Sports world

UAE to host 2019 Asian Cup

KUALA LUMPUR - The United Arab Emirates were confirmed as hosts for the expanded Asian Cup in 2019 after signing an official agreement with the Asian Football Confederation.

The UAE previously held the event in 1996 but they will be the first to host 24 teams, up from the 16 who competed in Australia in January.

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$142m to sign Napoli's Higuain

MILAN - Napoli have warned potential suitors off striker Gonzalo Higuain by claiming the Argentinian has a buyout clause of €95 million (S$142 million).

The striker is rumoured to be on his way out of the Italian club following their failure to qualify for next season's Champions League and has been linked with a move to Serie A rivals AC Milan.

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Maradona's dad, 87, dies

BUENOS AIRES - The father of Argentina great Diego Maradona died on Thursday at the age of 87 after a battle against heart and respiratory problems.

Don Diego stood by 1986 World Cup winner Maradona throughout a turbulent career during which the player dazzled on the football field but also succumbed to drug and alcohol abuse.

REUTERS

McCullum stays with Black Caps

WELLINGTON - New Zealand cricket captain Brendon McCullum has signed a one-year contract extension with the national team, ending speculation about his international future.

The 33-year-old, who led his side to a maiden World Cup final in March, has committed to the Black Caps until the World Twenty20 in March next year.

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Socceroo ace Kennedy retires

SYDNEY - Towering Australia striker Josh Kennedy, 32, has retired from football, citing the physical demands of his 15-year playing career.

The 1.94m-tall target man scored 17 times in 33 international appearances for Australia.

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Dempsey gets lengthy ban

NEW YORK - Seattle Sounders striker Clint Dempsey has been banned from the US Open Cup for at least two years after he was sent off for ripping up a referee's notebook.

The American has already been suspended for three games by Major League Soccer (MLS) after the incident in which he was given a red card.

REUTERS

Istomin on track at Nottingham

LONDON - Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin, the tennis world No. 92, entered the final of the Wimbledon warm-up event in Nottingham after Marcos Baghdatis retired injured when leading 2-1 in the first set in yesterday's semi-final.

Istomin will play US' Sam Querrey, who beat Ukraine's Alexander Dolgopolov 4-6, 6-3, 7-5.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 27, 2015, with the headline 'SPORTS WORLD'. Print Edition | Subscribe