Sanchez charged with fraud in Spain
BARCELONA • Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez on Monday admitted defrauding Spanish tax authorities of €983,443 (S$1.72 million) while playing for Barcelona.
The 28-year-old's confession could see him receive a fine and a non-custodial prison sentence. In Spain, sentences of less than two years are typically not served.
The Chilean admitted his tax declarations for 2012 and 2013 had not included profits from his image rights.
Hammers reject $35m bid for Payet
LONDON • West Ham United have rejected a second bid from Marseille of around £20 million (S$35 million) for Dimitri Payet, with the co-chairman David Sullivan adamant the wantaway France international should apologise to fans before he is allowed to leave the club.
West Ham are holding out for a figure closer to £30 million for a player whose contract expires in 2021. According to Sky Sports, Payet wants to return to his former club for family reasons.
McIlroy withdraws after rib injury
LONDON • World No. 2 golfer Rory McIlroy has withdrawn from the Abu Dhabi Championship after tests on Monday showed he picked up a rib injury in South Africa last week, the European Tour said.
The Northern Irishman had intense physiotherapy treatment and took pain-killers over the weekend at the South Africa Open, where he lost in a play-off.
Obama welcomes Cubs to White House
WASHINGTON • United States President Barack Obama, a diehard Chicago White Sox fan , on Monday warmly feted the World Series champions Chicago Cubs from his adopted hometown.
He welcomed the members of the Cubs - who in November won their first World Series baseball title since 1908 - to a light-hearted White House ceremony.
"They said this day would never come," he said, as the crowd in the White House chanted "Let's go, Cubbies".