Sports World: Australia thrilled to play in Copa America

Australia thrilled to play in Copa America

SYDNEY • An "ecstatic" Football Federation Australia yesterday said playing in next year's Copa America for the first time would be a boost on and off the pitch, after accepting an invitation to join the showpiece South American event.

Alejandro Dominguez, the president of South American football's governing body Conmebol, confirmed the Socceroos' involvement, with Asian champions and 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar invited again.

While Conmebol has 10 members, the Copa America usually features 12 teams, meaning there are often a pair of invitees, with Japan and Qatar taking part in the tournament in Brazil this year.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Shin shares lead at halted Meijer Classic

LOS ANGELES • South Korea's Jenny Shin fired a six-under 66 on Thursday to share the first-round clubhouse lead at the rain-delayed LPGA Tour Meijer Classic, which was suspended because of darkness.

The Blythefield Country Club tournament started seven hours late due to a rainstorm, before being halted with a number of players still waiting to tee off in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

American Katherine Perry also shot a 66, while Colombian Mariajo Uribe was in third place after carding a 67.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

'Japanese Messi' Kubo signs 5-year Real deal

MADRID • Japanese striker Takefusa Kubo joined Real Madrid yesterday, with the Spanish LaLiga club hailing the 18-year-old as "one of the most promising youngsters in world football".

Details of the reported five-year deal were not disclosed but Spanish daily Marca said FC Tokyo received a €2 million (S$3 million) transfer fee for the "Japanese Messi".

Kubo, who made his Samurai Blue debut against El Salvador earlier this month, is currently in Brazil for the Copa America, with Japan playing against Chile on Monday, and has been earmarked for a role with Real's B team next season.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 15, 2019, with the headline 'Sports World'. Print Edition | Subscribe