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Sports Briefs

Published:Friday | March 20, 2015 | 12:01 AM
Djokovic

Zimbabwe's sports

federations sell assets

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP):

Zimbabwe's broke national cricket and football federations have been forced to sell assets such as a television broadcast van to a church and an artificial training field to a high school to pay off spiralling debts.

For the Zimbabwe Football Association, its failure to settle a debt from 2008 to former national coach JosÈ Claudinei Georgini led last week to the country being thrown out of 2018 World Cup qualifying by FIFA.

This week, Zimbabwe Cricket was forced by a court to sell an outside broadcast van and nine other vehicles used by senior staff, including the chief executive, to pay around US$200,000 owed to a former employee who took the body to a labour court.

The TV van was bought for US$21,000 by a church. A high school purchased ZIFA's turf, which was part of a FIFA-funded training centre, for US$115,000, according to local media reports.

Both federations are in serious financial trouble, reflecting the economic turmoil of the southern African country, which abandoned its own currency in 2009 with inflation estimated at one point at over 11 million per cent.

Djokovic in last eight

INDIAN WELLS, California (AP):

Novak Djokovic defeated John Isner 6-4, 7-6 (5) to reach the quarter-finals of the BNP Paribas Open on Wednesday night in pursuit of his fourth career title in the desert.

The world's top-ranked player raced through the first set in 30 minutes, then rallied to get into a tiebreaker against the big-serving Isner. All eight of their meetings have included at least one tiebreaker.

Roger Federer dominated Jack Sock in a 6-3, 6-2 victory, with the four-time tournament champion winning 14 consecutive points in the second set.

Top-ranked Serena Williams advanced to the semi-finals with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Timea Bacsinszky, extending the American's winning streak to 15 matches in her return to the desert after ending a 14-year boycott of the tournament.

Rafael Nadal advanced with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Gilles Simon to stay on track for a shot at his fourth career title in the desert.

2022 WCup final in Qatar set for Dec 18

ZURICH (AP):

The final of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be on December 18, the country's national holiday.

FIFA confirmed yesterday the date of the world's most watched sports event more than four years after it controversially chose the tiny Gulf emirate as host.

"It's a Sunday, and it's also the national day of Qatar, and, yes, in principle, we try to play in 28 days," FIFA spokesman Walter De Gregorio said, confirming a decision of the executive committee in the opening session of its two-day meeting.

A 28-day tournament kicking off on Monday, November 21, would see the 64 matches played in four fewer days than usual.