Cup ticket fees to be refunded
Berlin: World Cup organisers agreed on Tuesday to refund the five euro ($5.99) fee to fans applying unsuccessfully for returned tickets to next year's finals, following a legal challenge from Germany's consumer association. An extra sales phase for the 2006 World Cup in Germany gave fans the chance to put their names on a waiting list for any returned tickets from national associations, sponsors or partners. Those applying had to pay a five-euro fee, plus the price of one ticket up front. Unsuccessful applicants were due to get only the ticket charge back after the finals, while the service charge was non-refundable.
Atletico fined $7132
Madrid: Atletico Madrid have been fined 6,000 euros ($7,132) by the Spanish football federation (RFEF) after a section of their fans hurled racial abuse at Espanyol goalkeeper Carlos Kameni in a league match last month. Although the abuse was not noted in referee's match report, the RFEF said it acted after a complaint from the government-run Anti-violence Commission.
PM defends Di Canio
Rome: Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi denied suggestions that Paolo Di Canio was a fascist, saying the Lazio striker was simply an exhibitionist. Di Canio was banned for a game on Monday and fined 10,000 euros ($12,000) for making a raised-arm, fascist-style salute in a Serie A match at the weekend.
His gesture has been widely condemned, but Berlusconi said the 37-year-old was simply misunderstood. 'Di Canio is an exhibitionist. His salute didn't have any significance,' Berlusconi told reporters.
Two charged with fixing
Hanoi: Two Vietnamese soccer players have been charged with fixing matches at the Southeast Asian Games held in the Philippines last month. Striker Pham Van Quyen and teammate Le Quoc Vuong were taken to a detention centre near Hanoi on Tuesday after being formally charged with 'gambling and organising gambling,' a police-run newspaper said.
Gary Paffett joins McLaren
London: Briton Gary Paffett will be a McLaren test driver next season, the Formula One team announced on Wednesday. Paffett, 24, won the German DTM touring car championship for McLaren's engine partners Mercedes this year.
The Briton will share testing duties with Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa and replaces the team's long-term Austrian reserve Alexander Wurz.
'I'm really excited about this opportunity and the challenges ahead,' said Paffett in a McLaren statement. 'This is the culmination of my continuous relationship with McLaren and Mercedes.'
'In order to achieve our objective of winning races and world championships we have to employ the best drivers available and Gary definitely fits into this category," said chief executive Martin Whitmarsh.
Beijing: Teenage Chinese swimmer Zhou Jie has been temporarily suspended from racing after testing positive for the outlawed drug clenbuterol, state media reported on Wednesday.
Fifteen-year-old Zhou, was provisionally banned on November 25 after a sample taken in a September out-of-competition check in Shanghai came up positive, the international swimming association (FINA) said on its web site.
Cricket, Sri Lanka in India: Third Test, Day V, live from 9.30 am on Zee Sports and DD National
Cricket, Pakistan vs England, 5th ODI, H/Ls from 10.30 am on TEN Sports.