England Ready To Host More Euro 2020 Games – Johnson

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures as he holds a remote press conference to update the nation on the post-Brexit trade agreement, inside 10 Downing Street in central London on December 24, 2020. Photo by Paul GROVER / POOL / AFP)

 

Johnson told The Sun that his government’s ambitions went further in a joint United Kingdom and Ireland candidacy to host the 2030 World Cup.

The Euros are set to be played in 12 cities across the continent from June 11, after being postponed last year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The tabloid said ministers are holding talks with European football’s governing body UEFA about hosting more games due to rising cases across the continent and the slow roll out of vaccines.

Britain has been one of the nations hardest-hit by the virus but has already vaccinated 20 million people with at least one dose and plans to finish the whole population by the end of July.

Johnson’s spokesman last week dismissed talk about England hosting the whole tournament but Johnson indicated the country could take on more than just the semi-finals and final at Wembley.

“Any other matches they want hosted, we are certainly on for that!” he said. We are hosting the Euros. We are hosting the semis and the final.

“If there’s, you know, if they want any other matches that they want hosted, we’re certainly on for that but at the moment that’s where we are with UEFA.”

The Sun said finance minister Finance Rishi Sunak will announce in his Budget on Wednesday funds of £2.8 million ($3.9 million) to promote the UK and Ireland’s bid for the 2030 World Cup.

England has hosted the tournament once before in 1966 — the only time they have won the trophy — and lost out for the hosting of the 2006 edition to Germany and the 2018 finals to Russia.

“We are very, very keen to bring football home in 2030,” said Johnson. “I do think it’s the right place.

“It’s the home of football, it’s the right time. It will be an absolutely wonderful thing for the country.”

An Irish government spokesman confirmed they were keen to be part of a joint bid, and an assessment would be made.

“We look forward to further extensive engagement and collaboration as we seek to refine our hosting proposals in the coming months,” said prime minister Micheal Martin’s spokesman.

 

Tokyo Olympics Postponement Will Cost IOC ‘Several Hundred Million Dollars’ – Bach

 

The postponement to 2021 of the Olympic Games in Tokyo because of the coronavirus pandemic will cost the International Olympic Committee (IOC) “several hundred million dollars”, its president Thomas Bach said on Wednesday.

“We already know that we have to shoulder several hundred million US dollars of postponement costs,” the German wrote in a letter to the Olympic movement, warning that, while the IOC would honour its financial obligations to Tokyo, it would probably have to make cuts.

“We also need to look into and review all the services that we provide for these postponed Games,” he said.

“The IOC will continue to be responsible for its share of the operational burden and its share of the costs for these postponed Games.”

The IOC, which has approximately $1 billion (926 million euros) in reserves, took the historic decision to postpone the Games, scheduled to open on July 24, until July 23 to August 8, 2021.

If the coronavirus pandemic is not brought under control within a year, the Games cannot be postponed again and will be cancelled, the head of the organising committee (COJO) Yoshiro Mori warned on Tuesday.

A task force, which brings together the IOC and various partners, including COJO, “has established the priorities and management strategies to make these postponed Olympic Games feasible and successful”, Bach said.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Germany Extends Foreign Travel Warning To Mid-June

These include creating “a safe environment with regard to health for all participants”.

“At this moment, nobody knows what the realities of the post-coronavirus world will look like,” he said. “What is clear, however, is that probably none of us will be able to sustain every single initiative or event that we were planning before this crisis hit.”

He added that the IOC should also view the crisis as an opportunity.

“We can fairly assume that, in the post-coronavirus society, public health will play a much more important role. Sport and physical activity make a great contribution to health,” he wrote.

Bach also said the Olympic movement should consider its relationship with esports in light of social distancing.

“Whilst maintaining our principles by respecting the red line, with regard to the Olympic values, we encourage all our stakeholders even more urgently to ‘consider how to govern electronic and virtual forms of their sport and explore opportunities with game publishers’,” he said.

AFP

 

IOC Postpones Tokyo Olympics Till Next Year

 

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics have been postponed to no later than the summer of 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe, the International Olympic Committee announced Tuesday.

