Wenger rules out Sanchez, Ozil exits

LONDON - Arsene Wenger has ruled out January departures for Arsenal pair Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil unless "something unbelievable" happens even as the clock ticks down on their contracts. The players are out of contract at the end of the season as both have so far refused to sign new deals at the Emirates. Ozil has been linked with a move to Barcelona while Sanchez almost joined Manchester City on the final day of the summer transfer window, only for Arsenal to pull the plug when they failed to land Monaco's Thomas Lemar as his replacement. Wenger says he has no concerns over the commitment of the pair, with Sanchez scoring a last-gasp penalty as the Gunners won 1-0 at Burnley to move into the Premier League top four. Arsenal host Huddersfield on Wednesday, with Ozil likely to be missing. AFP

Higuain hopeful of Napoli return

TURIN - Argentina ace Gonzalo Higuain could play Friday's Serie A clash against Napoli despite a broken finger, Juventus general manager Giuseppe Marotta has insisted. Champions Juventus, four points behind Napoli, travel to the San Paolo Stadium on Friday before two other crunch ties – a Champions League trip to Olympiakos on December 5 and a Serie A clash against second-place Inter Milan on December 9. "Today surgery can produce real miracles. Gonzalo has 50 percent chance of playing at the San Paolo," Marotta told Sky Sports on the sidelines of Monday night's Grand Gala del Calcio awards organised by the Italian Footballer's Association. The 29-year-old Higuain, who left Napoli in 2016 for Turin in a 90m euro deal, and has scored 10 goals this season, underwent surgery earlier on Monday.–AFP

Punjab blues win U-16 national hockey title

LAHORE - Punjab Blues outplayed Sindh Reds 6-0 in a one-sided final to win the title of the PHF Under-16 Boys' Schools National Hockey Championships at the Bakht Ali Dahot hockey stadium, Khairpur Tuesday. Punjab Blues excelling in all the departments of the game easily won by a tennis score, said the information made available here by the Pakistan Hockey Federation through a press release. Punjab dominated with dazzling moves and coordination among both the flanks. Sohail, Arsal Saleem (2) struck two goals apiece as Shahbaz and Waqas Syed shared one goal each from winners. Earlier, in the third position match Punjab Greens defeated Islamabad 3-0. Member National Assembly, Syeda Nafisa Shah, who was the chief guest, distributed the medals and prizes.–Staff Reporter Inam, Inayyat get cash awards

ISLAMABAD - Federal Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) Riaz Hussain Pirzada Tuesday said the government would focus on games having potential of winning medals. Addressing a cash prize distribution ceremony organided here in honour of two Pakistani Wrestlers, who won two gold medals in World Beach Wrestling Championship, the minister said the government would restore the glory of traditional sports including hockey, kabaddi, and wrestling. It is pertinent to note that two Pakistani wrestlers have performed in the World Beach Wrestling Championship and won two gold medals for the country. On the occasion, the minister announced Rs 0.5 million cash prize for wrestler M Inaam for winning gold in senior category of world beach wrestling championship, while for winning gold in the cadet category of 70 kg, M Inaayet has also been awarded with Rs 0.5 million. The minister said the Governor Sindh was making efforts for promoting games in the province. Initially, the minister said that six games would be focused for better results. He also urged the private institutions to come forward and play their role for the promotion of games. The minister assured to increase the ratio of awards for the coaches and players. “We have financial issues for the arrangements of Quaid-e-Azam games,” he added. The prime minster has called a meeting today regarding the games, he said and added that the PM wanted to promote the games in the country. The players who enlightened the name of country through medals, were our heroes and they would be given all possible facilities, he added.–Staff Reporter