LONDON (Reuters) - Britain will have to make do without world number one Andy Murray for their Davis Cup quarter-final in France after he was omitted on Tuesday from captain Leon Smith's team due to injury. Wimbledon champion Murray is still struggling with the elbow injury that forced him to miss the Miami Open. While Murray's absence is a blow, he also sat out the World Group first round tie in Canada which Britain won. The two nations are meeting for the second time in three years after Murray inspired Britain to a quarter-final victory at Queen's Club in London in 2015. Leading the French challenge in their eighth successive quarter-final appearance will be world number 15 Lucas Pouille with Gilles Simon and Nicolas Mahut the other singles options.
SYDNEY (Reuters) - United Arab Emirates coach Mahdi Ali resigned on Tuesday after a loss to Australia dealt an all but fatal blow to the country's chances of reaching next year's World Cup in Russia. Ali, who led the UAE to a third-place finish at the Asian Cup in 2015, called time on a highly successful stint in charge of his country in the wake of the 2-0 defeat by the Socceroos in Group B of Asian qualifying. Ali said he had offered to resign after the UAE beat Iraq in a qualifier last November but had been persuaded to stay on. As well as the run to the semi-finals of the last Asian Cup, the 51-year-old also led the senior team to a Gulf Cup triumph in 2013. The UAE will host the next Asian Cup in 2019.
KUALA LUMPUR (March 28): The government has no plans to open rural air services (RAS) for Sabah and Sarawak to other airlines apart from MASwings Sdn Bhd at this juncture, said Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi. “The study will review all the services holistically that include RAS’ objectives, air fare rates, aircraft usage by MASwings and mechanism for subsidy to consumer. RAS enables scheduled commercial flights to be provided to rural areas in the two states. The additional requirement, according to him, was due to MASwings’ new aircraft leases. “For aircraft leasing cost, an ATR72-500 requires US$170,000 per month, while a Twin Otter [Viking DHC6-400s] costs US$59,000 per month,” he said.
KUALA LUMPUR (March 28): Renewable energy firm Cypark Resources Bhd has bagged three contracts from the Department of National Solid Waste Management worth a total of RM28.48 million. The two contracts will commence from April 3 this year and will end on April 2, 2022. The third contract, said Cypark, is for operating a leachate treatment plant in Kuantan, Pahang, for two years, which will commence from April 3 this year till April 2, 2019. “The board of directors are of the opinion that the contracts are in the best interest of Cypark. Cypark shares closed one sen or 0.45% higher to RM2.25 today, valuing it at a market capitalisation of RM569.11 million.
ATHENS (Reuters) - The decision-making process that led FIFA to increase the number of teams at the World Cup to 48 starting with the 2026 tournament is unacceptable, European Club Association (ECA) chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said on Tuesday. "I believe it is quite clear FIFA knows we are unhappy that they increased the number of (World Cup) participants by 50 percent," Rummenigge told reporters after the ECA general assembly. "They are using our players, our employees in favour of the World Cup," he said. FIFA voted in January to increase the size of the World Cup from 32 teams to 48 from 2026, fulfilling a campaign promise of its president Gianni Infantino, who was elected last year. Last year the ECA supported controversial changes to the Champions League club competition, which critics said put finance before football.
(Reuters) - Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo was nicknamed "cry baby" by his childhood team mates due to the temper tantrums he threw when the team lost or if he did not receive the ball,Ricardo Santos played alongside the four-times world player of the year for amateur team CF Andorinha in Madeira, where Ronaldo's father worked as a kit man. "Cry-baby, yes, because Ronaldo already loved to win like he loves today and when he lost and when other kids didn't pass the ball to him he used to cry," Santos told Reuters. Ronaldo's desire to win has propelled him to four domestic league titles and three Champions League trophies during his stellar career with Manchester United and Real. The 32-year-old, who is the Champions League's all-time record goal scorer, captained the Portugal team who won last year's European Championship in France. (Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)
SYDNEY (Reuters) - Jackson Irvine and Mathew Leckie headed home corners as Australia got their World Cup qualifying campaign back on track with a 2-0 victory over the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday, ending a run of four successive draws. The win sent the Socceroos joint top of Asian qualifying Group B on 13 points from seven matches before the other group leaders, Japan and Saudi Arabia, host Thailand and Iraq respectively later on Tuesday. "It was just about remaining calm and taking our chances," said Australia skipper Mile Jedinak. Talismanic Socceroos striker Tim Cahill came on to huge applause with 20 minutes remaining and the home side immediately looked more energetic. Troisi swung in the ensuing corner, however, and Leckie rose above the defence to make the victory safe.
