SPORTS NEWS IN BRIEF
LONDON - West Bromwich Albion striker Nicolas Anelka has been charged after making an allegedly anti-Semitic salute during a recent English Premier League match, the Football Association (FA) announced yesterday. The 34-year-old French striker performed the quenelle salute, putting one arm across his chest and straightening the other last month during West Brom's 3-3 draw.
MILAN - A late goal from Ivorian striker Gervinho helped Series A title challengers Roma book their ticket for the Italian Cup semi-finals with a deserved 1-0 win over Serie A leaders Juventus yesterday. Roma, defeated in last year's final by city rivals Lazio, will find out their last four rivals following the quarter-final tie between Napoli and Lazio on January 29.
BRASILIA, Brazil - IOC President Thomas Bach says he feels "very confident" in the preparations for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro after meeting Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. But Bach acknowledged once again that Brazil has no time to lose and must speed up work for the first Olympics in South America.
RIO DE JANEIRO - Curitiba risks being dropped as a venue for this year's World Cup finals if work on the stadium fails to make significant progress, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke says. "We cannot organise a match without a stadium, this has reached a critical point," Valcke said yesterday.
Salary cap rise
LONDON - English Premiership clubs will have an additional STG500,000 ($F1.5m) to spend on players next season after agreeing an increase in the salary cap. Premiership Rugby's board have voted to increase the salary cap from STG4.26million ($F13.1m) to STG4.76million ($F14.7m) but officials insisted the move had nothing to do with trying to prevent players leaving England for offers from wealthy French clubs in particular.
MELBOURNE - Dominika Cibulkova has marched into the semi-finals at the Australia Open with a commanding straight-sets victory over Romanian Simona Halep. The No.20 seed from Slovakia dominated the clash on Rod Laver Arena, winning 6-3 6-0 in 60 minutes to set up a semi against either two-time defending champion Victoria Azarenka or Agnieszka Radwanska.
SYDNEY - The NRL has cleared the way for Brad Fittler to make a rugby league return in the NRL Nines competition. Earlier this month Fittler indicated his desire to the game with the Sydney Roosters at the Auckland Nines, 10 seasons since he retired.
No word yet
SYDNEY - Cronulla are yet to give the NRL any official indication whether they will appeal the $1million fine handed down over the ASADA scandal. Last month the Sharks were hit with the hefty fine after the game's governing body completed its review into governance issues at Cronulla in 2010 and 2011.