Once a coach at Harvard University, Bajwa now teaches squash to the underprivileged in Chandigarh

first_imgHe is quietly watching the game. Two ten-year-olds bathed in sweat are moving all over the squash court. The sound of the ball tears through the building, amplifying the background silence. Nobody is talking. Not even the coach. He just gestures when the players look at him with guilt after,He is quietly watching the game. Two ten-year-olds bathed in sweat are moving all over the squash court. The sound of the ball tears through the building, amplifying the background silence. Nobody is talking. Not even the coach. He just gestures when the players look at him with guilt after a wrong footplay.Satinder Bajwa leads us to his small office inside Khelshala. The sound of the squash ball refuses to leave us. “Sorry, can’t do anything about that, the junior national championship is approaching, they have to train hard,” smiles Bajwa, who was Director of Harvard University’s Squash Programme for 10 years between the years 1999 and 2010, and was manager/mentor to eight-time world number one Pakistani squash player Jansher Khan.Bajwa now trains underprivileged children–wards of rickshaw pullers, hawkers and domestic helps who earn less than Rs 10,000 a month in his world-class squash facility Khelshala that he opened in the year 2009 in Sector 42 of Chandigarh. It currently has two centres–at village Attawa for squash and Majra where tennis is taught. The champion coach, an Aircraft Avionics Engineer from Southall Technological College (1978), UK, may be coaching the children to play squash but the Khelshala programme has much more to offer than just learning the game under the supervision of a world-class coach.Something must have happened that made him leave it all and start this project for the underprivileged? “There is never one incident that makes one take such a decision. Honestly, I just wanted to give back-you know, despite being of a different race and colour, I was ‘accepted’ in the UK and US because of my squash racquet. Sports can be a great equalizer. It gives you the push to move forward,” he says.advertisement”Let me be very honest. Squash is just the honey to lure the bees. For three months, the 200 students who have been through the programme were allowed to play only on weekends. Even for the 60 children who are enrolled presently, the focus is on ascertaining that they do well academically, don’t lag behind in homework and are introduced to using computers,” says Bajwa. His centre, which has three volunteer teachers besides a computer instructor, does not let anyone enter the two squash courts unless they have completed their homework.The facility, which has produced eight state champions, charges each student Rs 100 (a squash ball costs around Rs 150) per month, where he/she is also given a proper kit to use. While two of his students may have grabbed the first 20 positions at the junior national level, Bajwa says that the aim is not to make them ace players.”The attitude that everybody should win gold at the nationals is the problem. Do you think with an experience like mine, I am nave enough to believe that these undernourished children will grab top spots at the junior international level? Yes, I would love to see a brilliant player, but you don’t make champions. They have something special and you just groom them. I am pretty clear-here a sport is the catalyst for their studies. My aim is to train them so that they can get admitted to good private schools in the region, which give such children scholarships after they demonstrate exceptional performance and dedication.We are teaching them about life here. We are training them in academics, discipline, yoga and manners through sports. There are no janitors, they have to learn that keeping the surroundings clean is not below them. The West has a brilliant model. Out there, sports are prioritised not to make champs, but to get children to make it to college. Remember, you cannot be a champ for life, education is what you need.” The NGO, which survives on private grants, has never asked the government for help. “All that paperwork scares me. I once went to the elite Lake Club in Chandigarh to ask for permission to use their courts for training these children, but the response was not really encouraging.”What about his former students from Harvard? Do they offer help? “All the time. They keep telling me to allow them to give donations. I just received the permission from the government to get foreign grants and may go to the US for a fund-raiser soon. Most of my students are pretty enthusiastic about the project,” he says.last_img read more

