Diouf Africa’s best again
Johannesburg: Senegal striker El Hadji Diouf won his second straight African Footballer of the Year award Tuesday.
The 22-year-old Diouf, who plays for Liverpool in the Premier League, beat countryman Pape Bouba Diop and Egypt striker Ahmed ‘Mido’ Hossam. Diop plays for Lens in France while Mido recently moved from Dutch club Ajax to Celta de Vigo in Spain.
Three-time winner George Weah of Liberia was the last player to win back-to-back Player of the Year awards. The former AC Milan great won in 1994 and ’95, and also in ’89. Abedi Pele of Ghana is only player to win it three straight times, taking the honour from 1991-93. Former Senegal coach Bruno Metsu won the Coach of the Year honours, Senegal’s Tony Sylva the goalkeeper award while Mido won the Young Player of the Year honour.
Akram in for Warne at Hants
London: Pakistan allrounder Wasim Akram has signed a one-year deal to play for Hampshire, the English county side said on Wednesday.
Akram replaces banned Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne as the county’s second overseas player for the 2003 season. Australian batsman Simon Katich is also at the club. Warne had signed a two-year contract with Hampshire but was suspended in February for 12 months after testing positive for banned diuretics.
Akram, who enjoyed a successful county career with Lancashire from 1988 to 1998, said he was looking forward to a fresh challenge.
“I was impressed by the enthusiasm and ideas shown by Hampshire and am delighted to join such a progressive county,” Wasim said in a statement on Hampshire’s website. “For me it is a fresh challenge and a new chapter in my career. The aim is for Hampshire to gain promotion in both competitions this year and I hope to be able to play a part in that ambition.”
Colombian ban on lifting shirts
Bogota: The Colombian soccer league has banned players from lifting their jerseys to celebrate scoring goals.
Many players lift their shirts after scoring to expose undershirts with messages to their mothers, their girlfriends and god.
But sponsors complained that the players were obscuring the ads on their jerseys at the most important moment — when television cameras are most focused on the players.
“The measure was indispensable,” said Luis Bedoya, president of Dimayor, the professional Colombian league. “There were lots of complaints by the sponsors.” Dimayor said it will fine players the equivalent of $ 572 for violating the ban.
London: France captain Marcel Desailly says he would like to coach in Ghana after he retires from playing. The Chelsea centre back, who has been capped 103 times by France, was born in the Ghanaian capital Accra.
“I have many projects in TV, in radio and other things, but my project at the beginning will be the national team coach of Ghana,” the 34-year-old told Chelsea TV. “I would like to give back all the experience that I have. I am sitting the diploma to become a manager but I will rest a bit for a few years when I finish because soccer takes a lot out of you.”
Fed Cup ties shifted
London: The Fed Cup Europe/Africa regional qualifying ties in groups I and II have been shifted from Antalya, Turkey to Estoril in Portugal due to security concerns, the ITF said on Tuesday.
The ties will still take place on the scheduled dates of weeks commencing April 21 and 28.
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