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Since 1st March, 1999
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Ballack back in German squad

Berlin: Playmaker Michael Ballack returns to the Germany squad for a Euro 2004 qualifier against Scotland on June 7 in Glasgow.

Ballack, who returned to action for German champions Bayern Munich last month after seven weeks on the sidelines with an ankle injury, has not played for Germany since a 1-3 defeat by The Netherlands in a friendly international in November. The 26-year-old was included on Monday by coach Rudi Voeller in a 23-man squad for a friendly against Canada next Sunday in Wolfsburg and qualifiers against Scotland and the Faroe Islands.

Germany, Scotland and Lithuania are tied on seven points at the top of Group Five.

Ballack and the other players in the squad from Bayern Munich and Kaiserslautern will not play against Canada on Sunday. Bayern and Kaiserslautern face each other in the German Cup final on Saturday in Berlin.

THE SQUAD Goalkeepers: Hans-Joerg Butt, Oliver Kahn, Frank Rost. Defenders: Frank Baumann, Arne Friedrich, Michael Hartmann, Marko Rehmer, Andreas Hinkel, Tobias Rau, Christian Woerns. Midfielders: Michael Ballack, Jens Jeremies , Joerg Boehme, Paul Freier, Torsten Frings, Sebastian Kehl, Carsten Ramelow, Bernd Schneider . Strikers: Fredi Bobic, Miroslav Klose , Kevin Kuranyi, Benjamin Lauth, Oliver Neuville.

Reggae Boyz beat Nigeria

Kingston: Andy Williams hit a dramatic winner in injury time to earn Jamaica a 3-2 victory over Nigeria in a friendly international on Sunday.

Substitute Frank Sinclair laid on the goal for Williams as Jamaica warmed up in style for the Concacaf Gold Cup in the US in July.

Onandi Lowe and Jermaine Johnson also struck for the home team while the Nigerians replied through Ugochukwu Uche and Nwankwo Kanu.

The ‘Reggae Boyz’ took the lead in the 25th minute when Lowe picked up a loose ball inside the penalty area, held off two Nigerian defenders and shot into the corner. They doubled their lead six minutes before halftime via Johnson.

Nigeria pulled a goal back in the 65th when Micah Hyde lost possession and Uche went on to score. The visitors equalised through Kanu with 10 minutes to go but Williams struck in added time.

‘Cathy wasn’t switched on’

Melbourne: Cathy Freeman was not “switched on” for her comeback 400m race but she was confident that she would be at full strength in time for August’s world championships in Paris, her coach said on Monday.

Freeman’s first international 400m race since her 2000 Sydney Olympic triumph ended in disappointment on Sunday, with a fifth-place finish in 51.70 seconds in Eugene, Oregon. Ana Guevara of Mexico won in a season-best time of 49.34 seconds to beat Freeman’s 1998 meet record of 50.02.

Coach Peter Fortune said freeman endured a hectic few days before the race, due to sponsorship commitments, which affected her preparation.

NBA star Ming files lawsuit

Shanghai: Houston Rockets’ centre Yao Ming has filed a lawsuit against Coca-Cola for unlawfully using his image and is demanding a public apology and one yuan (12 cents) in compensation.

Yao’s management agency said on Monday that “the core of the lawsuit is to protect Yao’s legal rights, while the amount of compensation is less important”.

The indictment was filed in a Shanghai court on Friday.

The spat stems from just released commemorative Coke bottles in China which feature a photo of Yao and other Chinese national stars wearing their national team shirts.

Yao signed a multi-year deal earlier this month to become Pepsico’s image frontman.

Aussies look to spin a web

Sydney: Australian golf promoters are hoping to cash in on the hype over Annika Sorenstam’s ‘battle of the sexes’ by inviting Karrie Webb to play against the men.

Tony Roosenburg, director of the Heineken Classic and Australian PGA tournaments, told reporters at the weekend he would invite Webb to play in both events.

Soccer: Best of Premier League, from 9.00 am on ESPN Tennis: French Open, live from 3.30 pm on TEN Sports General: Sportsline, live from 7.30 pm on STAR Sports Basketball: NBA Western Conference finals, Game V, live from 6.30 am (Wednesday) on ESPN

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