Ammon News, Sports

WWE signs first woman wrestler from Arab world in global push

[10/15/2017 4:08:04 PM]

AMMONNEWS - World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. signed its first female performer from the Arab world on Sunday, smashing cultural taboos as the U.S.-based pageant seeks to piledrive its way into lucrative foreign markets. Shadia Bseiso, a Jordanian versed in jiu-jitsu, dreams of encouraging more Arab women to take up sports - and of one day maybe even crashing a metal chair over WWE mega-star John Cena. “Female athletes are finally getting the credit they deserve. The world is more open to that, and in terms of how the region will react to it, I‘m hoping its going to be very positive,” said Bseiso. While women exercising in public is rare in the Arab world and the local entertainment industry often relegates them to docile roles, big companies such as Nike have stepped up advertising geared towards female athletes. Still, the high octane physicality and outrageous storylines of professional wrestling remain a novelty in the region. Speaking to Reuters in the WWE’s Dubai office, Bseiso said she made sure to tell her parents about her colorful career choice in person. After announcing she would join the ranks of the WWE, they paused in disbelief for a moment, she said, worried for her safety in the often bruising shows. They support her fully, she added, as she now heads to the company’s Orlando, Florida, training center for grueling in-ring training and what WWE calls “character development” - transformation into one of their trademark big personalities. She has a Jordan-themed persona in mind, she says, declining to elaborate. For decades a quintessential if curious emblem of Americana, professional wrestling has now won die-hard fans in the Arab world and beyond, and features widely in apparel and toys. WWE’s reach deeper into new demographics makes plenty of business sense for the $1.5 billion Connecticut company, which has also recently signed several Indian and Chinese athletes in the hope of snaring millions of potential new devotees. “Recruiting Shadia to join our developmental system underscores WWE’s ongoing commitment to building a talent roster as diverse as our fan base,” said Paul “Triple H” Levesque, WWE Executive Vice President and himself a popular wrestler. Bseiso insists the quirky genre has room to expand if only fans could find a hero from home. “As it is, the WWE’s incredibly popular in the Middle East, but I think having athletes from the region who grew up here - it will change things. You finally have someone to root for.” *Reuters

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Manchester City boosted by Aguero’s return to light training

[10/10/2017 3:48:16 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero stepped up his recovery from a broken rib sustained in a road accident last month by returning to light training on Tuesday. The Argentina international was injured in a car crash during a day off in the Netherlands and missed City’s last Premier League game at Chelsea, a 1-0 win, and his country’s World Cup qualifiers. “Exactly how many days he will be off, I don’t know right now,” City manager Pep Guardiola had said after the accident, adding that he had “no problem” with Aguero being in Amsterdam for a concert. “I think the players have to rest mentally and physically. They can enjoy their lives. I want my players to have fun. If they decide to go there, they decide to go there. It is OK for me.” Fans had feared City’s top scorer with seven goals in all competitions this season would be out for a lengthy spell, but will be encouraged by his return to the training pitch. Aguero, who is one goal short of Eric Brook’s all-time City scoring record of 177, participated in a light session with a physio monitoring him. Midfielder Fabian Delph also had a workout in the morning session, after suffering a minor injury in the win at Chelsea. The early Premier League pace setters host Stoke City on Saturday looking to continue their unbeaten start to the season. *Reuters

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Ronaldo and Messi lead the way on Ballon d’Or shortlist

[10/9/2017 3:57:08 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Cristiano Ronaldo is the favourite to retain the Ballon d’Or trophy as his Real Madrid side dominated the 30-man shortlist announced by France Football on Monday. The 32-year-old, who helped Real win the Champions League and La Liga last season, is one of seven Real players on the list - the most from any team. Should the Portugal forward triumph, he will equal the record of his great rival and five-times winner Lionel Messi of Barcelona, who is also nominated. The only other Barca player in the running is Luis Suarez, while Paris St Germain’s Neymar and Edinson Cavani are also included on the shortlist. England striker Harry Kane is among seven Premier League players nominated, alongside Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane, Manchester United’s David de Gea, Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante and Eden Hazard, and Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne. Kylian Mbappe, 18, is the youngest player on the list following his close season move to PSG from Monaco. The Ballon d’Or, which merged with the FIFA World Player of the Year award from 2010-15 to create the FIFA Ballon d’Or, returned to France Football magazine this year having been established in 1956. A panel of journalists picks the winner. Shortlist: Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) Kevin De Bruyne (Man City) David de Gea (Man Utd) Paulo Dybala (Juventus) Edin Dzeko (Roma) Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) N’Golo Kante (Chelsea) Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) Marcelo (Real Madrid) Dries Mertens (Napoli) Luka Modric (Real Madrid) Neymar (PSG) Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid) Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) Luis Suarez (Barcelona) Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid) Toni Kroos (Real Madrid) Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus) Sadio Mane (Liverpool) Radamel Falcao (Monaco) Lionel Messi (Barcelona) Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund) Edinson Cavani (PSG) Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich) Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) Eden Hazard (Chelsea) Leonardo Bonucci (AC Milan) Isco (Real Madrid) Kylian Mbappe (PSG) *Reuters

