Barca being asked to ‘give a masterclass in every game’ – Valverde

first_imgBARCELONA, SPAIN (Reuters) – Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde knows his side can play better than in their last few matches but urged them not to lose perspective when they host Borussia Dortmund today with a chance to qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League.The Catalans are top of La Liga and also lead Group F, which also contains Inter Milan and Slavia Prague, but have produced a series of underwhelming displays recently which have brought serious criticism.Their last Champions League match was a dire goalless draw at home to Slavia Prague, while they needed a freak, late goal from Arturo Vidal to overcome La Liga’s basement club Leganes 2-1 last weekend.“Here at Barca there is always turbulence and there always will be, if people aren’t complaining about one thing then they are complaining about another,” he told a news conference. “We have just won a game in which we suffered a lot and it was an uphill struggle for us but we won it. The problem is that here we are asked to give a football masterclass in every game and sometimes we are not able to.”Valverde, who has a knack of keeping his cool in the face of pressure, advised his players to not get too bogged down by what they have been doing wrong.“We could also focus on the good things we are doing, like the fact we managed to come from behind and win a very difficult game the other day,” he said. “We showed a good attitude and never lost control of the game; we should appreciate that. I understand that there is a tendency to stick the knife in at every opportunity but we should look on the bright side so that we don’t lose our heads.”Valverde’s side will seal their place in the knockout stages as group winners if they beat Dortmund, who are second in the standings on seven points and would advance to the last 16 with victory at the Camp Nou.“The good thing is that you always have another game to look forward to and now we’re playing Dortmund, we will try to win and make our fans happy again,” added the coach. “We’re in a strong position and we want to take advantage of that, and we are also a very good team at home.”last_img read more

TeamFA appoints e3creative Manchester as website redevelopment lead

first_img Related Articles Share StumbleUpon Checkd Media the operating company of leading UK sports betting portal TeamFA has confirmed that it has appointed Manchester-based digital creative agency e3creative to develop and design its new TeamFA website.Following an agency tender process, Checkd management selected e3creative to lead the redevelopment of the TeamFA website, with a view to gain optimal user experience and cross convergence throughout Checkd websites and social media assets.Seeking new dynamics, the new TeamFA website is set to display live market odds combined with in-play betting opportunities for TeamFA + 2 million loyal users.Key project stakeholder Michael Whittle Product Manager at Checkd Media, detailed that the firm’s tender focused on selecting an agency who could develop a website which could handle TeamFA peak activity.We’re delighted to be teaming up with e3creative on our latest innovative product. Working collaboratively with Jake [Welsh] and the team, we firmly believe Checkd Media will remain as the UK’s largest sports-betting community,” Michael Whittle detailed.Jake Welsh, e3creative MD commented on the project “We have been following TeamFA for some time now and are delighted to be partnering with such a cutting-edge and forward thinking brand. Our vision for user experience was aligned even from the first meeting, so it’s always great to work with partners who share the same ambitions,”“Our intent is to expand their reach in an innovative and unexpected way, ensuring all touch points are seamless and straightforward easing the process of multi-sport betting.” Submit Share bet365 continues Manchester expansion with new offices March 13, 2020 SBC’s Year In Review: October’s big betting news December 30, 2019 Degree 53 expands technical and product development teams   July 22, 2020last_img read more

Black Satellites to meet Iraq for bronze

first_imgGhana will meet Iraq in the third-place match at the FIFA U-20 World Cup after either side lost in the semi-final of the competition on Wednesday.It will be the first ever meeting between Ghana and the Asian side at a FIFA competition.The Black Satellites, World Cup winners in 2009 suffered a 2-1 setback in their match against France in Bursa, ending their hopes of a fourth appearance in the finals.Iraq, who came through to the semi-finals at the tournament for the first time, lost 7-6 on penalties to Uruguay after both sides drew 1-1 in extra-time.The third-place fixture will be played in Istanbul, three hours before the final between France and Uruguay.last_img read more

