Sports Digest, March 4, 2013

PUBLISHED : Monday, 04 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 04 March, 2013, 3:12am


Zhang confirms no bid for AFC presidency

China's Zhang Jilong, the acting head of Asian soccer, confirmed he will not run for the AFC presidency in its upcoming election, Xinhua reported yesterday. The Asian Football Confederation, which has 47 member associations, has been without a permanent president since Qatari Mohamed bin Hammam was banned for life by Fifa for corruption and bribery. "I made this decision totally out of my own will and with careful thinking," Zhang, who has held the acting role since May 2011, told Xinhua. Zhang's decision is likely to leave four candidates in the running for the top Asian soccer post, with United Arab Emirates soccer chief Yousuf al-Serkal, his Bahrain counterpart Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa and Saudi Arabia official Hafez El Medlej all throwing their hats in the ring from West Asia. Thailand's Worawi Makudi has also confirmed his candidacy and has the backing of the 12 votes from the Southeast Asian region. The election is on May 2. Reuters


Lewis sinks shot of her life to win in Singapore

America's Stacy Lewis pulled off the shot of a lifetime on the way to a narrow one-stroke win after a nerve-shredding final day at the HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore. Lewis was locked in a three-way tie with Choi Na-yeon and Paula Creamer when she unleashed a blistering hybrid shot for a tap-in eagle giving her the outright lead ahead of Choi, the world No 2, and whiplash victim Creamer. "That was probably the best shot I ever hit," world No 4 Lewis said of her near-albatross. "That was so nerve-wracking," Lewis, who spent most of her teenage years in a back brace to correct a curve in her spine, carded a one-under-par 71 at the Sentosa Golf Club for an aggregate score of 15-under 273. Choi finished with 72 for 274 while Creamer, also playing the final group and still feeling whiplash injuries after a car crash last Sunday in Thailand, carded 71 to finish a shot further back in third. AFP


Sri Lanka cricket in a spin over pay dispute

Sri Lanka's team selection was thrown into chaos after all its international cricketers refused new contracts and demanded higher pay and perks before the upcoming Bangladesh series. Sri Lanka Cricket chief executive officer Ajith Jayasekera said a deadline passed with Sri Lanka's 23 international players failing to enter into employment agreements "There is nothing to negotiate now," Jayasekera said. The authorities demonstrated their uncompromising stand by dropping former skipper Kumar Sangakkara from a three-day practice match against Bangladesh in Matara. The first test is due to start on Friday at Galle and the team selection was due to be made over the weekend. The players had insisted that they need a 25 per cent share of all payments made by the International Cricket Council as guarantee money for tournaments, as well as a business-class ticket for a spouse to travel on tour. Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said senior players received four million rupees (HK$243,000) a month. AFP