Jamie Redknapp’s England verdict: Why Jack Grealish needs to play, midfield dilemmas, and progress to Euros | Football News

first_imgTrent Alexander-Arnold was replaced by Reece James against Belgium on SundayImage:Trent Alexander-Arnold was replaced by Reece James against Belgium Read on for his verdict on a wide range of topics, from the clamour for Jack Grealish to be included to England’s best midfield set-up and more…Should Southgate gamble with Grealish?There have been games where I would have loved for Jack Grealish to come on and give England something different. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out Gareth Southgate is probably not that keen on him, he maybe feels he’s a little bit loose. He picks up little positions around the pitch, some managers and players like that, some don’t.I always enjoyed having a player like that in my team, I would have loved to have played with Jack Grealish as a footballer because he is someone who can get you up the pitch and win fouls around the box. People ask why he gets fouled all the time – that is bravery on the ball and committing players to tackles. Then we will get free-kicks on the edge of the box for the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, that is what you want: special team players that can do things and win a game for you. I would love to see him get a bit of a run and a game. It’s all eyes on England once again, with their friendly against the Republic of Ireland on Thursday followed by key Nations League games with Belgium and Iceland. But how well are Gareth Southgate’s progressing ahead of next summer’s European Championships?Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp joined Kate Burlaga and Peter Smith on the Pitch to Post International Preview Podcast to discuss a wide range of issues facing England boss Southgate.- Advertisement – 0:23 GREALISH– Advertisement – It’s important you say to someone like Jack Grealish what position he has to be in when we do not have the ball. Grealish plays a little bit off the cuff and you have to weigh up the good with the bad. We are not a team that is that free-flowing and scores bundles of goals, so why not give someone like Grealish that opportunity. He’s is red-hot form.I know you cannot allow fans to dictate what they want to you, but it almost feels like if Southgate does not like him then let things happen organically, and then if he is not doing a good enough job, people will find out anyway. Right now, England are not in a position where they have players in such form to say ‘we don’t need Jack Grealish’.Listen to the Sky Sports Pitch to Post Podcast on: Spotify | Apple | CastboxBellingham talent makes you go ‘wow’ The right wing-back situation is fascinating for me. You have got Trent Alexander-Arnold who is the best right-back in the world and you have got Reece James who is fast becoming a brilliant player. He can play as a wing-back, he can play as a right-back.I do think in a wing-back situation, because he has had more time doing it under Frank Lampard, under different coaches at Chelsea, and it is a system he has played before, it seems to suit Reece more than it does Trent.I think for Reece James and Trent, this is a decision that he is going to have to make. If we played in a four you would go with Trent, but with wing-backs, I thought Reece James was far and away our best player against Denmark and it does suit him a little bit more.Chilwell brings balanceAt Chelsea, they brought in Ben Chilwell and straight away you get a lovely balance about the team. I am a big fan of Kieran Trippier, but he ended up playing as a left wing-back against Belgium [when Chilwell was sidelined], and it does not suit him. Straight away the flow, every time we went down that left side, he wants to cut back onto that right foot.He did a good job – a really good job – against Belgium because he is a good player. But you do lose that impact down that side. He is not a naturally left-footed player and you end up going to the right again. It is your natural instincts.Is there a way back for Barkley? WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 13: Jude Bellingham of England during the UEFA Euro Under 21 Qualifier match between England U21 and Turkey U21 at Molineux on October 13, 2020 in Wolverhampton, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Visionhaus) – Advertisement –center_img Former Birmingham manager Pep Clotet says he never hesitated in making England new boy Jude Bellingham the club’s youngest player, ahead of the 17-year-old’s possible Three Lions bow on Thursday night 0:57 – Advertisement – Bukayo Saka says he’s happy to be playing with Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish and he was the player that impressed him the most in his first England training camp Barkley celebrates scoring in Villa's recent 7-2 win over LiverpoolImage:Ross Barkley has enjoyed an impressive start on loan at Aston Villa In the midfield position you do not want straight up and down players, you need something different. In someone like Ross Barkley, of course you need that consistency, but he offers something different by running and driving with the ball. I do not think right now you could say he is better than the ones we have got, but he is playing regularly and consistently in a team that is doing well after being in and out of the team at Chelsea.If I was Ross Barkley, I would want to be knocking on the England door and back in the squad by February and March. All players have egos, everyone wants to play for their country and be picked, I do not care who you are. Right now he should go about his business and play well every week. It is the same thing I threw at Jack Grealish after the last England game; in the nicest possible way, if Gareth Southgate does not fancy you, the only thing you can do is keep ramming it down his throat by showing him what you can do every single game.Be the star man, score goals, lead from the front and answer all the question marks over things you cannpt do as best as you can. The same applies to Ross Barkley to a certain extent. Go and show the coach how good you are.Pitch to Post International Preview: Jamie Redknapp on Joe Gomez’s injury, England’s areas to improve; plus Scotland and N.Ireland play-off build-upIn an international week special, Jamie Redknapp joins Kate Burlaga to react to Joe Gomez’s injury news and, along with Peter Smith, analyses where England must strengthen ahead of next year’s European Championships.Plus, Sky Sports News reporters Charles Paterson and Paul Gilmour have a detailed lowdown on the challenges Scotland and Nothern Ireland face this week in their play-offs.Listen to the Sky Sports Pitch to Post Podcast on: Spotify | Apple | Castbox I am so pleased he is in the squad. I know it is early and we should not get too excited about it but I am a massive fan of how he plays. There are certain young midfielders who come along who make you go, ‘wow, this kid has got everything’. He is a lovely passer of the ball, he looks so composed.Even if he does not touch a ball in the next three games, just for him to be around the likes of Jordan Henderson, Harry Kane, just to get a feeling of what it is like to be in an England squad is going to be vital for him.Alexander-Arnold or James – Who is England’s best right wing-back option?last_img read more

