THE Guyana Football Federation (GFF) and the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana (THAG) yesterday morning signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work closer in promoting Sport Tourism through football.Both sides view this new venture as significant, highlighting Sport Tourism as one of the fastest growing sectors of tourism globally.The signing of the MoU was done by president of the GFF, Wayne Forde, and head of THAG, Mitra Ramkumar, at Roraima Duke Lodge in Kingston. The signing was witnessed by Keeran Williams of the Football Federation and Treina Butts of the Tourism body.The objectives of the alliance are (1) Promotion and Marketing by increasing visibility of the destination and football to international partners; (2) Research and Information Sharing by improving readiness and promotional efforts of sports tourism events; (3) Product Development by developing initiatives that promote events such as Beach Football and Futsal competitions at locations across the country; and (4) Sustainability of Ventures by devising strategies that support the sustainability of the organisations through the hosting of activities.Comments by key stakeholdersTreina Butts – Executive Director, THAG: “Sport Tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors in tourism and more and more tourists are interested in sport activities during their trips whether or not sport was the main purpose of their visit. Sport Tourism of various kinds and sizes attracts tourists as participants and spectators to destinations worldwide and destinations do their best to add local flavour to those activities and distinguish themselves and provide authentic local experiences.“Mega sports events such as the Olympics and World Cups can be catalysts for tourism development if successfully leveraged in terms of destination branding, infrastructure development and other economic and social benefits.”Mitra Ramkumar – President, THAG: “I want to say why we should use this (Sport Tourism), and Guyana as a destination should use this as a strategy, and why it needs to be forward thinking. If you were to look at the upcoming (Football) World Cup that’s going to be happening in Qatar in 2022; this was as a result of a deliberate strategy from Qatar.“It is really aimed at having a surge in visitor arrival to that country. 2026 has already been awarded, so you can see the forward thinking and planning that has to go behind Sport Tourism and really reaping the benefits of Sport Tourism. We need to put Sport Tourism as a strategy to really build our infrastructure and elevate the livelihood of our people.”Wayne Forde – President, GFF: “We have to remind ourselves often that football is an entertainment product, and like any product marketing of that product is critical. The partnership that we’re building with the Tourism Authority would see the Tourism Authority bringing its weight, its platform, its resources, its network and every other tool it has to its disposal to leverage, promote and advertise the tournaments and competitions and international events of the Federation.One of the first such activities that we would engage in the spirit of the MoU would be the Super 16 tournament that would be launched in a matter of days.” (Newsroom)
Day: September 18, 2020
Ginter the inspiration as Germany clinch Euro 2020 spotGinter the inspiration as Germany clinch Euro 2020 spot
MOENCHENGLADBACH, Germany (Reuters) – Defender Matthias Ginter scored one goal and was involved in two more as Germany comfortably saw off Belarus 4-0 yesterday to clinch their place at Euro 2020, qualifying for the finals for a record 13th time in a row.The inspired Ginter broke the deadlock in the 41st minute with a clever backheel, provided a dummy which allowed Leon Goreztka to score the second and the pass for Toni Kroos to add the third.Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer saved a penalty from Igor Stasevich in the 75th minute and Kroos added a fourth to complete his first national team brace since the 7-1 World Cup semi-final win over Brazil in 2014. Group C leaders Germany were given a helping hand by arch-rivals the Netherlands who held Northern Ireland 0-0 away to ensure the Dutch and Germans qualified with one match to spare.Germany have 18 points – from six draws and one defeat – while the Dutch have 16 and Northern Ireland 14. Belarus have four points but could still qualify as they have reached the playoffs of the Nations League which offers four more places.“I’m satisfied, there were some very good passing exchanges,” said coach Joachim Loew, who took over in 2006 and will be in charge at his seventh major tournament. “We did a good job. All in all, I’m very satisfied. Kroos is extremely important for the team, he’s always ready to play, always keeps his cool – he’s elementary for such a young team. He does that very well.”As expected, Germany quickly took control although their early attacks were somewhat predictable. They were given a fright when Stasevich’s dipping long-range shot forced Neuer into a difficult save and they went ahead shortly afterwards.Serge Gnabry wriggled past his marker and fired a low ball across the face of goal which was flicked in by Ginter for his first Germany goal on his 29th appearance.Germany increased their lead four minutes after halftime when Kroos sent a low corner to the edge of the area, Ginter dummied and Goretzka fired home. Six minutes later, Ginter’s pass found Kroos on the edge of the area and he swept the ball home with a trademark first-time shot.Belarus were awarded a penalty when Robin Koch tripped Pavel Nekhaychik but Neuer dived to his right to save Stasevich’s spot-kick. Kroos rubbed it in when he collected the ball in the area, spun past his marker, evaded another and fired a low shot past Aleksandr Gutor to complete the rout.
