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Shikhar Dhawan not thinking about Team India call

By Sports games

Indian team striker Shikhar Dhawan is set for his new innings with Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Punjab Kings in the 2022 season.

Shikhar Dhawan was bought by the PBKS franchise during the IPL 2022 mega auction for a sum of Rs 8.25 crores. Dhawan revealed that he is only focused on doing well in the upcoming IPL 2022 and not thinking about a Team India call-up.

“I’m training hard and concentrating on my job and I’m not thinking too much this time if I get a call from Team India I’d love to join but if it doesn’t happen I’m happy and without any tension” , Shikhar Dhawan told ANI. In this IPL season, the striker will play for Punjab and he is excited about his new role under Mayank Agarwal.

“I look very positive. Playing under Mayank will be good for me, we have a strong team, all the youngsters are very good and talented, we hope we will do something big this time, also if we have the chance to open with Mayank then it will be good for me because it will be a big responsibility and I am ready to handle it,” added Dhawan. The next IPL 2022 will start on March 26, and the final is scheduled for May 29. The championship phase of the tournament will be held in Maharashtra with three venues in Mumbai and one in Pune. A total of 70 matches will be played between 10 franchises, Mumbai hosting 55 and Pune 15 fixtures.

Dhawan also came with a big announcement outside of cricket by introducing his NGO named ‘Sikhar Dhawan Foundation’. This foundation will work for children and animals. “We are introducing this NGO with a broad vision as we will take care of children, malnutrition, poor, animals and also help people with food. We will help all walks of society at the initial stage. We will cover Delhi and NCR and soon we will roll it out nationwide. People in need can contact us through our website,” Shikhar Dhawan said. (ANI)

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Sapporo shows strong support for 2030 Winter Olympics

By Sports games

The Japanese city of Sapporo is not planning to hold a public referendum on whether to hold the 2030 Winter Olympics, Mayor Katsuhiro Akimoto said on Wednesday.

The northern Japanese city, which hosted the 1972 Winter Olympics, has expressed interest in hosting again and is said to be the favourite.

The International Olympic Committee did not say when it would announce its choice. Other possibilities are Vancouver, Salt Lake City and a Spanish bid, possibly from Barcelona.

“We don’t have such plans,” Akimoto told a news conference, explaining the technicalities in Japan of a binding public vote. “There are therefore no plans to hold a referendum on the Olympic and Paralympic Games.” Akimoto knows the referendum record is not good, with voters often saying “no”. Cities no longer go through a one-on-one public bidding process. The IOC management now chooses the sites it considers favorable. Rank-and-file CIO members no longer vote on sites, as corruption scandals have sullied recent bids.

In Europe, a series of contenders have rejected holding the 2022 Winter Olympics in public votes. Beijing and Almaty, Kazakhstan, remained the only options when the IOC made its choice in 2015.

Beijing has been chosen and has just closed the Paralympic Winter Games on Sunday.

Akimoto released the results of various surveys conducted earlier this month. He said the range of responses was positive, between 52% and 65%. The surveys reached more than 10,000 people. Surveys were online, by mail, some in street interviews.

Akimoto gave no details on the methodology or the reliability of the investigations.

“We believe we were able to receive some support for the bid,” he said.

Tokyo hosted the 2020 Summer Olympics, which were delayed for a year by the pandemic. Organizers said late last year that the official cost to Tokyo was $13.6 billion, double the original estimate.

The pandemic has helped drive up costs, with taxpayers – not the IOC – footing most of the bills.

Sapporo organizers estimated the cost at $2.4 billion to $2.6 billion.

The Winter Olympics have become a tough sell for the IOC with rising costs, environmental concerns and voter scrutiny.

The IOC has already chosen Paris as the host for the 2024 Summer Olympics, followed by the 2026 Winter Games in Milan-Cortina, and Los Angeles for the 2028 Summer Olympics. The IOC has also chosen Brisbane , Australia, for the 2032 Summer Olympics.

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FC Barcelona taps Spotify as main sponsor

By Sports games

FC Barcelona football club has signed on Spotify as title sponsor in a deal that will bring the music streaming platform’s name to the La Liga club’s shirts and stadium.

As part of the partnership, Barca’s stadium will be renamed ‘Spotify Camp Nou’ in the first instance of the club adding the name of a title sponsor, Sweden-based Spotify announced on Tuesday. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but a report -2022-02-07 Catalan radio station Rac1 last month pegged the value of the sponsorship deal at 280 million euros ($306.49 million).

Spotify did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the terms of the deal. From July 1, the Spotify name will appear on the front of Barcelona men’s and women’s team shirts and training kits for the 2022/23 season and for the next four seasons.

The companies also plan to use the stadium to promote the work of musical artists to club viewers. Barcelona’s squad list includes some of the biggest stars in European football, including Gerard Pique and Memphis Depay. Six-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi left the club last year in a shock move to Paris Saint-Germain.

Barca count Nike, Japanese retailer Rakuten and Turkish company Beko as their main sponsors, according to their website. Rakuten has sponsored the men’s team since 2017 while tool manufacturer Stanley Black & Decker became the official shirt sponsor of the women’s team in 2018. ($1 = 0.9136 euros)

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Chelsea financially perilous after Abramovich sanction

By Sports games

Lavish spending, backed only by Roman Abramovich’s investment, funded Chelsea’s 21 trophies in his 19 years as owner. Now there are fears the Premier League club could run out of money after the UK government sanctioned the Russian oligarch and froze his assets.

A team that won the Champions League last year and were crowned world champions by FIFA a month ago have now seen certain banking facilities frozen with officials unable to use company credit cards while that Barclaycard assesses what is permitted by government rules.

Chelsea are only allowed to continue to operate and play games under government-defined conditions through a special licence, with spending caps and a ban on ticket sales which will hurt cash flow of a club with a latest published payroll of almost £28m (USD 36m) per month.

Chelsea officials held talks with the government on Friday to discuss how the club can continue to pay staff, operate Stamford Bridge on matchdays and ensure the club can be sold.

Abramovich had already announced his intention to sell his trophy last week before being sanctioned on Thursday for his ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin following the invasion of Ukraine.

The Raine Group, an investment bank, is working on the sale process on behalf of Abramovich, who remains owner of Chelsea. He originally hoped to divert the proceeds to a new foundation for victims of the war in Ukraine, which he has yet to condemn for Putin’s launch. But the government will only sanction a sale that does not benefit Abramovich as the government tightens the screws on influential people it sees as empowering for the Putin regime.

There are potential buyers waiting in the wings, including British property investor Nick Candy and Todd Boehly, co-owner of MLB’s Los Angeles Dodgers.

“I would describe Chelsea as a struggling asset,” said Rob Wilson, a football finance expert from Sheffield Hallam University, “and the association they have with the owner is what afflicts them.” The only bright spots for Chelsea on their second day as a sanctioned entity were no more suspended sponsors after shirt backer communications firm Three requested their logo be removed. Jersey manufacturer Nike had not yet stopped its sponsorship. Another sponsor, hotel search site Trivago, said it would continue to sponsor the training kits.

“We look forward to a transition of ownership as soon as possible and want to support the club in this process,” Trivago said. “We will provide any updates to our business relationship as and when appropriate.” The statement condemned the “unprovoked and catastrophic invasion of Ukraine” without naming Russia. Hotels on its website could still be booked in Russia on Friday evening.

Travel booking is an imminent challenge for Chelsea. The trip to France to face Lille in the Champions League next week has already been bought. But travel expenses for future games have been capped at £20,000 by the government. Chelsea can also spend just £500,000 on matchdays – starting on Sunday at home to Newcastle in the Premier League which the club have won five times under Abramovich. The league title had only been won once in the 98 years before Abramovich bought the club in 2003.

Chelsea have only made a profit five times during their ownership, according to the respected Swiss Ramble Twitter account which analyzes club accounts. There have been cumulative losses of around £900 million in almost two decades of Abramovich ownership, while annual revenues have fallen from £110 million in 2003 to £435 million in the last financial year.

The way Abramovich backed the Blues with his money to turn them into a force, partly for personal status, is similar to how other oligarchs paid WNBA players like Brittney Griner $1 million to come. play for their company-sponsored teams in Russia.

Chelsea were dependent on the £1.5bn in loans Abramovich injected into the club which he said he would not ask to be repaid. The last reported cash reserves for Chelsea’s parent company were just £17.7m. The club can’t even sell merchandise anymore, with the club shop closing hours after the sanction was announced on Thursday. The government also prohibits selling new tickets to generate revenue. Only season ticket holders can attend Premier League matches. There is the possibility that the stadium could be empty for a potential Champions League quarter-final, as tickets for those matches would not be included for fans who have purchased season tickets. Chelsea are also unable to sell tickets for next week’s FA Cup game at Middlesbrough, hitting the Second Division club as well.

The impact could be felt more harshly by the fact that temporary staff are no longer required to work at Chelsea matches.

“We would like the club to have the ability to trade as close to maximum capacity as possible,” said Dan Silver of the Chelsea Supporters Trust. “All these people are relying on this (money) to put food on the plate. It’s hard for them, and the punishment that falls all the way down is hard.

“We don’t want jobs to be lost because of this, because the main thing is to protect and take care of everyone at the club.” The priority will be to avoid having to go through the administration – bankruptcy protection. History, however, could repeat itself. Chelsea were sold for £1 in 1982 to Ken Bates due to financial problems, then Abramovich stepped in with their takeover in 2003 when there were further cash flow problems.

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Former Wallabies boss Cheika named Argentina coach

By Sports games

Former Australia boss Michael Cheika was appointed Argentina’s new rugby coach on Friday and told his new charges he hoped he could take them from good to great. “The level is there and the quality is there, without a doubt,” Cheika said when presented by the Argentine Rugby Federation in an online press conference.

“When you’re consistently good, you become great, so let’s start being good. And let’s be good as much as we can, then we’ll see where we can end up.” A Championship-winning coach with Irish club Leinster and Sydney-based New South Wales Waratahs, Cheika guided the Wallabies to the 2015 World Cup final in Britain the year after taking over the ‘team.

He quit in acrimony four years later, however, after Australia pulled out of the World Cup quarter-finals in Japan, equaling their worst finish at the world tournament. He succeeds Mario Ledesma in Buenos Aires, whose assistant he was for two years before Ledesma resigned as head coach last month after a series of poor results.

The new deal will take the 55-year-old through to the 2023 World Cup. “In Test (rugby) football, it’s about looking (and) feeling your best, and being at his best on the right day,” Cheika said of his new challenge.

“That’s where I think the team needs to understand that it’s just about learning how to be the best on that day. And that’s something that I hope my experience can give them. ” The Cheika Wallabies beat Argentina in the 2015 World Cup semi-finals and he pointed to that game as an example of the resilience of the Pumas that he wants to build on.

“I want to keep the mentality,” he said. “I love that attitude that comes with the Pumas.” “I think the opportunity to coach Pumas was too good to say no,” added Cheika.

“I like the way they play rugby and I feel connected. It’s a wonderful opportunity for me.”

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Tennis-Djokovic marks Monte Carlo Masters as his next tournament

By Sports games

Novak Djokovic will kick off preparations for his French Open title defense next month at the ATP Masters clay-court event in Monte Carlo, the Serbian has stated on his website.

The 20-time Grand Slam winner was unable to defend his Australian Open title in January after being kicked out of the country amid an outcry after initially being admitted to the tournament despite not has not been vaccinated against the coronavirus. The 34-year-old will also miss this month’s ATP 1000 tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami, unable to enter the United States without proof of vaccination.

“Novak will open his 2022 clay-court season in Monte Carlo, where he won the Masters 1000 title twice, in 2013 and 2015,” reads a post on his website. Monaco, where Djokovic resides, allows international travelers with proof of recovery from COVID-19 within the past six months. Djokovic said he tested positive for the virus for the second time in December.

The Monte Carlo Masters from April 10-17 will be the second tournament of the 2022 season for Djokovic, who lost in the quarter-finals of the ATP 500 in Dubai last month. France eased its COVID-19 restrictions this month, with vaccine passports no longer mandatory from March 14, opening the door for Djokovic to defend his Roland Garros title. The major is expected to start in May.

Djokovic is currently ranked world number two after losing his world number one status to Russian Daniil Medvedev last week.

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Baseball ball! MLB and players reach agreement to end lockdown

By Sports games

Major League Baseball (MLB) and its locked out players reached agreement Thursday on a labor agreement that ends the second-longest work stoppage in the game’s history. MLB has locked out the players -out last December and had already canceled the first two weeks of the 2022 season, which was due to start on March 31.

“I’m so thrilled to be able to say that Major League Baseball is back and we’re going to play 162 games,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said, opening a press conference with an apology to fans. “I know the last few months have been difficult. There (was) a lot of uncertainty at a time when there is a lot of uncertainty in the world,” he said.

Team owners voted to ratify the deal hours after the players approved the new five-year labor pact. According to a report on the MLB website, the pact is expected to include increased minimum wages, a new pre-arbitration bonus pool to reward top young players and increased competitive balance tax thresholds.

Spring training camps will open on Sunday and a full 162-game regular season will begin on April 7. The final vote from the sub-executive committee and the 30-player representative was 26-12 in favor of the new collective bargaining agreement, ESPN reported.

‘OLIVE BRANCH’ While the deal paves the way for the return of the American pastime, bitter acrimony persists between the two sides.

The league locked out players in December, a move Players’ Association executive director Tony Clark last week called the “ultimate economic weapon” against athletes. Commissioner Manfred defended the move on Thursday, calling it the “most effective way” to reach a new deal without losing games when a deal was not in place when the previous pact expired. But he acknowledged there was work to be done to repair the league’s relationship with his talents on the pitch.

“One of the things I’m supposed to do is promote a good relationship with our players. I tried to do that. I think I didn’t succeed in that,” he said. He said the league compromised on its proposed 14-team playoffs and made other concessions to MLB players.

“I believe – I hope – the players will see the effort we’ve made to address their concerns in this deal as an olive branch,” Manfred said.

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The Cyclisme-Astana cycling team under investigation in Luxembourg

By Sports games

The company that owns the license of professional cycling team Astana Qazaqstan is under legal investigation, according to legal documents seen by Reuters on Wednesday. The investigation was opened by the Luxembourg prosecutor’s office last January under article 140 of the local penal code, which includes “falsification of documents, abuse of corporate assets, breach of trust, money laundering money and fraud”.

Astana Qazaqstan’s license, run by former Olympic champion Alexandre Vinokourov, is owned by Luxembourg-based Abacanto SA, a listed company that represents athletes and manages sporting events. Neither Astana Qazaqstan nor Abacanto could immediately be reached for comment.

The investigation was triggered by a Deloitte audit from 2019. “To be honest, I learned about this whole story through the press, and until then I was not aware of the details of this investigation,” Vinokurov told Kazakh sports site Wednesday.

“Apparently we are talking about some kind of legal process that was started a year ago, when the general manager of Abacanto was another person, while I carried out purely sporting duties until the summer 2021.” Astana Qazaqstan was founded in 2007 and has seen Alberto Contador, Lance Armstrong and Vincenzo Nibali ride under their colours.

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Soccer-City Football Group bid for Atletico Mineiro – report

By Sports games

City Football Group (CFG), the Abu Dhabi-based company that holds investments in Manchester City and 10 other football clubs, has made an offer to buy Brazilian league champions Atletico Mineiro, the Brazilian website reported on Monday. The group offered about 1 billion reais ($195.64 million), according to the report, but the offer was rejected as too low.

The Belo Horizonte club are heavily indebted to a group of local businessmen who have loaned the club money over the past few years and made it one of the most successful in Brazil. The team won the Brazilian league and cup double last season and built a brand new stadium. Globo said that last year the debt reached 1.3 billion reais.

Atletico wouldn’t comment on the report, saying it was ‘speculation’. Premier League champions Manchester City did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

If the deal goes through, Atletico would be the latest Brazilian club to fall into private hands since a law was passed last year allowing outside investors to own Brazilian teams. Until then, clubs belonged to their members.

In recent months, Cruzeiro has been taken over by a consortium led by Ronaldo, Botafogo has been taken over by a group led by a co-owner of Crystal Palace, and an American investment company has taken control of Vasco da Gama. CFG is one of the most powerful names in football and the majority owner of Manchester City, New York City FC and Melbourne City.

He also invested money in Yokohama F. Marinos in Japan, Montevideo City Torque in Uruguay, Girona in Spain, Sichuan Jiuniu in China, Mumbai City in India, Lommel SK in Belgium and Troyes in France. ($1 = 5.1115 reais)

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Football-Bayern goalkeeper Neuer back in form for Salzburg second leg

By Sports games

Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has been deemed fit to play Tuesday’s Champions League second leg against Salzburg after recovering from a knee injury, coach Julian Nagelsmann said on Monday.

Neuer, who missed the 1-1 draw in Austria, has been out for a month after undergoing knee surgery in February. His services will be in high demand on Tuesday, with Bayern desperate to remain in contention for European silverware “If there is no knee reaction, he can play,” Nagelsmann told a press conference in line. “We know his importance as a player and a person for Bayern. I’m happy he’s back and I hope he plays tomorrow.”

Bayern are heavy favorites to reach the quarter-finals but are under pressure to advance after their last-gasp equalizer to avoid defeat in the first leg. A rule change this season means ties that are tied after the second leg go to extra time and penalties, regardless of the number of away goals scored.