The Games were scheduled for July 24-August 9, but after telephone discussions between IOC president Thomas Bach and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a historic joint decision was taken for the first postponement of an Olympics in peacetime.

Abe had earlier said Bach was in “100 percent agreement” when Japan asked the IOC to push back the Games.

The IOC had come under pressure in recent days to postpone the world’s biggest sporting event, with teams, athletes and sports bodies all calling for a delay.

READ ALSO: IOC Urged To Make Quick Olympic Decision As US Backs Postponement 

The postponement comes after top federations announced they would pull out of the Tokyo Games, the highest-profile event to be affected by a virus that has decimated the sporting calendar.

Around 1.7 billion people across the world are in lockdown to prevent the further spread of a virus which according to an AFP tally has killed over 16,200 people and infected more than 377,000.

AFP

Philippines Bid To Extend SEA Games Basketball Reign

 

The Philippines men’s basketball team will shoot for their 13th consecutive title when they take on Thailand in the last full day of action at the Southeast Asian Games on Tuesday.

A home crowd at the MOA Arena will be expecting their team to add to the Philippines’ 140 gold medals — already their best ever — and improve on the team’s run of 17 wins in 19 basketball events since 1977.

Tuesday is the last major day of competition at the SEA Games which has seen thousands of athletes from 11 countries compete in a record 56 sports in venues across Clark, Manila and Subic.

After a rocky start with organisational gaffes, a presidential apology and deadly Typhoon Kammuri forcing cancellations, the biggest-ever SEA Games is close to the finish line, with just beach handball and the closing ceremony taking place on Wednesday.

Indonesia take on Vietnam at Manila’s Rizal Memorial Stadium for the men’s football title on Tuesday night, and the host nation also face Indonesia in the men’s volleyball final.

In the final night of athletics at the new, 20,000-seat stadium in New Clark City, golds will be decided in several events including women’s shot put, men’s triple jump, decathlon and 4x400m relays.

eSports, which is being contested for the first time at an Olympic-recognised multi-sport competition, will crown champions in Starcraft II and Tekken 7.

Earlier, it was a one-two for Vietnam in the men’s open water 10km swimming event in Subic, as Tran Tan Trieu beat Nguyen Huy Hoang by two minutes in a time of 1hr 53 mins 31 secs.

AFP

India Threatens To Boycott Commonwealth Games

Indian flag

 

The Commonwealth Games Federation Sunday pledged to hold talks with India after its Olympic body threatened a boycott of the 2022 event in Birmingham over the exclusion of shooting.

India topped the table for shooting at last year’s Commonwealth Games in Australia, taking home 16 medals including seven gold for a total tally of 66 medals — the third-best performing nation.

Shooting and archery were last month nominated by the Birmingham organising committee as events to be dropped from the 2022 Games programme, and for women’s T20 cricket, beach volleyball and para-table tennis to be included. The decision has to be ratified by Commonwealth Games Federation members.

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The Indian Olympic Association wrote to the government noting that if shooting events were removed, the country’s medal haul would take a big hit.

“The impression that will go down is of bad performance because (the) overall number of total medals may come down along with the overall ranking based on medals won,” the association said in a letter to India’s Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju.

“We want to express our protest by not taking part in 2022 CWG Games in UK.”

The association said it would like to hold talks with Rijiju.

In the letter, president Narinder Dhruv Batra added his organisation would not attend the Commonwealth Games Congress to be held in Rwanda in early September.

It was also withdrawing its two candidates for elections to be held there.

In response, the Commonwealth Games Federation said in a statement to AFP on Sunday that “we absolutely want India to participate wholeheartedly in Birmingham 2022”.

“We… look forward to meeting our colleagues in India over the coming months to discuss their concerns and future ambitions,” the statement said.

AFP

Sampdoria, Genoa’s Serie A Games Postponed After Bridge Collapse

Rescuers scour through the rubble and wreckage after a giant motorway bridge collapsed earlier in Genoa on August 14, 2018. ANDREA LEONI / AFP

 

Italian football authorities on Thursday agreed to postpone Serie A games involving Sampdoria and Genoa this weekend following the bridge collapse in the port city which killed dozens.