VIDEO: Martha Bissah not sure she’ll want to compete for Ghana again

first_imgMartha Bissah is tired of the problems associated with competing for Ghana, and she is not sure if she wants to represent the nation any longer.The former Junior Olympic is on her way to a new life in the United States where a full, four-year scholarship could see her blossom into a world class athlete.But she has not forgotten the unsavory headlines that have followed her ever since she won gold in Nanjing in 2014.”I have suffered  a lot and gone through problems. But I am very happy for this scholarship because it’s been what I have been waiting for”, she told the media before emplaning. A direct question from Joy Sports Ernest Buamah about her willingness to run under the Ghanaian flag after her ‘suffering’ elicited a pause, a sigh, and then an answer.”I will think about it. That’s all I can say. For now, I will think about it.” Depending on whose perspective is being taken the problems she went through were caused by herself or by the Ghana Athletics Association (GAA) and the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC).When she begins life at the Norfolk State University in Ohio, Martha will forget about all that. She just turned 19 in August and says she has been traumatised by the attempts by the GAA to destroy her character with lies and vile propaganda.”Let me tell you something. I was ready to compete [at the last pre-Olympic athletics meet] in Cape Coast. I was ready. But some of my own friends said they had been told by Prof [Francis Dodoo, the GAA chief] not to talk to me, or else they will be disqualified”.Professor Dodoo has always declined comment on the mattter, especially on the controversial suspension of Bissah earlier this year for her accusations that the GAA attempted to extort her repeatedly. “I was treated differently from other athletes and I shed tears often”. Her current scholarship was put together by George Lutterodt, a former GAA head who has openly challenged the current administration on their handling of the teenager.VIDEO—last_img read more

Jamaica qualify for Women’s World Cup with help from Bob Marley’s daughter

first_imgBob Marley is one of Jamaica’s favourite sons, but it is the late musician’s daughter who is revelling in the nation’s latest sporting success.Jamaica have become the first Caribbean team to qualify for a women’s football World Cup and it’s Cedella Marley – the first-born daughter of Bob – who the Reggae Girlz have to thank.In 2010, their team ceased to exist, only for Marley to come on board four years later as an ambassador and sponsor with the Bob Marley Foundation and help turn their fortunes around.That turnaround was completed in Texas on Wednesday evening, when Jamaica defeated Panama on penalties in the Concacaf Women’s Championship third-place play-off – a feat that has been described in the Jamaican press as “almost super-human”.’Daddy would not be surprised’Twice Jamaica took the lead over Panama and twice the Central Americans equalised, before Dominique Bond-Flasza scored the winning spot-kick to send the ‘Reggae Girlz’ to next year’s World Cup in France.”Big up to Cedella Marley for putting her neck on the line for us,” head coach Hue Menzie said after the game. However, it was far from easy watching the drama unfold Marley told BBC World Service: “There were a couple of moments when I had to leave the room [watching the match] because I was going light-headed.”I went outside and started to meditate. By the time the last penalty went in we were all on the floor. Daddy would probably not be surprised, when I put my foot into something stuff happens. He’d be like, ‘that’s my girl’.”As fate would have it, their qualification comes on the 20th anniversary of the men’s team reaching their first World Cup, in 1998 – also held in France.Previously a singer in the family band ‘Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers’, Marley, 51, is now the chief executive officer of her late father’s record label as well as a fashion designer – creating Jamaica’s kit for the London 2012 Olympics.Eight years ago, the Jamaican Football Federation (JFF) cut funding to its women’s football team, totally disbanding it, leaving the team unranked in the Fifa world rankings due to three years of inactivity. But in 2014, Marley became the team’s official ambassador and has been working with the Reggae Girlz ever since, while co-lead sponsor Alacran Foundation has also provided what the JFF called “substantial funding” to support the Girlz in their World Cup campaign.She previously told BBC World Service how she thought the team would become “a very dominant presence” in women’s football, should they ever receive the same amount of investment the nation’s track and field stars receive.”The Reggae Girlz have held their own against some of the best, mainly on raw talent and passion for the sport,” Marley said.”We still have a lot to prove. A lot of people make history but the only way to keep our relevance is to keep winning. We don’t compete to qualify, we compete to win.They will bring that passion to English soil later this month as they play Nottingham Forest Ladies in a friendly on 28 October. The Reggae Girlz will then turn their attention to next year’s French adventure – but not before plenty of celebrations back home.last_img read more