Bayern are nine points clear at the top of the Bundesliga, but they slipped with a 1-1 draw at home to Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday and are also excluded from the German Cup. “Obviously we know it’s an important game for us,” said Nagelsmann, in his first season at Bayern. “If we don’t get a positive result, it’s clearly not going to be a special season.

“But I don’t expect us to be knocked out. I have justified hope that we will move on and that should be our request and we have to deliver the performance to match. We have to keep up the pace for the full 90 minutes . .” The Bavarians last won the Champions League in 2020 en route to six titles.

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Chhetri ruled out of India friendlies in Bahrain and Belarus

By Sports games

The Indian football team received a major blow on Monday as their talismanic captain Sunil Chhetri was ruled out of upcoming international friendlies against Bahrain and Belarus due to injury.

The 37-year-old forward had been named among a likely 38 squad by coach Igor Stimac for the matches to be played in Manama on March 23-26.

“I was looking forward to the two friendlies against Bahrain and Belarus and it’s a shame that I missed out,” Chhetri told the Indian Football Federation (AIFF) website.

“It’s been a long and tough season and I’ve had a few minor injuries that need time to heal. I will do my best to recover in time for predator camp in May,” he added.

No less than eight new faces appeared in the list of 38 probable names for the preparatory camp before the friends.

”The potential for this team is huge, and a lot of guys are very confident thanks to their good performances during the League season.

”I’m sure we’ll put our best foot forward. I wish good luck to the team,” said Chhetri who did not specify the nature of the injury.

Goalkeepers Prabhshukhan Gill and Mohammad Nawaz, defenders Deepak Tangri and Roshan Singh, and midfielders Vikram Partap Singh, VP Suhair, Aniket Jadav and Jerry Mawihmingthanga were called up to the national camp for the first time for both matches.

AIFF said midfielder Ashique Kuruniyan, who was also named for the pre-camp, is being rehabilitated.

The players, along with the head coach and staff, will gather in Pune on March 10 for camp with training starting the following day. Players whose clubs would play in the semi-finals of the current Indian Super League will join the camp as their club commitments come to an end.

The contingent will fly to Bahrain on March 21. The Blue Tigers are set to take on Bahrain on March 23 and Belarus on March 26, with both matches starting at 9:30 p.m. IST.

There is still a cloud of uncertainty over whether India will play Belarus as the AIFF said on Tuesday it was trying to ‘avoid’ playing the Eastern European country which supported Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

FIFA has suspended Russia but has yet to announce such a measure for Belarus. Last week, European football governing body UEFA banned Belarus from hosting international matches, but this will have no impact on India’s international friendly.

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The presence of a sports psychologist is a positive thing for the Indian team: Sneh Rana

By Sports games

Indian all-rounder Sneh Rana says the presence of a sports psychologist has benefited her team immensely. Rana’s remarks came after India beat Pakistan by 107 points in their opening match of the ongoing ICC 50th Women’s World Cup.

“She’s been connected with us for a long time, however, we couldn’t talk much online. So when she’s with us – obviously all of us players have to deal with ups and downs in our careers. That’s stressful when you can’t to play for your team. But we got a lot of positive vibes from our psychologist and she handled everything very well to help us overcome the stressful situation during our career. In my opinion, his presence is a positive thing for our team,” Rana told a virtual press conference. Sneh Rana and Pooja Vastrakar’s fighting shots were backed by comprehensive bowling performances as India beat the Pakistan by 107 points in the fourth match of the current 50-year-old ICC Women’s World Cup.

“Indeed, it was an emotional moment to represent your team at the world cup. It was my dream to represent my country in the world cup team. And yes, finally this moment has come into my life. And if you perform when your team needs it, then it becomes a more valuable moment. So, I feel very satisfied,” said Rana. Pooja Vastrakar (67), Smriti Mandhana (52) and Sneh Rana (53*) were the best performers as India posted 244/7 Vastrakar and Rana formed a stand of 122 for the seventh wicket In the last five overs India scored more runs to bring the tally to the beyond the 240 point mark.

“I have known Pooja for a long time and she is very good at running the strike. In National cricket when she was playing against me and to be honest I thought if she kept playing like that she would win the final match as well. Fortunately, it was our day and we got the win. However, we discussed among ourselves that we are good at swinging the ball and that we are the last pair of hitters. We planned to take the game close and Congratulations to her on being declared Woman of the Match and good luck,” Rana said. When asked if she would like to play at the top of the order, Rana said, “That decision depends on the team management. However, we aim to play in any position our team needs us. If we are given the opportunity to strike at the top of the order, then obviously we will take advantage of it and play our part in the victory of the team.” (ANI)

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Cricket-Friend of Warne reveals final hours before cricketer’s death

By Sports games

Shane Warne gave presents of his old cricketer clothes and ate the traditional Australian snack of Vegemite on toast in the final hours before his death on Friday, an associate of the cricketer great said. Tom Hall was staying at the resort in Koh Samui, Thailand, where Warne was found unconscious in his bedroom at a villa he shared with three travel companions.

Hall, managing director of The Sporting News website, said there were ‘no unusual circumstances’ surrounding Warne’s death on Friday after the former spin bowler met friends and watched cricket on TV . “The first question is, ‘How can we watch the Australia v Pakistan test here in Thailand; is the game about to start? “, Hall wrote on the website, quoting Warne.

“Warney and cricket have never been far apart.” A few bullets into the test match, Warne jumped up and rushed excitedly to his room.

“He came back with an armful of clothes looking like a garage sale,” Hall said. “Shane had been working with me at The Sporting News for about a year and he presented me with his 2005 Ashes Test sweater, his 2008 IPL shirt and a one day international shirt and cap to be placed at the TSN offices in Australia and United Kingdom.”

He said Warne told stories of his first Indian Premier League (IPL) season where he led the Rajasthan Royals to the inaugural Twenty20 title. After joking around with the various cricket gear and taking pictures, the friends decided to “have a quick bite to eat”.

“I’ve dined with Shane at many fine establishments, but rather than sample local Thai cuisine, we enjoyed a plate of Vegemite on toast,” Hall said. “Shane mumbles, ‘Damn, you can’t beat Vegemite with butter, still awesome wherever you are in the world.’

“An Aussie through and through – this was to prove to be his last meal.” Warne had experienced chest pain before his death in Thailand and suffered from asthma and heart problems, Thai police said on Saturday, citing information from Warne’s family.

Hall said none of Warne’s traveling companions were aware of his doctor’s visit, although he complained to a friend of “some chest pains and shortness of breath”. “He knew he was a little overweight and was getting back to training harder. His Australian traveling companions did all they could, local ambulance crews arrived quickly.”

Warne’s body was taken in for an autopsy on Sunday. Thai police declined to comment on the likely cause of death, but were not treating it as suspicious. Warne’s family had accepted the offer of a state funeral, his Victoria state government said.

The Nine Network announced on Monday that the funeral could take place at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, where the Great Southern Stand will soon be renamed SK Warne Stand in honor of great cricket. “We will be working out all the details of Shane Warne’s state funeral over the next few days, working closely with Shane’s family and ensuring it is a fitting tribute to an extraordinary Victorian,” said Victoria’s Deputy Premier James Merlino to reporters on Monday. .

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Wordle mania: five letters and a word connecting the world

By Sports games

Farewell or adios, wake up or smile, or just blow it away with a random word? This is Wordle, the five-letter world so to speak in which millions ponder the question daily when a blank gray grid opens inviting players to put in a word – any word that can lead them to the correct answer in six tries.

Opening strategy is key, and everyone has their own favorite, some using words with the most vowels, others with consonants, those using the same starter every day, and others pulling out any old word.

The internet game has united the world with the most disparate in thrall, from the busy executive and retired bureaucrat to the harassed teacher and prankster student, their day incomplete unless they end up with Word of the Day.

Part of the charm is that Wordle isn’t about downloading an app but just clicking a link and only being able to be played once a day, said Shreya Punj, one of the many people who sure not to miss his daily appointment with the puzzle.

“My partner finds it amusing that I set an alarm at midnight just so I could play the game before calling it a day. I’ve won 95% of my games and have a 38-day streak (number of games she’s won on the trot),” said the 29-year-old who runs Pocket’s audiobooks division. FM. A moment after midnight, just as the clock strikes a new day, is when a new word is uploaded. There are exactly 24 hours left.

For those unfamiliar with the latest internet sensation, Wordle is a guessing game where people are given a five-letter puzzle to solve in six tries each day. The correct letters appear in yellow boxes, the correct letters, in the correct places, will appear in green square boxes. The eliminated letters will be black. And so on, try eliminating the letters until you get the right combination. Every day gives rise to lively debates, in daily conversations between friends, family and colleagues, on social networks and sometimes even in published articles.

Sometimes the word is easy and the player has most of the letters right, but the combinations are many – try “hurry”, “mushy”, “tasty” until you get to the right “wicked”. It was very nasty with four tries passed, many were furious. Or the day the word was “caulking” and Congress leader and wordsmith Shashi Tharoor, who had posted his score, was at the center of many conversations to achieve it before the more familiar “yawn”. According to Punj, there’s something old-school about Wordle that helps “keep the excitement and wonder going”.

She said she was hooked after finding her Twitter timeline flooded with Wordle scores posted by participants, a little grid of squares that tells you how many tries you got it.

”I saw a lot of people posting their results, I was intrigued and went to see. One game, and I was hooked! More than FOMO (fear of missing out), it was the sheer joy of solving a puzzle with so much new knowledge online,” she said.

While Punj waits for the end of the day to exercise his brain, Aishwarya Baikoh does so while waking up. The day doesn’t begin until she does.

”I’ve always liked puzzles and word games, so I was tempted to ‘test’ my skills. I play the game first thing in the morning before I even get out of bed. Wordle fever has taken hold of my Twitter feed and some of my friends and relatives,” the 27-year-old podcaster said.

So when Denyse Holt, 80, a retired teacher from Chicago, didn’t upload her Wordle score for the day last month, her daughter in Seattle grew concerned. According to media reports, a man broke into Holt’s home and held her hostage for 17 hours. The daughter realized something was wrong with her drug-addicted mother Wordle and called the police, who rescued the elderly woman. Wordle’s story is as interesting as the online puzzle – it also has a connection to India.

It was created by American software engineer Josh Wardle for his Indian partner Palak Shah who loves puns. With Shah elated and the family’s Whatsapp group obsessed with the game, Wardle sensed success and introduced it to the rest of the world in October.

The rest, as they say, is history.

On November 1, just four months ago, only 90 people played there. Since then, the game has attracted several million users around the world. The massive success led The New York Times to buy it for an “undisclosed” seven-figure sum.

The acquisition was not particularly well received by its users who took to different social media platforms wondering if the NYT was trying to make their beloved Wordle harder by using words like “favor”. and “humor”, catching players off guard with American spelling.

“I can’t wait for my next therapy session to start with ‘I hate NYT words and it really stresses me out because it’s either easy or too hard, there’s no in-between'”, tweeted Anoop from Mumbai.

“Wordle made me happy earlier, the whole NYT acquisition made it difficult and meddles with my confidence,” added Ruhi Prasad from Hyderabad. Wordle aficionado Nishant Kurup disagrees. Wordle’s change in ownership leading to word complexity is nothing but “social media hype”, he said.

”There have been a few weird words since the NYT took over – one was ‘caulk’ and another harsh was ‘cynic’ because it uses a letter twice and only one vowel. Other than these, the words have more or less been standard words that one uses on a daily basis,” said Kurup, who works in a shop. Baikoh argued that there are only a limited number of five-letter words in the English language and that “some words will eventually be more difficult than others”, which she said had to happen even if Wardle or someone else was running the game.

His only fear: “the game will cease to be free overnight and will be hidden behind a paywall”.

The NYT, in its announcement, said the game would “initially remain free” for its current and new users. How long it will remain so, no one knows. Until then, play, seems to be the motto of the Wordle obsessed.

Building on the popularity of the daily word puzzle game, several spin-offs including Quordle, Dordle, Octordle and Sedecordle. Many offer players unlimited games per day – so no 24-hour wait for a new word – and multiple words to guess at once. PTI MG MIN MIN MIN

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Australia shocked by cricket mourns cricketing great ‘Warnie’

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An Australian man paid his respects with flowers and beer bottles in front of a statue of Shane Warne in Melbourne on Saturday, after the country woke up to the shocking news that the cricketer great had died of a suspected heart attack as he was on vacation in Thailand. As many in the sporting world and beyond have expressed their grief, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has offered Warne’s family a state funeral for the sportsman known to his compatriots simply as ‘Warnie’.

One of the greatest bowlers of all time whose talent and personality transcended cricket, Warne died on Friday at the age of 52, shortly after arriving in Koh Samui for a holiday. Thai police said on Saturday they were not treating his death as suspicious and that Warne’s body would be transferred to the mainland for a full autopsy to determine the cause of death.

“Shane was one of our greatest cricketers of all time…but Shane was more than that to Australians. Shane was one of our country’s greatest characters,” Morrison said in a statement. Warne’s death dominated local media on Saturday, pushing news of the devastating floods on Australia’s east coast and the war in Ukraine above news reports and websites.

On social media, other players’ tributes were joined by famous fans such as rock stars Mick Jagger, Elton John and Ed Sheeran. Martin Pakula, sports minister for the home state of Warne, Victoria, said the Great Southern Stand at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), where the spinner won his 700th wicket on Boxing Day 2006, would be renamed SK Warne Stand. The new nickname refers to the cricketer’s first and middle name, Keith.

A somber stream of people laid flowers, cricket balls and beer bottles at the foot of the statue showing Warne in full flight as a bowler. “I came to pay tribute to a guy who just loved sports, who loved all sports, football, cricket,” Australian professional soccer player Tom Mitchell, 28, said as he left a soccer ball.

David Latta, 64, a local resident who attended many of Warne’s games at the MCG, said “everybody wanted to be that guy. Everybody.” “NOT SUSPICIOUS”

Thai police say one of three friends staying with Warne at a private villa went to see the former cricketer when he failed to show up for dinner on Friday. Finding Warne unconscious, the friend performed CPR, which was again attempted by paramedics and medical staff at the Thai International Hospital. Thai National Police spokesman Kissana Phathanacharoen said Warne’s body would be transferred to Surat Thani, about 80 km away, for an autopsy. He gave no time frame for when that would happen.

“The case is still under investigation and will require a detailed autopsy result to prove the true cause of death,” Kissana said. With the villa under tight security on Saturday, police also planned to speak to fellow travelers from Warne.

“We’re not going to press charges and they haven’t done anything wrong,” Chatchawin Nakmusik, a police officer in Bo Phut, told Reuters. “We’ll only ask what happened because they were with him at the time.” Chatchawin said police are awaiting news from Warne’s relatives about the repatriation of his body.

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said earlier officials would travel to Koh Samui on Saturday to offer assistance to Thai authorities and help arrange the return of her body. COURT CONTROVERSY

Warne’s latest Tweet was a tribute to another former great Australian cricketer, wicketkeeper Rod Marsh, who died earlier on Friday at the age of 74. The Australian men’s and women’s teams will wear black armbands in honor of Warne when playing games in Pakistan and New Zealand respectively. Saturday.

Credited with reviving the art of the leg spin, Warne made his Test debut in 1992 against India, kicking off a 15-year international career. Warne was listed as one of the five greatest players of the 20th century by Wisden Cricketers’ Almanac, but his difficult life often made tabloid headlines.

The crafty spinner frequently courted controversy and served a 12-month suspension after testing positive for banned diuretics in 2003. “Of course he was controversial, but also put cricket on the map for a lot of people,” Sydney resident Eddie Piazza told Reuters.

“So he did a few crazy things, but what a legend and we should remember him for the good things.”

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Abramovich says he has decided to sell Chelsea Football Club

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Russian businessman Roman Abramovich said on Wednesday he had decided to sell Chelsea football club, 19 years after buying the London club, and promised to donate the money from the sale to help to the victims of the war in Ukraine.

“I have always made decisions in the interest of the club,” Abramovich said in a statement released by the reigning European and world football champions on their website. “In the current situation, I have therefore taken the decision to sell the club, as I believe it is in the best interest of the club, the supporters, the employees, as well as the club’s sponsors and partners.”

Abramovich said he would not ask for the loans he made to the club – which are said to amount to 1.5 billion pounds ($2.0 billion) – to be repaid to him and that the sale would not be accelerated. He said he told his staff to set up a charitable foundation that would receive all net proceeds from the sale.

“The foundation will benefit all victims of the war in Ukraine,” Abramovich said in the statement. “This includes providing essential funds for the urgent and immediate needs of victims, as well as supporting long-term recovery work.”

($1 = 0.7481 pounds)

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Hockey India to hold online workshops for referees 2022

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Hockey India is set to hold the 2022 Online Referee Workshops in March. The ‘Tier 1’ of the online workshop will start from Wednesday for which 85 candidates, including 33 women and 52 men, have been nominated and registered through more than 24 Hockey India member units across the country. India.

An introductory session is underway on March 2, where all relevant details and information regarding the 2022 Online Referee Workshop will be shared. Hockey India will provide the appointed referees with the opportunity to receive interactive learning/study materials to keep them up to date with the latest rules/regulations through Hockey India Online workshops, as well as evaluation by the highly experienced Hockey India Registered Referee Managers.

