Balal receives honour

KATHMANDU: President of Nepal International Taekwondo Federation (NITF) Krishna Bahadur Balal was honoured with the ITF Order award during the recently held 19th Annaul General Assembly of International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) in St Petersburg, Russia. Balal, himself a member of the Asian ITF, and NITF vice-president Kumar Thapa Magar were in Petersburg to attend the ITF assembly and returned home on Thursday. Balal had already received an outstanding Coach award by the ITF in 2007. — HNS

Chelsea to appeal

LONDON: Chelsea asked on Thursday for the transfer ban imposed upon them by world football governing body FIFA to be suspended in a bid to sign new players during the January transfer window. English Premier League side Chelsea have appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne against a ban which prevents the London club from signing any new players until January 2011. They have also requested the ban be suspended until the outcome of the appeal is known, with a decision expected in November. The ban was imposed by FIFA in August when its Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC) concluded the Blues had induced promising French youngster Gael Kakuta to break his contract with his first club Lens. — AFP

Babbel gets support

BERLIN: Struggling VfB Stuttgart on Thursday gave their coach Markus Babbel a vote of confidence, despite the Bundesliga side falling to a 3-1 home defeat to Sevilla in the Champions League in midweek. Tuesday’s loss was Babbel’s eighth defeat in 10 games and leaves the Germans effectively out of the running for the Champions League’s knock-out stages. Stuttgart have also slumped to 13th in the German league and 37-year-old Babbel is struggling to steady the ship, but team bosses Dieter Hundt and Horst Heldt have given their coach full backing. “— AFP

ITF cancels tennis

ISLAMABAD: International tennis organisers were forced to cancel two junior-level tournaments in Pakistan after a spate of militant attacks in the capital, an official said on Thursday. Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) said the International Tennis Federation (ITF) informed them of the decision. “We have been informed by the ITF that two junior-level tournaments have been cancelled due to security fears,” secretary Abdul Rasheed said. The first event was due to start from Monday and the second event was to follow a week later. A series of suicide bombings and attacks have left more than 185 people dead in Pakistan this month. — AFP