GBA encamp 22 boxers ahead of Caribbean Championship in T&TGBA encamp 22 boxers ahead of Caribbean Championship in T&T
BOXERS preparing for the Caribbean Championship will be encamped for one week starting tomorrow, with the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA), in a release, stating that the encampment is being held even though they’re yet to hear from government regarding the scope of its support for the trip to Trinidad and Tobago.The GABA has named a team of 22 boxers for the Caribbean Championship, including Caribbean Junior female champions, Abiola and Alesha Jackman.GABA president Steve Ninvalle said that he remains optimistic of a full team representing Guyana in the Twin Island Republic, following a phone call with Sports Minister George Norton on Friday.Team Guyana will be led by elite Caribbean middleweight champion, Desmond Amsterdam and bantamweight, Keevin Allicock.
Fit-again Anderson back in England squad for S. Africa TestsFit-again Anderson back in England squad for S. Africa Tests
LONDON, England (Reuters) – England’s fit-again seamer James Anderson has been included in their 17-man Test squad for the four-match tour of South Africa starting on December 26, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said yesterday.Anderson, England’s top Test wicket-taker with 575, suffered a right calf tear in the opening Ashes Test against Australia in August before being ruled out of the series.The 37-year-old also missed England’s two-Test series in New Zealand, which they lost 1-0, and is building up his fitness in a specialist pace bowling camp in South Africa that began on December 1.Fellow pace bowler Mark Wood is back in the squad despite nursing a left knee injury while wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow also returns. Lancashire seamer Saqib Mahmood was dropped.“With James Anderson and Mark Wood returning to the squad, Saqib Mahmood is the unfortunate player to miss out,” national selector Ed Smith said in a statement Wood is looking to play his first Test since the third match of the West Indies series at St Lucia in February, when he took six wickets in the contest.“It is not predicted that Mark will be available for the earliest matches. However, he will travel with the team and continue rehab work with the medical staff on tour,” Smith said.“There is no exact date given for his return, but the medical team is working towards him becoming fully available for selection during the tour.“With that in mind, and given the extended period that James and Mark have had on the sidelines due to injury, it was sensible to have a 17-man squad.”Moeen Ali was not picked after the all-rounder said in September he would take a break from Test cricket having lost out on a central contract for the longest format for the 2019-20 season.The four-match series will mark England’s first away games in the ICC World Test Championship.Squad: Joe Root (captain), James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jack Leach, Matt Parkinson, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
Regional four-day cricket bowls off from January 9Regional four-day cricket bowls off from January 9
…Trelawny Stadium in Jamaica to host two regional four-day matches after 11-year break CRICKET West Indies (CWI) has scheduled the fifth-round match between Jamaica Scorpions and Leeward Islands Hurricanes from February 13 to 16 at the venue, along with the sixth-round match between the Scorpions and Guyana Jaguars from February 27 to March 1.CWI director of cricket, Jimmy Adams, said the stadium is scheduled to stage a Twenty20 International in two years’ time and this was part of the process to get the ground in shape.“It will be good to see the Trelawny Stadium hosting regional cricket again after so many years with this effort from the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA)to build its capacity in western Jamaica,” said Adams.Only one West Indies Championship match has been played at the ground in the past, when current West Indies team operations manager Rawl Lewis led Windward Islands to a three-wicket victory over Jamaica in 2009.The ground has staged five other first-class matches – two involving international teams touring the Caribbean, and three involving West Indies A and counterparts from Sri Lanka and England.The stadium was completed in 2007 before the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 West Indies and can seat 25,000.Adams said he was excited about the forthcoming West Indies Championship season and working with the new West Indies senior selection panel – under chairman Roger Harper – to identify the next wave of players to stake their claims for the West Indies Test team.