Analysis: Four takeaways from the Lakers’ 3-3 preseason

first_img Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers UNSETTLED AT CENTERThe Lakers figure to go into the season with an open roster spot, and based on the play so far, it might be best suited at some point to use it to acquire a big man. McGee, the presumed starter, averaged 10.3 points and 6.3 rebounds in 20 minutes per game, which is more minutes than he’s averaged in any season since 2012. Ivica Zubac was hindered by illness early in training camp, which made it hard for him to prove he’s a viable back-up at the position. The small-ball center experiments with Kuzma at center weren’t especially convincing, and defensively the Lakers were pressed to guard big men like Nikola Jokic or Marcin Gortat. They also finished in the back of the pack in rebounding percentage in the preseason (47.8 percent, 27th among NBA teams).Walton said the team will continue to stick with its small-ball lineups, and used selectively, that might be effective. But in the opening weeks of the season, the Lakers will face Clint Capela, LaMarcus Aldridge and Jokic. If the team isn’t able to guard those guys and is losing on the glass every night, there will be a cry for a more definitive answer (or at least depth) in the middle.STRONG EARLY CHEMISTRYWhile the roster construction lends itself to questions about how chemistry will unfold, the Lakers ended their first road trip like a team in high spirits.During the finale in San Jose, the bench was chatty and engaged, even James and Rondo who had the night off. Afterward, teammates were bantering back and forth in the locker room. It was also telling that the Lakers spent some time together on their weekend off: Lance Stephenson, McGee and Ball hit the studio to record some music together, and a larger group went to the Drake concert on Saturday night at Staples Center, during which James popped up on stage.Going on the road itself was a positive experience for the team, many of the Lakers said, which at the very least is a hopeful beginning for how the personalities will mesh.“Going to team dinners, hanging out outside of practice, did that a lot this road trip,” Kuzma said. “Chemistry is coming. You’re going to see that early on, so when we have it in April and May, it matters.”Related Articles Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersLEBRON’S UNASSUMING ENTRANCEIn the past, James has been anything but reserved about expectations when signing with a new team. In Miami, there was the famous “Not one, not two” declaration on a stage in front of throngs of delirious Heat fans. When he re-signed with Cleveland, his Sports Illustrated letter spoke of wanting to bring a trophy to his home state.Such talk of titles and rings has been conspicuously absent. Even in the thrilling moments when James has shown why he’s still one of the most exciting players in the world, he’s kept expectations reasonably humble, using words like “patient.” It’s not just implying that he knows it will be tough to keep up his streak of eight straight Finals appearances, but it also suggests he knows how much power his words have, and how accountable he has to be to them.Not that James has had to say much: He was ruthlessly efficient in the 63 minutes he played in the preseason, jamming in stats, but also memorable moments like the running dunk at Staples Center and the buzzer-beater against the Warriors. James is known for occasional blunt honesty in the media about his teams, but it’s probably a healthy sign for the Lakers that so far, he’s held back raising the bar too high.BRISK PACE, BUT SLOPPYThe Lakers promised to be fast, and they were throughout the preseason. They were one of the five fastest-paced teams in the league (112.21 possessions per game) and repeatedly showed the ability to run down the floor with different playmakers and finishers. Plays like JaVale McGee, Kyle Kuzma and Brandon Ingram benefitted greatly from having players like James, Rajon Rondo and Lonzo Ball passing to them at the rim.But the Lakers also ranked in the bottom third for turnovers (18.3 per 100 possessions) and definitely showed up sloppy on some nights. Part of that is experimental: Players are still building familiarity with one another and learning how to feed each other the ball. Part of that is also that the Lakers played only NBA opponents instead of padding stats against Maccabi Haifa or the Beijing Ducks as some teams did. There was progress made in taking care of the ball by the last game, but it still could be a sticking point, especially early in the season. Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions SAN JOSE — Preseasons wins don’t matter, and they never will. And yet, there was something upbeat for the Lakers as they closed out in SAP Center with a win over the Warriors.It left them with a feeling that they had accomplished a lot in a short-but-packed six-game schedule, and with a preseason record of 3-3, there were certain areas where they made definable progress.“We know we have a lot of work to do and we are at the beginning still,” Coach Luke Walton said. “It is going to be long journey, but it is going to be fun. I am very pleased with the amount of growth and effort in the short amount of time so far.”Here’s some observations on what has stood out from the Lakers in the preseason:last_img read more

