Month: January 2020
GENEVA (AP): Michel Platini will run for FIFA president and plans to announce his intentions this week. Two officials familiar with Platini’s plans have told the Associated Press (AP) that the FIFA vice-president has made a decision to try to succeed Sepp Blatter. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because Platini has not yet announced his candidacy. The officials said that the UEFA president and former France great has been encouraged to run by most leaders of FIFA’s continental confederations. Five of the six continental leaders, including Platini, were in St Petersburg, Russia, last week for FIFA meetings and the 2018 World Cup qualifying draw. Platini declined to discuss his ambitions when asked by the AP in St Petersburg. Mexico sack Herrera MEXICO CITY (AP): Mexican national team coach Miguel Herrera was fired yesterday following a television reporter’s claim that the man known as ‘El Piojo’ punched him. The ouster came just two days after Herrera led Mexico to victory in the CONCACAF Gold Cup. But Decio de Maria, who on Saturday becomes president of the Mexican Soccer Federation, said the incident with the journalist was not in keeping with “the spirit of fair and respectful competition” the organisation espouses. “Our values, our principles, are above any result,” de Maria said at a news conference. “In our profession, our industry, the matches are never over, and as public figures who represent an institution, we must be absolutely clear on that.” There was no comment from the coach on his firing, nor has he said anything publicly on the incident with the reporter. Herrera is the latest to depart from what has become a revolving-door job since Ricardo La Volpe of Argentina was the last to complete a four-year World Cup cycle as head of the team, known as ‘El Tri’. Mexico have burned through 10 head coaches in the nine years since La Volpe departed after the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Bayern sign Chile’s Vidal MUNICH (AP): Bayern Munich completed the long-anticipated transfer of Chile midfielder Arturo Vidal from Italian champions Juventus yesterday. The Bundesliga champions said Vidal signed a four-year deal, with an option foranother season. “I wanted to take another big step in my career,” Vidal said in a brief interview on Bayern’s website. “I want to develop further as a player, and I want to win important titles, such as the Champions League. And I see Bayern as the best opportunity for that.” Bayern did not disclose the financial details of the contract. But Italian media reports suggested Bayern paid US$39.5 million with final cost rising to US$44 million with bonuses, to bring the 28-year-old Vidal back to the Bundesliga. If correct, the figures would make Vidal one of the most expensive Bundesliga transfers. Nadal eases past Verdasco HAMBURG, Germany (AP): Top-seeded Rafael Nadal overcame a sluggish start to beat Fernando Verdasco 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 in the first round of the Hamburg Open yesterday. Nadal was playing his first match since losing to Dustin Brown in the second round of Wimbledon. The former No. 1 in the world has fallen to No. 10. In the all-Spanish match, Nadal appeared to have trouble adjusting to clay and finding his timing. But his game picked up noticeably in the last two sets. Verdasco saved one match point, but then hit the net with a backhand to hand Nadal the win. Nadal’s last match on clay was the quarter-final loss to Novak Djokovic at the French Open.
Hyde signs pro contract with PUMA Jaheel Hyde cemented his pro status by signing a shoe/apparel deal with sports giant PUMA, brokered by his management company, Garfield Coke Management Company (GCMC). This association will directly benefit his pursuits as a student athlete who balances academics and sports, a media release from GCMC said yesterday. The release added: “Jaheel will be pursuing tertiary studies at the University of the West Indies, and will continue training under the watchful eyes of his coaches, who have led him to three global titles, as he aims at Rio 2016. He is looking forward to the continued support of all his sponsors, management team and fans as he commits to excellence on and off the track as a professional athlete.” IAAF denies blocking publication of doping study MONACO (AP): The governing body of track and field has denied accusations that it suppressed the publication of a study in which a third of top athletes surveyed admitted to using banned performance-enhancing techniques. British newspaper The Sunday Times claimed that the authors of the survey say the IAAF blocked publication of the study, conducted at the 2011 World Championship in Daegu, South Korea. The newspaper says the survey concluded that 29 to 34 per cent of 1,800 competitors at the championships had violated anti-doping rules in the previous 12 months. The IAAF says it has “never vetoed publication of this article”, and that it had “serious reservations as to the interpretation of the results made by the research group”, which was from the University of Tubingen in Germany. New Zealand beat South Africa CENTURION, South Africa (AP): Martin Guptill bludgeoned 60 from 35 balls to set up New Zealand’s 32-run victory over South Africa on Sunday to draw the two-match Twenty20 series. Guptill’s half-century at the top of the order sent the New Zealanders to 177-7 in 20 overs, batting first at Supersport Park in Centurion. South Africa could only manage 145-8 in reply, with spinners Nathan McCullum and Ish Sodhi, and quick bowler Mitchell McClenaghan all chipping in with two wickets each for New Zealand. The victory clinched a share of the series for the Black Caps, and gives them a boost ahead of a three-game one-day international series. Opener Guptill struck six fours and three sixes to be the only batsman on either side to really get going. Captain Kane Williamson supported with 25 in their opening partnership of 52, and James Neesham had 28 from 19 balls from the middle order.