FIFA to decide in January on expanded World Cup, says Infantino

first_imgFIFA wants to decide in January if the 2026 World Cup will expand from its 32-team format, with 40 or 48 the favored options.FIFA President Gianni Infantino expects a decision when the ruling council meets in January, likely in Zurich, he said on Thursday. (Bigger World Cup is ‘complete insanity’, says Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke)”The general feeling is rather positive” toward expansion, Infantino said at a briefing after FIFA’s ruling council met. “The level of quality of football is increasing all over the world.”Infantino justified the plan as a way to create more “football euphoria” for months in countries which qualify, and guard against “disaster” being declared where national teams fall short of world sport’s most-watched event.The 2026 World Cup – which many expect to be hosted across North America – could also be run centrally by FIFA from Zurich instead of by the hosts’ own local organizing committee. (FIFA chief Gianni Infantino suggests 48-team World Cup)Infantino outlined plans for FIFA to take “full control of all money flows,” and how it spends hundreds of millions of dollars on each tournament, before the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.The idea was detailed in “FIFA 2.0: The Vision for the Future” – a 70-page document relaunching Infantino’s sometimes troubled eight-month presidency.It follows FIFA paying $453 million to Brazil’s 2014 World Cup committee, and budgeting to spend $700 million on Russian operations running the 2018 tournament. FIFA covers World Cup operating costs though not the host nation’s stadium, transport, and security projects typically running to billions of dollars.advertisementThe World Cup is FIFA’s prize asset earning around 85 percent of its revenue, of around $5 billion tied to the 2014 event. It also shapes as a defining issue for Infantino before his term ends in less than three years.The promise of extra World Cup slots should appeal to the 211 member federations who vote, and FIFA would expect more matches to drive up the price of broadcasting and sponsor deals. That would help fund Infantino’s campaign promises of $5 million grants over four years to each member.Infantino was elected in February having pledged during his campaign to add eight teams to the tournament.In a recent speech in Colombia, Infantino suggested 48 teams with an opening playoff round of 16 games. The winners would advance to join 16 seeded teams in a balanced 32-team group stage before the knockout rounds.The 40-team options are problematic. The typical format of four-team groups would likely mean four of the 10 runners-up do not advance to a round of 16.Groups of five teams unbalance the fixture schedule and create integrity issues, by leaving some teams idle for the final round of games. It also adds one more fixture to create an eight-game program for the finalists, which would be unpopular with clubs releasing their players to national-team duty.Expanding the World Cup also revives a difficult debate on how to share entry slots and seedings among the six continental confederations.UEFA, where Infantino was the CEO-like general secretary for six years, has long been pressured by FIFA and other regions to relax its quota of 13 of the 31 qualifying slots.Infantino said talks on allocating extra places have yet to begin.He set out a 10-year plan for FIFA after facing resistance from some staffers loyal to his predecessor Sepp Blatter, and being subject to an investigation into suspected unethical use of private jets.Now Infantino wants to give FIFA staff more control of organizing the World Cup.”It’s nothing to do with trust,” he said, when asked if Brazil or Qatar could feel slighted by the plan. “It’s simply to do with efficiency.”It also follows how UEFA, including under Infantino, has long run the four-yearly European Championship from Switzerland with a dedicated tournament director.FIFA will also look at outsourcing broadcasting and sponsorship sales, as UEFA does. Since 1992, Champions League rights have been sold for UEFA by a Swiss agency.FIFA’s last agency partnership ended in 2001 with ISL’s collapse into criminal bankruptcy. That case led to a kickbacks scandal which forced out Ricardo Teixeira as leader of the 2014 World Cup organizing committee.Also outlined in FIFA 2.0:- Plans to overhaul World Cup ticketing and move away from long-time partner, MATCH, which has a contract through 2018. Infantino noted, “sadly,” the perception of World Cup ticketing often “goes together with scandals.” FIFA wants stronger “control, approval, and audit rights” over match tickets in Russia, then run its own operations or create a subsidiary it will control.- Use ticketing to engage with tech-savvy fans and earn more money, by making “closer relationships with the fans, ensuring the quality of the fan’s ticketing experience, and realizing the full potential of the gate revenues.”advertisement- Reduce costs by cutting benefits for committee members, which include first-class travel and expenses for spouses.- Increase FIFA’s role in the “exploding eSports market.”- Become an “angel investor” by creating a FIFA fund for “potential investments in emerging technologies central to the future of the game.” FIFA believes this could develop staffers’ careers and “create a more entrepreneurial mindset at FIFA.”last_img read more

SPORT-IND-PITCH 2 LAST

first_imgThis will be the 24th Test match at this ground and This will be the 24th Test match at this ground and the win-loss record in favour of the hosts is 10-7.Incidentally, England had won the last two matches they had played here — in 2006 and 2012 — after having lost three Tests on the trot.Their only victory prior to those three defeats was in the BCCIs Golden Jubilee Test in 1980.The first-ever game between the two teams at this venue, in 1976, was drawn so that the win-loss record stands 3-3 between the two teams out of seven encounters. The stadium is hosting a Test match after three years and the last match which it hosted was the 200th farewell Test of cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar against West Indies in November 2013. Meanwhile, England will practise tomorrow morning while India will practise in the afternoon. The two teams have had an extended break after the conclusion of the third Test at Mohali. Most of the visiting team members had travelled to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates during the break and are scheduled to reach here tonight. PTI NRB SSR RMT KHS KHSlast_img read more

Giroud overtakes Zidane on scoring chart

first_imgOlivier Giroud has edged ahead of Zinedine Zidane on France’s all-time top goalscorer list, with the Chelsea striker having taken his international tally to 32 goals.The 31-year-old had to wait until 2011 before being handed a debut by Les Bleus, having failed to represent them at any youth level.It was his exploits for Montpellier at that time which brought him into contention, with the target having been found on a regular basis for club and country ever since. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Domestic football has taken him to England at Arsenal and now Chelsea, with over 100 efforts recorded for the Gunners.He has remained a regular for France since making the breakthrough, with his cap haul now standing at 82.Those outings have made him a World Cup winner, with a global crown secured in Russia over the summer despite failing to find the target .Giroud was to get back in groove during a meeting with the Netherlands on Sunday, with a stunning strike proving notable as it carried him above the legendary Zidane on France’s goal chart.He now sits fourth on that roll of honour by himself, with only two more strikes required to catch David Trezeguet.32 – Olivier Giroud has scored his 32th goal for France, overtaking Zinedine Zidane (31) and becoming the only 4th best goalscorer in France national team’s history. Deliverance. #FRANED pic.twitter.com/QQzyBj5HtB — OptaJean ⭐⭐ (@OptaJean) September 9, 2018 Michel Platini is second on the goal chart with 41 efforts to his name, while Arsenal icon Thierry Henry occupies top spot on 51.Giroud will hope to continue closing the gap on those French heroes, with his latest effort seeing him end a 10-game barren run in style .In the 74th minute of a UEFA Nations League clash with the Dutch, Benjamin Mendy swung over a cross from the left.Giroud was tightly marked around the penalty spot, but swing his left boot at the ball to send a stinging volley crashing into the back of the net.That effort proved to the match winner , with Ryan Babel having earlier cancelled out an opener from Kylian Mbappe.last_img read more

Who is Arsenal academy star Bukayo Saka?

