VENERABLE GIFT BOX & RISING STAR MIDCOURT HEAD SATURDAY’S GRADE II, $200,000 SAN ANTONIO STAKES AT 1 1/16 MILESRACE IS ONE OF SIX GRADED STAKES TO BE RUN ON OPENING DAY, FIRST POST IS AT 11:00 A.M.ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 23, 2019)–Hronis Racing’s Gift Box, idle since June 15, and C R K Stable’s recent Grade III winner Midcourt, head a field of seven 3-year-olds and up in Thursday’s Grade II, $200,000 San Antonio Stakes at Santa Anita. A winner of the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap three starts back on April 6, this 6-year-old full horse has blossomed in the care of trainer John Sadler, winning two out of his four starts, including his Southern California debut, the December, 2018 San Antonio.Other solid contenders include trainer Peter Miller’s Gray Magician, who although well beaten in the Kentucky Derby, returns to Southern California after being first or second in his last four starts, trainer Jonathan Wong’s Mugaritz, who’s unbeaten in five Northern California starts this year and Phil D’Amato’s California-bred King Abner, who exits an impressive second condition allowance win at Del Mar Nov. 16.GIFT BOXOwner: Hronis Racing, LLCTrainer: John SadlerHeadquartered with trainer Chad Brown through his first 13 starts in New York, Gift Box was purchased by Hronis Racing in the summer of 2018 and he’s been a terrific addition to the handicap division here. The defending champ in the San Antonio, Gift Box, who took the Santa Anita Handicap in his second start for Sadler, was second, beaten three quarters of a length as the 3-5 favorite by eventual Breeder’s Cup Classic winner Vino Rosso in the Grade I Gold Cup at Santa Anita on May 27. A well beaten fourth as the 2-1 favorite in the Grade II Stephen Foster Stakes at Churchill Downs June 15, Gift Box has trained well for his return and is believed to be prepping for a productive 7-year-old campaign in 2020.MIDCOURTOwner: C R K Stable, LLCTrainer: John ShirreffsA $450,000 Keeneland September Yearling who was often his own worst enemy, Midcourt has come to hand under Shirreffs’ patient tutelage and comes off the best race of his career, a smashing 5 ¾ length score, accomplished in gate to wire fashion, in the Grade III Native Diver Stakes at Del Mar on Nov. 23. Gelded following a second place finish in his first start for Shirreffs, a one mile maiden special weight five starts back on Feb. 24, Midcourt, a 4-year-old gelding by Midnight Lute, has now rattled off four consecutive wins and could go favored in what will be his eighth career start.THE GRADE II SAN ANTONIO STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDERRace 5 of 11 Approximate post time 1 p.m. PTGray Magician–Javier Castellano–119Gift Box–Joel Rosario – 123King Abner–Tyler Baze–121Draft Pick–Joe Talamo–121Mugaritz–Ricardo Gonzalez–123Midcourt–Victor Espinoza–123Fight On–Abel Cedillo–121Special early first post time on Saturday, opening day of Santa Anita’s Winter Meet, is at 11 a.m. Admission gates will open at 9 a.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.
Excitement, marksmanship, and intense clay shooting action will return to the Jamaica Skeet Club today when their season curtain-raiser, the Bernard Cridland Memorial, gets underway at 10:30 a.m. at the Portmore Range in St Catherine. Following what was described as “a very enjoyable bird shooting season,” it’s now to the clay circuit in an event named in honour of former shooter Bernard Cridland. Registration fee is $1,000, and registration will begin at 9 a.m. and will be followed by the customary 10:30 shotgun start. The competition format will be 100 birds sporting, with prizes being awarded to winners and runners-up in classes A, B, C, D and E; juniors; subjuniors; and ladies. Today, participants and supporters can expect nothing but fun-rivalry and intense to-the-wire shooting, according to Jamaica Skeet Club president Khaleel Azan. “We will have a course that will have targets to please the beginners, intermediate and advanced shooters. “We are expecting a large turnout, so we need to have early registration and a shotgun start,” Azan told The Sunday Gleaner. He added that only Skeet Club ammunition would be used in today’s shoot, while food and drinks would be on sale all day. The president gave the assurance that the Skeet Club is looking to start the season in fine style, with multiple world champion and world renown shooting instructor Ben Husthwaite scheduled to visit Jamaica from November 24-30 to impart ‘world-class’ lessons at the Portmore Range. The cost for lessons is US$125 per hour.