Adam Silver says NBA ‘not in a position to make decisions’ about resuming play as player salaries take a hit

first_imgIf there’s a way forward to returning to the court, the NBA will find it. The real question is when.Commissioner Adam Silver said on a Friday conference call that “everything is on the table” and “all rules are off” when it comes to the league’s return. There is no firm cutoff date when the NBA would cancel the season, and they might even play regular season games and a full postseason schedule, even if next season’s start is delayed.But while the NBA is scrambling to remain prepared if a window to resume play arises, Silver and the league’s owners — which include some of the country’s wealthiest and most successful business people — have no practical timeline as they wait for the COVID-19 outbreak to abate.“We are not in a position to make any decisions,” Silver said, “and it’s unclear when we will be.” Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs Major sporting events are expected to be among the last social gatherings to be fully renewed following the pandemic. California governor Gavin Newsom said early in the week he expected sporting events with fans are unlikely to return by the summer, citing herd immunity and a vaccine as desired benchmarks for massive live events.The NBA has discussed models without fans in attendance as a way of getting back to competition and following through on television contracts that are the lifeblood of the league that drew an estimated $9.5 billion in revenue a year ago. But Silver characterized such discussions — including a popularized concept of restarting play in a centralized, sterilized location — as “listening” rather than “serious engagement.”Still: Anything is possible, Silver said. The NBA is open to models that are unfamiliar and unconventional, even if it pushes back the start of next season. But they have not yet reached the point of approaching the NBPA with a fleshed-out strategy.“All rules are off at this point given the situation we find ourselves in, that the country is in,” he said. “If there is an opportunity to resume play, even if it looks different than what we’ve done historically, we should be modeling it … The issue we still have is we don’t have a good enough understanding of exactly sort of what those standards are that we need to meet in order to move forward.”Silver said the “health, well-being and safety” the NBA’s players and other essential staffers in a return would be the number one factor in deciding to come back. The NBA is monitoring the availability of testing, the development of vaccines, and the effectiveness of anti-viral treatments while also sharing information with other leagues. David Ho, an infectious disease expert who once helped guide the league through Magic Johnson’s HIV diagnosis, was one of the speakers at Friday’s meeting.Adding to the belt-tightening that many businesses across the country are feeling in response to a halting economy, the NBA had a rough fiscal year prior to the league’s suspension.Related Articles Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersSilver addressed reporters after an NBA Board of Governors meeting, which most significantly announced an agreement with the player’s association to withhold a quarter of players’ salaries for paychecks beginning on May 15 — an anticipated step that nonetheless underscores the financial straits the league is facing due to the pandemic.The NBA and NBPA announced the agreement Friday afternoon after weeks of discussions, brought on by the league’s suspension on March 11. The NBA described the measure as a means of creating “a more gradual salary reduction schedule,” in anticipation of most or all of the remaining regular season games and postseason being lost.The NBA and its players are bracing to possibly exercise a “force majeure” clause in the collective bargaining agreement, which would mean the official cancellation of the 259 remaining regular season games. In that event, players would lose up to 22 percent of their gross income, according to the Associated Press.Players, of course, make up just a small part of the NBA workforce that is hurting in response to the outbreak. Silver said adding to frustration is the knowledge that other league staffers, arena employees and the larger net of workers (an estimated 55,000 people, Silver said) are all feeling the pinch of the NBA on hiatus. He acknowledged that owners in the Friday meeting, conducted by video conference, were feeling angst given the vast societal challenges of coronavirus and what they view as a “civic obligation” to find a pathway back to competition, albeit safely.The coronavirus threat has only heightened the stakes for the NBA. As Silver said Friday: “Our revenue, in essence, has dropped to zero.”center_img How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years In February, Silver estimated as much as $400 million had been lost in a brouhaha with China over a tweet by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey about protests in Hong Kong. The outsized political fallout saw Chinese state television remove NBA broadcasts from its airwaves and a multitude of Chinese businesses suspend partnerships with teams. The NBA’s desire to repair diplomatic relations with China was stunted by the coronavirus crisis in the Wuhan province of the country even before it spread to the United States.The NBA initially disclosed several positive COVID-19 test results, which included two players on the Lakers. But Silver said the league has now backed away from that in favor of player privacy, as well as the idea that the identity of individuals infected by coronavirus is less important in a country with more than 700,000 reported cases.Silver said the general feeling from league ownership was one of hope that the NBA can come back, and hopefully raise national spirits by returning — whenever that may be.“I think there is a sense that we can continue to take a leading role as we learn more in coming up with an appropriate regimen and protocol for returning to business,” he said. “I think there’s a recognition from them that this is bigger than our business, certainly bigger than sports, and that there is great symbolism around sports in this country, and that to the extent we do find a path back, it will be very meaningful for Americans.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed last_img read more