“A new season is always an occasion for optimism as we expect performances from both established and rookie players within the system,” said Adams.“I’m sure the new Selection Panel under Roger Harper will be keen to cast their eyes over this competition which will wrap up our 2019-20 cricket season.”Guyana Jaguars are the five-time, defending champions of the Championship. They open the tournament on the road, when they travel to Antigua to face Leeward Islands Hurricanes at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in a day/night contest played with a pink ball.The Championship marks a decade since CWI were the first member of the ICC, cricket’s world governing body, to play a pink-ball match in its first-class competition, when Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago played from January 15 to 18, 2010.Pink-ball matches have now become a standard part of the Championship and each team will play two of these games – home and away – under the tournament format.The other first round matches feature: Trinidad & Tobago Red Force battling Scorpions at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Trinidad, and Windward Islands Volcanoes tackling Barbados Pride at the Arnos Vale Cricket Ground in St. Vincent.MATCH SCHEDULE(Play in all matches start at 10 am daily, except where indicated)ROUND 1January 9 to 12Hurricanes vs Jaguars – Vivian Richards Cricket Ground, Antigua (2 pm daily)Red Force vs Scorpions – Brian Lara Cricket Academy, TrinidadVolcanoes vs Pride – Arnos Vale Cricket Ground, St. VincentROUND 2January 16 to 19Scorpions vs Volcanoes – Sabina Park, JamaicaPride vs Jaguars – Kensington Oval, BarbadosRed Force vs Hurricanes – Brian Lara Cricket Academy ***BREAK***Round 4February 6 to 9Jaguars vs Scorpions – Guyana National StadiumHurricanes vs Pride – Warner Park, St. KittsVolcanoes vs Red Force – Windsor Park, DominicaROUND 5February 13 to 16Scorpions vs Hurricanes – Trelawny Stadium, JamaicaPride vs Red Force – Kensington OvalVolcanoes vs Jaguars – Grenada National Stadium, Grenada***BREAK***ROUND 6February 27 to March 1Scorpions vs Jaguars – Trelawny Stadium, JamaicaPride vs Volcanoes – Kensington OvalHurricanes vs Red Force – Warner ParkROUND 7March 5 to 8Red Force vs Pride – Brian Lara Cricket AcademyVolcanoes vs Scorpions – Grenada National StadiumJaguars vs Hurricanes – Guyana National StadiumROUND 8March 12 to 15Red Force vs Volcanoes – Brian Lara Cricket Academy (2 pm daily)Hurricanes vs Scorpions – Vivian Richards Cricket GroundJaguars vs Pride – Guyana National Stadium (2 pm daily)***BREAK***ROUND 9March 26 to 29Pride vs Scorpions – Kensington Oval (2 pm daily)Hurricanes vs Volcanoes – Vivian Richards Cricket GroundRed Force vs Jaguars – Queen’s Park Oval, TrinidadROUND 10April 2 to 5Jaguars vs Volcanoes – Guyana National StadiumScorpions vs Red Force – Sabina Park (2 pm daily)Pride vs Hurricanes – Kensington Oval ROUND 3January 23 to 26Jaguars vs Red Force – Guyana National Stadium, Guyana (9:30 am daily)Scorpions vs Pride – Sabina ParkVolcanoes vs Hurricanes – Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, St. Lucia (2 pm daily)
WEST Indies Over-50 selectees will assemble in Trinidad and Tobago from January 13 for a series of trial matches to select the final touring party for the Over-50s Cricket World Cup scheduled for March in South Africa.It is the second edition of the Over-50s Cricket World Cup and West Indies will be one of four teams to make their first appearance.The players invited to form the historic first West Indies Over-50s team are eager to prove themselves after their previous trial matches were severely affected by bad weather in Fort Lauderdale last November.After the disappointment in Florida, the organisers were forced to arrange fresh trial matches that should give the players enough time to prove their readiness and to impress the watchful selectors.The 18 West Indies selectees will be joined by four Trinidad and Tobago Over-50 players for their first match on Monday January 13 at the National Cricket Centre (NCC) in Balmain Couva.The second match will be played against a star-studded Clarke Road United Masters team featuring some former Trinidad and Tobago senior and junior national players the following day at the same venue while on Wednesday the World Cup-bound players will turn their attention to NAS Masters also at NCC.The final match which will also test the fitness levels of the players will be played on Thursday at the historic Queen’s Park Oval against the home team the Queen’s Park Masters.All matches will be 45 overs per side and will be