first_imgAs Arsenal’s senior side continue to make progress under head coach Unai Emery, putting together an impressive 18-game unbeaten run, the next generation of talent at Emirates Stadium is beginning to turn heads.Freddie Ljungberg’s Under-23s and Ken Gillard’s Under-18s continue to develop, with Academy chief Per Mertesacker impressed by the level of talent currently on show at Hale End.Goal continues to track the progress of Arsenal’s emerging stars of the future. With the likes of Emile Smith Rowe and Eddie Nketiah both considered first-team prospects, and Reiss Nelson making a name for himself on loan at Hoffenheim, who will be the next starlet to be blooded by Emery? Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Bukayo Saka – Arsenal Under-23sBukayo Saka is the latest prodigious youngster to come off Arsenal’s talent conveyor belt, with the teenage having stepped off the bench to make his senior debut against Vorskla in the Europa League.The 17-year-old has turned in consistent performances for the U23s this season and won a penalty in the recent Checkatrade Trophy match against Forest Green Rovers after beating more than four defenders with a skilful run.Joe Willock, who scored twice in that game, told Arsenal Player that Saka “is one of the most talented players we have in the team” before describing him as “fast” and “if you play to his strengths he’s unstoppable at times,” – high praise for a winger who has contributed to 11 goals for the youth teams this season, which works out as a goal every 79.5 minutes.Born and raised in London, Saka is of Nigerian descent and has represented England at youth level where he currently plays for the Under-19s. He recently scored just three minutes into his debut in a 4-0 win over Moldova, finishing Stephen Walker’s through ball to score the third goal for England.A direct, tricky left winger who is one of the youngest players in the U23 set-up, Saka remains highly regarded by his coaches at Hale End and there is a growing belief that he could be close to making more first-team appearances if his performances continue on the same level for the youth teams.“Bukayo is a great talent and played very, very well today,” Ljungberg told Arsenal Player after the 4-0 win over Liverpool in September.“We’ve given him 15 minutes here and 20 minutes there to help him get used to the tempo, the speed and strength of opponents, and he’s taken it in his stride. He’s just going to get better and better, keep his head down and keep on working.”Bukayo SakoSaka scored against Chelsea in the recent 5-4 thriller in Premier League 2 and has been one of Arsenal’s best performers at youth level alongside Xavier Amaechi, Tyreece John-Jules and Smith Rowe.He’s still a raw talent but will benefit from playing at left-back in his long-term development, a position that the Gunners will look to strengthen in over the coming seasons.Other academy talking points Bayli Spencer-Adams scored twice as Arsenal U18s beat Fulham in the Premier League Cup. Ben Cottrell – who turned 17 last month – has impressed for the Under-18s this season on the flanks and provided an assist against Fulham last weekend. He’s reportedly attracting interest from Borussia Dortmund and Marseille. Joe Willock scored a brace as Arsenal U21s beat Forest Green Rovers 3-1 and progressed to the knockout stages of the Checkatrade Trophy. Eddie Nketiah scored twice as Arsenal U23s were beaten 5-4 by Chelsea at Boreham Wood’s Meadow Park.Premier League 2 resultsArsenal 4-5 ChelseaArsenal 0-0 EvertonLeicester 1-2 ArsenalBlackburn 0-0 ArsenalU18 Premier League resultsArsenal 4-0 FulhamSwansea 1-3 ArsenalArsenal 4-2 ReadingArsenal 2-1 West Ham Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

BCCI takes firm stand on S Sreesanth’s life ban

first_imgTainted Indian speedster S. Sreesanth has got a shocker from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) with the apex body reiterating that the life ban imposed on him will stay.Sreesanth received the letter from the BCCI on Sunday after he submitted a review petition seeking the lifting of the life ban in view of his being exonerated by a Delhi court of the match-fixing allegations against him.In the match-fixing case, he had to cool his heels in Delhi’s Tihar jail in 2013.The BCCI’s letter, from CEO Rahul Johri, states that the Board is very particular in ensuring that discipline is maintained and there is nothing to change their September, 2013 decision of imposing a life ban on the bowler.The letter also mentions that the decision to impose the life ban was taken by a committee that had as members BCCI Vice President T.C. Mathew — who was Kerala Cricket Association President — and KCA secretary T.N. Ananthanarayanan.After Sreesanth approached the Kerala High Court in March this year with a petition seeking the lifting of the ban imposed by the BCCI, following a Delhi court exonerating him in the spot-fixing case, the court asked him to file a review petition before the BCCI.In 2015, the now 34-year-old pacer along with two other players was exonerated by the Delhi court in the case registered by the Delhi Police which invoked the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).On account of the life ban, the pacer cannot play even league cricket nor get access even for practice to any of the cricket grounds where the BCCI or the state cricket associations have a stake.advertisementThe BCCI Disciplinary Committee headed by present Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had slapped a life ban on Sreesanth.Sreesanth is just the second Keralite to represent the country and in his brief career he has played in 27 Tests taking 87 wickets, and picked up 75 scalps from 53 One-day Internationals (ODIs) and seven wickets from 10 Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is).last_img read more

French Open: Local players looking to ride ‘Kiki’ wave at Roland Garros

first_imgAfter Kristina “Kiki” Mladenovic took the home crowd by storm during an epic battle on Friday, French players will be looking to join the new darling of Roland Garros in the French Open fourth round on Saturday.Richard Gasquet plays compatriot Gael Monfils in an all- French third-round match on Court Philippe Chatrier, both men having eased through the draw despite lacking match practice on clay because of injuries.Opening proceedings on the main showcourts will be Frenchwoman Alize Cornet, who faces ninth seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, while on Court One, 28th seed Caroline Garcia will start as favourite against Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei.World number one Andy Murray is also in action on Chatrier against injury-prone Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentine, a fierce rival who will need to be at his best physically to unsettle the Briton.Third seed Stan Wawrinka, the 2015 champion, faces a tricky match against Italian 28th seed Fabio Fognini and Japanese eighth seed Kei Nishikori is expected to advance at the expense of South Korea’s Chung Hyeon.In the women’s draw, one of the pre-tournament favourites, Ukrainian Elina Svitolina, takes on Pole Magda Linette and former runner-up Simona Halep is up against Russian Daria Kasatkina.last_img read more

