A former executive committee member of football’s global governing body FIFA told a U.S. judge in November 2013 that he took bribes in connection with the 1998 and 2010 World Cups, among other major events.Charles ‘Chuck’ Blazer, a U.S. citizen who spent two decades as one of the world’s most powerful football officials, secretly pleaded guilty to 10 criminal counts in New York as part of an agreement with U.S. prosecutors, according to a partially redacted transcript of the hearing released on Wednesday.Blazer admitted: “During my association with FIFA and CONCACAF, among other things I and others agreed that I or a co-conspirator would commit at least two acts of racketeering activity.“I agreed with others in or around 1992 to facilitate the acceptance of a bribe in conjunction with the selection of the host nation for the 1998 World Cup.“I and others on the FIFA executive committee agreed to accept bribes in conjunction with the selection of South Africa as the host nation for the 2010 World Cup.”According to U.S. officials, Blazer’s cooperation helped build a sprawling corruption case that has led to charges against top FIFA figures and helped prompt the resignation on Tuesday of long-time president Sepp Blatter.In addition to serving as an executive committee member from 1997 to 2013, Blazer was also the general secretary of CONCACAF, football’s governing body in North and Central America and in the Caribbean, from 1990 to 2011.
By Graham WoodArsenal will put one of the best Champions League records on the line when they face Olympiakos Piraeus in a showdown for second spot in Group F on Wednesday (9,45pm).As well as competing in the tournament for the 18th season in a row, the London club have qualified for the second stage in each of the past 15 campaigns.That run is in jeopardy, not so much due to a 5-1 hammering at group winners Bayern Munich but because Arsenal were beaten in their opening two games including a shock 3-2 defeat at home to Olympiakos.Now they must reverse that scoreline or improve on it to preserve their proud record under Arsene Wenger who will be missing seven players including Alexis Sanchez, Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Jack Wilshere.Wenger was particularly pleased with Saturday’s 3-1 win at home to Sunderland, a victory that lifted Arsenal to second place in the Premier League.“For our confidence it was vital,” the French coach told reporters. “I was very nervous because I knew it was a very important game for our season.“It is better to prepare for the (Olympiakos) game knowing we have won. The one positive thing is we know exactly what to do.“Most of the time when we have been to Olympiakos we have not had a lot to do because we had already qualified. This time it is the opposite,” added Wenger.It is Arsenal’s fourth visit in seven seasons and each time the game has come on Matchday Six.DEFINING MOMENTFor Olympiakos the match is being billed by local media as a defining moment in a breakthrough year for Portuguese coach Marco Silva.The 38-year-old has led the Greeks to 12 successive Super League victories since the season kicked off as they chase a host of club records.Silva has also won widespread praise for the European performances.Greece midfielder Kostas Fortounis, one of the outstanding players for Olympiakos this season, is relishing the game with Arsenal.“This is a showdown, no doubt about it, out of which only one team can claim qualification to the next stage,” he said after the 4-3 win at Panthrakikos at the weekend, a result that gave them a 10-point lead at the top of the Super League.Olympiakos are relatively injury-free but Silva must decide whether to include fit-again Argentine midfielder Esteban Cambiasso in place of Luka Milivojevic or Pajtim Kasami.Brown Ideye, who spent last season at West Bromwich Albion, will come back into the attack after being rested at the weekend.
The event is organised by the Lihir Triathlon Club and includes distances of 69km on Day one, 96km on Day two and 98km Day three.The Buluminski Highway is sealed all the way except for a section of 28km after the first 41km.Day one event on Thursday, April 13 is a mixture of dirt and sealed road.Day two scheduled on Friday, April 14 will see participants cycle on a 96km sealed road.The final day on Saturday, April 15 participants will also cycle on a 98km sealed road.Participants will have an additional one day competition on Monday, April 17 which includes a 1km/2km ocean swim.The event will be promoting awareness for the violence against women program “Trupla man trupla meri”.About 30 participants are confirmed so far for the event including four from Newcrest in Lihir, five from Cairns Queensland and 21 from the New Ireland Cycling Club.The organisers confirmed that some of the junior triathletes from the New Ireland Triathlon Academy will hopefully be participating on the last day along with the Kavieng police on their recently purchased bikes.Participants are reminded that the event is a relaxed PNG style event.Organisers urge participants to be responsibility for their own food, accommodation, safety and transport and there will be support vehicles that can be utilised on notice.Accommodation options in Kavieng include Nusa Resort, Kavieng Hotel, Malagan Lodge, Transit Haus and other smaller guesthouses.