played with Cricket West Indies (CWI)-approved coloured clothing without the official West Indies Cricket Teams’ logo since the World Cup is not an ICC’s event.However, the Regional side received the blessings of Ricky Skerritt, president of CWI. He wished the team well and applauded the work of the Local Organising Committee.Skerritt wrote in the pre-tournament magazine, “Although CWI’s resources are now more focussed on developing younger players, we commend any project that seeks to directly engage past regional players in cricket-related activity.”West Indies are in Group B of the tournament which is set for March 11 to 24 in Cape Town, South Africa. Other debutants are India, Namibia and Zimbabwe taking the total number of teams to 12, compared to eight in 2018 when Australia won the inaugural tournament at home in Sydney.Group A comprises England, Namibia, Pakistan, India, South Africa and Wales while Group B will have Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and West Indies.West Indies selectees are: Virgil Gossai, Hafiz Mohamed, Sudesh Dhaniram, Imtiaz Rick Ali, Julian Charles, Lawrence Pooran, Zamin Amin, Curtis Richards, Fareed Hosein, Howard Jodhan, Krish Harricharan, Rajendra Sahadeo, Roy Singh, Azad Mohammed, Kenny Girdharry, Richard Seechan, Mark Audain and Ishwar Maraj.The management team includes Guyanese cricket administrator, Raj Singh as Manager, businessman Dave Narine as Assistant Manager, Joseph ‘Reds’ Perreira as Public Relations Officer (PRO), John Ramsingh as the Media Officer, Rick Ali and Ian Allen.
Magnum Mash Cup Futsal Championship action continues tonightMagnum Mash Cup Futsal Championship action continues tonight
WITH several teams aiming to seal their place in the knockout round following two nights of group-stage play, the exciting action in the Magnum Tonic Wine Mashramani Cup Futsal Championship continues this evening with six scheduled matches at the National Gymnasium, Mandela Avenue.Future Stars will match skills with Spot-7 from 19:00hrs in the opening match, while Alexander Village tackle Mocha from 19:30hrs and Leopold oppose Spartacus from 20:00hrs.In the fourth encounter, North East La Penitence battle Avocado Ballers from 20:30hrs, while Sparta Boss face Ansa McAl All-Stars from 21:00hrs and Bent Street take aim at Showstoppers from 21:30hrs.Meanwhile, Back Circle, Future Stars, Rio All-Stars, Sophia and Gold is Money were amongst the wins when the tournament resumed on Tuesday at the same venue.Back Circle whipped Bad-a-Yard 12-2. Stephon McLean smashed four goals in the second, eighth, 14th and 17th minutes. Hat-tricks were added by Meshach Barratt in the ninth, 12th and 16th and Selwyn Williams in the fifth, 10th and 19th.Assisting with goals in the 11th and 13th minutes respectively were Jaleel Hamilton and Dellon Kelly. For the losers, Jermaine Tinch and Wendell Austin scored in the seventh and 20th minute respectively.Similarly Sophia dismissed Island All-Stars 4-1. Dwayne Lowe recorded a helmet-trick in the seventh, eighth, 15th and 16th minutes. For the losers, Devon Hayman netted in the ninth minute.On the other hand, Future Stars edged Mocha 3-2. Kenard Simon bagged a double in the fourth and eighth minutes, while Shane Morris netted in the 14th minute. For the losers, Amos Ramsay and Kevin Gordon scored in the fifth and 12th minutes.Likewise Gold is Money battled past Stabroek Ballers 4-3. Randolph Wagner recorded a hat-trick in the fifth, 14th and 16th minutes, while Andrew Murray scored in the 13th minute. For the losers, Kemo Lawrence recorded a hat-trick in the ninth, 10th and 20th minutes. Also, Rio All-Stars edged Melanie 1-0. Jermin Junor scored in the third minute to seal the win.According to tournament coordinator and co-Director of San Sports, Esan Griffith, during an official press release, said, “Once again the fans were treated to another drama-filled night of action. “Several high-profile teams were pushed to their respective limits while an upset result once again occurred. This bodes well for the event, as there is an element of unpredictability and uncertainty surrounding the outcome of the matches. Once again I would like to thank the fans and players for their continued support in making the tournament an overall success. It is only through this level of unwavering support can the competition continue to improve which each edition.”Winner of the event will pocket $700 000 and the championship trophy, while the second-place side will collect $400 000 and the respective accolade. On the other hand, the third- and fourth-place units will receive $200 000 and $100 000 respectively and the corresponding trophy.
