Blatter finds 'new facts' to fight him

PARIS - Sepp Blatter indicated Thursday that he plans to take on FIFA, the global football body he used to run but which has now banned him. "As new facts have appeared it's time to question the decision of the Fifa Ethics-Committee - my suspension of 6 years!" Blatter tweeted, adding hashtags for FIFA, for the Court of Arbitration in Sport, for the World Cup and for his successor as FIFA president, Gianni Infantino.  Blatter also sent out a press release saying: "My aim is to look into the decision of FIFA's Ethic-Committee in view of informations, and even evidences that I have received, in the meantime, in connection with my suspension." "We are working on this case - and looking forward for development," he said in his statement, which added: "For the time being there is no legal action." –AFP

Conte eager to return to Italy

ROME - Chelesa manager Antonio Conte is eager to return to Italy and could fill the vacant position as national coach, newly-appointed Italian FA commissioner Roberto Fabbricini said Thursday. Conte left the job for Chelsea after Euro 2016, but replacement Gian Piero Ventura was sacked after Italy lost to Sweden in the World Cup play-off last November. And speculation over 48-year-old Conte's future has grown after Chelsea were beaten 3-0 by Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday. Fabbricini said former Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini, currently in charge of Zenit St Petersburg, Carlo Ancelotti, who is available after being sacked by Bayern Munich, and Nantes coach Claudio Ranieri, who led Leicester City to the Premier League title in 2016, were also candidates. –AFP

United fighting to be second best: Mourinho

MANCHESTER - Jose Mourinho effectively conceded the Premier League title to Manchester City Friday, admitting that Manchester United are competing to be "first of the last" in table. United lost in midweek at Tottenham, allowing their local rivals to open up a commanding 15-point lead, with just 13 games remaining. But Mourinho insisted there is still plenty for his team to play for in the league this season, with second place and qualification for the Champions League his primary focus. "It makes me feel that they are doing so, so well that they are not letting the others come close to that, as simple as that," said Mourinho when asked how City's dominance made him feel. "At the moment, the fight is open for second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth but it is practically closed for the first." –AFP

SBP rewards Quaid Games' medal winners

LAHORE – The Sports Board Punjab (SBP) has showered cash prizes on the medal winners of the 2nd Quaid-e-Azam Inter-Provincial Games during a grand prize distribution ceremony here at the National Hockey Stadium. Overall, the SBP awarded Rs 3.34 million to all the participating members of Punjab contingent. Punjab Minister for Sports Jahangir Khanzada and Secretary Sports Punjab M Aamir Jan awarded cash prizes to the prominent athletes. The prize distribution ceremony was also attended by MPA Farzana Butt, former PHF chief Akhtar Rasool, Director Sports Anees Sheikh, Deputy Directors Tariq Wattoo, Hafeez Bhatti and sports officials and athletes. It’s worth mentioning here that Punjab contingent topped the medals table of the Quaid-e-Azam Inter-Provincial Games with a massive aggregate of 151 medals that include 74 gold, 46 silver and 31 bronze. Punjab’s female athletics team was given the biggest cash prize among all as they got Rs 410,000 whereas their male counterparts were handed Rs 260,000. Khanzada also gave cheques of Rs 50,000 each to female members of Pakistani powerlifting team Saniha Ghafoor, Twinkle Sohail and Sybil Sohail, who won four gold each in the Oceania Pacific Powerlifting Championship in Singapore recently.–Staff Reporter