SHORT CORNER | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 07, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, April 07, 2019

SHORT CORNER

Table tennis championship underway

Faridpur, Pabna, Cox's Bazar, Gaibandha, Dhaka, Magura and Jagannath University registered victories in the men's fixtures on the opening day of the 38th National Senior Table Tennis Championship which got underway at the Shaheed Tajuddin Ahmed Indoor Stadium in Paltan yesterday.

Dhaka beat Meherpur in 3-1 sets while all the other winners recorded 3-0 set victories.

Some 260 players from 44 men's teams and 13 women's teams are expected to vie in seven events during the six-day meet.

State Minister for Youth and Sports Zahid Ahsan Rassel inaugurated the championship as chief guest where Ashiqur Rahman Miku, deputy general secretary of Bangladesh Olympic Association, was present as special guest along with the high officials of Bangladesh Table Tennis Federation.      --Sports Reporter

Maradona to leave Dorados over 'referee bias'

Argentina great Diego Maradona said he will quit his job at Mexican second-division club Dorados at the end of the season over perceived refereeing bias against his team.

The 58-year-old Maradona made the decision on Friday following a 1-1 draw with Venados, claiming his touchline presence led to decisions going against his team.

"Once it (the Clausura) is finished, I will leave Dorados," Maradona said at a news conference. "I'm very sorry about it, but that's my decision."

Maradona, who won the 1986 World Cup with Argentina, said he would ask for a meeting with the club president to notify him of his decision and the reason behind it.

At the root of his anger on Friday was a "very clear" penalty that was not awarded to his side.

"Do you know why the referee didn't give it? Maradona asked reporters. "Because you're going to say tomorrow that it's because it's Maradona team."   --Afp

India earn top FIFA seat, eye 2026 World Cup

India set their sights on qualifying for the 2026 World Cup as Praful Patel became their first representative on the powerful FIFA Council on Saturday.

Patel, one of six Asian delegates elected to the Council at the Asian Football Confederation Congress, said the World Cup was the next big step for India after making great strides in recent years.

India's confidence has grown after a positive Asian Cup in January, where they returned to the tournament after eight years and were unlucky not to reach the second round.

"I personally feel that among all the countries in Asia there is a tremendous goodwill for India, and (also) China should be much more involved in the game and also the AFC and FIFA," Patel said in Kuala Lumpur.              --Afp

De Bruyne unsure if he can finish season at his best

Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne is unsure if he can get back to his best for the reigning Premier League champions after injuries restricted his playing time this season, the midfielder said on Friday.

The 27-year-old has had a stop-start season with two knee injuries and trouble with his hamstring limiting him to only nine Premier League starts this season while City chase an unprecedented quadruple.

The Belgian was one of the favourites for the player of the year award last season, with eight goals and 16 assists in City's league title-winning campaign, but has scored only two league goals this season.

"I don't know what my level is going to be but to be fair I don't really care," De Bruyne told reporters.

"Now it's the business end (of the season), I just need to do what I can do to help the team win games. If that means playing five games or 10 games, I'll take it all. It's been that kind of season.”        

--Reuters

Thauvin slams 'useless' Marseille after defeat

Olympique de Marseille midfielder Florian Thauvin lashed out at his own team following their 2-0 defeat by Girondins de Bordeaux in Ligue 1 on Friday, saying they were 'useless'.

Marseille have not won in the top flight at Bordeaux since 1977 and the latest loss left them eight points from third place, the last qualifying spot for the Champions League.

"We must stop looking for excuses," the French international was quoted as saying by French media on Saturday.

"We just have to shut up and acknowledge the fact that we're useless. We were useless, we have to admit it," said Thauvin.

Marseille are fifth in Ligue 1 on 48 points with seven games remaining.  --Reuters

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