World Sports News In Brief

Two Chinese players handed lifetime snooker bans for match-fixing

Chinese players Liang Wenbo and Li Hang have been handed lifetime bans for match-fixing by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA), the governing body said on Tuesday (June 6).
Chinese snooker player Li Hang in action during a match at the Betway UK Championship (Photo: Reuters)
Chinese snooker player Li Hang in action during a match at the Betway UK Championship (Photo: Reuters)

The pair have been found to have fixed snooker matches, persuaded or encouraged other players to fix matches and bet on matches, among other rule breaches. They have until Jun 20 to appeal against the decisions.

* Novak Djokovic overcame a first-set blip to beat Russian Karen Khachanov 4-6 7-6(0) 6-2 6-4 and reach the French Open semi-finals on Tuesday (Jun 6), staying on course for a record-breaking 23rd men's singles Grand Slam title.

* Karolina Muchova stopped resurgent former French Open runner-up Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in her tracks with a 7-5 6-2 victory on Tuesday to march into the Roland Garros semi-finals for the first time in her career. In the last four, Czech Republic's Muchova will play second seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus who beat Ukrainian former world number three Elina Svitolina in straight sets in the other quarter-final later in the day.

* World number two Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus powered past Ukraine's Elina Svitolina 6-4 6-4 on Tuesday to reach the French Open semi-finals.

* Sevilla manager Jose Luis Mendilibar has extended his contract until 2024, the LaLiga club said on Tuesday after he led the team to a record-extending seventh Europa League success. Sevilla brought in Mendilibar in March with the club 14th in the league and battling relegation, before he led them to a 12th-place finish and shootout victory over Italian side AS Roma in UEFA's second-tier Europa League final last week.

* Tottenham Hotspur have appointed former Celtic coach Ange Postecoglou as their new manager on a four-year contract, the Premier League club said on Tuesday (Jun 6). He becomes the first Australian to manage a team in the Premier League and will join Spurs on July 1.

* Ballon d'Or winner Karim Benzema has joined Al Ittihad as a free agent on a three-year deal, the Saudi Arabian champions said on Tuesday (Jun 6), after the French striker's departure from Real Madrid. According to media reports, the contract is estimated to be worth more than 100 million euros (US$106.89 million).

* The PGA Tour, European Tour and rival Saudi-backed LIV Golf circuit announced a landmark agreement on Tuesday (Jun 6) to merge and form a commercial entity to unify golf. Additionally, the three organisations said in a joint news release that they will work cooperatively to allow a process for any LIV Golf players to reapply for PGA Tour and DP World Tour membership following the 2023 season.

* Belgium's new coach Domenico Tedesco continued to put his mark on the squad with four new players called up for this month's European Championship qualifiers against Austria and Estonia. Goalkeeper Arnaud Bodart, defender Ameen Al-Dakhil and midfielders Olivier Deman and Mike Tresor, named Belgium's Footballer of the Year on Monday, were in the 24-man squad named on Tuesday with Michy Batshuayi and Hans Vanaken returning.

* Juventus have not withdrawn from the European Super League (ESL) project, the Italian club said on Tuesday (Jun 6) following a media report that they had sent Real Madrid and Barcelona a letter informing them of their departure. But Juve added that they will discuss with Real and Barca, the other clubs remaining in the project, a potential exit.

* AC Milan have parted ways with technical director and former playing great Paolo Maldini, the Serie A club said on Tuesday (Jun 6). Maldini, 54, returned to the club nine years after his retirement from soccer and was promoted to the Rossoneri's technical director role in 2019, less than a year after he became the director of sporting strategy and development.

* Five Inter Milan players have been included in Italy manager Roberto Mancini's squad to face Spain in the Nations League semi-finals on June 15, five days after the Champions League final. Francesco Acerbi, Alessandro Bastoni, Nicolo Barella, Matteo Darmian and Federico Dimarco, who were not in last week's preliminary list, will join the Italy training camp in Florence on Sunday, a day after Inter face Manchester City for the European Cup.

* Andres Iniesta said it was "special" to face former club Barcelona in a friendly in Tokyo on Tuesday (Jun 6) as he prepares to leave Japan and continue his illustrious playing career elsewhere. Iniesta made over 600 appearances for Barcelona, winning the Champions League four times and claiming nine La Liga titles before joining Japan's Vissel Kobe in 2018.