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New delay to Rio 2016 Olympic stadium track

first_imgBut Andrea Vallauri, head of Mondo’s Sport Division, has told insidethegames that work would be completed in time for the Olympic test event planned for May 14-16, adding: “At the moment everything is under control.”In December, Vallauri said installation was expected to start at the beginning of February and that everything should be completed “by the end of March.” Since then preparation work in the stadium has been impacted by disruption to electricity and water supplies due to outstanding utility bills of $225,000 (£152,000/€207,000).A solution to the problem was compounded by delays due to the Christmas and New Year holiday in Brazil.Work has also been disrupted by severe weather conditions in recent weeks.After returning to Italy following his latest visit to the stadium, from February 22-24, Vallauri said: “All the material is on site and we are just waiting for the preparation work in the stadium to be completed – in two weeks, maximum three weeks, we shall be able to start.“I was in the stadium area last week, although I did not enter the stadium itself.“There’s still some work to be done, not in the field of play but around the outside, but it has to be finished in order for us to have access.“The track is going to be completed in time for the Test event, we are quite confident.“We are still in the safe range in terms of time.“Everything is there, and the majority of things are ready.“At the moment everything is under control.”Vallauri, who contacted the Rio 2016 organisers to update them last week, added: “It takes four weeks to lay the track, and two more weeks to paint the lines and complete the testing.“Now at the moment the weather is very, very unpredictable, all of South America has been suffering from El Nino.“It’s a crazy situation – it rained like crazy in the evenings when I was in Rio.”On the subject of the utility supplies, Vallauri added: “Definitely there was some difficulty, some problems with supply, before the carnival, but that has been dealt with.”We are independent once we start our work, as we have our own generators.“We have worked in Brazil for more than 25 years so we are familiar with the way things have to be done in Rio – that’s why we are not worried.“One way or another we have to finish in time for the test event.“It is a commitment we have made, and we will do it.“I still think we can do this in a rational and normal way whatever the conditions.“I don’t want to think about Plan B,“I always look on the positive side.”last_img read more

German Chancellor may visit PNG

first_imgThe visit, however, will be a reality if the German Women’s Soccer team make the final of the Under 20 Women’s World Cup.Minister for Sports, APEC and National Events, Justin Tkatchenko made the announcement after being informed by FIFA officials.“Apparently she’s very keen on sports and promotes her country right around,” said Tkatchenko.If it does eventuate, it will be the first time in history a German leader visits PNG.Tkatchenko, however, did confirm that FIFA President, Giani Infantino, will be in the country during the tournament.Picture credit: The Wall Street Journallast_img read more

Tupapa seal OFC Champions League return

first_imgThe Cook Islands club last featured in the main draw back in 2001 and this is the first time they’ve progressed to the Group Stage via the Qualifier.Sean Latimer put Tupapa in control with two goals in the opening 22 minutes and, along with Maro Bonsu-Maro, ended the match with a hat-trick.Soakai Vea won a penalty for Veitongo after the half hour but lost his cool and was shown a red card.Vai Lutu netted from the spot to reduce the deficit to 2-1 but the Tongan side were unable create further momentum with a man down, while captain Sione Uhatahi was also sent off late in the game as Veitongo finished with only nine players.After an improved performance and dominance across the park, Tupapa coach Alex Napa was pleased his side secured such a resounding victory.”Two wins is good to have in the bag, one more game to go and we hope that we can put a decent team in for the last game and make a good job of it at the last hurdle,” he said.”Sometimes heat has a way of leveling things a bit. I think for both teams it was just a bit frustrating, the heat got to both teams and I’m really glad that my boys composed themselves a little bit more.”We could see it, it does that to players on a hot day like this and it’s good to come away with a good result.”Veitongo coach Timote Moleni said one positive for his side was how they played through the last 16 minutes despite having just nine players on the field.”The boys played so well, they still lack of the ability to finish in front of goal which really impacted the match. We worked on their finishing in the past two days, I am sure, they are not confident enough.”Meanwhile Lupe Ole Soaga got their campaign back on track with a 13-1 demolition of American Samoa’s Pago Youth.Striker Lapalapa Toni took just nine minutes to put his side on the scoresheet while Suivai Ataga was the star performer with five goals.Coach Paul Ualesi believed the win was well-deserved after a well-structured performance.”First of all I’m so proud of my boys for the hard work, they tried to execute our game plan well for this second game and it was good for them to work on their discipline as well and you can see we tried to press on them the importance of working on their discipline and controlling their mental aspect of the game as well,” he said.”But yeah, very happy to get a really good win.”Pago Youth coach Li’atama Amisone Junior admitted the team’s weaknesses proved too big to overcome on the day.”We did not keep our composure and stick to the game plan,” he said.”Everyone makes mistakes and has to learn from them. Indeed we’ve identified our weaknesses and fitness is the number one thing.”Lupe Ole Soaga seal the other remaining qualifying beth with a draw or better in their final group match against Veitongo FC.last_img read more

