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first_imgBy Karolos GrohmannA 90-day provisional ban by FIFA on World Cup-winning player and coach Franz Beckenbauer has been lifted after only 15 days with world soccer’s governing body saying on Friday the German was now welcome at the tournament.German football association (DFB) president Wolfgang Niersbach welcomed the move and said he could not understand why FIFA had taken such a drastic step in the first place against someone who had done so much for international soccer.Beckenbauer, one of the world’s best known former players, had been banned two weeks ago after refusing to cooperate with an investigation into the award of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.The 68-year-old is a former member of the FIFA executive committee which controversially awarded the World Cup to Qatar in 2010, and had received “repeated requests” to provide information, FIFA said in a statement at the time of the ban.Beckenbauer has since had a change of heart and offered to provide responses to the questions which he had initially rejected because they were written in “legalese English.”FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke told reporters that Beckenbauer could now attend the tournament he graced as a player with West Germany.Beckenbauer has however indicated he has no plans to come to Brazil for the tournament.“As you know Franz is someone we all respect and was an amazing footballer and we would love him to have him here at the World Cup, even more because his national team is playing in the second round,” Valcke told reporters in Rio de Janeiro.“But it is his decision not to come to Brazil and that’s his decision,” he added.Beckenbauer’s manager Markus Hoefl had earlier announced the end of the ban, saying it had been unjust but conceding that it would have been better had the former player answered the questions posed to him by the commission earlier.“I underestimated the situation mainly because such issues were usually dealt with by my management,” Beckenbauer said.The ban issued at the start of the World Cup in Brazil meant he could not attend any games in an official capacity, embarrassing such a high profile figure in the game.FIFA told Beckenbauer that a repeat of his actions could lead to further sanctions.DFB president Niersbach said FIFA’s ban was an over-reaction.“It was completely incomprehensible to me why such a ban was issued on the second day of a World Cup,” Niersbach said in a statement to Reuters.“Perhaps Franz made a formal mistake but still that’s not the proper way to treat someone who has done so much for soccer all around the world.”As a player, Beckenbauer redefined the role of libero or sweeper and captained the West Germany side which won the 1974 World Cup.He led West Germany to World Cup victory as a coach in 1990 and was head of the local organising committee when Germany hosted the showpiece in 2006.last_img read more

first_imgCoach Ernesto Valverde will get his first proper taste of the scorching rivalry between Barcelona and Real Madrid when the two giants of Spanish football meet on Sunday at the Nou Camp in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup.Barca beat Real 3-2 in a pre-season ‘Clasico’ friendly in Miami in July but the stakes will be far higher in the Super Cup, the annual curtain raiser in Spain between the Liga champions and King’s Cup holders.The second leg takes place next Wednesday in Madrid.The two teams have not met in the competition since 2012, which was the last time Real lifted the trophy. One of the most defining images in the recent history of the rivalry came in the 2011 edition, when Jose Mourinho poked Barca’s then assistant coach Tito Vilanova in the eye as tensions boiled over following a dramatic 3-2 win for the Catalans.Barca beat Juventus and Manchester United in addition to the Spanish champions in a promising pre-season tour of the United States, but have since been rocked by losing Neymar, one third of the ‘MSN’ strike force including Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi that routinely battered Liga defences,Barca have so far failed in their efforts to spend the 222 million euros Paris St Germain paid them for Neymar, seeing bids rejected for Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho and Borussia Dortmund’s Ousmane Dembele which leave the club wracked with doubts before facing a supremely confident Madrid side.With Paco Alcacer or Gerard Deulofeu as his only options to join Messi and Suarez in a front three, Valverde may stray from the 4-3-3 formation his predecessor Luis Enrique preferred in order to bolster the midfield to counter Real.Madrid outclassed Manchester United to win the European Super Cup 2-1 with a powerful four-man midfield although they will be without Luka Modric in the first leg due to a suspension dating back to Madrid’s last appearance in the Super Cup in 2014.The Croatian’s absence gives Real coach Zinedine Zidane a dilemma over whether to bring in another midfielder against Barca, such as Mateo Kovacic or new signing Dani Ceballos, or revert to a front three to accommodate Gareth Bale, with Cristiano Ronaldo set to make his first start for Real since the Champions League final.Ronaldo will be the centre of attention at the Nou Camp after a summer in which he reportedly threatened to leave Madrid although Valverde’s tactics should also focus on how to shackle Isco, the chief conductor of Real’s win over United and who has been in scintillating form in 2017.Zidane’s side, meanwhile, will be equally attentive to the movements of Messi, the all-time top scorer in the Clasico who stunned the Bernabeu with a last-minute 3-2 winner but who has not scored against Real at the Nou Camp since 2012.last_img read more