Samsung Galaxy S8 Active spotted on Geekbench, specifications leaked

first_imgSamsung has launched rugged versions of their flagships in the past in the form of the Galaxy S6 Active and the Galaxy S7 Active. And true to form the company is planning an Active variant of their newest flagship smartphone – the Samsung Galaxy S8.The Active moniker denotes a device that is more rugged and durable than its standard counterpart and has the ability to withstand shocks, drops and exposure to dust courtesy of a more rugged and bulky outer shell. The Active devices are aimed towards rough outdoor use, for people whose lifestyle is more ‘active’.The smartphone was spotted on Geekbench with the model number SM-G892A with the Snapdragon 835 processor and 4GB of RAM – the same specifications as that of the Samsung Galaxy S8. The phone achieved a score of 1842 in the single-core test and 6394 in the multi-core test, which is fairly close to the score achieved by the standard model.Where the S8 Active will differ from the original is in terms of design and battery size. As mentioned above, the Active will have a tougher outer casing and might not look as attractive as the original. Additionally, the smartphone will come with a bigger battery than the standard S8 – the S7 Active featured a 4,000mAh battery while the original S7 housed a 3,000mAh unit.Also Read: Samsung Galaxy Note 8 rumour roundup: Dual camera, curved 4K display and no physical home buttonLast year’s S7 Active suffered from water resistance issues. Consumer reports had claimed that it did not meet the waterproof standards promised by the company. We hope the S8 Active does not suffer the same fate.advertisementTo recap, the Samsung Galaxy S8 sports a sleek bezel-less design with an edge-to-edge 5.8′ Quad HD display, 64GB of internal storage which is expandable via a microSD card, an iris scanner and a fingerprint scanner.The smartphone is powered by the Snapdragon 835 or the Exynos 8895 processor paired with 4GB of RAM, the Adreno 540 GPU and a 3,000mAh battery. On the imaging front, the Galaxy S8 comes with a 12MP rear camera with an aperture of f/1.7 alongside an 8MP front shooter for selfies.The US launch date of the S8 Active is not known as of yet and an Indian launch seems unlikely as the previous two generations of the Active line-up did not reach Indian shores. However, there is always the hope that Samsung springs a surprise.Also Read: Nokia 6 vs Moto G5 Plus: Stock Android face-offlast_img read more

Wayde Van Niekerk double bid could steal some of Usain Bolt’s thunder

first_imgUsain Bolt’s farewell will be the major narrative at the world championships but South African speedster Wayde van Niekerk’s bid for the 200 and 400m double could steal some of his spotlight.The Jamaican great has dubbed the 25-year-old Van Niekerk as the sport’s next superstar and that is likely to be reinforced at the global showpiece event in London which starts on Friday.But a showdown between the pair, who are good friends and trained together in Jamaica this year, will not happen with Bolt running only the 100m and relay to mark the end of his glittering career.”One person I know who will step up, and he’s been doing good work, is Van Niekerk. He’s shown that he really wants to take my place. He’s been dominating in all events – I feel like if he runs the 800, he’d probably do well also,” Bolt said before the Diamond League meeting in Monaco last week in which Van Niekerk won the 400m with the best time of the year.Cape Town-born Van Niekerk is the reigning world champion and he broke Michael Johnson’s 17-year-old world record to win Olympic Gold in Rio de Janeiro last year.All this in a race he dislikes.”I think most everyone knows that the 400m is not my favourite distance. I know it’s a bit crazy. I enjoy the shorter distances,” he said.”I try to tell myself that I need to be more positive about the 400m, it is the race that has placed me at the top.”advertisementThis time Van Niekerk attempts the 200-400m double that marked out Johnson as the star of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics after the ruling body of world athletics changed the London programme to make it possible.In June, he ran personal bests in both the 100m (9.94 seconds) and 200m (19.84) and a world record 30.81 in the rarely run 300m. Van Niekerk is the only sprinter in history to have run the 100m in under 10 seconds, the 200m in under 20 and the 400m in sub 44.”I’m in great shape. My record of 300m has given me confidence, so I look forward to see how it translates into the other two events,” Van Niekerk added.His coach Ans Botha, a 75-year-old grandmother, says they have been training for both events since last year’s Olympics.”It is the 400m that put him on the stage and which has made him strong mentally, but Wayde doesn’t like it,” she said.”After Rio, he told me he needed new challenges and that he wanted to double at the World Championships. I’ve had to adapt my program because I’m there to share his dreams.”last_img read more

Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina sidelined after failing ‘Yo-Yo’ endurance test

first_imgThe failure to clear the ‘Yo-Yo’ endurance test at the National Cricket Academy was the primary reason why Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina were not considered for the Sri Lanka limited-overs series.The Indian team regularly undergoes a series of fitness tests with ‘Yo-Yo’ endurance test being the most important of them.It is an advanced version of the ‘beep’ test that was used by teams of earlier generations. The current Indian team is considered to be the fittest by a fair distance.It has been learnt that for the current Indian team, the acceptable ‘Yo-Yo’ score is 19.5 and upwards. Captain Virat Kohli, easily the fittest Indian cricketer, scores around 21 in the test.However, both Yuvraj and Raina have scored well below the permissible level of 19.5 with Yuvraj barely managing to touch 16, which was the biggest reason for his ouster.”The current team think tank, coach Ravi Shastri, skipper Virat Kohli and chairman of selectors MSK Prasad have made it clear that fitness standards are non-negotiable.” (Yuvraj no more India’s limited-overs talisman?)”On an average, the Australian cricketers score 21 in Yo-Yo test. Here Virat, Ravindra Jadeja, Manish Pandey regularly hit that score while others are either touching 19.5 or is hitting above that score,” a BCCI official, who cannot come on record, said.”In an earlier era, when the traditional beep test was in vogue, the Indian players of the 1990’s would have scored around 16 to 16.5 barring a few like Mohammed Azharuddin, Robin Singh or Ajay Jadeja.”But now it’s different as the skipper himself is hitting the benchmark, which the Australian cricket team sets it,” the official added.advertisementJust for understanding, how the Yo-Yo Test worksCones are placed to mark out two lines 20 meters apart. A player starts with his foot behind one of the lines, and begins running when instructed. Player continues running between the two lines, turning when signalled by the recorded beeps.After each minute or so, the pace gets quicker. If the line is not reached in time, the player must run to the line turn and try to catch up with the pace within two more ‘beeps’. The test is stopped if the player fails to catch up with the pace within the two ends.The entire process is software-based where the results are recorded.It must be noted that the same test for football and hockey team will produce entirely different results, have higher benchmarks, considering the speed and endurance level involved with the sport.last_img read more

Olympique de Marseille open investigation into Patrice Evra incident

first_imgOlympique de Marseille have opened an internal investigation into a scuffle between defender Patrice Evra and a club supporter before a Europa League game at Guimaraes in Portugal, the Ligue 1 club said on Friday.”Olympique de Marseille has noted the altercation between an individual and Patrice Evra during the warm-up at the game against Guimaraes (on Thursday),” a club statement read.”An internal investigation has been opened to establish responsibilities.”Video footage showed a Marseille player aiming a kick at a group of fans during a scuffle behind one of the goals but the club did not mention the kick.France fullback Evra has been regularly targeted by Marseille fans since joining from Juventus during the close season and his poor performances have led coach Rudi Garcia to drop him from the starting line-up.”Pat has experience and he must not react. It’s obvious,” Garcia said.”Patrice is more than experienced and we can’t respond, obviously, to insults as low as they might be and as incredible as they might be because they come from one of our supporters.”last_img read more

Photo Advisory First, Photos released upto 4 p.m.

first_imgNew Delhi: Dec 06, 2017 (PTI) EDITORS: Photos with Captions released today. To view thumbnails of these Photographs, visit PTI website at..http.//www.ptinews.com NATIONAL New Delhi: P M Narendra Modi seeks blessings of Buddhist monks at a ceremony (B+A) New Delhi: B.R. Ambedkar death anniversary (B) New Delhi : 12th Annual Convention of the Central Information Commission (A) New Delhi : 3rd meeting of Pre-Budget (A+B) Ahmedabad : PM Modis rally in Ahmedabad (A+B) Bhubaneswar: Harvested paddy (A) Bhubaneswar: Children going to school near (A) Bhubaneswar: Village woman at work in Bhubaneswar (A) Jammu: 55th Annual Rasising Day of Homeguards/Civil Defence (B+A) Patna/New Delh: Tributes to Ambedkar (A) New Delhi : 12th Annual Convention of the Central Information Commission (B) New Delhi : Civil Defence Raising Day (B) INTERNATIONAL Dubai : Two people ride the worlds longest urban zip line with a speed of up to 80 kilometers per hour (B) Jerusalem : A view of Jerusalems old city is seen (B) Kuwait City : Gulf Cooperation Council summit in Kuwait City (B) Grand Haven : A Large wave crashes into the outer lighthouse on Grand Haven South Pier (A) Biak : A Russian Tu-95 bomber arrives on Biak Island (B) Ventura : The couple evacuated early morning as the fire approached (B) Valletta : A man, covers his face with his anoraks hood as he is escorted to a court (B) Kiev : Police use tear gas as they clash with supporters of former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili (B) Santa Monica : Smoke from the Creek wildfire in the San Gabriel Mountains (B) Moscow : FILE- Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko (B) Salt Lake City : Rally against President Trumps reduction of two National Monuments (B) SPORTS Athens/Barcelona : Champions League group D soccer match (B) New Delhi: India Vs Sri Lanka Test (B+A) Bhopal: Inauguration of Abhinav Bindra 10 Meter Shooting Range (B) PTI PHOTO GCS DL DLadvertisementlast_img read more

Ministry will give complete funding to Hockey India: Rathore

first_imgBhubaneswar, Dec 10 (PTI) Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore today announced that his ministry will provide “complete funding” to Hockey India as they prepare for a triple Major next year — Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and World Cup.”From hereon, Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and World Cup are all Olympic preparatory tournaments besides being major competitions. The ministry will give complete funding to Hockey India in terms of whatever they need. 2018 is the year of sports in India,” Rathore told reporters during a press conference on the sidelines of HWL finals.Rathore congratulated the young Indian team for retaining the bronze medal in the Hockey World League (HWL) Final.”In the past few months, our hockey teams performance has been good. In this tournament also, the comeback has been good. Indian team is the youngest in terms of average age, which helps build endurance, speed and bench strength,” the Olympic silver medallist said.Rathore reiterated that the Central Government will do everything possible in its capacity to support the athletes and raise the bar of sports in the country.”All the schemes until now the focus was on infrastructure funding. Its the easiest thing to do. But how do you bring players to practice in those stadiums. That funding was missing. Khelo India programme is funding those soft sponsorships,” he said.”Every year we will fund 1000 players, give them Rs 5 lakh for the next 8 years and keep adding 1000 every year.”He also said that India is among the top five countries in the world where there are incentives, job reservations, meritorious pensions for deserving athletes. PTI SSC KHS KHSadvertisementlast_img read more