Holder calls on ECB to show gratitude with reciprocal tourHolder calls on ECB to show gratitude with reciprocal tour
By Andrew MillerWEST Indies captain Jason Holder has called on the ECB to show their gratitude to his West Indies team by scheduling a reciprocal tour of the Caribbean later this year, after warning that the dire finances of what he termed Test cricket’s “smaller countries” may not survive the bio-secure requirements of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.Speaking in the aftermath of England’s 269-run victory in the third and final Test at Emirates Old Trafford, Holder conceded that mental fatigue had been a significant factor in his team’s failure to build on their four-wicket win at the Ageas Bowl earlier this month, adding that the routine of “opening your curtains and just seeing the cricket ground” had proved difficult for his players when trying to rouse themselves for the rigours of Test cricket.However, he also acknowledged that there could have been no other way for the series to take place in the current circumstances, pointing out that only England, India and Australia – the so-called “Big Three” Test nations – have enough financial clout to stage international cricket in the midst of a global lockdown.“If something doesn’t happen soon we’ll see less international cricket being played by smaller countries because we simply can’t afford it,” Holder said. “We’ve gone from having four, five-match series, down to two and three. And it’s very difficult to host any more than that for us, particularly the Caribbean.“So yeah, it is a serious dilemma that we’re faced with. I think the relevant personnel really need to sit down and have a look at it.”Despite their series loss, West Indies will return to the Caribbean with the ECB’s lasting gratitude, after their players agreed – with just three exceptions – to travel to a country with one of the highest COVID-19 death rates in the world, and confine themselves to just two venues for the entire eight-week duration of their tour.After an initial month in Manchester, where their extended 25-man squad lived and trained on-site, including two intra-squad warm-up matches, the players travelled to Southampton for the first Test, then straight back to Manchester thereafter.Each of the three Tests was worth an estimated £20 million, contests that helped to fulfil the ECB’s contractual obligations to Sky Sports, and offset a loss that Tom Harrison, the ECB chief executive, had estimated could have been upwards of £380 million had no cricket at all been played this summer.There were, however, some significant overheads for the ECB to factor into West Indies’ visit – not least the cost of charter flights from the Caribbean and accommodation for an enlarged group of players – and while the size of the ECB’s £1.1 billion broadcasting deal amply justified the outlay, Holder warned that bilateral series involving less high-profile teams could remain in serious jeopardy for the foreseeable.“We only really make money from England, and I think India,” Holder said, relating conversations with Johnny Grave, the CWI chief executive. “We break even with Pakistan and Australia, and all the rest of the series we play are losses. But in these trying times only England, Australia and India can probably host cricket. Outside of that, the smaller territories are struggling financially to get cricket on.“We don’t know what’s going to happen after this series in terms of the international calendar, but if there’s an opportunity for England to come over to the Caribbean before the end of the year, I’m sure that would help significantly for CWI’s financial records.“It’s been a tough couple of years in West Indies cricket financially,” he added. “We’ve pretty much had to take a pay cut, so if it’s possible to host a tour before the end of 2020, it would probably keep us afloat as an organisation.”Despite the hardships of the bio-secure arrangements, Holder said that one undoubted positive had been the opportunity for West Indies to train among themselves in an enlarged squad, especially given how little opportunity the players have had in recent seasons to take part in the regional first-class competition.“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the experience,” said Holder. “It’s the first time I’ve had the opportunity to mingle with, more or less, the A-team players, because I haven’t played much first-class cricket in the last couple of years.“It just shows you that we need more of these environments in West Indies cricket. I’m not sure right now if CWI could afford to have an academy, or something similar to Loughborough here in England, but that is definitely something that would help CWI.