More sports in brief
Hazard named England writers' Footballer of Year
Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard earned his second award of the season yesterday, when he was named Footballer of the Year by the English Football Writers' Association. Hazard received 53 per cent of the vote from more than 300 journalists. Tottenham striker Harry Kane was runner-up and Hazard's Chelsea teammate John Terry polled third.
The 24-year-old Hazard has 20 goals this season and helped his side to reclaim its first Premier League since 2010. Last month, the Belgium international was named Player of the Year by the Professional Footballers' Association.
Kaka among seven alternatives for Copa America
SAO PAULO (AP): Brazil coach Dunga has named Kaka as one of the seven alternates in the squad for next month’s Copa America. Dunga announced a 23-player squad last week, but 30 names had to be turned over to the South American soccer confederation by Monday. The other six players included are goalkeeper Neto (Fiorentina), defender Gil (Corinthians), midfielder Felipe Anderson (Lazio), midfielder Fred (Shakhtar Donetsk), midfielder Rafael Alcantara (Barcelona) and striker Leandro Damiao (Cruzeiro). Kaka is playing with Orlando City in Major League Soccer in the United States. At next month’s tournament in Chile, Brazil will be led by Neymar and defenders David Luiz and Thiago Silva. Dunga will not be able to count on Chelsea playmaker Oscar because of a muscle injury. Brazil open against Peru on June 14.
Valdívia suspended for calling referees ‘thieves’
SAO PAULO (AP): A Brazilian sports tribunal has suspended Chile playmaker Jorge Valdívia for two matches for calling referees “thieves”. Valdívia was found guilty of using the term to describe the officiators in the final of the Sao Paulo state championship last month. Valdívia wasn’t playing in the match, but referee Vinicius Furlan wrote in his report that the player made the accusations in the tunnel that led to the changing rooms at Palmeiras’ Allianz Parque. The ban means Valdívia will miss the first two games of next year’s regional tournament. He can still play in the Brazilian league, which began this weekend. Valdívia’s contract with Palmeiras ends in August.