Kidambi Srikanth credits Pullela Gopichand for Indian badminton’s recent success

first_imgKidambi Srikanth, who clinched back to back titles, has credited his success to current national coach Pullela Gopichand, saying the latter has been behind all the success of badminton in India.Srikanth, who gave in the best performances of his career, won Indonesian Open Series and Australian Open Series within a week’s time and made the entire nation proud.The Indian shuttler defeated reigning Olympic champion Chen Long 22-20, 21-16 in the final of the Australia Open Super Series to win his second title in two weeks.WATCH VIDEO HEREHe had earlier won the Indonesia Open Super Series title on June 18.”I think he is the man behind all the success of badminton today here what we have. If he wouldn’t have become a coach after he quit his playing career, all this wouldn’t have been possible. So whatever we have today and whatever we will have in the next generations, it will be all because of him,” said Srikanth on Tuesday while addressing the media here.”He was the one who really started coaching seriously in India, who always thought India has the potential to be a world beater in badminton.His role would be very important in the coming years as well.””Thanks to Gopi sir, it was not possible to make it without him, I couldn’t have been where I am now,” he added.Srikanth has been in sensational form and has also improved his ranking. He jumped 11 places to reach the 11th spot after Indonesia Open Super Series victory. He, however, has achieved a career high ranking of number three.advertisementIn 2014, he won his biggest title as he defeated home favourite Lin Dan to win his maiden Super Series title at the China Open. But after that Srikanth took two years to win the premier tournaments in men’s badminton.His dream run, however, began in April this year as he reached the final of the Singapore Open.Srikanth, who was awarded Rs. three lakh by Gopichand Badminton Academy on the occasion, further asserted that the last two months have been fantastic for him.”It has been fantastic for me in the last two months. After the injuries, I really didn’t want to push myself too much and just wanted to train first, get better and start tournaments. And it really happened with the help of new coach and Gopi Sir,” he said.The badminton ace, who will be playing next in World Championships scheduled in August, said he would try to train hard and perform his best there.”It’s good to be back in top ten for sure. But I didn’t play these tournaments just to come back in top 10 but to win them and even in World Championship’s I will look to perform well and win. That’s the only thing that I am thinking about and not the rankings,” he said.When asked about the biggest challenge in the last three weeks, Srikanth said, “Every match was tuff for me.””I think we are actually training very well now. In the last couple of months, I have been playing really well and up to my potential. I really want to continue training hard in the coming months because that’s the only way to be consistent.””I think every win was important for me. I don’t really want to compare those wins and I will definitely say that this is one of my biggest win,” he added.With his latest wins, the 24-year-old is now the second most successful Indian badminton player in Super Series with four titles after ace women shuttler Saina Nehwal (10) and two ahead of Olympic medalist PV Sindhu (2). He is also number six on the list of men’s super-series titles winners.last_img read more

Santos Drives Greek Soccer Toward World Cup

first_img-FIFA.comPassionate, fierce and contradictory would be a fair way to sum up the Greece team of Fernando Santos, who are preparing for their most important 180 minutes in recent years: the two games against Romania that will decide if the country qualifies for a second consecutive FIFA World Cup™ for the first time in its history.The Greeks, who earned a reputation for defensive football during their remarkable triumph at UEFA EURO 2004, accumulated 25 points in UEFA qualification Group G.It was the best record in European qualifying after Germany and the Netherlands, who both finished with 28, Belgium (26) and Bosnia-Herzegovina, who pipped the Greeks to first place in their group on goal difference. So where does this habit of focusing more on one’s own goal than that of the opposition come from?Santos himself tried to explain the phenomenon to FIFA.com. “The team made history at EURO 2004 by concentrating on the defensive side of the game. An identity like that is not easy to change. We’ve tried to play a different way, by pressing more and being a little more aggressive, but really we only managed to change at certain times. Then we slipped back into our comfort zone, our defensive strength. It has its advantages, because we concede very few goals, but obviously it makes things more difficult when we try and attack,” said the Portuguese tactician, who has now completed 41 games in charge of the national team.The numbers certainly bear this out. Greece conceded only four goals during their qualifying campaign, giving them the second best defensive record in UEFA qualifying after Spain, who let in three. The flip side is that they scored only 12 goals. Neither stat will have gone unnoticed by Romania as they prepare for a tie that promises to be as tight as it is exciting.The Hellenics, who only have two World Cup appearances under their belts (1994 and 2010), are dreaming of appearing on the world stage a decade after the most memorable moment in the country’s football history: the EURO 2004 triumph in Portugal.“I remember that tournament well as it was played in my country. In fact, I knew many of the Greek players, and they visited me in my hotel on several occasions. One of the great problems opponents faced back then was that they didn’t believe Greece could cause them problems. But they don’t make that mistake any longer. They know our strengths, and it’s harder to take them by surprise,” said the former coach of AEK Athens, Panathinaikos, who is relying on a little outside assistance to help his team qualify.“The Greek people are known for being very passionate and they are very proud of their country. The players show this pride when they play. This is our greatest strength. We play with passion and give a hundred percent every game. We must be inspired by what Greece achieved in 2004,” he said.And when talk turns to the Greek people, it is impossible to ignore the crisis that faces the country today. Does it put extra pressure on the players? “Not pressure,” said Santos, “it motivates us.”“The country has a 30 percent unemployment rate. So many people around us are struggling. We all have friends or family in difficult circumstances,” he said. “You wouldn’t be human if it didn’t affect you in some way. It’s down to us to qualify for the World Cup in Brazil and help relieve the suffering of our people a little.”The Portuguese coach, who refers to himself as Greek when he is in his adopted country – “I don’t say it to please people. Something in my heart becomes Greek when I’m here” – described Romania as “tough opponents, who have rediscovered the football they used to play in the past”. He expects the games to be “open and evenly matched,” and wants the entire nation to get behind his team.“The home leg will be crucial. I ask people to believe in the players, believe in the team, believe in all of us. We want a packed stadium cheering us on. We know we can qualify, and we are going to do everything we can to achieve it.”(Greece hosts Romania in the first leg of their UEFA Qualifying Playoff at the Karaiskakis Stadium in Piraeus on Nov 15 at 2:45 p.m. ET and can be seen online on ESPN3.)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Russia’s 2018 World Cup Challenged

