Ammon News, Sports

Britain seeks to assuage India over Commonwealth shooting row

[8/15/2019 6:34:36 AM]

AMMONNEWS - The British government is seeking to reach a compromise with India over the South Asian country’s threat to boycott the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022 over the exclusion of shooting from the program. Indian shooters accounted for 16 of the country’s 66 medals at last year’s Gold Coast Games and its Olympic Association (IOA) will soon make a decision on whether to follow through on its boycott threat. British sports minister Nigel Adams said he was hopeful of a compromise that could see his country stage a truncated shooting event at Birmingham 2022 or a Commonwealth shooting championships that will not be part of the Birmingham program. “I totally understand how passionate people are about shooting across the Commonwealth,” Adams told British media. “We want India to be here, no question. “I have already written to the Commonwealth Federation to see if we can accommodate shooting in some form, maybe a Commonwealth shooting championships. “It’s important that we do get a competition in 2022. It’s great for the economy. I understand the federation is still talking to the bodies and I am hopeful there can be an accommodation and a compromise made.” Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) president Louise Martin said this week that the decision to exclude shooting from Birmingham 2022 had come down to a question of logistics. The closest facility to Birmingham deemed capable by organizers of hosting a full shooting program is in Bisley, Surrey, about 209 km (130 miles) away. CGF Chief Executive David Grevemberg said he would reach out to officials on the Indian side to try and convince them not to boycott. “India is a critical member of the Commonwealth, we want Indian athletes to participate, and there is a strong Indian community in Birmingham which wants to celebrate these athletes,” Grevemberg said. *Reuters

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Liverpool beats Chelsea on penalties to lift Super Cup

[8/15/2019 6:32:43 AM]

AMMONNEWS - Adrian may never play more than a smattering of games for Liverpool, but he’ll be remembered for his “crazy week.” The backup goalkeeper turned penalty hero with a save on the final kick of the shootout as Liverpool beat Chelsea to win the Super Cup and kick off a new European season. After Champions League holder Liverpool and Europa League winner Chelsea finished extra time at 2-2, Adrian made the crucial save with his leg to deny Tammy Abraham and give his team a 5-4 win on penalties in a game which finished after midnight Turkish time on Thursday. Adrian was signed just nine days before as backup for Alisson, but when the Brazilian injured himself last Friday in the English Premier League opener, he was thrust into the spotlight first as a substitute, then as a Super Cup starter. “Welcome to Liverpool,” Adrian said. “It’s been a crazy week. I’m really happy for the team, I’m happy to play for Liverpool and happy for the fans.” The 32-year-old Spanish goalkeeper was a free agent after leaving West Ham, where he didn’t play a single Premier League game last season and last appeared in an FA Cup loss to lowly AFC Wimbledon. Even before the shootout, Adrian kept Liverpool in the game with a 113th-minute save from Mason Mount to stop Chelsea winning in extra time. Still, he’s expected to relinquish his Liverpool starting spot to Alisson when the Brazilian returns from his calf injury in a few weeks. Chelsea took the lead in the 36th minute when Christian Pulisic exposed poor positioning by Liverpool right back Joe Gomez to pass for Olivier Giroud to shoot low past Adrian. Liverpool stormed back after the break, Fabinho’s 48th-minute pass opening up the Chelsea defense and leaving Sadio Mane with an easy finish off Mohamed Salah’s flick. In extra time, Mane put Liverpool ahead off a Roberto Firmino cross, but Chelsea quickly responded with a penalty from Jorginho. Stéphanie Frappart became the first female referee to oversee a major men’s European final. After just six minutes, she denied Liverpool a penalty when Sadio Mane’s overhead kick hit Andreas Christensen’s arm, which seemed to be out of a strictly “natural” position. There was no full review by the video assistant referee system. Twice Chelsea put the ball into the net through Pulisic and substitute Mount, but Frappart and her assistants ruled both efforts out for clear offsides. Just as in its 4-0 loss to Manchester United on Sunday, Chelsea played a strong first half before slumping after halftime, but this time its mistakes weren’t nearly as harshly punished. Frank Lampard’s team tormented Gomez in the opening 45 minutes, drawing him out of position and exploiting the space created. After an early chance for Salah, it was all Chelsea as Pedro hit the bar and Giroud shot at Adrian. Soon after, Pulisic and Giroud combined for the opening goal. Chelsea emerged after halftime looking disjointed and almost immediately conceded. After Mane scored, Liverpool nearly followed up with a second as Fabinho fired just wide, then Jordan Henderson forced a save from Kepa Arrizabalaga. The Chelsea goalkeeper made a spectacular double save to keep Liverpool at bay in the 75th, diverting Virgil van Dijk’s shot onto the bar after substitute Abraham cleared Fabinho’s shot off the line with his first touch of the game. *AP