first_imgDefending U.S. Open champion Rafael Nadal and twice winner Novak Djokovic are one victory away from renewing their rivalry in the final with both expected to get through their semis on Friday.World number one Nadal faces big-serving Argentine third seed Juan Martin del Potro while sixth seed Novak Djokovic meets Japanese 21st seed Kei Nishikori bidding to secure a seventh trip to the showcase match at Flushing Meadows.Nadal, who survived a gruelling late-night battle with Austrian Dominic Thiem in punishing humidity to reach the last four, has a commanding 11-5 career record against Del Potro with his last loss coming in the semis at the 2016 Rio Olympics.The Spaniard, who beat Del Potro this year in the French Open semi-finals and Wimbledon quarter-finals, has looked nothing short of brilliant but is not about to get ahead of himself as the pair have split their 10 meetings on hard courts.“He (Del Potro) is a great player everywhere. But the challenge of playing him on hard (courts) of course is even higher for me personally than playing against him on clay,” said Nadal, who has three U.S. Opens among his 17 Grand Slam titles.“It will be a big challenge. It’s a match in which we know each other very well. I know he’s playing well. I know I’ll have to play at my highest level to keep having chances of success.”Del Potro will rely heavily on his service having won 83 percent of his first service points through five matches here, well above anyone else remaining in the men’s draw.In Friday’s other semi-final, Djokovic will try to extend the form that has seen him win 24 of his last 26 matches, an impressive run that includes titles at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open tune-up event in Cincinnati.He has a 14-2 record against Nishikori, whose last victory over the Serb came in the 2014 U.S. Open semi-finals before he lost in the showpiece match to Croatian Marin Cilic, who the Japanese overcame in five sets to reach this year’s last four.Djokovic, who beat Nishikori in the Wimbledon quarters, said he expected a tough match against an opponent with a lethal two-handed backhand who is one of the fastest players on tour.“I can’t really say he’s a great match-up for me,” said the Serb. “I have a very good head-to-head score against him. But because he plays so fast he makes me more alert from the first point because I know I have to be at my best in order to compete with him from the baseline.”No. 1 Rafael Nadal vs. No. 3 Juan Martin del Potro (23.00)No. 6 Novak Djokovic vs. No. 21 Kei Nishikori (01.00 Sat)last_img read more

first_img Favourites BASSETERRE, St Kitts (CMC): Captain Carlos Brathwaite says West Indies need to be relaxed and play with freedom, as they prepare to face a dangerous Bangladesh side in the opening Twenty20/International of the three-match series here tonight. “We play best when we enjoy ourselves, when we’re having fun, when it’s a relaxed atmosphere, which it has been,” Brathwaite said yesterday ahead of the opening contest at Warner Park. “And once we take that relaxed atmosphere on to the pitch in expressing ourselves, I’m sure we’ll come out on top. Big respect to Bangladesh; they’re a formidable white-ball team as we saw in the just-concluded ODI series. “But we know that once we put our ‘A’ game out, not much teams can touch us on our day and that’s the plan for the course of the three-game series.” West Indies are reigning T20 World champions following their triumph in India two years ago, but have lost their last five outings in bilateral series against Pakistan and New Zealand. However, they will be favourites to get the better of Bangladesh, with the likes of AndrÈ Russell and Marlon Samuels available following injury, and white-ball specialists Rovman Powell and Kesrick Williams also in the line-up. And with much of the side coming off stints in the recent Global T20 Canada league, Brathwaite expects his troops to be on top of their game. West Indies will hope to draw first blood here in order to take an advantage into the double-header at the weekend, scheduled for the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, United States.last_img read more

