Sports World: Mutko quits as Russian football boss

Mutko quits as Russian football boss

MOSCOW • Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, who has been banned for life from the Olympic Games over doping, yesterday stepped down as the head of the country's football federation.

The move was widely expected after he announced last year that he would temporarily step back from the Russian Football Union to concentrate on his role in government.

Mr Mutko also left his position as chairman of Russia's 2018 World Cup organising committee last December, in the wake of his Olympic ban.

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Al Ain through to Club World Cup final

ABU DHABI • Al Ain stunned Copa Libertadores winners River Plate 5-4 on penalties on Tuesday, after a 2-2 draw, to clinch a place in the Club World Cup football final.

Sweden striker Marcus Berg opened the scoring for the United Arab Emirates champions, but Colombian forward Rafael Santos Borre struck twice to put the Argentinian side 2-1 ahead.

Brazilian winger Caio then levelled for Al Ain, and they converted all five of their penalties before Argentina midfielder Enzo Perez's effort was saved to book a place in Saturday's final.

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Nasukawa aims to defeat Mayweather

TOKYO • Japanese kickboxer Tenshin "Ninja Boy" Nasukawa has vowed to "kick Floyd Mayweather's a**" after accusing the undefeated boxer of "not taking their bout seriously".

The exhibition fight, which will be held on New Year's Eve in Japan, has been billed as an orthodox boxing match without kicking.

But the 20-year-old southpaw still plans "to make surprising moves" and told reporters he aims to "fully use the kickboxing skills I have".

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Murray, Jokic lead Denver over Dallas

DENVER • Jamal Murray had 22 points, including a late three-pointer, and also added a career-high 15 assists, as the Denver Nuggets beat the Dallas Mavericks 126-118 in the National Basketball Association on Tuesday.

Nikola Jokic led all scorers with 32 points to help Denver sweep a four-game homestand and stay atop the Western Conference standings.

The hosts have won 11 of their last 13 games, and their 21-9 record ties the best start in franchise history.

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Kohli blasted after India's loss in 2nd Test

PERTH • India's cricket captain Virat Kohli faced stiff criticism both Down Under and at home yesterday after his side's crushing loss to Australia in the second Test.

Former Australian paceman Mitchell Johnson called Kohli "disrespectful" and "silly" over his heated exchanges with Australia skipper Tim Paine during the Perth Test.

Former India great Sunil Gavaskar, meanwhile, also hit out at his "selection blunders" while the Indian Express blasted Kohli's "explicit lack of confidence" in some of his players, citing the non-selection of Ravindra Jadeja.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 20, 2018, with the headline 'Sports World'. Print Edition | Subscribe