No Italy coach before June: Tavecchio

MILAN - Outgoing Italian football federation (FIGC) president Carlo Tavecchio said Wednesday he did not expect a new coach to be appointed before next June. Italy have been without a coach since Giampiero Ventura was sacked after they failed to qualify for the World Cup finals last November. Tavecchio was forced to resign as FIGC chief but will remain in charge until his successor is elected later this month. "I'm in charge until January 29, and I don't think that by that date there will be the new national team coach," he said on the sidelines of the presentation of the new 2017-2018 Panini Collection in Milan. "I won't be the one that chooses the new coach. I can also tell you that the best coaches are under contract until June. It's difficult for the new coach to be appointed before then."–AFP

 Naveed, Khurram new RISJA chief, secy

ISLAMABAD – Naveed Khokhar elected president and Khurram Shahzad Awan secretary of Rawalpindi-Islamabad Sports Journalists Association (RISJA) after elections process was conducted on Wednesday. Qasim Nawaz Abbasi was elected as finance secretary, Sufi Haroon senior vice president, Zubair Ali Khan and Mariya Rajput vice presidents and Allah Noor Wazir and Rizwan Hadier joint secretaries. In all, 24 members attended the meeting and expressed their full confidence in the newly-elected body. Naveed thanked all the members for posing confidence in him and announce scrutiny committee to issue membership to genuine sports journalists and promised to work for the wellbeing of the community. Newly-elected president Naveed Khokhar said: “We had been deprived of membership and other basic rights by so-called RISJA body elected recently and despite given assurances, we were not treated equally so we have decided to announce our body, which is based on young and experienced sports journalists of twin cities.”–Staff Reporter

 Pakistan Soccer School enter semifinals

LAHORE - Pakistan Soccer School registered an upset defeat by stunning Fame Football Club by 3-1 to squeeze into the semifinal of the ongoing 1st All-Punjab Football Challenge Cup here at the Model Town Football Ground here on Wednesday. It was a hotly-contested match as hosts Fame Football Club were firm favorites. However, Pakistan Soccer School strikers launched a series of attacks, which frustrated their opponents. Midfielder Muddasar led the attacks with two beautiful goals in the first half to consolidate his team’s position. Usama scored a field goal in the second half. Wajahat struck the lone goal from Fame Club. In the semifinals, Pakistan Soccer School will take on Campus United while in the other semifinal, Real Lahore will vie against Baba Cargo.–Staff Reporter

 Premier League enter semis stage

LAHORE - Fatima Group team has won its crucial match to join Descon, Jazz and Honda teams in the Pakistan Super Cricket League (PSCL) semifinals. In the last league match, Fatima Group outlasted Akzonobal by 7 wickets to qualify for the semifinals. At Township Whites Ground, Akzonbal decided to play first after winning the toss and set the target of 160 runs for the loss of 6 wickets. In reply, Fatima Group achieved the target in 15.2 overs losing just 3 wickets. Hassan Akhtar of Fatima Group was named man of the match. Keeping in view the weather condition, the league management has decided to get the semifinal matches done in two days, in which the first match between Honda and Jazz will be played on January 13 at LCCA Ground 11am while the second semifinal will be played between Descon and Fatima Group on Sunday (January 14).–Staff Reporter