Germany failing to tackle Ozil racism claims or WC disaster
Germany take on France in their first ever UEFA Nations League game on Thursday, with all the talk in the camp and in press conferences focusing on one player.Not Antoine Griezmann, who won the World Cup, Europa League and Super Cup in the space of two months over the summer. Not midfielders N’Golo Kante or Paul Pogba, who starred in the centre of the park in Russia. Not teenage superstar Kylian Mbappe, whose number 10 jersey is now iconic for Les Bleus. Instead, everyone is discussing Germany’s own World Cup number 10, a player who will not even take part in the Nations League clash on Thursday evening.At every opportunity, every interview, every press conference, a question was asked about the absence of Mesut Ozil, the five-time national player of the year, who stepped away from international football following Germany’s humiliation at the World Cup in Russia. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Ozil felt scapegoated for Germany’s failures, having taken a lot of flak for posing for a photograph with controversial Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan before the tournament and confirmed his withdrawal from international football by releasing a three-part statement on social media attacking the German football association (DFB) and political figures in Germany for racism and disrespect.After the World Cup, the DFB and head coach Joachim Low announced that they would perform a sporting analysis of what went wrong in Russia, with the results due to be announced when Low revealed his next international squad. In the meantime, DFB president Reinhard Grindel, as well as a host of former Germany players and even some current internationals such as Thomas Muller and Manuel Neuer, denied any evidence of racism within the Germany squad, thus spectacularly missing the point Ozil had raised in his statement.Ozil never accused his team-mates or coaching staff of discrimination, instead highlighting the problem in larger society, where he claimed “If we win, I’m German. If we lose, I’m an immigrant,” but kept his greatest criticism for the DFB and particularly president Grindel. After an initial tepid statement, Grindel eventually conceded that maybe he handled things poorly, but fell far short of apologising for his actions and that of the DFB.All the while, more and more players claimed not to have seen any racism within the Germany camp, with Toni Kroos calling it ‘nonsense’ and Muller blaming the media, while some mixed heritage or foreign players naively trotted out the ‘well it never happened to me’ line. Only Ilkay Gundogan acknowledged that a line had been crossed.In his statement, Ozil never specifically mentioned the word retirement, writing “I will no longer be playing for Germany at international level whilst I have this feeling of racism and disrespect.” The avenue was there for the 29 year old to return to the international fold if changes had been made or even mistakes acknowledged.Instead, Low once again criticised the former Real Madrid star during the squad announcement conference, barely touching on the ‘sporting analysis’ carried out since the World Cup, showing little had changed in the setup of the team or its ostracisation of Ozil.”Mesut Ozil has clearly overstated his allegations of racism,” Low told reporters. “There was never any kind of racism. Throughout the time I was at the DFB, there has never been an approach of racist comments in our team. Mesut and Ilkay have always identified with the values of the national team.”When the Germany squad met for training ahead of the France game, players and coach contined to be asked about Ozil, with the possibility of a return from exile put to Low: “In my view, Mesut Ozil has clearly declared his retirement and closed the door by himself with that, so a comeback is not a topic,” he told Sport Bild.The door is definitely closed for Ozil’s return, but unfortunately the people involved fail to realise that they’ve boarded it up from the inside.
Ibrahimovic jokes about Premier League return
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been joking about a possible return to the Premier League, but has stopped short of addressing rumours regarding another stint at Manchester United.The Swedish striker has previously signed two deals at Old Trafford.His initial spell proved to be a resounding success, as he netted 28 times in all competitions – including match-winning efforts in the Community Shield and EFL Cup final. Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! An untimely injury brought his 2016-17 campaign to a close, but he was handed fresh terms by United the following season after returning to fitness.Ibrahimovic was unable to make a similar impact, though, and was freed from that agreement to link up with MLS side the LA Galaxy in March.The enigmatic frontman has been a revelation in America, netting 22 times in 26 appearances.That form has sparked talk of a possible return to Europe over the winter, with former employers in Manchester and Milan said to be keen.Ibrahimovic has been reluctant to be drawn on such speculation, but was happy to discuss a potential switch to West Ham while appearing on The Late Late Show hosted by Hammers fan James Corden.My buddy @JKCorden what do you want? West Ham or more viewers for the @latelateshow ? pic.twitter.com/s5YPUSbtVY— Zlatan Ibrahimović (@Ibra_official) October 25, 2018He said: “I’m here with my buddy James and he wants me to come to West Ham.”But they could not afford me. Let’s put up the viewers for the James Corden Show first.”Corden responded by saying: “It’s happening. We’ll figure it out. We’ll get the ball in the box with you on the end… done. Come on you Irons.”West Ham have been short of goals so far this season, netting just eight times in 10 Premier League fixtures.Manchester United have fared a little better, finding the target on 15 occasions to date, but questions are being asked of Romelu Lukaku and his value to the Red Devils’ cause.Alexis Sanchez is also struggling, while Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial lack consistency amid regular spells on the bench.Ibrahimovic has been mooted as a possible answer to those attacking posers, but the 37-year-old is giving little away when it comes to his future plans.
