Gallery .

Players will enjoy Eng conditions: Lineker

»Top footballers would enjoy playing in a World Cup in England more than anywhere else because of the modern stadiums, the climate and the crowds, former England international Gary Lineker said on Friday.

Those reasons outweigh all the political ones added Lineker, an ambassador for the England bid committee hoping to stage the 2018 World Cup in the country for the first time since 1966.

"I will go along the lines of: what would be the best thing for football?" Lineker told reporters on Thursday. If you ask the players where they wanted to play the World Cup in 2018, they would want to play it in this country. A lot of World Cups suffer because of the conditions -- we would have perfect conditions. "Our weather is not great but it is for football. We don't have to deal with heat and altitude. We have perfect playing conditions, great pitches and great stadiums which players love to play in.”

Contador repeats threat to quit if punished

»Tour de France champion Alberto Contador has reiterated his threat to quit cycling if he is punished over a failed doping test.

"It's early to say it right now... but I cannot assure you that I would continue," the three-times Tour winner said in an interview with Spanish television on Thursday.

The 27-year-old has blamed meat bought in Spain and eaten on the 2010 Tour's second rest day for the traces of the banned substance clenbuterol found in his urine sample.
He has been provisionally suspended by the International Cycling Union (UCI), faces a possible two-year ban and could lose his 2010 Tour title.

Japan, Mexico get Copa ultimatum

»Japan and Mexico could be omitted from future Copa America tournaments if they do not come to the 2011 event with their senior teams, a South American Football Confederation (CSF) official said.

Mexico have taken part in the South American championship since 1993 while Japan will make their second appearance since 1999 in the tournament to be held in Argentina next July.

Both countries have said, however, they would prioritise tournaments in their own confederations, in Mexico's case the Concacaf Gold Cup, and play at the Copa America with age-limit teams. "I'd say if this chance we give these countries is not taken advantage of, logically in the future we couldn't bear them in mind," CSF vice-president Eugenio Figueredo said.

The Copa America, the world's oldest active tournament, will be played from July 1 to 24.

Harrington may act as Irish Open host

»Triple major winner Padraig Harrington is ready to act as "host" of the Irish Open after the tournament lost its sponsor earlier this year.

The European Tour has said the event will keep its place on the 2011 schedule but no new sponsor has yet been found following the decision by phone company "3" to pull out.

Harrington, 39, told reporters at this week's Dubai World Championship he was involved in trying to bring in new backing for the July tournament.

Asked if it could be called the Irish Open hosted by Padraig Harrington with the new sponsor as a prefix, the Dubliner replied: "Yes, if I brought the sponsor it would be and it would have that official tag. I could also see Darren (Clarke) or Graeme (McDowell) or Rory (McIlroy) doing the same in the North.

“I think if there is an ambassador role to be played it would be based on the connection between the player and the sponsor."

Tottenham receive green signal for new stadium

»Tottenham Hotspur's plans to build a new 56,000-seater stadium were given the go-ahead by Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

The Premier League club, who have also registered an interest in the taking over the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games, had plans for a new ground approved by Haringey Council earlier this year.

The $709.7 million development can now go ahead unless the government decides to intervene.

Comments (+)