While the small Indonesian contingent whooped it up at the final whistle in Manila, there was heartbreak in Bocaue—a pain that was the exact opposite of the mood in past AFF Suzuki Cup tournaments when the Azkals bucked odds and took down some of the region’s best teams.Midfielder Stephan Schrock minced no words as the Azkals came to grips with the result. “It’s a disaster,” he said. “We are all disappointed at the moment. We won’t shy from it.”The Azkals may have been doomed from the start. Unable to sustain the momentum of their stunning 3-2 win over North Korea in World Cup Qualifying last March, the Azkals— out of action for the next five months—groped for form.The preparation was far from ideal and all the signs were there for everyone to see when they suffered friendly losses to Bahrain and North Korea last October. Azkals coach Thomas Dooley saw no reason to panic. “If the Suzuki Cup were [held] tomorrow then I would be worried,” Dooley said then.He said he had a good plan in the Suzuki Cup and the players were firm in their belief that they could break new ground in the tournament. “I believe in the players and in our capability as a team,” said Phil Younghusband, the Azkals skipper.ADVERTISEMENT Smart’s Siklab Saya: A multi-city approach to esports We are young PH among economies most vulnerable to virus Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan PLAY LIST 01:31Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan01:33WHO: ‘Global stocks of masks and respirators are now insufficient’01:01WHO: now 31,211 virus cases in China 102:02Vitamin C prevents but doesn’t cure diseases like coronavirus—medic03:07’HINDI PANG-SPORTS LANG!’03:03SILIP SA INTEL FUND As fate of VFA hangs, PH and US forces take to the skies for exercise But the Azkals came to grief Friday night after losing to Thailand, 0-1, before another sparse crowd at faraway Philippine Sports Stadium in Bocaue, Bulacan. The tournament went down the wire—down to the last six minutes of the final Group A matches last Friday night, when the last semifinalist from the group was decided.Thailand, unbeaten in three matches, and Indonesia, which fought back from a goal down to beat Singapore, 2-1, advanced. The Philippines and Singapore got the boot.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra teammates show love for SlaughterSPORTSWe are youngSPORTSFreddie Roach: Manny Pacquiao is my Muhammad AliTwo points from three matches weren’t enough and, after Sarawut Masuk beat Roland Muller on the breakaway in the 81st minute, the Azkals’ run of three semifinal appearances in the tournament came to a halt.The result against the Thais would have been enough had Indonesia and Singapore drew in a simultaneous match at Rizal Memorial Stadium. But Stefano Lilipaly, the Dutch-Indonesian midfielder, lived up to the hype, banging in a volley from inside the area to send the perennially underachieving Indonesians to the next round. An AFF Suzuki Cup between Philippines and Thailand at the Philippine Sports Stadium in Bocaue, Bulacan. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netWhat was supposed to be a showcase of the progress of the Philippine national team the past six years became an illustration of the amount of work that needs to be done to keep the Azkals in the upper echelons of Southeast Asian football.Being Southeast Asia’s top-ranked team and host of the group stage for the first time, the Azkals entered the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup as one of the favorites to advance to the semifinals, despite the presence of former semifinal conquerors Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia.ADVERTISEMENT Still, there will be questions that need to be answered before the team takes the next step forward. Is a revamp on the cards? Is Dooley still the man for the job? Is the Philippine Football Federation developing enough talent from the age-group level to make the senior team? Can the Azkals prepare poorly and still expect to get away with wins? Are games promoted enough to fill the stadium for the Azkals’ home games?The period of introspection begins.“There’s always tomorrow and there are always some positive things to take away,” said Schrock. “We’ll analyze that and come back stronger.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town Smart hosts first 5G-powered esports exhibition match in PH 30 Filipinos from Wuhan quarantined in Capas Mainland China virus cases exceed 40,000; deaths rise to 908 Four squads mix it up for final 4 berths MOST READ Younghusband’s statement may have masked the concerns within the squad. There were just too many players playing out of position, including Younghusband himself—a prolific striker now deployed as a defensive midfielder by Dooley. There was a lack of defenders in the squad. The vocal leaders of past runs such as Rob Gier were no longer around and nobody seemed ready to take the leadership mantle.To watch it all unfold—and unravel—in the Suzuki Cup, in front of Filipino fans, was tough to take. But even in diversity, there was always faith in the team’s capacity to pull through. Not this time.The Azkals struggled to break down Singapore even though the enemy was down to 10 men, managing just a a point from the scoreless draw. The second match offered hope as the Azkals, showing the never-say-die spirit of old, fought back from a goal down twice to hold off Indonesia, 2-2, setting the stage for a tight Group A finish.Younghusband’s curling free kick for the equalizer in the 81st minute was a reminder of his quality when he’s closer to goal. But it was still in the Azkals’ hands heading into the match against Thailand, which had already qualified after winning its first two matches.The Thais had the luxury of resting their stars, like Teerasil Dangda and Chanathip Songkrasin, but even their so-called “B” team is filled with talented players.Dooley gambled on his defense, this time putting 17-year-old Marco Casambre at central defense alongside Amani Aguinaldo. And while the teenager acquitted himself after a shaky start, Dooley sacrificed him for the more attack-minded Kevin Ingreso in search of a winner late on against the Thais.The move backfired as the back line, already settled before Casambre left, allowed Sarawut to score on the breakaway. It was one gamble too many for Dooley.