In a driving finish involving four horses, 6-1 chance PROLIFIC PRINCESS, under champion jockey Omar Walker, squeezed home by a short head to win the overnight allowance feature over 1300 metres for the Ash Wednesday Trophy, at Caymanas Park yesterday.Trained by Neive Graham for popular owner O’Shaun Connection, the 5-y-o chestnut mare raced just off the early pace in fourth passing the half mile as the fleet-footed TALENTED TONY K (13-1) led from DANCING QUEEN (17-1), with the 1-2 favourite CHACE THE GREAT racing in touch at this stage in a maximum field of 16.TALENTED TONY K was caught by DANCING QUEEN in mid-stretch, but by then, PROLIFIC PRINCESS and the 46-1 outsider BIRDIE MY LOVE (formerly BIRD CATCHER) loomed large into contention, with PROLIFIC PRINCESS on the inside getting her nose in front on the wire to beat BIRDIE MY LOVE and DANCING QUEEN with CHACE THE GREAT a mere length away fourth on the outside.Graham said that he was pretty confident of victory, but he expected it to be close in such a large field.ONE OF THE SHARPEST”She turned in an impressive exercise gallop of 1:06.4 for 5 1/2 furlongs in preparation for the race and was one of the sharpest in the field. She also loves to sprint, having won back-to-back races over six furlongs late last year,” said the trainer.On a day when Ameth Robles rode two winners, including 25-1 outsider RICHIE’S PIK in the seventh, bang-in-form LIGHT BRIGADE (3-1) notched his fourth consecutive win this season, going wire to wire in the Clifford Stewart Memorial Cup over 1200 metres (claiming $250,000 – $210,000), with Shamaree Muir again in the saddle. The 8-y-o gelding from the stables of Delroy Wisdom held on by a neck from the fast-finishing 1-1 favourite, BARS OF GOLD, then had to survive a stewards’ inquiry.
Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Almazan vows to comeback stronger after finals heartbreak “I liked how we were able to control the game in the final minutes,” Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said. “We didn’t want to risk conceding like we did in the first leg.”It was a good debut for Coutinho, who came off the bench in the second half to replace Andres Iniesta, playing well in the nearly 25 minutes he was on the field.“There are a lot of expectations about Coutinho,” Valverde said. “He will fit well into our game. He entered in a complicated match, but he did well.”Coutinho arrived from Liverpool earlier this month but had been sidelined by a right leg muscle injury. The Brazilian playmaker was signed in a transfer worth up to 160 million euros (then $192 million), making him Barcelona’s most expensive player ever.Espanyol, seeking its first semifinal appearance in the Copa since 2014-15, appealed for a penalty when Gerard Moreno fell inside the area after contact with Barcelona’s Jordi Alba with about 10 minutes left in the game.ADVERTISEMENT “We had some chances but didn’t capitalize on them,” Espanyol’s Victor Sanchez said. “We feel like we played a great series. Nobody really believed in us but in the end we were a goal away from advancing.”Argentine international Javier Mascherano was honored by Barcelona before the match. The defender is leaving the club after eight seasons to play in China.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Durant fined for ref rant The other teams in the semifinals are Sevilla, Valencia and Leganes, which on Wednesday stunned Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. Valencia got past last year’s runner-up Alaves on penalties, while Sevilla eliminated Atletico Madrid. The draw will be held on Friday, with the first leg matches being played next week.Barcelona had lost 1-0 to Espanyol in the first leg last week, but quickly evened the series when Suarez scored with a diving header less than 10 minutes into the match after a cross from the right by Aleix Vidal. Messi scored the goal that secured a 2-1 win on aggregate midway through the first half with a shot that deflected off a defender.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkMessi and Suarez have combined to score at least a goal each in six of the team’s last seven matches.Messi has found the net 10 times in his last 11 games, while Suarez has scored 11 goals in his last nine matches. MOST READ Newsome sets focus on helping Bolts open new PBA season on right track LATEST STORIES FC Barcelona’s Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring during the Spanish Copa del Rey, quarter final, second leg, soccer match between FC Barcelona and Espanyol at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)MADRID — With Philippe Coutinho making his debut and Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez adding to their scoring run, Barcelona advanced to the Copa del Rey semifinals for the eighth straight year on Thursday.First-half goals from Messi and Suarez guided Barcelona to a comfortable 2-0 victory over city rival Espanyol at Camp Nou Stadium, keeping alive the team’s hopes of winning its fourth consecutive Copa title.ADVERTISEMENT Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Nonito Donaire vs Naoya Inoue is BWAA 2019 Fight of the Year Michael Porter Jr. stays patient as playing time increases Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments
