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Maradona’s next frontier: Venezuela?

CARACAS: Argentine great Diego Maradona has said he could be the next coach of Venezuela, the only South American country that has never made it to the World Cup. Cesar Farias quit in November last year after the Venezuelan team, which is known as the ‘Vinotinto’ (‘Red Wine’) for its burgundy-colored kit, missed out on the Brazil finals. The Venezuelan Football Federation has not made any announcements about a replacement despite rumours that several coaches of local teams are being considered. “I look for serious projects … and think that yes, if it’s with security, then maybe,” World Cup winner Maradona said on regional television network Telesur, when asked about the possibility. Maradona, whose well-known leftist politics made him an ally of the country’s socialist government, said he planned to visit President Nicolas Maduro after the World Cup. “We plan to talk a bit about everything, including the team,” he said. Rumors of him leading Venezuela’s selection surfaced last week in local media, but Maradona had responded by saying he was unaware of any such proposal. Maradona was a close friend of Venezuela’s late President Hugo Chavez. (Reuters)

Mohun Bagan retain Katsumi

Kolkata: Japanese forward Katsumi Yusa renewed his contract with Mohun Bagan on Wednesday as he along with 17 others signed on the dotted line for the upcoming 2014-15 season. Mohun Bagan also roped in United SC midfielder Lalkamal Bhowmick and central defender Dhanachandra Singh besides retaining 10 former players. The signings: Shilton Paul, Lal Kamal Bhowmick, Dhanachandra Singh, Sabeeh Sathyan, Vinay Singh, Katsumi Yusa, Kingshuk Debnath, Ram Malik, Pankaj Moula, Manish Bhargav, Monotosh Ghosh, Tirthankar Sarkar, Souvik Chakraborty, Jony Routh, Debjit Majumder, Adarsh Lama Tamang, Prokash Roy, Laltu Mondal. (PTI)

F1 team Caterham sold

Leafield (England): Formula One team Caterham has been sold to a group of Swiss and Middle Eastern investors led by former HRT team boss Colin Kolles. The team announced the sale on Wednesday with immediate effect, meaning Caterham will be under new ownership and management for this weekend’s British Grand Prix. Former F1 driver Christijan Albers takes over as team principal, assisted by Manfredi Ravetto, replacing Cyril Abiteboul. The team will still be called Caterham for the immediate term, and remain at its base in Leafield. “We are aware of the huge challenge ahead of us given the fight at the bottom end of the championship and our target now is to aim for 10th place in the 2014 championship,” Albers said in a team statement. “We are very committed to the future of the team and we will ensure that the team has the necessary resources to develop and grow and achieve everything it is capable of.” Air Asia boss Tony Fernandes founded the team which entered F1 in 2010 under the Lotus name, but warned at the start of this season that he would look to sell if there was no upturn in performance. The team is last in the current standings and has not scored a championship point in five years of racing. (AFP)

NSFs should be accountable: Sonowal

New Delhi: Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal says he is not against the autonomy of the National Sports Federations but wants them to be accountable. The MP from Assam said his ministry is considering to have a system in place to make NSFs accountable without compromising their autonomy. “Let them enjoy their autonomy but at the same time they have to perform as per the expectations of the people of the country. Accountability must be there,” Sonowal told PTI-Bhasha in an interview. “Maintaining discipline and standards is must and let them have more democratic approach within the federation. There should be democratic set up and functioning. We have to have a check on it. We will be happy if they behave like this,” he said. Sonowal said he also wants to have cordial relations with all NSFs including BCCI. In previous government there was a fierce battle between ministry and BCCI on the issue of bringing the latter under the ambit of RTI. (PTI)

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