Kyrgios in for Australia Davis Cup semi

SYDNEY - World number 17 Nick Kyrgios was Wednesday named in Australia's team to face Belgium in their Davis Cup semi-final, despite crashing out of the US Open with a right shoulder injury. The combustible 22-year-old's availability was under a cloud after his first round exit at Flushing Meadow, but captain Lleyton Hewitt included him along with Thanasi Kokkinakis, Jordan Thompson and John Peers. The tie, in Brussels from September 15 to 17, will be played on indoor clay. "We've been working towards this moment all year, and the whole team has made Davis Cup a priority in their schedules," said Hewitt. "They've all had it at the back of their minds and we are so close now." Kokkinakis returns to Davis Cup duty after a frustrating 18 months out of the game due to injury.–AFP

 

Barca president a 'joke': Neymar

BARCELONA - Neymar labelled Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu a "joke" as the war of words between Barcelona's beleaguered board and the Brazilian star continued on Tuesday. In interviews with Catalan newspapers, Bartomeu claimed Barca would be better off without Neymar this season following his world record 222m euro move to PSG. With Bartomeu's handling of Barca's haphazard transfer policy being heavily criticised, he described the loss of Neymar as an "opportunity" for Barca to rebuild their midfield rather than pile resources into a superstar front three of Neymar, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. Bartomeu also criticised Neymar and his father and agent Neymar Sr's exit strategy. "This president is a joke," Neymar replied in a comment about the news on social media site Instagram.–AFP

 

Di Maria thigh injury raises PSG fears

PARIS - Paris Saint-Germain winger Angel Di Maria could be sidelined for several weeks after injuring his left thigh during Argentina's 2018 World Cup qualifier against Venezuela on Tuesday. Di Maria was replaced in the 25th minute of the 1-1 draw in Buenos Aires with a muscle injury, according to the Argentine national team's medical staff. Sports daily Ole claimed Di Maria had torn a muscle in his left thigh which could rule the 29-year-old out for at least three weeks. Di Maria, who joined PSG from Manchester United in August 2015, has seen his future in Paris clouded by the arrival of French teen sensation Kylian Mbappe from defending champions Monaco. He was offered to Barcelona shortly before the transfer window closed last week, but no deal was done.–AFP

 

Injured Murray likely to miss rest of season

LONDON -Britain's Andy Murray said on Wednesday he is unlikely to play again this season due to a nagging hip injury that forced him to pull out of the US Open. Murray, recently nudged off the top of the world rankings by Spain's Rafael Nadal, has been struggling with the injury since a five-set French Open semi-final loss to Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka in June. The 30-year-old Scot played at Wimbledon in July but lost in the quarter-finals to American Sam Querrey. "Unfortunately, I won't be able to compete in the upcoming events in Beijing and Shanghai, and most likely, the final two events to finish the season in Vienna and Paris due to my hip injury which has been bothering me the last few months," the three-time Grand Slam champion said on his Facebook page.

 

‘Rio Olympics bought in corrupt scheme’

RIO DE JANEIRO - Brazilian officials said Tuesday that the country's Olympics chief was the "lynchpin" in a plot to bribe the International Olympic Committee into awarding Rio de Janeiro last year's Games. Brazilian police said in a statement they were probing "an international corruption scheme" aimed at "the buying of votes for the election of (Rio) by the International Olympic Committee as the venue for the 2016 Olympics." Revealing a nine-month investigation spanning several countries and dubbed "Unfair Play," police said Carlos Nuzman had been taken in for questioning and his house searched. Nuzman, who was the pointman for Rio's successful bid to become the first South American host of the Olympics, left his house while police officers exited with bags of evidence.–AFP