first_imgTweetPinShare0 Shares LONDON — Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister wants Russia stripped of the right to host the 2018 World Cup to punish President Vladimir Putin for “belligerent behavior” in the Ukraine crisis.While calling for tougher sanctions against Russia, Nick Clegg told The Sunday Times newspaper that it is “unthinkable” for Putin to have the opportunity to exploit football’s biggest sporting event to enhance his own status.Clegg’s intervention comes after some lawmakers in Germany called for the World Cup to be moved because of Russia’s alleged involvement in shooting down a Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board.“After this terrible, terrible downing of that jet, it is essential that the European Union gets tough on Vladimir Putin,” Clegg was quoted as saying. “We’ve got to take tougher sanctions, but also we’ve got to make it quite clear that he cannot expect to get the privileges of being at the top table of world affairs if he’s not prepared to play by the basic rules of world affairs.“If he carries on with this belligerent behavior … it’s unthinkable that he should have the privilege of hosting the World Cup in 2018. You can’t have the beautiful game marred by the ugly aggression of Russia on the Russian-Ukrainian border.”Clegg, who leads Britain’s Liberal Democrats, said the Russian President had already “milked” the Winter Olympics in Sochi in February, and that hosting the World Cup would be “an enormous advantage to Putin personally.”“There’s no question he sees it for himself and for his prestige as a huge gain,” Clegg said. “The idea that the world should accord Russia that prestige is beyond belief. I don’t know how many people have got to be shot out of the skies before people say enough is enough.”Moscow has continually denied involvement in the downing of the plane.FIFA is standing by Russia as the next World Cup hosts, saying that keeping the tournament “can achieve positive change” in the country. FIFA President Sepp Blatter had already rejected calls to strip Russia of the tournament after it annexed the Crimea earlier this year.last_img read more

Rice KO Video: Swearing, Spitting

first_imgATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Ray Rice and Janay Palmer can be heard shouting obscenities at each other, and she appears to spit in the face of the three-time Pro Bowl running back right before he throws a knockout punch in a video shown to The Associated Press by a law enforcement official.The video, shown to the AP, includes audio and is longer than the grainy TMZ Sports video released earlier that day.After the TMZ video made its way around the Internet, the Baltimore Ravens cut Rice and the league suspended him indefinitely. Rice was originally suspended for two games and coaches and others had praised his behavior since the arrest for striking his then-fiancee in February.The videos show Rice and Palmer in an elevator at an Atlantic City casino. Each hits the other before Rice knocks Palmer off her feet and into a railing. Months ago, a TMZ video showed Rice dragging Palmer, now his wife, from the elevator at the Revel casino, which closed on Sept. 2.The higher-quality video shown to the AP shows Rice made no attempt to cover up the incident. After Palmer collapses, he drags her out of the elevator and is met by some hotel staff. One of them can be heard saying, “She’s drunk, right?” And then, “No cops.” But Rice didn’t respond.The video was shown to the AP on condition of anonymity because the official isn’t authorized to release it.Coach John Harbaugh said he met with Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, team President Dick Cass and General Manager Ozzie Newsome after they saw the TMZ video, and they made the decision to let Rice go.“It’s something we saw for the first time today, all of us,” Harbaugh said. “It changed things, of course. It made things a little bit different.”The action represented a complete reversal for the team, even though an Atlantic City police summons stated that Rice caused “bodily injury to Janay Palmer, specifically by striking her with his hand, rendering her unconscious.”The Ravens had used words like “respect” and “proud” in referring to Rice following his arrest.When the NFL announced Rice’s two-game suspension for domestic violence on July 24, Newsome said: “We respect the efforts Ray has made to become the best partner and father he can be. That night was not typical of the Ray Rice we know and respect. We believe that he will not let that one night define who he is, and he is determined to make sure something like this never happens again.Asked if Rice misled him, Harbaugh said he didn’t want to get into “all that.”“I don’t think of it that way. Everything I said in terms of what I believe, I stand by,” he said. “I believe that still, and I’ll always believe those things, and (we’ll) always stand in support of them as a couple, and that’s not going to change.”Rice said in a news conference this summer that his actions that night were “inexcusable.” But the Ravens never took action against him until after the second video was released.The NFL, which has been working hard to promote the game to women, also took action after the explicit video was released. Commissioner Roger Goodell announced that, based on the new video evidence, Rice has been suspended indefinitely.“We requested from law enforcement any and all information about the incident, including the video from inside the elevator,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said. “That video was not made available to us and no one in our office has seen it until today.”Rice’s lawyer, Michael Diamondstein, declined to comment when contacted by The Associated Press. Rice, 27, stood to make $4 million this year.“Obviously, any video that depicts an act of violence in that video is disturbing to watch. For our union, we have an unshakable position against any violence, certainly domestic violence included,” NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith said at the Seahawks’ facility in Renton, Washington. “It will be a time for us now to catch up with everything else that has occurred today.”He had been charged with felony aggravated assault in the case, but in May he was accepted into a pre-trial intervention program that allowed him to avoid jail time and could lead to the charge being purged from his record.After Goodell drew criticism not being tough enough on Rice, he wrote a letter to all 32 NFL owners in August saying he “didn’t get it right.” First-time offenders now face a six-game suspension.Rice began his suspension Sept. 7, when the Ravens opened their season with a 23-16 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. He was scheduled to return after the Sept. 11th game against Pittsburgh.He leaves the Ravens as the second-leading rusher in franchise history, behind only Jamal Lewis. A three-time Pro Bowl selection, Rice is the team’s career leader in total yards from scrimmage (9,214) and is the only player in Ravens history to rush for 1,000 yards in four consecutive seasons.But those are mere numbers, and his actions in that elevator shed a new light on him.“I’m not going to go into what he told us or anything or if it matches or if it doesn’t,” Ravens receiver Torrey Smith said. “That doesn’t matter. What matters is what you see. It wasn’t a pleasant site at all.”Rice hasn’t spoken often to the media since his arrest, but on July 31 he said this is “something I have to live with the rest of my life.”He added: “I know that’s not who I am as a man. … I let so many people down because of 30 seconds of my life that I know I can’t take back.”___By Rob Maadi, AP Pro Football WriterAP Sports Writers David Ginsburg in Baltimore, Brett Martel in Metairie, Louisiana, and Tim Booth in Renton, Washington, and AP freelancer Jeff Seidel in Baltimore contributed to this report.___TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Pope: Put Aside Pride, Jealousy, Anger

