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first_imgYOKOHAMA, Japan (AP):Lionel Messi could still play for Barcelona in tomorrow’s Club World Cup final.The Argentina forward missed yesterday’s training, and was absent from the 3-0 semi-final win over Guangzhou Evergrande, sick with renal colic, a type of abdominal pain commonly attributed to kidney stones.”All the situations are open. What the manager (Luis Enrique) said is that we have to evaluate, hour after hour, how he is feeling,” Barcelona media officer Chemi Teres said. “I don’t know if it is renal colic or kidney stones, or something else in this area.”Neymar’s prospects of playing in the final against Argentine club River Plate appear to be improving.The Brazil striker sat out Barcelona’s training on Monday and Tuesday before doing some workouts at the start of Wednesday’s session.Neymar came on as a substitute in the semi-final match, but stepped up his training routine yesterday, running the perimeter of the field with a coach. He then did some dribbling drills and sprinting with the ball, isolated from the other players.Dani Alves missed yesterday’s practice with a bruised foot, but is expected to be fit for tomorrow’s match.Barcelona are bidding to win the tournament for a record third time after titles in 2009 and 2011.last_img read more

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first_imgPresident of the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) Wilford ‘Billy’ Heaven is hopeful that the opening of the state-of-the-art fitness and wellness centre at Sabina Park will result in an improvement of the national cricket teams.The fitness centre, which was officially opened on Thursday at Sabina Park by Minister of Sports Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange cost an estimated US$70,000 and was co-funded by the National Health Fund (NHF).”This is an initiative that was contained in this administration’s manifesto over two years ago, and this is a realisation of that commitment,” said Heaven.”It is an achievement of the JCA, and the hope is that it will contribute to the fitness level of our players, which, at the moment, is nowhere near where it should be.”The facility, which will also be open to members of other national associations, as well as sports clubs and schools, consists of a range of equipment and exercise machines.It can hold a capacity of 20 persons at any given time.”The fact that the JCA has chosen to take the matter of health seriously is most worthy of commendation, and, indeed, adulation,” stated Grange, who cut a ribbon to signify the opening.”I must commend the NHF and the CHASE Fund for buying into the vision and providing the funding for this initiative.”Added Grange: “What pleases me most, as well, is that this vision fits into my wider vision for the support of infrastructure, which we, as a Government, must put in place to support our athletes.”ENDORSED BY MINISTRYPermanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Dr Kevin Harvey, who spoke on behalf of Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton, also hailed the venture.”The ministry has been on a drive to take health to another level, and last year, we launched our workplace policy,” Harvey outlined.This is because, he said, the ministry recognised that several Jamaicans spent a significant portion of their time at work.”We have subsequently been encouraging persons to set up at their workplace wellness centres and areas of opportunity for physical activity,” he said.Meanwhile, Everton Anderson, chief executive officer of the NHF, who presented the JCA with several pamphlets and healthy lifestyle charts for the centre, said that he welcomed the partnership.”We believe that a healthier nation leads to a more productive nation, and when Mr Heaven approached us, we were excited,” said Anderson.”I commend Mr Heaven, and on behalf of the board and management of the NHF, we really are pleased that we were able to contribute to this wellness centre US$50,000.”He added: “We really hope that it will lead to positive outcomes.”last_img read more

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first_imgMADRID (AP): Barcelona fell to Valencia 2-1 at the Camp Nou yesterday, losing their third straight game to allow Atletico Madrid to draw level on points atop the Spanish league with five rounds to go. Atletico erased Barcelona’s lead by beating Granada 3-0 earlier yesterday. Real Madrid are only one point behind after winning 5-1 at last-place Getafe on Saturday. Atletico were trailing by nine points three rounds ago, and Real Madrid were 12 points back four games ago. Several opportunities Champions League Valencia had several opportunities to put the game away in counterattacks, but the best scoring chance of the match was squandered by Barcelona defender Gerard Pique in the 89th. He had only the goalkeeper to beat but missed from close range. Valencia goalkeeper Diego Alves made a few great saves to help secure the win, including a spectacular one after a Rakitic shot from inside the area in the 75th. It was the second win in a row for Valencia after four straight losses, moving the club further away from the relegation zone. They have 40 points from 33 games and are in 12th place. At the time, Barcelona were cruising toward a repeat of the Champions League, Spanish league and Copa del Rey treble. But Luis Enrique’s squad has won only one of its last six games, being eliminated by Atletico in the Champions League quarter-finals and seeing its league lead collapse. Its 39-game unbeaten streak ended with a home loss to Real Madrid earlier this month. Atletico have three of their last five games at home, while Barcelona will play away three times. Real Madrid also are away in three of their last five matches. Valencia opened the scoring after Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic deflected a cross into his own net in the 26th minute. Midfielder Dani Parejo then provided a perfect pass for Santi Mina’s precise shot into the far corner in first-half injury time. Lionel Messi scored his 500th career goal in the 63rd to end a five-game scoring slump that was his worst with Barcelona in five years. He completed a cross by Jordi Alba to keep his team’s hopes alive, but it was not able to capitalise on its chances of equalising.last_img read more

