Former referee Collina among committee chairmen named by FIFA

ZURICH Former World Cup referee Pierluigi Collina is among nine new committee chairmen who have been named by football's governing body FIFA.

FIFA has reduced its number of standing committees from 26 to nine under reforms which were passed by its Congress last February in response to the worst corruption scandal in its history.

Forty individuals and two sports marketing companies were indicted in the United States while other officials, including former FIFA president Sepp Blatter, have been banned by FIFA's own ethics committee.

Frequent Iniesta injuries a problem for Barca coach Luis Enrique

By Richard Martin
| BARCELONA

BARCELONA Barcelona coach Luis Enrique said on Saturday that his team are never quite the same without midfield maestro Andres Iniesta who will again be missing when they visit Eibar on Sunday, needing a win to keep up the pressure on La Liga leaders Real Madrid.

The Barca captain strained a calf muscle in the first half of Barca's 1-0 win at Real Sociedad in the King's Cup on Thursday, the third injury he has sustained in a season in which he has only started six league games.

Dimitrov easily tames Gasquet to reach last 16

MELBOURNE Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov produced a brilliant display to end Richard Gasquet's promising Australian Open campaign with a 6-3 6-2 6-4 victory in the third round on Saturday.

Dimitrov, who ended a 2-1/2 year trophy drought by winning the Brisbane International title in the run up to the season's opening grand slam, appeared to be in a hurry to get off court after the players were kept waiting until almost midnight to start the match.

Federer comeback continues against Nishikori

MELBOURNE Roger Federer took a massive step forward upon his return to the weekly grind of the tennis circuit with his third round thrashing of Tomas Berdych and is enthused at the prospect of facing Kei Nishikori at the Australian Open on Sunday.

Federer, seeded 17th at the season-opening grand slam after a knee injury cut short his 2016 schedule, demolished 10th seed Berdych on Friday to set up his clash with the in-form Nishikori on Rod Laver Arena.

Liverpool title challenge dented by Swansea sensation

- Liverpool were on the end of the biggest sensation of the Premier League season when bottom club Swansea City repelled a dramatic comeback from Juergen Klopp's title chasers to earn their first-ever league win at Anfield on Saturday.

The Welsh strugglers leapt out of the bottom three with a quite extraordinary win that stunned Liverpool fans who had not seen their title challengers lose a home match league there since defeat by Manchester United a year ago.

Vonn wins in second race after injury layoff

BERLIN Irrepressible Lindsey Vonn won the women's downhill at Garmish-Partenkirchen on Saturday in only her second race since returning after an 11-month injury layoff.

The four-times World Cup overall champion, and 2010 Olympic downhill champion, was fastest at every intermediate stage on the Kandahar course as she finished 0.15 seconds ahead of Switzerland's Lara Gut. Germany's Viktoria Rebensburg was third.

The 32-year-old American made her comeback at Altenmark-Zauchensee last Sunday when she finished 13th in the downhill.

Is racism legal in France? - asks Balotelli

PARIS A furious Mario Balotelli asked fans if racism was "legal in France" after the Nice striker accused Bastia fans of abusing him during his team's 1-1 Ligue 1 draw on Friday.

The Italian posted a message on his Instagram page on Saturday, saying the incident was a "real shame".

Fifth seed Pliskova survives Ostapenko scare in Melbourne

By Nick Mulvenney
| MELBOURNE

MELBOURNE Karolina Pliskova showed nerves of steel as she battled back from 5-2 down in the deciding set to beat teenager Jelena Ostapenko 4-6 6-0 10-8 and reach the fourth round of the Australian Open for the first time on Saturday.

The fifth seed, a finalist at the U.S. Open last year, won eight of the last 11 games in a topsy-turvy contest on Margaret Court Arena to secure a last-16 meeting with the final Australian in the draw, Daria Gavrilova.

No quitting for Lucic-Baroni on tough road back to the top

By Nick Mulvenney
| MELBOURNE

MELBOURNE Mirjana Lucic-Baroni waited 19 long years before recording her second victory at the Australian Open earlier this week and on Saturday clinched her fourth by beating Greek Maria Sakkari 3-6 6-2 6-3 to move into the last 16 for the first time.

The Croatian was one of the hottest properties in tennis as a teenager before the personal turmoil of her upbringing caught up with her and she was forced to start all over again in 2008.

Raonic recovers from Simon stumble to reach fourth round

By Ian Ransom
| MELBOURNE

MELBOURNE Milos Raonic's machine-like advance through the Australian Open suffered a brief glitch against Gilles Simon but the Canadian re-booted to delete the dogged Frenchman 6-2 7-6(5) 3-6 6-3 and reach the fourth round on Saturday.

Third seed Raonic lost his first set of the tournament and his composure against the indefatigable Simon, whose hard running and passing shots threatened to turn the game on its head at a heaving Hisense Arena.

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