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4 Jordanian football referees cancel trip to North Korea

[10/1/2017 4:04:26 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Four Jordanian football referees on Sunday cancelled their flight to Pyongyang to participate in a match between North Korea and Malaysia as part of the Asian qualifiers. The [Jordan] Football Association said that it had received a notice that the match was cancelled, due to the escalation of tensions between North Korea and foreign countries, which led referees Adham Makhadmeh, Ahmad Munis, Issa Amawi and Ahmad Faisal to cancel their flight, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. The recommendation in assigning the four Jordanian referees was made upon a request from the Asian Football Confederation, according to Petra.

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Klopp frustrated by Liverpool finishing in Newcastle draw

[10/1/2017 3:40:43 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Juergen Klopp bemoaned Liverpool’s finishing after his side were held to a 1-1 draw at Newcastle United in the Premier League on Sunday. Philippe Coutinho fired the visitors ahead with a superb 29th-minute strike, but poor defending and a lucky ricochet allowed Joselu to equalise seven minutes later. Liverpool were unable to find a winner, despite dominating possession and creating 17 chances to Newcastle’s eight. “I am disappointed, frustrated, whatever you want. We scored a wonderful goal and created wonderful chances,” Klopp told the BBC. “We shot the ball over the goal even when it was empty. We created five or six outstanding, big chances. Usually we score with one of them. I didn’t see one more chances for Newcastle. “If you don’t help yourself, no one else help you. It will be like this until we score. We play like this it makes sense that we play like this usually we score in situations like this. We have to accept this and carry on.” Liverpool have now won just once in their past seven matches in all competitions and sit seventh in the Premier League, seven points adrift of leaders Manchester City. Newcastle are ninth in the table, with 10 points from seven matches in their first season back in the top flight. “When you get just one point at home we cannot be happy, but against a top six (team) like Liverpool, creating so many chances, you have to be a little bit happy,” manager Rafa Benitez said. “If you see the points and see we are a promoted team, then we are pleased, but against Huddersfield (lost 1-0) and Brighton (lost 1-0) we could have done something more. We have what we have. We are happy with that.” *Reuters

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Prince Ali: We will firmly stand against any "unfair" action against our players

[10/1/2017 12:39:23 PM]

AMMONNEWS - HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, President of the Jordanian Football Association, Sunday expressed his surprise over the Asian Football Confederation's (AFC) ban on the Jordanian Al Faisali club following riots in the Arab Championship's final match held recently in Egypt. Prince Ali said in a statement that the AFC had notified the Jordanian association about the sanctions despite the failure of the Arab Football Associations (UAFA) to respond to Al Faisali's appeal, which it submitted through legal channels, voicing his shock about the swift ban by the UAFA and the failure to respond to the appeal. "Any unfair action against our players and teams will be met with our firm response", the prince said, reiterating total rejection of any breach of the spirit of the sport. He pointed out that the Jordan Football Association had been supportive of the UAFA plans and programmes to upgrade the sport, including support it had provided for women's football, expressing his total rejection of the "regrettable" events in the final match, and the unfair action taken against Al Faisali. "We feel the injustice the Al Faisali team had been exposed to in the championship, starting with the change in the semifinals draw regulation and ending up with the "unacceptable" refereeing mistakes in the final match.

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Djokovic to keep Agassi as head coach

[9/26/2017 2:22:41 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Novak Djokovic will keep Andre Agassi as his head coach when he returns to action after recovering from an elbow injury which forced him to cut short his season in July, Serbia’s former world number one said on Tuesday. “We can confirm that Agassi remains the head coach while Italian Marco Panichi will take over as the fitness coach and Argentine Ulises Badio is the new physio,” Djokovic’s press office said in a statement. “The only remaining issue is appointing a second coach and that will complete the staff accompanying Djokovic in 2018.” Djokovic, who has won 12 grand slam titles but suffered a year-long dip in form before the injury forced him to retire against Czech Tomas Berdych in the Wimbledon quarter-finals, is expected to return at the Australian Open in January. After winning his maiden French Open title last year to complete a career slam, Djokovic’s on-court struggles meant he surrendered the top spot to Briton Andy Murray before the end of the 2017 season. That slump led him to cut his coaching ties with Boris Becker and following a shock second-round exit at the Australian Open, he parted ways with his entire training staff headed by Marian Vajda. Djokovic failed to make it past the quarter-finals at either the French Open or Wimbledon in 2017 before taking the rest of the season off to heal a recurring elbow injury which he said had plagued him for 18 months. “Djokovic is still nursing his elbow injury and has spent several days in Belgrade for some fitness training,” the statement added. “He is working hard to get started with tennis practice as soon as possible in order to meet his own expectations of making a comeback in Australia in 2018.” *Reuters

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