Man City’s threats to UEFA revealed in leaked documents

first_imgJapeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew “My job entails having discussions, having conversations, exchanging documents, drafts, ideas, whatever, on many, many, many, many, topics. Otherwise you don’t go anywhere,” he said, when asked about the upcoming release of the information. “I mean, if I just have to stay in my room and not speak to anyone and cannot do anything, how can I do my job properly? So if, then, this is being portrayed as something bad, there’s not much I can do more than my job in an honest way, in a professional way and trying to defend the interests of football.”City settled with UEFA to avoid being banned from the exclusive and lucrative Champions League for violating Financial Fair Play rules. It accepted a fine of 60 million euros (then $82 million) spread over three years and agreed to a limit to their top team of 21 instead of 25 senior players.But City never paid the full fine. It was forced to forfeit only 20 million euros of prize money in 2017.UEFA’s auditors found City inflated the value of sponsorship deals with firms related to the team’s owners from Abu Dhabi, which bought the club in 2008 using the sovereign wealth of Sheikh Mansour. New ownership turned City into a power that has challenged the long-standing supremacy of neighbor Manchester United.An internal email sent by City lawyer Simon Cliff recalled an exchange between Al Mubarak and Infantino, the documents showed.ADVERTISEMENT Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown “We will not be providing any comment on out of context materials purportedly hacked or stolen from City Football Group and Manchester City personnel and associated people,” the English Premier League champion said. “The attempt to damage the club’s reputation is organized and clear.”During the 2014 investigation, publicly called independent, City chief executive Ferran Soriano secretly discussed the case in 2014 with then UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino, who became FIFA president two years later, the leaked documents showed.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back Chriss“I had a good telephone call with Gianni Infantino where we agreed how to brief the lawyers (‘to negotiate a settlement that is more than a warning and can be seen as effective/dissuasive but does not affect dramatically MCFC business’),” Soriano told Khaldoon Al Mubarak in correspondence seen by Spiegel.Infantino defended his actions as UEFA head, and later FIFA, in an interview with The Associated Press just days before the documents’ release. La Salle’s Dyke lets game do the talking amid ‘racist comments’ “Khaldoon said he would rather spend 30 million on the 50 best lawyers in the world to sue them for the next 10 years,” Cliff wrote, adding that this was a chance “to avoid the destruction of their rules and organization.”Among other internal correspondence from City published by Spiegel, Cliff said “UEFA doesn’t respond to anything other than aggression” and a lawsuit against auditor PriceWaterhouseCoopers “could destroy the entire organization within weeks.”“If PWC was under threat, you could then imagine them suing UEFA for damages and, if they collapsed, all their creditors suing UEFA too,” Cliff wrote.City eventually signed the settlement agreement in May 2014, the day UEFA’s lead investigator died. Informed of the former Belgian prime minister’s death, Cliff told a colleague “1 down, 6 to go.”Defending the deal struck with City, UEFA said “in cases where clubs overspend and balance their books only thanks to money injections, a settlement agreement has always been the preferred solution.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Fulham’s Luciano Vietto is challenged by Manchester City players including Vincent Kompany, right, during their English League Cup, Fourth Round match against Fulham, at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England, Thursday Nov. 1, 2018. (Mike Egerton/PA via AP)LONDON — Manchester City threatened to destroy UEFA with legal action when European soccer’s governing body pursued punishment against the Abu Dhabi-owned club for overspending on players and hiding costs, according to documents cited by a group of media outlets on Friday.City did not dispute the authenticity of the European Investigative Collaborations documents, primarily reported by Germany’s Der Spiegel as part of a “Football Leaks” series. It criticized the journalism.ADVERTISEMENT Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil View comments MOST READ LATEST STORIES Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taallast_img read more

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Patriotrs, team America loves to hate, headed to Super Bowl

