La Liga chief Tebas slams European Super League plans

first_imgLa Liga chief Javier Tebas has slammed proposals to form a European Super League among the continent’s elite clubs, while warning such a plan could spell the end of the Spanish top flight. The concept of a European Super League has been bouncing around the world of football for decades, with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez among those who has publicly discussed the possibility in the past. A meeting involving Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal and businessman Stephen M. Ross in 2016, however, brought the ESL back into the spotlight.  Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! UEFA subsequently debated the plan, rejecting it in favour of increasing direct Champions League qualification places for England, Italy, Spain and Germany. And Tebas believes that the proposed league is merely the product of idle thinking amongst those in charge of Europe’s biggest teams.”The European Super League would be the end of La Liga and also of the Champions League,” he told Goal.”I define it harshly, so that everyone understands. The Superliga is the kind of project written up at a bar at five in the morning, a project of different club presidents”.The financial and commercial benefits are clear for those would be involved, but the Liga chief warned them to be wary.”There are many arguments against the Superleague. At first it will look beautiful, but the Bayern Munich or Real Madrid fan has become great by winning titles, winning their national competitions, because history is like that,” he added.”Some teams in the Super League table will finish ninth or 10th. You think of a Real Madrid against Manchester United game and on paper it’s a great match, but of course, one could be in 11th position and another in10th.”Let’s see how many fans are left in five years after that.”The Champions League must exist, its model is perfect. The clubs win. But a European Super League model would hurt football and, in the long term, will hurt the big clubs too, because it will never provide the economic figures that the big clubs think it will.”last_img read more

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‘Klopp will only be a success if he lands a trophy’

first_imgJurgen Klopp has been warned that “people remember the trophies”, with John Toshack claiming the German’s reign at Liverpool can only be considered a success if he lands major silverware.A man who has previously delivered title triumphs in his homeland with Borussia Dortmund has earned plenty of plaudits for his work in England.Liverpool have been guided to three finals, including a Champions League showpiece last season, while also forcing their way into contention for the Premier League crown. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! They are, however, still waiting on their first tangible reward under Klopp’s guidance, with a last step onto the top tier of any given podium taken back in 2012 during Kenny Dalglish’s second spell at the helm.Anfield legend Toshack told the Blood Red podcast on the challenges facing the class of 2018-19: “At the end of the day, particularly at the top clubs like Liverpool, you’re going to be judged by the trophies that you win. “You might think it’s not fair, you have a terrific season and just miss out, finish runners up in a really good championship campaign, be beaten in the semi-finals of a cup or whatever. “At the end of the day, the years go by, people remember the trophies. “To be three years and four seasons at Liverpool and be trophyless, from a distance you say, ‘That is not successful. It can’t be.’ “At the same time, those of us in the game know there’s only one who can win it, three trophies or whatever. “Maybe this is a big year for Liverpool. I think Man City are just that little bit ahead of everybody else. “I think if Liverpool can do it this year, it’d be great for the club and for everybody and Klopp. It would take the pressure off. “I’m pretty sure once they win one, they’ll go on and get a couple more. It’s just getting that first one that is the most difficult and the most important.”Liverpool have already been dumped out of the Carabao Cup this season, having suffered defeat to Chelsea, but they are unbeaten through 12 Premier League fixtures, are chasing down a place in the last-16 of the Champions League and still have an FA Cup campaign to come. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the weblast_img read more

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Barcelona keep pressure on Madrid with thrilling Real Sociedad win

first_imgLionel Messi’s double strike helped Barcelona scrape a 3-2 victory over Real Sociedad on Saturday to keep up the pressure on La Liga leaders Real Madrid.The Argentine scored twice and set up a third for Paco Alcacer as Barcelona saw off their Basque opponents, who pressed them until the end of a nervy encounter.After Real Madrid’s last-gasp victory over Sporting Gijon earlier in the day the Catalans’ win takes them three points behind Los Blancos, having played one match more, ahead of next Sunday’s Clasico.Messi put Barcelona ahead with a low drive and doubled the lead with a tap-in, but Sociedad hit back when Inigo Martinez’s shot bounced off Samuel Umtiti into the Barcelona net.Alcacer extended the Catalans’ advantage before Xabi Prieto reduced the deficit to 3-2 just before halftime, while the second half stayed goalless despite pressure from the visitors.last_img read more

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Nokia 9: Carl Zeiss cameras, Snapdragon 835 and everything else we know so far