Both Genoa clubs had requested that their opening games of the season be pushed back with Sampdoria due to host Fiorentina and Genoa playing at AC Milan on Sunday

“The President of the Lega Serie A, given the requests for postponement of their matches scheduled for Sunday, August 19 at 20.30 on the part of the clubs Sampdoria and Genoa as result of the tragedy which hit Genoa, and having received the assent of both Fiorentina and Milan, has decided on the postponement of the Sampdoria-Fiorentina and Milan-Genoa matches,” Lega Serie A said in a statement.

AFP

Cameroon Athletes Vanish From Commonwealth Games

Clementine Meukeugni Noumbissi of Cameroon celebrates on the way to winning the bronze medal in the women’s 90kg weightlifting final at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games on April 9, 2018. Photo Credit: WILLIAM WEST / AFP

 

A total of eight athletes from conflict-hit Cameroon are now missing from the Commonwealth Games in Australia, team officials said Wednesday.

Three weightlifters and two boxers were initially reported to Australian police after not being seen since Tuesday, triggering suspicion they had fled with no intention of returning to Cameroon.

Cameroon press attache Simon Molombe told AFP the number of missing athletes had risen to eight — one third of the country’s 24-strong team.

“It came as a complete surprise,” he said. “We have no idea where they are. The matter is in the hands of the police.

“There were no worries this kind of thing might happen,” he insisted. “We continue to cooperate with the police.”

Australian Border Force were searching for weightlifters Olivier Matam Matam, Arcangeline Fouodji and Petit David Minkoumba and boxers Ndzie Tchoyi and Simplice Fotsala after they apparently fled.

Three more boxers have since vanished, sparking an Australian Border Force manhunt.

Cameroon team manager Victor Agbor Nso told local media he had been in contact with the police.

Commonwealth Games organisers called for competitors to respect the law, mindful of the fact that more than 100 athletes overstayed their visas at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

“We would appreciate them sticking within the law, enjoying themselves, but sticking within the law,” organising committee boss Peter Beattie told reporters.

“That includes Cameroon and any other athletes. And if they are thinking of doing anything other, I would encourage them not to.”

Before the Games opened on April 4, Australia’s Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton warned that athletes would be closely monitored to ensure they did not overstay their visas and that they returned home after competition ended.

“It’s obviously disappointing that some athletes who have come to compete, didn’t compete as scheduled,” said Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive David Grevemberg.

“It’s important to remember that these athletes are guests here in Australia at this time, they are still within their visas, they have a right to travel freely,” he added.

“But this is obviously an issue that Team Cameroon is monitoring very, very closely.

“Until it becomes a real issue in terms of visas and so forth we would obviously have to take that very seriously.”

Cameroon, in central Africa, is suffering from civil unrest after a military crackdown on English-speaking separatists.

AFP

Rio 2016: Buhari Commends Nigeria’s Paralympic Team

Paralympics-Team-NigeriaPresident Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Team Nigeria for an outstanding performance at the Paralympic Games in Rio, Brazil.

President Buhari commended the athletes for doing the country proud by winning 12 medals and setting new records, which made them the top-performing African team at the 2016 Games.

The President acknowledged the resilient spirit of the Nigerian Paralympic athletes, who were able to excel in the face of adversity.

He applauded the athletes for their tenacity, focus and determination, which has brought glory to the country.

The President also expressed gratitude to all the officials and trainers of the Paralympic athletes, who made sacrifices and persevered to fly the country’s colours.

Hundreds of Nigerians turned out at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport in Abuja to welcome the first batch of Rio 2016 Paralympics athletes who returned to Nigeria on Sunday.

Angry Birds ‘Star Wars’ to debut on Windows 8

Rovio Entertainment has just announced a new Angry Birds version called Star Wars, but what’s more interesting for all Microsoft fans is that the new game will also be available on Windows 8 platforms.

Angry Birds Star Wars will thus be released in November on a record number of platforms, including iOS, Android, Amazon Kindle Fire, Mac, PC, Windows Phone and Windows 8.

The collaboration between Rovio Entertainment and Lucasfilm Ltd. will allow Windows 8 users to take full advantage of the new operating system’s touch features, such as swiping and pinching.

