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Becks to tour Asia in June

Hanoi: Already a superstar in football-mad Asia, David Beckham will have a further opportunity to cement his iconic status next month on a whistle-stop promotional tour through the region.

The England skipper will put his skills on display, albeit from the sidelines, at a series of football festivals in Japan, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam over a five-day period in the last week of June.

“I’m really looking forward to my Asia visit,” said the Manchester United midfielder. “I had such a wonderful time during the World Cup last year. It’ll be great to be back again.”

Castrol, which is sponsoring the tour, said on Tuesday that the exact dates for Beckham’s Asian swing have yet to be finalised.

Iraq team to begin training

Baghdad: Iraq’s national soccer team will be reassembled and will begin training this week for upcoming international competitions including qualifiers for next year’s Olympic Games.

“Practice will commence this week,” assistant national coach Adnan Hamad announced in a broadcast carried by Voice of New Iraq, a radio station of the US-led coalition.

He urged all members of the former national team, which disintegrated in the run-up to the war, to show up at Baghdad’s Al-Karkh Stadium.

“We will train four times a week to be ready for the matches,” Hamad said. “Iraq will be fully prepared for the Olympic qualifiers.”

Moyes voted year’s best

London: Everton’s David Moyes has been voted manager of the year by his fellow Premier League bosses in recognition of the 39-year-old Scot’s impressive first full season in charge at Goodison Park.

Moyes, the youngest manager in the Premier League, was presented with the award by England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson on Monday at a League Managers’ Association dinner.

It came just a few hours after the two men had a public dispute over the fitness and availability of Everton’s teenage striker Wayne Rooney for England’s friendly in South Africa.

Bayern cancel China trip

Munich: Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich have cancelled teir planned two-game tour of China in July because of the outbreak of SARS, team spokesman Markus Hoerwick said on Tuesday. The trip was planned was July 12-18 and included games in Beijing and Shanghai.

Meanwhile, the German field hockey federation called off a planned tour of the Chinese women’s team of Germany for the same reason. The Chinese team had been scheduled to play two games in Germany during the June 2-8 trip.

Dion Dublin fined £6,000

London: Aston Villa striker Dion Dublin has been fined £6,000 ($9,637) for his petulant reaction after being sent off in an ill-tempered derby with Birmingham City in March.

Dublin was charged with two counts of improper conduct by the English Football Association after head-butting Birmingham midfielder Robbie Savage and mouthing the words “he’s a cheat” to a television camera as he left the pitch.

The following day Dublin said he was ashamed of what he had done, apologised and promised it would never happen again.

Birmingham won the game 2-0 after Villa also had Icelandic midfielder Joey Gudjonsson sent off.

Sub-jr meet in Kochi

Kochi: Around 600 wrestlers are expected to participate in the 24th national sub-junior wrestling meet to be held here from May 15 to 18. Competitions would be held in five weight categories in freestyle and Grecco-Roman. The Indian team to participate in the Asian sub-junior wrestling championships will be selected here.

Sport on Screen

Cricket: Australia tour of West Indies, from 11.30 am on ESPN n Soccer, Champions League, semi-finals, second leg: Juventus vs Real Madrid, live from midnight on ESPN Tennis, ATP Tour: Masters series meet in Hamburg, from 10.30 pm on STAR Sports


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