SPORTS in brief

Published: Wednesday | December 18, 2013 Comments 0

Gattuso targeted in Italian fixing inquiry


Former AC Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso, one of the key players in Italy's World Cup-winning team in 2006, was placed under investigation for match-fixing yesterday as a widening inquiry into football corruption targeted Milan's last title campaign. Four others were arrested in an early-morning police sweep.

Cremona prosecutor Roberto Di Martino, who has been leading the Last Bet operation for three years, told The Associated Press that Gattuso and retired Milan and Lazio player Cristian Brocchi were allegedly part of a ring that fixed Serie A and other Italian matches at the end of the 2010-11 season.

"About 30 matches, a good part of them involving Serie A, are under investigation," Di Martino told the AP.

Gattuso said he was "angry and offended".

"This stuff is absurd and incredible," Gattuso told SportMediaset TV. "I don't even know what it means to fix a match, I wouldn't know where to start. Let's see what happens now but I'm certain that everything will be cleared up."

Brocchi's agent, Davide Lippi, said his client was innocent.

Wilshere charged


Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere was charged by the English Football Association yesterday for making an abusive gesture towards Manchester City fans during a Premier League match. Television cameras spotted the England international raising his middle finger in the direction of City supporters in the 69th minute of Saturday's game at Etihad Stadium, which Arsenal lost 6-3.

The incident wasn't seen by match officials, but the FA has charged Wilshere retrospectively "with making an offensive and/or insulting and/or abusive gesture" after a three-man panel studied video footage.

Vitali Klitschko leaves boxing for politics

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP):

Vitali Klitschko is leaving boxing to concentrate on Ukrainian politics and his role as an opposition leader. Klitschko vacated his WBC world heavyweight title on Monday and said he doesn't expect to fight again as he pursues a presidential bid in his home country.

The World Boxing Council proclaimed Klitschko a "Champion Emeritus", a move that would allow him to challenge the new champion directly should he wish to resume his career.

NZ want winning habit

HAMILTON, New Zealand (AP):

New Zealand's breakthrough win in the second cricket Test against the West Indies has given them a taste for victory which they hope to experience again in the third Test that starts in Hamilton today (4:30 p.m. Jamaica Time).

The win at Wellington's Basin Reserve, by an innings and 83 runs, was New Zealand's first in more than a year. New Zealand hold a 1-0 lead in the three-Test series and wicketkeeper B.J. Watling said, "It's a great feeling to win Test matches. We've got ourselves into positions to win two Tests now and we've got to do it again here."

Sunderland upset Chelsea


Sunderland scored late in extra time to beat Chelsea 2-1 in the League Cup quarter-finals, while Manchester City also advanced to the last four thanks to Edin Dzeko's double at Leicester yesterday.

South Korea midfielder Ki Sung-yueng grabbed Sunderland's winner with two minutes left at the Stadium of Light, after Chelsea had conceded an 88th-minute equaliser by Fabio Borini to take the match to extra time.

Frank Lampard opened the scoring for Chelsea with a close-range 46th-minute strike that required the approval of goal-line technology. Like Chelsea, City rested key players, but still had enough to see off the second-tier Leicester 3-1, with Dzeko's brace adding to the opener scored by Aleksandar Kolarov.

In today's quarter-finals, it's Tottenham vs West Ham and Stoke vs Manchester United.

Bayern cruise into final

AGADIR, Morocco (AP):

Bayern Munich closed in on their fifth trophy of 2013 by brushing aside Guangzhou Evergrande 3-0 yesterday to reach the Club World Cup final. Franck Ribery and Mario Mandzukic scored first-half goals to break open the Asian champion's disciplined defence and the Germans never relented as Mario Goetze added the third in the second half.

The Champions League winners will face either Atletico Mineiro of Brazil or Moroccan champion Raja Casablanca in Saturday's final. Atletico, led by Ronaldinho, play the local favourites in Marrakech today.

Barca advance


Neymar scored his sixth goal in seven days to cap Barcelona's 3-0 win over Cartagena yesterday as they advanced in the Copa del Rey on a 7-1 aggregate score. With the round-of-32 matchup practically decided after Barcelona's 4-1 victory in the first leg, the match lacked pace at the start and Cartagena's Diego Segura almost snatched a goal when he curled a free kick off the upright in the 28th minute. But three minutes later Pedro Rodriguez scored his third goal of the series before Cristian Tello's deflected shot sneaked inside the post in the 68th. Neymar headed in Andres Iniesta's cross in the 88th to record his first goal in the competition.

Barcelona will face Getafe in the round of 16 after they brushed aside Girona 4-1 to go through 5-2 on aggregate.

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