Golovkin, meanwhile, announced Wednesday he would fight Vanes Martirosyan in Carson, California, on the May 5 date he was supposed to meet Alvarez.Caroline Bateman, a Nevada deputy attorney general, suggested a punishment of six months from the day of Alvarez’s first positive test on Feb. 17. She said Alvarez also must undergo drug tests, but added no fine was recommended because past fines have been based on future purses.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownBateman said during the commission meeting that Alvarez has been cooperative since testing positive, which was a contributing factor in handing down a punishment less than the standard disciplinary sanction of one year.“The only input from the Triple G side, because we feel Triple G is the most damaged person in the situation scrambling to save the May 5 date, it would have been nice to see Canelo getting a fine,” said Golovkin’s promoter, Tom Loeffler, who attended the hearing. “But we respect the commission’s ruling.” P16.5-M worth of aid provided for Taal Volcano eruption victims — NDRRMC Jo Koy draws ire for cutting through Cebu City traffic with ‘wang-wang’ Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Green group flags ‘overkill’ use of plastic banderitas in Manila Sto. Niño feast View comments MOST READ ‘I will die (defending my title) if I have to,’ says Matthysse “Although most professional sports, international anti-doping agencies and United States boxing commissions treat meat contamination differently from other positive tests, Nevada does not. Canelo and Golden Boy Promotions respect the rules of Nevada and are therefore satisfied with the settlement agreement reached today,” Golden Boy Promotions said in a statement issued after the meeting.Alvarez had been a steady attraction in Las Vegas on the Cinco De Mayo weekend, and a consistent star on pay-per-view. The red-headed fighter is one of the most recognizable athletes in Mexico and one of the country’s biggest sports heroes.“Canelo looks forward to returning to the ring in September for Mexican Independence Day weekend to represent Mexico and boxing in what will be the sport’s biggest event of the year,” Golden Boy’s statement said. “He is ready to continue his remarkable record of fighting at the highest level.”Loeffler said Golovkin could be ready for a September date with Alvarez. But he said Golovkin must focus first on his upcoming fight.“Right now, we’re focused on May 5,” Loeffler said. “If Triple G doesn’t win May 5, there’s no talk about a Canelo rematch in the future. If Triple G is successful May 5, then the biggest fight in the sport of boxing is still Triple G and Canelo, and that’s the fight we would try to make.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Scientists seek rare species survivors amid Australia flames Truck driver killed in Davao del Sur road accident In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew ‘Stop romanticizing Pinoy resilience’ LATEST STORIES Alvarez wasn’t present at the meeting.“I hope he’s learned a lesson, that he is responsible with what he puts in his body,” commission Chairman Anthony Marnell said. “And I hope to see him fighting in Nevada soon. If he follows the agreement as it’s laid out then he would be able to come back and fight like any other fighter.”Alvarez was supposed to face Golovkin for his unified middleweight title next month at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, but the fight was called off after the commission issued a complaint against Alvarez for testing positive to the banned performance-enhancing drug clenbuterol in his hometown of Guadalajara, Mexico.The fight would have been a rematch of their bout last September, where Alvarez got a controversial draw in a fight many thought Golovkin had clearly won.Alvarez blamed contaminated beef in Mexico for his positive test and vowed to plead his case before the commission. But with Alvarez suspended because of the positive test and so little time between the hearing and the fight promoters decided to cancel the bout.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Boxer Canelo Alvarez poses during a news conference at Microsoft Theater at L.A. Live to announce the upcoming rematch against Gennady Golovkin on February 27, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images/AFPLAS VEGAS — Nevada boxing regulators gave Canelo Alvarez a reduced penalty for doping violations Wednesday, potentially allowing him to return to the ring in September against Gennady Golovkin.Alvarez was given a six-month suspension instead of the standard one year for first-time violators. His May 5 fight with Golovkin was called off earlier because of the doping, but with the Nevada Athletic Commission suspension retroactive to February he would be available for a possible fight with Triple G on the traditional Mexican Independence Day weekend in September.ADVERTISEMENT