“Obviously, this is not what everybody expected,” said Dooley. “We created a lot of chances, we didn’t have 100-percent chances, but we had six, seven, maybe eight good chances. We wanted to run a little bit because we knew the score from Singapore-Indonesia. Maybe it was a little too risky trying to play offside.”In the end, the Thais, a class above the rest with their quality and free-flowing style, deserved topping Group A. The Indonesians also earned their berth to the next round by playing without fear on attack.As for the Azkals, there will be plenty of scrutiny in the coming months with the next competition slated in March yet. The positives cannot be ignored, though, with Casambre emerging as a viable option at the back and Pika Minegishi and Mike Ott bringing attacking verve. EDITORS’ PICK Where did they go? Millions left Wuhan before quarantine Shanghai officials reveal novel coronavirus transmission modes Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments
I need not speak audibly but no I must scream thisI need not wail but I must shed the tears for you to witnessI need not snort but I won’t stop if something is bugging meI might be silent but how lengthy can that persist?I might be short-sighted but how extensive will it last?I seek my freedom to move beyond your dominionAllow those blessings come without any interferenceLet my time approaches without a single bidding via youThrough the good and terrible times that befalls meThe harsh lessons to learn as life one must live for enduranceI need not be a remote control the copious knobs for callous tickingToo soon to share a humid seat with the good advice and carefree chatsShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Dear Editor,No proper historian can doubt that the most difficult economic years for the ordinary man in post-independence Guyana were during the last years of Forbes Burnham, during the period 1984 to 1985.Unfortunately for Desmond Hoyte, he was given the unenviable task of leading the turnaround of the economy post-1985. Significantly, he chose the “Economic Recovery Program” as his tool to assert his leadership, and eventually, by 1991, did turn around the economy. We have to remember that the economy did not grow at all during the last three years under Burnham. It went backward by negative 13%, negative 7% and negative 5% respectively.Fast forward to the Granger Presidency and we can find that he came into office on a foundation wherein the economy had grown by approximately positive 5%, positive 5% and positive 4% in the three years prior to his arrival. So why is he sitting on top of an economy that is regressing incrementally? The growth rate for 2015 and 2016 averaged 3% and is expected to do worse in 2017.Let me be absolutely clear: Hoyte got a mess, and made something good of it; so it clearly shows that the PNC did have talent. On the other hand, Granger got a stable economy and is making a mess of it. To divert the people’s attention from the gross mismanagement of the economy under Granger, his team continues to mislead the people into believing that this mess will be cleared up when the oil money flows. It is a downright untruth, since Guyana does not have the systems in place to manage this oil money; and if you observe the operations of this Granger Government, it has Burnhamist economic strategic-thinking all over it, and Burnham was a hot mess at economic leadership.Under Burnham’s rule, he did everything policy wise during the 1980s to shrink the opportunities to the wider population at large, and while he was drinking whiskey on a commandeered aircraft en route to Africa, the ordinary folk were drinking “rice-maar” for dinner.Today, if you carefully observe this student of Burnham (Mr. Granger), his policy closely resembles those of Burnham’s from 1984, with all these vanity projects that are built at great cost to the Treasury but offer little economic usefulness towards lifting our people out of poverty.So while the lead Government spokesperson — morning, noon and night — parrots delusional comments like “the majority of the population is happy with the Coalition Government’s performance”, the reality is very different. Today we have a raw-commodity-driven economy that excludes the majority of the people from sharing in the wealth of the nation, while the Executives in the Government are travelling the world on a billion-dollar budget and paying themselves a total package that adds up to more than G0 million a year.Further, within 6 months, some 10,000 more Guyanese directly and about 50,000 indirectly in rural Guyana will feel the impact of these state-sponsored social depriving public policies as the retrenchment continues in the sugar industry. Clearly, these are policies that continue to exclude the people.So, as history repeats itself once more in Guyana, the conclusion is that we are back to the attitudes of 1984 in the Executive branch of the Government. In 1984, the Burnham government stole the dreams of the majority of Guyanese people, and history is repeating itself in 2017 under this Granger regime.Regards,Sase Singh
Security guard Tamraadhouj Ramcharran of Richmond Village, Essequibo Coast, Region Two, was on Thursday evening discovered dead in his bedroom.The 61-year-old had reportedly lived alone, and had last been seen by neighbours at about 22:00 on November 9. This newspaper was told that after neighbours with whom he usually chats did not see him, they ventured into his yard. One of the neighbours went into his house and saw the man lying in his bedroom.The Police were alerted and visited the home. An examination conducted by the Police did not find any marks of violence on the body.Ramcharran’s body was then taken to the Suddie Public Hospital where doctors pronounced him dead, and the body was later transported to the Suddie Mortuary to await a post mortem.