Venus in Hong Kong semisHONG KONG (AP):Venus Williams closed in on a spot in the season-ending WTA Finals by beating Alize Cornet 6-1, 6-1 yesterday to reach the Hong Kong Open semi-finals.The third-seeded American, a seven-time Grand Slam champion, won the Wuhan Open this month.Williams will next meet Jelena Jankovic, who beat Daria Gavrilova 6-1, 6-1.Angelique Kerber and Samantha Stosur also advanced, and will face each other in the semi-finals. Stosur beat Heather Watson 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 while Kerber defeated Caroline Garcia 7-5, 6-3.
Having championed the West Indies cricket team’s cause for seven years, former fast bowler-turned politician Daren Powell contends that he is ready to bowl the People’s National Party (PNP) to victory and unseat incumbent J.C. Hutchinson as member of Parliament for North West St Elizabeth.Powell took 85 Test wickets and 71 one-day international wickets in 37 and 55 matches, respectively.He believes that his “love for people” has destined him to represent them and is ready to deliver.”It’s not me who chose it (politics). Based on what I used to do in the community as a cricketer, people always loved me and showed me respect. People always ask me why I don’t go into representational politics and represent them,” he shared with The Gleaner.”In 2012, South East St Elizabeth Member of Parliament Richard Parchment was passing through on a motorcade and the people stopped him and appointed him their new representative,” Powell recalled.”It is not based on anything – just how I live with the people. I have a passion for people and my community. I always do a lot for people and I have a passion for youth,” he shared.”I am weak for people who are very sick,” Powell said of a recent visit to the Black River Hospital in St Elizabeth.While being respectful of his challenger, who has seen as many as 6,438 persons voting for him in 2007 and 5,689 in 2011, Powell said that he has no fear of the political veteran.”He has been around for some 20-odd years. He is not somebody easily beaten, but that constituency is lacking in many things – infrastructure, growth, and opportunities for the youth. One thing is for certain, I am more confident now about winning than when I just started,” stressed Powell.The PNP last won the seat in 1993 when Melford Brown was voted as MP. Since then, it has been the Hutchinson show.”Victory for the PNP! Victory for North West St Elizabeth and those who support change! I will take it home for the PNP,” Powell predicted.
CRICKET: NAGPUR, India (CMC): Chris Gayle has described fellow opener Andre Fletcher as a ‘dangerous’ batsman capable of posting big scores, after he plundered an unbeaten half century to lead West Indies to a seven-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the T20 World Cup on Sunday. Fletcher filled the opening slot when Gayle was injured and scored a career-best 84 not out off 64 balls to seal a comfortable win over Sri Lanka, their second win after beating England in their opening fixture. Gayle is backing Fletcher to continue his prolific form in the tournament. “It was fantastic to see Fletcher. I have opened the batting with Fletcher many times and I know what sort of player he is,” said Gayle. “He is very dangerous and he is capable of getting big scores, so hopefully he can build on this and carry on and don’t leave it for anybody and get a few more Man of the Match.” The right-handed Fletcher dominated a 39-run first-wicket stand with Johnson Charles and added 55 in an unbroken fourth-wicket stand with Andre Russell to help West Indies overhaul a paltry 123 set by Sri Lanka. Gayle is encouraging Fletcher to play his natural aggressive game and to continue batting deep into the innings. “You have to pick and choose your bowlers who you want to target at particular times and what works for him as well. Continue being aggressive in the first six overs and try and capitalise on that new ball as a batter,” Gayle advised. “You just have to keep that aggression going … try and take it as deep as possible … still look to pick up the odd boundaries in between the middle overs as well and build on whatever start you get.” Gayle took the Man-of-the-Match award with a boundary-studded 100 not out off 48 balls as Windies beat England in their opening match in Mumbai. “Hopefully I can follow-up with more innings like this,” said Gayle. “But if it does not happen we have a lot of guys who are match winners themselves, who can actually do the same thing and destroy bowling attacks around the world.” The Windies arrived in Nagpur on Monday afternoon where they are preparing to face South Africa on Good Friday. First ball is 7:30 p.m. (10 a.m. Eastern Caribbean Time/9 a.m. Jamaica Time).