Liverpool team news & likely line-up
After a surprisingly-exciting international break, Liverpool return to Premier League action this weekend as they travel to Watford.Vicarage Road has been a tough place to visit for the Reds in recent seasons, but Jurgen Klopp’s side will be keen to extend their unbeaten start to the league campaign here. A victory could take them to the top of the table once more.It promises to be a big few weeks, with games against Paris Saint-Germain, Everton, Napoli and Manchester United all on the horizon. The Reds were victorious last time out, beating bottom club Fulham 2-0 at Anfield before the break, but know they are yet to hit top form despite their impressive results. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Here, Goal takes a look at everything you need to know ahead of Saturday’s game….Liverpool Injuries The biggest doubt for Liverpool surrounds captain Jordan Henderson, who aggravated a hamstring injury on England duty.The 28-year-old has had a stop-start campaign so far, but after training on Thursday, it is likely he will be in contention. Whether Klopp would prefer to give his skipper a few more days to recover, with a trip to Paris to come next week, remains to be seen.Elsewhere, he should have a near full-strength squad to choose from, with the big decisions likely to surround his midfield and centre-backs.Liverpool Suspensions Liverpool do not have any suspended players for this game. Likely Liverpool Starting Line-UpAssuming Henderson is not deemed fit enough to start, Klopp’s big decisions are as follows; who will partner Virgil van Dijk at centre back, and how will he set up his midfield?At Anfield of late, he has leaned towards a 4-2-3-1 system with Xherdan Shaqiri supplementing last season’s vaunted front three. Whether he has the confidence to try that in a Premier League away game is another matter.Shaqiri, though, would be expecting to start having shone for Switzerland during the last week. The former Stoke man could form part of a three-man midfield or, more likely, play from the right with Roberto Firmino dropping in as a No.10, linking midfield and attack.That would demand a strong midfield duo. Fabinho struggled in his last away game, at Arsenal, but the Brazilian would be in contention to partner Gini Wijnaldum in the engine room, though James Milner and Naby Keita are also available, as is Adam Lallana.As for the defence, the question will be whether Joe Gomez starts at right-back or centre-back. If it’s the latter, then Trent Alexander-Arnold will play, if it’s the former then Dejan Lovren gets the nod.Watford Team News The Hornets will be without defenders Daryl Janmaat (knee) and Sebastien Prodl (leg), as well as former Everton midfielder Tom Cleverley. Will Hughes picked up a knock in Watford’s last game, at Southampton and will be assessed.Interestingly, Venezuela attacker Adalberto Penaranda was this week granted a UK work permit and could be in contention to make his debut. The 21-year-old joined Watford in 2016 and has since been on loan with Granada, Udinese and Malaga.TV Channel & Kick-Off Time The fixture will not be broadcast live in the UK as it kicks off 3pm GMT. Highlights can be found on Match of the Day on BBC One, 10.30pm Saturday.In the United States the game can be watched live on television on NBC Sports, kick-off 10am ET.Best Opta Match Facts Since beating them 3-0 in December 2015, Watford are winless in their last five Premier League meetings with Liverpool (D1 L4), shipping 17 goals in that time. In all competitions, Liverpool have won nine of their last 11 meetings with Watford (D1 L1), keeping a clean sheet in seven of those victories. None of the 22 top-flight meetings between Watford and Liverpool have ended goalless. Watford have lost 15 of their 17 Premier League matches against sides starting that day in the top two of the table, beating Chelsea in September 1999 and Arsenal in January 2017. Watford have won five of their last seven Premier League home games, losing the other two against Manchester United and Bournemouth. Liverpool are looking to remain unbeaten in their opening 13 matches to a Premier League season for the first time since 2007-08. Since a 2-2 draw with West Brom in April, Liverpool haven’t conceded more than once in any of their last 15 Premier League games, shipping just six goals in that time. Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah has been directly involved in six goals in his two Premier League games against Watford (5 goals, 1 assist). Only Luis Suarez vs Cardiff has a better goal involvement per game ratio against an opponent in the competition (3.5, minimum two games). Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino has been directly involved in seven goals in his last five Premier League games against Watford (4 goals, 3 assists), scoring and assisting a goal in their 3-3 draw at Vicarage Road last season. Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino (38) are Liverpool’s joint-highest goalscorers in Premier League games under manager Jurgen Klopp. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
Pakistan Cricket Board sends legal notice to BCCI for not honouring MOU
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) sent a legal notice to the BCCI, initiating proceedings to seek compensation from the Indian board for not honouring the MOU to play six bilateral series between 2015 and 2023. (Shaharyar Khan to continue as PCB chief, PM Nawaz Sharif rejects resignation)An official source in the PCB confirmed to PTI that the notice was dispatched on Wednesday.”The legal notice has been sent after our legal advisors consulted a reputable law firm in London and have prepared a strong legal case to get compensation from the Indians,” he said. (BCCI not in touch with PCB for India-Pakistan bilateral series: Shaharyar Khan)The MOU, signed in 2014, was part of a deal between the two boards under which Pakistan supported the Big Three governance and financial model in the ICC. The source said that in the legal notice Pakistan had pointed out that the BCCI didn’t honour the MOU despite it being signed in the presence of the ICC officials.”The notice also says that due to India’s repeated refusal to commit itself to the MOU, three series have not been played since 2015 two of them which Pakistan was supposed to host,” he said. (Pakistan ready to play India if BCCI gets government nod: PCB chief)The PCB claims that it has lost between USD 200 and 300 million due to India’s refusal to play the series that Pakistan was supposed to host.”We were even willing to host our series at neutral venues as part of the deal but even then the BCCI kept on stalling us and then eventually refused,” the source said.advertisementThe PCB will now decide its next course of action after receiving an official response from the BCCI.”We are prepared to go the courts or the ICC disputes resolution committee to get the compensation,” he said further. (India must compensate for cancelling bilateral series: PCB)The BCCI has repeatedly turned down offers from the PCB for bilateral matches on the grounds that it is not being given clearance by its government due to tense relations between the two countries. The PCB informally told the BCCI representatives at the recent ICC meeting of its decision to start legal proceedings against them to claim compensation for the MOU not being honoured.