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Black Caps ready for Windies fightback

first_imgHAMILTON, New Zealand (CMC) – Despite a crushing win in the opening Test in Wellington, the Black Caps are not writing off a West Indies fightback, in the second and final Test starting here Saturday.The Caribbean side played poorly to lose by an innings and 67 runs inside four days, to fall 1-0 behind in the two-match series.However, head coach Mike Hesson said recent history suggested the Windies could be back stronger at Seddon Park, and stressed his side needed to be prepared for the backlash.“We’ve seen how well the West Indies have bounced back in previous series so we certainly expect them to do that,” he said.“History suggests they are (a threat). In England they got dealt a pretty severe blow in the first Test and then came back at Headingley and beat England.“We’re certainly expecting them to sustain pressure over a longer period of time.”West Indies showed their character against England last August, rebounding to stun the hosts by five wickets at Leeds just days after slumping to an embarrassing innings and 209-run loss inside three days at Edgbaston.The core of that same side has travelled for the current tour, with the likes of Kraigg Brathwaite, Shai Hope and Roston Chase all expected to suit up against for the second Test.At the Basin Reserve last week, West Indies showed glimpses of their quality, especially through Brathwaite, Shimron Hetmyer and seamer Kemar Roach, but Hesson said New Zealand had been able to stay patient.“I just think we sucked up West Indies pressure in those first couple of sessions. That was really important and it’s an area that we have to do well again in Hamilton,” he noted.Batsman Henry Nicholls agreed with Hesson’s assessment, pointing out that the Windies had bowled well up front, before the Kiwi batsmen got on top to pile up 520 for nine declared.When the visitors batted, especially in the second innings, Nicholls said they had also threatened at periods.“I felt they really bowled well for 80 or 90 overs. It felt we were under pressure the whole time,” said Nicholls.“And then with the nature of Test cricket, we were able to wear them down I guess at the back end of that last session – the guys did extremely well not just to build a partnership but the way they went about it and the scoring rate was impressive.”He added: “But I think we saw at times when they batted, the way they were able to put partnerships together both with bat and ball, the bat in the second innings with Kraigg and the number three (Hetmyer) and four (Hope) … It can turn pretty quickly in Test cricket.”West Indies will be without their captain, all-rounder Jason Holder, for the second Test after he was suspended Tuesday by the International Cricket Council for his second over-rate offence in 12 months.Under ICC regulations, the Windies were adjudged to be three overs short of their specified target during the first Test at the Basin Reserve.Each player was fined 30 per cent of his match fee while Holder, as captain, was fined double the amount and slapped with a one-game suspension.last_img read more

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Repaye assists USC students with tuition