LEICESTER (4-4-1-1)SCHMEICHEL,SIMPSON, MORGAN, HUTH, FUCHS,MAHREZ, DRINKWATER, KANTE, ALBRIGHTON,OKAZAKI,ULLOAPALOSCHI,MONTERO, SIGURDSSON, AYEW,FER, CORK,TAYLOR, WILLIAMS, FERNANDEZ, RANGEL,FABIANSKISWANSEA (4-2-3-1)Leicester City face another huge test of their character, not to mention their title aspirations, when they entertain Swansea at home on Sunday. Last Monday, closest rivals Tottenham Hotspur cut the gap at the top of the Barclays Premier League to just five points – it has been as wide as 10 in recent days – and a Leicester defeat could prove damaging.Spurs are at home to West Bromwich Albion on Monday night, more than 24 hours after Leicester play. If the Foxes lost, Spurs would have the chance to reduce the deficit to just two points with three games left.However, Leicester, held to a controversial 2-2 draw by West Ham United last weekend, should remain confident – even if they will be without England striker Jamie Vardy, sent-off in the Hammers game.Leicester are unbeaten in their last eight games, winning six and taking 20 points from a possible 24. They have lost at the King Power Stadium just once in the league – the fewest home losses in the Premier League.And when they met Swansea in South Wales in December, Leicester won 3-0 with a Riyad Mahrez hat-trick. And their home record against the Welshmen is impressive; they are unbeaten in nine clashes since they last lost this fixture – in October 1950. They have also beaten Swansea in their last four home games, scoring 10 goals and conceding four.As well as the absent Vardy, Leicester cannot use Nathan Dier, on loan from Swansea, who have a clean bill of health.
THE 76th running of the Lotto Classic for the Governor’s Cup over 2000 metres takes centre stage at Caymanas Park today, with 12 native bred three-year-olds slated to face the starter, including ante-post favourite ORPHEUS.Of significance is the fact that all three classic winners so far this season have bypassed the race. They are the Post to Post 2000 Guineas winner, FUTURE KING, the 1000 Guineas winner, NUCLEAR AFFAIR, as well as the Caribbean Choice Oaks winner, A THOUSAND STARS.Still, there is enough talent in the quartet of ORPHEUS, CHACE THE GREAT, BIGDADDYKOOL and not least, the progressive roan gelding, MR. DOITBETTA, to ensure keen competition.Topline trainer Anthony ‘Baba’ Nunes holds a particularly strong hand with ORPHEUS and BIGDADDYKOOL, second and fourth, respectively, to FUTURE KING in the April 9 Post to Post 2000 Guineas over a mile.There was a lot to like about the manner in which ORPHEUS came home in the Guineas, closing real fast on FUTURE KING in the dying stages to lose by a length, with the front running CHACE THE GREAT close up in third.ON the strength of that performance, ORPHEUS, with big-race jockey Shane Ellis retaining the ride, should start a firm favourite, especially after his fast-time runaway win over CHACE THE GREAT at 1820 metres on May 11 when clocking 1:54.3.ORPHEUS (56.0kg) is expected to have the measure of topweight CHACE THE GREAT over this trip once again, while he strikes me as a better horse at this stage than stable companion BIGDADDYKOOL.The big headache for ORPHEUS comes in the form of the Lorenzo Robinson-trained, owned and bred MR. DOITBETTA, who is coming off back-to-back runaway wins going two turns.The son of Vibank-Olympic Advice has looked better and better in recent months, culminating in his 13-length victory over BABY P at 1820 metres on April 24, clocking a decent 1:57.2 in the process; and could be anything.Trainer Robinson is expressing supreme confidence in MR. DOITBETTA, claiming his charge “has not only looked sharp at exercise, but is conveniently placed in the scales with 53.0kg to carry the fight successfully, as he stays forever”.The trainer has seen it fit to stick with the promising apprentice, Hakeem Pottinger, noting that the second generation rider knows him best, having won back-to-back races with him in recent weeks.Despite his good claims, one cannot lose sight of the fact that ORPHEUS has turned in two quality performances on the last two occasions and remembering his 1:54.3, Elias Haloute’s chestnut colt by Adore The Gold out of La Reina should use the Lotto Classic as a stepping stone to derby glory.Other firm fancies on the 12-race programme – which commences at 11:15 a.m. – are champion sprinter POKER STAR to win the $1.5 million Lotto Sprint Trophy; EL CLIENTE in the opening Lotto Championship Trophy; BATIDOR DE MUNDO in the second; RUBY ROSE to go one better in the sixth; as well as BIRD CATCHER in the ninth; and ALL CORRECT in the 12th and final.