Mercedes and Hamilton on brink of F1 titles

first_imgLewis Hamilton could be crowned Britain’s first four-time Formula One world champion in Texas this weekend while Mercedes are on the brink of a fourth consecutive constructor’s title.The chances of Mercedes, 145 points clear of Ferrari with four races remaining, wrapping things up in Austin appear to be overwhelming.Everything is also stacking up for Hamilton to become only the fifth driver to win more than three championships since the first in 1950, with British bookmakers offering odds of 1/50 on him taking the title.That compares to 14/1 for Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, Hamilton’s closest rival, and 300/1 on Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas.While the team may be celebrating on Sunday night, Hamilton may find he has to wait, however.To do it in Austin, the Briton must finish in the top two and then see where Vettel ends up.Hamilton currently enjoys a hefty 59-point advantage, with 100 still to be won. He must score 16 more than his German rival on Sunday to prevent the title battle continuing to Mexico City’s Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on the following weekend.Third place is worth 15 points and will not be enough.Even if Hamilton wins in Austin, he will be champion only if Vettel finishes no higher than sixth. If the Briton comes second, then Vettel has to finish eighth or higher to stay in the game.Reliability, or lack of it, will be a key concern on both sides.Vettel has failed to finish two of the last three races in Asia, one due to a first lap collision and the other a spark plug problem, and cannot afford any further unreliability on Ferrari’s part.However, before his nightmare run the German had not finished lower than seventh since Malaysia in Oct. 2016, when he retired with damaged suspension after a collision.He was fourth in Austin last year, when Mercedes had a one-two finish.This year Vettel has finished all but six races on the podium and three of those outside the top three were fourth places.Hamilton has won eight times and finished second three times in 16 races.Austin has also been particularly good to him with four wins in five years including the last three. Vettel won with Red Bull in 2013.Even if Mercedes dominate with a one-two, and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen prove to be the closest rivals, the chances are that Vettel will still finish in the top five in a race without incident.In the constructors’ championship, Ferrari need to outscore Mercedes by 17 points to prevent them retaining the title in Austin.The only occasion Ferrari have done that this season was in Monaco in May when Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen finished one-two while Hamilton was seventh and team mate Valtteri Bottas ended up fourth.last_img read more

Shakhtar’s South Americans too strong for Roma

first_imgShakhtar Donetsk’s South American blend proved too strong for AS Roma as goals from Facundo Ferreyra and Fred gave them a 2-1 win in a Champions League tie played in freezing conditions on Wednesday.The Serie A team appeared to be coasting in the round of 16 first leg tie when Cengiz Under put them ahead with his fifth goal in four games four minutes before halftime.Yet as the temperature dipped towards minus nine Celsius, Argentine striker Ferreyra took advantage of poor Roma defending to score with an expertly-taken goal in the 52nd minute.That turned the game on its head and it was no surprise when Brazilian midfielder Fred curled in a free kick off the underside of the crossbar to stun the visitors in the 71st minute.last_img read more