first_imgA new plan implemented by the Obama administration is helping college students repay their federal student loans. The plan, known as Revised Pay As You Earn, or REPAYE, expands the availability of the previous Pay As You Earn repayment plan to more student borrowers and modifies some of the terms of repayment.Under the REPAYE plan, students’ monthly loan payments are prohibited from exceeding 10 percent of their discretionary income over the repayment period, and all balances are forgiven after 20 years of qualifying payments. With the new plan, payments increase and decrease as a borrower’s income changes, regardless of the degree of change in income. This is different from PAYE, which set a maximum amount that monthly payments could not exceed. The switch from PAYE to REPAYE also makes an income-driven repayment plan available to Direct Loan borrowers who may have previously been ineligible for PAYE.In a press release, then-Secretary of Education Arne Duncan cited manageable student loan debt as a “central theme” of the Obama administration’s higher education policy.“REPAYE is one of a number of key national economic policies this Administration has implemented to make America again the leader in college graduates in the world, while preventing student borrowers from facing unmanageable student loan debt,” Duncan said in the release.Etienne Smith, a freshman studying print and digital journalism, thought that the program would be a good security blanket for those students who may not earn a lot after they graduate.“I’m glad it’s available to me. There’s no guarantee that I will make tons of money in the future, especially going into journalism,” Smith said. “So I think it’s a good thing that I can have comfort knowing that my biggest problem won’t be student loans for the education that’s supposed to make me able to pay back my student loans.”USC Financial Aid Dean Thomas McWhorter acknowledged the benefit of REPAYE in making student loans more affordable.“Programs such as REPAYE will benefit students who may need help with keeping college loan repayments affordable,” McWhorter said. “While students who graduate from USC have a lower-than-average student loan debt and a default rate of less than 2 percent, we always look for ways to manage costs and maintain affordability. USC continues to provide financial aid to meet the full demonstrated need of our undergraduates.”Boka Agboje, a junior majoring in interactive entertainment, has multiple federal student loans and felt that the new repayment options would prove beneficial for college students in general.“It goes without saying that college is extraordinarily expensive,” Agboje said. “I feel like the cost of attending college has far outpaced the growing value of [it]. I appreciate the option of different payment plans, because different folks have different needs.”Revised Pay As You Earn, announced Dec. 17, joins the original Pay As You Earn plan, the Income-Based Repayment Plan and the Income-Contingent Repayment Plan in a group of four income-driven payment options for federal student loan borrowers.According to a Department of Education website, “the plans differ in terms of who qualifies, how much [the borrower has] to pay each month, the length of the repayment period, and the types of loans that can be repaid under the plan.”With a low enough income, the site says, monthly payments could reach as low as $0 per month.last_img read more

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Through community organizations, Iovine and Young student hopes to break ‘narrow societal norms’

