Rajagobal appointed
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia on Monday appointed K Rajagobal as national football coach as the country desperately tries to revive their flagging fortunes on the field. Rajagobal is currently the U-23 coach and faces a huge task to boost morale at senior level. Malaysia sacked B Sathianathan as coach in February, less than two weeks after the team lost to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2011 Asian Cup qualifying. The national side has fallen a long way since the heady days of the 1970s and 1980s when they regularly beat Japan and South Korea and reached two Olympics. — AFP

Safina replaces Serena
PARIS: Russia's Dinara Safina, who has never won a grand slam, on Monday took over the No 1 spot in the WTA rankings from Serena Williams. In the latest standings the 22-year-old Safina moves up to 8951 points, with Williams in second on 8272. Rafael Nadal has pulled well clear of Roger Federer at the top of the ATP rankings on the strength of his win in Sunday's Monte Carlo Masters. The latest mens' standings put the Spaniard on 14470 points, 4630 points clear of Federer. — AFP

Juventus apologise
ROME: Juventus have apologised over the racist chanting directed at Inter Milan's teenage striker Mario Balotelli during the pair's clash at Turin's Stadio Olimpico on Saturday. Balotelli, an Italian U-21 international, was born to Ghanaian immigrant parents but was brought up by an Italian family, whose surname he goes by -- his real parents' surname is Barwuah. The striker is at times controversial figure who angered home fans in Turin throughout the game, particularly for his role in the sending off of Juve midfielder Thiago. — AFP