ROUND-UP: Joshua taking it light; FIFA’s treatment; Women’s IPL; a retirement and a suspension

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International Round-up: Anthony Joshua lighter than Andy Ruiz Jr for title rematch; FIFA treated us harshly, says Chelsea FC; Seven-team Women’s IPL “four years away”; Caroline Wozniacki to retire after Australian Open; and Cricket South Africa suspends chief executive for misconduct.

BOXING: Joshua lighter than Ruiz Jr for title rematch

Lean-looking British challenger Anthony Joshua weighed in more than three stones lighter than world heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr ahead of their title rematch in Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

Joshua hit the scales at 16 stones and 13 pounds (107.5kg), the former champion’s lightest ever weight for a world title fight, at the Diriyah venue near the capital Riyadh on Friday.

Mexican-American Ruiz, wearing a sombrero and stepping up after Joshua, was 20 stones and three pounds (128.3kg) — heavier than he was in the first showdown between the two at New York’s Madison Square Garden in June.

The pair then shared a handshake in their final face to face meeting before the fight.

Ruiz clambered into the ring at 19 stone and two pounds last time, when he came in at short notice and dethroned the previously undefeated Joshua with a seventh round stoppage in one of boxing’s biggest upsets. (Reuters)

FOOTBALL: FIFA treated us harshly, says Chelsea FC

Chelsea say FIFA treated them more harshly than Manchester City despite their transfer ban being cut on appeal.

The Blues’ two-window ban was halved by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, freeing them to buy players next month.

City did not get a transfer ban after they were also found to have broken rules on signing young players.

“FIFA chose to treat Chelsea entirely differently to Manchester City for reasons that make absolutely no sense,” read a Chelsea statement.

“The approach taken by FIFA to this case has been deeply unsatisfactory.”

FIFA accused Chelsea of breaching rules on the signing of 27 under-18 players. However, the Blues claimed that in 16 of those cases, the players were registered in line with advice that the game’s global governing body had given the Football Association in 2009.

Chelsea argued that the alleged rules breaches in the remaining 11 cases were either “procedural” or there was no case to answer because of precedents set in Cas’ ruling on Spanish side Real Madrid’s transfer ban in 2016. (BBC Sport)

Indian players (from left) Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana

 

CRICKET: Seven-team Women’s IPL “four years away”

As India head into a Women’s T20 World Cup year in search of their maiden title, there has been a chorus among the current and former internationals – both from India and overseas- to have a full-fledged women’s IPL. However, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly thinks such a tournament – involving seven or eight teams – is at least “four years away”.

“You need to understand the practicality of it,” he told India Today. “You need a lot more women players. I see that in four years’ time, to get a seven-team IPL with the best women players [in participation].”

“You have to let the state association teams get stronger, a lot of them are getting stronger,” he said. “The push for women’s cricket has been enormous over the last few years. Three years down the line, when you have 150-160 players, you can take the IPL forward. Right now, we have 50-60 players. With the push BCCI has for women’s cricket, that will only increase.” (ESPNCricinfo)

Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki

TENNIS: Wozniacki to retire after Australian Open

Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki has announced she will retire after the Australian Open in January.

The 29-year-old is currently ranked 37th in the world and last competed in the China Open in October.

Wozniacki, who enrolled at Harvard Business School in September, was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 2018.

However, the Dane says her retirement has “nothing to do with my health and this isn’t a goodbye”.

In a lengthy post on Instagram, the 2018 Australian Open champion says she plans to focus on her life away from tennis, including plans to start a family with her former Golden State Warriors player husband David Lee.

Wozniacki’s career includes 30 WTA singles titles, reaching world number one in 2010, a WTA Finals victory and competing in three Olympics. (BBC Sport)

Thabang Moroe

CRICKET: CSA suspends chief executive for misconduct

Cricket South Africa has suspended chief executive Thabang Moroe following allegations of misconduct.

A number of journalists had their media passes revoked last weekend, with Moroe saying he was unhappy with their reporting on the governing body.

The passes were later reinstated, but the South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA) has since called on Moroe and the CSA board to resign.

England travel to South Africa on 13 December for a four-match Test series.

There is currently no selection panel in place for the series against England, which begins on 26 December.

Standard Bank also said on Friday it would not renew its sponsorship deal of the men’s team because of the issues at CSA. (BBC Sport)

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