There will be three levels of sessions for referees from March 3 to 31, 2022. Level 1 sessions are designed to provide candidates with a basic knowledge of the latest FIH hockey rules and regulations, the roles and responsibilities of officials, etc to reach Level 2, a candidate must pass an online test based on the Level 1 session taken previously. Level 3 sessions are based on the FIH General Tournament Regulations, FIH Fitness Guidelines for Referees, Information on Match Reports and Statistics for Technical Officials (Judges), HI ranking, the importance of performance feedback reports and various other operational insights.

After the Level 3 workshops are completed, the final assessment of eligible applicants is conducted via an online Viva. “Hockey India is returning this year with Online Workshops for Online Referees, following the immense success of these sessions over the past two years. “Refereeing is of equal importance as we hold various tournaments across the country over the coming year. We hope the sessions will also replicate the success of previous years in 2022,” said Gyanendro Ningombam, President of Hockey India, in a statement.

Selected referees would also have the opportunity to officiate as referees at Hockey India sanctioned All India Sub Junior and Junior category national tournaments and championships, and will have the opportunity to become Hockey India registered referees on the basis of an assessment made by the experienced. Hockey India has registered referee managers. (ANI)

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German coach leaves Russian football club in protest against war

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German coach Markus Gisdol quit his job as coach of Russian football club Lokomotiv Moscow on Tuesday in protest against the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Lokomotiv simply said that Gisdol had been “removed as head coach” after less than four months in charge. He told German tabloid Bild it was a gesture of protest against working in a country ‘whose head of state is responsible for a war of aggression in the middle of Europe’ . “I cannot stay on the training ground in Moscow, train the players, demand professionalism, and a few kilometers away orders are given, which bring great suffering to a whole people,” Gisdol said. the newspaper. Lokomotiv is owned by Russian Railways, which was placed under US sanctions last week. Gisdol was appointed in October by then-sporting director Ralf Rangnick, who later moved on to coach Manchester United. Former Liverpool and Ukraine striker Andriy Voronin has quit as assistant coach at Dynamo Moscow and Ukraine goalkeeper Yaroslav Hodzyur has left another club, Ural Yekaterinburg. The Urals president told the Tass news agency that a second Ukrainian player will also follow. Others stay put. “I’m not the kind of person to take a ticket and fly away,” Dynamo’s German head coach Sandro Schwarz said in comments posted in Russian on the club’s website on Saturday. “It’s not me. I feel responsible and I will be at the club. The Russian Premier League continued operations despite the war, while the Ukrainian Premier League was suspended when the invasion started last week. Brazilian players from Ukrainian clubs have appealed to their government to help them leave the country.

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Russian conductor Gergiev removed from Italian La Scala poster

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Russian Valery Gergiev will not conduct Milan’s La Scala orchestra this week after failing to condemn the invasion of Ukraine, the city’s mayor announced on Monday. Gergiev, general director of the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg and considered close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, conducted “The Queen of Spades”, an opera based on the novel by Alexander Pushkin at La Scala on February 23.

The show will last until March 15 and the next performance will be on Saturday. “I don’t think he will be there, I think at this stage we can rule him out,” Giuseppe Sala, chairman of the board of La Scala theater and mayor of Milan, told reporters on Monday.

“The Maestro did not answer us,” he added. Mayor Sala and La Scala artistic director Dominique Meyer had urged Gergiev last week to condemn the invasion of Ukraine or not be allowed to perform in the show again.

Gergiev was also scheduled to conduct three concerts at New York’s Carnegie Hall leading the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra from February 25-27. But the Russian conductor was replaced by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, according to the theater’s website, which did not give reasons for this decision.

The Mariinsky Theater did not respond to a Reuters request for comment. Gergiev, 68, born in Moscow, performed in the most famous theaters in the world. In 2013, Putin awarded him the first title of Hero of Labor of Russia.

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Former All Black rugby player Vidiri dies aged 48

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Former New Zealand winger Joeli Vidiri, who also represented Fiji, has died aged 48, the All Blacks announced on Friday. Vidiri’s death comes a day after fellow New Zealand winger Va’aiga Tuigamala died aged 52.

“An incredibly sad day continues,” the All Blacks tweeted. “Another one of our brothers taken. You’d be hard pressed to meet a nicer guy than Joeli Vidiri, not to mention his outstanding skills on the pitch.” Vidiri, who made two appearances for the All Blacks in 1998 after representing Fiji in seven matches, suffered from a kidney problem which ended his career prematurely in 2001.

A fast and powerful athlete, Vidiri played alongside All Blacks great Jonah Lomu in several appearances for Manukau Counties and the Blues. “When he was at the peak of his career around the 1996-97 season, there weren’t any more impressive sights when he was in full flight than Joeli Vidiri,” his biography said on the All Blacks website. “It is doubtful that two more imposing figures have ever been together in a team. And especially in the 1996-97 seasons, Vidiri was the more effective of the two”,

Vidiri made 71 appearances for Counties scoring 56 tries and played 62 games for Blues scoring 43 tries. He won a gold medal with the New Zealand rugby sevens team at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur.

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Gergiev, friend of Putin, out of the US tour of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

By Sports games

Valery Gergiev, a conductor close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, will not lead the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra on a five-concert US tour that kicks off at Carnegie Hall on Friday night.

The 68-year-old Russian conductor is musical director of the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia, of the White Nights Festival and chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra. He received the Hero of Labor of the Russian Federation award which Putin revived in 2013 and has often expressed his support for Putin, who has been widely condemned for ordering an invasion of Ukraine that began on Thursday.

“This change has been made due to recent world events,” Carnegie Hall spokeswoman Synneve Carlino said.

Ron Boling, a spokesman for the orchestra, said the Philharmonic would not comment when asked if the decision was made by the orchestra, Gergiev or Carnegie.

The move came after Milan’s famed Teatro alla Scala sent a letter to Gergiev asking him to make a clear statement in support of a peaceful resolution in Ukraine or he wouldn’t be allowed to return to complete his engagement by conducting. Tchaikovsky’s ‘Queen of Spades.’ Gergiev was mildly challenged by the audience during a performance on Wednesday night, but that changed dramatically with the overnight Russian invasion, theater spokesman Paolo said. Besana and is due to appear in Milan on March 5.

Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala, who is La Scala’s president, said the request was made because Gergiev had repeatedly stated his closeness to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“We ask him to take a clear position against this invasion, and in case he does not do so, we are forced to give up the collaboration,” Sala said. “It is clear that culture can go to other levels, but in the face of such a situation, we must act.” and Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon. The orchestra then travels to Hayes Hall in Naples, Florida, for performances on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Metropolitan Opera Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin will replace Gergiev for the Carnegie concerts, creating a busy schedule before Nézet-Séguin conducts the Met premiere of the original French version of Verdi’s ‘Don Carlos’ in a five-hour performance on Monday night.

Russian pianist Denis Matsuev will not perform as scheduled on Friday. In 2014, Matsuev said he supported Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

Vienna said weekend schedules would remain unchanged and a soloist would be announced along with a conductor for the concerts in Florida.

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Paralympic medalist Sharad Kumar worries about his coach in Ukraine

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Tokyo Paralympic Games bronze medalist Sharad Kumar is closely following developments related to the Russian military operation in Ukraine as he worries about the safety of his coach Nikitin Yevhen there.

Yevhen is based in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city and approximately 500 km from the capital Kiev.

“I just spoke to my trainer in Ukraine Kharkiv, he is worried he can hear shelling from his room, he is considering moving to his underground garage,” Kumar tweeted.

Kumar had trained in Kharkiv under Yevhen for more than four years before winning a bronze medal in the high jump at the Tokyo Paralympics last year.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Thursday the launch of a military operation in eastern Ukraine.

Yevhen was previously in India as a coach for the Sports Authority of India.

Kumar, who is from Bihar and suffered paralysis in his left leg due to fake polio drugs during a local eradication campaign, is a two-time Asian Para Games high jump champion ( 2014 and 2018) and world silver medalist (2019).

Repeated calls from PTI, after his tweet, went unanswered, but he spoke to ESPN and revealed he heard Yevhen’s wife crying while talking to him.

”His wife was crying on the phone and they were moving into hiding. I called other friends in Kharkiv, they are all scared too. I just feel terrible and helpless,’ he told the website.

The 29-year-old not only trained in Ukraine, he also studied international business management at the Polytechnic Institute in Kharkiv and expressed his fondness for the country.

He holds a master’s degree in international relations from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi.

”Even when I was in Ukraine, I heard about military conflict. Of course, not on the current scale. But it was kind of still boiling,’ he recalled speaking to the website. Last year in September, Kumar was diagnosed with heart inflammation and had to be admitted to AIIMS here for a few days after complaining of chest congestion.

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US striker Ricardo Pepi says Augsburg are taking a worthy risk

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One of American striker Ricardo Pepi’s biggest challenges since arriving in Germany has been convincing people why he chose to join relegation-threatened Augsburg.

Pepi, 19, who was arguably MLS’s brightest prospect after scoring 13 goals for FC Dallas last season, surprised many in early January when he moved to Augsburg, a relatively unspectacular club that has mostly finished in the bottom half of the Bundesliga since first being promoted in 2011.

This season is proving to be another chore for the Bavarian club. Markus Weinzierl’s side have won just one of their last eight league games and currently sit in the relegation playoff spot with 11 games remaining.

“In life you took risks, and it was a risk I took so that I could come to Augsburg and be able to help the team,” Pepi told reporters in an online video call this week. .

The player was set to join Volkswagen-backed Wolfsburg, who qualified for the Champions League last season, while Liverpool and Manchester United are also said to be interested. Some thought Bayern Munich might have been an option due to the Bavarian powerhouse’s partnership with FC Dallas.

But Pepi landed Augsburg, who broke their transfer record to sign the then 18-year-old for more than 13 million euros ($14.8 million) plus potential additions, the highest fee for a transfer of a local American player from MLS. .

Many of the questions Pepi faced on the call were about the reasons behind his switch.

”Its a question of confidence. Augsburg obviously they made the big transfer because they have faith in me and they wanted me to come to the team, and obviously I had to take that into consideration,” said Pepi, who said other clubs had expressed interest without reaching any agreement. with FC Dallas.

“I was planning to stay in MLS for about a year or two. But out of nowhere Augsburg spoke to my agent, spoke to FC Dallas and decided to make an offer,” Pepi said. called and he said to me: ‘Hey, what do you think of Augsburg, like FC Augsburg?’ And I was like, ‘You know what? They’re a great team.” Pepi said he and his agent spoke about the risks involved, especially in a World Cup year — the striker has three goals in nine appearances for the United States — and he also discussed the transfer with his parents.

”We all agreed that Augsburg was going to be a great opportunity for me and that’s the next step. We are talking about the next stage of my career. We felt that the Bundesliga was definitely a step I wanted to take,’ Pepi said.

He said he spoke with his national teammates Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie and Gio Reyna about their experiences in Germany, and they convinced him that the Bundesliga was ideal for his development.

”It’s just faster. Everything is more dynamic, everything is more intense, in every game, in every training,” said Pepi. “In the United States, I remember we had sessions where they were a little lighter because it would be game day in two days. But here, every day, we train intensely and we are always ready to go. So far, the transition has been difficult. Pepi is yet to score in five league games – one draw and four defeats. But he is not worried about his scoring drought.

“I came to this team for a reason and it’s for my development and obviously it was a big transfer,” Pepi said. “But now, you know, being in the team, I feel more comfortable with each passing week. So to be patient, but also really looking forward to scoring my first goal.” Augsburg will then host the unpredictable Borussia Dortmund on Sunday Second-placed Dortmund routed Borussia Mönchengladbach last weekend but are also capable of losing 5-2 at home to Bayer Leverkusen, as they lost 4-2 at home to Rangers in the Europa League last week Dortmund were due to play the second leg in Glasgow on Thursday.

“My family is going to be in town, so it’s going to be a bit different,” Pepi said of visiting Dortmund on Sunday. “So hopefully I can get something.”

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Motor racing-Alpine unveils its 2022 F1 challenger

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French manufacturer Alpine unveiled its 2022 Formula 1 challenger in Paris on Monday, becoming the ninth team to unveil its car for the upcoming season ahead of the first winter test later this week. The Renault-owned team’s new A522 has been designed to the sport’s radical new rules, with cleaner, swept-back aerodynamics and larger 18-inch wheels, aimed at improving wheel-to-wheel racing.

It also features a revised livery, with the pink color scheme of new title partner and water technology company BWT mixed with the team’s traditional blue. Alpine’s aim is to challenge for the championship within 100 races of the start of the new era of Formula 1 rules, which begins with the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix on March 20.

“In 2022 we want to show steady progress with full developments at all sites to ensure we are title contenders in the future,” said Alpine chief executive Laurent Rossi. “We are heading in the right direction and we want to continue our climb to the top.”

The team, which has finished fifth in the constructors’ standings for the past three years, has recently strengthened its technical department and last week announced the signing of former Aston Martin team boss Otmar Szafnauer as new as the team’s new manager in an effort to reverse their plateau. form. The team, which enters 2022 with an unchanged driver line-up of two-time world champion Fernando Alonso and Frenchman Esteban Ocon, returned to the top step of the podium last season, with Ocon handing them their first victory since the Grand Prix. of Australia 2013 in Hungary. .

“I had the displeasure of racing against these formidable competitors,” Szafnauer said. “I remember too well when they beat us in Hungary and didn’t take the wrong foot,” he said of Ocon’s victory over Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel who finished second in the road but was later disqualified for a fuel irregularity.

Alpine displayed a 2022 show car at its Paris event, but released images of its actual car, which is currently being prepared for the first pre-season test in Barcelona which begins on Wednesday.

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Baichung Bhutia joins choir in demand for football pitches in Guwahati

By Sports games

Former Indian football captain Bhaichung Bhutia has thrown his support behind the demand for football pitches in Assam’s biggest city, Guwahati, for which several players had staged a protest here.

“It is sad to see footballers young and old coming to the streets demanding to save football pitches so they can play. I hope the government of Assam can listen to their demand (sic),” tweeted Bhutia.

More than 500 footballers from across the state had taken part in a protest rally in the city on Sunday, seeking a few pitches that could be made available to play the game.

“There is no longer a single field…to play football in Guwahati. As a result, training has almost ceased and no tournaments are held in the city,” said Hem Das, chairman of Assam Football Players Association.

“Our request is simple, we want Nehru Stadium to be reopened for football. It should also be allowed in the judges’ court,” he said.

Das, a former national-level footballer, said the lack of such pitches proves to be detrimental to the careers of aspiring players.

“Football can be played by anyone who is passionate about the game, and young people hope to get jobs through sports quotas later in their careers. But, if they are not exposed in terms of games, they cannot be eligible…” Das said.

Hemendranath Brahma, secretary of the Assam Football Association (AFA), said the sports body had urged the government to do so over the years.

The AFA had asked the authorities to provide an alternative ground for football when converting Nehru Stadium into a dedicated cricket ground, which the latter had agreed to consider.

Brahma said the association had submitted a list of 10 sites in and around Guwahati to the Directorate of Sports and Youth Welfare to be developed into football pitches.

“We don’t have any information on the status of our proposal yet, but we assume that management is working on it. Our training ground at Bijoynagar, on the outskirts of the city, is also in the process of opening,” he added.

According to information on the All India Football Association website for its affiliate body in Assam, there are 2016 registered footballers in the state with 195 players renewing their registration this year.

There are 53 licensed clubs in the state along with 27 registered districts, but only 10 playing fields, according to website data.

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Praggnanandhaa stuns world number 1 Carlsen in Airthings Masters chess

By Sports games

India’s young grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa surprised world number 1 Magnus Carlsen in the eighth round of the Airthings Masters, a fast-paced online chess tournament.

Praggnanandhaa won with black pieces in 39 moves in a Tarrasch variation game early Monday to snap Carlsen’s three-game winning streak.

The Indian GM is in 12th place after eight laps with eight points. His dramatic win over Carlsen comes after a subdued run in the earlier rounds, which included a lone win over Lev Aronian, two draws and four losses.

He drew against Anish Giri and Quang Liem Le and lost to Eric Hansen, Ding Liren, Jan-Kryzstof Duda and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.

Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi, who lost the world championship match a few months ago to Norwegian world number 1 Carlsen, leads the standings with 19 points followed by Ding Liren and Hansen (both with 15 points).

In the Airthings Masters, a 16-player online fast-paced tournament, a player gets three points for a win and one for a draw in the preliminary rounds. Seven other rounds remain in the preliminary phase.

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Footballers protest to claim playground in Guwahati

By Sports games

On Sunday, young children lined the streets of the city of Guwahati, Assam, to play football. However, they weren’t taking advantage of the holidays, instead participating in a protest demanding land to play soccer in the state’s largest city.

More than 500 footballers from across the state took part in a protest rally in the city demanding that at least two pitches be allowed to play football in Guwahati.

From former and current national and international level players to children who are passionate about the game participated in the event.

”There is no longer a single football field provided by the government for playing football in Guwahati. As a result, training has almost ceased and no tournaments are held in the city,’ Hem Das, chairman of Assam Football Players Association, told PTI.

“Our request is simple, we want Nehru Stadium to be reopened for football. It should also be allowed in the judges’ court,” he said.

Das said football was allowed in the Nehru Stadium as well as the Judges’ Pitch through mutual agreement with cricket match organizers earlier, but for almost two months now no football is allowed in these two lands.

Speaking to PTI, Hemendranath Brahma, Secretary of Assam Football Association (AFA), said the Association does not have its own ground, although it has urged the government to do so over the years.

He said that when converting Nehru Stadium into a dedicated cricket ground, the AFA asked the authorities to provide an alternative ground for the football, which they agreed to consider.

