LONDON - West Ham United were right to spend most of their transfer budget on Andy Carroll last year but may do things differently next season, manager Sam Allardyce said on Thursday.
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PHOENIX - Michael Phelps made an ominous start in his comeback to competitive swimming on Thursday, setting the fastest time in the 100 metres butterfly heats at a USA Swimming Grand Prix meet in suburban Phoenix.
LONDON - Chelsea midfielder Ramires will miss the rest of the Premier League season after being handed a four-match ban by the FA on Thursday for elbowing Sunderland's Sebastian Larsson.
SAO PAULO - Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari knows his 23-man squad for the World Cup finals and has chosen Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Julio Cesar and Fred to act as captains, he said on Thursday.
BERLIN - German politicians have criticised football club Schalke 04, sponsored by Russian energy giant Gazprom, for considering an invitation to Russia at a time when tensions are running high over the crisis in Ukraine.
- Champions League-chasing Everton will be without veteran French defender Sylvain Distin for Saturday's Premier League match against Southampton due to a hamstring injury.
First Jacques Kallis retired. Then Graeme Smith called it quits. In between, South Africa lost a Test series against Australia, their first at home since the 2008-09 season. What stares the Proteas in the face now, however, is a far bigger challenge than just replacing two great cricketers.