Spanish police smash 'fake sheikh' gang

»Spanish police have unmasked a gang of alleged fraudsters posing as representatives of Arab sheikhs, who promised millions of euros of investment or loans to victims that included Spanish soccer club Getafe, authorities said.

Six Spaniards and a man from the Dominican Republic have been taken into custody as part of "Operation Flame" and the group are accused of crimes including fraud and embezzlement, police in the Catalan capital Barcelona said in a statement.

The gang allegedly promised Getafe president Angel Torres a cash injection of 10 million euros ($12.47 million) as long as the La Liga club maintained their top-flight status and were debt-free, the statement said.

In return, the club was required to transfer funds as a guarantee of solvency to an account controlled by the alleged fraudsters but Torres broke off contact with the group when two cheques they had written bounced.

Police said they had questioned a total of 12 people as part of the investigation and did not rule out uncovering more victims and making more arrests in coming days.

‘Tiger needs to be less distant from fans’

»Tiger Woods needs to expose his inner thoughts and feelings in a way he has never done before in order to connect with the millions of fans who follow him around the world, according to his former Ryder Cup captain Curtis Strange.

Fourteen-times major champion Woods has always been careful with his words when dealing with the media and, despite pleas to be more forthcoming, he has been equally guarded since news emerged in 2009 of his marital infidelities. "I think he is missing a wonderful opportunity to show his personality and his inner feelings," fellow American Strange said. "He doesn't tell us anything (meaningful), he never says anything to us.

"The people don't want everything but I think the general public and the press just want something. I don't understand and don't know why he wants to be so distant from the world. The world still likes the man, there are a lot of people who don't respect him any more but they still watch and he can still win them over. People forgive," added the US Open champion of 1988 and 1989.

Drogba hopes to do  a Beckham in China

»Didier Drogba is hoping to create a similar impact in the Chinese Super League as David Beckham has made in Major League Soccer (MLS) in the United States, the Ivory Coast striker said.
Drogba completed his transfer from European champions Chelsea to Shanghai Shenhua where he will join former Stamford Bridge team mate Nicolas Anelka.

The Ivorian said he was determined to help the game in China develop. "I love to learn and to see different cultures," Drogba told reporters. "So, for me, it's a very good experience.  "It's a challenge. People say 'yeah Chinese football is not so good'. Maybe it's a bit ambitious as a reference point to take David Beckham but people were saying when he went to America that it's not a good move.

"What he has done for the MLS, the publicity, it has no price so that's why I am going ... I want to do something good for Chinese football. I want to help them to grow and develop."

Yorkshire confident  of Tour bid

»The French may not recognise Yorkshire's puddings as haute cuisine but the ambitious northern English region are confident Tour de France organisers will find their location an appetising starter for the race in the coming years.

Yorkshire puddings, struggling ex-mining towns and men with flat caps are some of the negative stereotypes associated with the area but beautiful countryside, arguably England's best stretch of coastline and impressive infrastructure could make Yorkshire attractive to Tour organisers ASO.
"We have more Michelin star restaurants in Yorkshire than anywhere else in the UK after London," Yorkshire's bid leader Gary Verity told Reuters having had the Tour bosses in England four weeks ago to look around.

Organisers are not averse to holding 'le Grand Depart' outside of France - this year's race started on Saturday in Belgium - while Britain has held stages of the Tour before, including when the peloton passed through Dover, Brighton and Portsmouth in 1994.

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