Sport Digest, September 25, 2012

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 September, 2012, 1:48am

Japan to play Wales in bid to reach top 10

Asian champions Japan will play two tests against Wales in June at home to boost their bid to join the world's top 10 by the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Wales, last year's World Cup semi-finalists, will play the Brave Blossoms in Osaka on June 8 and in Tokyo a week later, the Japan Rugby Football Union announced. Wales are ranked sixth in the world and Japan are 16th. "This is a fantastic opportunity for Japan to play Wales, one of the foremost teams in the world," Japan coach Eddie Jones said. "Playing these games is invaluable to us if we are to achieve our goal of getting into the top 10." AFP

'Firecracker' incident in Iran match probed

The Asian Football Confederation is investigating reports that a firecracker was thrown during a champions league match in Iran between Saudi Arabian club Al Ahli and Sepahan. A video of the incident showed a Sepahan player picking up an object thrown at a linesman and then tossing it away just seconds before it exploded nearby. AP

Zheng Jie moves into second round in Tokyo

China's Zheng Jie beat Vania King of the US 6-3, 6-4 yesterday to reach the second round of the Pan Pacific Open tennis tournament in Tokyo, but Peng Shuai went out to 17th seed Nadia Petrova 6-1, 6-4. Li Na is in action today with more attention on her than usual due to political tension between China and Japan. AFP

Armstrong's life ban sent to be ratified

The United States Anti-Doping Agency (Usada) will send Lance Armstrong's file to the cycling world governing body this week to get the American rider's life ban ratified, its chief Travis Tygart said. Armstrong was stripped of his record seven Tour de France wins last month and handed a lifetime ban by the Usada, but that needs to be confirmed by the International Cycling Union (UCI). UCI said earlier this month they have no intention of appealing "unless the case file give serious reasons to do otherwise." Reuters