first_imgNew England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady celebrates a touchdown run by running back Sony Michel during the first half of an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)NOT THEM AGAIN!Sorry America — at least outside of New England — but the team you love to hate is headed back to the Super Bowl.ADVERTISEMENT Oh yeah, Brady is 41. He’s seen pretty much everything, and will particularly like the looks of the spotty pass coverage Kansas City (13-4) provides.The entire environment seems to work for New England.“Yeah, I think this team thrives on it,” receiver Phillip Dorsett says. “Obviously, there’s no elephant in the room, we’re 3-5 on the road and everybody is going to criticize us for that. We’ve got our backs against the wall and we’ve just got to go out there and play our best game. That’s the only thing that really matters.”It also matters that Chiefs coach Andy Reid rarely outsmarts the Patriots. Indeed, Reid’s only Super Bowl trip was spoiled by New England when it beat Reid’s Eagles for the 2004 title. Reid is 2-6 vs. the Patriots, and lost 43-40 on Oct. 14 at Gillette Stadium.The Chiefs are 3-point favorites, which accounts for the home-field edge. Except in the upcoming arctic conditions, and with the pedigree of the Patriots, this is a matchup Kansas City won’t win.ADVERTISEMENT Knicks’ last-second goaltend gives Wizards win in NBA London game Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history UPSET SPECIAL: PATRIOTS, 27-23Los Angeles Rams (plus 3) at New Orleans SaintsA 45-35 shootout victory for Drew Brees and the Saints on Nov. 4 came in the Superdome. These two have a return matchup Sunday to get to the Super Bowl, and with all their firepower, this one could come down to one factor: experience.That edge clearly falls to the hosts. New Orleans (14-3) has been a postseason regular since coach Sean Payton and Brees hooked up in 2006. This is the Saints’ third NFC championship appearance — a loss at Chicago in January 2007, an overtime win over Minnesota at home three years later. The Saints won the Super Bowl that season, as well.Los Angeles (14-3) had the only unanimous member of the All-Pro team, defensive tackle Aaron Donald. And the Saints lost key DT Sheldon Rankins to a torn Achilles tendon last weekend. Still, this side of the ball looks like a wash.The site of this game is more critical than in the AFC. The way the Superdome rocks can be disruptive to opponents, and uplifting to the homies. Just look at the Saints’ win against defending champion Philadelphia last Sunday.So give us Brees’ calmness and creativity over Jared Goff’s relative newness.BEST BET: SAINTS, 34-26 Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ LATEST STORIES Sure, there are negatives to point out with these Patriots. They haven’t looked much more than mediocre on the road. Their defense is vulnerable, especially against dynamic passers, and Kansas City certainly has one of those in Patrick Mahomes.New England’s coaching staff tends to take away an opponent’s biggest threat. Who is that with the Chiefs, though? Mahomes has Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Sammy Watkins as dangerous targets. He has a running game that hasn’t really missed Kareem Hunt since he was released.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsOh yeah, Tom Brady also is 41. At times, he’s looked it this season.And there are so many positives to list, especially when the Patriots (12-5) get this far. Such as being to eight Super Bowls with Brady at quarterback, winning five. Such as their superb demolition of the Chargers, an opponent many thought was the most balanced team in the postseason; though the Chargers’ defense looked from the outset as if it wanted no part of frigid Foxborough. View commentscenter_img Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Philippine Army to acquire MANPADS, self-propelled howitzerslast_img read more

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NPSS Student gets Scholarship from the Province

first_imgBrittney O’Neill of North Peace Secondary is one of seven students in the province to score 100 per cent on three provincial exams.Brittney has won a gold medal in the Grade 12 Graduation Program Examinations Scholarships program. She will be awarded $2,500 by the province for post secondary education.In total the province is awarding $6.8 million in scholarships to nearly 7,000 BC students.- Advertisement –last_img

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Aggravated assault outside local night club

first_imgPolice reports indicate a 27 year old man was involved in an assault inside the club earlier in the night, and as a result, was escorted out of the establishment by staff.Once outside, another altercation took place and an employee of the club was arrested for aggravated assault.The victim is currently hospitalized with critical injuries.- Advertisement -Fort St. John RCMP is asking anyone with information or cell phone footage of this incident to please contact them at 250 787 8100 or Crime Stoppers at 1 800 222 8477.last_img

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Starlets get to camp, focus ammo on Ghana