Young BiH Athletes Won Four Medals at Balkan Championships

Young BIH athletes won four medals (two gold, silver and bronze) at the Balkan Championships for junior boys and girls in Edirne, Turkey.The Balkan Championships was won by jumper Samir Hadžić, member of the Athletic Club Zenica at 1.96 m, and Bojan Stanišić, member of AK Pale, who in a 1500 m race had a result of 3 minutes and 59.24 seconds.The silver medal was won for the male relay race 4×100 (43.12), while Marko Jovičić (AK Pale) won for the 800 m race (1:54,03).In the competition, more than 200 young athletes from 11 countries, the male team rom BiH ranked six in the overall standings, and the female team ranked seven.(Fena) read more

Lampard tempts Cavani: “I played against him, I love it …”

first_imgBut Atlético is not the only one who pretends to Cavani. Days ago the interest of Tottenham de Mourinho appeared, which is not being able to count on Kane due to injury. The Portuguese coach would welcome the arrival of the charrúa. But he is not the only one in England. Frank Lampard has also expressed his devotion to Cavani, knowing that he could soon lose Giroud, who is also looking for minutes. Inter is behind. Cavani is one of the men with more suitors in this market. The Uruguayan scorer has seen how he lost his place in the PSG and asked to leave. For Atlético, it is the number one objective in this January market. For Simeone it has already become an obsession. The Uruguayan’s name has been repeatedly linked to Atlético in several windows. Cavani has asked to leave the PSG and the Madrid club’s offer seduces him but, for the moment, there has been no agreement between clubs. Moreover, Leonardo, sports director of the Parisian club, yesterday affirmed publicly the existence of a red and white offer by the striker, but that he did not reach his pretensions to let him go. Lampard has publicly expressed interest in Cavani in the previous clash against Arsenal. “He is a great soccer player, I played against him and I always loved his mentality and his attitude and, obviously, his goal statistics speak for themselves,” he acknowledges. The race for Cavani is open and PSG, with Leonardo’s words, comes to publicly acknowledge that there will be an auction for him.last_img read more

Dominant Creamline rips Ateneo for title

first_img‘Mia’: Rom-com with a cause a career-boosting showcase for Coleen Garcia Huelgas opens SEAG preparations on a high note After winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk No.13 lucky for Orlando Bloom MOST READ View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “It was a great effort by the whole team,” said Gumabao who scored 12 points firing. “Our inspiration was coach Tai, because we are not sure if he’s coming back, this is for him.”Bundit had previously announced that he’s returning to his homeland to take care of his family, leaving a legacy that included two titles with, interestingly, the Ateneo Lady Eagles in the UAAP.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissAteneo has nothing to be ashamed off despite the straight sets defeat as it made heads turn in this commercial league. The Lady Eagles got this far by beating full-pledged club teams by displaying raw skill and strong character.Valdez, delighting her provincemates with her usual flair, was fittingly named the Most Valuable Player on top of copping the First Best Open Spiker award. Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Earlier, BanKo Perlas claimed third place after thumping PetroGazz, 25-18, 26-24, 25-21.Valdez wound up with 13 points, Sato finished with 10, while Morado had 39 excellent sets.Aside from serving as the pillar of the Cool Smashers’ superb campaign, Valdez topped the scoring list, producing 280 points, 231 coming off attacks.Her picture-perfect spikes also proved to be the most accurate, converting a 40.38 percent success rate. Valdez also topped the service department with 34 total aces.The national team stalwart also stood out defensively with an average 3.5 excellent digs per frame, the best among nonliberos.ADVERTISEMENT Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil LATEST STORIES Morado was Best Setter, her third such citation, while teammate Jem Galanza was Second Best Open Spiker.Motolite-Ateneo’s Maddie Madayag was First Best Middle Blocker, with the Second Best Middle Blocker going to BanKo’s Kat Bersola.Kat Tolentino of Motolite-Ateneo was adjudged Best Opposite Spiker, while Cienne Cruz of PetroGazz was Best Libero.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Cool Smashers celebrate a point. —TRISTAN TAMAYOPacking firepower on all fronts, Creamline on Saturday made short work of overachieving Motolite-Ateneo, 25-20, 25-20, 25-15, to capture the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference title at Batangas City Coliseum.Alyssa Valdez, Michelle Gumabao and Risa Sato fed off the splendid playmaking of Jia Morado as the Cool Smashers drubbed the Lady Eagles to capture a second straight championship and give Thai coach Tai Bundit a warm send-off.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more