first_imgStudent Samantha Broxton looks to incorporate her degree with activities she’s involved in including her natural hair and lifestyle community. (Photo courtesy of Samantha Broxton) Growing up watching her mother take on long shifts, late nights and earn low wages despite her hard work, Samantha Broxton’s determination and work ethic was practically ingrained in her since the beginning of her childhood. Now, it’s made evident when looking at all she is juggling while pursuing her master’s degree in integrated design, business and technology.  “I want to help build out a company that is holistic and has [a] positive presence in whatever community they’re doing work in,” Broxton said. “I do think in the latter years of my working life, I would love to help launch micro-businesses in small towns and small communities.” Raising Self and Broxton’s other multifaceted endeavors are just some things that she hopes to continue. In the future, she said she envisions herself as a leader in the finance industry and a volunteer within her community for years to come, but she also wants to build out her own dreams and launch her own businesses. “She’s already done so much,” Polonio said. “If she’s run this fast in her life, I just can’t wait to see the rest of her life unfold and the amazing things that she will continue to do that benefit the world around her.” When her 10-year-old daughter Sophie,  expressed curiosity in robotics, Broxton was committed to finding a program that would cater to her interests. After searching through several programs that worked primarily with older children, Broxton stumbled across Black Girls CODE, a non-profit organization that aims to provide Black girls from ages 7 to 17 with the technology and education to excel in STEM-related fields.  Jasmine Moore, the volunteer lead for BGC L.A., works with Broxton on projects to increase community engagement. Together, they build connections between the organization and companies such as Google, as well as other potential partners and sponsors. Moore said Broxton brings a unique perspective to the organization since she has two children ages 9 and 10. From the start of her involvement with Black Girls CODE, Broxton, who now serves as the community outreach lead for the organization’s L.A. chapter, noticed the impact the organization was having on her daughter. As compared to where Broxton grew up in South Florida, the area where she and her family live in Irvine, Calif. is much less ethnically and culturally diverse, which impacted her daughter’s attitude toward herself, Broxton said.  “I do think anything’s possible in the near future,” Broxton said. “I do think there’s a lot of really great, cool things happening as far as STEAM and STEM and inclusivity in Southern California, and organizations like USC are natural partners for that kind of work.” “She’s very good at being relatable,” Moore said. “She knows what that demographic needs. So Samantha’s always been really passionate and excited about the work we’re doing and really getting out there and being part of the community.”  In many of her endeavors, Broxton works on increasing inclusivity in predominantly white industries. Similar to the work she does with BGC, she also encourages inclusivity in other professional sectors, such as finance. It was during her experience in finance that Broxton was influenced to create SisterLocked, an online community focusing on natural hair, lifestyle, beauty and fashion.  Keisha Polonio, former executive director of Created Tampa, met Broxton through the organization when she volunteered to help women who have been sex trafficked or sexually exploited. From the minute the two met, Polonio said she was impressed with all that Broxton had already accomplished and is eager to see what else Broxton will achieve. center_img “She became more aware of her otherness,” Broxton said of Sophie’s experience in their community. “It was really important for her to have a space in which she was around other girls that she could see herself in and other teachers and support groups that were talking about science and about the things that she was interested in, but also looked like her.”  “I’ve always loved storytelling, I’ve always loved communicating,” Broxton said. “It was a really good outlet during a time where it’s super scary to frame my narrative and document my journey and form community with other interesting people all around.”  Not only is she a full-time student, but Broxton is also the founder of her own natural hair and lifestyle community, the creator of a blog centered on her personal home life and the community outreach lead for Black Girls CODE L.A. “Sometimes Black women are risking it all to fit a narrow societal norm, so I wanted a space to talk about natural hair [and] natural living,” Broxton said. “It doesn’t matter what your hair looks like as long as you feel good, you feel confident [and] you don’t feel forced to have it.”  Broxton and her daughter attended the first event for the organization’s newly launched Los Angeles chapter in 2016. Immediately after, both of them looked to become thoroughly involved in BGC. As Sophie was learning about topics including coding and 3D printing as a student, Samantha was spreading information about the organization’s missions and opportunities to other parents and caretakers as a BGC volunteer. Broxton said she hopes to help expand the organization throughout L.A. County. Bringing the group to USC’s campus is a possibility, she said.  Before seeking a degree at USC, Broxton was working in commercial finance. After receiving her bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida in 2008, Broxton pursued commercial banking at companies such as BB&T. On the side, however, she was also working on her own passion projects, such as her blog and her natural hair and living community. Knowing the value of following one’s dreams, it was obvious to Broxton that she needed to encourage her children to explore their own interests and passions as well.  In addition to creating SisterLocked, which now has about 35,000 followers across several social media platforms, Broxton also made her own blog, Raising Self. The blog — where Broxton writes about her personal life — was made as a creative avenue during a fluctuating time in her life. Becoming a mother so soon after starting her career, Broxton said she had lots of thoughts about motherhood, work life and relationships that she wanted to express.   In hopes of ultimately piloting her own startup, Broxton said she wants to incorporate her future Iovine and Young Academy degree with her previous experience in finance to truly create something that aligns with endeavors she has been involved in. Broxton wants to use the degree to build connections with entrepreneurs and other like-minded individuals who she can work with on future business ventures.  In many traditional industries, Black women are pressured to wear hairstyles that are not always attainable or natural for them in order to look “more professional,” Broxton said. While Broxton had locs during her corporate career, she observed that other Black women were not able to wear natural styles during their professional life. After receiving numerous questions on Facebook from women asking about her hair, Broxton founded the online community.last_img read more

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Syracuse earns highest ranking in program history

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ After upsetting No. 30 Notre Dame (8-4, 3-1 Atlantic Coast) this past weekend, Syracuse made program history after earning a spot inside ITA’s top 25 rankings on Tuesday. Syracuse earned the No. 24 ranking Tuesday, jumping nine spots from their previous No. 33 ranking.Syracuse (8-1, 2-1) has lost only once this season, with the only loss coming against No. 9 Virginia, 5-2, who, after the new rankings, has fallen to No. 16.Defeating then-No. 30 Notre Dame, 4-3, was just the push the Orange needed to hop into ITA’s top 25 rankings.“Our team has made a lot of great memories and had a lot of firsts so far this year. These young ladies are dedicated and driven to continue to improve in everything that they do,” head coach Younes Limam said to Cuse.com. “They have pulled together and shown their toughness on the court against every team we’ve faced.”Leading the way for the Orange this season has been Anna Shkudun, Gabriela Knutson and Dina Hegab. All three players are a combined 22-3 in singles matches, with Hegab being the last of the trio to remain undefeated. Knutson’s first loss came against Notre Dame this past weekend.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Orange face Duke and North Carolina State on the road on Friday and Sunday, respectively. Comments Published on March 1, 2016 at 5:24 pm Contact Charlie: csdistur@syr.edu | @charliedisturcolast_img read more

