Time Out

‘Robinho has future’

MANCHESTER: Manchester City manager Mark Hughes insists Robinho still has a future at Eastlands despite the Brazil forward’s reported admission that he would love to join Barcelona. Robinho is currently sidelined with an ankle injury but he fuelled speculation of a January move to the Nou Camp when he was quoted this week saying that it would be a dream to play for Barca. Hughes said on Friday: “There is always speculation and noise surrounding Robinho. That has been the case since he came to the club. He is a great guy. We are not in the process of taking outstanding players out of the team.” — AFP

Indian plea rejected

NEW DELHI: The head of the Commonwealth Games Federation on Friday rejected demands by Indian organisers of the 2010 event to sack a key official as a war of words between the two sides intensified. Suresh Kalmadi, chairman of the organising committee of next year’s Games in the Indian capital, called for the Delhi-based CGF chief executive Mike Hooper to be removed, saying “he was of no use to us.” But the federation’s president Michael Fennell, already critical of the slow pace of preparations for the October 3-14 Games, shot down Kalmadi’s demand and said the “personal attack on Hooper was unwarranted.” — AFP

Top seeds struggle

LINZ: Top seed Flavia Pennetta of Italy was taken to three sets by Anna-Lena Groenefeld, and second seed Agnieszka Radwanska was severely tested by a resurgent Alize Cornet before both advanced to the quarter-finals of the WTA event here

on Thursday. Pennetta failed to dominate her German opponent, who rallied with confidence and offered a stern challenge until a double-fault gave Pennetta a break for 2-1 in the final set. A weak netted backhand resulted in a

further break for 4-1 to leave Pennetta firmly in control as she prevailed 6-3, 4-6, 6-2. Radwanska took more than two hours to beat Cornet of France 6-4, 7-5. — AFP

Swiss to play Norway

GENEVA: World Cup-bound Switzerland will host Norway in a friendly match at the Stade de Geneve on November 14.The match was arranged by the Swiss football federation, two days after Switzerland won its qualifying group and other results meant Norway was the one European group runner-up not to reach the playoffs, which have been scheduled on the same date. The teams last met in August 2005 when Switzerland won 2-0 in a friendly played in Oslo. — AP

Blatter opens facilities

CAIRO: FIFA president Sepp Blatter has inaugurated two sporting facilities in the Egyptian capital where he will attend the final of the Under-20 World Cup. Blatter opened a new training area and training pitch Friday in Cairo. It’s part of a $70-million project by football’s governing body to improve facilities across Africa ahead of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. — AP