Sarri stricken with pneumonia
MILAN • New Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri is likely to miss the opening game of the Italian Serie A this weekend after being diagnosed with pneumonia, the Italian football champions said on Monday.
Sarri, a chain-smoking 60-year-old, reportedly began suffering from flu symptoms last week and rested during the weekend.
Juve, who open the domestic season on Saturday at Parma, appointed the former Chelsea manager in mid-June after the dismissal of Massimiliano Allegri.
Ten bids to stage Women's World Cup
PARIS • Belgium has become the 10th country to express an interest in hosting an expanded Women's World Cup in 2023, Fifa revealed on Monday.
World football's governing body announced late last month that, following the success of this year's 24-team tournament in France, the next World Cup in 2023 would be expanded to feature 32 teams.
Nine countries - Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Japan, South Korea, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil and Colombia - had already declared an interest in hosting the next edition. They each have until Sept 2 to confirm their participation and must then submit their bids by Dec 13. The winning bid will be announced in May next year.
Williams to open 2020 season in Auckland
AUCKLAND • Former world No. 1 Serena Williams will begin her 2020 season with a return to the Auckland Open in January, her first appearance at the tournament since she was ousted in the second round in 2017.
The Auckland Open serves as a warm-up before the year's first tennis Grand Slam, the Australian Open, which begins on Jan 20 next year. On her last Auckland appearance, then top seed Williams hit 88 unforced errors in windy conditions, losing to compatriot Madison Brengle, who was ranked 70 rungs lower.
Concussed Smith out of 3rd Ashes Test
LONDON • Australia's star batsman Steve Smith has been ruled out of the third cricket Ashes Test beginning tomorrow after suffering concussion, Cricket Australia announced yesterday.
The 30-year-old - who has scored two centuries and 92 runs in his three innings in the first two Tests - was felled by a Jofra Archer bouncer on Saturday in the first innings of the second Test at Lord's. Smith's absence will be a huge blow to Australia, who hold a 1-0 lead in the five-Test series and victory at Headingley would ensure they retain the Ashes.