first_imgVATICAN CITY  — Pope Francis welcomed 20 new cardinals Saturday into the elite club of churchmen who will elect his successor and immediately delivered a tough-love message to them, telling them to put aside their pride, jealousy and self-interests and instead exercise perfect charity.Francis issued the marching orders during the ceremony in St. Peter’s Basilica to elevate the new “princes of the church” into the College of Cardinals and give them their new red hats.Retired Pope Benedict XVI was on hand for the ceremony, sitting off to the side in the front row of the basilica, in a unique blending of popes past, present and future. Francis embraced him at the start and end of the service and a cluster of cardinals lined up to greet him before processing out.Many of the new cardinals hail from far-flung, often overlooked dioceses where Catholics are a distinct minority — a reflection of Francis’ insistence that the church look to the peripheries and reflect them in its governance. Several are pastors who, like Francis, have focused their ministries on the poor and disenfranchised.In his homily, Francis reminded his newest collaborators that being a cardinal isn’t a prize or fancy entitlement, but rather a way to serve the church better in humility and tenderness.He warned them that not even churchmen are immune from the temptation to be jealous, angry or proud, or to pursue their own self-interests, even when “cloaked in noble appearances.”“Even here, charity, and charity alone, frees us,” he said. “Above all it frees us from the mortal danger of pent-up anger, of that smoldering anger which makes us brood over wrongs we have received. No. This is unacceptable in a man of the church.”In some ways, his tough words were a toned-down version of the blistering critique he delivered right before Christmas to Vatican bureaucrats. Then, he ticked off 15 ailments including “spiritual Alzheimer’s” and the “terrorism of gossip,” that can afflict men of the church even at its highest levels.This is Francis’ second consistory creating new cardinals and once again he looked to the “peripheries” to give greater geographic representation to the Europe-centric College of Cardinals.His choices, though, also reflect his vision for what the church should be: One that looks out for the poor and most marginalized, guided by shepherds who have what he has called the “smell” of their sheep.They include Cardinal Soane Patita Paini Mafi of Tonga, a tiny island state in the middle of the Pacific Ocean on the front lines of global warming.Another is Cardinal Francesco Montenegro of Agrigento, Sicily, whose church — which extends to the island of Lampedusa — has coped with the arrival of tens of thousands of migrants over the years.And there’s the archbishop of David, Panama, Cardinal Jose Luis Lacunza Maestrojuan, who works with indigenous peoples to protect them from mining interests.While cardinals are called on to advise the pope, their primary job is to elect a new one. Only those under age 80 can participate in a conclave and with Saturday’s additions, their number stands at 125 — five over the traditional cap, though four of them will turn 80 this year. The college as a whole numbers 227.In addition to naming 15 voting-age cardinals, Francis also made five elderly churchmen cardinals to honor their service to the church.One of them, Colombian Cardinal José de Jesús Pimiento Rodriguez, wasn’t able to make the trip to Rome for the ceremony because of his age: He turns 96 next week and will have his red hat delivered to him.NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press___TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Babe Ruth Memorabilia Hot

first_imgBIDDEFORD, Maine — When it comes to auctions, America’s favorite pastime apparently trumps Hollywood.The Maine auction house that’s putting items that once belonged to New York TV personality Joe Franklin up for bid says the greatest interest is in a baseball glove that belonged to Babe Ruth.Troy Thibodeau from Saco River Auction says bidder inquiries in the baseball glove far outpace interest other items.The auction of celebrity memorabilia items takes place this April 2 in Biddeford. In addition to Ruth’s glove, other items include Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse ears and John Wayne’s Stetson cowboy hat.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img