Watch: Justin Bieber has finally reached Mumbai
Premier League: Mauricio Pellegrino takes over as Southampton manager
Argentine Mauricio Pellegrino was named as manager of Premier League Southampton on Friday, the week after the club sacked Claude Puel.The 45-year-old has agreed a three-year contract and will arrive at St Mary’s next week to prepare for the new season.Pellegrino, who won La Liga as a defender with Valencia, began his coaching career as an assistant at Liverpool before spells with Valencia, Estudiantes, Independiente and Alaves.”I am delighted that after a diligent selection process we have recruited Mauricio Pellegrino as our new first team manager,” Southampton vice chairman Les Reed said in a club statement.”We had an impressive list of candidates and went through a comprehensive interview process. Mauricio impressed us throughout with his depth of knowledge, motivation and ability, communicating this in a professional and passionate way.”He has an excellent understanding of the Southampton way, and his style of play and aspiration matches the philosophy, culture and ambition of the club.”It is the second time Southampton have turned to an Argentine coach having employed Mauricio Pochettino for 14 months before he joined Tottenham Hotspur in 2014.Pellegrino said he was “excited and passionate” about the future with the south coast club.”I think my philosophy and the culture of the club will work well together,” he said.”We have to be a team on and off the pitch; I want to make the supporters proud of the players and to feel part of the game every week.”Frenchman Puel was fired after less than a year in charge despite taking Southampton to the League Cup final and eighth place in the Premier League table.advertisementSouthampton won only one of their final eight league games, scoring just one goal in their last five home matches, and ended with their lowest points tally in four years.
Post World Cup hype, BCCI yet to decide on women team’s next fixture
The Indian women’s team may be in the midst of a felicitation spree but country’s newest cricket stars still don’t know about their next international assignment.Despite all the hype, there are no home or away series lined up for Mithali Raj and her team for the time being as BCCI is yet to finalise when the team plays next.”We will be discussing the issue about upcoming international fixtures for the women’s team very soon,” acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary replied to a query from PTI after the Special General Meeting.Skipper Mithali Raj today emphasised that the preparation for next year’s ICC Women’s World T20 should start in right earnest.”We should start straightaway preparing for the World T20 scheduled next year,” Mithali said.Unlike the men’s team whose bilateral tour diary is choc- a-bloc till December 2018, the same does not apply for the women’s team despite being under the aegis of BCCI since 2006.A BCCI official, who did not wish to officially come on record feels that for maintaining the hype and interest, the next series must be held as soon as possible.”Look at the men’s team. They played the Champions Trophy final and then flew to West Indies and are now playing in Sri Lanka. But there are no such plans in place for women’s team.”In order to maintain the interest, at least a proper plan should be in place for next one year,” the official, who was present during the felicitation by BCCI said.advertisementIt has been learnt that Committee of Administrators chief Vinod Rai wants a committee to be formed that will look into the pay hike and central contracts of the women cricketers.”The committee will comprise of coach (Tushar Arothe), skipper (Raj) along with Diana Edulji, acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary. This committee will take stock of pay structure for women as well as decide on the international fixtures in the coming months,” the official added.It was also learnt that despite the growing demands for a Women’s IPL, the BCCI would like to “wait and watch” primarily because there are not enough women cricketers around who can rub shoulders with the best in business.”Even if we want to have a five-team WIPL, we would require at least 40-45 Indian cricketers. If I leave aside the 15, who played World Cup, we would need to analyse that do we have 30 quality uncapped women cricketers.”I am afraid we don’t have that many in India right now.When you are speaking about IPL, that means it’s not about exposure but also quality matches palatable for crowd,” a BCCI official, who has worked with women’s cricket, said today.
Axar Patel replaces Ravindra Jadeja for Pallekele Test
Axar Patel has been named in the India squad on Wednesday to replace Ravindra Jadeja for the third Test against Sri Lanka at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.Axar has played 30 One-Day Internationals for India where he picked 35 wickets and scored 170 runs. If Axar is picked in the 11-man squad, this will be his Test debut.After playing a starring role in the second Test against Sri Lanka, where he scored an unbeaten 70 and picked up a five-wicket haul in the second innings, Jadeja was banned for breaking the ICC Code of Conduct.On the third day of the second Test, Jadeja threw a ball at Malinda Pushpakumara when he hadn’t left the crease and the ball missed Dimuth Karunaratne narrowly. The umpires deemed this ‘dangerous’ and hence, ICC has banned him.”India’s Ravindra Jadeja has been suspended for the upcoming Pallekele Test after his accumulated demerit points reached six within a 24-month period following his latest breach of the ICC Code of Conduct for which he received a 50 per cent fine and three demerit points, an ICC release stated.Jadeja admitted the offence and accepted the sanction proposed by Richie Richardson of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees and, as such, there was no need for a formal hearing.On Tuesday, Jadeja reached the pinnacle of the ICC Test rankings for all-rounders and while captain Virat Kohli congratulated the ‘sword master’ for the achievement, Jadeja thanked Kohli and MS Dhoni for their contribution in his success.India are looking for a series sweep after winning the Test series against Sri Lanka 2-0, thus registering their record eighth consecutive series win.advertisementThe third Test is set to begin on August 12.
