Butcher appointed as Philippines coach
MANILA • Former England captain Terry Butcher has been named as the new head coach of the Philippines as the Azkals prepare to make their Asian Cup debut early next year.
The former defender, who played in three World Cups, replaces former USA captain Thomas Dooley, whose four-year reign ended on March 18, officials announced late on Thursday.
His first major test will be November's AFF Suzuki Cup, the South-east Asian football championship, before January's Asian Cup.
South Korea's Ryu rediscovers her form
CHICAGO • Sixth-ranked golfer Ryu So Yeon of South Korea fired a bogey-free eight-under 64 to share the early first-round lead with American Kelly Shon at the LPGA Meijer Classic.
Ryu, whose lone top-five showing of the season was a share of fourth at Los Angeles, is seeking her sixth LPGA title and first since winning last June's Northwest Arkansas Championship, which lifted her to world No. 1.
Becker makes plea for diplomatic immunity
LONDON • Three-time Wimbledon tennis champion Boris Becker is claiming diplomatic immunity from ongoing bankruptcy proceedings in the UK on the basis that he is an ambassador for the Central African Republic, British media reported yesterday.
Lawyers for Becker lodged a claim on Thursday in the UK High Court seeking immunity after he was appointed a sports attache for the Central African Republic in April, the Press Association said.
McGregor regretful over Brooklyn melee
NEW YORK • Irish mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor made a brief court appearance on Thursday for his role in a loading dock melee and later expressed "regret" for his actions.
McGregor, 29, has been charged with multiple counts of assault and criminal mischief after attacking a bus filled with UFC fighters at the Barclays Centre in April.
Le Mans debutant Alonso to start on pole
LE MANS • Toyota swept to a one-two in qualifying for the 24 Hours of Le Mans on Thursday with Fernando Alonso's car on pole position for the Spaniard's debut.
Japanese driver Kazuki Nakajima set the fastest lap, a 3min 15.377 effort that was close to the record of 3:14.791 set last year by compatriot Kamui Kobayashi. Nakajima, who shares the hybrid with Alonso and Switzerland's Sebastien Buemi, had already set the provisional pole on Wednesday but improved on that time to beat the sister car by almost two seconds.
Bielsa signs two-year Leeds United contract
LONDON • Leeds United have appointed former Argentina coach Marcelo Bielsa, 62, as their new manager, the English championship football club said yesterday.
Bielsa, who signed a two-year deal at Elland Road with an option for another year, has previously managed clubs in Argentina, Spain and France, besides coaching the Chilean national team.