No proof so end my ban, Platini tells Fifa
PARIS • Former Uefa president Michel Platini said yesterday Fifa must now lift his ban over a 2 million Swiss francs (S$2.71 million) payment after Swiss prosecutors said that they had found no evidence so far to bring charges against him.
The Frenchman was banned from all football activities in 2015, later reduced on appeal to four years, by Fifa following the payment he received from football's world governing body in 2011 for work he did a decade earlier, with no contract to show for the deal.
However, the Swiss public prosecutor's office said yesterday the investigation "is not completely over". Platini, 62, could still be required to appear before a judge if new evidence is found in the case, a spokesman for the prosecutor's office said.
Hughes inks 3-year contract with Saints
LONDON • Southampton manager Mark Hughes has signed a new three-year contract after keeping them in the English Premier League last season, the south-coast football club said on Friday.
The 54-year-old Welshman arrived at his former team in March on a short-term deal until the end of the campaign and was handed the task of rescuing them from the threat of relegation. The Saints picked up two wins and a draw from their final four matches to secure top-flight safety with a 17th-place finish.
Hataoka, 19, leads at Volvik halfway mark
LOS ANGELES • Japanese teenage golfer Nasa Hataoka pressed her quest for a first LPGA tour title on Friday, firing a four-under 68 to take a one-shot lead midway through the Volvik Championship in Michigan.
The 19-year-old, whose back-to-back top-10 finishes in her last two starts include a playoff-loss at the Kingsmill Championship last week, built a 36-hole total of nine-under 135 for a one-shot lead over Australia's Minjee Lee (69).
ICC probes claims of pitch-tampering
COLOMBO • The International Cricket Council said yesterday it was investigating allegations that a Sri Lankan groundsman had agreed to tamper with the pitch to alter the result of an upcoming Test match against England.
The ICC said it took the claims reported in an Al Jazeera documentary, that two Sri Lankans and a former Indian player were caught discussing how to rig the opening Test in November, "very seriously" and urged "all evidence and supporting material" to be shared with the investigators.