Sports UPDATE

Sunil Chhetri lends support to CAF India’s earthquake appeal
New Delhi: Indian football star Sunil Chhetri has joined hands with Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) India, a non-profit organisation lending support to the earthquake victims in Nepal and India. Chhetri said, “My heart goes out to all who have lost their lives in the devastating earthquake in India and Nepal. I am supporting Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) India’s effort at reaching out and providing relief to the victims in this hour of crisis.” On the Indian football star’s association with CAF India for Himalayan Earthquake Disastrer Response, Meenakshi Batra, CEO, CAF India, said, “We are happy to have Suni Chhetri associating with a cause which needs urgent attention. He has always made India proud on the football field. But now he has shown, he is a star off the field too.” (PTI)
Struglling Granada sack coach Abel Resino
Granada: Struggling Spanish football club Granada on Friday sacked coach Abel Resino following a run of results which makes them certain of being relegated from La Liga to second division. Abel was sacked in the wake of Thursday’s 1-2 home defeat to Espanyol which leaves Granada second from bottom in the standings with just 25 points from 34 matches, reports Xinhua. Abel returned for what was his second spell at the club in mid-January to replace Joaquin Caparros. But after briefly rallying, the club has again suffered a run of poor results and has taken just one point from the last eight matches. That run included a 1-9 defeat away to Real Madrid at the start of April, which is Granada’s worst ever defeat in La Liga. “The results obtained in recent weeks have obliged the club to take this difficult decision. We know how difficult it is and how little time is left this season but the club still believes in the chance of staying up and in the coming hours we will publish the coach who will lead the side until the end of the season,” the club said. Whoever the new coach is, he will make his debut away to Getafe on Sunday. (IANS)
Belgian footballer dies three days after heart attack
Brussels: Belgian footballer Gregory Mertens died on Thursday, just three days after suffering a heart attack while playing for Lokeren’s reserves, hospital sources told the Belga news agency. The 24-year-old defender had been in a critical condition after collapsing on the field 20 minutes into a reserve game against Genk on Monday. He was given emergency treatment on the pitch before being taken to hospital where he was placed in an induced coma. Lokeren described Mertens as “modest” and “indispensable”. “Suddenly something happens which makes us realize that football is just football. Today is such a time,” said a statement by the club. “The desperation of everyone at Sporting Lokeren is huge. Gregory was only at the club for one and a half years, but in that short time quiet modesty and was indispensable. Now we will have to learn to live with the loss.” (AFP)
Messi to become a father for second time
Buenos Aires: Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi announced on Thursday that he is to be a father again by posting a picture of his pregnant partner on social media. The four-time Ballon d’Or, 27, took to Instagram to post a picture of his son, Thiago, kissing Antonella Roccuzzo’s stomach with the message: “Can’t wait to welcome you into our world!!! We love you! Thiagui, mum and dad.” Local press in Argentina had been speculating about Messi’s future fatherhood since February with newspaper Clarin saying the couple already knew they were due to have a baby boy who would be named Benjamin. Messi and Roccuzzo’s first son was born in November 2012. (AFP)
Kaka reveals Copa America wish
Rio de Janerio: Former FIFA World Player of the Year winner Kaka has revealed a desire to play in this year’s Copa America. The 33-year-old was left out of Brazil’s World Cup squad last year but earned a recall by coach Dunga for friendlies against Argentina and Japan in October, Xinhua reported. “If Dunga thinks that I can fit into the team I will be ready,” the Orlando City midfielder told BBC on Thursday. “I think I can still play for Brazil and help with my skills and experience, but it does not depend on me.”Kaka joined Orlando City from AC Milan in January and has scored three goals in his first seven matches for the Major Soccer League club. He showed glimpses of his best form during a six-month loan spell for Brazilian outfit Sao Paulo in the second half of 2014. The Copa America will be played in Chile from June 11 to July 4. Dunga is expected to announce his squad for the tournament on May 5. (IANS)

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