Germany pledges ‘perfect’ Euro 2024 in heart of Europe

first_imgGermany on Tuesday submitted its official bid book for Euro 2024, saying the tournament would offer ‘perfect’ organisation and an atmosphere to match as it looks to land its first major soccer event since the 2006 World Cup.Turkey is the only other country bidding but Germany is seen as the clear favourite to stage the tournament in six years time.European football’s governing body UEFA is set to announce the winner on Sept. 27.“We are submitting an excellent bid concept for a perfectly organised tournament, which offers a great opportunity for UEFA to further develop European football,” German Football Association (DFB) President Reinhard Grindel told reporters.Grindel had Germany’s 2014 World Cup-winning captain Philipp Lahm, a bid ambassador, by his side as he handed in their file at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.“EURO 2024 staged in the heart of Europe will enable all of the participants to be given the best possible support by their fans,” Grindel said.Germany’s 2006 World Cup was hugely successful, with stadiums sold out and hundreds of thousands of fans gathering in outdoor viewing areas as easy rail and road access within Europe attracted large numbers of foreign visitors.That tournament, however, has since been at the heart of several investigations in Germany and Switzerland over alleged payment irregularities.Turkey is expected to submit its bid book later this week, UEFA said.“As a player, I took part in the 2006 World Cup in Germany. I am certain that we will once again feel great enthusiasm and create a new spirit of solidarity at EURO 2024,” said Lahm, who retired last year.“We are cosmopolitan hosts, we have modern stadiums and good infrastructures. Football is at home with us.”UEFA will evaluate the bid books and publish a written report on each one by September.The 2020 European Championship will be staged at venues across Europe to mark UEFA’s 60th anniversary.last_img read more

Allardyce sacked as Everton manager

first_imgEverton’s structural shake-up left no room for Sam Allardyce who was sacked as manager on Wednesday after a six-month reign in which he steered the Merseysiders to eighth place in the Premier League.Former England manager Allardyce replaced sacked Dutchman Ronald Koeman in November with the club 13th and five points above the relegation zone. He had a year to run on his contract.Denise Barrett-Baxendale, who will officially replace Robert Elstone as the club’s CEO on June 1 as part of a raft of changes at the top, said the task of replacing Allardyce would begin immediately.“On behalf of the Chairman, Board of Directors and (owner) Mr (Farhad) Moshiri, I’d like to thank Sam for the job he has done at Everton over the last seven months,” she told the club’s website.“Sam was brought in at a challenging time last season to provide us with some stability and we are grateful to him for doing that.“However, we have made the decision that, as part of our longer-term plan, we will be appointing a new manager this summer. We wish Sam well for the future.”Allardyce was not a popular choice with the fans and the writing looked on the wall for the 63-year-old when he criticised the recent changes in the club’s hierarchy on Tuesday.“I’m shocked, disappointed and disgusted that the football club didn’t have the decency to tell me, my Director of Football and my staff about the changes,” he told the Liverpool Post.“They must have been in the pipeline for a considerable time but no-one thought to tell me and my staff.”Since Moshiri took over the club in February 2016, Everton have spent around 300 million pounds in the transfer market but rather than mount a challenge to the top four they are treading water in the Premier League.Koeman was sacked with the club in 18th place, although by the time Allardyce took charge caretaker manager David Unsworth had steadied the ship and they were 13th.Allardyce was in charge for 26 games in all competitions, winning 10, drawing seven and losing nine.His final match in charge was a 3-1 defeat at one of his former clubs West Ham United on Sunday.Including Unsworth, Everton have had four managers since Moshiri came in and former Watford and Hull City manager Marco Silva is favourite to become the fifth.Everton first targeted Silva when they were seeking a replacement for Koeman but then appointed Allardyce after Watford refused to give them permission to approach the Portuguese who was subsequently sacked in January.Watford accused Everton of unsettling Silva which they say led to a downturn in form.“The club is convinced the appointment of Silva was the right one and had it not been for the unwarranted approach by a Premier League rival for his services we would have continued to prosper under his leadership,” Watford said at the time.last_img read more

