Sports World: Indonesia launches new football league

Indonesia launches new football league

JAKARTA • Indonesia yesterday unveiled a new top-flight football league after two years without one, seeking to draw a line under a crisis that engulfed the game in South-east Asia's biggest nation.

Liga 1 kicks off on Saturday and replaces the Indonesian Super League, which was halted in 2015 due to a row between the country's sports ministry and football association over who should compete in it.


Usmanov takes aim at Arsenal's board

LONDON • Arsenal's second-biggest shareholder, Alisher Usmanov, said the Gunners' embattled manager should help pick his eventual successor, and the board and main investor are also responsible for a recent lack of success.

Arsene Wenger, who has led Arsenal since 1996, has faced increasingly vocal calls to quit from fans this season, with the team failing to challenge for the Premier League title. Arsenal last won it in 2004.


NZ PM wades into row over Williams action

WELLINGTON • Sonny Bill Williams' decision to cover up sponsor Bank of New Zealand's logo on his Auckland Blues shirt in a Super Rugby match on Saturday was questioned by New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English yesterday.

The All Blacks centre said on Twitter that he would "clarify" his decision later this week.


Police investigating Barkley bar fracas

LONDON • British police said yesterday that they were looking into CCTV footage appearing to show Everton midfielder Ross Barkley being punched in the face in a Liverpool bar.

It comes after Everton manager Ronald Koeman warned the England international midfielder on Sunday that he will be sold, if he refuses to sign a new contract at the club.


Alli heads list of top young footballers

LONDON • English football's new poster boy, Dele Alli, turns 21 today, with new figures suggesting he is the most productive young player in Europe.

This season, the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder has scored 16 goals and provided five assists, according to Opta, which puts him ahead of RB Leipzig's Timo Werner (15, 4, 19), Monaco's Kylian Mbappe (12, 5, 17) and Borussia Dortmund's Ousmane Dembele (6, 9, 15).

The much-lauded Julian Brandt of Bayer Leverkusen (3, 6, 9) and Borussia Dortmund's Christian Pulisic (3, 5, 8) are well down the table.


N. Korea's Han makes history in Serie A

SEOUL • Han Kwang Song became the first North Korean footballer to score in Italy's Serie A when the 18-year-old netted for Cagliari on Sunday.

Han, who caught the eye at the 2015 Under-17 World Cup in Chile where North Korea made it to the last 16, came on as a substitute with 10 minutes left, and scored in the fifth minute of added time as his side lost 3-2 at home to Torino.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 11, 2017, with the headline 'Sports World'. Print Edition | Subscribe