Hector Cuper resigns

MADRID: Hector Cuper has resigned as coach of Mallorca after failing to galvanise the team. The Argentine informed Mallorca president Vicente Grande of his decision following Sunday’s 1-1 home draw with Getafe, which extended the team’s winless streak to nine games, news agency Efe reported. Mallorca is last in the 20-team first division with 19 points from 23 games. — AP

Pakistan lose Afridi

LAHORE: Pakistan’s chances of staging a fightback in their one-day series against India took a knock when allrounder Shahid Afridi was ruled out of the remaining two matches. Afridi aggravated a rib injury that he sustained before Monday’s match and has been advised to take two weeks’ rest, Pakistan’s team management said. The fourth match will be played on Thursday while Karachi will host the fifth match on Sunday. — AFP

Drogba in doubt

LONDON: Ivory Coast captain Didier Drogba of Chelsea said he is worried about his long running battle with a knee problem that has cast in doubt his availability for next week’s Champions League clash. Drogba told Sun that it had got worse during the African Nations Cup. “For three months I have had lingering pain in my knee,” said Drogba. Chelsea host Barca next Wednesday. — AFP

Akhtar out of SL tour

LAHORE: Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has been ruled out of next month’s tour of Sri Lanka with ankle injury. “A stress fracture has been revealed on his left ankle which requires six to seven weeks rest,” PCB director of operations Salim Altaf said. “Akhtar’s injury is a blow to Pakistan. But hopefully this will give youngsters a chance to fill the gap,” said chief selector Wasim Bari. — AFP

B’desh coach banned

SINGAPORE: Bangladesh’s Argentine coach Diego Cruciani has been suspended for two matches after attempting to assault referee during the 2007 Asian Cup pre-qualifying match against Pakistan. The punishment was handed down by the AFC, on the recommendation of FIFA. Immediately after their goalless draw against Pakistan in Dhaka on December 22, Cruciani approached Indian referee Rizwan Ul-Haq and attempted to assault him before being hauled away by the team manager. — AFP