The Liberia Football Association (LFA) has announced the end of its one-month awareness and sensitization campaign “Stop the Stigma against Ebola Survivors and Ebola is still real.”The 1st vice president and secretary general Musa Shannon and Alphonso Armah in separate interviews said the anti-Ebola Stigma campaign ran from December 1, 2014 to January 15, 2015.The campaign, supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation valued about US$13,000.00.Armah said the campaign focused on stigmatizing survivors, ensuring tolerance, empathy and understanding.He said the campaign was successful through the support of former Lone Star players.Shannon added that the ‘Stop the Ebola Stigma against Survivors’ message was spread through interviews and radio talk shows, as well as in newspapers, banners on buildings and on bus stops, including football games, amongst others.He thanked the Ministry of Information for their partnership, which provided them the platform to speak to over 3, 000, 0000 Liberians through its regular ‘Ebola Hour.’He also hailed the media – radios, newspapers and internet users and bloggers for their coverage.The frontliners were former players of the George Weah 11, who are currently serving as coaches.They included former international players of Christopher Wreh, (Arsenal), James Salinsa Debbah, (A.S Monaco, Olympique Lyonnais, OGC Nice and Paris Saint-Germain) and Kervin Sebwe, who played in France, Belgium, the United Arab Emirates and Greece.The rest: Musa Shannon, (Tampa Bay Tunity and Carolina Dynamo in the US), Dionysius “Dion” Sebwe, (Park College and the Kansas City Wiz) and Oliver Markor, (Greece).Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Students who signed an agreement for loans at the University of Guyana during the period when public education was “constitutionally free” cannot be held accountable for defaulting on payment, says General Secretary of the Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC), Lincoln Lewis.Veteran trade unionist Lincoln LewisLewis, in a letter, stated that the Constitution of Guyana had within it free public education from nursery to university, but this was excised with constitutional reform during the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) time in office. He stated that neither the University of Guyana nor the Government could hold these persons accountable for an act “which was clearly in violation of the supreme law”.“The Constitution is explicit that any act that contravenes it is null and void,” he said, reiterating that the Constitution was the nation’s supreme law and every government official, more so the “elected representatives”, should take time to acquaint themselves with it.The Government is wrestling with manoeuvres to recoup loans provided by the University’s Student Loan Agency. One strategy, as highlighted by Finance Minister Winston Jordan, was to restrict the graduates from travelling outside Guyana until they made arrangements to settle their debts.On the flip side, Citizenship Minister Winston Felix and Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge have openly stated that they were unaware of any such plan. President David Granger had also come out to say any restriction would be against the law and his Administration would not implement such a measure.“The APNU/AFC Administration has to be mindful it does not continue sending the signal that the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing or decisions are being made without due diligence,” Lewis said, opining that the business of government is managed by “time-honoured principles, established rules and laws, not gut feelings,” and so to entertain the idea of barring persons’ freedom of movement, without examining the legal implications, should not have happened.He stated that any repayment approach must also factor in that the Government has failed to build the enabling environment to keep its people, and provide employment and economic opportunities for them. He noted that it should consider examining the fees being paid in kind in various forms of national service.Considering that 85 per cent of Guyana’s tertiary graduates migrate and approximately 40 per cent of its young people are unemployed, coupled with a national unemployment rate of 21 per cent, Lewis stated, Guyana has a serious problem on its hands.Thus, outside of ensuring that the “Constitution is not violated, in its present form and considering when student loans were introduced, the Government has to look at this matter through holistic and sober lens”. This, he said, must include recognition of the reality that among the student population are those who in accessing advanced education did so because they saw it as a stepping stone for better, yet betterment seems elusive.Meanwhile, former Attorney General Anil Nandlall has stated that in the Constitution there were enforceable and unenforceable provisions – free tertiary education being one of the unenforceable ones.He stated that there were ideal goals that a country would aspire to achieve in terms of free education from nursery to university, but it did not mean that these provisions would be enforced.He stated that every citizen enjoyed the right to freedom of movement, which included the right to enter and leave Guyana and so a ban imposed on any citizen, unless it falls into one of the exceptions provided for by the Constitution itself, would be in contravention of the citizen’s constitutional right of movement.“Failure to pay one’s debt is not one of the exceptions provided for by the Constitution as an exception to freedom of movement.Therefore, the imposition of a travel ban for the non-payment of student loans would amount to a deprivation of that student’s freedom of movement as is guaranteed by the Constitution,” Nandlall stated, adding that the same Constitution provided for the establishment of private schools, where fees are chargeable.
