Sports Digest, December 2, 2012

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 02 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 02 December, 2012, 4:27am

Team China stay in front of Asia-Pacific

Team China stayed ahead of an Asia-Pacific select side in their Ryder Cup-style Dongfeng Nissan Cup match yesterday after sharing the honours in the foursomes round at the CTS Tycoon Club in Shenzhen. China lead 7-5 going into today's final round of 12 singles matches, having won Friday's fourball round 4-2 and tied yesterday's foursomes 3-3. The visitors led in all six matches at one point, but unforced errors rather than a Team China fightback allowed the home side to get some red on the scoreboard. "I never thought our players could come back," said China vice-captain Cheng Jun. "After the first nine holes all the live scores were blue - but they did it." The Asia-Pacific side triumphed 12-1/2 to 11-1/2 in the inaugural tournament last year. Staff Reporter

New rules 'can prevent match-throwing'

The Badminton World Federation has decided to change the Olympic doubles rules but not the much-criticised group format in the wake of the match-throwing scandal at the London Games. The change, said BWF secretary general Thomas Lund, was "to ensure such a regrettable spectacle is never witnessed in badminton again". Four women's pairs, including the world champions from China, were disqualified in London for trying to deliberately lose their group matches to rig easier paths through the knockout stages. But at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, all teams finishing second in their groups will go through another draw to determine who they face in the knockout stage. The group winners will have fixed positions to begin the play-offs. "This will eliminate any player's thoughts about actively trying to lose a match or matches, irrespective of other match results," Lund said. AP

Players protest against Israel hosting rights

Dozens of soccer players have signed a statement protesting against the decision to stage the European Under-21 championship in Israel next year following the country's recent military offensive in the Gaza Strip. Chelsea's Eden Hazard, Arsenal's Abou Diaby and Paris Saint-Germain's Jeremy Menez were among the 62 players who claim that allowing Israel to host the tournament will be "seen as a reward for actions that are contrary to sporting values". "We, as European football players, express our solidarity with the people of Gaza who are living under siege and denied basic human dignity and freedom," the players said in the statement. Uefa president Michel Platini said last week that he had no security concerns about the eight-team tournament, which will be played from June 5-18 in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Netanya and Petach Tikva. AP