Qatar joins World Cup qualifying to practise
LONDON • Qatar will be included as a guest team in Europe’s World Cup qualifying Group A as part of their preparation for hosting the tournament, Uefa said on Tuesday.
As 2022 hosts, Qatar qualify automatically and have to rely on friendlies as preparation for the Finals.
The Gulf nation has been placed as a “shadow” team in Group A, which comprises Portugal, Serbia, Azerbaijan, Luxembourg and Ireland, and will play against the team with a free date on given match days.
Jimenez on the mend after head operation
LONDON • Wolves striker Raul Jimenez has been discharged from hospital following surgery on his fractured skull, the Premier League club said on Tuesday.
The Mexican was injured after a clash of heads with Arsenal defender David Luiz at the Emirates Stadium last month.
Momota to return after almost a year
TOKYO • Japan’s badminton world No. 1 Kento Momota yesterday announced his long-awaited return to competition as he begins his bid for home glory at the Tokyo Olympics nearly a year after suffering serious injuries in a car crash.
The 26-year-old will compete at the All-Japan national championships in Tokyo later this month before playing in the Thailand Open next month. This follows a difficult year in which he feared his career might be over after fracturing an eye socket in the accident in January in Malaysia.