Beckenbauer gets heart bypass surgery
BERLIN • German football great Franz Beckenbauer underwent open heart bypass surgery on Saturday in an operation scheduled long before Swiss authorities opened criminal proceedings against him last week, in connection with Germany's successful bid for the 2006 World Cup.
Germany's Bild newspaper reported that he was still at his home in Salzburg, Austria, when authorities carried out a two-hour search, but travelled to a clinic in southern Germany on Friday to prepare for the surgery.
Stroll in line to replace Massa at Williams
MONZA (Italy) • Canadian teenager Lance Stroll has emerged as a front-runner to replace Felipe Massa at the Williams Formula One team next season after the Brazilian announced his retirement last week.
Jacques Villeneuve, the 1997 world champion who was the last Canadian to race for the British-based team, said at Monza that he believed the deal was all but done for the 17-year-old.
Indonesia probes illegal foreign players
JAKARTA • Indonesia has threatened to punish foreign footballers working without proper permits after a watchdog claimed scores of overseas players and coaches had illegally joined local clubs.
Save Our Soccer said in a report that 81 foreign footballers - the big chunk of 29 from Brazil - were currently playing in the country holding only tourists and business visas.
Dhoni is innocent: India Supreme Court
NEW DELHI • India's top court quashed criminal proceedings yesterday against one-day international captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni over a magazine cover depicting him as a Hindu god.
The Supreme Court said a lower court in southern Karnataka state had wrongly summoned Dhoni over the case, one of several brought mainly by Hindu nationalists accusing him of hurting religious sentiments.