When I was England captain, it was the worst year of my life: Kevin Pietersen
Former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen Wednesday revealed that he was able to save his marriage and relationship with his kids improved after he got axed from the team post the 2014 Ashes in Down Under and was no longer considered for international selection after that.”England did me a favour in sacking me in 2014 because it has helped me with my relationship with my kids no end. I didn’t want to be a lousy dad.”For the birth of my son Dylan in 2010 I had to fly back from playing in the Caribbean, see him being born then get a helicopter to Gatwick the next day to play in a semi-final for England. I was absent,” Pietersen told news.com.au.The 37-year-old also credited his wife, former Liberty X singer Jessica Taylor, for the way she managed the family and supported him all throughout his cricketing career.Just been swimming with my princess & now London bound for the launch of the @T20GL_. Fingers crossed I end up in my home city…! pic.twitter.com/RMq50gqCcH- KP (@KP24) June 19, 2017″Jess has been a rock to me but we’ve had tough times. People don’t understand the pressure that goes on between the four walls of home when it’s all going wrong, like it did for me on a daily basis for a year. We’ve put up with a hell of a lot while I was playing for England.”Bit of date night #fooddancing, think its safe to say Jess is the best dancer in our house though??? #daddancing #couplegoals #ad pic.twitter.com/rHHGSap0Seadvertisement- KP (@KP24) February 17, 2017The Pietermaritzburg-born cricketer then revealed how his time as England captain was the worst year of his life.”I was under strict protocols. They tell you where you have be, you have to ask to do this and that. I had the best time playing for England. I wouldn’t live here if I didn’t love England. There have been hurdles. I was under the microscope.”When I was captain, it was the worst year of my life. I took stock and gauged what and who was important,” he said.KP then added that he would never go down that road again, “That massive fallout I had with England raised my profile and assisted and enabled me to turn a bad thing into a good thing. People think, ‘Cricket, cricket, cricket’. Well, stuff cricket.”It means that what Jess and the kids have now is so special. I’ve got such a wonderful life. I wouldn’t want to be back on that England treadmill. It becomes monotonous.”That sacking and the hullabaloo it caused for six months has been the best thing for my life. Now I wake up with the kids, put them to bed, take them and pick them up from school. I watch most of Dylan’s sport.”I will hands down see my kids more than a lot of people. I’m now hopefully being the best dad my kids could have. All I care about is my family and my African roots,” Pietersen said.
Yuvrajs brand YWC to have its first store in Varanasi
Mumbai, Aug 9 (PTI) YWC, the premium sports lifestyle brand by cricketer Yuvraj Singh, has announced the launch of its first brick and mortar standalone store in Varanasi.YWC will also be available through other multi brand outlets in Varanasi, via a shop-in-shop format, the company said.In the online space, the brand is available on Myntra and Jabong besides its own portal www.ywcfashion.com. Part of the product proceeds go to Yuvraj Singhs foundation for cancer awareness – YouWeCan. ——– Jugnoo launches partnership program for B2B productsJugnoo, a hyperlocal startup supported by auto rickshaw network and its B2B SaaS offerings, commences a new service called Jugnoo Partner Program, it said.The program invites various businesses and entrepreneurs to join as partners.It is designed for partners to have access to resources and knowledge needed to offer Jugnoo services to the final customers, Jugnoo said in a statement here.The aim is to provide top quality customer experience and to explore better business opportunities that would eventually help in generating more sales globally, it added. PTI DSK ARS SDM
Roger Federer’s comeback season ‘off the charts’, say pundits
Should an age-defying Roger Federer win the U.S. Open and capture his third grand slam title of the year, it would go down as one of the wondrous chapters in tennis, a trio of pundits said on Thursday.The rejuvenated 36-year-old Swiss, who has said winning a third grand slam in 2017 would “be a joke,” will be among the favourites at Flushing Meadows where he is seeded third for the Aug. 28-Sept. 10 U.S. Open.”If Federer were to win the Open, if he’s not the athlete of the year on every kind of major publication it will be the greatest injustice I’ve ever seen for tennis,” former men’s coach and player Brad Gilbert said on an ESPN conference call.”It would be his greatest year without a doubt. He’s pushing the limits to what a 36 year old can do that we’ve ever seen in tennis and it’s just been a pleasure to watch.”#19 tastes great pic.twitter.com/3Hv3lM5Rk9- Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) 16 July 2017The former world number one has won three grand slams in a calendar year three times before, but not since 2007. Prior to this year, Federer’s last grand slam triumph had been at Wimbledon in 2012. In the years that followed, many questioned whether the Swiss maestro would win another.But Federer, who missed last year’s U.S. Open as part of a six-month layoff to heal his knee, proved his critics wrong as he upped his record grand slam total to 19 with wins at this year’s Australian Open and Wimbledon.advertisementHe skipped the French Open, where he won once before in 2009, as part of a calculated decision to avoid playing on clay this season in a bid to prolong a career.”The only thing you can say that’s a negative in any way is that he didn’t play on clay,” said former U.S. Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe. “But certainly at his age to do what he’s done if he were to win three majors is off the charts.”No man has as many grand slams as Federer’s 19, a whopping total that has him four clear of his closest pursuer — Spain’s Rafa Nadal.In case you can’t tell, playing here in Halle makes me pretty happy ????? pic.twitter.com/Xkx1gMKAzP- Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) 24 June 2017While it is difficult to compare players from different generations, anyone who does not consider Federer the GOAT — an acronym commonly used for the greatest of all-time — would have a hard time arguing their case should he be the last man standing in New York.”If he wins the U.S. and he wins three majors out of four I think it ends once and for all the GOAT conversation,” said Tennis Hall of Famer Cliff Drysdale, a former player on the men’s tour.”Without it I still think he’s the greatest player that ever played but that would certainly consolidate his position in my mind as the best player to have played the sport of tennis.”