0Shares0000BARCELONA, Spain, January 26 – Barcelona survived a late comeback from holders Real Madrid to knock them out of the Spanish Cup with a 4-3 victory on aggregate after a 2-2 draw at the Nou Camp where the visitors put up a spirited fightback to come from two goals down.Jose Mourinho may still not have won away to Barcelona in nine attempts as a coach, whether at Real or any of his other clubs, but his team’s performance was a perfect answer to the critics who have blasted their recent poor displays against their arch rivals. First-half goals by Pedro and Dani Alves looked to have put the game beyond the reach of Real before they fought back to level on the night with goals by Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema, but in the end came up short and had defender Sergi Ramos sent-off late on.“The players worked hard and I would like to congratulate them for their performance,” said Barca coach Pep Guardiola.“Madrid are a great team and for that reason our victory has more merit. Madrid played well but over the 180 minutes we were the deserved winners.“I wouldn’t say that this was our toughest game. I remember the match in my first season away to Sevilla when we were 3-0 up and they pulled it back to 3-2 and if we drew we would lose the league.“Madrid are a very strong side but I wouldn’t necessarily say this team is stronger than the one we faced last season for example in the Champions League (semi-finals which Barca won).”Mourinho had little to say after the game but was disappointed by his side’s poor finishing.“There wasn’t very much to talk to the players about at half time because there was little to change. When the team plays well then you have nothing to say, and I could have spoken for just one minute,” said Mourinho, who it has been reported in the media has indicated he wants to leave at the end of the season.“We played well in the first half. Barcelona scored without having done anything and we had four or five chances.“After the break we tried to vary things by pushing Cristiano further forward and putting Benzema and (Jose) Callejon deeper.”Real, looking to overturn the 2-1 first leg quarter-final defeat, set off at a high tempo but went on to miss a hatful of chances with Gonzalo Higuain especially wasteful.The game had just kicked off when Real had their first chance for Higuain but he shot well wide after being played in by a poor Alves back pass.Minutes later and Higuain had another glaring miss. Xabi Alonso floated in a free-kick and Ronaldo stabbed a shot from close range which was blocked by the keeper Jose Pinto and the follow-up fell to the Argentine who fired over.Ronaldo shot wide with another opportunity and then after a break by Kaka from midfield he set up the Portuguese star who, pushed a bit wide, again was unable to hit the target.Barca were struggling to cope with the darting runs from Mesut Ozil and he was extremely unlucky with a sublime 35-yard strike which crashed back into play off the woodwork.Barca had offered little but there was a feeling that the sucker punch would come and it did just two minutes before the break.The Real defence rushed to block a Lionel Messi run and left Pedro, who came on for the injured Andres Iniesta, free. He slotted the ball with his weaker right foot into the corner.Real were stunned but it got worse as in stoppage time Alves unleashed an unstoppable shot which flew into the roof of the net from the edge of the area.Barcelona lost concentration in the second-half allowing Real to strike back.Alonso slipped a ball through for Ronaldo to round the keeper and score to give them hope after 67 minutes and then substitute Benzema took advantage of slack defending to bring the scores level but Barca held on.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
BERKELEY – As a 17-point lead faded away to nothing in the final minutes, USC’s status as a potential NCAA tournament team was put to the test. Follow up the Stanford debacle by blowing this game, and everything the Trojans had worked to build this season could come tumbling down. But the freshman wasn’t Gibson. Daniel Hackett came off the bench and fought off a twisted ankle to make four key plays down the stretch, including the winning basket with 17 seconds left, and USC pulled out a 76-73win over California at Haas Pavilion. “It could have been a devastating loss with that kind of lead,” coach Tim Floyd said. “It could have been a self-doubt loss. “Instead, it’s a great win.” USC likely will lose its No.25 ranking in the Associated Press poll Monday because of the 65-50 loss at Stanford on Thursday, but the Trojans (16-6, 6-3) are right where they want to be after the first trip through the conference. The first half of Pacific-10 Conference play would wrap up in disappointing fashion, with those old doubts creeping