Fulham sign Kelly
LONDON: Fulham signed Republic of Ireland defender Stephen Kelly from Birmingham on a three-year contract on Tuesday. Kelly, 25, helped Birmingham win promotion to the Premier League but he admitted the chance to play in the Europa League with Roy Hodgson’s team had tempted him to move to Craven Cottage. “I have spoken to the manager about plans for next season and I’m delighted to have joined a progressive club who recently achieved their highest ever top-flight finish,” Kelly said. — AFP

Benfica call on Jesus
LISBON: Top Portuguese side Benfica have appointed Jorge Jesus as their new coach on a two-year deal following their third place finish in the 2009 league campaign. Benfica said on Tuesday they had “agreed terms with the coach Jorge Jesus on a two-year contract”. Jesus arrives from Sporting Braga and replaces Quique Flores, who was sacked last week. Benfica, European champions in 1961 and 1962, have won a record 31 league titles but last did so in 2004. — AFP

Juninho eyes Qatar
DOHA: Lyon’s long-serving Brazilian playmaker Juninho arrived in Qatar for talks about a transfer to Al-Garrafa, the Doha club said. Recruiting the Brazilian to play in Qatar will cost the club about 2.5 million euros, a record in the Gulf state’s championship, but no details were available about the length of Juninho’s contract. The 34-year-old scored 100 goals for Lyon and was the inspiration behind seven titles since joining from Vasco da Gama in 2001. — AFP

Kuwait to face ban
LAUSANNE: The International Olympic Committee is set to suspend Kuwait’s National Olympic Committee from August 1 due to political interference, IOC President Jacques Rogge said. The Belgian said if the public authorities in Kuwait did not amend a national sports law presently in force in the country then they would have no option but to suspend them as it contravened the Olympic Charter. Pere Miro, director of the IOC’s department of NOC relations said he was hopeful the matter could be resolved. — AFP