Sports Snippets

Haaland, Sam Kerr win Football Writers’ Association awards
LONDON, May 12: Erling Haaland was voted “Footballer of the Year” in England for his prolific debut season with Manchester City, and Chelsea striker Sam Kerr became the first back-to-back winner of the women’s award on Friday.The Football Writers’ Association said Haaland took 82% of the vote, ahead of Arsenal teammates Saka and Odegaard.The 22-year-old Norway international has scored 51 goals in all competitions to help put City in contention for titles in the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League. He set a record for most goals (35) in a Premier League season.Kerr beat out Aston Villa forward Rachel Daly and Chelsea teammate Lauren James for her second straight FWA award.The 29-year-old Australia international has scored 26 goals in 34 club appearances this season at Chelsea. (PTI)


FIFA fund for unpaid wages helps 225 players
ZURICH, May 12: A FIFA fund to compensate for unpaid wages helped 225 players in the latest round of payments, including 61 in Portugal and 50 in Greece, the governing body of football said Friday.The $16 million FIFA Fund for Football Players was created in 2020 with the FIFPRO player union. Some clubs were suspected of closing down to avoid paying salaries and then re-started anew as a “phoenix” operation.FIFA allocated $4 million to applications for financial help from the 2021 calendar year.The payments included 22 for players from Greek club Doxa Drama, plus 19 from CD Aves and 18 from Uniao da Madeira in Portugal.Cases in China came from Shanghai Shenxin, Beijing Renhe, Taizhou Yuanda and Guangdong South China Tiger. (PTI)


Bielsa set to become Uruguay coach
LONDON, May 12: Marcelo Bielsa has agreed to become coach of Uruguay’s national team, an executive of the country’s soccer association said on Thursday.Jorge Casales, a member of the executive committee of the Uruguayan football association, told the media, that the former Leeds manager will sign a contract through the 2026 World Cup.“The only thing missing is the signature,” Casales said of the 39-month deal.The 67-year-old Bielsa is expected in Montevideo within days.Bielsa’s first matches on the job are likely to be in June, when Uruguay is scheduled to play friendlies against Nicaragua and Cuba. South American World Cup qualifying will begin in September. “We are bringing in someone who we know will leave us a legacy that goes beyond the 90 minutes of a match,” Casales said.Uruguay was knocked out in the group stage of the World Cup in Qatar.Bielsa coached Argentina from 1998 to 2004. Bielsa also coached Chile between 2007 and 2011. (AP)

Italian Open: Sinner soars past Kokkinakis to 3rd round
ROME, May 12: Jannik Sinner made a lightning-fast start to his Italian Open 2023 campaign, breezing past the 6-1, 6-4 to reach the third round at the ATP Masters 1000 event, here on Friday.A near-complete performance featured precise serving, fierce baseline hitting and high-class net play, and he wrapped victory in 79-minutes at the Foro Italico to improve to 13-3 at Masters 1000 level for the year.“I’m happy about my level today,” said Sinner, who did not face a break point and converted three of five of his own against Kokkinakis. He feels ready to impress at home as he seeks to boost his early Nitto ATP Finals qualification hopes.(IANS)


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