first_imgNokia’s comeback into the mobile game has been the talk of the town for the last few weeks. After releasing the budget oriented Nokia 6, 5 and 3, the company is now set to release their first Android flagship smartphone.Dubbed Nokia 9, the smartphone is set to be packed to the gills with features and is expected to come with an Iris Scanner, Carl Zeiss cameras and a QuadHD OLED display. Nokia will surely have bring their A game if they hope to drive customers away from flagships like the Galaxy S8, OnePlus 3T and LG G6.Here is everything we know about the Nokia 9 so far:Also Read: Nokia’s decision to stick with stock Android is a stroke of geniusSpecificationsLeaks and rumours point towards the Nokia 9 being a specification monster. The device is expected to be powered by Qualcomm’s latest flagship processor- the Snapdragon 835 paired with the Adreno 540 GPU, a 3,800mAh battery with QuickCharge 4 support and a whopping  6GB of RAM.Additionally, the smartphone is set to come with a Quad HD 5.5-inch OLED display, 64/128GB of internal storage and the latest iteration of Android – 7.1.2 Nougat – out of the box.Carl Zeiss camerasNokia has historically been known for making great cameras through their partnership with Carl Zeiss. We have seen an example of Nokia’s imaging prowess through iconic smartphones like the N95 which was one of the first in the world to come with a 5MP camera and the Nokia 808 PureView which came with a whopping 41MP camera sensor.advertisementWith the Nokia 9, HMD Global may be re-starting that successful partnership. Rumours point towards the Nokia 9 coming with a 22MP dual lens Carl Zeiss rear camera paired with a 12MP front facing camera for selfies.Iris scannerThe Nokia 9 is rumoured to come with an Iris Scanner like the one found on the recently released Samsung Galaxy S8. An Iris Scanner, which was first seen on the ill-fated Samsung Galaxy Note 7, allows users to unlock their smartphone with their eyes.IP68 dust and water resistanceMaking smartphones waterproof seems to be the norm these days. Following in the footsteps of the LG G6, Sony’s Xperia series and Samsung Galaxy S8, the Nokia 9 is expected to come with IP68 dust and water resistance.Price and availabilityThe Nokia 9 is reportedly set to be priced at around EUR 749 in European markets, $699 in the U.S. and Rs 44,999 in India. The fact that the Indian price is the cheapest amongst the lot points towards how serious a market India is for Nokia’s comeback.Nokia has historically been known for making great cameras through their association with Carl Zeiss. With the Nokia 9, HMD Global may be re-starting that successful partnershipDue to Snapdragon 835 supply issues, the smartphone is not expected to be launched before Q3 2017 – sometime between July and August. If you cannot wait to get your hands on a Nokia device, fret not as the already announced devices are set to go on sale soon.The 2017 refresh of the legendary 3310 is expected to be launched globally in April, with the Nokia 6, 5 and 3 receiving a staggered release throughout May.Two more high-end smartphones from NokiaAlongside the Nokia 9, rumours of two more high-smartphones from Nokia have also been circulating around the Internet. Called the Nokia 8 and Nokia 7, they are expected to slot in below the Nokia 9 in Nokia’s smartphone line-up and be powered by Qualcomm’s upcoming Snapdragon 660 chipset.While the Nokia 7 is expected to come with a fullHD display, the Nokia 8 is expected to bump things up a notch with a Quad HD panel. Both smartphones are also expected to sport a metallic unibody design and run Android Nougat out of the box.Also Read: Nokia 3310 (2017) vs old Nokia 3310: What has changed in 17 years?last_img read more

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Sathyaraj expresses regret for remarks made during Cauvery

first_imgdispute(Attn Eds: adding a line in para two) Chennai, Apr 21 (PTI) “Baahubali” actor Sathyaraj today expressed “wholehearted regret” over his comments during the Cauvery dispute while appealing for the smooth release of the second part of the SS Rajamouli-directed film in Karnataka next week.The actor, who plays the role of Kattappa in the movie, clarified that he was not against Kannada people and was even offered films in the industry though he could not do them due to the paucity of time.His statement comes following the demands of an apology from the actor by pro-Kannada outfits, who had threatened to stall the release of the film in the state.In a video released to the media, Sathyaraj read out a statement, saying he had made the remarks nine years ago at a protest held by the Tamil film industry against the “attack” on Tamils in Karnataka over the Cauvery dispute. “I had spoken something nine years ago at the meeting which has been viewed on Youtube. And since they feel hurt over some of the words spoken by me, I express my wholehearted regret to them (Kannada people) for those words,” he said.Sathyaraj said he did not want the hard work of the films team go to waste and appealed for allowing its release in Karnataka.”I am a small actor in a mega film called Baahubali. I dont want the efforts of many people to go to waste. Not just that, I have the added responsibility of ensuring exhibitors in Karnataka, who have bought (screening rights of) Baahubali 2, are not affected,” he said in what he termed as an “explanation” to Tamil people and activists.advertisementAn atheist, known for his pro-Tamil views, Sathyaraj insisted that he will continue to voice support for matters concerning Tamils including the Cauvery dispute and the Eelam issue in Sri Lanka.The actor, sporting a black T-shirt synonymous with the the states Progressive movement led by rationalist leader, late E V Ramasamy Periyar, said he was not against Kannada people.In a message to producers and filmmakers, he said those who fear “problems” in the future by casting him in their films may not do so and avoid “facing losses.””Because I take more pride in living and dying as a Tamil without any superstition than living and dying as an actor,” he added.He also extended his thanks to director Rajamouli, the films producers, various professional bodies of Tamil cinema including an artistes association and his well-wishers “for tolerating the difficulties caused by me.”Kannada Okoota, an umbrella organisation of Kannada bodies, has announced Bengaluru Bandh on April 28, the date of release of the film, to protest his remarks.”The remarks made by Sathyaraj against Kannadigas during the Cauvery row (a few years ago) had crossed limits of decency. We will not allow the film to be released under any circumstances,” Vatal Nagaraj, who heads Kannada Okoota, had said.Director Rajamouli has already released video statement, saying Sathyarajs comments were made in a personal capacity and had no relation with the movie. PTI SA BN JCH BKlast_img read more

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Double departure of Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq hands Pakistan a testing transition