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WATCH: Bronze-winner Lovlina Borgohain on controversial call at WC

first_img Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00Loaded: 0%Duration 0:00Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio TrackQuality LevelsFullscreenThis is a modal window. This video is restricted from playing on your current domain Error Code: PLAYER_ERR_DOMAIN_RESTRICTED COMMENT Digital Desk Session ID: 2020-09-09:8f68d4f9594c485e75560d52 Player Element ID: video_player_5f5848c026342 OK Close Modal DialogBeginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreen Indian Boxer Lovlina Borgohain spoke exclusively with Republic TV spoke about the controversial call by officials at the World Championships in which she had to settle for a bronze after losing in the semi-final 10 months ago Sourav Ganguly’s history in Indian cricket administration 10 months ago Five Indian boxers enter quarter-finals of World Boxing Championship Written By SUBSCRIBE TO US WE RECOMMENDcenter_img Last Updated: 16th October, 2019 23:00 IST WATCH: Bronze-winner Lovlina Borgohain On Controversial Call At WC Indian Boxer Lovlina Borgohain spoke exclusively with Republic TV spoke about the controversial call by officials at the World Championships LIVE TV FOLLOW US First Published: 16th October, 2019 23:00 IST 10 months ago ‘Great signs for Indian Cricket,’ says Sehwag congratulating Ganguly WATCH US LIVE 10 months ago Five best books in the fantasy genre written by Indian authors 10 months ago IND vs BAN: Indian fans carrying banners stopped from entering Stadiumlast_img read more

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SBC’s on the ball: La Liga, Vincent Kompany and a resignation in Russia

first_img Premier League looks to broadcast every behind-closed-door fixture August 28, 2020 Related Articles From sponsorship to the ever-expanding world of football media coverage, when it comes to the business of football, SBC has you covered. This edition looks at La Liga’s expansion plans, a resignation in Russia and new technology in England.____________________Marriner the man to debut innovative technology in English football Andre Marriner will take charge of the first match in English football that will a utilise video assistant referee (VAR), when he takes charge of the FA Cup 3rd round tie between Brighton and Crystal Palace on Monday night. Throughout the game, Neil Swarbrick and Peter Kirkup will be watching on screens, helping the ref with the big decisions of the game. All three officials have been carefully selected as the first to utilise the technology, with all three being members of the Select Group of elite match officials.  La Liga to revive plans for controversial 39th gameLa Liga could be about to replicate the Premier League’s idea of hosting a 39th game abroad, in an effort to expand the global appeal of Spanish football. The proposition was aimed at helping the Premier League fend off competition from the other European Leagues with regards to global popularity, however it proved to be extremely unpopular amongst English fans. Furthermore, the plans also proved unnecessary, with the English top flight naturally going onto become the most valued product amongst a worldwide audience. Nonetheless, many Premier League executives believe that in a bid to thwart England’s domination in foreign TV rights, La Liga may now plan to utilise a 39th game on foreign soil. City captain calls for reduced Premier League ticket pricesManchester City club captain  Vincent Kompany has called on Premier League clubs to place a cap on the price of match tickets as a method of attracting the “right people” back into football.Kompany has recently graduated with a Master of Business Administration from Manchester Business School and, during his research on maximising revenues from home advantage, he concluded ticket prices should be reduced for business reasons.Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, he said: “You get better home advantage depending on the atmosphere that you can create within your facilities, and that is linked to the people who enter your stadiums. “The Premier League is generating two or three times the revenue of the other top five leagues in Europe, so at what point do you realise that your revenues are that big as a TV product, and the revenue from match-day tickets is only getting smaller?Netflix rules itself out of Prem TV rights scrambleWhile tech giants such as Facebook and Amazon are vying to challenge traditional broadcasters for Premier League TV rights, Netflix has ruled itself out of the race. It was reported that the American streaming giant will instead be focusing its sports operation on original programming rather than live events. “We want to provide the best video storytelling across all genres, but it won’t encompass live sports broadcasting,” a Netflix executive told The Independent. Italian champions Juventus recently agreed to film a behind-the-scenes documentary with Netflix, which is said to be far more indicative of the type of content they will pursue.As the tender for the 2019-22 Premier League rights goes out this month, there is a genuine fear amongst traditional broadcasters that a number of big-spending tech firms will wrestle control from the likes of Sky and BT.It’s all too much for Mutko Vitaly Mutko, The Russian deputy prime minister who received a lifetime ban from the Olympics in December, has announced he is temporarily stepping down as the head of the Russia’s football union. Mutko’s Olympic ban relates to his alleged role in state sponsored doping in the country, however he has laid out his intention to appeal the ban with the Court of Arbitration for Sport.In a statement FIFA commented underlining that it: “Understands Mr Mutko’s decision which was also taken in the best interest of the World Cup next summer. FIFA thanks Mr Mutko for this responsible step and for the work carried out so far for the World Cup.”It adds that Mutko’s decision “will have no impact on the successful staging of the World Cup next summer, as FIFA, the Russian government, RFU [Russian Football Union] and the LOC continue their fruitful cooperation on the preparations for the World Cup according to plan.”Mutko’s resignation comes as FIFA is plagued with criticism over the way it has failed to pursue the question of whether the Russian FA covered up positive tests  within the Russian national football team. Craig Reedie, the president of the World Anti-Doping Agency, emphasised that his expectation that FIFA would pursue any allegations of corruption and act decisively.He stated: “We provided them with all the information we had at the time and told them they should be responsible for getting on with results management.” An emotional Manuel Burga acquitted Former president of Peru’s soccer federation, Manuel Burga was acquitted of a host of corruptions charges, that originated from the infamous FIFA bribery scandal that took place under the tenure of Sepp Blatter. Having watched on as Juan Ángel Napout, the former president of South American football’s governing body and José Maria Marin, the former president of Brazil’s football federation were both found guilty on counts of racketeering and wire fraud conspiracies, an emotional Burga broke down as the jury found him not guilty. Currently, the raids on the FIFA offices by the FBI have led to a total of 23 guilty pleas from former FIFA officials, with over 40 people and companies charged over potential corruption._________________The Betting industry’s relationship with Football and its wider stakeholders will be discussed at the ‘Betting on Football 2018’ (#bofcon2018) conference. Click on the below banner for more information… StumbleUpon Share Submit EFL announces that all non-Sky Sports fixtures will be available to stream August 27, 2020 SBC Magazine Issue 10: Kaizen Gaming rebrand and focus for William Hill CEO August 25, 2020 Sharelast_img read more