“If the ex-players had a problem with Nehru Stadium becoming cricket-only, they should have objected to it during its development,” he claimed.

He also pointed out that previously football and cricket including international matches were played at Nehru Stadium but now they have been discontinued.

Brahma said the Association has submitted a list of 10 sites in and around Guwahati to the Directorate of Sports and Youth Welfare to develop a football pitch.

”We do not yet have information on the status of our proposal, but we assume that the Management is working on it. Our training ground in Bijoynagar, on the outskirts of the city, is also in the process of opening,” he added.

The AFA secretary maintained that football is no longer centered on Guwahati and is being actively promoted at grassroots level by the Association.

”It would be wrong to say that the AFA does not work for the sport or the players. We have our boys and girls playing with national teams, we have organized more matches at lower levels,” Brahma said.

Das, a former national level footballer, said the absence of the pitches proved detrimental to the careers of aspiring players.

He said: “Football can be played by anyone who is passionate about the game and young people are hoping for employment in sport later in their careers. But if they are not exposed in terms of games, they cannot be eligible for booking.” A former footballer who participated in the protest said, “We are not asking for scooters or laptops. Our request is simple, we just want a pitch to play in Guwahati.” ‘ Senior journalist Mrinal Talukdar, himself a sports enthusiast, said: “They are not asking for specialist coaches, nutritional supplements or anything fancy. They just want a field to train and play. “Football is a cheap sport and anyone can play it. We must not deprive anyone of following their passion,” he added.

According to All India Football Association website information for its affiliate body in Assam, there are 2016 registered footballers in the state with 195 players renewing their registration this year.

The state has 152 coaches and six coaching courses, in addition to 955 umpires.

There are 53 licensed clubs in the state along with 27 registered districts, but only 10 playgrounds.

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Hamilton wants social media companies to limit online abuse

By Sports games

Lewis Hamilton has urged social media companies to do more to stop the spread of online abuse after fellow Formula 1 driver Nicholas Latifi received death threats following the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix which s the season is over.

Latifi crashed his Williams car just laps from the end and Hamilton was on his way to an eighth F1 title. The incident led to a safety car and Max Verstappen overtook seven-time F1 champion Hamilton on the final lap to claim the world title amid huge controversy.

Although blameless, Latifi was harassed online as outrage grew over Hamilton’s sudden loss of the title.

“At the end of the day, I don’t think there has been a huge shift or change, or enough work that has been done by these social platforms. We still have to push for them to make changes,” said said Hamilton on Friday after the unveiling of Mercedes’ 2022 car. “Mental health is a real thing and through these social platforms people are being abused.

“No one deserves this and it should never be tolerated,” added the 37-year-old British driver. ”(Social media) are able to change these things and make changes, but they don’t seem to be doing it fast enough. So I think we just have to keep pushing. Latifi was so affected that he hired bodyguards for a sightseeing trip to London with his girlfriend.

“I was in contact with Nicholas, he has my full support and I know how difficult it can be in these situations,” Hamilton said. ”It’s important for him to know that he has the support of the people around him. Mercedes driver George Russell, who was previously Latifi’s teammate at Williams, agreed with Hamilton.

“I think more needs to be done for the athletes, for the people in the spotlight because the people behind the computer, behind the keyboard think they have the right to say whatever they want,” Russell said. . “You almost forget that everyone is human…Something really needs to be done and I felt really, really bad for Nicholas.” Russell had also sometimes struggled in the same car.

“Mistakes happen and I know firsthand how difficult that specific Williams car was to drive,” he said. “He didn’t deserve to get what he got at all, so more needs to be done.” Latifi, a 26-year-old Canadian, spoke about the impact of threats on his mental state.

“I was back in London after the race and had the security with me when I went to Winter Wonderland with my girlfriend,” he said on Tuesday. “You have to take threats seriously because you don’t know what might happen and that’s just a sad reality of the world we live in.” Latifi anticipated receiving abuse and therefore deleted Instagram and Twitter from her phone.

“Using social media as a channel to attack someone with messages of hate, abuse and threats of violence is shocking, and that’s something I call out,” he said.

Hamilton also retired from his platforms after Abu Dhabi, reappearing just two weeks ago.

The new 23-race season begins on March 20 at the Bahrain GP. PA BS BS

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Undertaker will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame

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World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) confirmed on Friday that ‘The Undertaker’ is the first inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2022. week,” the official WWE website said.

The WWE Hall of Fame in a ceremony will be held Friday, April 1 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas as part of WrestleMania Week. A multiple-time WWE and World Heavyweight Champion, seven-time tag team titleholder, and winner of the Royal Rumble Match in 2007, Undertaker has over the years cemented his place among the industry’s greatest.

Since WrestleMania VII in 1991, The Undertaker has maintained a winning streak at Wrestlemania that reached an incredible 21-0, with victories over Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Randy Orton, Diesel, Kane and many more. Only Brock Lesnar proved capable of knocking down The Last Outlaw in his backyard, smashing The Streak in an earth-shattering upset at WrestleMania 30. In his final match, Undertaker picked up an incredible win over AJ Styles in a Boneyard Match.

Undertaker’s career had ended at Survivor Series 2020 when The Deadman retired and it was fittingly at the same event that he made his debut exactly 30 years to the day he first entered. in a WWE ring. (ANI)

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Motor racing-Ferrari drivers back FIA race control overhaul

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Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz have backed the governing FIA’s restructuring of Formula 1’s race control operation in response to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix which resulted in the replacement of Michael Masi as chief racing officer. race.

The federation’s newly elected president, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, said in a video uploaded Thursday that the Australian will be replaced by Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas who will alternate as race directors. The Emirati, who said Masi would be offered another role with the FIA, also announced other changes.

These include the introduction of a virtual racing control room, similar to football’s VAR, a reassessment of safety car clearance procedures, the return of F1 stalwart Herbie Blash as as permanent senior adviser to the two race directors and the end of the broadcast of radio transmissions. between the teams and the race management. “I actually like what I see,” Sainz told reporters after the launch of Ferrari’s 2022 car.

“I also welcome the new race directors and I’m sure they will have a very difficult job to do, as we have seen in recent years in Formula 1. It is a very difficult role, especially in the fiery skin Charlie who we all definitely miss.

“But we also accept that this role has to be done properly, has to be supported, as foreseen by the FIA.” Masi, who was thrust into the role of race director following the death of respected predecessor Charlie Whiting ahead of the 2019 season, has come under fire after changing the safety car procedure to set up a final lap showdown between the rivals reigning Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. .

The Australian only moved the lapped cars between race-leading Hamilton and second-placed Verstappen, allowing the Red Bull driver, on cooler tires, to take the lead from rival Mercedes on the final lap, denying him an unprecedented eighth. Title. Ben Sulayem’s proposed overhaul was presented at Monday’s Formula 1 Commission meeting. It was unanimously approved by all teams and F1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali.

“I have a lot of respect for Michael and everything he’s done,” Leclerc said. “But again, the FIA ​​has made a decision…so I’m fully confident it’s the right decision and we’ll move on.”

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Will Smeed signs contract extension with Somerset County

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Young England cricketer Will Smeed has signed a contract extension with Somerset, County Cricket Club announced on Thursday. Somerset said the 20-year-old has agreed to a new 12-month contract which will see him plying his trade at the Cooper Associates County Ground until at least the end of the 2023 season.

Will, who signed his first professional contract ahead of the 2021 season, made his debut for Somerset Under-10s in 2010 aged eight and worked his way through the age group sides of the Somerset before joining Somerset Academy in 2016. “I loved my first full season at Somerset so it was a no-brainer for me to extend when the opportunity arose. There is a good atmosphere at the Club and I feel like we’re all headed for something special,” Will said in a statement according to the Somerset website.

“I have built great relationships with the players and the coaches and I look forward to developing them further over the next two years at least,” he added. Will made his Somerset arc in the T20 Blast against Worcestershire at Taunton in 2020 and has since established himself as a key member of the Club’s T20 squad.

He amassed over 640 points in his 25 T20 games at an average of 29.31 with a best of 82 at an impressive strike rate of 138.11. (ANI)

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F1 driver Latifi hired bodyguards after death threats

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Formula 1 driver Nicholas Latifi was so affected by online abuse and death threats after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that he hired bodyguards for his sightseeing trip to London with his girlfriend.

The 26-year-old Canadian was threatened after the season-ending race, where he crashed his Williams car into a wall just laps from the end. It led to a safety car, and late drama ensued when Max Verstappen overtook Lewis Hamilton on the final lap to claim the world title in one of the most controversial moments in F1 history.

“I was back in London after the race and had safety with me when I went to Winter Wonderland with my girlfriend,” he said Tuesday after Williams’ 2022 unveiling at Silverstone. “You have to take threats seriously because you don’t know what might happen and it’s just an unfortunate reality of the world we live in, and there have been extreme death threats that have overstepped the mark.” As outrage grew among some observers at how Hamilton missed out on a record eighth title, Latifi was unfairly caught in the crosshairs and took the threats very seriously after the December race.

“It sounds silly to some people, but at the end of the day, you don’t know how serious people are,” Latifi said. “All it takes is a drunken fan in an airport, or you run into somebody having a bad day and they’re inebriated under the influence of something, and they have these really extreme views.” Latifi planned to receive online abuse after Abu Dhabi so, at the time, he deleted Instagram and Twitter from his phone.

“I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to handle this. Do I just ignore it and move on? Or do I address it and tackle the bigger problem that unfortunately is a reality when you use the media social media?” he said in a statement at the time. “Using social media as a channel to attack someone with messages of hate, abuse and threats of violence is shocking – and something which I call.” The 23-race season begins on March 20 at the Bahrain GP.

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Eileen Gu’s choice for China is paying off…for now

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When Eileen Gu won Olympic gold in the Big Air, sales of her red Anta ski suit, featuring slip-reducing technology, increased 20 times on Chinese e-commerce platform Luckin Coffee sold all Gu-endorsed beverages, with a spike in Gu-branded cup holders, and the Chinese chain immediately said it would launch more Gu-related products throughout the year.

The San Francisco-born skier won a silver medal in Tuesday’s slopestyle final, earning more praise on Chinese social media for redeeming herself on a third jump after an earlier mistake. With another gold medal still in sight, his carefully considered decision to compete for China appears to be paying off, at least commercially.

Already the most popular athlete on the Chinese team, the model and new Stanford student is endorsed by two dozen brands, from French luxury conglomerate Louis Vuitton to Chinese sportswear maker Anta. His global endorsements include Estee Lauder, Victoria’s Secret, Tiffany & Co and Oakley, all of which have targeted the Chinese market in recent years.

Her growing popularity in China could propel her into the ranks of the world’s highest-earning athletes if she can continue to avoid major controversy. Michael Payne, former chief marketing officer for the International Olympic Committee, cited China’s goal of involving 300 million people in winter sports when he described the opportunity for Gu as unprecedented.

“If you look at the most successful athletes like Michael Phelps, I think we were talking about winning up to $100 million…there’s no doubt that if she keeps winning the gold medals, she’ll be in the same league.” Winter Olympians, who compete in niche sports, generally lag behind their summer counterparts in purchasing power. Exceptions include snowboarder Shaun White, who earned $8 million in 2009 at his peak and $1.5 million in the 12 months leading up to the Beijing Games, according to Forbes.

GU-MANIA Gu’s looks, sporting achievements, dual citizenship appeal, and power as an influencer put her on a level all her own.

Following its Big Air freeskiing gold medal, Tiffany & Co started making headlines on Chinese social media after removing its Anta gloves to reveal four rings that netizens quickly identified as being made by the jeweler owned by LVMH, which Gu approves of. Chinese media has been buzzing with speculation about Gu’s endorsements, with the Beijing News reporting his fees at $2.5 million after tax and total revenue from brand deals over the past year at more than $100 million. yuan, citing industry sources. Media outlet Tianxiashangwang estimated that Gu’s earnings since the start of 2021 exceeded 200 million yuan ($31.5 million).

His agent Tom Yaps did not respond to a request for comment. Gu ticks several boxes in China with her image as a model student and pride in her decision to compete for her mother’s country of birth, said Bryce Whitwam, assistant professor of marketing at NYU in Shanghai.

“She’s extraordinarily charismatic and her attraction to Chinese culture and just the fact that she came to China to want to be Chinese, that’s a huge win for her,” he said, describing the “Gu- Chinese mania. TRAPS

With his carefully worded responses, which avoid directly addressing questions about his citizenship, and the Beijing-accented Mandarin that charmed many, Gu managed to avoid controversy during the Games, despite some grumbling online according to which she leads a life of privilege inaccessible to most. Hu Xijin, a prominent columnist for the Communist Party-run Global Times, suggested on Sunday that because Gu might end up choosing US citizenship, she should be encouraged as a member of the Chinese team, not as a as a patriotic symbol.

“She brings happiness to the Chinese public, so there is no shame in seeking commercial return,” Hu wrote. “But political elements should be minimized as much as possible. It’s risky for Gu Ailing to be that kind of vector,” he said. Unlike her gravity-defying ski tricks, Gu’s public persona is low-risk: she supports Black Lives Matter but avoids questions about human rights in China, instead portraying herself as a bridge builder and a global ski ambassador.

“Eileen did a great job making sure she didn’t say the wrong thing, but you know what? You’re going to get it wrong sometimes,” Whitwam said. Gu’s earning power in the two countries could be dampened by heightened bilateral tensions.

Her decision to compete for China has drawn criticism in the United States, while in China she must navigate what has been tightened celebrity surveillance, with many stars canceled by authorities after missteps. “It could be a simple Tweet, it could be a very simple mistake and they’ll scrub it from any type of coverage like they’ve done with many other Chinese celebrities,” Whitwam said. ($1 = 6.3551 Chinese yuan renminbi)

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Motor racing – AlphaTauri launches 2022 F1 challenger

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Red Bull-owned AlphaTauri has become the fifth team to unveil an example of its 2022 Formula 1 challenger, taking over from the AT03 in an online launch. The car, which will be raced by an unchanged driver line-up of Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda and features a similar livery to last year, has been designed to Formula 1’s radical new rules which aim to improve racing from wheel to wheel.

It also sports the larger, new-for-2022, 18-inch wheels. “It’s a fresh start for all the teams, starting from almost zero because we’re really looking at a clean sheet scenario,” said Frenchman Gasly, who had a strong season last year and scored points. in 15 of the 22 races in a Q&A issued by the team.

“It will be a big challenge for the teams to figure out how to build the best possible car to comply with the new regulations. Hopefully it works out really well for us.”

“I have no doubts about the capabilities of our team and so far they are quite happy with the job they have done.” AlphaTauri’s 2022 car will no longer carry Honda’s “H” branding, as the Japanese manufacturer has officially retired from the sport. Instead, as with sister team Red Bull, it will wear smaller HRC (Honda Racing Company) decals as the company will continue to manufacture engines for both outfits this season and provide trackside support.

Tsunoda, whose career has been buoyed by Honda, said he was aiming for a more consistent year. The 21-year-old showed flashes of speed but made too many mistakes in his 2021 rookie campaign before ending it on a high with a fourth-place finish at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“I want to improve my pace and the consistency of my riding,” Tsunoda said. “If I can work like I did in the last three or four races of last year, that will be a good way to start.”

Haas, Red Bull, Aston Martin and McLaren have already launched their cars. Williams is expected to reveal its challenger on Tuesday and Ferrari will launch its car on Thursday.

Manufacturer champions Mercedes will reveal their 2022 car on Friday. The 2022 season is set to start on March 20 in Bahrain.

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Olympian flashes ‘No War in Ukraine’ sign after competition

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A Ukrainian skeleton athlete flashed a small sign reading ‘No War in Ukraine’ at the cameras as he completed a race at the Beijing Olympics on Friday night.

Vladyslav Heraskevych’s sign was printed on a piece of blue and yellow paper, matching the colors of his country’s flag. He did not post the message after his second race of the night, which was his fourth and final race of the Olympics.

“It’s my job. Like all normal people, I don’t want war,” Heraskevych said after finishing the competition. “I want peace in my country and I want peace in the world. It’s my position, so I fight for it. I fight for peace.’ The gesture came as Russia has amassed more than 100,000 troops near Ukraine, stoking fears in the West that Moscow is planning an invasion. Russia insists it has no such plans, but does not want Ukraine and other former Soviet countries to be allowed to join the Western NATO alliance. “In Ukraine it’s really nervous now,” Heraskevych said. “A lot of news about guns, about weapons, about what’s going to happen in Ukraine, about some armies around Ukraine. It’s not okay. Not in the 21st century. So I decided, before the Olympics, that I would show my position to the world. Shortly after the race, the International Olympic Committee said there would be no repercussions for the athlete. The question arose as to whether the court could consider Heraskevych’s action as a violation of Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter. This rule states in part that “no kind of political, religious or racial demonstration or propaganda is permitted at Olympic venues, venues or other areas”. “It was a general call for peace. For the IOC, the case is closed,” the Games governing body said on Friday evening.

Heraskevych said earlier that he was not concerned about possible repercussions.

“I hope the Olympics (support) me in this situation. No one wants war,” said Heraskevych, who was not a medal contender. “I hope this helps bring peace to our country.” The IOC has relaxed its rule against protests ahead of the Tokyo Games, allowing athletes to express themselves politically before the start of competitions. host country China, which has been accused of widespread abuses against predominantly Muslim Uyghurs, has also been criticized for its policies towards Tibet, its crackdown on freedoms in Hong Kong and the near disappearance of the sight of the tennis player Peng Shuai’s audience after accusing a former Communist Party official of sexual assault.