first_imgAs Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq head off into the sunset after long and illustrious careers, Pakistan begins a tricky period of transition looking for a new wave of players ready to fill a huge void left by the retired batting greats.In a fitting finale, Younis, Pakistan’s most prolific Test run-scorer, and Misbah, the country’s most successful captain, bowed out together in a blaze of glory on Sunday with the team celebrating a first-ever series triumph in the Caribbean.The thrilling 101-run victory in Dominica sealed a 2-1 win over West Indies and was Pakistan’s 26th under the 42-year-old Misbah, who also led the side to the top of the International Cricket Council (ICC) world Test rankings last year.Since his 2001 Test debut in New Zealand, Misbah accumulated 5,222 runs in 75 matches at an average higher than 46.Admired for his unflappable temperament in a dressing room replete with mercurial talent, Misbah was handed the Test captaincy after a 2010 spot-fixing scandal in England led to the expulsion of his predecessor Salman Butt.ICC chief executive David Richardson was among those to pay a glowing tribute to the consistent right-hander.”Misbah has been the bedrock of many a Pakistan innings, time and time again extricating his team from difficult situations with a terrific temperament,” the former South Africa wicketkeeper said.”He knew how to graft for his runs but could also be inventive and score at a brisk pace, as was evident during his impressive 56-ball century against Australia in 2014 in Abu Dhabi, which equalled Viv Richards’s world record.advertisement”He was a leader who took charge at a difficult time…He was a true sportsman and role model.”If Misbah represented the voice of reason in both the dressing room and out on the field, Younis let his bat do the talking and is currently the only Pakistani to have joined the coveted 10,000 Test-run club.GREAT SERVANTSThe former captain, who led Pakistan to the World Twenty20 title in 2009, tallied 10,099 runs in 118 Tests, embellishing his legacy with 34 hundreds at an average of more than 52.Together they were the pillars of Pakistan’s batting lineup for over a decade and it could take many years for the country to find anyone capable of matching their feats.Pakistan’s situation mirrors the dilemma South Asian rivals Sri Lanka faced when batting mainstays Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene ended their international careers two years ago.”I was really sad when Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene left the Sri Lankan team together. Look at their team now, they are in such disarray,” former Pakistan leg-spinner Abdul Qadir told the Express Tribune.”Likewise, both of these batsmen leaving together could cause problems for Pakistan’s test team. However, they have been great servants to the country.”Pakistan have coped with their absence in the shorter formats since 2015 but the challenge of white-ball cricket is completely different to the patience and technique required in the red-ball arena.”The onus is now on the likes of Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq and Sarfraz Ahmed to step up and fill the void,” Misbah told Cricket Australia’s website in an interview last month.”When two Pakistan greats Inzamam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Yousuf left the scene, Younis and I tried to fill that gap. Azhar and Asad have developed in the meantime and now they are at a stage to replace us.”We need Azhar and Asad to take ownership of the test side…Every team goes though transition periods and Pakistan is no different.”last_img read more

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Andy Murray thumped by Fabio Fognini, Novak Djokovic eases through in Rome

first_imgDefending champion and world number one Andy Murray was swept aside by home favourite Fabio Fognini at the Italian Open on Tuesday, being completely outplayed in a 6-2, 6-4 defeat.Only a late spell of resistance when he reeled off three games at 1-5 in the second set kept the scoreline respectable as the British player’s worrying slump in form continued ahead of this month’s French Open.An inspired Fognini, whose wife former U.S. Open champion Flavia Pennetta is expecting their first child this week, thumped 31 winners in his first victory over a world number one.Murray has won only five of his last 10 matches but while he continues to search for some spark in a lacklustre claycourt season, Novak Djokovic, the man he usurped as world number one last November, is finding his just in time for Roland Garros.The Serb built on last week’s encouraging showing in Madrid to beat qualifier Aljaz Bedene 7-6(2), 6-2 in his opening match.Djokovic has struggled for form this year and recently split with his entire coaching staff but his game looked in good order against Bedene on Court Centrale in Rome.He was pushed hard in the opening set by 55th-ranked Bedene and had to recover an early service break but he stepped on the gas in the second set to cruise through to the third round.”A little bit of a slow start, but Bedene is the kind of player that gives you good rhythm,” world number two Djokovic, beaten in the Madrid semis by Rafael Nadal, said.advertisement”I had some good exchanges, some good games with rallies and it felt right, especially in the second set.”There were also wins for sixth seed Marin Cilic against American Ryan Harrison and ninth seed David Goffin, who came from a set down to beat Spain’s Fernando Verdasco.David Ferrer won an all-Spanish clash with Feliciano Lopez for his 700th career win.Australian Nick Kyrgios withdrew with a hip injury.On Wednesday tournament favourite Nadal takes on Spain’s Nicolas Almagro while third seed Stan Wawrinka faces unpredictable Frenchman Benoit Paire having lost to him last week on the clay in Madrid.last_img read more

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David Warner regrets poor batting after defending champions bow out of IPL 2017

first_imgDavid Warner lamented a poor show with the bat after defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad crashed out of IPL 2017 in the rain-curtailed Eliminator against Kolkata Knight Riders.Warner was by far the best batsman this season, finishing with 641 runs and is assured of winning the Orange Cap he missed out on last year despite amassing 848.The Sunrisers rode on Warner’s spectacular batting performances and some breathtaking knocks from Shikhar Dhawan to storm into the playoffs at No.3 in the points table, ahead of KKR.Their batting line-up was among the most dangerous this season and it was believed they had the edge against the Knight Riders in Bengaluru, where batsmen generally have had a good time.However, they were faced with the trickiest Chinnaswamy pitch in recent memory and were eventually restricted to a paltry 128/7. Rain arrived soon after but once conditions made play possible  SRH came out all guns blazing to relive Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa and Yusuf Pathan early in Kolkata’s curtailed chase of 48 off six overs.Warner was of course surprised with the surface but he did not use that as an excuse and conceded the batsmen fell short.”We were 30 runs short. It was a tough wicket to bat on. It was a disappointing wicket to bat on. “We had to come out and do our best but we fell short with the bat. It wasn’t good enough and short games become niggly,” Warner said after the match.Warner lauded his bowlers for coming out with an aggressive intent but the 48-run target was never going to be enough. “We came out with a positive intent but there wasn’t enough runs at the end.”advertisementlast_img read more

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BCCI has done very well at ICC, says CoA chief Vinod Rai

first_imgIn the recently concluded ICC board meeting, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) managed to wrest back some control and get a whopping 405 million dollars.Reflecting on the positives, the Supreme Court appointed Committee of Administrators (COA) chief Vinod Rai said, “BCCI have done very well over there. All of you, had written us off at ICC in the sense that the BCCI had lost its leverage, etc. I have maintained all along that we should not be chasing 40 or 50 million dollars per annum. People have reported wrongly that it’s 293 million dollars per annum. Today, it’s 405 million dollars over eight years.”Rai went on to add that the real gains were on the governance front as the implications would be for the long term. “In the governance model, a lot of our suggestions have been accepted. And two groups have been formed, one of which is headed by Mr. (Anirudh) Chaudhary. The other group in which Rahul Johri is there, is the strategic working group and the governance model group.””The best thing that has happened for us is the ICC accepting that the governance document is a living document, which means it is a dynamic document. And this governance working group is going to make suggestions in case some changes need to be brought up. I think that’s a very major achievement,” he added.The new governance model, however, has widened the voting board which now makes BCCI one of 17 members from what was one of 10 earlier.advertisementWith Afghanistan and Ireland added as new Test members, three associates have been given voting rights and an independent female director and deputy chairman with equalized voting rights and that limits BCCI’s influence on decision making in the future.Rai played down this development. “In terms of governance also, how can you take a stand that the international cricket committee will comprise of only 8 or 10 people? Obviously more cricketing nations are coming. They will get added to to it. You have a one-by-eight or one-by-ten vote or whatever it is. I think the BCCI team has done extremely well,” he opined.last_img read more

