B’ div league from today


All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) is organising the Martyrs’ Memorial ‘B’ Division League Football Tournament at Dasharath Stadium from Friday. Kalika Mahabir Sports Club will take on Boudha Football Club in the inaugural match, while Machindra Club will play against Tushal Youth Club in the other match. In all, nine clubs — United Youth Club, Friends’ Club, Naxal Youth Club, Saraswati Youth Club, Machhindra Club, Sano Gaucharan Youth Club, Kalika Mahabir Club, Tushal Youth Club, and Boudha Football Club — are taking part in the 20-day round-robin tournament. — HNS

Yao Ming tops O’Neal


Chinese centre Yao Ming’s lead over Shaquille O’Neal in the race to finish No 1 overall in National Basketball Association All-Star game balloting has increased to more than 70,000 votes. The Houston Rockets’ centre had 18,88,533 votes through three rounds of voting. O’Neal, traded from the LA Lakers to Miami Heat, tops the Eastern Conference with 18,17,828. Yao’s lead among centers in the Western Conference is seemingly insurmountable. Sacramento’s Brad Miller is second with 2,83,562. — AP

KCA dissolved


The Kenyan government dissolv-ed the country’s governing cricket body and set up an interim committee to run the sport, pending fresh elections in April. Sports Minister Ochilo Ayacko accused the Kenya Cricket Association (KCA) of financial mismanagement, failing to resolve a long-standing feud with national team players and being slow in drawing up a new constitution. The interim committee is led by a member of the Kenya National Sports Cou-ncil, Isaac Kalua, who is heading an Indepe-ndent Review Commission of the KCA cons-titution that was launched last October. — AFP

Madrid sign Gravesen


Real Madrid completed the signing of Everton’s Danish midfielder Thomas Gravesen. Gravesen has agreed to finish this season with Real and stay for three more, the club said. Spanish news reports said Madrid had paid a transfer fee of more than $3.9 million. Neither Madrid nor Everton, which confirmed the transfer, mentioned monetary terms. Gravesen is said to be admired by Madrid’s new soccer director Arrigo Sacchi and coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo, who both joined Madrid last month.— AP

‘Greek victory, a miracle’


Former Argentine superstar Diego Maradona said that the Greek national team winning the Euro 2004 title last summer was a ‘miracle.’ “There are always miracles in football. Gre-ece beat everybody and it is always good for football when small teams win ch-ampionships. This shows that this small country has good players,” said Mara-dona, who was in Greece to give an interview with a TV station. “There are a lot of negative things in football, but what happened in Euro 2004 was great for all.” — AFP