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Fiji Time: 8:04 PM on Friday 18 April

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BRIEFLY

Aap, Afp, Ap
Wednesday, December 25, 2013

More changes

SYDNEY - The changes continue to ring out at Central Coast with striker Adam Kwasnik ruled out for the season, adding to a month of upheaval for the A-League's defending champions. Mariners Phil Moss admits it will take some work to restore the titleholders back to their championship-winning ways after enduring a difficult initiation.

Comeback

MELBOURNE - Jackson Bird's four-over cricket comeback last Friday night had a Test match feel for Australian bowling coach Craig McDermott. While Bird will play no part in this Ashes series, the paceman wants to be in contention for next year's South African tour and McDermott agrees it is a feasible goal.

Syd-Hobart

SYDNEY - Celebrated yachtsman Iain Murray is predicting a torturous mental challenge for crews in the Sydney to Hobart race today. A revised weather forecast for the race has altered predictions of a possible race record to the chance of a yachting lottery due to a lack of wind.

Friendly

PARIS - France will play three friendly matches before departing for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The French Football Federation said that Les Bleus will play games at the Stade de France on May 27, in Nice on June 1 and in Lille on June 8. Their opponents will be revealed early in the new year.

New deal

MOSCOW - Russia coach Fabio Capello is set to sign a new contract after agreeing the final details of the deal, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Monday. Mutko did not give further information about the nature of the new contract but Russia have been keen to secure the former England manager's services up to the 2018 World Cup, which the country will host.

Fellaini out

LONDON - Manchester United manager David Moyes has confirmed that Marouane Fellaini is set to miss six weeks following surgery to his wrist but is hopeful the midfielder will return sooner. The 33 million euros ($F85.39 million) summer signing from Everton has been absent since the start of December due to a back problem.

Iniesta stays

BARCELONA - Barcelona's emblematic midfielder Andres Iniesta signed a three-year contract extension with the La Liga leaders on Monday, keeping him with the club until at least 2018. "Andres Iniesta signed his new contract with FC Barcelona at midday," the club said in a statement.

5-year ban

LONDON - The Tennis Integrity Unit says Spanish player Guillermo Olaso has been banned from the sport for five years and fined $25,000 for match-fixing. Olaso was found guilty of three corruption offences in 2010, including directly or indirectly seeking to "contrive the outcome or any other aspect of any event."