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Mahela Jayawardene, Tom Moody in line for Indian coach’s job?

first_imgIf reports are to be believed then former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene is throwing in the hat into the ring for the role of head coach of the Indian team after the deadline for applying got extended to July 9.Jayawardene has worked as a batting consultant of the England team before he took Mumbai Indians to Indian Premier League (IPL) 10 title glory earlier this year. This was his first season as a coach of the IPL franchise.The stylish right-hander is a veteran of the game and has scored 25,957 runs from 652 international matches. The 40-year-old has 54 hundreds and 136 fifties to his name.He has pulled out of the Lancashire league and may join Tom Moody and Richard Pybus as the third foreign contender for the top job.This comes in as a major development and can shake things up once again as Virender Sehwag was touted to be the leader in the race for the job once Kumble resigned. India Today has learnt that some players have also backed Sunrisers Hyderabad coach Moody, who won the IPL with the franchise in 2016.It is believed that if Jayawardene applies then it will be a three-way race between him, Sehwag and Moody. BCCI had shortlisted Moody, Sehwag, Lalchand Rajput and Dodda Ganesh for the highly respected job in world cricket. Kumble resigned after his partnership with skipper Virat Kohli became “untenable”. He took the decision two days after India were handed a 180-run defeat by arch-rivals Pakistan in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy.advertisementReports of a rift between skipper Kohli and Kumble emerged soon after the BCCI had advertised for the new coach. Kohli reportedly was unhappy with Kumble’s overbearing and intimidating attitude in the dressing-room but the India captain played down the talks before the Pakistan game on June 3. However, Kumble didn’t hold back in his statement and said that his relationship with Kohli was ‘untenable’ and he believed it is best for him to move on.”I was informed for the first time yesterday by the BCCI that the Captain had reservations with my ‘style’ and about my continuing as the Head Coach. I was surprised since I had always respected the role boundaries between Captain and Coach. Though the BCCI attempted to resolve the misunderstandings between the Captain and me, it was apparent that the partnership was untenable, and I therefore believe it is best for me to move on,” Kumble wrote in his statement.Kumble’s original contract expired with the team’s Champions Trophy campaign, but the former captain was tipped to get an extension after enjoying a successful run during his year in charge before calling the quits.The Indian team, which is currently in the West Indies for a limited-overs series is without a coach right now. The Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) comprising of Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman, who elected Kumble will select the next coach as well. The process is expected to be completed before India’s tour of Sri Lanka in July.last_img read more

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Roger Federer’s pullout from Cincinnati hands number one spot to Rafael Nadal

first_imgRoger Federer has pulled out of the Cincinnati Open with a back injury, meaning Rafael Nadal will be the new world number one in next week’s rankings.Federer, who has participated in the Ohio warm-up tournament for the U.S. Open on seven occasions, said he had picked up the injury in Montreal, where he lost to Germany’s Alexander Zverev in the final.”I am very sorry to pull out of the Western and Southern Open as I always enjoy playing here,” Federer said in a statement issued by the tournament.”Cincinnati has some of the best fans in the world and I am sorry I will miss them. Unfortunately, I tweaked my back in Montreal and I need to rest this week.”(AP Photo)Federer’s withdrawal assures that Nadal will be top of the rankings when they are issued on August 21.The Spaniard will return to the top spot for the first time since July 6, 2014.last_img read more

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Every one of my medals is a story of struggle: Mary Kom

first_imgBy Poonam MehraNew Delhi, Nov 8 (PTI) Every medal is a story of struggle, says the indomitable M C Mary Kom, who considers her fifth Asian Championship gold medal special as it came despite the many roles she has had to play outside the ring in the past one year.Mary Kom, a five-time world champion and Olympic bronze- medallist, scripted history today by becoming the first boxer to claim five gold medals at the continental meet in the Vietnamese city of Ho Chi Minh.”This medal is very special to me just like all other medals I have won because it has its own story of struggles. Every medal I have won is a story of a difficult struggle. I am hoping this medal, which has come after I became an MP, will enhance my reputation even further. I hope my stature grows,” Mary Kom told PTI in an interview.Besides being an active and top-level boxer, the 35- year-old is a sitting Rajya Sabha MP, whose attendance in the house has never been brought into question, a government observer for boxing in the country and a “very busy” mother to her three sons.Add to this, she is also involved in the running of her academy in Imphal, along with her husband Onler Kom.”I have been an active MP, I am attending Parliament regularly and despite that I trained hard for this championship. Since I am a government observer, I have to be present at meetings related to the running of the sport as well. I hope people realise how tough it is,” she said.advertisement”I have been juggling so many roles. I am a mother too, I have three sons to take care of. I dont even know how I manage to pull it off sometimes,” she added.The diminutive Manipuri has been the face of womens boxing not just in India but all over the world, earning the nickname Magnificent Mary from the International Boxing Association (AIBA) back in 2010.She was last year honoured with the AIBA Legends award for her long and sparkling career, which also includes a gold medal at the the 2014 Asian Games.The pace of her life is sometimes hard to keep up with, admits Mary Kom but throwing in the towel is not an option for her.”After this (the Asian Championships), I have to travel to Lausanne for an IOC athletes forum. And I hate journeys now. The travelling wears me down, it is actually quite horrible to go from one airport to another in a matter of days. But you cant walk away from your responsibilities and commitments,” she explained.Nearly two decades as a boxer and Mary Kom still remains a force to reckon with despite the fact that womens boxing is now an Olympic sport, which has widened the competition pool.Even at the Asian Championships, Mary Kom was hardly pushed by her opponents, who seemed reluctant to be on the offensive against her.”They are already so scared of me, my five world titles and reputation are also helping in some way. They seem scared of touching me. It can actually get quite frustrating but I have to keep my calm, whether the opponent is scared or rough and tough. I have to adjust, control and handle immediately in a matter of seconds,” she said.”The competition has certainly improved but I have responded well to it because this weight category suits me,” she added, referring to the switch she made from 51kg to 48kg category at the fag end of last year.”I dont have the burden of putting on weight. This weight (48kg) is natural for my body. This category, in fact, works best for me. Some of the boxers I faced here (in Vietnam) have competed against me in 51kg category. It felt nice to beat them, a huge morale-booster for me,” she elaborated.Her next target is the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and when asked how she has managed to keep the motivation level in tact, Mary Kom said, “I dont know how I do it, I can only thank god. One reason that I can think of is that I dont have any major fitness issues.”I have a very fit body and have never faced any major injury problems. So yes, the secret to my success is my fit body,” she signed off. PTI PM AH AHlast_img read more

