Doctor’s advice to Shiels: Take shield from press

»Kenny Shiels, the new manager of Scottish second tier strugglers Greenock Morton, has banned himself on medical advice from giving post-match interviews.

The 57-year-old Northern Irishman says he will stop speaking to journalists following a series of bans from the Scottish Football Association, which contributed to his exit from Scottish Premier League club Kilmarnock at the end of last season.

“I have spoken with the doctor and you get emotionally imbalanced,” he told BBC Scotland.

He said his doctor advised him that there is a medical condition for his passionate outbursts.

“You can't help it,” he said. “If someone asks you a question, you're emotionally imbalanced at that time and you feel an urge to tell the truth. If you feel hard done-by, you want to tell the truth about something that happened in the game and you become a victim of that. There are people out there waiting for you to drop your guard.”“I'm very susceptible to being controversialised. It's happened to me in the past. I'm not going to go down that road anymore.”

Untying shoelaces costs Smith whopping $50,000

»The National Basketball Association fined New York Knicks guard JR Smith $50,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct after twice tinkering with opponents’ shoelaces.

Smith, who won the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award last season for his play off the bench, was fined after he attempted to untie the shoelace of the Detroit Pistons’ Greg Malone at the free throw line on Tuesday.

He had been warned by league officials to refrain from similar conduct after he untied the shoelace of Dallas Mavericks’ forward Shawn Marion during a free throw attempt in New York’s 92-80 road win on Saturday.

Smith has a history of rules infractions, including a doping violation during the offseason that landed him a five-game ban to start the current campaign.

Cheerleaders provide ‘decent’ support

»A newly formed cheerleading squad have defended their appointment by a Malaysian top flight soccer team, saying they were hired to provide ‘decent and polite’ support for the team amid complaints from conservative fans.

The Titan Cheerleaders, a 15 woman group, will provide support for T-Team during the upcoming season at home matches in the majority Muslim east coast state of Terengganu.

“Our role is more ambassadorial and we are here to garner support for T-Team and also help the fans know the team better. Our dressing will be decent and not like those often seen in the west,” said 27-year-old hotel receptionist and Titan's member Rabiatul Adawiyyah Mohd 

T-Team chief executive officer AbRasid Jusoh added: “Besides the normal cheerleading routine on match days, our cheerleaders will also be involved in a lot of goodwill activities with the community, such as visiting orphanages and old folks' homes.”

From fat to fit, Clarke comes out firing

»Former British Open champion Darren Clarke reaped an early reward from a new fitness regime with a three-under-par 69 in the opening round of the Volvo Golf Champions tournament.

Clarke, ranked 297th in the world, attributed his good start at the first European Tour event of the year to the fact he has lost almost 20kg in weight in recent months.“I got to the autumn and looked at myself and the word fat sprang to mind so I decided to do something about it,” the 45-year-old told reporters at the Durban Country Club.

“I have a trainer in Dublin who shouts at me and I shout back and it seems to be working. It's a regime change but not too drastic, I still squeezed in a pint or two over Christmas.”

WC jungle trek irks wiss coach Hitzfeld

»Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld is angry that his team must play a World Cup match “in the middle of the jungle” and has described the scheduling as of the tournament in Brazil as “almost irresponsible.”

The Swiss will face Honduras in their final Group E game in Manaus, located in the heart of the Amazon rain forest, and also play France in Salvador, another tropical venue on the coast.

Hitzfeld, speaking on Germany's SWR radio, blamed commercial interests for the controversial scheduling.

“In Salvador it's very hot, Manaus is much worse because you are playing in a humid, tropical climate, with 95 percent humidity, and a temperature between 30 and 40 Celsius,” he said.

“I find it almost irresponsible that one has to play football in such a place, in the middle of the jungle, in the middle of the Amazon region. I think the commercial side has taken precedence.”

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