first_img0Shares0000Harambee Starlets players juggle the ball during a training session at the Utalii Grounds in Nairobi on September 23, 2019NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 23 – Harambee Starlets striker Mwanahalima Adam has called on teamwork as the team prepares to face Ghana in the third round of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifiers early next month.Starlets reported to camp on Monday Morning and had two sessions as they gear up to face the Black Queens with all eyes set on a maiden ticket to the Olympic Games next year. Adam who scored twice as Kenya progressed to the third round with a massive win over Malawi says the team has to work together if they are to achieve their goal of pushing for a place in the world’s biggest sporting festival.“We are focused and if we work as a team, we will win. There is nothing that can beat teamwork and I believe we can do it. They are a good team, but we are equally good. The victory against Malawi has given us so much confidence to prepare for this game,” the pint-sized forward stated.In the absence of head coach David Ouma who is away in Italy to attend the FIFA Awards, assistant coach Jackline Juma took the team through their paces at the Utalii Grounds.“I think we will be ready to face Ghana. They are a tough team with a lot of experience and we have to be ready for them,” Juma said.The provisional team has seen the retention of all the players who were part of the squad that won against Malawi, while there is an addition of four new players including three debutants.Kwale High School captain Elizabeth Katungwa who led the team to the national schools’ title last year has been recalled into the team, while Hannah Mbithe who turns out for second tier side Limuru Starlets, Wadadia’s Monica Odato and Thika Queens’ Phiona Awino are in for their debut calls.Starlets will leave for Ghana on October 2 for the game scheduled for October 4 while the return tie will be played four days later in Nairobi.Harambee Starlets players juggle the ball during a training session at the Utalii Grounds in Nairobi on September 23, 2019Harambee Starlets provisional squad:Goalkeepers; Annette Kundu (Eldoret Falcons), Judith Osimbo (Gaspo Youth), Monica Odato (Wadadia), Phiona Awino (Thika Queens)Defenders; Vivian Nasaka (Vihiga Queens), Fosca Nashivanda (Zetech Sparks), Wincate Kaari (Thika Queens), Nelly Sawe (Thika Queens), Dorcas Shikobe (Oserian), Lucy Akoth (Mathare United), Ruth Ingosi (Eldoret Falcons), Cynthia Khaveye (KGSA), Quinter Atieno (Gaspo), Lydia Akoth (Thika Queens)Midfielders; Elizabeth Wambui (Gaspo), Sheryl Angachi (Gaspo), Corazone Aquino (Gaspo), Topista Nafula (Vihiga Queens), Martha Amunyolete (Trans Nzoia Falcons), Hannah Mbithe (Limuru Starlets), Sharon Khasandi (Kayole Starlets), Gentrix Shikangwa (Wiyeta Girls), Cynthia Shilwatso (Vihiga Queens)Forwards; Janet Moraa (Eldoret Falcons), Mwanahalima Adam (Thika Queens), Bertha Omita (Kisumu All-Starlets), Mercy Airo (Kisumu All-Starlets), Sharon Adhiambo (Makolanders), Elizabeth Katungwa (Kwale Girls), Puren Anyetu (Zetech Sparks)0Shares0000(Visited 19 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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Man rescued after heart attack scare on Sliabh Liag

first_imgA man who suffered a suspected heart attack on cliffs in Co Donegal has overcome his ordeal.The man, an American tourist, became unwell last night at around 6pm on the Pilgrim’s Path at Sliabh Liag.An emergency call was put out and the local Killybegs Coast Guard rushed to the scene. Luckily the man was able to walk back towards his car where he was met by ambulance personnel who treated him at the scene.Having treated the man it was decided that he did not need to be hospitalised.Man rescued after heart attack scare on Sliabh Liag was last modified: October 22nd, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalHeart attackKillybegs Coast Guardsliabh liaglast_img read more

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BSF raises concerns with Pak. Rangers in ‘sector commander’ meeting

first_imgIndia and Pakistan on Friday decided to resume the meetings between “sector commanders” deployed along the International Border (IB). The quarterly meeting between officials of the rank of Deputy Inspector-General on the Wagah-Attari border had not taken place for the past year-and-a-half.At the 44th biannual meeting with the Pakistan Rangers that concluded on Friday, the Border Security Force (BSF) “strongly” raised the issue of unprovoked firing, killing of civilians and use of tunnels for cross-border crimes along the Pakistan border.The 19-member delegation of Rangers, led by Director-General (Sindh) Maj.Gen. Muhammad Saeed, arrived in India on November 8 for the three-day meet. The Indian side was led by its Director-General K.K Sharma.Worry list“The Indian side firmly and strongly took up specific issues of concern including incidents of unprovoked cross-border firing, smuggling of narcotics, infiltration attempts, tunnelling and defence construction activities,” the BSF said in a statement.It underlined the discovery of a number of tunnels along the border in the Jammu region that are used by the other side to facilitate cross-border smuggling and infiltration, an official said.While the Pakistani delegation raised the issue of targeted firing by the BSF, it was made clear that such action is resorted to when unprovoked firing from the other side kills troops, civilians or leads to other damage. The BSF statement said the talks, in the presence of officials from the Home Ministry and anti-narcotics departments of the two countries, were held in a “constructive atmosphere” and the need for cooperation to maintain the sanctity of the borders was stressed upon.“The issue of inadvertent crossing over by the border population and ways to facilitate their return on both the sides was also discussed,” it said. The BSF said it was agreed between the two sides that “utmost caution and care should be exercised in dealing with the civilians.”The two sides also decided to ensure that the wild growth of the ‘Sarkanda’ (elephant grass) along the IB will be checked and it will be disposed of within the existing norms. “The talks ended with both sides agreeing on constant endeavour to maintain peaceful and tranquil borders,” the statement said.Next meeting in PakistanThe next round of these talks is scheduled to be held in Pakistan.India’s 3,323-km border with Pakistan runs through four States — Jammu and Kashmir (1,225 km which includes 740 km of Line of Control), Rajasthan (1,037 km), Punjab (553 km) and Gujarat (508 km). While the BSF guards the IB independently, it works under the operational command of the Army while working at the LoC.last_img read more

