Sports World: Cantona says players omitted for ethnicity

Cantona says players omitted for ethnicity

PARIS • Former Manchester United great Eric Cantona has suggested the North African ethnicity of Karim Benzema and Hatem ben Arfa may have been a factor in the France manager Didier Deschamps leaving the pair out of his squad for next month's European Championship.

Ben Arfa was named on standby despite a brilliant season for Nice, while Benzema was excluded after he was questioned by police in connection with an alleged attempt by one of his friends to blackmail his international team-mate Mathieu Valbuena over a sex tape. THE GUARDIAN


Swiss lab chief backs dope whistleblower

LAUSANNE • Martial Saugy, the head of Lausanne's anti-doping laboratory where Olympic samples are kept, has said Russian doping whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov would have no reason to lie.

Rodchenkov, the former head of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, has gone into hiding in the United States after alleging that Russian secret service and government officials subverted samples at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics to hide failed tests by Russian athletes. AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


China overlooks Liu over her erratic form

BEIJING• • China have closed the Olympic door on women's table tennis world No. 1 Liu Shiwen, saying she is too inconsistent for August's Rio Games.

The 25-year-old paid the price for a shock defeat at the Asian qualifying tournament in April, and the Chinese women's team will now be represented by Olympic title-holder Li Xiaoxia and world champion Ding Ning.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


Goetze may need to bide time on bench

BERLIN • Bayern Munich have suggested Mario Goetze's playing future with the German football champions may remain on the bench, even after the player showed a desire to earn a starting spot after turning down a possible move to Liverpool.

Goetze, who scored the winner in the 2014 World Cup final, has failed to secure a regular place since joining Bayern from Borussia Dortmund in 2013 and had been earmarked as a major summer target for Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp. THE GUARDIAN


Real Madrid, PSG top football rich list

PARIS • Real Madrid and Manchester United are the richest football clubs in Europe, according to a study by Dutch auditor KPMG.

Both clubs have been valued at €2.9 billion (S$4.5 billion), according to KPMG, which looked at 32 major European clubs.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


Cahill likely to extend stay in China

SYDNEY • Australia's veteran top scorer Tim Cahill is set to stay in China next season, with three football clubs chasing the former Everton midfielder, according to his agent.

The 36-year-old signed a short-term deal with Hangzhou Greentown in February, just days after his contract was terminated by rival Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 27, 2016, with the headline 'Sports World'. Print Edition | Subscribe