Concerns over human rights abuses have led some countries to organize a diplomatic boycott of the Games, while Chinese organizers have warned foreign athletes that any statement contrary to Chinese law could be punished.

Meanwhile, heightened tensions around Ukraine cast a pall over last week’s opening ceremony, when IOC President Thomas Bach implored participating countries to respect the long Olympic truce, which calls for the cessation of hostilities during the Games.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was present when Bach spoke, has warmed to China and some have suggested he may not want to invade Ukraine during the Olympics to avoid embarrassing his country. ally, Chinese President Xi Jinping.

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Bob Saget died after an accidental blow to the head: Family

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Bob Saget died last month from an accidental blow to the head, his family said in a statement.

The comedian and ”Full House” star was found dead Jan. 9 in a hotel room in Florida. He had played in the area the previous night as part of a stand-up tour.

“Authorities have determined that Bob died of a traumatic brain injury,” the Saget family said Wednesday.

”They concluded that he accidentally hit the back of his head on something, didn’t think about it and fell asleep. No drugs or alcohol were involved. ”The Orange County, Florida Medical Examiner’s Office did not immediately return a message requesting details of their investigation Wednesday night.

Saget, 65, was found on the hotel bed and there was no sign of foul play, authorities said last month. A hotel security guard had entered the room after Saget failed to check in and called 911 when he found him unresponsive.

Deputies and paramedics came to the room at the Ritz Carlton in Orlando and he was pronounced dead.

Saget was best known for his role as beloved single father Danny Tanner on the sitcom ”Full House” and as the wisecracking host of ”America’s Funniest Home Videos”.

Saget was on the road as part of his ”I Don’t Do Negative Comedy Tour”.

After warm receptions from the public at his concerts Friday in Orlando and Saturday in the resort town of Ponte Vedra Beach, he celebrated online.

”I’m back in comedy like when I was 26. I guess I’m finding my new voice and enjoying every moment of it,” he posted on Instagram on Saturday.

Saget’s death sparked an outpouring of affection from fans and colleagues, who remembered him as both funny and extraordinarily kind.

In the statement, the family said they were overwhelmed by the “incredible outpouring of love from Bob’s fans” and were heartened by it. ”As we continue to grieve together, we ask everyone to remember the love and laughter Bob brought to this world, and the lessons he taught us all: to be kind to everyone. , letting the people you love know you love them, and getting through the tough times with hugs and laughter,” his family said.

Saget was married to Kelly Rizzo Saget and had three daughters from a previous marriage.

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Foot-Zouma’s cats removed, Vitality and Adidas drop sponsorship

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Kurt Zouma’s cats are being cared for by animal charity RSPCA after a video emerged showing the Frenchman kicking a pet on the ground, with Vitality suspending his sponsorship of his club West Ham United while Adidas dropped the defender.

The viral video, filmed by Zouma’s brother, Yoan, and posted on social networks, showed the West Ham defender drops the tabby cat and knocks him to the ground. He is also seen slapping the animal and throwing a shoe at it, before chasing it around his property. “Both cats are now in the care of the RSPCA. Our priority is and always has been the welfare of these cats,” an RSPCA spokesperson told Reuters.

“They have been taken for a vet check and will then remain in our care while the investigation continues.” West Ham said Zouma had been fined “the maximum possible amount”, with UK media reporting the fine was two weeks’ wages. The 27-year-old accepted the fine, which will be donated to animal welfare charities.

“West Ham United can confirm that the Club supports an RSPCA investigation into the actions of Kurt Zouma in the video released online this week,” the London club said. But West Ham sponsor Vitality said it was suspending its sponsorship of the club with “immediate effect”.

“We are extremely disappointed with the judgment the club subsequently demonstrated in response to this incident,” Vitality said. “As such, we are suspending our sponsorship of West Ham United with immediate effect. We will now engage further with the club to understand what steps they will take to remedy the situation.”

Adidas said in a statement: “We have concluded our investigation and can confirm that Kurt Zouma is no longer a contracted athlete with Adidas.” An online petition to sue Zouma and have his animal rehomed had been signed by 165,000 people.

Another West Ham sponsor, Experience Kissimmee, said he was considering his position with the club after Zouma was selected for Tuesday’s win over Watford. The Florida-based tourism organization said it was “disheartened” that Zouma played in the Premier League game despite widespread condemnation of his actions.

In a Twitter post, Experience Kissimmee said: “It was disheartening to learn player Kurt Zouma was part of the West Ham United starting line-up.” Pending further information from WHU, we will assess our relationship and sponsorship. with the club.”

West Ham manager David Moyes, although disappointed with his player and describing himself as an animal lover, justified the decision to include Zouma. “My job was to try to win for West Ham and build the best team to achieve that,” Moyes said.

Zouma and his brother Yoan both issued apologies on Tuesday. Essex Police said they were investigating the incident.

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Reporter who spoke with Peng Shuai says doubts remain

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It was the interview many sportswriters wanted: a meeting with Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai, primed and ready to speak with Western media for the first time about allegations she made of forced sex with a former senior Communist Party official who sparked a global wave of fears for his safety.

Marc Ventouillac, one of two reporters for French sports daily L’Equipe who spoke to Peng this week in a restrictive interview set up with Chinese Olympic officials, says he is still unsure whether she is free to say and do what she wants.

“It’s impossible to say,” he said in English. “This interview does not prove that there is no problem with Peng Shuai.” China’s intention, however, was clear to him: by granting the interview as Beijing hosts the Winter Olympics, it appears Chinese officials are hoping to end the controversy, so as not to pollute the event.

“It’s part of the communication, the propaganda, of the Chinese Olympic Committee,” Ventouillac told The Associated Press on Tuesday, the day after the L’Equipe exclusive was published. With “an interview with a major European newspaper, they can show: ‘OK, there is no problem with Peng Shuai. You see? The journalists (come), they can ask all the questions they want.’ The dinner Peng had with International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach and the appearances she made at Olympic venues shone a deliberate and controlled spotlight on the top-ranked three-time Olympian and former doubles player. On Tuesday, Peng sat down with Bach and watched American-born Chinese freestyle skier Eileen Gu win gold in the women’s big air. Apparently, the goal is to answer the question that other players and fans around the world have posted online: where is Peng Shuai? “It’s important, I think, for the Chinese Olympic Committee, for the Communist Party and for a lot of people in China to try to show, ‘No, there’s no Peng Shuai case,'” Ventouillac said.

The Women’s Professional Tennis Tour said the interview “does not alleviate any of our concerns” about the allegations she made in November. “Peng was bold in announcing publicly that she had been sexually assaulted by a senior Chinese government official,” WTA chief executive Steve Simon said in a statement. “As we would with any of our players around the world, we have requested a formal investigation into the allegations by the relevant authorities and an opportunity for the WTA to meet with Peng – privately – to discuss his situation.” Ventouillac said Peng “appears to be in good health.” To secure the interview, organized by the Chinese Olympic Committee with the help of the IOC, L’Equipe agreed to send questions in advance and to publish its answers verbatim, in the form of questions and answers. Originally allotted half an hour, Ventouillac said they ended up getting nearly double that and asking all the questions they wanted, beyond the “8 or 10” they had pre-submitted. “There was no censorship in the questions,” he said.

A Chinese Olympic committee official joined in the discussion, translating Peng’s comments from Chinese. The newspaper then called on an interpreter in Paris to ensure the accuracy of the remarks it published in French on Monday. It was his first discussion with non-Chinese media since the indictment. Ventouillac said one of L’Equipe’s goals for the interview was to show Peng face to face that “she is not alone” and that people around the world care about her.

He believes the international support helped protect her during the controversy. Someone less well known outside of China would likely be in jail for such an allegation against a senior official, Ventouillac speculated.

In a lengthy article in November, Peng wrote that Zhang Gaoli, a former vice premier and a member of the ruling Chinese Communist Party’s all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee, had forced her to have sex despite repeated refusals. The post, on her verified account on a top Chinese social media platform, Weibo, also said they had sex once seven years ago and she developed romantic feelings for him. him afterwards. Zhang did not comment on the accusation.

“Initially I buried it all in my heart,” she wrote. “Why would you even want to come find me, take me to your house and force you and me to have sex?” It was quickly deleted from his account. Peng told L’Equipe she deleted it but gave no reason other than to say, “Because I wanted to.” She also said the message was misunderstood.

“Sexual assault? I never said someone sexually assaulted me,” she told the newspaper.

“This message has caused a huge misunderstanding from the outside world,” she also said. “My wish is that the meaning of this message is no longer biased.”

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Peng Shuai emerges at Olympics, gives controlled interview

By Sports games

Nothing to see here, go your way.

That’s the message Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai delivered in a controlled interview in Beijing on Monday that touched on sexual assault allegations she made against a former high-ranking member of China’s ruling Communist Party. . His answers – delivered in front of a Chinese Olympic official – left unanswered questions about his well-being and what exactly happened.

The interview with French sports newspaper L’Equipe and the announcement that International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach met Peng for dinner over the weekend seemed aimed at defusing lingering international concerns about the three-time Olympian and former Olympics player. doubles tennis ranked No. 1. These concerns have threatened to eclipse the ongoing Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Peng told L’Equipe the concerns were the result of “a huge misunderstanding”. But the format of the interview seemed to allow for no sustained follow-up, with questions submitted ahead of time and a Chinese Olympic committee official sitting in the discussion, translating Peng’s comments from Chinese. Much of the hour-long interview, conducted at a Beijing hotel on Sunday and organized by the Chinese Olympic Committee with the help of the IOC, focused on Peng’s playing career. At 36 and after multiple knee surgeries, Peng said she could not contemplate a return to tour-level professional tennis. She hasn’t performed on the women’s tour since February 2020. The newspaper published her comments verbatim — which it said was another interview prerequisite — as a Q&A. Photos of Peng during the interview showed her wearing a red tracksuit top with “China” in Chinese characters on the front.

L’Equipe asked Peng about the sexual assault allegations that sparked controversy in November. The allegations were quickly deleted from his verified account on one of China’s major social media platforms, Weibo. She then dropped out of public view for a while, which led to “where is Peng Shuai?” questions online and from players and fans outside of China.

In her lengthy post, Peng wrote that Zhang Gaoli, a former vice premier and a member of the ruling Chinese Communist Party’s all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee, forced her to have sex despite repeated refusals. Her message also stated that they had sex once seven years ago and that she developed romantic feelings for him afterwards.

The interview with L’Equipe was his first discussion with non-Chinese media since the indictment. She returned to the original post.

“Sexual assault? I never said someone sexually assaulted me,” she told the newspaper.

“This message has caused a huge misunderstanding from the outside world,” she also said. “My wish is that the meaning of this message is no longer biased.” Asked by L’Equipe why the message disappeared from Peng’s account, she replied, “I deleted it.” “Why? Because I wanted to,” she added. The obvious follow-up question of why she posted in the first place was not asked. The IOC also worked on Monday to defuse the situation. He said Bach had dinner with Peng on Saturday, a day after Chinese President Xi Jinping opened the Winter Olympics. The IOC said Peng also attended the China-Norway Olympic curling match with IOC member Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe.

Speaking at his daily Olympic press conference, IOC spokesman Mark Adams would not comment on whether the IOC believes Peng is speaking freely or is under duress.

“We are a sports organization, and our job is to stay in contact with it and, as we have explained in the past, to carry out personal and discreet diplomacy, to stay in contact with it, as we have done “, he said. “I don’t think it’s up to us to judge, in a way, just like it’s not up to you to judge either.” He said the IOC could not judge whether there should be an investigation into his initial allegations.

“I think we can say that we are doing everything we can to make sure this situation is as it should be,” he said.

In the interview with L’Equipe, Peng did not directly respond to questions about whether she had been in trouble with Chinese authorities since the post. Instead, she responded with a clumsy response that echoed views often voiced by the Chinese government on sports and politics.

“I had to say first of all that emotions, sport and politics are three clearly separate things,” she told the newspaper. “My love issues, my private life, should not be mixed with sports and politics.” When asked what her life has been like since the November post, she replied, “It’s how it should be: nothing special.” Peng thanked other players who expressed concerns about him. Among them, 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams tweeted “we must not remain silent” in November and called for an investigation. But Peng also expressed puzzlement.

“I would like to know: why so many worries? she asked. “I never disappeared. It’s just that a lot of people, like my friends and among them those from the IOC, sent me messages and it was completely impossible to reply to so many messages. Peng told L’Equipe that a mental health counseling unit at the WTA sent him emails and a text message.

“It was very unfamiliar to me,” she said. “Why would I need psychological help or that sort of thing?”

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Golf-Mickelson expresses new displeasure with PGA Tour

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Six-time winner Phil Mickelson provided more details on his beef with the PGA Tour on Thursday, expressing his unease that players don’t own the media rights to their own footage in tournaments. A day after saying the threat of a new Saudi Arabia-based World Golf Tour had already prompted the PGA Tour to dole out more money to its players, Mickelson went into more detail about his issues with the Saudi-based tour. United States.

“We are so far behind because we don’t have player representation like the Players Association and collective bargaining and all those things,” he told reporters after the first round at the Saudi International. , where he fired a three-under par 67 at trail leader Matteo Manassero by five shots. Mickelson told Golf Digest that players have little incentive to innovate because only the PGA Tour can benefit from the current arrangement.

“For me personally, it’s not enough that they’re sitting on hundreds of millions of digital moments. They also have access to my snaps, access that I don’t have,” he said, according to the magazine’s website. “They also charge companies to use the shots I hit. And when I did ‘The Match’ – there were five (exhibitions) – the tour made me pay them 1 million dollars every time. For my own media rights. This type of greed is, to me, beyond abhorrent.”

Players assign their media rights to the PGA Tour upon joining. The PGA Tour told Reuters it had no comment on Mickelson’s remarks, which come as former world number one Greg Norman leads a quest to create a rival Super Golf League (SGL) backed by the Fund. Saudi investment.

“If I had access to my own channel and access to my own media, I would have a camera and a microphone on my hat,” Mickelson said. “And I would bring in viewers. They would see and hear what was going on. But none of that happens because why would a player do that? To earn more millions for the tour? They earn enough already.

“The tour only includes leverage. And now the players are taking advantage of it.”

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Olympic members unite against Infantino’s World Cup plan

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FIFA’s decline plan for biennial World Cups was branded football’s threat to all other sports by the International Olympic Committee on Thursday.

IOC President Thomas Bach has chastised his FIFA counterpart Gianni Infantino, an IOC member for two years, for not being in Beijing to hear criticism.

“We would all have loved to discuss FIFA’s proposal for a biennial World Cup with the FIFA President and IOC member,” Bach told around 100 colleagues at the traditional pre-Olympic meeting, some of whom were present. in person and others watching from a distance. .

Bach added, breaking with the usual politeness of IOC gatherings, that speaking directly to Infantino “is not possible against all odds as he canceled his visit to Beijing the day before yesterday.” Infantino had to watch from a distance, either from FIFA’s hometown of Zurich or Doha, where he was living ahead of this year’s World Cup. The tournament in Qatar begins in November.

The FIFA president has put forward a plan to hold men’s and women’s World Cups every two years instead of four. FIFA believes the plan will accelerate the development of football around the world, close the gap with European clubs and national teams that dominate competitions and add billions of dollars in revenue that it can share among its 211 national federations.

Infantino has strong support from Africa for the plan. But European and South American football bodies have said they will boycott the biennial tournaments.

FIFA’s plan has “no chance” of succeeding, South American soccer president Alejandro Dominguez told The Associated Press last week.

Mustapha Berraf, the president of the African Group of National Olympic Committees, led the IOC’s opposition on Thursday, saying the biennial World Cups would have a “heavy impact” on his continent.

“The plan promoted by FIFA as we speak would create immeasurable damage and endanger sport in general,” Berraf said.

IOC executive committee member Nenad Lalovic, representing summer sports, and Olympic gold medalist in table tennis Seung Min Ryu said adding more World Cups would increase the workload for players and put their health at risk.

“There comes a time when athletes have to say, ‘Stop,'” Ryu said.

After four interventions from IOC members, Bach asked for and received applause to convey the feeling of the room to Infantino.

Infantino has already faced criticism from sports executives when Bach and the IOC held an online meeting in December.

The momentum of FIFA’s plan stalled after European and South American officials expressed concern. Infantino then fired plans for an expected vote on the issue in December.

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FACTBOX-​Five Facts About Former CNN Chairman Jeff Zucker

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Here are five facts about Jeff Zucker, who resigned on Wednesday as president of CNN and president of WarnerMedia’s news and sports division for failing to disclose jeff-zucker-resigns-cnn-president-2022-02-02 a consensual relationship with a close colleague. * Zucker, 56, graduated from Harvard College in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in American history, according to a profile on the CNN website

* Zucker began his NBC career in 1986 as a researcher for NBC Sports’ coverage of the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. * In January 1989, he joined NBC News as a field producer for the program “Today”. He eventually became its executive producer. Under his leadership, “Today” became the most-watched morning news program in America, according to CNN’s website.

* He was president and CEO of NBC Universal from 2007 to 2011. Zucker has served as president of CNN Worldwide since 2013. * Born and raised in Miami, Zucker has four children and resides in New York City, according to CNN. He is divorced, his spokesperson said.