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LeBron’s legacy assured but Jordan’s might glow brighter

first_img1 dead in Cavite blast, fire Azkals hardpressed to win vs Tajikistan after China drubbing Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) drives to the basket against the Golden State Warriors during the first half of Game 3 of basketball’s NBA Finals in Cleveland, Wednesday, June 7, 2017. (Ronald Martinez/Pool Photo via AP)One loss from his fifth defeat in eight NBA Finals appearances, Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James is matter-of-fact about his legacy, living in the moment and having nothing left to prove.But when it comes to comparisons to retired Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan, the 1990s playmaker might just have the edge on “King” James.ADVERTISEMENT Jordan’s six NBA titles are twice as many as James and Jordan leads in Most Valuable Player awards five to four.But James passed Jordan last month to become the all-time NBA playoffs scoring leader and enters Friday only one point behind Jordan for third on the all-time NBA Finals scoring list with 1,175.“It has nothing to do with passing him in (totals). It’s just my personal goal to keep me motivated,” James said. “You guys want to have the conversations about who’s the greatest of all time, things of that nature, it doesn’t matter to me.”James has been prolific in reaching the finals, the only man to get two teams there four times, but has struggled to hoist the trophies.The Cavaliers fell behind the Warriors 3-1 in last year’s finals before James sparked the greatest comeback in NBA Finals history to bring Cleveland its first major sports title in 52 years. In an unprecedented feat, James led the finals in scoring, rebounds, assists, steals and blocked shots.This year is nearly the same despite the Cavs being winless, James averaging 32.4 points, 8.8 rebounds, 7.6 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.38 blocked shots, standing second only in blocks and rebounds.“I want, once I hang it up and not play this game anymore, that people can look at what I was able to accomplish — win, lose or draw — and say that he made a difference,” James said. “So that’s what I’m here for.”Every reign must endJames, 32, says he isn’t trying to prove critics wrong as he did in younger days.“I left that in my 20s,” James said. “I’m not in the ‘prove people wrong, silence critics’ department no more. I got a promotion when I got to the 30s. “I never really talk about my legacy. I kind of just live in the moment and if I’m able to accomplish something, then it kind of adds to it on its own.”Barring a miracle rally, only two players in NBA history will have suffered more finals defeats than James. Former Los Angeles Lakers stars Elgin Baylor and Jerry West each lost eight times, in part during the 1960s Boston Celtics dynasty era.Jordan had a killer instinct and supporting talent that saw him go 6-0 in NBA Finals appearances and James has used childhood idol Jordan’s feats as a measuring stick to motivate himself.“Comparing between people either living or still playing or not playing, it’s great for barbershops,” James said. “But for me I’m just trying to leave a legacy behind so I can inspire the next group of kids.”– Jordan feats inspire LeBron –ADVERTISEMENT The Golden State Warriors lead the defending champion Cavaliers 3-0 in the best-of-seven series entering game four Friday at Cleveland.At 15-0 in the playoffs, the Warriors are on the brink of becoming the first NBA team to charge through the playoffs unbeaten to a title.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutNo team in 126 tries has ever rallied from 3-0 down to win an NBA playoff series, so James — playing in his seventh consecutive finals — figures to fall to 3-5 in the championship round, going 2-2 with Miami and facing a 1-3 mark plus second sweep out with Cleveland.“I don’t get caught up in what I’ve done over the years. I get drawn in too much of what I’m doing right now in the present,” James said. Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ “I know what I’ve done and I know the way I’m built. My only motivation is to be able to compete for a championship every single year.”Bringing a championship to hometown fans in Cleveland fulfilled a dream but kept James ever cautious.“I don’t like to be satisfied too much,” he said. “Because then you become complacent.”It’s a concern that keeps him at the gym every morning. Because every “King” knows all reigns must end.“My mental motor is still going and my physical motor is trying to keep up with it,” James said. “I won’t be able to play this game forever, but I do know I’ll be able to work out for quite a while.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide MOST READ LATEST STORIES Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. What ‘missteps’? 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Lewis Hamilton takes pole for F1 British GP for 5th time