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Don Bradman debuted 89 years ago and finished with a Test average of 99.94

first_imgDonald George Bradman, born August 27 1908, played his maiden Test match in the Ashes series against England on this very day in 1928. And even though his first tryst with Test cricket didn’t really go to plan, Bradman went on to earn the reputation of the greatest batsman of all time in the course of the next 20 odd years.Bradman scored just 19 runs (18 & 1) in two outings on his debut as England thrashed Australia by 675 runs, which till date is a record for the highest margin of victory in Test cricket. England went on to clinch the series 4-1 under the leadership of Percy Chapman and retain the Ashes.After a disappointing debut, Bradman went on to slam two hundreds in the series and scored 468 runs in the five Tests at an average of 66.85. For a 20-year-old making his debut at the biggest stage in world cricket, the stats were outstanding and it was enough for people to judge his pedigree as a batsman.Today in 1928: A 20 year old Donald George Bradman became Australia’s 124th Test player @ Brisbane’s Exhibition Ground. He spent nearly two days on the field as England amassed 521 runs in 175.3 overs! His first contribution in Test cricket came when he ran out Jack Hobbs for 49! pic.twitter.com/1Coxnhk7DF- Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) November 30, 2017From that day onwards till today, no other batsman in the history of the game has even remotely matched his reputation as a player. Bradman’s contribution to the game is not just restricted to mere statistics and records. He became the cricketer everyone looked up to and till date want to emulate.advertisementBradman remained a flawless batsman throughout his magnificent career, far ahead of everyone else in his generation. Wisden regarded him as “the greatest phenomenon in the history of cricket, indeed in the history of all games.”Bradman finished his international career with a batting average of 99.94 (runs per innings) and if he had scored just four runs in his last Test innings at the Oval in 1948, he would have finished with a Test average of 100 runs an innings. He was bowled second ball by England’s Eric Hollies for a duck in his last innings at The Oval in 1948.”I’m very sorry I made a duck. I’d have been glad if I’d made those four extra runs to have an average of 100. I didn’t know it at the time and I don’t think the Englishmen knew it either. I think if they had known it they may have been generous enough to let me get four,” the then 40-year-old had said.(Reuters Photo)He played 52 Test matches for Australia, coming out to bat in 80 innings (unbeaten in 10 innings) amassing 6996 runs with a highest score of 334 runs.Even though he himself rated the record 334 he scored at Leeds in 1930 as “technically flawed” and said the 254 he scored against England at Lord’s in 1930 was much better.”Every ball went exactly where I wanted it to go until the ball that got me out,” Bradman had revealed.In all first-class cricket, Bradman played 234 matches, scoring 28,067 runs with a career average of 95.14. His highest score in first-class was 452 not out.Since his retirement in 1948 and until his death in 2001, Bradman found just one other player in world cricket who reminded him of himself and that turned out to be Indian batting icon Sachin Tendulkar.”I saw him playing on television and was struck by his technique, so I asked my wife to come look at him. Now I never saw myself play, but I felt that this player is playing with a style similar to mine, and she looked at the TV and said yes, there is a similarity between the two…his compactness, technique, stroke production – it all seemed to gel,” the Don had famously admitted.(File Photo)SIR DON’S NEAR UNTOUCHABLE NUMBERSHolds the record for the highest batting average in Test cricket – 99.94Crossed the 200 mark a record twelve times in his cricket career.Only player in the world to have scored 5000 runs against a single opposition. He scored 5028 runs against England in 37 Ashes Test matches at an average of 89.78.Bradman took just 56 innings to reach 5000 Test runs, making him the quickest batsman to reach the landmark till date.Holds the record for the maximum number of double hundreds in a series (Ashes 1930). The number stands at three double hundreds in a series.Only batsman in Test history to have scored 974 runs in a single series (Ashes 1930).Holds the record for the highest 5th wicket (405 runs with Sid Barnes) and 6th wicket (346 with Jack Fingleton) partnership in Test matches.advertisementRemains the only batsman to have scored six consecutive centuries.Hit just six sixes in his Test career, five against England and one versus India.BRADMAN vs THE RESTThroughout his career Bradman played against just three other nations apart from England.As mentioned earlier, against England he scored a record 5028 runs in 37 Tests at 89.78 with 19 hundreds and 12 fifties.He played five Tests each against India, South Africa and the West Indies averaging 201.50, 178.75 and 74.50 respectively with the bat.Against India he amassed 715 runs in six innings with four hundreds and a highest score of 201.Against South Africa he scored 806 runs in five innings with four centuries and a highest of 299 not out.Against the Windies he slammed 447 runs in six innings with two tons and a highest of 223 runs.last_img read more