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Coach Sympathy: Tactics on wheels

first_imgOn a rough, sandy playing surface in Tafo, James Eduful is wheeling himself up and down the touchline. He is animated – on the edge of his seat, really. As he interrupts the training session, he almost falls off his wheelchair before retreating to the middle of his seat, livid.“What did I tell you?!” he queried rhetorically.“When you pass the ball to your teammate, you run into space. Don’t stand there. If you don’t move, you limit your teammate’s options,” James barked out. To demonstrate to his players just what he demanded of them, James left the ‘comfort’ of his wheelchair, strapped his hands with slippers as makeshift football boots, and joined the action. Supported by one feeble leg and two hands — almost like a four-legged human – he moved fluidly into spaces, knocking passes around as he received them; even giving a ‘no-look’ pass at one point. Move over, Bobby Firmino.James and his children had to tweak the football rules a little to accommodate him in moments like these.“It’s very difficult coaching children. Sometimes I have to get off my wheelchair and demonstrate to them what I want them to do. Because I play with my hands, we have come up with a rule that when the ball touches my leg, it’s a foul,” he said.Though unorthodox, it made for a fascinating spectacle as I watched while the man affectionately called ‘Coach Sympathy’ opened my eyes to his true abilities.For the last decade, this has been the story of James Eduful, the 30-year-old coach dishing out tactics on a wheelchair in Ghana’s third-tier league.At age seven, just like many Ghanaian boys at his age, James had a dream of becoming the next Abedi Pele. But on one evening in 1996, that dream turned into a nightmare as his life changed forever.“I was returning from the farm with my mother and it was raining heavily. I was six or seven years old, so I couldn’t walk through the heavy rain, so my mother carried me on her back,” James narrated.“On our way, she slipped, and I fell off her back. But it was not until we got home that we realized I had broken my legs.“My parents tried to fix it with traditional medicine because they didn’t have money to take me to the hospital, and as you can see, that didn’t work out too well,” James said, his voice breaking.James’ taste of tragedy at that early age was only just beginning. Two years after the accident, his mother died just days after giving birth to his sister.“My aunt took care of me and my sister till we completed Junior High School. It was very tough growing up because she had lots of children of her own,” he said.James was born in November of 1989, in a small town called Koduakrom in the Tarkwa-Damang District of the Western Region. Together with his nine cousins, competing for meagre resources was a constant fight for survival.“I used to crawl because until I went to Senior High School, I didn’t have a wheelchair,” he said of his childhood.He navigated the early years of school successfully and completed his second-cycle education in 2007. But with no money to go further up the academic ladder, James took a decision to leave home -a tough one.“Money was not the only reason for which I moved. I established a youth team there with U-10s, but my uncle used to discourage me. He would tell me that I’d break my hands, too, and then I’d have nothing with which to even crawl.“He always knew the right thing to say to put me down. One day I just decided to pack my bags and leave for Kumasi to pursue my dream,” James said with a smile.A dream to become a football coach, that is, which began to take shape before long.In 2007, James set up a colts team in the Tafo area of Kumasi, capital of Ghana’s Ashanti Region, training players from U-10 up to U-17. Each evening after school for the last 10 years, Coach Sympathy would gather his players on the grassless, gravel playing surface at the Pentecostal Educational Complex.When I made the trip to Kumasi to meet James, he volunteered to come get me when I got off my taxi at the Pentecost School junction. At first, I smiled at what I thought was merely a kind gesture. But as we wriggled our way through the perilous traffic and crossed busy streets, I soon realized just how truly magnificent his offer was.For 30 minutes each day – since he began training his lads – Coach Sympathy has navigated the road rash to get his job done.“It’s very dangerous moving through traffic because some of the drivers are very careless,” he admits. “But I love what I’m doing and nothing will stop me. Working with children fills me with joy. When they succeed, it’s like I succeeded.”James has changed wheelchairs since his first, with the latest a gift from a popular movie star.“A teacher bought my first wheelchair for me. Before then, I used to crawl and children would run away whenever they saw me. But now they are used to me. The wheelchair I’m using now was acquired by actress Nana Ama McBrown after she learned of my situation.”Coach Sympathy takes his schedule seriously. I had been speaking to him for half an hour, but as the clock struck 4:00 pm, he stopped the interview to set up the day’s training session. His kids — aged 10 to 14 — formed two lines of 5, facing each other.Today’s task?A quick passing drill.The training is competitive. Most of the kids have football boots on, but none with shin-guards. That did not stop the tackles from flying as Coach Sympathy barked out instructions from the touch-line.He soon joined the action, serving as a neutral player available to receive the ball for either side that found him handy.James has been working as an amateur coach pretty much all of his adult life. He tells me some of the boys he has trained have gone on to reach greater heights.