US, Mexico and Canada to host 2026 World Cup

first_imgThe 2026 World Cup will be held in the United States, Mexico and Canada after FIFA’s congress voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to back the tri-nation joint bid for the tournament and leave Morocco to miss out for the fifth time.The North American bid collected 134 votes to the 65 for Morocco. One congress member voted for “neither bid.”The 2026 tournament will be the first expanded tournament featuring 48 teams, up from the current 32-team tournament, which begins in Russia on Thursday.Both bids were given a last chance to make their case with 15 minute presentations in front of congress, at the Moscow Expocentre, where the north Americans pledged their tournament would generate an 11 billion dollar profit, while Morocco said theirs would make 5 billion.Although it will be the first tournament to be hosted by three nations, the vast majority of games will be held in the Unites States.Of the 80 games, 10 matches will be held in Canada, 10 in Mexico and 60 in the US with the final played at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, home to the NFL’s New York Giants and New York Jets.“Thank you for entrusting us with the privilege of hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2026,” Carlos Cordiero, president of the US Soccer Federation told Congress.“Football today is the only winner.”The US hosted the World Cup previously in 1994 while Mexico hosted it in 1970 and 1986. Canada has never hosted a men’s World Cup but held the women’s tournament in 2015.Morroco have now failed in five bids to host a World Cup.The last time FIFA voted on World Cup hosting rights was in 2010 with the decision resting with the old executive committee and they chose Russia to host the 2018 tournament and Qatar for 2022.Several members of that committee were later banned from the sport after they were caught up in the corruption scandal that engulfed world football’s governing body in 2015.Under FIFA’s new system for choosing the host, all eligible football federations who attend congress were given a vote.The result has been a jet-setting campaign from both bids who have travelled the globe in an attempt to win over the worldwide electorate.Cordeiro has said his bid would generate $14bn in revenue and make an $11bn profit for FIFA. The bid also expects record ticket and hospitality revenue.The result is a boost for FIFA president Gianni Infantino, who while he maintained neutrality during the campaign, was known to be keen to see the first expanded tournament be held in North America.The 2022 tournament will be hosted by Qatar while the 2018 edition kicks off in Moscow on Thursday when Russia play Saudi Arabia.last_img read more

Switzerland through to last 16 to meet Sweden

first_imgSwitzerland made sure of a place in the last 16 of the World Cup but had to survive some anxious moments in Wednesday’s 2-2 draw with Costa Rica before finishing second behind Brazil in Group E.The Swiss will meet Sweden in St Petersburg on Tuesday after Blerim Dzemaili opened the scoring with a close-in blast in the 31st minute but only after Costa Rica had twice struck the woodwork in the opening 10 minutes.Already eliminated, Costa Rica finally got their first goal of the tournament when centre back Kendall Waston headed home a 56th minute corner.But the Swiss went back in front through Josip Drmic two minutes from time, only to give away a stoppage time penalty from which Bryan Ruiz hit the crossbar before the ball struck the back of goalkeeper Yann Sommer for an equaliser.last_img read more

Spain vs Russia (Live)

first_imgFernando Hierro doesn’t want to know about Spain’s horrible history of playing the hosts of major tournaments as his side prepare to face Russia in the World Cup last 16 in Moscow on Sunday.“Records are there to be broken,” the coach told a reporter on Saturday who told him that Spain have never beaten a host at the World Cup or European Championship.“We have everything very clearly in mind,” Hierro said, insisting he was ready for anything Russia could throw at him.“Why are we looking in the rear view mirror? Why are we looking at the past? It’s all about tomorrow, 5 p.m. Everything else is completely irrelevant.”Most painfully in recent memory, Spain lost to South Korea on penalties in the 2002 World Cup. They were also beaten by Portugal in Euro 2004 and by England — on penalties — at Euro 96.Hierro dismissed fears of playing in front of a vocal home crowd.[smart-photo][/smart-photo]Russia midfielder Alan Dzagoev, who injured his hamstring in his country’s 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia in their first World Cup match, will be fit to play today. TASS news agency cited his father as saying.“Alan is currently feeling good… He told me that he will play in the match against Spain, if not in the starting line-up then as a substitute,” TASS quoted Dzagoev’s father Tarel as saying.last_img read more