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Game on for Formula One teams in virtual future

first_imgGrand Prix teams could be racing each other in the virtual world as well as the real one next season, and fighting to sign up the hottest gamer talent, as Formula One wakes to the power of eSports.Darren Cox, the man behind McLaren’s “World’s Fastest Gamer” competition who also saw one of his drivers win Formula One’s first eSports series in Abu Dhabi last month, feels a tipping point has been reached this year.The former Nissan motorsport boss, who runs the eSPORTS+CARS virtual team, can also see the day dawning — in maybe three to five years’ time — when top gamers are earning more than the lowest paid drivers on the real F1 starting grid.In a wide-ranging interview at a simulator centre where his drivers train near London’s Gatwick airport, Cox told Reuters that he expected Formula One teams to become involved in next year’s eSports series.”If you look at what the NBA (basketball) has done…they engaged the teams right at the beginning. So 17 of the NBA teams have got franchises for the virtual side of the sport and there’s a draft like in the real world.”So expect something like that to come out of (Formula One owners) Liberty,” added Cox. “It’s happening now. Those conversations are being had.”This absolutely will be a big priority for them (Liberty) and I believe they have made it clear to the teams that they will be involved, in some way.”And then I guess it’s down to the teams about how involved they want to be.”advertisementlast_img read more

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The Record Shows That $100M Pitchers Must Produce MLB Results Fast

first_imgMax Scherzer and Jon Lester might as well have neon-green dollar signs stamped all over their uniforms and caps when Major League Baseball spring training opens next week.Their careers were redefined this offseason when they joined MLB’s elite echelon of $100 million arms, a sweet 16 whose salaries total an even sweeter $2.42 billion. Every game they start, and every pitch they throw, will be viewed through the prism of their incomes.Judging by history, they had better succeed swiftly with their new teams. Wins and innings pitched are likely to dwindle with age.Theo Epstein, the Chicago Cubs’ president of baseball operations who signed Lester, likens these megadeals to a “splurge on a luxury item,” MLB’s equivalent of a Birkin bag or vintage Ferrari.Is the roster candy worth it to their teams? Or merely a status symbol?“They are difference-makers. They are special talents. Usually there are only 10 to 12 of these in the game, and they give you something that no one else has,” said agent Scott Boras, who negotiated the deals for Kevin Brown, Barry Zito and Scherzer. “A lot of teams have a lot of pitchers, but few teams have a true No. 1.”Only three pitchers have won World Series rings after signing nine-figure contracts: CC Sabathia with the New York Yankees, and Zito and Matt Cain with the San Francisco Giants. The rest find their finances sated but their ambitions starved.The $100 million pitchers have combined to average a 12-9 record and 3.39 ERA during the first four seasons of their deals, according to STATS. During the remaining years, they fell to a 7-7 record and 4.43 ERA.Durability decreases dramatically, with the group averaging 205 innings in first seasons, 178 by the third year, and 132 by the fifth.Justin Verlander was 124-65 and 30 years old when he signed his big deal with Detroit in March 2013. He is 28-24 since, slowed by core muscle surgery before the 2014 season.“I don’t think that there’s anyone that looks at long-term contracts for pitchers that are older, and thinks that all of them are going to be years of investment that are at the highest rate,” Detroit Tigers president Dave Dombrowski said. “You expect some type of decline and adjustment that takes place.”Pitchers and catchers start workouts with World Series champion San Francisco on Thursday, and position players join five days later. Among the players making fresh starts are Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez with Boston; Matt Kemp, Justin Upton and James Shields with San Diego; and David Robertson with the Chicago White Sox.And Alex Rodriguez returns to the New York Yankees at age 39 following his yearlong suspension.Seeking their first championship, the Washington Nationals gave the 30-year-old Scherzer a $210 million, seven-year contract, $5 million shy of the record for pitchers set by the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw.The Cubs, who won their last title 17 days after the Ford’s first Model T left the car factory in 1908, guaranteed $155 million over six seasons to Lester, and included 25 hours of private jet use annually to seal the deal with the left-hander, who turned 31 last month.Epstein weighs health history, body type, athleticism, character, work ethic, mechanics and toughness among the factors in determining whether a pitcher is worth it.“If you sign Andy Pettitte at age 31, you would have gotten performance throughout the contract,” Epstein said. “So it’s just a matter of trying to sign the right guy.”Brown became MLB’s first $100 million man when he signed with the Dodgers in December 1998. He pitched Florida to the 1997 World Series title, and San Diego to the 1998 NL pennant.Brown’s deal shocked a league accustomed to escalating salaries since free agency began in 1976.Sandy Alderson, then an executive in the commissioner’s officer, called it “an affront to baseball.”“I’m in mourning,” said Larry Lucchino, San Diego’s president at the time. “Not for the Padres, but for baseball.”Brown was 139-99 with a 3.30 ERA when he agreed to the contract and went 72-45 with a 3.23 ERA during the deal for the Dodgers and Yankees, who acquired him for the final two years. In all, the $100 million men have averaged a 96-64 career record with a 3.46 ERA when they agreed to the contracts, then a 39-28 mark with a 3.55 ERA mark while earning the big money.Just two of the previous 14 have losing records under their deals: Zito was 63-80 for San Francisco, and Cole Hamels has gone 17-23 for Philadelphia despite a 3.05 ERA in the first two seasons.“For most long-term deals, you see the best return on investment in the earlier years, and typically in the last year or two, you’re not getting quite the bang for the buck,” Epstein said. “Inflation helps mitigate that somewhat, because by the end of your deals, salaries have escalated, the cost per win has escalated, so you’re not requiring the player to do quite as much to be worth the contract at that point.”Nine of the pitchers reached their deals as free agents, and the others were within two years of free agency. Kershaw and the Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka were the youngest at 25, and Brown the oldest at 33.Boras said the dropoff is factored in. He argues the aces are underpaid in the initial seasons.“These players may be worth $40, $45 million for those three or four years,” he said, “The complaint is that, ‘Oh, you’re going to pay for this in the latter years.’ Well, the reality of it is you’re not paying their true value in the early years. That’s the quid pro quo.”RONALD BLUM, AP Sports Writer TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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US-Russia World Hockey Semi

first_imgPRAGUE — Tyler Seguin notched a hat trick as Canada cruised past Belarus 9-0, while Evgeni Malkin scored twice to lift titleholder Russia over Sweden 5-3 in the quarterfinals of the ice hockey world championship on May 14.In Ostrava, Ben Smith and Charlie Coyle scored 57 seconds apart as the United States rallied for a 3-1 victory over Switzerland, and lined up Russia in the semifinals on May 15.Russia lost to the U.S. 4-2 in the group stage, and forward Viktor Tikhonov said they were looking forward to the rematch, with Alexander Ovechkin expected after his NHL playoffs ended.“It’s what we wanted, because every time you lose to someone you always want to prove that you can come back and beat them,” Tikhonov said.Canada finally ended a sequence of losing in the quarterfinals at five consecutive worlds, but will have to go through the hosts next after the Czech Republic eliminated last year’s runner-up, Finland, 5-3.Veteran Jaromir Jagr tied the game at 2 in the middle period with a backhand on a power play, and skated around the net to find a gap around Finn goalkeeper Pekka Rinne with 4:30 left in the final frame.The Czechs downplayed their chances of a first world title since 2010.“We’re under huge pressure,” Jagr said. “The fans consider us better than Canada. They’re excellent players. It could be they’ll never have such a great team at the worlds again. If they play their best, we have little chance. We can’t give them a bit of ice without fighting.”With his three, Seguin joined Sweden’s Filip Forsberg at the top of the worlds’ scoring chart with eight goals.“We won by the margin because we kept playing our game,” Seguin said. “We’re looking forward to the semifinal match.”Ryan O’Reilly and Brent Burns scored two goals apiece and added an assist, and Tyler Ennis and Jason Spezza had a goal each, as Canada hunts its 25th title. It last won in 2007, and has been waiting for a medal since winning silver in 2009.The Sidney Crosby-led Canadians have eight wins from eight games, and 58 goals, the most they have scored since 1962.“It’s nice to put ourselves in a position to get to the finals,” Crosby said. “The important thing is to get better every game, and at this point you’ve got to be at your best. It’s win or go home, so we did a good job today.”Goaltender Mike Smith stopped 24 shots for his first shutout at the tournament. “It was just a bonus,” Smith said. “The way they play in front of me is the most important.”Also in Ostrava, Malkin scored the winner just 26 seconds after Loui Eriksson tied it for Sweden at 3-3 with 5:45 remaining in regulation. Vladimir Tarasenko added an empty net goal in the last minute, as Russia knocked out Sweden for the second year running.Earlier, Sergei Mozyakin and Sergei Shirokov scored first-period goals, and Malkin got the puck past goalie Jhonas Enroth 48 seconds into the second period. He also had an assist.Sweden answered with goals from John Klingberg in the second, and Anton Lander in the third.Smith tied the game for the Americans with a wrist shot 10:17 into the second period, and Coyle deflected in a slap shot by defensemen Seth Jones for the go-ahead goal.“It was a big minute and a big boost for all the team,” teammate Trevor Lewis said.Defenseman Jake Gardiner scored the third with a wrist shot midway through the final period.Defenseman Roman Josi gave Switzerland the lead 13:04 into the game when he collected the puck behind the blue line, carved through the U.S. defense, and hit high past goaltender Connor Hellebuyck.Beside Jagr, Jan Kovar also had two goals for the Czechs, one of them with an assist from Jagr, and Vladimir Sobotka added one into an empty net.For Finland, Tuomo Ruutu, Jussi Jokinen and Aleksander Barkov scored.(KAREL JANICEK)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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Panathinaikos Beats Lokomotiv, 84-77

first_imgPanathinaikos Athens moved closer to booking a spot in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Playoffs and denied its guests the same, for now, by rallying for an 84-77 victory over Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar in Group E on Thursday. James Gist and Elliot Williams led the way with 16 points each for Panathinaikos, which improved to 7-4 in the group and finally beat Lokomotiv after three previous losses this season. Lokomotiv, which could have qualified for the playoffs with a victory, dropped to 7-4 but still owns the point-difference advantage over Panathinaikos going forward. Dimitris Diamantidis scored 15 points and had 6 assists and Nick Calathes chipped in 12 points and 9 assists for the winners. Lokomotiv was paced by Matt Janning with 16 points. Victor Claver added 13 points, Anthony Randolph collected 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Malcolm Delaney picked up 11 points and 4 assists.First quarter: Calathes and Gist play alley-oopPanathinaikos coach Aleksandar Djordjevic made one change to his starting line-up, with James Feldeine coming on for Sasha Pavlovic alongside Nick Calathes, Elliot Williams, James Gist and Ognjen Kuzmic. Lokomotiv coach Georgios Bartzokas put out the same starters in Malcolm Delaney, Evgeny Voronov, Ryan Broekhoff, Victor Claver and Anthony Randolph. Panathinaikos started the game in style with Calathes throwing up a long alley-oop pass to Gist for a dunk. Lokomotiv finally got on the board after more than 2 minutes as Claver knifed into the lane for a layup. The hosts had their own scoring problems early, going 2 minutes without a basket until Williams hit a reverse layup at 4-2 lead. Lokomotiv took its first lead at 4-6 on a Randolph jumper. Claver scored again on a put-back to keep Lokomotiv ahead 6-8 with Gist knotting it again on another alley-oop dunk assisted by Calathes. Randolph’s three-point play put Lokomotiv back ahead 8-11 before yet another Calathes-to-Gist alley-oop dunk. Miroslav Raduljica tied it again for Panathinaikos at 12-12 with a layup after a spin move. Lokomotiv grabbed its biggest lead at 12-16 following a Randolph layup and two Voronov free throws. Pavlovic pulled Panathinaikos within a point on a three-point play but Matt Janning came on and nailed a triple to re-establish Lokomotiv’s four-point gap at 15-19. Panathinaikos scored the final 4 points of the quarter, however, the last ones on a strong layup from Williams for a 19-19 tie.Second quarter: Janning goes for 10 points in quarterChris Singleton started the second quarter with a big block on a dunk attempt from Dimitris Diamantidis before Claver and Williams swapped free throws. Janning and Claver followed by nailing back-to-back three-balls as the Lokomotiv lead hit 23-27. Diamantidis answered with his own three-pointer but Delaney found a cutting Janning for a layup to make it 26-29. Gist trimmed the difference for Panathinaikos, but Andrey Zubkov hit from long range for a 28-32 advantage. Gist continued his fine game with a nice pass for a Raduljica dunk but Zubkov added 4 more points as the Lokomotiv lead swelled to 30-36. Panathinaikos came up with tough defense but could not manage much offense itself with Calathes twice splitting 2 foul shots to get the hosts within 32-36. Janning snapped a two-minute scoreless streak for Lokomotiv before Gist hit Panathinaikos’ first basket in nearly 4 minutes to make it 34-38. But Janning nailed a long three-pointer to give the guests their biggest lead thus far before free throws by Williams left a 36-41 halftime score.Third quarter: Delaney picks up scoring late for guestsVoronov streaked to the basket for a layup to start the second half before free throws from Williams got Panathinaikos on the board. Randolph re-established a seven-point lead but Calathes scored 5 straight points to bring the Greens to within 43-45. Calathes and Gist connected again on an alley-oop but Lokomotiv was back up by 45-52 after a Randolph block and layup. Diamantidis provided the hosts a spark offensively with a three-pointer, a steal and a layup to trim the gap to 50-52. Delaney scored 6 straight points then for Lokomotiv to keep the guests ahead 54-60. James Feldeine answered with a three-pointer for Panathinaikos but Janning came right back down and hit from long range, too. Diamantidis responded with three-point play as Panathinaikos trailed just 60-63 after 30 minutes.Fourth quarter: Panathinaikos puts it away with 10-0 runVince Hunter got a tough basket to fall to start the scoring in the fourth quarter for Panathinaikos and his big put-back dunk off a Williams miss gave the hosts the lead, 64-63. Dontaye Draper came back down and nailed a trey to put the guests ahead and followed with another long ball as Lokomotiv’s advantage rose to 64-69. Free throws by Delaney pushed it to 7 points before Diamantidis and Raduljica hit back-to-back baskets inside, then Calathes nailed a corner three to knot the game at 74-74. Singleton answered right back for Lokomotiv with a three-pointer to make it 74-77. Panathinaikos responded with a big 10-0 run featuring a big dunk from Gist, 6 points from Williams and a fastbreak layup from Diamantidis for an 84-77 advantage. Lokomotiv fell apart in the final 3:35 minutes with 5 turnovers and 5 misses from the field. However, Randolph added a final basket with 2 seconds left to make sure Lokomotiv won the point difference in their split victories with Panathinaikos in case of a tie at the end of the Top 16.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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Banned by FIFA, Platini plans to be at UEFA election

first_imgGENEVA (AP) — Michel Platini plans to speak at the UEFA presidential election to replace him next week, despite his current FIFA ban from soccer politics.A spokesman for his Paris-based lawyers said Wednesday that Platini had been invited to the Sept. 14 meeting in Athens by UEFA, and wanted to address delegates as part of a handover of the final two and a half years of his presidential mandate.However, it is unclear if Platini is allowed to attend under the terms of his four-year ban for conflict of interest, over a $2 million payment he received in 2011 from FIFA.A spokesman for FIFA’s judging chamber said: “This would have to be decided by Mr (Hans-Joachim) Eckert as chairman of the adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee. However, so far, he has not yet received a respective request by UEFA.”UEFA also invited its outgoing president to European Championship matches in June and July since his final appeal case at the Court of Arbitration for Sport failed to overturn the ban.Platini did not attend any Euro 2016 games in his native France despite FIFA ethics committee advice that he could go to stadiums but not discuss business with former colleagues.The election is a head-to-head between UEFA vice president Michael van Praag of the Netherlands and Slovenian soccer federation leader Aleksander Ceferin. Angel Maria Villar of Spain withdrew from the race on Tuesday.England backed Van Praag on Wednesday, though it is a rare public endorsement for the 68-year-old former Ajax club president compared to public pledges for Ceferin among the 55 UEFA members.English Football Association vice chairman David Gill said Wednesday that Van Praag “would be able to provide the strong and credible leadership European football requires at a crucial moment for the global game.”Van Praag is the “right choice to bring all aspects of the European game closer together,” said Gill, who is also a UEFA vice president.France and Germany have backed Ceferin, who was little known before the campaign but has also attracted support in eastern Europe and Scandinavia.Poland’s federation — led by Zbigniew Boniek, a former teammate of Platini at Juventus — also came out for Ceferin on Wednesday.Tensions between the two candidates have risen ahead of attending meetings on Thursday with voters in Copenhagen.Responding to a Norwegian magazine’s investigation into Ceferin’s alleged alliance with FIFA President Gianni Infantino, Van Praag wrote on Twitter that UEFA did not need a “power hungry politician.”Denmark’s federation, which hosts the candidates on Thursday, had welcomed Ceferin’s candidacy in June in a joint letter with regional neighbors Sweden, Finland and Norway. The four nations are also preparing a co-hosting bid for the 2024 European Championship.Still, the Danish federation and national league made a joint statement Wednesday that they also want to discuss UEFA’s recently agreed changes to the Champions League for the 2018-21 seasons.The deal guarantees more entries and tens of millions of dollars in prize money to clubs from the top four-ranked leagues — currently Spain, Germany, England and Italy — at the expense of mid-ranked countries like Denmark.The Danish soccer bodies said they shared “great dissatisfaction with the process.”“The process was wrong, the result is wrong,” Danish league CEO Claus Thomsen said. “A fundamental change of the format has been rushed through UEFA and the ECA (European Club Association) even though a new UEFA President will be elected in a week’s time and even though there are no publicly elected leadership in UEFA.”Van Praag and Ceferin both say they oppose Europe’s top clubs breaking away to form a Super League. However, Danish officials say they fear a de facto Super League created within UEFA in partnership with elite clubs.Influential clubs, including Juventus and Real Madrid, were seen to have exploited the absence of Platini, the UEFA president since 2007, to pressure the European soccer body this year for a more favorable deal.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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