Some of the Chinese with local leaders at the harvest.China-Aid Agriculture Technology Cooperation Project, based at the China-Aid Agricultural Technology Demonstration Center in Suakoko, Bong County, on Saturday August 25, began harvesting a hybrid rice variety in Foya, Lofa County, to the delight of local officials and farmers.The project is funded by the Chinese Government and implemented by LongPing High-Tech Agriculture Corporation, Limited, from China, as well as the Agriculture Infrastructure and Investment Company in Liberia.Lirong Su, China-Aid Agriculture Technology Cooperation Project Rice Specialist, who spoke through an interpreter, said the project’s mission is to help rebuild agriculture in Liberia, following the devastating Ebola crisis of 2014 and 2015.Mr. Lirong said at present, his organization is conducting premium rice varieties extension in Bong, Lofa and Nimba counties, in order to apply the good experience from the Kpatawee Farmer-based Organization to other rice producing areas, particularly in China-Aid operating community.“In the early stage of the project, the Central Agriculture Research Institute (CARI), our traditional partner joined us to conduct rice research and rice varieties selection. We also tried to operate on Farmers’ Cooperative at Kpatawee Farm in Bong County, when the Kpatawee Farmer-based Organization had achieved good yield and income by applying know-how of technical collaboration between us and CARI,” Mr. Lirong said.He said that at the three rice extension programs, China-Aid Agriculture Technology Cooperation Project provides seeds, agriculture input, rice technical training, and also purchases and processes the rice seed after harvest.Mr. Lirong said that the measurement of these three extension programs adds up to 210 hectares, something he said will greatly improve rice production skills for farmers.According to him, the Agriculture Infrastructure and Investment Company (AIIC) is one of the leading agriculture companies in Lofa County that undertook the premium rice extension program. AIIC, Lirong said, collaborated with China-Aid Agriculture Project and also received technical support from CARI as well as from the local administration through the county’s agriculture office.He recounted that the AIIC carried out a 50 hectares premium rice extension program in Foya (including upland rice), among which 22 hectares are Chinese hybrid rice.Mr. Lirong said that in the process of extension, the company and the farmers carried out techniques such as wetland nursery, scientific fertilizer application, scientific water control, diseases and pest control, to ensure high yield of the extension farm.“In order to benefit more farmers, we hope AIIC would abridge experiences in the process of extension, fully apprehend the advanced rice production skills to transfer it to more rice farmers and rice farming group in this area,” Lirong said.He pledged China Aid Agriculture Project’s commitment to providing seed and some other inputs and conducting technical training to more farmers, “because this way we can add more contribution to the country’s agriculture development.”CARI Director General Dr. Marcus Jones called on farmers to take rice production into their own hands and fight to reduce rice importation in the country.According to Dr. Jones, the importation of European and Asian rice will only be reduced if farmers, including all Liberians, turn away from eating imported rice. He added that food security is human security.Jones used the occasion to extol the Chinese for the technical and material support to the farmers, and then called on farmers to take advantage of the Chinese hybrid rice, because the duration for harvest is shorter and the yield is higher than that of the country’s traditional rice.He also challenged the people of Lofa County to return to their pre-war status of being the country’s “food basket.”Foya Statutory District Assistant Superintendent for Development Moses Sonjor lauded China-Aid for the support. He said China remains one of the country’s biggest contributors to post-war development drive since 2006.Sonjor said that the Chinese have immensely contributed to the country’s infrastructure and agriculture development over the last 15 years resulting to increased access to basic social services across the country mainly through grant to the Liberian government.