“But the beauty of having 25 players on tour is that we had pretty intense sessions,” he added. “Intensity was definitely at a height in practice, and the guys had the opportunity to come over here and learn.“We need more of these programmes in the Caribbean, but again, it all boils down to finance. We are having a massive difficulty in trying to fund our cricket, from every single age group level to Under-18 programmes and development programmes and we pretty much only gain from hosting England.”Asked if there was anything in the short term that West Indies could do to improve their fortunes, particularly with regard to first-class opportunities for the likes of Shai Hope, who has not played domestically for three years and struggled to a top score of 31 in six innings, Holder was blunt.“I don’t think there’s anything more that can be done,” he said. “We don’t have the bargaining power to dictate where and when we can play series. There’s a Future Tours Programme in place, so we’ve got to make sure that we are strategic and plan our cricket in the best possible way.“I particularly am a perfect example of our system, where I haven’t had the opportunity to play much first-class cricket. This year was the first first-class game I’ve played for couple of years. And I’m the captain of the West Indies cricket team.“It is what it is. We’ve just got to find creative ways to keep pumping money into our development programmes so we can see more people like Jermaine Blackwood have an opportunity to play first-class cricket, and have a franchise system that can harness and develop that talent. At the moment, a lot of our franchises rely solely on financial distributions from Cricket West Indies. None of them can stand on their own. (ESPN Cricinfo)
Russia Fails to Overturn Athlete Ban from Rio OlympicsRussia Fails to Overturn Athlete Ban from Rio Olympics
Russian track and field athletes will remain banned from the Olympics following claims the country ran a state-sponsored doping programme.The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and 68 Russian athletes attempted to overturn the suspension, implemented by the body that governs world athletics.But the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has ruled it can stand.A handful of Russian athletes could still compete as neutrals at the Rio Games, which start on August 5. “It’s sad but rules are rules,” said Olympic 100m and 200m champion Usain Bolt, who is targeting more gold medals in Rio.He said it was important to send a strong message to the dopers.“Doping violations in track and field is getting really bad,” said the Jamaican, 29. “If you cheat or go or against the rules, this will scare a lot of people.”However, Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva – one of the 68 to appeal to CAS – said the ruling was “a blatant political order”, while the Russian Foreign Ministry called it a “crime against sport”.Isinbayeva, the 2012 gold medallist, 34, told the TASS News Agency: “Thank you all for this funeral for athletics.”The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said it was “pleased CAS has supported its position”, adding that the judgment had “created a level playing field for athletes”.IAAF President Lord Sebastien Coe added: “This is not a day for triumphant statements. I didn’t come into this sport to stop athletes from competing.“Beyond Rio, the IAAF taskforce will continue to work with Russia to establish a clean safe environment for its athletes so that its federation and team can return to international recognition and competition.”Separately, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is considering calls to ban all Russian competitors from the Rio Games following a second report into state-sponsored doping.Some Russian athletes could compete in Rio as neutrals if they meet a number of criteria, including being repeatedly tested outside their homeland.At least two – 800m runner and doping whistleblower Yuliya Stepanova and US-based long jumper Darya Klishina – have gone down that path.Now the ruling by a three-person CAS panel has cleared the way for others.CAS said the ROC could still nominate athletes to compete as neutrals. However, a CAS spokesman said the panel had expressed concerns that this left “no possibility” for athletes to comply with the criteria.Three lawyers from Italy, Britain and the United States, widely regarded as amongst the most experienced judges on the court’s list of around 400 approved arbitrators.The chairman was Milan-based Luigi Fumagalli, who also sat on the panel which upheld FIFA’s four-month ban on Uruguay’s Luis Suarez for biting Italian defender Georgio Chiellini opponent at the 2014 World Cup.Retired judge Robert Reid, from England, has chaired disciplinary committees for the Premier League and sat in judgment of Pakistan cricketer Salman Butt’s failed appeal to CAS against a ban for fixing.Finally, Jeffrey Benz from Los Angeles is a former legal adviser to the United States Olympic Committee.Russia was suspended from track and field events by the IAAF in November 2015 following the publication of an independent World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) report that showed a culture of widespread, state-sponsored doping.Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko apologised for Russia’s failure to catch the cheats but stopped short of admitting the scandal had been state-sponsored.However, another WADA-commissioned report delivered earlier this week – the McLaren report – contained more damaging allegations and suggested senior figures in Russia’s sports ministry were complicit in an organised cover-up.The report implicated the majority of Olympic sports in the cover-up and claimed that Russian secret service agents were involved in swapping positive urine samples for clean ones.Following Monday’s publication of the McLaren report, the IOC faced calls to ban all Russian competitors from the 2016 Olympics and will hold a second emergency meeting on Sunday to decide its course of action.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Duro IkhazuagbeAfrican table tennis players have been urged to take a cue from Segun Toriola’s discerning qualities if they are to be anywhere near the feat the Nigerian star has attained in the game.Toriola who joined the elite Hall of Fame of athletes who have attended seven Olympic Games at Rio 2016, remains an ambassador of table tennis in the continent.President of ITTF Africa, Khaled El-Salhy, recalled Toriola’s sterling qualities while presenting an award to the Nigerian at the 2016 ITTF Africa Senior Championships holding in Agadir, Morocco yesterday. The Executive Council of ITTF Africa paid glowing tributes to Toriola for putting the continent’s table tennis on the world map as the first athlete in any sport in Africa to attain that height in the history of the Games.The ITTF Africa boss revealed that the decision to honour Toriola was taken by the Executive Council of ITTF Africa for his giant stride in the world.“It was the decision of the Executive Council to give such award to Segun Toriola, who is a legend of table tennis not only in Africa but also in the world following his great achievement of being the first African to make seven appearances at the Olympic Games from 1992 to 2016.“We also we believe that he has the chance to break his own record by making it to Tokyo 2020 with the quality he still possesses,” El-Salhy observed with enthusiasm.El-Salhy believes Toriola would serves as a role model for young players in Africa with his 100 per cent commitment to the sport on and off the table.“Toriola commitment to table tennis is 100 per cent and this is why he will remain an inspiration to young players in Africa.He is also an ambassador of table tennis when it comes to fair play. His excellent performance at every competition, couple with his humility, are traits that singled him out among other players in Africa,” ITTF Africa boss concluded.Meanwhile, ITTF Africa has unveiled the list of qualified teams for the 2018 World Team Championships holding in Sweden.In the men’s team list, Egypt and Nigeria qualified based on their performance at the Perfect 2016 World Team Championships held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in which they finished among the top 36 countries in the world.Togo also secured its place after finishing second in the fourth division at the Perfect 2016 World Team Championship in Malaysia.Others like Algeria, Congo Brazzaville, Tunisia, South Africa and Senegal qualified based on their results in the team event at the 2016 ITTF African Senior Championships.However, in the list of qualified team for women, Nigeria was missing following the absence of its female team at the ITTF Africa Senior Championships, with Egypt also topping the list based on the performance of her female players at the Perfect 2016 World Team Championships in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in which they finished among the top 36 countries in the world.South Africa, Tunisia, Algeria, Congo Brazzaville and Morocco qualified based on their result in the team event of the 2016 ITTF African Senior Championships.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram