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24-hr courts for Euro hooligans

Lisbon: Portugal plans to set up temporary courts during the 2004 European football championship which the country is hosting that will remain open round-the-clock to deal with any potential troublemakers. Deputy PM Jose Luis Arnaut told a parliamentary committee on Tuesday that the government was negotiating the creation of the special courts with the nation’s public prosecutor.

He added the government wants to change the country’s extradition laws so that expulsions from Portugal during Euro 2004 “can be accelerated”. Portugal has already budgeted $3.8 million to boost police forces ahead of the tournament, which will take place from June 12 to July 4.

Mongolian is Grand Champ

Tokyo: Sumo’s governing body formally promoted Mongolian wrestler Dolgorsuren Dagvadorj to Yokozuna, or Grand Champion, on Wednesday, making him only the third foreigner to attain the sport’s highest rank. The 22-year-old, better known by his ring name of Asashoryu or ‘Morning Blue Dragon’, is now one of two active foreign Yokozuna. There are currently no native Japanese at the pinnacle of the national sport. Asashoryu is only the 68th Sumo Grand Champion since the sport popularly emerged three centuries ago.

Szabo pays for ‘ugly’ taunt

Bucharest: Olympic and world champion Gabriela Szabo was ordered by a court here on Wednesday to pay $5,000 in damages to Romanian compatriot Violeta Beclea for calling her ugly.

Beclea had sued Szabo for $150,000 after Szabo, 1,500m and 5,000m world and Olympic champion, said Beclea was not invited to athletics meetings because she was too ugly.

Player fined for ‘pig-act’

Rio de Janeiro: A Brazilian player has been fined $5,491 for a goal celebration in which he imitated a pig. Santo Andre striker Nunes got down on all fours and pulled pig-like faces in front of rival Palmeiras fans, who have adopted the animal as their unofficial symbol, after scoring a late equaliser in the final of the Sao Paulo Juniors’ Cup at the weekend.

Furious Palmeiras supporters invaded the pitch and fought with police after seeing their team beaten in a penalty shoot-out following the 2-2 draw.

101, and still diving

Laguna Woods, California: Viola Cady Krahn is still diving these days, although not competitively. Then again, she’s 101. “Nowadays I just go out to the end of the board and push in,” she told the Los Angeles Times.

Krahn will be among nine people inducted into the International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in January 2004. The Hall recently added a master’s category to honour those who have won world, national or regional championships and have competed for at least 16 years. Krahn has done it for something like 80.

Milutinovic’s brother dies

Belgrade: Former Yugoslav national football coach Milos Milutinovic, brother of Bora Milutinovic, died aged 70 on Wednesday, his family said. Milos, who scored 16 times in 33 appearances for Yugoslavia, played for French teams PSG and Racing during his career in the mid-1960s and 1970s.

Ref jailed

Beijing: China has sentenced a soccer referee to ten years in prison for taking bribes worth 370,000 yuan ($44,700). Gong Jianping, then chief referee for the Chinese football association’s first and second division, accepted money and goods nine times from 2000 to 2001. Dubbed a ‘black whistle’ , Gong confessed most of his crimes. He was arrested last April.

n Football, Premier League: Chelsea vs Leeds United from 3.00 pm and Liverpool vs Arsenal from 5.00 pm on ESPN n Football: Spanish League highlights from 8.30 pm on ESPN n General: Sportsline Tonight, live from 7.30 pm on STAR Sports


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