James unsure over future owing to playing time
MADRID • Real Madrid footballer James Rodriguez has plunged his future into doubt by claiming he will decide in the next week whether to remain with the European champions in the January transfer window.
The Colombian, 25, joined Real for a reported €80 million (S$121 million) from Monaco after starring as the top scorer at the 2014 World Cup. However, after a fine debut campaign, he has been marginalised in the past two seasons.
"I want to be here but sometimes things don't work out. I have to think about it all and I can't guarantee if I will stay or not because I want to play more," he said.
Home nations land Fifa fines for poppy tributes
ZURICH • World football governing body Fifa fined England 45,000 Swiss francs (S$63,450) yesterday for wearing a poppy tribute to the British war dead during their Nov 11 World Cup qualifier against Scotland.
Fifa rules ban "political" symbols on shirts during official games.
Scotland were fined 20,000 Swiss francs, while Wales and Northern Ireland were given 20,000 and 15,000 Swiss franc fines respectively for making their own tributes.
Hong Kong's Fu makes great comeback over Scot
GLASGOW • Hong Kong snooker player Marco Fu came back from 1-4 down to beat Scotland's John Higgins 9-4 in the final of the Scottish Open on Sunday. It was his first ranking title in three years.
Higgins started the match with three consecutive centuries, but was then outplayed by Fu, who won eight frames in a row to land the third world ranking title of his career and first since the 2013 Australian Open. Fu will also jump from 14th in the world to eighth in the rankings.
Australia just about prolong 28-year run
BRISBANE • Australia's cricketers prevented a world-record, 490-run chase by Pakistan yesterday to win a gripping first Test by just 39 runs and preserve their 28-year unbeaten streak at Brisbane's Gabba ground.
Relieved skipper Steve Smith ran out Yasir Shah for 33 to take the last wicket and end Pakistan's brave attempt to reel in the mammoth target on the last day of the day-night Test.
Koenigssee ousts Sochi as bobsleigh c'ships host
BERLIN • Germany's Koenigssee will host the 2017 world championships after they were taken away from Russia's Sochi following the country's doping scandal, the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) said yesterday.
Germany was picked due to its location, suitable for all the athletes who will be racing in Europe at the time, organisers' experience and track availability at such short notice.