Mickelson sorry for ‘dumb’ comment

*Phil Mickelson has described his "insensitive" public comments about his tax concerns as "dumb", and on a par with the last-hole gaffe that cost him the chance to win the 2006 US Open at Winged Foot.

The four-times major champion hinted after last week's Humana Challenge he was considering making "drastic changes" because of soaring federal and state tax rates but has since said he should have kept his thoughts to himself.

"This reminds me a lot of Winged Foot in 2006, where I hit a drive way left off the tents," Mickelson said on the eve of this week's Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.
"So this happened to be way right, but way off the tents. You know, I've made some dumb, dumb mistakes, and, obviously, talking about this stuff was one of them."

Mickelson led the 2006 US Open by two shots with three holes remaining but fell back into a three-way tie for second after an aggressive approach at the last led to a double-bogey.

"I made a big mistake talking about this stuff publicly, and I shouldn't have done that," he added, again apologising for publicly venting his feelings about soaring tax rates for millionaires in his native California.

Insurance carrot from Pakistan Cricket Board

* Pakistan will offer visiting players insurance worth two million dollars each in a bid to overcome security fears and revive international cricket in the country, the chairman of the national cricket board (PCB) Zaka Ashraf has said.

"We are taking all steps to revive international cricket here and everyone should feel proud about the efforts we have made in this regard," Ashraf said.

The steps would include offering insurance and providing security for visiting teams, he said.

"(People) are afraid that they would be subjected to a shoot-out as soon as they come out of the airport," Ashraf said.

"There is lot of effort required to change this perception because things are definitely not so bad here."

International cricket has been suspended in Pakistan since 2009 when militants attacked the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore. Six Pakistani policemen and a driver were killed and five players were wounded.

No Test team has toured Pakistan since and the International Cricket Council (ICC) moved 2011 World Cup matches away from the country because of security concerns.

Shakira’s son is a Barca member already

* Milan Pique Mebarak, the newborn son of Colombian pop star Shakira and Spanish soccer player Gerard Pique, has become a member of his father’s FC Barcelona club at birth.

Former club director Amador Bernabeu, Pique’s grandfather, registered the baby with member number 171,761 Wednesday, just hours after he was born last Tuesday night at a Barcelona hospital.

The team’s current ambassador to UEFA formally registered his great-grandson in the company of the vice-president of FC Barcelona’s Social Area, Jordi Cardoner, having previously received the gifts traditionally bestowed by the club on its newborn members.
Twenty-five years ago, Bernabeu also registered his newborn grandson, Gerard, as an FC Barcelona member.

“The day (Pique) was registered 25 years ago I promised I’d make his son a member. I thought he should continue the tradition and, therefore, that his son should have the same honour and be a (member) from the very beginning,” Bernabeu said.

Abolish January transfer window, says Wenger

* The January transfer window should be abolished or at least limited because it is unfair to the league, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said.

While Arsenal have yet to make any new signings this month, fellow Premier League side Newcastle United have been busy with purchases including French players Moussa Sissoko, Massadio Haidara, Mathiew Debuchy, Yoan Gouffran and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.
"I think it (January transfers) should all be completely cut out or limited to two players," Wenger said.

"It's unfair for the league, some teams who have played for example Newcastle now twice already have an advantage on teams who play Newcastle now they have bought six or seven players. "You do not face exactly the same team so I believe the number of players you could buy should be limited."

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