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Landmarks for Kohli, Gayle as India beats Windies by 59 runs

[8/15/2019 6:31:38 AM]

AMMONNEWS - Virat Kohli posted a century and became India’s second-highest scorer in one-day international cricket as he guided his team to a 59-run win over West Indies on Sunday, and a 1-0 lead with a game remaining in the series. Chris Gayle reached two milestones in his team’s defeat, becoming the all-time leading scorer for West Indies in the format while also becoming the first West Indian to play 300 ODIs. India posted 279-7 after winning the toss at Queen’s Park Oval and choosing to bat. West Indies was all out for 210 in 42 overs chasing a revised target of 270 from 46 overs because of rain. Kohli scored 120 from 125 balls and passed Sourav Ganguly’s career mark to move into No. 2 on India’s all-time list of ODI scorers behind only Sachin Tendulkar. He was finally dismissed by Carlos Brathwaite (3-53), caught by Kemar Roach at long-off. His 42nd ODI century included 14 boundaries and one six and lifted his career tally to 11,406 runs in ODI cricket. Tendulkar retired with 18,426 ODI runs. Shreyas Iyer also contributed for India, scoring 71 from 68 balls before he was bowled by Jason Holder. Gayle opened for the West Indies and passed Brian Lara’s West Indies’ mark (10,348) before he was trapped lbw for 11 by Bhuvneshwar Kumar (4-31). Gayle, who made his ODI debut in 1999 and will turn 40 next month, now has 10,353 runs in 297 ODIs for the West Indies. He also scored 55 runs in three official ODIs for an ICC World XI in 2005. Evin Lewis top scored for the West Indies with an 80-ball 65. The first ODI was washed out by rain after only 13 overs had been bowled. The third and final ODI is at Port of Spain on Wednesday. India swept the Twenty20 series 3-0. *AP

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Fans to sue after Ronaldo sits out Juventus friendly in Seoul

[7/30/2019 10:25:10 AM]

AMMONNEWS - Football fans in South Korea are taking legal action to seek compensation after Cristiano Ronaldo failed to play in a friendly during Juventus’ pre-season tour in Seoul last week. Ronaldo had been contracted to play at least 45 minutes against K League All Stars, according to event organizers The Fasta Inc, but ultimately sat out the entire game at a packed Seoul World Cup Stadium. An online community was formed on South Korea’s Naver web portal to protest Ronaldo’s lack of participation, and two members reached out to lawyer Kim Min-ki to file a lawsuit against the match organizers. “Many purchased tickets to see Ronaldo. The Fasta publicized that the company had a deal with Juventus which stipulated Ronaldo would play for at least 45 minutes and that Ronaldo would hold a fan signing event,” Kim told Reuters. Phone calls to The Fasta by Reuters were not answered, while officials at Juventus did not immediately reply to requests for comment. The lawsuit is seeking compensation of 70,000 won ($59) per ticket, 1,000 won for the ticket commission fee, and 1 million won ($847) each for compensation for “mental anguish”. “Normally in such cases the plaintiffs will be refunded the price of the tickets, but I put this under a special case since the company, through false advertising, took advantage of the football star’s fans,” Kim added. “For now we have two plaintiffs who sued the company, but I have been getting a lot of calls today and I assume there will be some 60,000 more. “As for the mental anguish part, I’d like to say some of them are raucous fans, the real avid fans. So for them it is very painful because they love Ronaldo and want to protect him, but they can’t, given the situation.” The Fasta CEO Robin Chang confirmed to local broadcaster SBS that the contract stipulated Ronaldo play 45 minutes and said she found out that the 34-year-old would not take part 10 minutes into the second half. “When I went to argue with (Pavel) Nedved, the vice president of Juventus, all he said was ‘I also wish Ronaldo ran, but he doesn’t want to. Sorry, there’s nothing I can do.’ I was so frustrated,” Chang told SBS. The Fasta issued a press release on Saturday saying Juventus did not abide by the terms of the contract. South Korea’s professional football governing body, K League, said on Tuesday that it had sent a letter of protest to Juventus for violating the contract. *Reuters

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Former Man United defender Patrice Evra announces retirement

[7/30/2019 10:24:10 AM]

AMMONNEWS - Former Manchester United left-back Patrice Evra announced his retirement from football on Monday, bringing a trophy-laden 20-year career to an end. Evra played for United between 2006 and 2014 and won nine major trophies, including five Premier League titles and the Champions League. He made more than 700 club appearances in total and also earned 81 caps with the France national team. The 38-year-old also won two Serie A titles with Juventus after leaving United and said he will now move into coaching. “My playing career is officially over,” Evra said in an interview to Gazzetta dello Sport. “I started training for the UEFA B Coaching License in 2013, now I want to finish it and then go on to get the UEFA A license. “In a year and a half, if everything goes well, I’ll be ready to lead a team.” Following his stint with Juve, he was with French side Olympique Marseille but left by mutual consent in 2017 after kicking a fan before a Europa League match which led to a ban from European competitions by UEFA for the rest of the season. Evra last played professionally in 2018 for Premier League side West Ham United, where he signed a short-term contract. The Frenchman also posted a video montage of his career highlights on Twitter and Instagram with the caption: “Thank you, goodbye.” *Reuters

