Ammon News, Sports

F1 cancels all Saturday running due to Typhoon Hagibis

[10/12/2019 1:33:41 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Organizers of Japan’s Formula One Grand Prix have canceled all practice and qualifying sessions scheduled for Saturday due to the approach of Typhoon Hagibis. Originally scheduled to take place at 3 p.m. on Saturday (0600 GMT), the hour-long qualifying session that decides the grid order for the race will now be held at 10 a.m. (0100 GMT) on Sunday, a revised schedule issued by organizers showed. The final practice session, which would normally take place before qualifying, will not be held. The race will go ahead as planned at 2:10 p.m. (0510 GMT) on Sunday. Formula One’s governing body, the FIA, said it agreed with the decision taken by the race promoters and the Japanese Automobile Federation (JAF). “FIA and Formula One support this decision in the interest of safety for the spectators, competitors and everyone at the Suzuka Circuit,” it said in a statement. The circuit would be closed to the public and the media on Saturday, it added. Typhoon Hagibis, categorized as a ‘super-typhoon’, is predicted to be one of the most violent to hit the region in recent years and is expected to strike the Tokyo area this weekend. It has already forced the cancellation of two rugby World Cup matches. Formula One races at the Suzuka circuit, located about 300 kilometers to the southwest of Tokyo. The 2014 edition of the race was held in the wet with rain from the approaching Typhoon Phanfone drenching the track. An accident during the race caused the death of driver Jules Bianchi. Qualifying for the race in 2004 and 2010 was also postponed to Sunday due to storms. *Reuters

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England trusts UEFA to deal with racist abuse: Southgate

[10/12/2019 1:32:48 PM]

AMMONNEWS - England manager Gareth Southgate has said his team will adhere to UEFA’s protocols if they are subjected to racist abuse in their Euro 2020 qualifiers but stated that his priority would be to provide a safe environment for his players. UEFA’s three-step protocol if players are racially abused involves the referee first halting play and making an announcement to the supporters to immediately stop racist behavior. The second step sees the match suspended for some time and both teams are sent to the dressing room if the abuse continues, with another warning given to the fans. In the third and final step, the referee decides to abandon the match. “There is the UEFA process and we have to have faith in that process. Then everything else is hypothetical,” Southgate told reporters on Thursday. “We want the players to be able to concentrate on football, they want to be judged on football. What I’ve got to do is provide a secure, safe environment for them to play.” England plays the Czech Republic on Friday and Bulgaria on Monday. UEFA ordered the partial closure of Bulgaria’s Vasil Levski stadium after racist behavior by their supporters in June’s qualifiers against the Czechs and Kosovo. England striker Tammy Abraham indicated this week that the players could act as a group and leave the pitch if subjected to abuse, regardless of UEFA’s protocol. In response, Bulgarian soccer chief Borislav Mihaylov said England players who walk off the pitch should face punishment if they breach UEFA protocol and Southgate tried to defuse the situation. “We are not trying to create a situation at all, far from it,” Southgate said. “We’re all hoping that over the next 72 hours, we’re just talking about two football matches. “I think both countries would have a strong desire for that and I have to say again, we don’t look at other countries in a way that we don’t shine a mirror on our own.” Southgate was referring to a National League game last month between Hartlepool and Dover which was suspended for more than 10 minutes after alleged racist abuse from the supporters. “What happened in Hartlepool a couple of weeks ago was probably worse than things I’ve seen or heard about in many other countries in the world,” Southgate added. “So, I think we have to be very careful in how we cover everything.” England, who have a game in hand, are top of Group A with 12 points from four games. The Czech Republic are second with nine points and Bulgaria bottom with two. *Reuters

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Messi wanted to leave Barca during tax investigation

