Friday, April 27, 2018
Sports

Cameroon says pay dispute is in the past

NATAL, Brazil — Cameroon arrived to the World Cup a day late because of a pay dispute. Now that it is here, it wants to leave the issue back in Africa.

Yet four years after going winless in South Africa and with the first game today against Mexico, the dispute was the first question posed at Thursday's news conference. It took about five seconds for spokesman Rafael Nkoa to silence any answer.

"This press conference has only to do with the game," he barked. "We don't want to discuss any other matter."

And so they didn't, except for coach Volker Finke's later dismissal that the dispute — which forced the Cameroon federation to take out a loan to meet player demands — harmed team spirit.

"You have to respect a difference in culture," he said. "It's not something to be judged from the outside. Somebody in Germany or in France can't understand how things happen in Cameroon. It works for people in Cameroon. Just respect the way things happen in Africa. We found a solution."

U.S. injury: U.S. defender Timmy Chandler, a candidate to start, didn't play in an intrasquad scrimmage because of a leg injury. Details of the injury weren't disclosed. But spokesman Michael Kammarman said he worked out on his own and is expected back for today's final practice before the Americans travel to Natal for next week's opener against Ghana.

Chile: Coach Jorge Sampaoli said there is a "high possibility" star midfielder Arturo Vidal, who had knee surgery last month, will play today against Australia.

France: Team doctor Franck Le Gall criticized German team Bayern Munich for the way it handled a back injury that caused star forward Franck Ribery to miss the World Cup. Ribery sat out the second leg of a Champions League semifinal April 29 but took pain-killers and entered as a sub in the German Cup final May 17. "He was out for more or less three weeks and played a match which he probably shouldn't have played," Le Gall said. "(Bayern) didn't manage to solve the problem in those three weeks."

Italy: Starting fullback Mattia De Sciglio will miss Saturday's opener against England and possibly the entire tournament with a right leg muscle injury sustained during practice Thursday. Officials didn't disclose details of the injury.

Netherlands: A day before the opener against Spain, players downplayed talk of revenge for the 1-0 loss to it in the 2010 World Cup final. "It's history. It doesn't matter any longer," wing Arjen Robben said. "I don't believe in revenge. This is a group match. You can't compare it."

Portugal: Star forward Cristiano Ronaldo, dealing with left knee and left thigh injuries, left practice early and later had an ice pack over the knee. But midfielder Joao Moutinho said, "Everything is fine with him, but there is some caution."

Quotable: "That is the Brazilian style. We leave everything for the last moment." — Maria Flavio, a volunteer at Salvador's Arena Fonte Nova as wire fences were being unfolded and X-ray security machines were being unpacked a day before the Netherlands and Spain play there

Comments
After first round, here are 10 names to watch for Bucs at No. 38

After first round, here are 10 names to watch for Bucs at No. 38

The first round of the NFL draft is complete, and the Bucs held off on trading back up, leaving them with three second-round picks Friday night.Their own pick is No. 38 — the sixth pick of the second round — and they added two more —...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Softball: Plant City perfect in district finals with Ashley Bullion on mound

Softball: Plant City perfect in district finals with Ashley Bullion on mound

PLANT CITY — Plant City softball coach Ashley Bullion is 4-for-4 after Thursday night.Four years at the helm, four district titles.The latest championship came in a 4-1 victory over East Bay in the Class 8A, District 6 final, a victory highligh...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Softball: Recent momentum carries Mitchell past Sunlake

LAND O' LAKES — Despite being on the wrong end of two lopsided outcomes to Sunlake during the regular season, recent events gave Mitchell hope in its Class 7A-10 district final rematch with the Seahawks.Just two days prior, the Mustangs be...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Softball: Robinson makes it 10 straight wins vs. Jefferson

TAMPA — For the Robinson softball team, the perfect 10 was complete.The top-seeded Knights defeated No. 2 Jefferson for the 10th consecutive time Thursday and claimed their fifth district championship in a row, a 12-2 five-inning victory in the...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Softball: Itís April, so Chamberlain is winning

TAMPA — Coach Bob Diez and his Chamberlain Chiefs have always believed in this motto: "Be good in April."This is their season.The Chiefs added another Class 7A-8 district title Thursday against Gaither with a 7-0 victory.With the win, the ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Softball: East Lake is aggressive from the start

TARPON SPRINGS — If strong pitching and defense are the bellwethers of a deep playoff run, consider East Lake ready.Playing second seed Pinellas Park on Thursday night for the Class 8A-7 title, the host Eagles (22-3) used that philosophy to mak...
Updated: 1 hour ago
NFL draft: Chargers take FSUís Derwin James with No. 17 pick

NFL draft: Chargers take FSUís Derwin James with No. 17 pick

Former Florida State safety Derwin James fell farther than expected Thursday in the first night of the NFL draft before being chosen by the Chargers with the No. 17 overall pick.James became the fifth former Seminoles defensive back ever drafted in t...
Updated: 1 hour ago
NFL draft: Patriots pick Lakewood alum Isaiah Wynn at No. 23

NFL draft: Patriots pick Lakewood alum Isaiah Wynn at No. 23

Lakewood High alumnus and former Georgia offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn was drafted No. 23 overall Thursday by the Patriots.Wynn becomes one of the highest drafted offensive linemen in Tampa Bay history and the first Pinellas County player to go in th...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs trade down with Bills, take strongman DT Vita Vea No. 12

Bucs trade down with Bills, take strongman DT Vita Vea No. 12

TAMPA — Vita Vea loves to tell the story about the trip he took to French Polynesia with some University of Washington students and the group coming upon some enormous rocks."So over there, their strongman competition is they have a tradition w...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Another reason the Bucs took defensive tackle Vita Vea at No. 12

Another reason the Bucs took defensive tackle Vita Vea at No. 12

TAMPA — The selection of Vita Vea is a move the Bucs made for the present and the future. While Gerald McCoy remains a dominant defensive tackle, he turned 30 in February and is due to make $12.3 million this season and $13 million in...
Updated: 1 hour ago