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2014 finals in Brazil: Blatter

Asuncion: Fifa chief Sepp Blatter virtually handed the 2014 World Cup finals to Brazil on Saturday. “I know you have practically taken a decision as to where (the finals) are going, possibly the country that will celebrate its centenary in 2014,” Blatter told a South American football confederation (CSF) congress.

“So if that’s the case, it will be Brazil,” he said at the CSF’s headquarters in the Paraguayan capital. “According to the statistics, it’s the only country of the ten (CSF members) whose federation will be 100 years old in 2014.”

Fifa is rotating the World Cup finals around the continents, with Asia having held them in Japan and South Korea in 2002, Germany staging them in 2006, several African nations bidding for the 2010 tournament and South America getting them in 2014.

The last time the finals were held in the Americas was in the US in 1994 when Brazil won the fourth of their five titles.

Lifter stripped of gold

Beijing: Chinese weightlifter Shang Shichun has been stripped of three gold medals she won last November at the world championships in Vancouver after failing a urine drug test — a decision she is appealing — state media reported on Sunday.

Shang, who broke three world records in the women’s 75-kg division at the world meet in November, was among 11 athletes world-wide whose results have been disqualified, the Xinhua news agency and Beijing Morning Post reported. The reports didn’t specify what drug was found in her tests.

Chinese weightlifting officials were conducting their own investigation. Shang says the tests weren’t carried out properly, adding she noticed at the time that the bags that held the sampling instruments weren’t sealed, Xinhua reported.

Njenga wins in Tokyo

Tokyo: Japan-based Kenyan Daniel Njenga overhauled Japan’s Satoshi Osaki in the final kilometre to snatch victory in the Tokyo International Marathon on Sunday.

Njenga accelerated away to win in 2::08:43 seconds, staking his claim for a spot at this year’s Athens Olympics.

Osaki, who had led since the 30-km mark, finished just three seconds behind Njenga.

Another Kenyan, Benedict Kimondiu took third in 2::09:27, while Wainaina, a double Olympic medallist and winner in Tokyo in 2002, finished eighth in 2::11:03.

Services archers rule

Jamshedpur: Archers of Services Sports Control Board (SSCB) dominated the team distance as well as overall individual events in the senior men’s Fita round of the 24th senior national archery championship at JRD Tata sports complex here.

SSCB’s Tarundeep Rai with golds in 90 m (313 points), and 30 m (352 points) created a new record in the individual overall, securing 1320 points (previous best 1312 of 1992). Tarundeep also broke the 351 record in 30m, set in Shillong in 1999, with a 352.

SSCB made a new record in the team ranking on 3911 points, bettering the previous best of 3824.

Asprilla’s dream

Buenos Aires: Faustino Asprilla is close to fulfilling a dream of playing league soccer in Argentina, the much-travelled Colombian striker has revealed.

Asprilla told an Argentine radio station he was close to joining Estudiantes de La Plata.

Everton fans’ claims

London: Everton will investigate claims by club supporters that some Manchester United players engaged in “improper conduct” following Ruud van Nistelrooy’s last-gasp winner for United in a Premier League match on Saturday.

Everton fans lodged formal complaints with stewards after United players had made their way to the touchline to celebrate van Nistelrooy’s header a minute from time, Everton said on their website.

An Everton spokesman confirmed that several fans also made statements to the police claiming that United players had used abusive words and gestures at the end of the match.

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