“This is the best Angry Birds game we’ve ever done. It’s the best parts of Angry Birds with all new cutting-edge gameplay set in in a galaxy far, far away,” said Peter Vesterbacka, the Mighty Eagle and CMO of Rovio.

Sony Xperia T gets “James Bond” hype

It can be said authentically now that Sony’s Xperia T mobile phone has gotten more prominence as it was mentioned as the ‘James Bond phone’. Although it does not come up as something suave and stylish, possibly throwing in some devilish weapon or a nifty tool to open impenetrable doors too but it comes with its own exclusive content via the O2 network.

Sadly it doesn’t come with a special handset design. Would it have been that difficult to stick a Bond logo on the back? Obviously it was which a shame is.

Instead, you’ll get a handset that is preloaded with Skyfall content, including the 007 ringtone, themes and screensavers, plus Skyfall images geo-tagged to the film’s locations. It also has exclusive James Bond packaging, which is nice, but it’s not something you can show off when you are out and about. As a final sweetener, a copy of the 007 Legends game is thrown in for free.

The phone itself remains unchanged technically, which means a set of features headed up by a 4.6-inch screen powered by the Mobile BRAVIA engine, a 13-megapixel camera with ‘Sleep-to-snap’ feature to take a photo quickly plus 1080p video recording, along with NFC connectivity and a 1.5GHz dual-core processor.

 

O2 has the phone down for a September launch, which ties in with what we heard about a launch right at the end of the month. Contact O2 for details of its pricing, which is unlikely to differ much from the standard version.

 

 

Boot with a Brain: Adidas F50 miCoach monitors Messi’s performance

The work rate and movements of Argentina/Barcelona superstar can now be monitored in terms ratings which can be applied into a graph and pie chart thanks Adidas’ new creation, the F50 miCoach boot.

Tagged a ‘boot with a brain’ the Adidas F50 miCoach boot which was unveiled in September 2011 and was also endorsed by the Argentine is built to have a microchip installed into it and it also has Speed Cell and dongle that helps in capturing your performance stats.

The F50 miCoach boot was put to test to gather stats from the recent friendly between Argentina and Germany, where Messi scored a goal and missed a penalty but saw the South-American side emerge winners with a 3-1 score line.

Stats revealed by the Adidas boot showed that Messi ran 8.49 km, sprinted 44 times throughout the match and reached a maximum speed of 30.71 km/hour.

According to Adidas,the F50 miCoach boot is meant for everyone form the World class players to the ordinary football lovers who meet on Sundays to have fun on the field.

EURO 2012: Poland wary of Greek defense

Coach and captain of the Polish national team, Franciszek Smuda and Kuba Blaszczykowski, have both confessed that the defense of the Greek team is a major worry for them ahead of the opening match of the EURO 2012 on Friday.

According to the coach, they believe the Greek’s tactic from back to front is purely defensive in play.

one the co-hosts of the much awaited EURO 2012 tournaments spoke up today on what worries them they clash with Greece as the tournament opens today.#

Coach Smuda, admitted that the ironclad defense of Greece will be a hard nut to crack.

He said this while the team was having their training in Warsaw National Stadium where the first clash of the tournament will hold. He said their strong point is their style of play as it is defensive-minded.

On the part of the captain, Blaszczykowski admitted that the Greeks will introduce a defensive style of play but went further, saying a breach can always be created as his own team can boast players who can achieve that for Poland.

Greece went into the EURO 2012 finals without any defeat against all the teams they clashed during the qualifiers, scoring 14 goals and conceding 5 goals in the process.

It was thought to be a relief by Polish fans after the draw was done and they were not drawn in the group of Germany, the 2008 EURO finalists-Spain.

The performance of the Polish team is however unsure having failed to reach the 2010 World Cup, they have relied on friendly matches for 968 days in preparation for Euro 2012 with the squad with an average age of 25, the pressure is on for the young squad to reach and surpass older squads as they are on paper as the weakest team at the 16-nation European championship, hosted with neighboring Ukraine, and as hosts did not have to come through qualifying.

Smuda reiterated that his basic target is to make it out of Group A, which also includes Russia and the Czech Republic.