“One of my children was invited to the 2017 Ghana U-17 squad and plays at the Right to Dream Academy [an elite football farm in the country that enjoys partnership with, among others, English giant Manchester City] now. He didn’t make the final list for the national team, but I was proud that he was even considered in the first place,” he says.“Another has got an opportunity in Europe and currently plays for a Division Two club in Portugal.”Back here in Tafo, training had gone on for nearly 30 minutes before I managed to pull three kids aside for a quick word.“Coach Sympathy is different from all the other coaches. He doesn’t discriminate, unlike my handlers in school. He will play you if you’re good, no matter your age,” Mandela Arhin, 13-year-old captain of the U-15 team relates.“I like him because he doesn’t only teach us football, but always reminds of the Word of God,” Dominic Danso Mensah, 11, said of James.“Sometimes when we go to play matches away, he uses his own money to buy us water or food,” Devine Deku, a year older than Mensah, reveals.It’s not only the kids that have the lofty goal of playing for the bigger teams around the world, though. James speaks of his own dream of coaching and helping nurture young talents for Ghana’s national teams.In June 2017, he took a massive step towards achieving it when appointed the head coach of a Division Two club, KSV First Light FC, at Kasoa in the Central Region.“I remember when I was being introduced to the players, everyone was wondering how a crippled person was going to coach them. I told them not to look at my disability but to judge me by what I can do.“When I took charge at the end of the first round, they were 2nd from bottom, fighting relegation. By God’s grace, when the second round finished, we had risen to 3rd on the table.”James’ efforts have not gone unnoticed by his bosses.“It was an amazing feeling. I was very happy with the way James turned things around,” says Daniel Nii Tackie, Chairman of First Light FC. “In fact, he has injected a lot of positivity into my team and, everywhere we go, people are eager to come watch us.”The team is specifically located in Kojoku, not far from Kasoa. At first, the suburb appeared to be in the middle of nowhere. But football makes this place come alive. I tracked down two 17-year-olds who play under James’ tutelage, Joseph Ephson and Eric McCarthy.“I remember when the chairman introduced him, nobody was impressed. We thought the chairman wasn’t serious. But after one training session, our opinions completely changed,” Ephson confessed.“He has added a lot of freedom to the way we play which has allowed us to thrive. The previous coach was a little too rigid,” McCarthy said of James’ style.Joseph Abayertey is the head coach of Kojoku United, a team that plays in the division right beneath First Light’s. He has known James for two years already, and he recounts how much influence the latter has brought to, not just First Light FC, but the whole Kojoku community.“In this area, I don’t think anyone can compare to him in terms of coaching. Every time we have a game, I call him to come watch, and his reviews have helped me a lot personally,” Abayertey concedes with hardly a hint of shame.James is active on Facebook with over 1,700 friends on the social networking site. On October 13, 2017, he put up a lengthy post and tagged the Facebook page of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Ghana’s head of state. In the post, he detailed the work he did and asked people to support in providing football equipment for the children he trains, urging others to share his post with their friends. No one bothered to -well, unless you’re counting one comment and three likes.“When I put that post up, I was expecting a lot of people to follow up and even offer help but nothing of the sort happened. However, as I always say, nothing will discourage me. I know one day my helper will come,” James says, oozing sheer resolve and defiance.“When I see disabled people begging, it breaks my heart; but it’s understandable. It’s not easy being in our situation. But I can never see myself begging on the streets. I will keep pushing until I succeed in this job.”The way I see it, he will. Much like his mentor Pep Guardiola, who redefined the way the modern game is played with his tiki-taka revolution at Barcelona, James will need something similar as he strives to achieve more with KSV First Light.“I want to see my team play in the MTN FA Cup someday and do well there, while also trying to secure promotion to the Division One League. That’s my target right now.”It was the American philosopher Andrew Bernstein who said: “Nothing is given to man on earth – struggle is built into the nature of life. The hero is the man who lets no obstacle prevent him from pursuing the values he has chosen.”He might have been describing James, a man who chose to traverse a field deemed a no-go area for people like him. But there’s no stopping him now, is there?On a wheelchair — even on his hands and feet — he keeps going.Photos: Yaw Antwi Owusu | citisportsonline.com | GhanaWatch the full documentary below:last_img read more

