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Sevilla to meet Benfica

MAY 1 DIGEST

Valencia: Sevilla snatched a place in the Europa League final when a 94th-minute Stephane Mbia header put them through, on away goals, after their semi-final against Valencia ended 3-3 on aggregate. They have set up a final showdown with Benfica on May 14 after the Portuguese club eliminated Italian side Juventus 2-1 on aggregate following a 0-0 draw in Turin.

Initiative

New York: The US will stage a centenary Copa America in 2016 hoping it will lead to more competition between the two Americas, South American ruling body for football Conmebol said on Thursday. Conmebol and their northern counterpart Concacaf, which covers North and Central America and the Caribbean, made the official announcement of the tournament at a Miami news conference.

Faria ban

London: Chelsea assistant coach Rui Faria has been handed a six-match stadium ban and a $50,700 fine after admitting misconduct charges, the FA said in a statement. Faria was sent to the stands during Chelsea’s 1-2 defeat by Sunderland on April 19. Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was also charged with misconduct during the same match, but requested a personal hearing.

Surprise visit

London: Sergio Aguero gave one Manchester City fan the shock of a lifetime when he turned up unannounced at his home and offered him the chance to work for the Premier League club.

Lee John Kenny, 24, from Stretford in Manchester, won a competition to shape the club’s new global membership scheme. Aguero arrived at Kenny’s address, and handed him a staff pass for his new job at the Etihad Stadium.

Manavjit third

New Delhi: Veteran trap shooter Manavjit Singh Sandhu jumped to third spot in the world rankings, courtesy his gold winning performance at the ISSF World Cup, last month. Manavjit was earlier ranked 16th in the category.

Baku to host

London: Azerbaijan will host a Formula One Grand Prix for the first time next season in its capital Baku, the country’s Youth and Sports Ministry said. “Formula One will be held in Baku in autumn 2015,” ministry spokesperson Samaya Mammadova said.

Bowden back

Dubai: Billy Bowden returns to the ICC list of Elite Panel of umpires for the 2014-15 season, following the annual review and selection process. In the only change in the panel from last year, Bowden replaced Tony Hill. Hill had stepped down from the elite panel earlier this year to take up the role as NZC umpire coach.

Gurney in

London: England’s new director of cricket, Peter Moores, named uncapped fast bowler Harry Gurney in the squad for this month’s ODI against Scotland. Test captain Alastair Cook will lead the side and batsman Joe Root returns for the match in Aberdeen on May 9, after missing the Twenty20 World Cup due to a thumb injury.

The squad: Alastair Cook (captain), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Gary Balance, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Jos Buttler, Harry Gurney, Chris Jordan, Eoin Morgan, Joe Root, James Tredwell, Chris Woakes

Bundle of joy

Calcutta: KKR captain Gautam Gambhir became the father of a baby girl as wife Natasha gave birth to their first child. “Congratulations skipper Gautam Gambhir and Natasha Gambhir for becoming parents to a beautiful baby girl. Welcome to the family,” KKR tweeted.

Appointment

Sydney: John Inverarity has stepped down as chairman of selectors of Australia and was replaced by Rod Marsh. Meanwhile, Mark Waugh has replaced Andy Bichel on the four-man panel.

Moin summoned

Karachi: PCB chairman Najam Sethi summoned chief selector Moin Khan to Lahore for a meeting following the outbreak of a controversy over the captaincy issue. Just hours after Moin told a press conference on Tuesday that a change in captaincy had been discussed for the ODI side, Sethi issued a rejoinder making it clear only he had the power to appoint the captain. He added Misbah-ul Haq would remain skipper until the World Cup 2015.

Sportsdesk & Agencies