Venezuela goes unbeaten in Round 1
Minnesota Twins outfielder Oswaldo Arcia hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the eighth inning and Venezuela finished the first round of the Caribbean Series undefeated with a 4-2 win over Mexico on Friday.
Junior Guerra allowed three hits and one unearned run in five strong innings for Venezuela. The righty struck out seven and walked three. Amalio Diaz (1-0) got the win in relief, and Hassan Pena notched his first save of the tournament.
Reliever Manuel Barreda (0-1) allowed two runs in two innings for the loss.
Venezuela, which has 4 victories and no defeats faces Cuba, with 1 victory and three defeats, this Saturday in the semifinals.
Moreover, Puerto Rico beat the Dominican Republic 3 runs by 2 in the late game, breaking a 2-all tie in the ninth inning. The Dominican Republic (2 victories – 2 defeats) will face Mexico in the semifinals.
Host country, Puerto Rico, with 1 win and 3 losses was previously eliminated.
Sepp Blatter warns Qatar over imported national team
FIFA president Sepp Blatter on Friday warned Qatar against trying to form an imported team for the 2022 World Cup they will host and labelled the foreign team it used at the world handball championships as an "absurdity".
"The nation of 2.2 million faces the huge challenge of forming a competitive national football team by 2022. However, this cannot be achieved by quickly naturalizing players," Blatter said in a commentary for the FIFA Weekly journal.
He said that football's world body does not allow this, unlike the International Handball Federation.
According to Blatter, Qatar's players, who reached last weekend's final at the handball world championships "contradict the spirit of a national team".
The Qatar squad included players born in Bosnia-Hercegovina, France, Spain, Cuba and Montenegro. Several had played for other national teams prior to the tournament but handball allows players to play for more than one country.
"The fact that sport builds social bridges and brings cultures together cannot be stressed often enough," said the FIFA president, who is campaigning for a new term in May's election.
"However, what happened at this year's men's world handball championship in Qatar stretched this notion to the point of absurdity," he said.
Under FIFA rules, a player has to have been born in the country he represents or his parents have to have been born there. Otherwise, the player must have spent at least five years living there to qualify.
Cuba to host Ernest Hemingway Marlin Tournament in May
The Ernest Hemingway International Marlin Fishing Tournament, which promises to break attendance records in its 65th edition, will be held on May 25-30 in Havana, Cuba.
Carlos Garcia, president of the business group of nautical clubs and marinas, Marlin SA, noted that, boosted in 1950 by the famous US novelist, the Hemingway Tournament is one of the three oldest such tournaments in the world, which therefore makes Cuba stand out as an attractive destination for nautical tourism.
He said that over the last decade the competition has attracted crews from more than 30 nations, among them the United States with 23 teams, Russia 16, Cuba, United Kingdom, Italy and France with 15 each, and Spain with 14.
Commodore Jose Miguel Diaz, of Cuba's Hemingway International Nautical Club, said that so far they have received dozens of requests from around the world to participate in the tournament, particularly from the US nautical community.
If their government authorizes it, the attendance of US fishermen this year will break the historic records of 1979 (80 ships) and 1999 (50), predicted Diaz.
The president of the Cuban Fishers Federation, Ramon Cusa, said that the competition will include two modalities: trolling and tag and release, in order not to harm the species during catch.
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