KUALA LUMPUR (March 28): Integrated engineering solutions provider, Kelington Group Bhd has received a contract from Hanwha Q Cells Malaysia Sdn Bhd for the onsite supply of nitrogen gas. Hanwha Q Cells is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of solar cells and modules and uses nitrogen in its manufacturing process. Under the contract, Kelington will set up an onsite generator to produce nitrogen gas at the Hanwha Q Cells’ manufacturing plant in Cyberjaya, Malaysia. In return, Hanwha Q Cells will pay a fixed facility fee amounting to approximately RM20 million over a period of 10 years, the group said in a statement today. “Under the group’s business model in growing this division, industrial gases can be supplied onsite via gas generators or via high-pressure gas cylinders.
KUALA LUMPUR (March 28): Higher finance costs pulled down Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd's earnings for the fourth quarter ended Jan 31, 2017 (4QFY17). Net profit fell 28.8% to RM145.08 million or 2.79 sen per share from RM203.77 million 3.92 sen per share in 4QFY16. It also recommended a final dividend of 0.5 sen per for FY17, which will paid on a date determined later subject to shareholders' approval. For full year FY17, Astro saw its net profit rise 1.36% to RM623.68 million from RM615.31 million the previous year due to lower depreciation of property, plant and equipment and lower net finance cost. Astro shares closed up 5 sen or 1.77% at RM2.87 today, for a market capitalisation of RM14.95 billion.
KUALA LUMPUR: International movie star Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh is now a Commander of the Legion of Honour. The National Order of the Legion of Honour (Legion d'Honneur) is the highest decoration in France and rewards men and women, French or foreigners, for their exemplary services rendered to France or to the causes supported by France. Established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, it is divided into five ranks: Chevalier (Knight), Officier (Officer), Commandeur (Commander), Grand Officier (Grand Officer) and Grand Croix (Grand Cross). Yeoh, 54, was first awarded the Chevalier title in 2007, and subsequently the Officer in 2012. Other Malaysians who have been awarded the Commander title are the Sultan of Terengganu Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin when he was the 13th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, and AirAsia group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes.
(Reuters) - West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic retains the full support of his players despite their worrying dip in form in recent weeks, defender Aaron Cresswell has said. Bilic has come under pressure after West Ham lost three consecutive Premier League games for the second time this season, sliding to 12th in the table and nine points above the relegation zone. The club's poor form has led to media reports suggesting West Ham are looking to change managers at the end of the season, with Reading boss Jaap Stam touted as Bilic's successor. West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan publicly apologised to the club's supporters following this month's 3-2 home defeat to Leicester City. We know we haven't been good enough, especially of late, and certainly we look forward to the Hull game," the 27-year-old Cresswell added.
(Reuters) - Partizan Belgrade's European ban over unpaid debts was lifted by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Tuesday after the Serbian club provided evidence that they had cleared overdue payments to various parties. UEFA said in January that Partizan had outstanding debts with other clubs, employees, and local social security and tax authorities, which is in breach of European club competition licensing regulations. European football's governing body opted to exclude the club from participating in the next UEFA club competition it would otherwise qualify over the next three seasons, a decision Partizan appealed against with the sports tribunal organisation. Partizan gave evidence to clarify their position with the tax authorities and that they had made a "timely payment" of their debt with the other parties involved. "Taking into account the fact that FK Partizan has satisfied this condition, the club will be eligible to compete in future UEFA club competitions," CAS said in a statement.
HONG KONG: David Beckham has scored an own goal on Facebook after upsetting Hong Kongers by lumping their city in with China -- then annoyed mainlanders when he tried to fix his mess. ”I like you a lot, thanks for visiting, but this is Hong Kong, not China,” wrote resident Phoebe Chow. Beckham, a model, UNICEF ambassador and the husband of a Spice Girl, tried to rectify his post, changing “China” to “Shanghai and Hong Kong” -- but then provoked howls from Chinese fans. Hong Kong enjoys greater liberties than seen in China, enshrined in a mini-constitution known as the Basic Law. But Beijing’s perceived increasing influence and a lack of promised political reform in Hong Kong has sparked calls for self-determination for the territory, or even a complete split from the mainland.
PETALING JAYA: The inclusion of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia in the Pakatan Harapan coalition will make seat negotiations for GE14 easier, says its president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (pic). Muhyiddin told a press conference on Tuesday that becoming a full member of the coalition would allow a "more frank and open discussion". Muhyiddin then reiterated that the major factor when allocating seats would be the party's ability to win. On negotiations with PAS, Muhyiddin said the party would wait until PAS had held its muktamar (party conference) in April. On Monday, Pakatan Harapan announced that it would register as an official coalition with the Registrar of Societies and added that Pribumi would be included as a full member.
Targeted towards photography enthusiasts, the Xperia XZs is a significant upgrade from the flagship Xperia XZ, the company claims. Models taking selfie shots with the Xperia XZs (blue) and XA1 which come pre-installed with Android Nougat. — ART CHEN/The StarThe Xperia XA,1 on the other hand, is more budget friendly with an RM1,199 price tag. The latest feature, Xperia Actions, aims to learn usage patterns and provides customisable settings and personalised recommendations. Pre-orders can be made at selected Sony stores, Sony Mobile stores, Sony centres, authorised dealers and 11street.my.