Names In The News
The Barcelona public prosecutor's office has denied reaching an agreement with LIONEL MESSI and his father "whereby the two of them, charged with tax fraud, would avoid having to go to court," in exchange for a payment of €15M ($19.5M). A prosecutor's office spokesperson said that "they do not know whether the player has paid the Tax Authorities the sum in question as a step towards seeking a pact to bring an end to the judiciary procedure" (MARCA, 6/28). ... The lawsuit that lawyers brought against former Real Madrid and current Chelsea coach JOSE MOURINHO for poking Barcelona coach TITO VILANOVA in the eye in '11 has arrived at Spain's Constitutional Court (TC). At the time, Mourinho was suspended for two games and Vilanova for one, but neither served their suspensions after Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) President ANGEL MARIA VILLAR pardoned them (LIBERTAD DIGITAL, 6/30). ... Paralympic champion OSCAR PISTORIUS has resumed a "low-key" training routine but is not planning a return to competitive athletics any time soon. The 26-year-old "has not raced competitively since he was arrested and charged" over the killing of his girlfriend REEVA STEENKAMP in February (PA, 6/28). ... NBA N.Y. Knicks forward AMAR'E STOUDEMIRE tweeted on Friday that he "has joined a group in talks to buy Israeli basketball club Hapoel Jerusalem" (JERUSALEM POST, 6/28). ... NBA Houston Rockets point guard JEREMY LIN greeted his fans in Taiwan via video Friday "to promote an NBA exhibition game to be played in Taipei in October as part of the NBA Global Games series" (CNA, 6/30). ... Former Iranian footballer VAHID HASHEMIAN "was appointed as new head coach of Niendorfer TSV (Oberliga Hamburg)" on Thursday (TEHRAN TIMES, 6/29). KASITI KAMALANAVIN has joined the FA of Thailand presidential race. Kasiti, "a former news anchorman at Channel 5," will run against acting FAT President WORAWI MAKUDI, former national team Manager VIRACH CHARNPANICH and football fan PINIT NGARMPRING in the upcoming election (BANGKOK POST, 6/29). ... Banned ex-Pakistan cricket captain SALMAN BUTT "has admitted his involvement in a spot-fixing scandal for the first time." Butt: "I want to apologize to my countrymen and cricket followers all over the world for having done wrong." Butt was jailed for 30 months "after being found guilty of performing a key role in the scheme in which illegal payments were made to deliberately bowl no-balls during the Lord's Test against England" in August 2010. He is banned for 10 years by the Int'l Cricket Council, "with five years of that ban suspended" (BBC, 6/28).