Iniesta agrees first 'lifetime' contract at Barca

BARCELONA - Barcelona tied down captain Andres Iniesta for the rest of his career as the club announced on Friday the 33-year-old midfielder has agreed the first "lifetime contract" in Barca's history. "It is a way of rewarding an exceptional player," said Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu. Iniesta insisted, though, that he has not planned any future role with the club beyond his playing career. "The lifetime title doesn't mean that I will remain here just for the sake of it. It isn't my way of doing things," said Iniesta. "When I don't have the same force or importance I have always had things can always change. Today I am hugely grateful for the confidence the club has shown in me." Along with five-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi, Iniesta is Barca's most decorated player.–AFP


Heynckes to coach Bayern Munich

BERLIN - Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich Friday said veteran German coach Jupp Heynckes will take over as manager until the end of the season. Heynckes, 72, will come out of retirement to take charge of the squad from Monday, the fourth time he has coached Bayern. "There is a strong relationship of trust between Jupp Heynckes and FC Bayern," said club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. "He is at the moment the ideal coach for Bayern." Heynckes will be assisted by the current co-trainer of Fortuna Duesseldorf, Peter Hermann and the current sports director of Bayern's youth team, Hermann Gerland. It was along with Hermann and Gerland that Heynckes led Bayern to win the 2013 treble, the first -- and only time -- a German club won the Bundesliga, Champions League and German Cup titles in a season.–AFP



FA chief plays down England chances

LONDON - Football Association chief Martin Glenn was cautious about England's chances at next year's World Cup on Friday after the team qualified for Russia 2018 with a lacklustre performance against Slovenia. Thursday's 1-0 win at an under-capacity Wembley, thanks to a last-gasp Harry Kane goal, sealed their place in the finals as group winners but the laboured manner of the victory drew widespread criticism. Glenn admitted the performance lacked fluidity but pleaded for realism in Russia, saying the team was still young. "To me, success is to see the team continue to develop," he told BBC Radio. "Some of the bright young stars will get a fantastic experience upon which they can build for future tournaments. I think you've got to be realistic looking at our historical performance," he added.–AFP


Islamabad hold SNGPL in Quiad Trophy

ISLAMABAD – Islamabad collected three points against SNGPL in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2017-18 round two Pool A, as the match ended in a draw here at the Diamond Ground on Friday. Chasing 339 runs for victory, SNGPL could score 180 runs for the loss of six wickets in 58 overs. M Rizwan scored unbeaten 109, hitting 15 boundaries and one six. Hamza Nadeem and Ali Imran Pasha captured two wickets each conceding 32 and 49 runs respectively. Earlier, Islamabad resumed their second innings at the overnight score of 208 for the loss of four wickets and went on to declare their second innings at 296-9. Faizan Riaz hammered unbeaten 114 runs with the help 10 fours, while Sarmad Bhatti contributed significant 43. Iftikhar Ahmed took 2 for 19 and Bilawal Bhatti 2 for 75.–Staff Reporter


Pak team to feature in Asian netball event

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Netball Federation (PNF) has received an invitation for participation in the 2nd Asian Men’s Netball Championship 2017 to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from December 13 to 17. Pakistan Sports Board director media Azam Dar said Pakistan netball team, comprising 14 players and 4 officials, would participate in the said event. “The PNF has approached the PSB for arranging NOC.” He said 10 teams from Asia (Singapore, Hong Kong, India, Brunei, Malaysia, Japan, Korea, Sri Lanka, Chinese Taipei and Pakistan) would participate in the event. “To prepare well for the event, the camp of 22 players would be established at PSB coaching centre in Karachi from October 16. The PSB will also provide financial support to the PNF to meet the participation expenses.”–Staff Reporter