CNN is part of AT&T-owned WarnerMedia, which is being spun off in a $43 billion deal with Discovery Inc. (Writing by Lisa Shumaker; Editing by Howard Goller)

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Rugby-New Pasifika captain Kepu says the team have an ‘indescribable bond’

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Veteran international prop Sekope Kepu has been named captain of New Zealand side Moana Pasifika for his first Super League season, the team announced on Wednesday. Kepu, who made three appearances in the Australian World Cup with 110 Test appearances for the Wallabies, said he jumped at the chance to lead the fledgling squad, which mainly includes Tongan and Samoan players.

“There is an indescribable bond of brotherhood in this special team even though we have only been together for a few months at most,” the 35-year-old told the team’s website. “Coming back to New Zealand I never thought I would play rugby again. God works in mysterious ways, being here and then called up to Moana Pasifika’s team was something I didn’t think twice about. time.”

Moana’s coach Aaron Mauger says Kepu practically chose himself as captain. “From the start, he has led by example – both in the way he trains, prepares and in the way he contributes to the culture of our team.

“In doing so, he effectively chose himself as the leader.” Kepu was born in Sydney to Tongan parents. Although the family moved to New Zealand when he was young, he later opted to represent Australia internationally.

He also played Super Rugby for over ten years for the Sydney-based Waratahs. Auckland-based Pasifika play their opener against ACT Brumbies on February 18.

They join Fijian Drua in the new 12-team Super Rugby Pacific competition featuring the Australian and New Zealand professional teams.

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Football-Aubameyang leaves Arsenal by mutual consent

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s sometimes tumultuous career at Arsenal is over after the club confirmed on Tuesday he left by mutual consent, paving the way for an expected move to Spanish giants Barcelona on a free transfer.

The 32-year-old striker has not played for Arsenal since December after manager Mikel Arteta sacked him as captain over a ‘disciplinary offence’. The Gabon international was also sent home at the start of his Africa Cup of Nations campaign after the Gabonese Football Federation said heart damage was discovered during tests carried out in Cameroon following a positive COVID-19 test.

“We wish Auba the best for the next chapter of his career and thank him for his contribution to the club,” Arsenal said in a statement posted on their website. Aubameyang joined Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund four years ago and was former manager Arsene Wenger’s latest signing.

He immediately became a fan favorite and scored 92 goals in 163 games for the club. One of his moments of glory was captaining Arsenal to their 14th FA Cup crown in 2020, scoring both goals in a 2-1 win over Chelsea, after also netting a brace against Manchester City in the semi-finals.

Aubameyang scored 22 league goals in the 2018-19 and 2019-20 campaigns but could only collect 10 league strikes the following term as Arsenal finished eighth. After a long saga of drawn-out contracts, Arsenal tied Aubameyang to a new three-year contract in 2020, much to the delight of Gunners fans, who desperately wanted the striker to stay put.

But things have turned sour for Aubameyang this season, so much so that one of the club’s most prized assets was allowed to leave free of charge with 18 months remaining on his contract. According to Sky Sports, Aubameyang trained with Barcelona on Tuesday after flying to the Spanish city on Monday.

On Tuesday, Barcelona president Joan Laporta said: “We will introduce Adama Traore tomorrow and, if everything goes well, we will also introduce Aubameyang.” Barcelona have been looking to rebuild since Lionel Messi left for Paris St Germain and the Catalan club sit fifth in the La Liga table, 15 points behind leaders and rivals Real Madrid.

In a quest to bolster their attacking options, Barca have signed Spanish striker Ferran Torres -28 from Manchester City for around 55 million euros ($61.34 million) as they also took Wolverhampton Wanderers winger Traore club-barcelona-on-loan-idUKKBN2K30F0 on loan. The club also attempted to offload French winger Ousmane Dembele, who hasn’t played since losing the Super Cup to Real Madrid earlier this month.

($1 = 0.8967 euros)

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The New York Times buys the viral word game Wordle

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The New York Times announced on Monday that it has acquired Wordle, the free online word game that has exploded in popularity and, for some, has become a daily obsession.

He said the purchase price was in the “lower seven figures”, but did not disclose details.

The Times, which features popular word games like Spelling Bee and its crossword puzzles, said “when it transitions to The New York Times, Wordle will be free to play for new and existing players, and no changes will be made. brought to its gameplay.” Wordle was created by Josh Wardle, a software engineer from Brooklyn. He originally did it for his partner, but went public in October. On November 1, only 90 people had played there. Within two months, that number jumped to 300,000 after people started sharing their scores on social media. Now the simple puzzle that lets players guess a five-letter word in six tries with no hints has millions of daily players, The Times said. It’s also become a viral phenomenon online, spurring imitators like “Airportle”, where you guess airport abbreviations, and “Queertle”, with words for the queer community. To play Wordle now, you need to visit its website. Just type a five-letter word. If any letters turn green, you have the right letter in the right place. Yellow letters mean the correct letter in the wrong place and gray letters mean they are not in the word of the day. Part of Wordle’s appeal is due to its simplicity, with no bells and whistles or ads or asking for your email address to play – just a website with 30 empty boxes and a keyboard. Some apps have tried to build on its success, confusing people who have downloaded – or even paid for – apps on their phones into thinking it’s the original Wordle.

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Soccer-Nike suspends relationship with Greenwood amid assault allegations

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Nike has suspended its relationship with Manchester United’s Mason Greenwood, the sportswear giant said on Monday after accusations surfaced online that the 20-year-old striker assaulted a woman. United said on Sunday they were “aware of the images and allegations circulating on social media” and later confirmed Greenwood would not return arrest-man-hours-after-manchester-utd-suspend-greenwood-2022-01-30 to train or play for the club at Old Trafford until further notice.

“We have suspended our relationship with Mason Greenwood. We are deeply concerned about the disturbing allegations and will continue to monitor the situation closely,” a Nike spokesperson told Reuters. The allegations against Greenwood – including video, photographs and a voice note – were posted to Instagram on Sunday and later deleted.

Greater Manchester Police had said a man had been arrested on suspicion of rape and assault and was being held for questioning after pictures and videos were posted by a woman reporting incidents of physical abuse. On Monday, police said detectives were given “additional time to speak to a man in his 20s”.

“The suspect was arrested yesterday (Sunday January 30) afternoon and remains in custody,” police added.

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Liverpool sign Luis Diaz, Newcastle buy Bruno Guimaraes

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Liverpool signed Luis Diaz from Porto to bolster their attacking options on the penultimate matchday of the January transfer window.

The 25-year-old Colombia international is yet to secure a British work permit to complete the transfer which will see Porto receive 45 million euros ($50 million) and potentially 15 million euros more in the coming years. come depending on Diaz’s success with Liverpool. .

Diaz is a skillful and exciting winger who has played for Porto since July 2019. He was tied with Argentina’s Lionel Messi as the Copa America’s top scorer last season. Colombia face Argentina in the World Cup qualifiers on Tuesday.

Liverpool are next in action in Sunday’s FA Cup against Cardiff. The team are second in the Premier League, nine points behind Manchester City with a game less than the champions.

NEWCASTLE SIGNS GUIMARAES New Saudi-owned Newcastle have taken a major step by signing Brazilian midfielder Bruno Guimarães from French club Lyon for 50.1 million euros ($55.8 million) and 20% of any value future sale.

Lyon announced the transfer fee on their website and Newcastle tweeted that they had signed a 4½ year contract. Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund bought Newcastle in October and the Premier League club tweeted ‘Bruno is a Geordie’. The club also showed a photo of him signing his contract.

Newcastle are battling relegation to the Premier League with just two wins this season and sit in 18th place. Guimarães, 24, has three international caps for Brazil and has played well for Lyon this season. Guimarães was not the first choice last season after joining Athletico Paranaense two years ago for 20 million euros ($22.3 million).

Last year, he helped Brazil win Olympic gold at the Tokyo Games. In total, he scored three goals in 71 games for Lyon.

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Sports News Roundup: Tennis-Emotional Nadal Finds Fire For Biggest Comeback; China’s superfan counts down to the Winter Olympics and more

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Here is a summary of current sports news briefs.

Tennis-Emotional Nadal finds fire for his biggest comeback

An exhausted and emotionally drained Rafa Nadal walked gingerly to an exercise mat in the players’ gymnasium at the Australian Open and collapsed on it in a heap. Not surprising given that the 35-year-old had just spent five hours and 24 minutes on the Rod Laver Arena court, bathed in sweat, rallying after two sets to edge world number two Daniil Medvedev – a 10-year-old opponent his younger brother.

China’s superfan counts down to the Winter Olympics

Beijinger Zhang Wenquan is looking forward to this week’s Winter Olympics more than most people in the Chinese capital. Zhang, who works in logistics for a construction company, has been obsessed with the Olympics and has been collecting memorabilia from around the world for 20 years.

Tennis-Nadal returns for the ages to claim Grand Slam record

Rafa Nadal roared after two sets to edge Daniil Medvedev in a classic Australian Open final and claim a record 21st Grand Slam title just months after fearing his glorious career was over. With Novak Djokovic off with the expulsion and Roger Federer recovering from knee surgery, the Spaniard great now has a Major title lead over his ‘Big Three’ rivals after surviving a 2-6 6-7 (5) 6-4 6-4 7 -5 thriller at Rod Laver Arena.

Coach: LeBron James absent “as long as the swelling is there”

Lakers superstar LeBron James has returned to Los Angeles to begin treatment for his left knee, coach Frank Vogel said Sunday. Vogel said an MRI on James’ knee revealed “general swelling”.

Tennis-Dreams shattered, Medvedev laments the loss of the crowd

As Daniil Medvedev began to absorb the reality of the most grueling loss of his career, the Russian was disheartened by the lack of support he received in the Australian Open final. During half of the decisive match against Rafael Nadal, Medvedev appeared to have a second Grand Slam title on his racket as he beat the winners from the baseline in front of the aging champion.

Smarter Knicks focus on struggling Kings

RJ Barrett of the New York Knicks said he and his teammates can learn from their wire-to-wire loss to defending NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks in their last outing. “They just had a different intensity in the fourth that we couldn’t match,” Barrett said in Friday’s 123-108 loss at Milwaukee. “But it’s good (for) a team like us, watching the defending champions, to see how they’ve raised their level, especially in this fourth quarter. We know what we have to do to…achieve this level.”

Soccer-Manchester Utd suspends Greenwood over assault charge

Manchester United suspended footballer Mason Greenwood on Sunday, a move that followed online accusations that the 20-year-old assaulted a woman. In an initial statement on Sunday, the club said it was “aware of the images and allegations circulating on social media”, saying it would not comment further until the facts were established, and adding :

Soccer-Canada beat USA 2-0 in World Cup qualifier

Canada struck early and again late to defeat the United States Men’s National Team 2-0 on Sunday to remain undefeated and extend their lead in the final round of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers. Canada recovered a goal kick from United States goalkeeper Matt Turner in the seventh minute and Jonathan David set up Cyle Larin, who ran forward and fired past a diving Turner, sending Tim fans into a frenzy Hortons Field.

Olympic-Russian biathlete Vasnetsova will miss Beijing with COVID

Russian biathlete Valeria Vasnetsova will miss the Beijing Olympics which begin this week after twice testing positive for COVID-19 and is expected to be replaced by Evgenia Burtasova, the Russian Biathlon Union has announced. Vasnetsova, 24, is currently in quarantine in Beijing.

China reports 37 new COVID-19 cases among Olympic staff

China detected 37 new cases of COVID-19 among people linked to the Olympics on Sunday, up from 34 a day earlier, the organizing committee for the Beijing 2022 Winter Games said. Twenty-eight of the new cases were people who tested positive after arriving at the airport, including eight athletes or team officials who were scheduled to compete in the Games from Feb. 4-21, organizers said Monday in a notice posted on the Games website.

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Soccer-Wanderers fire Robinson after early season struggles

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Western Sydney Wanderers manager Carl Robinson was sacked less than 24 hours after his side crumbled to a demoralizing 3-0 A-League loss to Brisbane Roar on Saturday.

The loss leaves Wanderers second from bottom of the 12-team competition, seven games into a season in which they were set to challenge for the title. “Western Sydney Wanderers FC today confirmed the departure of…head coach Carl Robinson, effective immediately,” Wanderers said on their official website.

“Wanderers would like to thank Carl for his time at the club over the last 1-1/2 seasons and wish him the best in his future endeavours. The club will soon make an announcement regarding the coaching position- leader for the rest of the season.”

Robinson was appointed as head coach in October 2020 after nine months on a 3.5-year contract at Newcastle Jets, but the former Wales midfielder was unable to turn Wanderers into a contender On title. He led the club to eighth place last year and there has been no improvement despite signing Israel international Tomer Hemed and former England midfielder Jack Rodwell during the season tight.

Robinson’s sacking comes after the 45-year-old admitted he was under pressure as Wanderers have won just once this season. “There is pressure on every manager who is not in the top six in this league,” Robinson said after the Brisbane loss. “I’m no different because I’m a foreigner.

“You have to accept it, you embrace it, sometimes you have to enjoy it, no matter how hard it is.”

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National Equestrian Show Jumping Championship from Saturday in Mumbai

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The National Equestrian Show Jumping Championship will start on Saturday at the Amateur Riders Club (ARC) at Mahalakshmi Racecourse in Mumbai, the national federation announced on Friday.

Athletes aged 14 and above will be eligible to compete in the seven-day event, the Equestrian Federation of India (EFI) said in a statement.

Athletes from Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata as well as the host city of Mumbai will participate in the annual event.

The competition will be divided into five categories: Novice, Grade III, Grade II, Grade I and Grand Prix.

Shyam Mehta, Chairman of the Amateur Riders Club (ARC) Mahalaxmi Racecourse, said: “In terms of precautions, we have made sure to adhere to all the rules and guidelines set out by the authorities. The safety of players, teams and staff is the top priority for us. We wish the best to all participants.” Col Jaiveer Singh, EFI General Secretary, said: ”The course designer for this championship is an FEI CD level 3 from Austria. For the first time ever, an NEC will be streamed live to our audiences around the world via an app.”

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Aston Villa sign defender Calum Chambers from Arsenal

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Aston Villa signed defender Calum Chambers from Arsenal on Thursday, making him the club’s fifth addition of the January transfer window.

Chambers, 27, who can play in both central defense and right-back, has signed a three-and-a-half-year contract at Villa Park for an undisclosed fee.

His arrival follows those of Philippe Coutinho, Lucas Digne, Robin Olsen and Kerr Smith as Steven Gerrard reshapes his squad.

“It’s a great step to join the club. The club is gaining momentum and it’s an exciting time to be here,” Chambers told Villa’s website. “You can really feel that in and around of the building. You can feel the energy around the place.” Chambers made 122 appearances for Arsenal after joining Southampton in 2014, but has only played five games this season. DIALLO JOINS RANGERS Manchester United sent Amad Diallo on loan to Scottish champions Rangers for the rest of the season.

The 19-year-old winger joined United from Atalanta in January last year and has made nine appearances in all competitions.

Only one of them has come this season, in the Champions League against Young Boys in December when United were already guaranteed to pass the group stage.

“It’s fantastic for me at this stage of my career to have the opportunity to come to such a big club which is challenging on so many fronts,” Diallo said of his move to Rangers, “and will give me great opportunities. to test me in many environments. United also let another striker, Anthony Martial, go on loan during the January transfer window. Martial joined Sevilla.

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IPL 2022: KKR invites fans to participate in a “simulated auction”

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Ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) Mega Auction next month, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) launched the “KKR Mock Auction” on Thursday, a unique activity that will allow all KKR fans to experience operation of a real event. According to KKR, fans around the world can send in their suggestions and strategies for selecting the best players in the auction simulation. Fans would be guided to participate through the team’s website.

“The auction simulation is another step towards our commitment to bringing the game closer to our fans. There is a lot of curiosity among fans about the bidding process, and it’s great that they have the opportunity to participate and engage with people who are a crucial part of the auction itself,” said Venky Mysore, CEO and Managing Director of KKR. “It would be amazing to see the suggestions shared by our fans, and I look forward to interacting with them during this process,” he added.

To prepare fans for the mock auction, KKR’s think tank will deliver two exclusive masterclass lessons (January 29 and 31) via live sessions on the franchise’s social media channels explaining the working dynamics of an IPL auction. Applications must be sent via video, from which the Top 30 will be selected. These selected fans will form ten teams of three people each and compete in rounds designed for the bidding simulation.

KKR said five lucky winners of the auction simulation will have the opportunity to interact with the franchise think tank to discuss their suggestions for KKR’s 2022 team. (ANI)

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Beijing’s Olympic bubble makes for a slightly surreal experience

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For journalists covering the Beijing Winter Olympics, China’s strict pandemic control measures create a surreal and somewhat frustrating experience. China requires electronic confirmation of the health status of those attending or covering the Games and sends them into a closed-loop bubble upon arrival. It kept Associated Press photo editor Yirmiyan Arthur spellbound as she traveled from New Delhi to Beijing via Tokyo on Tuesday. A colleague helped her download the app in Beijing, but the presence of health workers in biohazard suits reminded her that the restrictions would keep her inside the bubble forcing competitors, officials, staff and journalists to remain isolated from the general public. “I know that the only experience of Beijing I’m going to have is the one I’ll see through my bus window and my hotel window,” Arthur said. “I’m not really going to experience China, I’m just going to experience the Olympics in the bubble.” AP video reporter Johnson Lai faces more stress because China has no formal relations with his self-governing homeland of Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory. The lack of login meant he was unable to complete the form in the Olympics app to get a code, which requires a test at a Chinese-approved hospital. “There are a lot of uncertain matters that we cannot control. We can only apply based on their procedures,” said Lai, who forgoes celebrating Chinese New Year with her family to cover the Games.

