Time Out

Inter-party football

KATHMANDU: The Unified Maoists and the Nepali Congress reached the final of the Inter-party Friendly Running Shield Football Tournament here on Friday. Held at the Manohara football grounds in Mulpani, the Nepali Congress defeated Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) 3-2, while the Unified Maoists received a walkover win from the CPN-UML earlier in the day. Bikram Thapa, Sagar Lama and Arun Karki scored for the Nepali Congress while Manoj and Mandip replied for the RPP. The final is scheduled for Saturday. The tournament is organised by the Mulpani VDC to seek agreement between the parties in the local level through sports. — HNS

U-14 team departs

KATHMANDU: An 18-member Nepali Under-14 football team left for India on Friday to participate in the 50th Subroto Mukherjee Cup football tournament to be held in Delhi from October 7. The team comprises of 16 players, coach Diken Suwal and team manager Achyut Ghimire. Nepali team from the Takshyasila Academy led by Umesh Thapa, will be playing seven matches in the league round, said the team coach. Suwal also said they will be eyeing to win the tournament though its hard to play under the humid conditions in India. — HNS

Ferguson hopeful

MANCHESTER: Sir Alex Ferguson expects Michael Owen to return from his groin injury in time for Manchester United’s match against Bolton on October 17. Owen was forced off during the early stages of United’s Champions League win against Wolfsburg on Wednesday and it had been expected the former Liverpool striker would be out for at least three weeks. But United manager Ferguson admitted that Owen’s injury is not as bad as first feared. Ferguson received a further boost with the news that Dutch goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar, who has had a broken finger, and Brazilian defender Rafael Da Silva, recovering from shoulder surgery, are both close to full fitness. — AFP

Robber charged

LONDON: British police charged a 22-yeal-old man on Thursday over the 2007 burglary of the home of Liverpool and England footballer Steven Gerrard. Gerrard’s wife Alex Curran was left shaken after coming face-to-face with four masked burglars at the couple’s luxury home. The robbers made off with jewellery. “The man will appear in court at the end of the month,” police said. A string of Liverpool players have had their homes robbed in recent years including Dirk Kuyt, Daniel Agger, Pepe Reina and former teammate Peter Crouch. Goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek had his Porsche car, jewellery and a range of football memorabilia including his 2005 European Cup winners’ medal stolen in a raid in June 2006. — AP

Fabregas unfazed

LONDON: Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas insists he will ignore the round of latest rumours linking him with a move to Barcelona. Fabregas has been a target for Barcelona for several seasons and his future is back on the agenda after Barca midfielder Xavi claimed the Gunner’s star was certain to move to the Nou Camp soon because the Catalan club is in his blood. “It doesn’t upset me what Xavi says, not at all. It is very flattering from a great player like Xavi,” Fabregas said. “But I am the captain of Arsenal and I have a job to do here.” — AFP