first_imgRobredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain leaves the team motorhome before the third free practice session for the British Formula One Grand Prix at the Silverstone racetrack in Silverstone, England, Saturday, July 15, 2017. The British Formula One Grand Prix will be held on Sunday, July 16. (Photo by FRANK AUGSTEIN / AP)SILVERSTONE, England — Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the fifth time at the British Grand Prix on Saturday, ahead of Ferrari rivals Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel in rainy conditions.Hamilton sped around Silverstone in 1 minute, 26.6 seconds in front of his home fans.ADVERTISEMENT Valtteri Bottas was fourth fastest, but he has a five-place grid penalty for Sunday’s race after being forced to change the gearbox in his Mercedes.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ They cheered the three-time Formula One world champion at the end of a week when he faced criticism for being the only driver to snub a promotional event in London.“I feel amazing, especially with a great crowd like this around the track,” Hamilton said. “These typical English conditions are what we grew up racing in. I’m comfortable in it.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsRelieved too after escaping action for blocking Romain Grosjean during qualifying, with stewards ruling that the Haas car was not impeded.Hamilton, who is 20 points behind leader Vettel in the drivers’ championship, is now one short of Michael Schumacher’s all-time record 68 poles. El Nido residents told to vacate beach homes Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant LATEST STORIES MOST READ FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Garbine Muguruza tops Venus Williams for 1st Wimbledon title Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim View commentslast_img read more

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Agent Viru

first_imgThe day after the Nagpur disaster against South Africa on March 12, the Indian team was busy licking their wounds the way they know best-in the swimming pool, signing sponsors’ bats, and channelling their aggression on their favourite handheld devices like Xbox and PSPs. Agent Viru, though, was busy peeling off oranges.During a 10-minute chat, he told me that the match was all part of captain M.S. Dhoni’s grand masterplan. Apparently, India wanted to test if a total of 300 was defendable or not. “Now we know that, with these bowlers, anything short of 450 is a threat,” he said. Also, Gary Kirsten’s careful analysis had revealed that South Africa had lost far more matches chasing “300 minus” than chasing “400 plus”. “Remember 434?” he asked. “The best way to beat these chokers is to put them in a winning position,” he explained Dhoni’s theory. “But why Ashish Nehra for the last over?” I asked. “The good thing about Nehra bowling is that he isn’t fielding,” Viru replied. Viru confessed, though, that the team was under tremendous pressure. So much that now they couldn’t even laugh at Kamran Akmal. With Agent Viru partly compromised, it was time to revert to some good ol’ cloak and dagger stuff. The results, though not completely surprising, were shocking nonetheless.Dhoni is battling with the selectors on what, some say, is pure ego. Dhoni didn’t want S. Sreesanth to replace Praveen Kumar. But the selectors forced him down Dhoni’s throat. The plan was to get him slaughtered in the warm up game against Australia. Unfortunately for Dhoni, that was one of three days in a calendar year when Sreesanth does get it right. Fortunately for Dhoni, the old Sreesanth resurfaced in the first match against Bangladesh and, because he is not Piyush Chawla, Sreesanth would spend the rest of the World Cup handing out drinks.R. Ashwin’s case is more layered. The captain wanted Chawla, presumably because he needed the confidence, and chairman of the selection committee, Krishnamachari Srikkanth, wanted Ashwin because he had to answer to the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association. But, listening to Srikkanth for two hours is like two years in a gas chamber. When Kirsten started frantically searching for hair to pull out in frustration, Dhoni struck a compromise and both were included at the expense of Parthiv Patel.advertisementThere’s more to Ashwin’s exclusion than Dhoni’s battle with Srikkanth. It goes back to the time when Ashwin became a star after his performances in the ipl. A certain non-spinner, who spins the ball only when sponsored by a soft drink brand, got insecure. At Chennai airport, just before boarding the flight to Colombo for India’s tour of Sri Lanka last year, Ashwin received a call from the non-spinner, who was being rested for that series. “How old are you?” the non-spinner asked. “24,” Ashwin replied. “OK. You have a lot of time to play. Don’t get impatient,” he said before hanging up. Ashwin didn’t get a game in that series. The non-spinner is said to be particularly close to the captain. If friends don’t protect one another, who will?One day before the West Indies game, Viru confirmed that Ashwin will finally get a game at his home ground. Also, the team was revved up after Sachin Tendulkar’s pep talk asking them to bring out every ounce of their energy. “The way everybody else is playing, sadly, it looks like only Tendulkar wants to win the Cup for Sachin,” Viru said as he walked off. – The writer was formerly known as the Fake IPL Player. He will observe the 2011 World Cup through Agent Viru’s eyes.last_img read more

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