[10/12/2019 1:31:24 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Barcelona captain Lionel Messi has said he considered leaving the club when he was investigated for tax fraud in 2013, saying he felt “badly treated” by Spain. Messi, who has been at Barcelona since he was 13 and is their all-time top scorer, was found guilty in 2016 along with his father Jorge of defrauding the Spanish government of 4.2 million euros ($4.61 million) between 2007 and 2009 over income earned from image rights. The Argentina international was handed a prison sentence of 21 months and ordered to pay a fine of 2 million euros. He did not serve any jail time after exchanging his sentence for a fine of 250,000 euros, as in Spain defendants without a previous conviction are permitted to serve any sentence of under two years on probation. He was first investigated in 2013, beginning a spate of tax fraud cases against top footballers in Spain including Cristiano Ronaldo, Javier Mascherano and Marcelo. “Sincerely, at that time, I thought about leaving,” Messi told Barcelona-based radio station RAC1 in an interview broadcast on Wednesday. “Not because of Barcelona but because I wanted to leave Spain, I felt very badly treated and I didn’t want to stay here any longer. “I had my doors open to many clubs but I never got an official offer because everyone knew I really wanted to stay. This situation went way beyond my feelings for Barca.” Messi added that he felt he was made an example of by the Spanish tax authorities, who stepped up their efforts against tax fraud after Spain’s deep economic crisis hit. “I was the first and that’s why they came down so hard on me. They made an example of me and showed that it was going to be like this for everyone. It was tough because of everything that was happening at that time,” he said. *Reuters

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Rockets’ general manager’s Hong Kong comments anger China

[10/7/2019 2:50:27 PM]

AMMONNEWS - China’s official basketball association says it will suspend cooperation with the Houston Rockets following a tweet by the team’s general manager in support of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. The Chinese Basketball Association said on Sunday on its official Twitter-like Weibo account that Daryl Morey had made “improper remarks regarding Hong Kong” to which it expressed its “strong opposition.” That underscores Beijing’s extreme sensitivity about foreign attitudes toward the ongoing protests in the semi-autonomous territory that have lately grown in violence. China accuses foreign parties in the US and elsewhere of encouraging the demonstrations. Morey’s now-deleted tweet read: “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.” Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta attempted to distance the team from Morey’s tweet with a Twitter post of his own: Listen.@darylmorey does NOT speak for the @HoustonRockets. Our presence in Tokyo is all about the promotion of the @NBA internationally and we are NOT a political organization. China’s relationship with the Rockets has been especially close because Chinese hall of famer Yao Ming played his entire NBA career with the team. *AP

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FIFA imposes life ban on former CONCACAF official Sanz

[10/1/2019 4:09:40 PM]

AMMONNEWS - FIFA has imposed a life ban for bribery on Enrique Sanz, the former general secretary of North American football body CONCACAF. Sanz was “Co-Conspirator No. 3” in a US Department of Justice indictment in 2015, who allegedly arranged and took bribes linked to commercial deals for international football tournaments with other officials linked to FIFA. Though American federal prosecutors never publicly charged or sentenced Sanz, they alleged he also took part in bribe schemes working for sports agency Traffic USA before joining CONCACAF in 2012. The published indictment said he obtained an “expensive painting from an art gallery in New York” as a bribe. FIFA says its ethics judges charged Sanz with bribery during his 2012-15 work with CONCACAF. He was found guilty and fined 100,000 Swiss francs ($100,000). In 2014, the Colombia-born official took a leave of absence from CONCACAF, which also covers Central America and the Caribbean, while being treated for leukemia. *AP

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VAR call helps Arsenal secure 1-1 draw at Man United

