Auxerre face an uncertain future
Paris: Despite their 2-1 win over Paris St Germain in the French Cup final on Saturday to gain a Uefa Cup place, Auxerre face an uncertain future. The club has agreed to let go defender Jean Alain Boumpsong, Senegal international midfielder Khalilou Fadiga and influential striker Olivier Kapo at the end of the season. So far, the trio are still looking to join another side but coach Guy Roux knows he will have a lot of summer homework to revamp a side capable of dealing with a European campaign.
To add salt to the wounds, Roux learned that prolific goal scorer Djibril Cisse was unhappy with Auxerre and would love to move to Liverpool. On the eve of the French Cup final, 21-year-old Cisse confirmed he would leave if allowed. But Roux confirmed he was reluctant to let the French striker go as his current contract runs until 2007.
However, Roux does not seem to be unduly worried. Since he started coaching Auxerre in the 1960s, he has won the reputation of a man able to build a team with little known or untried players.
Ferguson fighting fit
London: Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, who had planned to retire a year ago, says he has never felt so fit and could continue in the job for many more years.
Ferguson changed his mind about retiring and won the Premier League title in the first season of his two-year extension and the success appears to have invigorated the 61-year-old Scot.
“You have no idea how important it was for me to win the title back,” he told The Mail Sunday. “I had announced my retirement at the end of last season and then decided to stay. “It was difficult to reverse my decision to retire. I just feel winning the title justified my desire to stay on.”
Ferguson said that his much-publicised mind-game battles with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger also helped his motivation.
Turkey to renew 2012 bid
Istanbul: Turkey’s largest city Istanbul will renew its perennial attempt to host the Olympics and will announce its bid in the coming weeks for the 2012 Summer Games, the country’s Olympic committee chairman said on Sunday.
The bid, expected to be officially entered later this month, will be the fourth attempt Istanbul has made to land the Olympics after unsuccessful tries for 2000, 2004 and 2008.
“We will certainly enter our bid, but we have time. We will probably announce it later in June,” Sinan Erdem, head of the Turkish National Olympic Committee, said.
A finalist to host the 2008 Games, Istanbul has already spent hundreds of millions of dollars building sporting facilities and boosting infrastructure with the hope of one day hosting the lucrative event.
Candidate cities for the 2012 Games must be nominated by July 15, and a final decision will be made in July 2004.
Shevchenko heads squad
Kiev: AC Milan striker Andriy Shevchenko heads a 27-man strong Ukraine squad named on Saturday for next month’s Euro 2004 Group Six qualifiers against Armenia and Greece.
Ukraine coach Leonid Buryak also called up one newcomer, Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Adrian Pukanych, for the games at home against Armenia on June 7 and away to Greece four days later.
Club Bruges midfielder Serhiy Serebrennikov will miss both games with a knee injury, while Shakhtar’s Anatoly Tymoshchyuk is suspended for the Armenia match.
Sport on Screen
Golf: PGA Tour, The Memorial Tournament from 12 noon on STAR Sports ,Soccer: Spanish League from 6 pm on ESPN n Formula One: 2003 world championship from 4.45 pm on STAR Sports, Cricket, Australia tour of West Indies from 8.30 pm on ESPN