FIFA'S Sony sponsorship: Sony Corporation has signed a 305 million dollar deal to become a sponsor of soccer's world governing body FIFA from 2007 to 2014. The deal is the first global sponsorship agreement entered into by the Tokyo-based electronics, entertainment and technology group and they will join Adidas and Hyundai and three as yet unnamed companies as "FIFA partners". Under the terms of the deal, Sony will have "core sponsorship rights" to all FIFA competitions over the seven years, most notably the World Cups of 2010, which will take place in South Africa, and 2014.

Cameroon's puma kit: FIFA suffered a setback in its row with sports goods maker Puma when a German judge yesterday said she saw no grounds for the world governing body's ban of Cameroon's controversial one-piece kit. Puma has filed a lawsuit against FIFA at a German court demanding two million euros ($2.6 million) in damages. FIFA banned the kit and imposed a six-point sanction on Cameroon's 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign because the team continued to wear it at the African Nations Cup in 2004. The penalty was lifted by FIFA in May 2004.

Perrin for Portsmouth: Former Olympique Marseille coach Alain Perrin is expected to be named as Portsmouth manager today after the Premier League club confirmed that the Frenchman is a leading candidate for the job. If Perrin gets the job he would be offered a two-year contract and receive help until the end of the season from former Luton Town and Tottenham manager David Pleat as a temporary consultant.

Rush quits Chester: Former Liverpool and Wales striker Ian Rush has resigned as manager of English fourth division club Chester City, the BBC reported yesterday. Rush, 43, who took over at Chester last August, decided to leave the club after they ended the contract of his assistant Mark Aizlewood on Monday.

Monaco postpone match: Monaco have postponed Sunday's Ligue 1 match against Lille as a mark of respect following the death of the principality's Prince Rainier III yesterday. The club said in a statement on their website that the game had been rescheduled for Friday April 29 with the agreement of the French league.

In Italy: Serie C1 A - Como vs Pavia 0-0; Cremonese vs Novara 3-0; Grosseto vs Acireale 1-2; Lumezzane vs Torres 0-0; Pisa vs Lucchese 1-2; Pistoiese vs Fidelis Andria 4-1; Sangiovannese vs Spezia 0-0; Vittoria vs Frosinone 2-0. Serie C1 B - Vis Pesaro vs Rimini 1-2.

In England: The Championship - Coventry vs Nottingham Forest 2-0. League Two- Oxford vs Macclesfield 1-1.

¤ Armed thieves burst into Olympic 3,000m steeplechase champion Ezekiel Kemboi's home on Monday and attempted to steal his gold medal. Kemboi, who was not at home at the time, said the intruders ordered his wife to hand over the medal. "They kept asking my wife where it was, but luckily I have deposited it in a bank vault," he said. The intruders made off with money and a camera but their attempt to flee in Kemboi's car failed after it stalled in the driveway.

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