It would have been crazy if Argentina had missed out on the World Cup: Lionel Messi
Argentina got what they deserved when they qualified for next year’s World Cup in Russia with a 3-1 victory over Ecuador, according to football legend Lionel Messi.The Albiceleste entered Tuesday’s final round of South American group qualifiers in sixth place, outside the automatic World Cup places, reports Xinhua news agency.But fired by a Messi hat-trick, the two-time World Cup winners rallied from a goal down to win in Quito and jump to third in the final CONMEBOL standings.”It would have been crazy if Argentina had missed out on the World Cup,” Messi told reporters after the match. “People have questioned the team but tonight we showed that we deserve to be there.””Everybody knows what we went through to be in the World Cup. We have to enjoy this and stay calm because there is still a long way to go until the tournament. We know that we can get better.”Argentina, Colombia & Uruguay qualify ?Messi hat-trick ?Despair for Chile & Paraguay ?S America #WCQ review ?????? https://t.co/FP7gqkDxeE pic.twitter.com/dvSpXyXxF5- #WCQ ????? (@FIFAWorldCup) October 11, 2017Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli revealed that he referred to Messi to help inspire his players before the match.”I told the group that Messi does not owe Argentina a World Cup, but rather football owes the World Cup to him,” Sampaoli told a news conference. “Argentina took a step forward, and in time we can be competitive,” he added.The 2018 World Cup will be played in 11 Russian cities from June 14 to July 15.advertisementQUALIFIED! ??Congratulations, ????Argentina! ???The 2014 finalists have their spot in ????ºRussia! #WCQ pic.twitter.com/10DigB4Dwd- #WCQ ????? (@FIFAWorldCup) October 11, 2017
Oppo A79 with 6-inch bezel-less display, octa-core processor launched
Chinese handset maker Oppo has launched yet another near bezel-less smartphone in China, called the Oppo A79. The smartphone falls in the mid-range segment and highlights an edge-to-edge display and design language that is similar to the Oppo F5 and R11s. Apart from its 18:9 aspect ratio, the A79 also brings an OLED display, octa-core processor, 3000mAh battery with Vooc charginging support and Android 7.1.1 Nougat with Color OS 3.2 on top, among other things.As far as pricing is concerned, the A79 falls somewhere in between Oppo’s F5 and the R11s. The latest bezel-less handset has been priced at CNY 2399 (approx Rs 23,500) and comes in a single storage variant. The phone is set to go on sale in China starting December 1 in a choice of Champagne and Black colours, and there is no word on its availability in other markets. Since the A79 looks pretty identical to the Oppo F5, it is unclear whether the company will launch the latest device in markets like India where the F5 is already on sale.The Oppo A79 features minimal bezels on the front that provides for more screen-to-body ratio. You get a 6.01-inch OLED (1080×2160) display, which will likely offer sharper and more vivid colours than the F5 and something more along the lines of the R11s. Design is familiar as well as the back sports the company’s logo in the middile, with a fingerprint sensor just above it. The rear camera is on the top left corner and the antenna lines are seen on the edges of the top and bottom.advertisementAlso Read: Oppo F5 review: Intelligent selfies come at a priceThe mid-range smartphone is runs on Color OS 3.2 based on Android 7.1.1. It is powered by an 2.5GHz octa-core MediaTek Helio P23 processor coupled with 4GB of RAM. You get 64GB of inbuilt storage, which is expandable via a microSD card slot.Optics for the Oppo A79 include a 16-megapixel sensor on the back with f1.8 aperture and a 16-megapixel front-facing sensor with f2.0 aperture. The handset houses a 3000mAh battery pack with VOOC fast charging support. You can expect the usual connectivity options such as GPS/ A-GPS, GPRS/ EDGE, 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, among others.
Dejected Ronald Koeman yet to recover from Everton sacking
Former Everton manager Ronald Koeman is yet to get over the disappointment of being sacked by the Premier League club and has rejected multiple managerial offers since his dismissal.Koeman was fired in October, after 16 months in charge of the Merseyside club, as significant transfer spending failed to inspire Everton, who dropped into the relegation zone after winning just two of their opening nine league games.”I had started something at Everton and I really wanted to finish it in a good way. This is why my disappointment is bigger than ever before. I have to be realistic and I am not moaning about it,” the Dutchman told the Sunday Mirror.The 54-year-old was touted to take over at several vacant managerial roles at Premier League and European clubs, including West Bromwich Albion and West Ham United, but turned down the offers.”I need to put those feelings of disappointment away first,” Koeman added. “This is the reason why I’ve not taken any of the offers — the offers were there immediately after leaving Everton.Reuters Photo “I had a few offers from the Premier League and a few more elsewhere in Europe.”Everton have climbed to 10th in the standings under the guidance of interim boss David Unsworth and newly-appointed permanent manager Sam Allardyce and travel to fourth-placed Liverpool for the Merseyside derby on Sunday.