So far, organizers say there have been 39 positive results from more than 2,500 tests at the airport among those who have arrived for the Games since early January. In the bubble, there were 33 positives out of 336,400 tests. None of the positives involved athletes. The average time spent in solitary confinement for most was around six days.

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Must keep improving: Manuel Marquez of Hyderabad FC

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Hyderabad FC head coach Manuel Marquez said he was happy and satisfied that his team topped the Indian Super League (ISL) table but felt they should not stop improving as they looked to stay in that position at the end of the season. Regarding the win over SC East Bengal, Marquez said the team need to maintain this form in the remaining eight games.

“It’s always important when you win a game. And yes, we won the last game and at the moment we are with 20 points but we have to continue. There are eight games to play. Every game is a battle. Even the other day, in the first half when we were leading 3-0, there were times when SC East Bengal were better than us,” said Manuel Marquez in a pre-match press conference. , according to the ISL website. “But of course we have very good players and a very good team and eventually we could win the game. After a draw if you win it’s fantastic but if you lose those draws are not good. But we know how football works and now we have confidence in our team,” he added.

The head coach also praised Aniket Jadhav and said he was a player with “a lot of qualities”. “Aniket is a player with a lot of qualities. But he is young and can improve in many areas, especially in decision-making. But he is a player who, with his qualities in the future, can be a important player in Indian football because he is a player who can score goals, who can dribble, who can cross. I think he is an important player in our team at the moment,” the head coach said.

Hyderabad FC face Odisha FC in their next game on Thursday and would need a win to ensure they cement their place at the top for now. (ANI)

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Australia set to tour Pakistan with full squad

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Australia are set to tour Pakistan with a full squad as no player has so far expressed reservations about a trip to the country which has been unable to host top international cricket. level for nearly a decade due to security concerns.

The last time Pakistan hosted an ICC event on home soil was when they co-hosted the 1996 World Cup with India and Sri Lanka. The terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in 2009 ensured that Test cricket remained banned until 2019. Last year, before the T20 World Cup, New Zealand and the England had withdrawn from the Pakistan tour for security reasons, with the Kiwis withdrawing at the eleventh hour. However, Australia appeared to be on track to embark on their first tour of Pakistan in 24 years, with national coach George Bailey calling the security plans “very, very robust and very, very thorough”.

“I think the boards are still working out some of the minor details for this tour, so once that’s been officially approved we’ll announce the team’s message, but we’re reasonably well advanced. ” Bailey told reporters on Tuesday according to the Cricket Australia website.

The last time Australia visited the Asian nation was in 1998, under Mark Taylor. All is positive regarding the Pakistan tour but there is uncertainty over Sheffield Shield’s resumption of the season, although coaches may not be required to see Shield’s performances to pick the team after. the Ashes 4-0 loss to England. “Whether we need (see any Shield cricket) or not, I’m not quite sure what opportunity we’ll get,” Bailey said.

“But the one thing I think we have to really agree with is that we have to accept what we’re getting at the moment and be flexible.

”I think one of the big things and maybe one of the reasons the players performed so well in the Ashes was that there were a number of players who had a good Shield cricket bank. before this series.

”Whether it’s for Pakistan or not, you would certainly hope that there is an opportunity for a bit of Shield cricket at some point just because of the competition and to continue to see guys improving and having the opportunity to show off their wares,” Bailey added.

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It’s lost points, says Anshul Katiyar of Odisha FC

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Odisha FC assistant coach Anshul Katiyar was left disappointed after their 0-0 draw with ATK Mohun Bagan in the Indian Super League (ISL) at PJN Stadium, Goa on Sunday. It was an end to end game where both teams did their best to score a goal. Odisha FC held off a good attack from ATK Mohun Bagan and will be eager to build on them in their upcoming games.

“Yeah, we can say it’s lost points because we had chances. I’ll come back to analyze the game, and we’ll see the xG and all those things. So I think we had chances and we did well. done in all parts whether in defense or attack. So yes, points dropped,” Anshul Katiyar said in a post-match press conference according to the ISL website. The coach also said he was impressed with Liridon Krasniqi as he just needed to work on his consistency.

“He’s always impressive. So he just needs to bring consistency, so he’s a different player. So today he showed some attitude towards the team. And like he’s a very good game, but I just want to see more consistency from him as in every game he should be at the top level,” the assistant coach said. Katiyar also believes the team needs to improve in all areas on offense and defense in transition.

“I think we need to improve in all areas in attack and defense in transition. So now I think the players are more comfortable, they have good communication, they have a game plan and now we We’re ready every day. And I think we’re going to improve in all four areas,” Katiyar said. “As you know, in set-piece defense, we’ve already improved. Thus, since the last two games, we have not conceded a goal from set pieces. So we are improving step by step, the whole staff is working towards that,” he added.

The result puts Odisha FC in sixth place, level on points with Hyderabad FC, currently in the semi-finals. (ANI)

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Olympic-Canadian snowboarder Parrot goes for gold in Beijing after battle with cancer

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Canadian snowboarder Max Parrot said on Friday the mental toughness he gained during his battle with cancer has carried over to the slopes where the slopestyle silver medalist from Pyeongchang now hopes to do better and win the gold at the Beijing Olympics.

Parrot’s career was put on hold when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in December 2018. Two months after being declared cancer-free in mid-2019, Parrot won an X Games big air gold medal at the of his return to competition. Showing no signs of rust, Parrot also won a World Cup gold medal later that year and started 2020 with another big air gold medal at the X Games in Aspen.

“Every year I get better and better physically and mentally, and especially going through a challenge as big as cancer, you really get harder mentally,” Parrot said during a virtual press conference. “If you think back to my season right after my cancer… That was pretty much my best year ever.”

Parrot finished fifth on his Olympic debut at the 2014 Sochi Games before a second-place finish in Pyeongchang. The 27-year-old Canadian, pre-qualified for the slopestyle/big air team, traveled to Beijing based on his results from the 2020-21 winter season and is not shy about sharing his intentions.

“Of course my goal is to go for gold, that’s for sure,” said Parrot, whose battle with cancer is chronicled in a documentary called “MAX – Life as a Gold Medal” which was released this week. on its website. “But I’m really happy also that if I don’t get the gold I won’t have any regrets because I did everything in my power in the last two months and that was something great. ‘important to me too, just not to have no regrets.’

Although there were a few days during Parrot’s cancer battle when he wondered if he would ever return to the sport he loves, he said he never let those thoughts take hold. the top. “When I had cancer, it was ‘OK, I’m going to do treatments, I’m going to do them as best I can’ and even though I didn’t know if the treatments would work or not, in my head, the cancer had no chance against me,” Parrot said.

“I had a lot of determination and drive and all the time I just wanted to get back to my passion as soon as possible. But never going back to it wasn’t really an option in my mind.”

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Mom was awesome: Azarenka in 4th round at Australian Open

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Before Victoria Azarenka had a chance to analyze the two players she could meet next, her son was asked about the third-round performance of the two-time Australian Open champion.

Five-year-old Leo, wearing his sunglasses in the press conference room and sitting on his mother’s lap, replied succinctly, “Awesome!” Thanks, kid.

Azarenka’s highlights in her 6-0, 6-2 victory over 15th seed Elina Svitolina on Friday included “the amount of aggression I could bring point after point, applying a lot of pressure, the consistency. The breakpoints I faced, I played really hard.” “Yes, take control of my side of the pitch,” she added. “I think that’s what I’m happiest about.” She will next face French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova, who rallied after a set and loss to 26th seed Jelena Ostapenko to win 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 and advance to the fourth round in singles at Melbourne Park for the first time. The 24th-seeded Azarenka, who won the title at Melbourne Park in 2012 and 2013 and was a three-time US Open runner-up, is in the fourth round here for the first time since 2016 after extending her record of 5-0 win over Svitolina. .

She racked up nearly twice as many winners, 17, as unforced errors, nine, and never faced a break point. Svitolina made mistake after mistake, 26 unforced errors in all.

Since a quarter-final in Australia in 2016, Azarenka has lost first-round matches last year and in 2019, and missed the hard-court tournament in 2017, 2018 and 2020.

The 32-year-old former world No. 1, from Belarus, is feeling comfortable at the moment, fulfilling the dual role of player and mother in Melbourne.

Azarenka was asked if it was more demanding, fun or relaxing to have her son with her on tour.

“All of the above,” she said, laughing, as Krejcikova and Ostapenko played.

“He’s definitely not a distraction, I’d never say that. Parenting isn’t easy. He’s got a lot of personality – I don’t know where he got that from!” Leo flipped his tournament ID on his lanyard as his mother fielded questions from inside the venue and online. He yawned at least once and blew air into the microphone.

“I still feel privileged to be able to have him here,” Azarenka said. “These kinds of moments are really priceless to me. To be able to share that with my son is pretty amazing.” In other results on day five, fifth-seeded Maria Sakkari beat 28th-seeded Veronika Kudermetova 6-4, 6-1 to advance to the fourth round against 21st-seeded Jessica Pegula of the United States, who beat Nuria Parrizas Diaz 7-6. (3), 6-2.

Eighth-seeded Paula Badosa advanced with a 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 win over Marta Kostyuk.

The night session later Friday featured two highly anticipated matchups that could lead to an even bigger one.

Defending champion Naomi Osaka was scheduled to face Amanda Anisimova at Margaret Court Arena, while No. 1 Ash Barty was scheduled to face Camila Giorgi at Rod Laver Arena. The winners of those two matches will meet in a fourth-round match that could look like a Grand Slam final a week earlier if it’s Osaka versus Barty.

Rafael Nadal was set to continue his bid for a record 21st Grand Slam title with a third-round match against No. 28 Karen Khachanov.

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United World Wrestling postpones Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series event

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United World Wrestling (UWW) has postponed Matteo Pellicone and announced that Almaty and Tunis will be the host sites for the other two events in the Ranking Series 22 on Thursday. According to an official statement, despite the efforts of the Italian Wrestling Federation to welcome Matteo Pellicone from Rome on the previously scheduled dates of February 4-7, the latest restrictions due to the Omicron variant have proven to be an obstacle to the organization of the event. ‘event.

The tournament will now take place June 22-25 in Rome, Italy, ahead of the European U20 Championships, which begin June 27 at the Pala Pellicone. United World Wrestling has selected Africa and Asia as the host continents for the remaining pair of 2022 events.

Along with the season-opening ranking event – the Yasar Dogu – in Istanbul, Turkey (February 24-27), the second event will take place in Almaty, Kazakhstan (June 2-5). The Matteo Pellicone will be the third event (June 22-25), with Tunis, Tunisia being the final Ranking Series stop of the season (July 14-17).

2022 Ranking Series Schedule: 1st Ranking Round: February 24-27, Istanbul (TUR)2nd Ranking Round: June 2-5, Almaty (KAZ)3rd Ranking Round: June 22-25, Rome (ITA)4th ranking series: July 14-17, Tunis (TUN)

“We really believe that these adjustments will be beneficial for the sport and for the competitions held each year,” UWW President Nenad LALOVIC said in a statement announcing the changes. “Points will be awarded to wrestlers, based on their ranking in these events. At the end of the year, the athletes with the highest number of points will become the best wrestlers of the year,” he said. he adds.

One of the biggest changes made by the Board was the approval of updates to the current competition ranking and ranking system. The UWW has also decided to add the XIX Mediterranean Games in Oran, Algeria (June 27-30) as a trial event to award ranking points to wrestlers participating in the Games.

However, final ranking points will only be awarded based on results in four of the five events for athletes competing at Regional Games. Points from the Olympics, Senior World and Continental Championships are not affected. The following competitions will determine a wrestler’s ranking:

Ranking Series (International Tournaments selected by UWW) Senior Continental Championships Senior World Championships or Olympics XIX Mediterranean Games (eligible wrestlers) “We encourage all of your athletes to compete at these events,” Lalovic said. “The [ranking] the points will serve them when we establish the seeds for the continental and world senior championships.”

The new rankings have been updated on, with wrestlers holding points at the Tokyo Olympics and the Oslo World Championships. Another important decision was to change the number of seeds in different competitions. As a result, the Bureau approved having eight seeds for the Senior World Championships and Olympics instead of the previous four.

Likewise, the number of seeded wrestlers at the Senior 22 Continental Championships will now be four instead of two. The seeds will be determined by the Ranking Series events organized before the aforementioned competitions but also taking into account the points earned at the 2021 Senior World Championships and the Tokyo Olympic Games. USA and Azerbaijan to host World Cup 22

In a first, the UWW will host a combined Freestyle and Women’s Wrestling World Cup in Iowa, USA. Iowa will host the Combined World Cup for two consecutive years – 2022 and 2023 – marking a fresh start in the wrestling schedule. This will also be the second time Iowa has hosted the Freestyle World Cup. The legendary Carver-Hawkeye Arena on the University of Iowa campus hosted the 2018 World Cup.

After a four-year absence, wrestling will return to Baku, with the Bureau having tentatively approved the Azerbaijani capital to host the Greco-Roman World Cup pending a site inspection visit. The tournament will take place on November 5 and 6. The schedule was completed with the selection of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, as host city for the Senior Asian Championships (April 19-24). (ANI)

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Beijing residents disappointed that the Olympics are closed

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With just over two weeks to go before the Beijing Winter Olympics open, residents of the Chinese capital say they are disappointed they will not be able to attend the events due to coronavirus restrictions which have seen parts of the city ​​under control. Organizers announced on Monday that no tickets will be sold to the general public and only selected spectators will be allowed. Access to the famous National Stadium, known as the Bird’s Nest, and indoor venues in the heart of Beijing has been cordoned off. Those interviewed on Wednesday seemed to understand the restrictions. Many of them could be seen skating on frozen lakes in Beijing as a sign of continued enthusiasm for winter sports. Since China does not allow any public demonstrations or opinion polls and strictly restricts free speech, any opposition to the Games or the restrictions would be stifled. Chen Lin had planned to buy tickets for the speed skating, but waived his personal concerns about the pandemic and after it became clear that tickets would only be offered to selected spectators. “I went to the Beijing Summer Olympics in 2008. It’s a shame that I can’t watch the Games this time during the Winter Olympics,” the 38-year-old said. “Of course, we can still watch the Games with live broadcast on TV and live online, but that doesn’t provide as much of a sense of engagement as watching the Games on location.” Beijing is the first city to be granted the right to host the Summer and Winter Games. Chen said the level of excitement this year was much lower than in 2008, when the Games sparked a wave of national pride. “For one thing, the Winter Olympics don’t get as much attention as the Summer Olympics. On the other hand, there is also the pandemic. Both are the reasons,” he said. Retired and amateur photographer Wang Syaolan, who volunteered at the 2008 Games, said she hoped to take her camera to events to ‘be a part of it’ ‘But now with management in closed loop, we won’t be able to be there ourselves. It’s a shame,’ Wang said, referring to restrictions separating participants from the general population. The recent appearance of the more contagious omicron variant of the coronavirus in Beijing has heightened concerns about outbreaks, although the capital reported just one new case on Wednesday. Elsewhere in the country, around 20 million people are in some form of lockdown and mass testing has been ordered in entire cities where cases have been found. China has largely avoided major outbreaks with lockdowns, mass testing and travel restrictions, though it continues to battle surges in several cities, including the port of Tianjin, about an hour from Beijing. Restrictions have also been tightened in the city of Anyang in Henan province, south of Beijing, where 29 additional cases of local transmission were reported on Wednesday, out of a national total of 55. Games organizers have previously announced that no fans from outside the country will be allowed. .

The Olympics begin on February 4, just days after the start of Lunar New Year celebrations. Athletes, officials, staff and journalists are required to enter a pandemic bubble without outside contact and undergo daily testing.

As an additional precaution, Beijing will require travelers to take nucleic acid tests within 72 hours of entering the city from Jan. 22. Schools in Beijing also closed early and moved classes online ahead of the winter vacation.

Along with coronavirus concerns, the Games have been plagued by political controversies, including a decision by the United States and its close allies not to send dignitaries to protest China’s treatment of its Uyghur Muslim minority. and other human rights violations. On Tuesday, the athletes were urged by human rights campaigners to avoid criticizing China because they could be prosecuted. The International Olympic Committee said athletes will have freedom of expression when speaking to reporters or posting on social media. However, the Olympic Charter rule that prohibits political protest at medal ceremonies also requires that “applicable public law” be observed.

The IOC has not responded to requests in recent days to clarify how Chinese law might apply to the Games.

Asked about free speech issues at the Olympics, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Wednesday that China understands the IOC is banning athletes from political protests.

“I would like to reiterate that China invites athletes from all countries to participate in the Beijing Winter Olympics and will ensure their safety and convenience,” Zhao told reporters during a daily briefing.

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Beijing 2022 official warns of violations of ‘Olympic spirit’

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Behavior by athletes that violates the Olympic spirit or Chinese rules could be subject to sanctions, a Beijing 2022 official has said, after rights groups raised concerns about the safety of competitors if they were protesting at next month’s Games.

Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter states that “no form of political, religious or racial demonstration or propaganda is permitted at Olympic venues”, although it was relaxed last year to allow gestures on the ground if done without disturbance and with respect. for competitors. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has made it clear that athletes are free to express their opinions on any issue during press conferences and interviews in the Olympic bubble, as long as it is not during competitions or medal ceremonies.