[10/1/2019 4:08:16 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a goal that required VAR overturning a poor on-field offside decision to earn a 1-1 draw at Manchester United in the Premier League on Monday. There was a touch of controversy about the goal, with the assistant referee’s flag already raised when Aubameyang chipped United goalkeeper David De Gea for the 58th-minute equalizer at Old Trafford. United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer complained to the fourth official that the referee had already blown his whistle before Aubameyang took his shot. When the goal was reviewed, Aubameyang was clearly being played onside by United defender Harry Maguire, directly in front of the assistant referee . “I was sure I was not offside. I was surprised the referee whistled,” said Aubameyang, who became the first Arsenal player to score seven goals in the first seven games of a Premier League campaign since Dennis Bergkamp in the 1997-98 season. “I always try to score even if there is a whistle from the referee.” United went in front through Scott McTominay in first-half stoppage time, the midfielder’s shot from the edge of the area taking a slight deflection off the shoulder of Arsenal defender Sokratis and flying into the roof of the net. The result lifted Arsenal into fourth place, on goal difference, after seven games and left United in 10th place on nine points, its lowest return at this stage of the season since 1989. United has not scored more than one goal in any of its last seven matches in all competitions. “This is Manchester United so we have to win these games,” De Gea said. “The lads have to react and play better than they are doing.” Traditionally one of the biggest matches in English soccer, this Man United-Arsenal fixture pitted the teams in 11th and eighth places, respectively, at kickoff. Indeed, United had never been as low down the standings heading into a match against Arsenal in the history of the Premier League. The poor quality on show highlighted how far the teams had fallen, with a slippery surface on a wet night in Manchester hardly helping. “Thoughts on the game so far without using a bad word?” former Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas tweeted during the first half. “Try to be creative.” Even United’s goal in first-half stoppage time had a touch of the farcical about it, with Granit Xhaka - Arsenal’s recently confirmed full-time captain - ducking his head as McTominay took aim and the ball flying past him and high into the net. It meant the game opened up in the second half, with Arsenal committing more players forward and showing more intensity with their pressing. And the equalizer came when Axel Tuanzebe, filling in out of position at left back in his first league start for United since May 2017, gave the ball away under pressure in front of his own area. Bukayo Saka played in Aubameyang, who cut inside and applied a deft chipped finish. Saka, who at 18 years and 25 days was the youngest player to start a Premier League game between United and Arsenal, had a close-range shot deflected over the bar soon after the goal, but United finished the stronger. Paul Pogba curled just wide before McTominay blazed a header over from a corner when unmarked in front of goal. “We need to be more cynical, clinical, at both ends of the pitch. We’ll learn,” Solskjaer said. “I thought today we are going somewhere.” *AP

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Real Madrid stays top after 0-0 derby draw with Atlético

[10/1/2019 4:06:32 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid failed to produce any fireworks in a lackluster derby at the Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday, sharing a 0-0 draw that allowed Barcelona to move closer to the top in the Spanish league. Champions Barcelona shrugged off the absence of Lionel Messi to win 2-0 at Getafe and close within two points of leader Real Madrid. “It was a derby in which neither team did enough to win,” Atlético goalkeeper Jan Oblak said. “No team deserved to lose either, so it was a fair result. These matches are complicated. You want to win, but at the same time you also don’t want to lose. You can’t risk too much.” Oblak was crucial in keeping the scores level, making an outstanding reflex save from Karim Benzema’s 75th-minute header. Real Madrid stayed one point ahead of Atlético and promoted Granada, which defeated Leganés 1-0 to register a fourth win in seven matches. Real Sociedad can take the lead on Sunday if it wins at eighth-place Sevilla. “It was important to keep a clean sheet again,” Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said. “We played very well defensively. In attack we could have done more, but we are working on it, we want to keep improving offensively.” Atlético’s best opportunity came less than 10 minutes into the match when teenage forward João Félix went close following a counterattack. Félix went off in the second half, drawing jeers from the crowd toward coach Diego Simeone. Eden Hazard had a quiet game alongside Benzema and Gareth Bale in the visiting attack, and Luka Modric couldn’t do much either when he came off the bench in the second half. The result extended Atlético’s four-year winless streak at home against Real Madrid in the league. Atlético has won only one of its last 19 home games against Real Madrid in the league, with the sole victory coming in February 2015. Real Madrid’s 3-1 victory at the Wanda last season was Atlético’s only defeat in its last 24 home games in the league. It was the first match between the rivals since Atlético stunned Real Madrid 7-3 in a friendly in the United States in July. *AP

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