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Spanish league planning rules to control spending

- Spain's soccer league (LFP) plans to implement rules designed to control spending by clubs, its president was quoted as saying on Tuesday, as a study warned Spanish football was slipping into an "economic coma".

The proposed rules are in line with UEFA regulations that begin to come into force next season and aim to stop clubs racking up unsustainable debts, LFP president Jose Luis Astiazaran said.

"Spanish football needs to make progress towards an exemplary state of solvency," Astiazaran said.  "It's time to marry the sporting excellence we have achieved with financial excellence.”

Intimate piercing earns player red card

- An amateur soccer player fell foul of the referee, and could incur the wrath of his mother, after failing to prove he had removed a piece of jewellery from an intimate body piercing during a match in Melbourne.

Aaron Eccleston, who turned out for Old Hill Wanderers against Swinburne University reserves, was handed a second yellow card for the offence in the first half of last Sunday's match.

"During the first half, our player was struck in the groin by the ball, and left the field to receive attention," said a statement on the club website.

"At this point the referee became aware that he had a body piercing.  "He subsequently received two yellow cards, firstly for re-entering the field of play without the referee's permission, and secondly for privacy reasons being unable to prove that he had removed the piercing."

Eccleston, who describes himself on his Twitter page as a "disillusioned Mansfield Town fan, down under", was shocked at how quickly the story had spread.

Five million rand for ‘Bafana Bafana’ nickname

- South Africa's Football Association (SAFA) will pay five million rand ($732,332.479) for the rights to the popular nickname of the country's soccer team, Bafana Bafana, ending a long running dispute with a licensing company who first registered it.

The sum will be paid over 12 months to Johannesburg-based licensing company Stanton Woodrush, who had registered the nickname almost 20 years ago, SAFA said on Friday.
"We feel very happy about the acquisition of the Bafana Bafana name which allows us to exploit this great brand for the good of the game," SAFA president Kirtsen Nematandani said.

It brings to a close a highly divisive issue which had pitted the association against the licensing company in court and also concludes months of post-World Cup negotiations.

Fiery Serena shows her softer side

- Serena Williams displayed her tender side again when she spoke of her meeting with five-year-old cancer sufferer Jack Marshall during this year's championship.

"I kind of met him on Twitter. His mum Tracey wrote to me. I read his story, and my heart kind of went out for him," the 13-times grand slam champion said. "I thought if I made it to Wimbledon, I wanted to invite Jack out. I got to meet him. We spent some time together," she said of Jack, who lives in the north of England.

"They gave me one of his bands that I can wear and you can help him. It's just been so amazing, his whole story, to be so small to have such courage. He calls me his best bud, so I love it."

Midnight game stopped due to bad light!

- Baseball fans in Alaska were fuming after a traditional midnight game, held every year without lights during the twilight hours of the summer solstice, was postponed for the first time because a visiting California team complained it was too dark.

Umpires suspended the Alaska Baseball League amateur game with the score tied 1-1 in the 10th inning at about 1:30 am local time, about three hours into the contest.

The "Midnight Sun Baseball Game" has been played in Fairbanks each year since 1906 on the night of the summer solstice June 21, when the glow from the year's longest day allows the game to continue into the wee hours without artificial light.

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