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first_img Women are under-represented in management and coaching and most sport administrators are still men. In male sports, very few women take part in these roles, but even in women’s sport men often get these positions. An example is netball, which is dominated by male coaches and umpires. Men are in control of most sports at every level. Women are given opportunities as coaches, organisers, umpires and referees. However, fewer women are seen in management and administrative roles. Violence is quite common in some sports, team sports in particular. It is often the strong desire to win that leads to violence. If the opposition’s best player is injured, they can no longer play a full role in the game. Violence can also be caused by pent-up frustration. When the match is not going their way, players may get angry and vent their aggression at opponents or officials. These same pressures and frustrations can affect spectators as well. Spectators are very passionate, and fans often experience extreme emotions when supporting their team especially at key matches. Football is a typical example of sport that attracts the biggest crowd and gives rise to problems of verbal and racial abuse directed at players and officials. The problem of football hooliganism has received a lot of attention. It became a major problem in the 1960s and developed into the 1970s, resulting in disastrous events at the Heysel stadium in Belgium and the Hillsborough stadium in the 1980s, which resulted in commissioned investigations into spectator behaviour and the safety aspects of football grounds leading to the implementation of safety measures resulting from the findings of the ‘ Taylor Report’. Violence in the form of terrorism also affects sports. Terrorists occasionally target sporting events to publicise their cause. They usually target high profile games for such attacks, for example the Munich Olympics in 1972; Sri Lankan cricketers in 2009, and the Boston marathon in 2013. The events usually continue despite the grief and devastation, sending a message that sport will not be beaten. Security checks on fans, video surveillance and the use of intelligence information are used to ensure safety. NEXT WEEK: Drugs in sport WOMEN UNDER-REPRESENTED Women have traditionally been associated with the arts in general and dance in particular, but many sporting and adventurous activities have traditionally been seen as male pursuits. This is a part of the traditional view of the women in society as housewives. Their lack of financial independence, the lack of childcare facilities and their supposed unsuitability for certain types of competitive sport have all worked together to restrict participation. These cultural barriers are deeply rooted and also affect the coverage of females in sports by the media, potential commercial sponsorship opportunities and opportunities for female participation and progression. Even though unmarried women had their separate Olympic Games in ancient Greece, the modern Games were based on male competition, with Pierre de Coubertin stating that the role of women should be restricted to that of an admiring spectator. Therefore, they were not allowed to participate in the 1896 Games and were only allowed to participate in golf and tennis at the Games in 1900s. Gradually, the number of events in which they could participate increased. They were allowed in swimming in 1912, athletics in 1928, marathon in 1984, 10,000 metres in 1988, and judo events in 1992. At the 1968 Games in Mexico, a woman, Enriquetta Basilio, lit the Olympic flame, a first for a woman at the Games. Today, it is possible for women to take part in almost any sport. Social changes have gradually given women more opportunities to control their own lives. The gender stereotyping, is gradually being broken down, and female participation has increased in all areas of sport. This could be as a result of the following: n The recognition that exercise is good for health • Greater economic freedom • Efforts by governments and sport authorities to promote sports for everyone • An increase in the number of activities which appeal to women. • More role models for women • Increased media coverage • More childcare facilities at leisure centres Although the gap is closing, some people still believe that some sport is a man’s world, and being competitive and muscular is not appropriate for women. Media still gives more coverage to male than female sport, it is much harder to attract sponsors for female sport, there is still inequality of opportunity and the gap in prize money can be very wide.last_img read more

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first_imgOne day before the semi-final of the World Twenty20 in India recently, before the West Indies dazzled the world by clipping India and England with three deliveries and two deliveries to spare, respectively, to win the championship in style, West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president Dave Cameron opened up and explained his philosophy, the reason why he is, or was, probably public enemy number one in the West Indies. Sitting in a Mumbai hotel, he said, apparently quite meekly: “I just want us to get better. I am tired of losing.” And then, as arrogantly as ever, he said: “My role is to run the business and your role is to play cricket.” The “your” he was referring to was the players – and he was correct. Cameron, not knowing that his team would have won the match the following day, or the final showdown a few days later, but hoping