New Sharqiyah Baja to bring Saudi Toyota Desert series to a close

Carlos Sainz will join the Saudi finale with fellow Spaniard Lucas Cuz. (Supplied )
Updated 05 December 2019

New Sharqiyah Baja to bring Saudi Toyota Desert series to a close

RIYADH: The Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation (SAMF) is putting the finishing touches to the Sharqiya Baja 2019, the fifth and final round of the incredibly successful inaugural Saudi Toyota Desert Rally Championship.

 The new event brings the year’s off-road rallying calendar to a close on Dec. 12-14 in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province, and is being observed as an official candidate for future inclusion in the FIA World Cup for cross-country races.

 The Sharqiya Baja will be based at the Holiday Inn on Half Moon Bay, near Alkhobar, in close proximity to the Kingdom’s causeway connection to Bahrain. The same location hosted Saudi Arabia’s round of the FIA Middle East Rally Championship that graced the calendar in 2010 after running as an official candidate in 2008.

 The German X-Raid team has already confirmed that two-time Dakar Rally winner and former WRC star Carlos Sainz will take part in the event as a last-minute shakedown before the Kingdom hosts the Dakar Rally for the first time at the start of 2020. Sainz and fellow Spaniard Lucas Cruz will wheel out the latest MINI John Cooper Works Buggy.

 Pre-event checks will take place at the Holiday Inn on Dec. 11. The ceremonial start and opening super special stage begin from 3 p.m. on Dec. 12.

 The first of the longer desert selective sections is scheduled to start at 8:50 a.m. on Dec. 13 and the last of the timed tests gets under way from 7:30 a.m. on Dec. 14 before the ceremonial finish at 7 p.m.

Entries close this Friday for the race, running with the support of SAMF, the General Sport Authority, Abdul Latif Jameel Motors (Toyota), the MBC Group, Al-Arabia outdoors and the Saudi Research and Marketing Group.


Luis Suarez suspected of cheating on Italian exam

Updated 22 September 2020

Luis Suarez suspected of cheating on Italian exam

  • The Italian exam was a first step required in order to receive a passport ahead of a possible transfer to Juventus
  • Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo said a proposed deal for Suarez was unlikely to go ahead because of delays in the Uruguayan’s bid to get an Italian passport

ROME: Barcelona forward Luis Suarez is suspected of cheating to pass his Italian language test with the help of his teachers, the Perugia prosecutor’s department in charge of the investigation said on Tuesday.
The Italian exam was a first step required in order to receive a passport ahead of a possible transfer to Juventus.
“The investigation showed that the subjects discussed during the exam were agreed beforehand with the candidate and that the grade was awarded to him even before the test,” the prosecutor’s department said in a statement.
Local prosecutor Raffaele Cantone, a former head of Italy’s National Anti-Corruption Authority, had been carrying out an investigation since February into University for Foreigners officials over various irregularities. Suspicions over Suarez were aroused by an overheard conversation.
“But what do you think, that we’re going to fail him? Today I have the last lesson (with Suarez) and I have to prepare it because he barely speaks a word” of Italian, Stefania Spina, one of the people targeted by the investigation, is claimed to have said according to prosecution documents cited by Italian media.
Asked by a colleague what level Suarez “should pass” in Italian, Spina reportedly replied: “He should not, he must, he will pass, because with a salary of 10 million (euros) per season, you can’t make him fail” his exam, “even if he doesn’t know how to conjugate verbs and speak in the infinitive.”
Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo said last week a proposed deal for Suarez was unlikely to go ahead because of delays in the Uruguayan’s bid to get an Italian passport.
The Italian champions cannot recruit Suarez otherwise because they have already reached their quota for non-EU players.