Smith replaces Dhoni as Pune skipper, Starc pulls out of IPL
NEW DELHI Australia skipper Steve Smith will replace Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the Rising Pune Supergiants captain in this year's Indian Premier League (IPL), the franchise said on Sunday.
SINGAPORE The playing surface at Kuala Lumpur's 87,000-seater National Stadium is not fit to host the Malaysia Cup final later this month and an alternative venue will be used, a local football official has told reporters.
The showpiece match will now be played at the Shah Alam Stadium in Selangor, some 25 kilometres west of the capital.
The switch marks the second consecutive year that the 80,000-capacity Shah Alam venue will stand in for the National Stadium. Last year, it was due to maintenance work being carried out on the track around the pitch.
"The plan was to hold the Malaysia Cup final at the National Stadium because it's a neutral venue and the biggest stadium in the country," Malaysian Football Association official Hamidin Mohd Amin told local reporters.
"However, we received an update on the pitch conditions... and found that it won't be ready.
"The grass is new and the pitch is not fully even yet. This poses a safety risk to the players. We have no choice but to hold the final at the next biggest venue in the country."
The final is scheduled for October 20 and will feature the winner of Kelantan and Selangor, versus either Armed Forces or Singapore's Lions XII.
The venue switch is a boost for Selangor, who play their home matches at the Shah Alam stadium.
(Editing by John O'Brien)
PARIS Former Argentina coach Marcelo Bielsa will manage Lille next season after both parties reached an agreement on a two-year contract from the 2017-18 season, the French Ligue 1 club said on Sunday.
JOHANNESBURG FIFA President Gianni Infantino will meet more than 50 presidents of African football associations in an unprecedented summit in Johannesburg this week, officials said on Sunday.