against hope that they would, was engaged in a long interview at the time and he tried to explain his unpopularity around the West Indies and the reason why he behaves the way he does, especially when it comes to his treatment of the West Indies players. “We have had strikes or potential strikes for the last 14 years. And we have gone and met the players and given in. And we are ranked eight or nine. I am not sure going and meeting them would have solved it. Good faith However, I commend him for three things. For looking towards hiring West Indians such as coach Phil Simmons to assist in the development of West Indies cricket, for professionalising regional cricket, and for getting West Indies first-class cricket to be played on a return basis. A week or so ago, however, when I read his interview in Mumbai and read what he had to say about the reasons for his attitude towards the players, I was touched. I was moved. Cameron, whatever we thought of him, was, indeed, a West Indian. He wanted the West Indies to win, he wanted the players to play well and, like every West Indian, he wanted the players to play for the West Indies and to win for the West Indies. He wanted them, however, to be reasonable, to realise that the West Indies is a poor place and cannot afford to pay them what they probably deserve, or what some other countries pay their players. He wants them to understand that they are West Indians and he wants them to understand that while it is hard for them to do, they should be West Indians and give a little to other West Indians to help in their development. He probably remembered how they benefited as youngsters coming up in the region from those who went before and probably argued that they should give back a little. He also wants them to make as much as they can make by allowing them to go and play in the many T20 leagues around the world, by giving them the required “no objection certificates” and whatever they want in order to play. In other words, he would like the players to cooperate with the board, particularly in the interest of West Indies cricket. In other words, although money is important, he would like the West Indies players to respect West Indies cricket, to play whatever cricket they want to play, but only when the West Indies are not in action. All he wanted was that the players be a little bit less selfish. Regional cricket “As a matter fact, for the first time my board said to me, ‘President, you are not authorised to do anything to this agreement because you paid the guys money for the last year and a half when you had the opportunity to change the agreement. You have demonstrated good faith. You have worked with WIPA (West Indies Players’ Association) to get the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) done. For the last how many years, every time we are trying to move the process forward so that we can create a professional set-up, we get held to ransom. We are just tired as an organisation’. “Wes Hall had strikes against him. Sir Julian Hunte had a couple of issues. It started under Pat Rousseau. It happened to Teddy Griffith. “Everybody went and gave them what they wanted. Did our system get any better? It got worse. We moved from number one in the world in 1995 to eight and nine in Tests and ODIs.” I am not a fan of Cameron for many reasons, including his treatment of the players, his treatment of Caribbean journalists especially one like Tony Cozier, his attitude overall, his use of the little money in West Indies cricket and, last but not least, the part he played in the takeover of the International Cricket Council (ICC) by India, England and Australia. Problem continued The players, however, right or wrong, and from way back when, quarrelled with the board over money, from George Headley and Alfred Valentine and even in those times when the board had no money, or very little money. The problem continued with the coming of Kerry Packer’s World Series Cricket, it continued when West Indies became champions of the world, and it got worse under presidents Peter Short and Rousseau. Short went to London to sort out Brian Lara’s problem when Lara moved out of the team’s hotel; and Rousseau went to London when the team flew from a series against Pakistan to Johannesburg and then to London to sort out the dispute over money. The West Indies were big, the players were big and it appeared that every problem the board had with the players ended with the players rolling up their sleeves and ready for a fight. On many of those occasions, the board had dialogue with representatives of the players before they left the West Indies, but it was as if the players were saying to the board, “You can’t do without us; pay us, or else.” And the board always paid up, more or less. Cameron is right. Every time there was a tour in recent years, the players threatened or went on strike for one thing or the other. No one, except the senior players, ever knew if a tour was really on. That had to stop, or rather, have to stop. West Indies cricket is big. It means a lot to the people. The board, the players’ association and the players must get together in the interest of West Indies cricket and the people. Cameron’s attitude to solve the problem is not the recommended style, but there are some who believe that there comes a time when you should, or must fight fire with fire if you hope to survive. On top of it all, the players’ way doing of business can only be successful if they win all the time. When they win, as they did in India, they can flex their muscles, or cock a hoop at the board, as they did in India. Well said, Cameron. Your role, as president of the board, and as you said, is definitely to run West Indies cricket and the players’ role, as players, is definitely to play cricket to the best of their ability. If you both do that, definitely to the best of your abilities, West Indies will shortly be on top, or they will be very close to the top.last_img read more