Rodriguez eyes fresh start at Real Madrid
MADRID • Colombian playmaker James Rodriguez has backtracked on comments that raised speculation about his future at Real Madrid, by stating his desire to stay at the European champions.
The playmaker has made just four league starts this campaign and said last month that he would consider his options if he does not get more playing time.
However, after scoring twice against in Real's 3-0 King's Cup last-16 first-leg win over Sevilla, Rodriguez insists the new year is a fresh start for him with Real.
Thailand FA fined for fans' lighting of flares
BANGKOK • Thailand's football authority has been fined US$30,000 (S$43,000) after fans lit dozens of flares in the stands to celebrate last month's Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup triumph over Indonesia.
The scenes, which saw thick plumes of pink smoke blanket crowds at Bangkok's Rajamangala Stadium, marred the Thais' Dec 17 win.
In a statement on Thursday, the Football Association of Thailand said it had agreed with regional body the Asian Football Confederation to pay the penalty.
Two-time decathlon gold medallist retires
TORONTO • Two-time Olympic decathlon gold medallist Ashton Eaton announced his retirement on Wednesday, saying on his Twitter account that he had given everything he could to the sport.
The 28-year-old American, who holds the world record in both the decathlon and indoor heptathlon events, and retained his Olympic crown at the Rio Games last August.
Tuilagi out of Six Nations after knee ligament woe
LONDON • Injury-prone England centre Manu Tuilagi will miss the Six Nations tournament as well as the rest of the rugby union season because of a knee ligament problem, his Premiership club Leicester Tigers announced on Wednesday. The 25-year-old has already been on the sidelines for two months with a groin injury.