World Sports News in Brief

Real Madrid sign Jovic for 60 million euros – report

Real Madrid have signed Serbia striker Luka Jovic from Eintracht Frankfurt for 60 million euros (£52.39 million), television channel Sky Germany said on Thursday.

Eintracht Frankfurt's Luka Jovic scores a penalty during the shootout - Europa League Semi Final Second Leg - Chelsea v Eintracht Frankfurt - Stamford Bridge, London, Britain - May 9, 2019. (Photo: Reuters)
Eintracht Frankfurt's Luka Jovic scores a penalty during the shootout - Europa League Semi Final Second Leg - Chelsea v Eintracht Frankfurt - Stamford Bridge, London, Britain - May 9, 2019. (Photo: Reuters)

Jovic, 21, scored 10 goals for the German side in their run to the Europa League semi-finals where they were knocked out by Chelsea on penalties and has netted 17 times in the Bundesliga.

* Chelsea and England midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek has had surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles, his club said on Thursday, almost certainly ruling him out of this month's Europa League final against London rivals Arsenal. The 23-year-old was injured in Wednesday's friendly against the New England Revolution in Boston, a fund-raiser for the club's campaign against anti-semitism and racism, and has little hope of being fit for the Europa League final in Baku on May 29.

* Qatar inaugurated the first of seven new World Cup 2022 stadiums on Thursday, just weeks before a crucial FIFA summit will decide whether to expand the tournament and potentially push it beyond the tiny Gulf state's borders to accommodate a larger format. Fans packed into the Al Janoub stadium, a 40,000 seat venue made to resemble the sail of a dhow, or traditional wooden sailboat, to cheer on Qatari teams playing in the final of the Emir Cup, a local tournament for the country's club sides.

* Sunderland maintained their hopes of climbing back up English football's pyramid by booking a place in the League One playoff final after holding out for a 0-0 draw at Portsmouth on Thursday to seal a 1-0 aggregate victory.

* Italian Fausto Masnada won the sixth stage of the Giro d'Italia, a 238-kilometre ride from Cassino to San Giovanni Rotondo on Thursday. UAE Team Emirates rider Valerio Conti finished second to take the overall leader's pink jersey from Slovenian Primoz Roglic, who was involved in a crash in the opening hour of the stage.

* Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu says coach Ernesto Valverde remains the right man to lead the club next season despite overseeing successive calamitous Champions League exits. Valverde has signed a new contract with Barca until 2020 with the option of another season and has won back-to-back La Liga titles with the Catalans as well as taking his side to the Copa del Rey final, where they will face Valencia on May 25.

* Ajax Amsterdam coach Erik ten Hag says he does not fear the break up of his young team in the wake of their Champions League success, but admits his players are attracting a lot of interest from other clubs. Ajax have already sold midfielder Frenkie de Jong, 22, to Barcelona in a deal worth 86 million euros with his 19-year-old team mate Matthijs de Ligt expected to follow him out of the club for another big fee.

* Brazil's 41-year-old midfielder Formiga is set to become the first player, male or female, to participate at seven World Cups after she was named in their squad on Thursday for the women's tournament in France. The Paris St Germain midfielder currently shares the record of participating in six World Cups with Homare Sawa, who led Japan's women to their World Cup triumph in 2011.

* England captain Harry Kane has been included in Gareth Southgate's squad for June's Nations League finals despite an ankle injury, the Football Association said on Thursday. Kane, who has not played since sustaining the injury in Tottenham's Champions League win over Manchester City on Apr 9, faces a race against time to be fit for the final of that tournament against Liverpool on Jun 1.

* Arsenal say they are "bitterly disappointed" that only 6,000 of their travelling supporters can get tickets to watch the Europa League final with Chelsea in Baku and have urged UEFA to explain their decision to stage the showpiece event in Azerbaijan. Arsenal face Chelsea at the Baku Olympic Stadium on May 29 with fans struggling to secure flights for the near 9,600km round trip as well as accommodation ahead of the club's first European final in 13 years.

* French professional football league (LFP) announced on Thursday that it has validated a single ticket price for visiting fans from the 2019-20 season before being submitted to the Board of Directors next month for discussion. The LFP has proposed a ticket price of 10 euros for Ligue 1 matches and 5 euros for Ligue 2 matches for visiting fans.

* FIFA announced on Thursday that its Disciplinary Committee has sanctioned Belgian football club Anderlecht and the Belgian Football Association for breaches relating to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18. The FIFA Disciplinary Committee decided to impose a fine of 200,000 Swiss francs (around US$198,000) on the club, while the Belgian Football Association were also fined 230,000 Swiss francs (around US$228,000).

* Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and attacking midfielder James Rodriguez will be unavailable for the club's final Bundesliga match of the season against Eintracht Frankfurt, coach Niko Kovac confirmed Thursday.

Reuters, Xinhua