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Why did ESPN fire Adnan Virk? He leaked MLB coverage info, report says

first_imgPer The Post:The instance that led to the final decision to relieve Virk concerned a story that appeared on the website Awful Announcing.In part, the report said Major League Baseball had opted to let ESPN slide on contractual obligations that called for it to have a certain amount of studio shows during the season in return for moving “Sunday Night Baseball” from 8 p.m. to 7 p.m.ESPN had a conference call about “Sunday Night Baseball” that the network believes Virk tipped off to Awful Announcing. Sources said the “premeditated nature” of the outreach alarmed ESPN. ESPN, which on Friday abruptly fired anchor Adnan Virk, accuses the perceived rising star of leaking network plans regarding MLB coverage, according to The New York Post, which broke the news of his dismissal.In its report Monday, The Post says Virk is pursuing legal action against ESPN, adding that he currently is receiving no severance after recently signing a four-year contract worth seven figures. He has been a key part of ESPN’s MLB and college football and basketball coverage, as well as doing on-air work for ESPN Radio. Awful Announcing writer Ben Koo, who wrote the article ESPN claims was based on Virk’s leaked information, refused to say whether Virk was a source. Virk wouldn’t comment to The Post.After an internal investigation, ESPN not only concluded that Virk was the source of the information for Awful Announcing, but also when given the chance to admit that he was, Virk was, per The Post, “not forthcoming” when given mulitiple chances to say so.The Post’s sources say that Virk’s side claims he received no warning and his dismissal is too harsh of a penalty even if, as ESPN alleges, he leaked the information, which his side would characterize as a lapse in judgment.last_img read more

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D’Angelo Russell calls Lakers trading him the ‘best thing that happened’ in his career

first_imgD’Angelo Russell is happy the Lakers traded him.Los Angeles was reportedly involved in discussions to acquire star Pelicans forward Anthony Davis before the deadline and almost all of its young players were involved in the trade rumors. But, those talks stalled and no deal was reached. Russell is averaging a career-high 20 points and 6.6 assists in 29.9 minutes per game this season. He’s shooting 43.6 percent from the field and 37.4 percent from 3-point range.The Nets enter play Wednesday in sixth place in the Eastern Conference with a 29-29 record. NBA free agency rumors: Lakers, Rockets, Raptors interested in forward Markieff Morris Luke Walton ‘will definitely finish the season’ as Lakers coach, report sayscenter_img The Lakers selected Russell with the second pick in the 2015 draft, but he was inconsistent during his two seasons with the team.Russell, however, has developed into a go-to scorer for Brooklyn and is set to make his first All-Star appearance this weekend.“I came (to the Nets) with open arms,” Russell said. “I always knew I could do what I’m doing. It’s just all about opportunity in this league.” Russell, who was sent from the Lakers to the Nets in June 2017, said he was glad he was not in that environment.“I can’t imagine what they’re trying to block out,” Russell told Bleacher Report. “…If (the Lakers) didn’t let me go then, they were gonna let me go now, and I’d be going through what they’re going through. Best thing that happened in my career.” Related Newslast_img read more

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