — A Century of Cricket Struggles in Kwazulu-Natal that was officially launched on Wednesday.

The 485-page socio-political book is a 30-month work of four academics of Indian origin — Ashwin Desai, a columnist and former senior sociology lecturer at University of Durban-Westville, Vishnu Padaychee, head of the School of Development Studies at the University of Natal, Krish Reddy, a former cricket administrator and school principal and Goolam Vahed, senior lecturer at the School of Social Sciences and Development Studies at the University of Durban-Westville.

Fifa gives CAS final jurisdiction

Zurich: Fifa have reached an agreement with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to give the independent Lausanne-based body final jurisdiction over legal matters in world soccer.

“CAS has jurisdiction to settle football-related legal disputes with immediate effect,” Fifa said a statement on Thursday. “The CAS will sit as a tribunal of the last instance if attempts to solve the dispute internally at Fifa or the confederations prove unsuccessful.”

The CAS will resolve disputes over the status of players but will not judge on any matters concerning the interpretation of the rules of soccer arising from matches.

Barcelona to appeal ban

Barcelona: Barcelona president Joan Gaspart has said the club will appeal against a two-match stadium ban handed to them following incidents that caused the interruption of last month’s game against Real Madrid.

“Under no circumstances do we accept the decision and we are going to appeal,” Gaspart told reporters on Wednesday night.

The Spanish football federation’s competition committee on Tuesday ordered the closure of the Nou Camp for two games and fined the club 4,000 euros ($4,056) for the incidents that held up the game against Real for almost 15 minutes.

The match was held up when referee Luis Medina Cantalejo decided to order the players off the pitch after Luis Figo, playing his second game at the Nou Camp following his transfer from Barcelona to Real Madrid in 2000, was subjected to a hail of missiles from home fans.

Austria-Swiss wins Euro bid

Geneva: Favourites Austria and Switzerland were chosen Thursday to be joint hosts of Euro 2008. The bid from two of the continent’s soccer under-achievers trumped six other applications to stage the world’s second biggest football meet.

The other candidates considered by Uefa were Greece and Turkey, Scotland and Ireland, Bosnia and Croatia, a four-way Nordic candidature, and solo bids from Russia and Hungary.

n Cricket, India in New Zealand: First Test, Day II, live from 3.25 am on STAR Sports n Cricket, India in New Zealand: First Test, Day II, highlights from 5.30 pm on STAR Sports n Cricket, Tri-series: Australia vs England, live from 8.43 am on ESPN n Cricket, Pakistan in South Africa: Third ODI, live from 5.55 pm on ESPN


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