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Germany likely to drop off F1 calendar despite crazy race

[7/30/2019 10:23:03 AM]

AMMONNEWS - The German Grand Prix looks likely to drop off next year’s Formula One calendar, despite having served up a thriller for the second straight year on Sunday. The race, hosted by the Hockenheim circuit which had a deal to host it every alternate year, was already out of contract after last season’s event. A last-minute deal kept it on the 2019 calendar with Mercedes-Benz, the parent company of the dominant Mercedes Formula One team, stepping in as title-sponsor but there has been no word on a fresh agreement. “They are putting a lot of effort in, a lot of passion, and they’re very keen on staying, having the grand prix here,” said Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who grew up down the road in Heppenheim. “It’s a great show, I don’t think they make any money, I think they lost money last year and thanks to Mercedes they were able to have the grand prix again. “The problem is Germany is not keen to pay anything,” added the four-times world champion, who got his first taste of Formula One action watching boyhood idol Michael Schumacher at the circuit. “So you need people from outside, investors. The government is not happy to support,” said Vettel, who went from last to second on Sunday in a race won by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. Germany used to have two races on the calendar at the height of Schumacher’s success, which boosted the sport’s popularity to new levels in the seven-time champion’s homeland, with the Nuerburgring hosting the European Grand Prix. Attendance figures have dropped since Schumacher retired, despite Vettel running away with four straight titles from 2010-13 and Mercedes embarking on a run of unchallenged dominance since. Last year 165,000 fans attended over the course of the weekend. This year the race drew a weekend crowd of 153,000, with 61,000 people on race day. Germany’s problem is that new venues are queuing up for a slot on the calendar, some willing to pay far bigger hosting fees. Zandvoort will host a Dutch Grand Prix next year, back for the first time since 1985 to tap into local hero Verstappen’s popularity, while a contract has been signed for a street race in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi. Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, whose team celebrated 125 years of motorsport involvement at the weekend, said the German marque was not in a position to sponsor the race every year. “I think (commercial rights holders) Liberty Media has a great problem in having more demand than supply which is good and also good for the teams as fundamentally we share a large part of the prize fund,” he said. “We will encourage them to look at the German Grand Prix but it is (Formula One chief executive) Chase (Carey’s) call to decide where we go.” *Reuters

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Saudi Arabia, UAE top group seeds in 2022 World Cup qualifiers

[7/18/2019 4:01:50 PM]

AMMONNEWS - North Korea and South Korea have been drawn together in an Asian qualifying group for soccer’s 2022 World Cup. The Korean neighbors will play each other home and away in the five-nation Group H that includes Lebanon, Turkmenistan and Sri Lanka. Saudi Arabia and Yemen were also paired in Wednesday’s draw that involved 40 national teams. The Saudis, which played at the 2018 World Cup, are top-seeded in Group D that also has Uzbekistan, Palestine and Singapore. Top-ranked Iran was drawn with neighboring Iraq, plus Bahrain, Hong Kong and Cambodia, in Group C. United Arab Emirates is top-seeded in a Group G loaded with Southeast Asian derbies, involving Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Australia, which plays in the Asian soccer confederation, will play Jordan, Taiwan, Kuwait and Nepal in Group B. World Cup host Qatar also plays as this group stage doubles up as qualifiers for the 2023 Asian Cup being played in China. Qatar will play Oman, India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh in Group E. China is in Group A with Syria, Philippines, Maldives and Guam. Japan is in Group F with Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Myanmar and Mongolia. The eight groups play from September through June. Group winners and the four best runners-up advance to another group stage, played from September 2020 to October 2021. Those 12 teams also qualify for the 2023 Asian Cup. Four Asian teams will qualify directly for the World Cup. A fifth nation can advance to Qatar in an intercontinental playoff round in March 2022. Asian World Cup 2022 and Asian Cup 2023 qualifying draw: Group A: China, Syria, Philippines, Maldives, Guam Group B: Australia, Jordan, Taiwan, Kuwait, Nepal Group C: Iran, Iraq, Bahrain, Hong Kong, Cambodia Group D: Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Palestine, Yemen, Singapore Group E: Bangladesh, Oman, India, Afghanistan, Qatar Group F: Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Myanmar, Mongolia Group G: United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia Group H: South Korea, Lebanon, North Korea, Turkmenistan, Sri Lanka *AP

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