first_imgNimba County Superintendent, Fong Zuagele has disclosed that cordial relationship has been restored between the county authority and the legislative caucus following a protracted period of hauling and pulling.Zuagele told the Daily Observer recently in Sanniquellie, “March 20 made me two years as Superintendent, and when we got here, we began on a roller coaster because we were misunderstood. My brothers in the caucus had some bad feelings about the conduct of some officials of the county, but with the intervention of Nimba businessman Tomah-Seh Floyd and the coming of Development Superintendent Dorr Cooper and others, we are working together smoothly as a team.”He said restoring relations between the county administration and the caucus brought changes at all levels involving the “Assistant Superintendent for Development and the Project Management Committee (PMC), coupled with the appointment of Assistant Superintendent for Fiscal Affairs.”Zuagele said the chairmanship of the Legislative Caucus was turned over from Senator Thomas Grupee to Senator Prince Johnson to settle the leadership dispute that existed among its members. Since the changes were made, the caucus and the county administration are working in unity with the goal of bringing improvement to the county, the Supt. said.He added that with cohesion existing among them, caucus and the county authority are moving on with every activity the national government has released money for, citing the opening of streets, building of schools, awarding scholarships and assisting the county community college.He said as head of the team, his role is to strengthen his deputies to do their work under the economic principle of division of labor.Supt. Zuagele said restoration of relations between the county authority and the Legislative Caucus now allows him to issue gas coupons and scratch cards to local chiefs.According to him, the coupons and scratch cards are meant to empower the local chiefs and to allow regular flow of communications, and unhindered travel to wherever they are called.He indicated that an accounting system has been set up to ensure checks and balance in line with the Public Financial Management Act, and noted that as a result, the Ministry of Finance has commenced releasing Nimba County’s money withheld over the years.He said they first received US$ 2.6 million when he took over and they recently received US$1.9 million after the Public Procurement and Concession Commission approved the county’s procurement plan.The Nimba Legislative Caucus and the County Administration had been at odds over the use of development funds in the county. It led District #9 Representative, R. Matinokay Tingba to requeset the House of Representatives to summon Supt. Zuagele and former Assistant Superintendent for Development, Teko Tozay Yorlay.At the hearing, some members of the Nimba Legislative Caucus said they would not work with the county administration if the two senior officials were part of it.A few months later the Ministry of Internal Affairs dismissed Assistant Superintendent for Development, Teko Yorlay, but maintained Superintendent Zuagele. Teko was later appointed by President Sirleaf as Assistant Minister for Youth Development at the Ministry of Youth and Sports.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgOn a hot late summer’s day at the old Autodromo Nazionale in Monza’s former royal park, the 31-year-old Briton clocked a best lap in one minute and 22.801 seconds to outpace German Rosberg by 0.193 seconds.Hamilton is seeking to complete a hat-trick of successive Italian wins and to claim his 50th Formula One victory in Sunday’s race.“It’s been a really good day,” said Hamilton. “Monza is an amazing track to drive and the fans always come out to show their support. We made good progress through our programme across the two sessions and our long run pace felt good.“We split the tyre compounds between Nico and myself, so we could learn as much as possible going into qualifying and the race and we’re looking quite strong.“We’ve still got some work to do this evening to analyse the data and prepare the car, but I’m confident we can take the fight to the rest of the grid.”Rosberg said: “The car felt pretty good during P1, but we need to work on the balance overnight as the one lap pace didn’t feel 100 per cent.”Sebastian Vettel was third fastest ahead of his Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, the Italian team closing the gap behind the Mercedes to less than half a second as they made use of their latest upgraded power units.“It is a pretty small step and we wouldn’t put anything in the car that wouldn’t improve our performance,” said Raikkonen.“It’s just a normal progress. We try to improve all the areas and that’s one of them. It’s a small thing, but it’s the right direction…”“We have decent speed,” Vettel added. “The car feels good, but we need to make it feel good in every corner. The first impression is positive.“We’ve had worse Fridays, but Mercedes are looking very strong, similar to last year. They seem to be very competitive. We need to focus on ourselves and then we can be a lot closer.”Under-scrutiny Dutch teenager Max Verstappen, who was given a gentle warning about his aggressive style of driving by the FIA’s Race Director Charlie Whiting earlier, was fifth ahead of his Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.Ricciardo said: “Position-wise, we are more or less where we expected… At least I expected Ferrari to be behind Mercedes here, but I didn’t expect the gap to be as big as it is.”Former Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso was seventh for McLaren ahead of Valtteri Bottas of Williams with Romain Grosjean of Haas and Jenson Button, in the second McLaren, completing the top ten.Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team’s German driver Nico Rosberg in the pits during the second practice session at the Autodromo Nazionale circuit in Monza on September 2, 2016 ahead of the Italian Formula One Grand Prix © AFP / GIUSEPPE CacaceVerstappen and the Red Bull team manager Jonathan Wheatley met Whiting before the morning practice to discuss Verstappen’s performance at last Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix.After the meeting Red Bull team chief Christian Horner told reporters that Whiting had told Verstappen he risked disqualification if continued with the aggressive style that prompted criticism from both Ferrari drivers and others.He said: “Charlie was keen to show him a video of Spa. It was a gentle warning… Like any 18-year-old, the criticism (from other drivers) seems to be going in one ear and out the other. He really doesn’t care.”Verstappen said he had little to say about the meeting with Whiting.“We had a chat about what happened at Spa and I prefer to do it there, with Charlie, instead of in the media, or in the drivers’ briefing. Spa is now gone and we are in Monza now so we focus on Monza.”Felipe Massa, who on Thursday announced his impending retirement from F1, was 11th in his Williams and Dane Kevin Magnussen, who limped away from a high speed crash in his Renault in Belgium last Sunday, was 19th.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team’s British driver Lewis Hamilton drives during the first practice session at the Autodromo Nazionale circuit in Monza on September 2, 2016 ahead of the Italian Formula One Grand Prix © AFP / Giuseppe CacaceMonza, Italy, Sep 2 – A happy Lewis Hamilton bounced back to top the times ahead of his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in Friday’s second free practice for this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.The championship leader and defending three-time world champion, who leads Rosberg by nine points in the title race, was second behind him in the opening session, but re-booted his title bid with a strong showing in the afternoon. last_img read more

first_img To see more look-alikes, click the yellow arrow above, right! To see more look-alikes, click the yellow arrow above, right! To see more look-alikes, click the yellow arrow above, right! 24 Nigel Pearson is a fan of ostrich comparisons, but what animals do other football managers and players compare with? To see more animal look-alikes, click the yellow arrow above, right! To see more look-alikes, click the yellow arrow above, right! 24 To see more look-alikes, click the yellow arrow above, right! To see more look-alikes, click the yellow arrow above, right! To see more look-alikes, click the yellow arrow above, right! To see more look-alikes, click the yellow arrow above, right! To see more look-alikes, click the yellow arrow above, right! To see more look-alikes, click the yellow arrow above, right! 24 24 24 24 24 To see more look-alikes, click the yellow arrow above, right! 24 To see more animal look-alikes, click the yellow arrow above, right! 24 To see more look-alikes, click the yellow arrow above, right! 24 To see more look-alikes, click the yellow arrow above, right! center_img 24 To see more look-alikes, click the yellow arrow above, right! 24 24 24 To see more look-alikes, click the yellow arrow above, right! 24 24 24 To see more look-alikes, click the yellow arrow above, right! 24 24 24 To see more look-alikes, click the yellow arrow above, right! To see one more look-alike, click the yellow arrow above, right! 24 Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson called a journalist “an ostrich” in a post-match press conference after the Foxes had lost at home to Chelsea in the Premier League.Pearson also questioned whether the reporter was “felixible enough to get your head in the sand?” Adding, “I can, you can’t”.So does that make Pearson an ostrich himself? Who knows, considering he was talking a load of nonsense.And speaking of nonsense, who else from the world of football draws comparison with members of the animal kingdom?Find out the answer to this not at all important question, in the slideshow above! 24 24 To see more look-alikes, click the yellow arrow above, right! To see more look-alikes, click the yellow arrow above, right! To see more look-alikes, click the yellow arrow above, right! 24last_img read more

first_imgNot content with recent accolades such as ‘’best value in Letterkenny’’, Mairtin and the team at Kelly’s Mountaintop Complex reminded us of the extraordinary efforts they go to, in order to keep their menus current, interesting and above all best value. The all new American Roadside Diner has been reinvigorated to incorporate an American theme throughout, from the spacious layout of its seating area through to the all-important menu, which now features selections such as the New Yorker Burger (go on, try finish it) and Louisana Chicken.Our ultra-important regular clientele need not be disappointed however, all of our old favourite classic dishes remain, as does the ‘’couldn’t cook it for it’’ price promise! Pressed on the newest additions, Diner Manager Leah McNulty said, ‘’We’re constantly looking for ways to improve our offering, and we know too well that to stay ahead of the pack we need to be as diverse as possible, so our customers stay both engaged and satisfied, not forgetting the need to remain competitive’’.Opening the colourful menu will appeal to almost any palette, considering the now famous Saturday steak deals, Sunday lunches and unbeatable breakfasts remain ever present, but more impressive is the vast selection of choices to choose from, and yet every meal is cooked to order, fresh from the kitchen.