Xiaomi Mi A1 starts receiving Android 8.0 Oreo beta build
Xiaomi’s first Android One smartphone, the Mi A1, has started receiving Android 8.0 Oreo for beta testers. The build is reportedly 1104MB in size and some early adopters have noticed the fingerprint reader to be faster following the update. The beta release also suggests that the official Oreo rollout could happen before the end of the year, as Xiaomi had previously promised.The Android 8.0 Oreo beta availability will help the company weed out any lingering bugs and issues before the final build rolls out. The company last week announced it was searching for Mi A1 owners to beta test the update. The last date for joining the programme was December 11, which means users who haven’t signed up will have to wait for the official rollout now. The Mi A1 offers a stock Android experience, but does feature some of the company’s own apps including the Mi Camera app and Mi Remote app, among others.Apart from running stock Android, the Mi A1 sports a 5.5-inch Full-HD resolution display with 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass protection on top. It is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 SoC paired with 4GB RAM and Adreno 506 GPU, and houses a 3080mAh battery.Also Read: Xiaomi Mi A1 at Rs 13,999 is a steal deal for most peopleThat’s not all the Mi A1 news this week, the handset also received a permanent Rs 1,000 price cut in India, making it available at an attractive price of Rs 13,999. At this price, the Mi A1 is in a better position to trump its competition like the Nokia 6 and Moto G5S Plus. In our review, we found the smartphone to be an all-rounder that not only offers a pure Android experience, but also the best in class cameras.advertisement
Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu creates a storm at Senior National Badminton Championship: Facts about these top shuttlers of India
Olympic medallists P V Sindhu and Saina Nehwal sailed into the women’s singles semi-finals while men’s world number two Kidambi Srikanth also notched up a comfortable win in the 82nd Senior National Badminton Championship. Main results of the gameIn the women’s singles quarter-finals, London Games bronze medallist Saina thrashed Aakarshi Kashyap 21-17 21-10.In another last-eight match, Rio Olympics silver medallist Sindhu proved too good for Shriyanshi Pardeshi, winning her match 21-11 21-17.In the men’s singles competition, India’s top male shuttler Srikanth had it easy as he dispatched Shubham Prajapati 21-17 23-21.The proceedings in the quarter-finals started with the mixed doubles duo of Satwik Sai Raj R and Ashwini Ponnappa taking on Shivam Sharma and Poorvisha S Ram.Satwik and Ponnappa, with their high speed and seamless coordination, managed to bag the first game 21-14 and the second 21-12. Maharashtra Badminton Association president Arun Lakhani said, “The country’s top shuttlers certainly proved their mettle today. Over 10,000 spectators, including 5,800 children turned up to watch their heroes live in action in the course of the day and they didn’t disappoint.”The skill on display was mesmerising. Each match was a riveting spectacle. But even as our legends shone, India’s up and coming badminton stars made their mark. All in all a great day on which badminton emerged as the biggest winner.”Few interesting facts about Saina Nehwal who would must know:The badminton player holds 23 incredible international titlesIn 2006, Saina became the under-19 national champion. She created history by winning the Asian Satellite Badminton tournament twice, thus becoming the first player to do soadvertisementIn May 2006, Saina became the first Indian woman and the youngest player from Asia to win a 4-star tournament-the Philippines OpenShe won the Singapore Open super series in June 2010, the Hong Kong super series in December 2010, and the Indonesian championship in June 2012Nehwal was conferred with the Arjuna Award in the year 2009, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna for the year 2009-2010, and the Padma Shri award in 2010Facts about another ace badminton player, PV Sindhu:Her full name is Pusarla Venkata SindhuShe hails from a sports background family. Her parents were professional volleyball playersShe won the World Badminton Championship 2 times in a row in 2013 and 2014. Sindhu has also won Macau Grand Prix Open three times in a rowPV Sindhu is the youngest Indian to win an Olympic medalShe received Arjuna Award at an age of just 18 yearsSindhu was awarded India’s fourth highest civilian award Padma Shri for her contribution to badminton(With inputs from PTI)Interested in General Knowledge and Current Affairs? Click here to stay informed and know what is happening around the world with our G.K. and Current Affairs section.To get more updates on Current Affairs, send in your query by mail to email@example.com
Yanks Take Red Sox, 7-4
NEW YORK — Brian McCann was far from panic mode. He was hitting the ball well, and figured positive results would follow.Still, he enjoyed seeing his drives wind up in the seats instead of someone’s glove.McCann put an emphatic end to his season-opening slump, hitting his first two home runs for the New York Yankees to help beat John Lackey and the Boston Red Sox 7-4 on April 12.“I was pleased about my at-bats today,” McCann said.Carlos Beltran, Alfonso Soriano and Kelly Johnson also connected as the Yankees scored all their runs on homers. Lackey was tagged for a career-high four home runs in 5 2-3 innings.New York has won two of three in a series that wraps up April 13.A.J. Pierzynski hit his first home run for the Red Sox.After striking out in the first inning and dropping his batting average to .158, McCann quickly reversed his fortunes.The seven-time All-Star who left Atlanta to sign an $85 million, five-year deal with the Yankees led off the fourth with a liner into the first row of the second deck in right field.McCann hurried around the bases, and fans were still cheering when Soriano followed with his third home run of the week.Beltran opened the sixth with a double and McCann homered to right-center. It was the catcher’s 10th career multi-homer game.“I’ve been seeing the ball pretty well to be hitting in the hundreds,” McCann said. As for any concerns about a slow start, he said, “I don’t look at it that way.”The Red Sox have been shifting on McCann during this series, moving an extra infielder onto the right side once they get a strike on him. Facing Lackey for the first time, McCann made moot any shift.