More sports in brief
SA delay naming squad
South Africa delayed naming its squad for their final two games in African Cup of Nations qualifying after captain Senzo Meyiwa was shot dead on Sunday. Coach Ephraim Mashaba was due to announce the squad today. Goalkeeper Meyiwa was killed in an apparent robbery at a house he was visiting. Police have launched a murder investigation.
A tearful Mashaba said at a news conference this week that Meyiwa would have been the first name on his list. Meyiwa had not conceded a goal in qualifying and was a key reason why South Africa are unbeaten and top of a group containing African champions Nigeria. They need one more win to reach next year?s African Cup finals.
Spurs edge Mavs
SAN ANTONIO (AP):
Tony Parker scored 23 points, including a big three-pointer late in the game, as the San Antonio Spurs opened their NBA title defence with a thrilling 101-100 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night. Manu Ginobili added 20 points for San Antonio, which shot 53 per cent from the field. Tim Duncan had 14 points and 13 rebounds for his 14th double-double in a season opener, the most by any player in NBA history, according to Elias Sports. Monta Ellis scored 26 points for Dallas and Dirk Nowitzki had 18. Devin Harris finished with 17 points.
Houston?s James Harden scored 32 points, and Dwight Howard added 13 points and 11 rebounds before getting into a shouting match with Kobe Bryant as the Rockets spoiled Bryant?s return to the Los Angeles Lakers with a 108-90 victory. Bryant scored 19 points in his first game back at Staples Center after missing most of the Lakers? worst season in a half-century with two major injuries.
At New Orleans, Anthony Davis had 26 points, 17 rebounds and nine blocks to lead the New Orleans Saints to a 101-84 season-opening win over the Orlando Magic.
Canseco shoots himself
LAS VEGAS (AP):
Former major league slugger Jose Canseco is recovering after shooting himself in the hand at his Las Vegas home. Metro police Lt Mark Reddon says officers responded to a call of an accidental shooting shortly after 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Reddon says the former Oakland Athletics outfielder told police he was cleaning his gun in the kitchen when it fired, shooting a finger on his left hand. He was taken to University Medical Centre of Southern Nevada.
Canseco is a right-handed batter who hit 462 career home runs and was a six-time All-Star. He also played for Texas, Boston, Toronto, Tampa Bay, the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox during a career that spanned from 1985 to 2001.
FIFA gives Nigeria last chance
ABUJA, Nigeria (AP):
FIFA has given Nigeria one last chance to avoid a ?lengthy? ban that would prevent the reigning champions from defending their title at next year?s African Cup of Nations. FIFA wants a court order nullifying recent Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) elections to be rescinded by midday tomorrow Nigerian time, regarding it as government interference in football, which isn?t allowed under the world body?s rules.
FIFA said in a statement to The Associated Press that Nigeria have until the deadline to prove the court order has been withdrawn and the elected NFF leadership is able to work ?without any hindrance?. If Nigeria doesn?t comply, FIFA said it will be banned from international football at least until FIFA?s Congress in Zurich on May 28-29 next year.
That would mean Nigeria would be thrown out of the ongoing African Cup qualifying campaign ahead of the start of the finals in January. None of Nigeria?s national or club teams would be able to play in international tournaments under a FIFA suspension.