Jamaican heavyweight boxer Alex Stewart, who made his name as a top rated fighter between 1986 and 1999, died suddenly on November 16 at a hospital in Mount Vernon, New York, from a blood clot in the lung. He was 52 years old and leaves wife, Angelia, and daughter Ajay-Tenille. He will be buried in New York next Tuesday, November 29.Stewart was born to Jamaican parents in London, but came to the island as a young boy. He attended Camperdown High School and was one of Jamaica’s top amateur boxers. His talent was such that he represented Jamaica at the 1983 Pan American Games in Venezuela, where he won a bronze medal and the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, California. He reached the round of 16 where he lost on points to Sweden’s Hakan Brock. He became a professional boxer in 1986 and was top rated for some time.He had a sensational start to his career, winning his first 24 fights, either by knockout or technical knockout. His first loss was to Evander Holyfield, who at the time was also unbeaten with a 22-0 record. Holyfield went on to become world champion. He also fought Mike Tyson, who also became a world champion. He scored a first-round knockout against a very nervous Stewart. His most memorable fight was against George Foreman, who was then on his second try for the heavyweight title. He lost by majority decision, a decision that was questioned by many. Stewart was put down twice in round two, but came back to have Foreman, whose eyes were almost closed and face battered, on the brink of a knockout near the end of the fight. One judge scored the fight 94-94, while the other two had Foreman the winner 94-93.Stewart ended his career in 1999 with a record of 43 wins, 40 by knockout and 10 losses.
LAHORE, Pakistan (CMC):The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said here yesterday that the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) were ready to play two Twenty20 Internationals here next March once adequate security could be guaranteed.Speaking to media here, PCB executive committee chairman Najam Sethi said he had been in touch with the WICB on the matter, and the Caribbean governing body were keen on the move.”West Indies have asked to make satisfactory security for the team,” he said.He added: “We gave a proposal to WICB that after West Indies’ tour [against] England on March 9, they can visit Pakistan between March 11 to 15.”In return, Sethi said the PCB would give the green light to a request from the WICB to play two T20 Internationals in Florida at the end of March.West Indies recently played a full series of three Twenty20 Internationals, three One-Day Internationals and three Tests against Pakistan, but all games were scheduled in the United Arab Emirates.The PCB had requested the limited overs games be played in Pakistan, but the move was turned down by the WICB.The security situation has remained volatile in the country. Last March, a suicide blast killed 69 people and injured over 300 people in Lahore while two months ago, an explosion in south-western Pakistan killed nearly 50 people.IMPROVED SECURITY”We told them (WICB) that the security situation had improved and Pakistan Super League (PSL) final will also be played in Lahore. In this scenario, there is no reason to refuse a tour to Pakistan,” Sethi contended.”If the PSL final is held in Lahore, followed by World T20 champions visit to play T20s in Lahore, then this development will open the door of international cricket in Pakistan.”No major Test-playing nation has toured Pakistan since 2009 when a bus carrying the Sri Lankan Test side was attacked by militants. Several players were injured and policemen killed.
When the curtain comes down on the third Jamaica International Badminton Tournament today, local players could challenge for top prizes in at least two doubles finals.The finals will begin at 5 p.m. at the National Indoor Sports Centre.The confident pair of Mikaylia Haldane and Katherine Wynter eased past their counterparts, Taina Dailey and Shezelle McTyson, 21-11 and 21-8 to emerge the first local finalists.”The semi-final wasn’t difficult but tomorrow we will give everything on the court and try our best to ensure that the crowd gets a good match,” Wynter said yesterday.They will play the women’s doubles final against Leanne Choo (Australia) and Rachel Honderich (Canada).Yesterday, the men’s doubles pair of Gareth Henry and Garron Palmer squandered a five-point lead in the final set and went down to the top seeded Slovakian pair of Milan Dratva and Matej Hlinican. The Slovaks won 21-19, 16-21, 28-26.Jamaica’s experienced pair of Bradley Graham and Albert Myles also lost 21-12 and 21-17 to India’s Venkatesh Prasad and Jagadish Yadav. They will play the top-seeded Slovaks in the final.In women’s action, Leanne Choo of Australia and top-ranked Rachel Honderich of Canada booked their place in the final, outclassing Jamaica’s pair of Alana Bailey and Geordine Henry 21-5, 21-6.In women’s singles, top-seed Canadian Rachel Honderich booked her place in the final after an easy 21-2, 21-3 victory over Jamaica’s Taina Daley.