‘’Don’t forget we still allow 30% on sterling and sitting only 20 mins from the borders of Derry and Tyrone, we can guarantee better value than our Northern counterparts’’, McNulty added.The complex still houses an in-store bakery, butchery dept., off-licence and in keeping with today’s health conscious society, the fresh and healthy foods dept. has also been expanded. There’s a DVD kiosk for the film buff, a laundrette for the busy professional and home heating oil available on a cash & carry basis, it really is Letterkennys original ‘’1-stop-shop’’.They’ve even purchased a new catering trailer which will soon be popping up around the county when festival season gets underway, plus it’s available for hire at private events & functions.But don’t take our word for it, get yourselves down to the first American Roadside Diner in the North West and see for yourself.I recommend the New Yorker! 🙂 KELLY’S AMERICAN ROADSIDE DINER IS THE BEST THIS SIDE OF THE ATLANTIC! was last modified: May 21st, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:American Roadside DinerBusinessFeaturesKellysnewslast_img read more

first_imgInterim manager Gareth Southgate is more concerned about making England proud against Scotland than his own future.Thrust into the hotseat following the ignominious end to Sam Allardyce’s brief reign, the former defender’s temporary four-match spell is soon coming to an end.A glamour friendly at home to Spain next week closes out a stint in which Friday’s World Cup qualifier against Scotland is comfortably the highlight.It is reported Southgate will get the job permanently even if humbled by Gordon Strachan’s men at Wembley, but talk about his long-term future continues to be on the backburner.“I have really enjoyed it,” he said. “It’s a great honour.“I’ve played for my country, I’ve got the chance to manage the best players in the country in an England-Scotland game on Friday night. Wow. For me, that’s incredibly exciting.“As a coach you want to work with good players . What’s clear in my mind for this week is the areas you want to work with from last time.“That should always be ongoing. That should always be our analysis. So, yes, I’ve enjoyed it and I intend to embrace this opportunity.”Southgate says it “would be wrong to be distracted by anything else”, going as far to say his future is “not important” compared to keeping England at the top of the World Cup qualification group.“What’s important is that the team is top of the qualifying group going into Christmas and that the country is in a good place with that,” he said.“Then there is time for whatever process is going to happen to take place. For me, that is what is right for the organisation, going through the process talking to who they want to talk to.“I have not discussed what happens next.“I’ve got meetings in the diary about what happens next with all the age groups through to Christmas and January. I’ve not thought too much about that either.“The period up to Christmas is a little quieter which gives people time to do the planning for next year.”Southgate, who called Aaron Cresswell and Jordan Pickford into his squad on Monday as replacements for Danny Drinkwater and Fraser Forster, remains the overriding favourite for a job that has its complexities but is not impossible.Whether Gordon Strachan, a former colleague from his time in broadcasting, remains managing his country for much longer is another issue given Scotland’s poor start to qualification.“That’s the nature isn’t it?” Southgate said. “For all of us as coaches when results are that way.“I don’t know the remit for Gordon. It certainly seemed as if results at the beginning were very good and the players enjoyed playing for him.“I’ve got enough to think about without worrying about that as well.” 1 Gareth Southgate last_img read more

first_imgEx-Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan says it is positive news that Christian Benteke is out at the moment, ahead of Saturday’s crucial tie against fellow-strugglers West Ham.Palace, who have only scored twice all season, will be without their first-choice striker for at least another four weeks as he recovers from a knee injury.But Jordan told Jim White on talkSPORT that Palace are potentially stronger without the Belgian.He said: “I think it’s actually good news that Benteke is out at this moment in time.“He’s a good player in a good side but when it’s adversity, he goes hiding a little bit.“He makes you play a certain way when he’s in your side and when he’s not there; I think Palace will play differently.“I think it’ll get Zaha going again because Zaha is very much a talismanic Palace player.”The 50-year-old does not expect an exciting encounter on Saturday, due to the pressure on both teams to get a result.He added: “Ultimately it’s an important game for them to win but I think it’s an even more important game for Palace not to lose.“It’s kind of similar for West Ham as well. I think West Ham will be looking at this game as a game they definitely don’t want to lose, which could make it a very nervy and fractious encounter.“Coupled with the fact it’s a London derby adds to all the fuel.”He continued: “That might make it a little bit of a pragmatic chess match that doesn’t actually manifest itself in an exciting game.”last_img read more