Global sports round-up
Williams sisters settle in
LONDON – Venus and Serena Williams have opted for the comfort of a Wimbledon hotel over the athletes’ village and might miss the opening ceremony but the tennis siblings were still able to soak up some of the London Olympic experience today.
Soon after arriving in the English capital, the Williams sisters and their United States team mates got a taste of Olympic traffic gridlock, delaying their pre-Games news conference.
Everyone then had a good chuckle at the expense of doubles partners and brothers Bob and Mike Bryan, who were denied entry into the Olympic media centre for not having validated credentials. Serena, still basking in the glow of her fifth Wimbledon singles title, quickly made it clear, however, that she
was not back in London for a few laughs, but for medals. If the 14-time grand slam winner can claim the women’s gold she would become the only player to win all four slams, plus singles and doubles gold.
LONDON – Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong has been charged by the English Football Association with improper conduct for allegedly posting anti-Semitic comments on Twitter.
The FA says Frimpong, 20, used a ‘’reference to ethnic origin, faith or race’’ in response to an abusive tweet aimed at him on Sunday. The post has since been removed.
In a statement on its website, the FA said today that Frimpong is suspected of posting comments ‘’amounting to improper conduct and/or which brought the game into disrepute.’’
The soccer body gave Frimpong until July 27 to respond to the charge.
Muslim athletes fasting for Ramadan after games
LONDON – Several of the world’s top Muslim athletes have announced they will delay the start of their annual Ramadan fast this year, as it clashes with the Olympic Games taking place in London from 27 July to 12 August.
During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims throughout the world abstain from eating, drinking, and sexual relations – leaving the 3,000 Muslims competing in London to ask an important question: to fast or not to fast?
Mo Farah, a 29-year-old Somalia-born long distance runner on the British team and current 5,000 meter world champion, has made up his mind. He will begin the Ramadan Fast when the games end.
Mohammed Sbihi, a 24-year-old British rower of Moroccan descent, will provide food for 1,800 impoverished people at home to “offset” his fast. “My faith is really important to me,” he said. “I spoke to my family here in the UK and to my family back in Morocco and, at the end of the day, I am making the right decision for me and that’s to postpone my fast.”
Both star British athletes sought advice from scholars of Islam. Fortunately for them (and the Olympic Games) Islam provides practical caveats to fasting. One of the Five Pillars of Wisdom in the Quran forbids the sick, elderly, and pregnant among from taking part. Now, it seems, the list includes Olympic athletes.