Yang Shu, deputy director general of the Beijing 2022 international relations department, was asked during a virtual briefing on Wednesday about athletes’ concerns if they speak out on rights issues during the Winter Games, which begin February 4. in line with the Olympic spirit, I am sure, will be protected, and any behavior or speech that is contrary to the Olympic spirit, especially Chinese laws and regulations, is also subject to certain penalties,” Yang said.

Cancellation of accreditation is a potential sanction within the guidelines of the organizers’ manual, he said at the event hosted by the Chinese Embassy in Washington. However, the playbook primarily deals with COVID-19 prevention measures and does not address issues such as speaking out or protesting. In previous Olympics, any violation of the Olympic Charter by athletes was handled solely by the IOC.

Yang’s comments came after athletes heading to the Beijing Olympics were warned by speakers at a Human Rights Watch seminar on Tuesday to talk about human rights issues in China, for their own security. Rights groups have long criticized the IOC for awarding the Games to China, citing its treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups, which the United States has called genocide. China denies allegations of human rights abuses.

On Tuesday, the IOC said in an email response to a request for comment from Reuters that it “recognizes and upholds human rights as enshrined in both the fundamental principles of the Olympic Charter and in its code of ethics” at all times. Several countries, including the United States, Britain, Japan and Australia, have announced diplomatic boycotts of the Games due to human rights concerns in China.

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Cricket-Australia’s Langer not ‘pissed off’ ahead of contract talks

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Australia manager Justin Langer says he is proud of the team’s achievements over the past two months and that although his current contract is coming to an end he is not worried about his future ahead of talks with cricket board officials. The 51-year-old’s tenure appeared to be on thin ice last year amid reports that his coaching style had caused discontent in the dressing room.

But the former Test batsman has since guided Australia to their maiden Twenty20 World Cup triumph in November and oversaw their 4-0 draw against England earlier this month. “I’m never nervous (about the future),” Langer told SEN Radio.

“Whatever happens from now on, we can all be incredibly proud of this little period.” Langer said the success was due to their impeccable preparation ahead of major competitions.

“We had two missions: to win the World Cup and to win the Ashes. To do this in such a short time is a monumental effort and we’re all really happy with it, we’re all really happy about it, we’re all really, really proud of that.

“I’m sitting here right now feeling really satisfied with the last two sets.” Cricket Australia’s high performance chief Ben Oliver said the players would be consulted before making a decision on Langer’s future.

Langer’s former teammate Ricky Ponting says the board should give him a new contract. “I don’t see how he hasn’t (offered himself another contract),” Ponting told the website

“I know there’s been a bit of noise over the past two weeks and Cricket Australia hasn’t given him any assurances to continue. I don’t see how Justin can’t continue.”

Australia will tour Pakistan in March, their first to the South Asian country since 1998, to play three Tests, an equal number of one-day internationals and a Twenty20 match.

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Lewandowski wins FIFA’s Best Player vote ahead of Messi and Salah

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Robert Lewandowski has been voted the best men’s player in the world, retaining the FIFA award he won last year despite not appearing on the ballot cast by runner-up Lionel Messi.

The Bayern Munich forward on Monday overturned last month’s Ballon d’Or result where he finished second to Messi, who eventually led Argentina to a senior title at the 2021 Copa América. Mohamed Salah of Liverpool finished third.

“I’m very honored to win this trophy,” Lewandowski said over a video link from Munich. The trophy was handed over by club officials during the online ceremony held at FIFA headquarters in Zurich on Monday.

Lewandowski was the overwhelming choice of national team captains and coaches as well as selected media in more than 200 countries, but was almost overtaken by Messi, who got more than double the number of votes from fans around the world than the Polish captain. .

All three candidates voted as captains of their national teams and Lewandowski ranked Messi second of his three choices. Salah had Lewandowski and Messi in his top three.

Messi didn’t choose any of his closest rivals in the vote. His first two choices were Neymar and Kylian Mappé, now his teammates since joining Paris Saint-Germain in August.

Lewandowski broke two Bundesliga records by scoring 41 goals for Bayern in their 2020-21 season and 43 in the 2021 calendar year. Both marks had been held since 1972 by another Bayern great, Gerd Müller. “If you asked me a few years ago if it was possible, I would have said no, it’s impossible to score so many goals in the Bundesliga,” said Lewandowski, who has scored four more in two games this year. .

On the women’s side, Alexia Putellas added the FIFA trophy to her Ballon d’Or win. Putellas captained Barcelona to their maiden Women’s Champions League title and teammate Jennifer Hermoso came third in the FIFA vote. The runner-up was Sam Kerr of runners-up beat Chelsea.

Chelsea won the coaching awards in a year when their men’s and women’s teams led by Thomas Tuchel and Emma Hayes reached their Champions League final.

Tuchel again finished ahead of Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola to repeat the result of their European title match. Guardiola finished third after leading City to the English Premier League title and a dazzling lead this season after beating Chelsea on Saturday.

Roberto Mancini finished second in the FIFA vote after leading Italy to win the European Championship.

Hayes appeared surprised to win the women’s football coaching award ahead of Lluis Cortes. His Barcelona team beat Chelsea 4-0 in the Champions League final. Sarina Wiegman, who left 2017 European champions Netherlands to take over in England, finished third.

In an evening of surprises and quirky picks, a global player vote to choose their World XI rosters was curious.

None of the three candidates for the women’s individual award were voted into the best women’s team, which also lacked Barcelona players.

Salah was also missing from the men’s squad roster which had an unusual 3-3-4 formation which allowed for a forward line of Messi, Lewandowski, Erling Haaland and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ronaldo was also FIFA’s star guest in Zurich. The Portuguese star appeared in person to close the show and receive a special award for breaking the all-time record in the men’s national football team. A long established tradition at the FIFA awards has been extended for another year. Six-time winner Messi and five-time winner Ronaldo both ignored each other on the ballots they submitted. Ronaldo voted for Lewandowski as his number 1.

Women’s national team leading scorer Christine Sinclair of Canada’s Olympic champion also received a special FIFA award earlier on the show.

Two awards have been handed out to Denmark for the in-stadium reaction to national team star Christian Eriksen’s collapse from cardiac arrest during a European Championship match in Copenhagen.

The FIFA Fair Play Award was given to the Danish players and medical staff who protected and treated Eriksen. The top fans award was shared by Denmark and Finland, whose supporters chanted Eriksen’s name as he was treated on the pitch before it was clear he would recover.

The Puskas Award for Best Goal went to Erik Lamela for the rabona flick he scored for Tottenham against Arsenal in the Premier League in March.

The best goalkeeper awards were won by Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy and Chile’s Christiane Endler, who left PSG for Lyon during the off-season.

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Motor racing – The Prost team and Alpine F1 part ways

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Four-time Formula 1 world champion Alain Prost accused Alpine of disrespect on Monday after learning he had left the Renault-owned team of which he was a non-executive director. The 66-year-old, the only Frenchman to win the title, joined the team in 2017 as an advisor.

The media, including the official website, reported that Alpine did not renew Prost’s annual contract, although there was no official statement from the team, as part of direction changes. Prost said on his Instagram page that he was “very disappointed” with how the news came out.

“It was agreed that we would announce together with @alpinef1team! No respect sorry!” he said. “I declined the offer made to me in Abu Dhabi for the 2022 season due to a personal relationship and I was right! To the Enstone and Viry team, I will miss you. “

Alpine announced last week that executive director Marcin Budkowski, who effectively ran day-to-day operations, had left the team with general manager Laurent Rossi temporarily taking over. A restructuring a year ago saw the departure of team principal Cyril Abiteboul.

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Motor-racing-McLaren boss calls for stronger leadership in F1

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McLaren boss Zak Brown on Monday called for stronger leadership in Formula 1 to reduce the power of big teams and prevent the pinnacle of motorsport from turning into a pantomime.

In a post about the year ahead on McLaren’s website, Brown said some rivals were looking for ‘excuses to raise the cost cap and win world championships on checkbooks’ while gaining an advantage with teams B. Without naming names, the American said “at times it seemed like the sport was ruled by certain teams” and that more leadership was needed from Liberty Media-owned Formula 1 and the governing FIA .

The FIA ​​elected a new president last month, Emirati Mohammed Ben Sulayem, in place of Frenchman Jean Todt, while Italian Stefano Domenicali took over as Formula 1 boss last year. The 2021 season ended in uproar, with Mercedes accusing race director Michael Masi of robbing Lewis Hamilton of an eighth crown with a late change to safety car procedure that favored Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who won the title.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff and Red Bull’s Christian Horner spoke on the radio to Masi during the race and the Australian official’s future remains uncertain, with some saying his position has become untenable. Brown said the past had been characterized by “a mostly autocratic style of governance”, a reference to decades under former supremo Bernie Ecclestone, and a more consultative approach was needed to reset the sport.

“Moving forward, there is a need to return to stronger and more directive leadership and governance at the top of the sport,” the American said. “It is clear that certain rules and their governance are not acceptable as things stand.”

Brown said the teams contributed to inconsistencies in policing and voted for many of the rules they now complain about. He suggested that the events in Abu Dhabi, under investigation by the governing body, resulted from systemic failures with “an apparent lack of preparation for the unfolding of events and temporary inertia on solutions”.

“It was the teams who put the pressure on to avoid finishing the races under the safety car at all costs,” he observed. “It was the teams that used radio broadcasts to the race director to try to influence penalties and race results, to the point where an over-excited team manager played from the stands and pressured the race officials.

“It hasn’t been uplifting for F1. Sometimes it feels like a pantomime audition rather than the pinnacle of a world sport.”

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Major fire at Secunderabad Club in Hyd, no casualties

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A massive fire broke out at the Secunderabad Club heritage building here in the early hours of Sunday, damaging most parts of the structure, police said. However, there were no casualties, they said.

A police patrol team noticed the fire around 3:15 a.m. and alerted the fire department and seven fire trucks, including one from the army, were dispatched to the scene and the flames were extinguished by 6 a.m. a police official told PTI.

It was a major fire and based on a preliminary investigation, the cause of the fire is suspected to be a short circuit, the official said.

Visuals on social media showed the building completely engulfed in flames.

According to Secunderabad Club website, Secunderabad Club was established by the British in 1878 and it is one of the oldest clubs in India. Situated on a 22-acre campus, the Club’s century-old Main Club House, lovingly and aesthetically maintained, has been awarded heritage status by the Hyderabad Urban Development Authority. The club offers dining, reading, indoor and outdoor sports with its own cricket ground and extensive leisure facilities. It may be the only member club to have its own dedicated sailing annex, its website says.

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Reuters sports news summary | Sports games

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Here is a summary of current sports news briefs.

Denmark joins diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics for human rights

Denmark will not send an official diplomatic delegation to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics due to human rights concerns in the host country, Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said on Friday. “It’s no secret that we on the Danish side are very concerned about the human rights situation in China,” Kofod said. “The government has decided that we will not attend the Winter Olympics in China.”

NFL-Rams QB Stafford accepts pressure as he shoots for first playoff win

Los Angeles quarterback Matthew Stafford said he was determined to perform at a high level every time he took the field and it would be no different when he led the Rams against the Los Angeles Cardinals. Arizona in Monday’s playoff game in Los Angeles. Expectations are high for the 33-year-old after the Rams traded quarterback and former first draft pick Jared Goff to Detroit in exchange for Stafford in the offseason.

Djokovic detained to fight Australian deportation in court

Novak Djokovic was due to surrender to immigration officials for detention on Saturday ahead of a hearing in his battle to overturn new Australian government orders aimed at deporting him from the country. The world’s top-ranked tennis player had to report to authorities in Melbourne for an interview around 8 a.m. Saturday (2100 GMT Friday), according to a court order issued on Friday evening.

Motor racing-Wickens back in the cockpit after near-fatal crash

Robert Wickens, who was left partially paralyzed after a near-fatal crash in IndyCar, will get back into a racing car for the first time since his accident while competing in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Cup championship, the Canadian announced on Friday. Wickens will team up with compatriot Mark Wilkins driving a Hyundai prepared by Bryan Herta Autosport (BHA) in the series’ season opener on January 28, a four-hour endurance race that is part of the weekend. end of the 24 Hours of Daytona race.

Australian government reaction canceling Djokovic visa again

Here are the reactions to Australia’s cancellation of tennis star Novak Djokovic’s visa for the second time on Friday. If a court rejects his appeal against the annulment, it would end the Serbian player’s bid for a record 21st Grand Slam title at the Australian Open from January 17-30. AUSTRALIAN PM SCOTT MORRISON

U.S. Supreme Court to hear dispute over football coach’s on-field prayers

The United States Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear the appeal of a former Christian football coach who was suspended from his job at a Washington state high school for refusing to stop his practice of football. prayer in the middle of the field after games – a case that could extend the religious rights of employees of public institutions. Judges appealed Joseph Kennedy, who served as an assistant football coach in the city of Bremerton, from a lower court ruling that dismissed his claims that the school district’s actions violated his freedom of speech and his religious rights under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. .

Timbers sign MF Diego Chara to three-year extension

The Portland Timbers have signed midfielder Diego Chara to a three-year extension through the 2024 season, the team announced Friday. The 35-year-old captain is entering his 12th season with Portland. He is the team’s all-time leader with 310 games played.

Melky Cabrera announces his retirement after 15 seasons

Veteran outfielder Melky Cabrera announced Friday that he is retiring after 15 major league seasons. Cabrera, who made his statement on Instagram, played major league games from 2005-19. He signed a minor league contract with the New York Mets in 2020, but he did not play for the club. the major league.

Beijing takes steps to reduce traffic and pollution during Winter Olympics

Aiming to reduce road traffic and pollution during the Winter Olympics, host city Beijing announced a series of measures on Friday, including a ban on heavy vehicles transporting construction waste, earth, sand and gravel for nearly two months. In response to any predicted increase in air pollution levels, which often occurs during the winter months, authorities will ban all medium and heavy tankers from the road and the use of government vehicles will be reduced by 80%.

Tennis-ATP, WTA team up with Netflix for a documentary series

Netflix and the production company behind its popular Formula 1 series “Drive to Survive” will document this season’s ATP and WTA tours as well as the four Grand Slam tournaments, the online streaming platform announced on Friday in a statement. Filming is already underway at the Australian Open, the statement said, but the release date and title of the documentary are yet to be confirmed.

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Soccer-Chelsea’s Lukaku returns for League Cup semi-final

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Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku returned to the starting line-up for the first leg of their League Cup semi-final at home to Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday, a day after apologizing for saying he would not was unhappy with his role at Stamford Bridge.

Lukaku was left out of the squad for the 2-2 Premier League draw with Liverpool at the weekend after telling idUKKBN2J91CE Sky Italy that he was unhappy with the “situation” at Chelsea and would like to return to Italy sometime in the future. In a video posted on the Chelsea website on Tuesday, Lukaku said he was sorry for the inconvenience he caused.

“I’m happy he’s on the pitch today,” coach Thomas Tuchel told the club’s website -team-news-pre-tottenham ahead of Wednesday’s Game. “We can listen to this interview 100 times and it won’t get better, but we can change direction. We accept that it happened, he accepted that it happened and we have enough reason to move on.

“Now we have to protect him and push him because he’s our player and we want him, and he wants to be, a key player.” The 28-year-old Belgium international signed for Chelsea from Inter Milan at the end of the season for a record fee of 97.5 million pounds ($132.5 million). He has scored seven times in 18 games in all competitions this season.

Tuchel also said defender Thiago Silva and midfielder N’Golo Kante were absent from Wednesday’s squad after testing positive for COVID-19. “It’s huge for us because they are two huge players. We had the latest information today in the morning, so it’s quite difficult, but we will push. The guys who are here have our confidence and belief “, added Tuchel. ($1 = 0.7357 pounds)

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Spain and Poland win their 2nd consecutive match at the ATP Cup

By Sports games

Spain and Poland remained perfect at the ATP Cup, securing a 2-0 lead in their matches on Monday for their second straight victories in the team event.

Robert Bautista Agut won the match for Spain beating Norway’s Casper Ruud 6-4, 7-6(4) after Pablo Carreno Busta beat Viktor Durasovic 6-3, 6-3.

Bautista Agut improved to 9-2 in singles play in the team event.

“Casper is playing amazing tennis, (he did) an amazing performance last year, and today I played really well,” Bautista Agut said in his on-court interview. “I came back very well, made very few unforced errors and played aggressively.” with a 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-1 victory over Aleksandre Metreveli.

“He (Metreveli) played well in the first set and things weren’t going my way. But I got better with every set and I’m happy to get the win,” Hurkacz said. Poland can book a place in the semi-finals if they beat Argentina on Wednesday in their next group game.

Majchrzak only needed 53 minutes to beat Bakshi.

“I was trying to move (Bakshi) and I think that was the key to the game,” said Majchrzak, who is coached by former world number seven Joakim Nystrom.

“He brings me a lot of confidence and a lot of calm in my tennis, so I can feel that I’m improving,” Majchrzak said of Nystrom on the ATP Tour website. “We are working on (developing a game on all courts) but in a way that does not interrupt my basic game. We will move from training to games, but that takes time.” Greece take on Argentina and Serbia take on Chile in night matches on Monday.

The four group winners of the 16-team tournament advance to the semi-finals on Friday and Saturday, with the winners meeting in the final on Sunday.

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