back. That the player to take charge at the end and carry the team to an important victory Saturday was a freshman wasn’t a surprise. Taj Gibson has been the key player in the Trojans’ improvement. “We’re back on track,” Lodrick Stewart said. “If we had lost this game, it would have probably killed our confidence heading into next week.” Stewart had the hot hand in the first half, scoring 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting and making all four of his 3-point tries to give the Trojans a 67-60 edge at the break. Nick Young took over in the second half, leading a 16-6charge out of the locker room that gave USC the 17-point advantage. Young had 19 of his 21 points in the second half. Down by 12, Cal (12-9, 4-5) made a furious rally in the final seven minutes with some ridiculously tough 3-point shots. Ryan Anderson, a 6-foot-10 center, started the Bears off with a make from at least 5 feet beyond the line with the shot clock winding down. With the lead down to one at 69-68, Hackett cut to the basket and took a pass from Stewart for an easy layup. The play was an example of Stewart’s unselfishness in the second half, during which he recognized the defense was keying on him and attempted just three shots. He finished with a game-high 21 points. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
But John Racz’s defense attorney, Darryl Mounger, urged the jury of eight men and six woman to concentrate on April 22, saying his client could not have killed her that day. “There’s a lot of things that are missing, but if you look at the time frame for the 22nd, that’s the critical day,” Mounger said. He also asked the jury not to be swayed by the visual aids prosecutors rolled out in their three-hour opening statements. Showing photos of key witnesses, and video of John Racz being interrogated by detectives, Silverman said Racz gave conflicting and evasive answers about where his wife might be. No one other than John Racz has said they heard from Ann after April 22, Silverman said. He told investigators he met with Ann the next day and offered her cash to get by, Silverman said. But he gave different versions of where they met and how much money was involved, she said. He also told investigators he got a collect call from Ann on April 26, 1991, Silverman said. He reported that his wife told him she was going away and the minivan was at the FlyAway lot, Silverman said. But when Ann’s sister later came to look for her, and went out in a futile search for the minivan, Racz never said he knew where it was, Silverman said. “Some of the most compelling evidence in this case comes from the defendant’s own mouth,” Silverman said. email@example.com (661) 257-5253160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Racz, who is free on $1 million bail, was impassive as he sat in court. Two of the couple’s three children, who were 14, 11, and 7 when their mother went missing, attended the hearing, and so did a couple of Ann Racz’s siblings. Silverman described Ann Racz, who was 43 when last seen, as devoted to her children and eager to continue her relationship with an old high school sweetheart, to whom she wrote constantly in the waning months of her marriage. After more than 18 years of marriage, Ann Racz moved out of the family’s home on Fortuna Drive on April 18, 1991, taking the children to a nearby condominium she had secretly rented, Silverman said. On April 22, 1991, Ann Racz returned to the Fortuna Drive home with two of her children, spoke to John Racz while staying in her white minivan, and then drove to McDonald’s to get food for the kids, Silverman said. A few minutes after Ann drove off, John left in another car, the prosecutor said. Silverman told jurors Racz killed his wife that day. Authorities found the white minivan at a Van Nuys airport FlyAway lot. Silverman said John Racz took the minivan there April 25 to make investigators think Ann left on a plane. SAN FERNANDO – A prosecutor told jurors Thursday that missing Valencia homemaker Ann Racz was killed by her husband 16 years ago, even though her body was never discovered. In her opening statements, Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman said trial evidence will show that Compton teacher and former sheriff’s Deputy John Racz, 61, was tripped up by his own lies in conversations with acquaintances and sheriff’s investigators after his wife disappeared. And while John Racz’s defense attorney described Ann Racz as a “woman in conflict” who traveled widely, Silverman disputed suggestions that Ann would have run away days after filing for divorce, without ever contacting her children or family. “The evidence … will demonstrate beyond any reasonable doubt that Ann Racz was murdered, and that she was murdered by that man, more than 16 years ago,” Silverman said, pointing at Racz.