“He’s hit the ball better than his numbers indicated,” Yankees Manager Joe Girardi said. “I was not really concerned about it. I know he’s going to hit,” he said.Girardi said he assumed the short right-field fence and the jet stream that carries the ball in that direction would benefit the lefty-hitting McCann.“It showed up today,” Girardi said. Also showing up: A missed call on a replay challenge.Dean Anna of the Yankees was called safe on a double in the eighth inning with New York ahead 7-4. A television replay showed his right foot briefly came off the base as he stood up with shortstop Xander Bogaerts tagging him.“I feel like I was on the whole time,” Anna said. “I couldn’t feel myself off the bag.” That’s not how Farrell saw it.“We probably had five angles that confirmed his foot was off the base,” he said after the game. “It certainly raises questions on if they are getting the same feed we are, the consistency of the system. So, it makes you scratch your head a little bit on why he was called safe.”Later, Major League Baseball said the conclusive angle showing Anna was out wasn’t immediately available inside the replay center in New York.Hiroki Kuroda (2-1) pitched into the seventh, and reliever Matt Thornton gave up Mike Carp’s two-run single that made it 6-4. With runners at the corners, Carp was caught stealing for the third out.Shawn Kelley pitched a perfect ninth for his second save.Lackey (2-1) threw plenty of strikes, but gave up 10 hits. He walked none, fanned six and missed a chance to get off to a 3-0 start for the first time in his career.Jacoby Ellsbury bunted for a two-out single in the first and Beltran homered on an 0-2 pitch right down the middle. Lackey was already stalking toward the plate to get a new ball from the umpire before Beltran reached second base.“I just left it over the plate. It wasn’t a very good pitch, up in the zone. One of those I’d like to have back, for sure,” Lackey said.Johnson hit his third homer in the eighth.BEN WALKER, AP Baseball WriterTweetPinShare0 Shares
Pine Tar Game: Red Sox Beat Yanks, 5-1
BOSTON — The pine tar on Michael Pineda’s neck was a stain for the New YorkYankees.General Manager Brian Cashman was “embarrassed.”Manager Joe Girardi called it “poor judgment.”And Pineda was “sad” and vowed not to do it again.The Yankees’ right-hander was ejected for using pine tar less than two weeks after appearing to get away with using a foreign substance in another game against Boston, and the Red Sox beat New York 5-1 on April 23.The previous time, Pineda said he used “dirt” on his right palm to get a better grip in cold weather in a 4-1 win over Boston on April 10 in New York.This time, he said he decided to put pine tar on the right side of his neck after allowing two runs in the first inning on another chilly night so he could use it to grip the ball.“I’ll learn from this mistake,” a downcast Pineda said. “It won’t happen again.”He was thrown out in the second inning when plate umpire Gerry Davis found the substance on the right side of Pineda’s neck after Red Sox Manager John Farrell asked him to check. Pineda walked from the mound without protest.“When it’s that obvious, something has got to be said,” Farrell said. “Our awareness was heightened, given what we had seen in the past.”Davis said he found pine tar and Pineda gave no explanation as he left the mound.Cashman said that in a similar situation, “I would want my manager to do what John Farrell did.”He said the issue was discussed with Pineda after the game on April 10 and again after he was ejected. Now he expects Pineda to be suspended.“He did what he did, but we’re also responsible that somehow he got out of our dugout and was on the field in that manner,” Cashman said. “That never should have happened.”Pineda (2-2) had nothing on the right side of his neck in a photo of him on the mound in his tough first inning, when four of the first six batters reached on hits.Another photo taken in the second showed a shiny horizontal substance on his upper neck below his right ear. After Pineda struck out the first two batters and had a 1-2 count on Grady Sizemore, Farrell talked to Davis.The umpire went to the mound, looked at the ball then touched the substance on Pineda’s neck with his right index finger. Then he gestured with that same finger, indicating Pineda’s ejection.“He had a hard time gripping the baseball. Unknown to us, he put it on and went out there,” Girardi said. “It’s a young kid. I don’t think he’s trying to do anything, cheat. I think he’s just trying to go out there and compete.”Rule 8.02(b) says a pitcher shall not “have on his person, or in his possession, any foreign substance. For such infraction of this section the penalty shall be immediate ejection from the game. In addition, the pitcher shall be suspended automatically.”“We will talk to the umpires tomorrow and review their report before taking any action,” Major League Baseball spokesman Michael Teevan said.In recent suspensions of pitchers for pine tar, Tampa Bay’s Joel Peralta was penalized eight games in 2012, the Los Angeles Angels’ Brendan Donnelly 10 days in 2005 and St. Louis’ Julian Tavarez 10 days in 2004.The suspensions of Donnelly and Tavarez were cut to eight days after they asked the players’ association to appeal, and Peralta dropped his challenge with no reduction.In Pineda’s previous start against the Red Sox, Farrell didn’t see a photograph of Pineda’s hand until the fourth inning; when Pineda came out to warm up for the fifth, his hand was clean.With the game time temperature at 50 degrees, Sizemore started the first with a triple and scored on Dustin Pedroia’s single. With one out, Mike Napoli singled Pedroia to third. After Mike Carp flied to left, A.J. Pierzynski singled up the middle, scoring Pedroia.After Pineda’s ejection, David Phelps came in and completed the strikeout of Sizemore.John Lackey (3-2) allowed one run and seven hits in eight innings with 11 strikeouts and no walks. Koji Uehara struck out three in the ninth in a non-save situation.“There is such a thing as too many strikes if you’re hitting the white part of the plate,” Lackey said. “I was fortunate enough tonight to be hitting the corners more times than not.”Napoli had three hits and Boston scored two runs in the first and two more in the third. The Yankees scored on Alfonso Soriano’s sacrifice fly in the sixth.(HOWARD ULMAN, AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shares
Little League Champs Lose US Title
