Former Leicester boss Pearson heads to Belgian second tier

(Reuters) - Oud-Heverlee Leuven have appointed former Leicester City boss Nigel Pearson as their new manager, replacing Dutchman Dennis van Wijk, the Belgian second-tier club said on Friday.

Pearson will be reunited with Leicester City owners King Power International, who bought the Belgian side in May after they narrowly avoided relegation last season.

“I look forward to my return to football, working again with King Power’s people and helping out this beautiful club,” Pearson said in a statement.

Top seed Muguruza sails into Pan Pacific Open semis

TOKYO (Reuters) - World number one Garbine Muguruza put on a clinical display to power past Caroline Garcia 6-2 6-4 in the Pan Pacific Open quarter-finals in Tokyo on Friday.

The 23-year-old Wimbledon champion, who climbed to the top of the WTA rankings on Monday, hardly broke sweat against the Frenchwoman, ranked 20th in the world, on her way to victory in an hour and 20 minutes.

Bournemouth defender Mings ruled out for a month with injury

(Reuters) - Bournemouth centre back Tyrone Mings has been ruled out for at least a month due to a back injury, manager Eddie Howe confirmed on Friday.

Mings missed Bournemouth’s last two matches, both victories over Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League and in the League Cup.

The 24-year-old, who joined the club in 2015, signed a new four-year deal at the Vitality Stadium last month.

Tensions with North Korea, China hurt ticket sales for South Korean Olympics - organizer

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea’s political tensions with North Korea and China are depressing ticket sales for the 2018 Winter Olympics in the South Korean city of Pyeongchang, leaving hundreds of thousands of tickets unsold, the organiser said on Friday.

France said on Thursday its Winter Olympics team will not travel to South Korea if security cannot be guaranteed, as tensions escalate over North Korea’s nuclear programme following its sixth and largest nuclear test on Sept. 3.

Costa's Chelsea exit a 'real shame' for Premier League, says Hughes

(Reuters) - Stoke City manager Mark Hughes believes the departure of Diego Costa will be a huge loss for Chelsea who will miss the striker’s goals and aggression.

Costa, a key figure in Chelsea’s two Premier League title wins in last three seasons, appeared to have sealed his inevitable exit from Chelsea after they agreed to sell the 28-year-old back to Atletico Madrid.

IOC says no doubts about Korea Games amid French unease

(Reuters) - Olympics organisers sought on Friday to ease French concerns about next year’s winter Games in South Korea, saying the safety of athletes was their priority and nations in the region had no doubts that the event would go ahead.

With tensions on the Korean peninsula rising, France on Thursday became the first nation to publicly raise the possibility of skipping the Feb. 9-25 Pyeongchang Olympics on security grounds.

Chelsea's Abraham denies switching allegiance to Nigeria, commits to England

(Reuters) - England under-21 striker Tammy Abraham has denied reports he is set to switch international allegiance to Nigeria in a bid to feature in next year’s World Cup.

According to British media reports, the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) have been keen on recruiting London-born Abraham, who remains eligible for the African nation through his parents.

Fond memories can help West Ham overcome Spurs: Bilic

(Reuters) - West Ham United must recall positive memories from previous encounters against Tottenham Hotspur to claim a third straight home win over their London rivals, manager Slaven Bilic has said.

West Ham beat Tottenham 1-0 at home last year and a win by the same score in May effectively ended the title hopes of Mauricio Pochettino’s side.

Barry wants positive result at Arsenal in milestone game

(Reuters) - Gareth Barry will not be happy with anything other than a positive result at Arsenal in what could be a Premier League record 633rd appearance for the West Bromwich Albion midfielder.

The 36-year-old Barry, who equalled retired Manchester United player Ryan Giggs’s record in last week’s 0-0 draw with West Ham United, has also had top flight spells at Aston Villa, Manchester City and Everton.

Soccer - Swiss club president attacks TV commentator after match

BERNE (Reuters) - FC Sion president Christian Constantin physically attacked a television commentator following a league match on Thursday, then said he had “sorted out” a difference between the pair.

Part of the attack was caught on camera and showed commentator Rolf Fringer, already on the ground, being slapped on the head by the 60-year-old Constantin, shortly after Sion’s 2-1 win at Lugano.