Names In The News
ManU defender RIO FERDINAND withdrew from the England squad on Monday, "leaving grave doubts about his future at international level after his planned return from exile." Ferdinand, ManU Manager ROY HODGSON and the FA reached the decision after discussions in London" on Sunday, relating to the handling of the ManU defender's "long-term back problem." Ferdinand "would be unable to play in the World Cup qualifying matches away to San Marino on Friday and Montenegro" a week from Tuesday. Ferdinand: "It is disappointing that I won't be able to play a part in the upcoming games but I told Roy that I want to continue to be available for England and I look forward to working with him in the future" (LONDON TIMES, 3/18). ... A 13-year-old Norwegian snowboarder, MARCUS KLEVELAND, "has made history when he landed 'one of the most difficult tricks,' which has only been performed by a handful of people." Kleveland landed a Backside Triple Cork 1440 (KURIER, 3/18). ... Iranian-German keeper DANIEL DAVARI has been invited to the Iranian national football team for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualifier against Kuwait on March 26 (TEHRAN TIMES, 3/18). ... Beijing Ducks STEPHON MARBURY announced he will serve as an assistant coach for the team as it prepares for the 2013 China National Games (NIU BBALL, 3/18). ... British Olympic Association Chair SEBASTIAN COE said that sport had a massive opportunity to fill the gap left by the "massive collapse" in young people's trust in institutions, politics and the media. Coe said that "18- to 25-year-olds had lost confidence in people and institutions which 20 years ago had their authority unchallenged." He said that sports organizers and companies sponsoring such activity "could reach out to these young people and fill the confidence gap" (London GUARDIAN, 3/18).