CHICAGO — A Little League team that captured the attention of the nation and the hearts of its hometown was stripped of its national title Feb. 11 after an investigation revealed that team officials had falsified boundaries so they could add ineligible players to the roster.Only last summer, the all-black Jackie Robinson West team was the toast of Chicago and was honored with trips to San Francisco and to the White House.But the sport’s governing body announced that team officials had engaged in a Little League version of political gerrymandering. Instead of politicians redrawing district maps to pick up votes, it was local league officials who changed the boundaries that determined where players must live.And after learning that their scheme had been exposed, they scrambled to persuade surrounding leagues to go along with what they had done.“This is so heartbreaking,” said Stephen D. Keener, President and CEO of Little League International. “It is a sad day for a bunch of kids who we have come to really like … who did nothing wrong.” But “we cannot tolerate the actions of some of the adults involved here.”The organization suspended the manager, Darold Butler, and suspended the team from Little League tournament play until the local league’s president and treasurer have been replaced. A district official who is believed to have helped change the boundaries was also removed.“I’m super proud of the boys and what they did,” Butler told the Chicago Sun-Times. “They always will be champions in my eyes, and they’ll always be champions in a lot of people’s eyes. They did it on the field in between the lines, and I’m the proudest coach in the world to be a part of a group of 13 boys like that.”All of the team’s victories were thrown out, meaning that the wins will be awarded to other teams. Mountain Ridge Little League, the team from Las Vegas that lost to Jackie Robinson West in the national championship game, will be awarded the title.Parents were angered by the news, saying their children were being unfairly punished.“The boys had no inside dealings … about any borders, and I as a mother had no idea there were any (questions about) boundaries,” said Venisa Green, who was driving her son, Brandon, to school when they were “blindsided” by the news as it came over the radio.“We weren’t involved in anything that could have caused us to be stripped of our championship,” said Brandon, appearing at a news conference with his mother.Venisa Green said the move was especially disheartening because the team was part of efforts to keep children safe and prepare them for college in a community better known for gangs and drugs than any kind of achievement.“What would you have us do, Little League, for them to be killed on the streets of Chicago?” she asked.She wondered if the fact that the players were black had any role in the ruling, something that the Rev. Jesse Jackson and others questioned as well.“Is this about boundaries or race?” Jackson asked.Jackson did not discuss whether he blamed any league officials for what had happened, but in Washington, White House spokesman Josh Earnest suggested that it was the adults who let down the boys.“The fact is, you know, some dirty dealing by some adults doesn’t take anything away from the accomplishments of those young men,” he said.The Chicago Cubs said they would not ask that donations it made to the Little League team be returned.“We can only imagine this was an extremely difficult and heart-wrenching day for these talented young athletes, but we hope they will continue to play this wonderful game of baseball for years to come. The game is counting on it,” spokesman Julian Green said in a statement.It was a stunning end to a story that began last summer as the team marched through the Little League tournament. Their odyssey ended with a loss to South Korea in the world championship game in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania.For days, Chicago was enthralled by the story, in large part because the team was from the city’s South Side, an area that has a reputation in much of the country for being synonymous with crime and gun violence.They were part of one of the most heartwarming World Series in Little League history, with the country rooting for Jackie Robinson West and a team from Philadelphia that had Mo’ne Davis, a star pitcher who was the first girl to appear in the series for a U.S. team since 2004.When the Chicago team returned home, the boys were treated as conquering heroes. Thousands of people lined city streets to catch a glimpse of them as they were paraded by bus from their home field to a downtown park.The team was treated to a trip to a major league World Series game in San Francisco and then a visit with President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama at the White House.Behind the scenes, Keener said, the investigation was creating a different story after a coach from a nearby suburb alleged that Jackie Robinson West had violated rules by poaching top suburban players.The investigation, which was first reported by DNAinfo.com, appeared to end in December when the national organization said it had uncovered no violations.Officials said they would reopen the inquiry if new information surfaced. About that time, the organization learned of questions about boundary maps involving multiple leagues. The investigation resumed.In an interview, Keener said Jackie Robinson West officials expanded the boundaries of their league at the expense of three neighboring leagues, so that the boundaries included the homes of several players on the team who would not otherwise have been eligible.The investigation found that at least one district official who had helped redraw the map went to the other teams to ask that they go along with what the team had done, Keener said.“They (said) ‘We know we took your territory. We shouldn’t have done it, but will you give it to us’ to essentially legitimize it,” Keener said. The other leagues refused, he said.(DON BABWIN)TweetPinShare0 Shares
USA Rugby Teams Qualify for Rio
DUBLIN — Ninety-two years after they clinched Olympic gold, U.S. rugby players will be defending their title at the 2016 Games in Rio.USA’s men’s and women’s teams both qualified for the Olympic debut of rugby sevens at next summer’s Games after winning the NACRA North America Rugby Sevens titles on Sunday.The last time rugby featured at the Olympics — in the 15-a-side version of the game — was in Paris in 1924, when the United States won gold. They also won the Olympic title in 1920.World rugby president Bernard Lapasset said “having both teams competing on sport’s biggest stage will take our exciting game to new audiences and inspire new participants. It could be a game-changer.”Seven-a-side rugby will feature at the 2016 Olympics for the first time.TweetPinShare0 Shares