Sun | Sep 24, 2017

Sports Briefs

Published:Friday | July 22, 2016 | 7:00 AM
Mario Goetze

Reggae Boyz to host Haiti in WC qualifier

Jamaica's Reggae Boyz will host Haiti on September 6 at 8:30 p.m. at the National Stadium in their next home game in the CONCACAF World Cup 2018 semi-final round qualifiers. The Reggae Boyz are currently third in Group 2, with four points from four matches, while Haiti are at the bottom of the group with a point from the same number of games. Costa Rica lead the group with 10 points (four games), while Panama are in second with seven. Only the top-two teams in the group will advance to the final round.

Mario Goetze returns to Dortmund from Bayern

DORTMUND, Germany:

Borussia Dortmund are bringing back forward Mario Goetze from Bayern Munich.

Goetze left Dortmund for Bayern in 2013, but never settled down and was mostly a bench player under previous coach Pep Guardiola. New Bayern coach Carlo Ancelotti had a talk with Goetze before assuming the post and reportedly, did not try to keep the forward who scored the winning extra-time goal that gave Germany the World Cup title over Argentina at the 2014 tournament in Brazil.

"It's a good solution for everyone involved," Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said.

At the European Championship in France that ended earlier this month, Goetze did not play a major role.

Dortmund said yesterday that Goetze will sign a four-year contract once he's passed the medical examination and is expected to start training in early August.

Details of the deal were not released, but Dortmund is likely to have paid considerably less than the US$40.75 million it got from Bayern for Goetze three years ago.

- AP

English club Wolves bought by China's Fosun group

WOLVERHAMPTON, England:

English second-tier club Wolverhampton Wanderers has become China's latest football investment.

The Fosun conglomerate that owns Club Med and other businesses in Europe and the United States has bought Wolves from Englishman Steve Morgan. Fosun is chaired by Guo Guangchang, who is one of China's leading entrepreneurs.

In the last year, Chinese investors have also bought Italian club Inter Milan and 13 per cent of Manchester City.

Fosun representative Jeff Shi says: "Football is enjoying a huge growth in China ... It makes perfect sense to buy a great football club."

Wolves have an illustrious history, winning the English top-flight three times in the 1950s. But the central England club's last major trophy was the 1980 League Cup, and it has not been in the Premier League since 2012.

- AP

Barca transfers Croatian Alen Halilovic to Hamburg

BARCELONA, Spain:

Barcelona have agreed to transfer Croatian midfielder Alen Halilovic to German club Hamburg.

Barcelona say Hamburg have agreed to pay US0$5.5 million for the 20-year-old Halilovic.

The Spanish champions and Hamburg have also agreed to include a buyback option that is valid for two years, at a transfer fee of US$11 million.

Barcelona signed Halilovic from Dinamo Zagreb in 2014. He played for their reserve team before joining Sporting Gijon on loan last season.

- AP

New Spain boss Lopetegui unveiled

MADRID:

Spain's new football coach Julen Lopetegui has promised to build on the success of predecessor Vicente del Bosque after being named as his replacement yesterday.

Del Bosque's eight-year stint included World Cup and European Championship titles.

Lopetegui said at his presentation that he won't immediately overhaul a squad that has lost its dominant edge.

"There won't be a revolution. There will be an evolution," Lopetegui said after being introduced by Federation President Maria Angel Villar.

"The base of the national team is clear and still in its best moment. We are not thinking about a transition. Instead, we are thinking about how to resolve each match ahead."

Del Bosque stepped down following Spain's elimination in the round of 16 of the European Championship. That came two years after failing to move beyond the group phase at the 2014 World Cup.