Mongolian sumo champ apologizes after media reports beer bottle assault on fellow wrestler

Mongolian sumo grand champion Harumafuji speaks to journalists after morning training for the ongoing Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament in Dazaifu, southwestern Japan, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017. Japanese sumo officials are investigating allegations that Harumafuji hit his fellow Mongolian wrestler Takanoiwa in the head with a beer bottle at a party in October, fracturing his skull base and causing other injuries. (Kyodo News via AP)
Updated 14 November 2017
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Mongolian sumo champ apologizes after media reports beer bottle assault on fellow wrestler

TOKYO: Mongolian sumo grand champion Harumafuji on Tuesday apologized for injuring a fellow wrestler who media said suffered a fractured skull after being hit with a beer bottle in the latest scandal to engulf the closed, hierarchical sumo society.
Harumafuji, 33, hit Takanoiwa on the head last month at a party of sumo wrestlers from Mongolia, public broadcaster NHK quoted unnamed sources affiliated with the Japan Sumo Association as saying.
Takanoiwa, 27, is not taking part in the 15-day tournament that started on Sunday in Fukuoka, western Japan, due to the fracture, concussion and several other injuries, according to the association’s Twitter entry.
Takanoiwa told the association it would take two weeks for the injuries to heal, NHK and other media said. The association said Harumafuji would sit out the tournament and that it was looking into the matter.
“As for Takanoiwa’s injuries, I apologize deeply for causing trouble for stable master Takanohana, people affiliated with Takanohana stable, the Sumo Association and my stable master,” NHK showed Harumafuji telling reporters.
He declined to give details of the assault, NHK said.
Takanoiwa belongs to a stable led by former grand champion Takanohana. The stable master has already reported the incident to police, Kyodo news agency said. It was not immediately clear if Harumafuji would be charged.
No one was available for comment at Harumafuji’s or Takanoiwa’s stable.
In 2010, former stable master Tokitsukaze was sentenced to fives years in prison for instructing seniors to beat up a novice 17-year-old wrestler.
The same year, grand champion Asashoryu, also from Mongolia, retired from the ancient sport following a probe into reports of a drunken scuffle in Tokyo.


Profligate Arsenal punished by 10-man Atletico Madrid

The gunners could not defeat 10-man Atletico Madrid. (AFP)
Updated 52 min 53 sec ago
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Profligate Arsenal punished by 10-man Atletico Madrid

  • The Gunners played with an extra man for over 80 minutes
  • Arsenal now need to become the first away team to score in 12 matches at Atletico’s Wanda Metropolitano stadium next week

LONDON: Arsenal’s hopes of sending outgoing manager Arsene Wenger off with a trophy suffered a major blow as they could only draw 1-1 with 10-man Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Europa League semifinal on Thursday.
The Gunners played with an extra man for over 80 minutes at the Emirates Stadium, with Sime Vrsaljko’s early red card handing them the initiative.
However, they were made to rue a host of missed chances before and after Alexandre Lacazette headed them in front on the hour mark.
Atletico coach Diego Simeone was also sent to the stands shortly after Vrsaljko’s dismissal, but the Spaniards resisted manfully and pounced when their chance came as Antoine Griezmann prodded home a vital away goal eight minutes from time.
Arsenal now need to become the first away team to score in 12 matches at Atletico’s Wanda Metropolitano stadium next week if Wenger’s last game in charge is to be the final in his homeland in Lyon on May 16.
Moreover, Arsenal’s hopes of Champions League football next season also hang on becoming the first side other than Real Madrid to eliminate Atletico from Europe for five seasons.
There was a far more highly-charged atmosphere for Wenger’s penultimate home game in charge than there had been for last weekend’s game against West Ham United.
And the hosts were given plenty of encouragement early on, even when still up against Atletico’s full complement.
Lacazette volleyed off the outside of the post and forced Jan Oblak into the first of a series of fine saves with a header from close range.
Vrsaljko had been booked within two minutes for bringing down Jack Wilshere.

And the Croatian left his side a man light after just 10 minutes when French referee Clement Turpin showed no leniency for another late challenge on Lacazette.
Moments later, Simeone was also dismissed by the officious referee for taking his protests too far when an Arsenal player wasn’t booked for what he thought was a similar foul.
Atletico’s excellent defensive record is what has carried them to five European semifinals in seven seasons under Simeone.
The visitors battened down the hatches with 10 men, but were reliant on Oblak to keep them in the tie.
Wilshere headed straight at Oblak when unmarked at the back post at the end of a flowing Arsenal move.
And the Slovenian then spread himself well with an outstretched leg to deny Danny Welbeck.
Having weathered the Gunners’ early storm, Atletico only began to threaten themselves late in the first half and David Ospina had to be alert to parry a fiercely struck Griezmann shot following a fine run from Thomas Partey.
Atletico retreated ever deeper toward their own goal after the break and were finally punished on the hour mark when Wilshere’s deep cross found Lacazette rising above Lucas Hernandez to head in his seventh goal in seven games.
However, the French international and Arsenal could have had more.
Laczette’s dangerous ball across goal found no takers before he headed another good opportunity wide.
And Arsenal paid heavily for their profligacy, and some comical defending, when Atletico grabbed a vital away goal on 82 minutes.
Griezmann outmuscled French international team-mate Laurent Koscielny and then benefited from a slip by Shkodran Mustafi after his initial effort had been saved by Ospina to prod his 27th goal of the season into the roof of the net.
There was still time for Oblak to show why Griezmann isn’t the only Atletico player wanted by Europe’s elite with a spectacular one-handed save to turn Aaron Ramsey’s header behind and keep Los Rojiblancos on course for another European final.