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Following Tuesday afternoon’s five-minute shaking that resulted from an earthquake in neighbouring Venezuela, Guyanese were met with more vibrations after an aftershock rocked the Spanish-speaking country on Wednesday and experts are saying that another earthquake could occur again.According to information obtained, residents across several areas of Guyana again felt another earth tremor at about 09:30h on Wednesday after an aftershock measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale was recorded in Venezuela. However, theseWednesday’s aftershock measured 5.9 on the Richter scalevibrations where not as intense as those felt on Tuesday. Region One (Barima-Waini) Chairman Brentnol Ashley told Guyana Times on Wednesday that the aftershock lasted less than one minute.“You could hear things making noise because of the trembling but it wasn’t for very long. There is no report of anything being damaged as yet,” Ashley said.However, Guyanese could be bracing themselves for more unsettling movements since experts at the UWI Seismic Research Centre are predicting that another earthquake in eastern Venezuela can be expected. UWI Seismologist, Dr Joan Latchman has said that another earthquake is possible, noting that there have been at least seven aftershocks so far.There have been early reports of structural damage to buildings, as well as cracks in floors and roads in Venezuela and Trinidad after the earthquake hit Tuesday. The SRC put the earthquake at a depth of 73 kilometers and it was felt in the northern parts of South America and several Caribbean nations, including Trinidad. The 7.3 magnitude struck Venezuela at about 17:30h on Tuesday and many said that it was the worst they had felt in recent memory.
“We are pleased. We are not surprised things went pretty well so far generally speaking,” said Collina, who refereed the 2002 World Cup final between Brazil and Germany.The Italian revealed that VAR crews conducted checks on 335 incidents across the 48 group-stage matches, an average of almost seven per game.VAR can be used in four scenarios — after a goal has been scored, for penalty decisions, red card decisions or for a case of mistaken identity of a player who has been booked or sent off.Collina said with the help of technology, officials had achieved a 99.3 percent rate of correct decisions in Russia, compared with an accuracy rate of 95 percent for initial decisions without VAR intervention. “VAR doesn’t mean perfection,” he said. “There could still be some wrong interpretation or even mistakes, so it’s a not a perfection that can be reached having implemented VAR.”“During a competition it’s not possible that everything goes 100 percent perfectly,” Collina added. “Some things have to be fine-tuned based on what has occurred in the first matches and this is our task.” – Complaints –There were 17 reviews during the group stage, 14 of which were carried out by the referee on the pitchside monitor, with the other three dealt with directly by VAR teams.The average time required for a VAR review has been 80 seconds, although that figure is slightly higher for an on-pitch review.“In a couple of cases the final answer could have been given even earlier,” Collina said. “But in terms of being very accurate, the VAR preferred to spend five to 10 seconds more to be very, very sure.”A selection of clips was played during a press conference in Moscow to demonstrate how the VAR procedure works, with some teams having complained about a lack of transparency.Brazil wrote to FIFA asking for an explanation after two key incidents were not reviewed in their 1-1 draw with Switzerland, while Iran coach Carlos Queiroz criticised VAR after Cristiano Ronaldo escaped a red card for an elbow. The footage Collina showed was accompanied by audio recordings of the communication between VAR officials and the referee that is not broadcast during matches.“I think before running you have to learn to walk,” Collina said when asked if such conversations would eventually be made public as in rugby and cricket.“I don’t know what the future will be, it might be possible. Now it’s a bit early because we are still walking.”“If you make known why and how a decision is taken maybe you can clarify and you can get this decision better accepted by the football community,” he added.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Pierluigi Collina refereed the 2002 World Cup final between Brazil and Germany © AFP / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEVMoscow, Russian Federation, Jun 29 – FIFA referees committee chairman Pierluigi Collina said on Friday he was “pleased” with the impact of the video assistant referee (VAR) system during the group stage of the World Cup. After experiments in different FIFA tournaments, Serie A in Italy and the German Bundesliga this season, VAR has made its World Cup debut in Russia.