Federer withdraws from Montreal event

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MONTREAL - Roger Federer withdrew from next month's Rogers Cup ATP Masters event in Montreal on Wednesday as he builds toward the US Open. The 33-year-old world number two's withdrawal was announced in a press release, with reports citing "scheduling issues" for the pullout. "I am disappointed that I won't be playing in Montreal because it's a tournament and a city that I really enjoy and has incredible fans," the Swiss star said, adding that he hoped to return to the tournament in the future. Federer, beaten in the Wimbledon final earlier this month, is a two-time winner of the Rogers Cup when it was staged in Toronto in 2004 and 2006. He also finished runner-up last year to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Jerzy Janowicz of Poland was named to replace Federer in the main draw.–AFP

Platini gets AFC support to succeed Blatter

KUALA LUMPUR - The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Thursday backed Michel Platini to take over FIFA, saying he would help ensure a smooth transition for the world governing body from the Sepp Blatter era. The endorsement by the AFC is an important one for Platini, who confirmed he would run for FIFA president for which he is considered the front-runner. "We have of course noted Michel Platini's decision to stand, and he is certainly a unique candidate who would bring stability and a smooth transition to normality for FIFA in this difficult situation," an AFC statement quoted its President Sheikh Salman Bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa as saying. "In order to stabilise, (FIFA) needs leadership, experience and new ideas, but above all it needs football to be placed at its heart."–AFP

Khalid appointed AFC body member

LAHORE – PFF Electoral Committee chairman Khalid Latif has been honoured by AFC president Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa for being appointed as member AFC Competition Committee for the term 2015-2019. PFF president Makhdoom Faisal Saleh Hayat has felicitated Khalid and said: “Khalid Latif is a very capable person who, I strongly believe, will play his active role according to the responsibilities assigned to him as a member of the very important AFC competition committee and through his experience, he will be even more beneficial for the promotion of football in Pakistan.” Khalid has thanked the AFC president as well as members of AFC Executive Committee for appointing him as a member AFC Competition Committee. “It will be a great opportunity for me to play my productive role at Asia Level.”–Staff Reporter

Diego faces Youssef in World Jr Squash

ISLAMABAD - Defending champion Diego Elias of Peru booked his place in the World Junior Individual Squash Championship final, after brushing aside Malaysian Eain Yow Ng in straight games in the semifinal Thursday in Eindhoven, Netherlands. Diego was in cruise control from the very first game which he won 11-4. He was irresistible in the second game and won it 11-1. He easily won the third game 11-2 in just 20 minutes to set up final date with Egyptian Youssef Soliman, who beat compatriot Saadeldin Abouaish 3-1 in 72 minutes of breath-taking encounter. Youssef won the first game 11-4, he was as good in the second game and won it 11-5, but Saadeldin took the third game 11-7. After losing the third one, Youssef bounced back well and took the fourth game 11-8 thus won the marathon encounter.–Staff Reporter

Poor refereeing costs Farhan dearly

ISLAMABAD - Poor refereeing cost Farhan Zaman second round match of the $15,000 Victorian Open in Melbourne against top seed Ryan Cuskelly of Australia, as Farhan lost the match 3-1 on Thursday. Farhan started the first game on a high note and was matching fire with fire but poor refereeing cost him dearly as some controversial calls went against him and he lost the first game 7-11. He was nowhere in the second game and lost it 3-11. But after settling down, Farhan showed his class and won the third game 11-8. When Farhan was playing well and controlling the game, a number of close calls once again went against him, even crowd was not satisfied with the standard of refereeing. Pakistan's hopes of winning title end with Farhan’s exit as Nasir had lost first round match earlier.––Staff Reporter