Sports – Daily News Egypt https://dailynewsegypt.com Egypt’s Only Daily Independent Newspaper In English Fri, 23 Jun 2017 13:32:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 'A horror story:' German clubs react to plan for Chinese U20 team to play in regional league https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/23/a-horror-story-german-clubs-react-to-plan-for-chinese-u20-team-to-play-in-regional-league/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/23/a-horror-story-german-clubs-react-to-plan-for-chinese-u20-team-to-play-in-regional-league/#respond Fri, 23 Jun 2017 12:47:00 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=630012 The post 'A horror story:' German clubs react to plan for Chinese U20 team to play in regional league appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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The chairman of FK Pirmasens has expressed anger over plans to include a Chinese under-20 national team in the south-western regional football league. Pirmasens were relegated from the league despite finishing 14th.An amateur football club relegated from the Germany's fourth-tier Regionalliga Südwest has expressed anger over a plan to include a Chinese under-20 national team in one of Germany's five regional fourth-tier divisions next season.

FK Pirmasens, an amateur club based in Rhineland-Palatinate, finished 14th in the south-western regional league, making them the last of six clubs to be relegated. Now, plans have emerged to stock up the 19-team division with a Chinese under-20 XI as part of an ongoing cooperation agreement between the German and Chinese football associations.

Speaking to DW, league chairman Felix Wiedemann said all 19 Regionalliga clubs were "excited" at the prospect of playing games against the Chinese selection but Christoph Radtke, chairman of relegated Pirmasens, sees it differently.

"Pure capitalism"

"I have no words any more, the whole club is in disbelief," he told German weekly "Die Zeit." "The phrase 'regional league' contains the word 'region.' We are a club from the south-west who are economically sound but have been relegated. Six teams have gone down and now the DFB (German football association) is bringing the Chinese national team in. We have to accept it but it is pure capitalism."

FK Pirmasens, who just missed out on promotion to the Bundesliga in 1975 and who are one of the few German teams to use the more traditional German spelling of "Fussball-Klub" instead of the usual "Fussball-Club" in their name, had appealed to the league to keep the divison at an even number by allowing them to remain.

"But instead of letting us stay in the league, they've chosen – and there's no other way of putting this – money from China," Radtke said. "It's a horror story."

Despite finishing 14th with 42 points, Pirmasens were relegated because, due to the regional leagues' controversial playoff system, league champions Elversberg were not promoted to the national third division, meaning an extra team had to go down.

"Obviously it's bitter for us," continued Radkte. "We are amateurs; our players also have jobs. Nobody here earns a living from football."

Money is tight in the fourth tier, where amateur outfits mix with professional clubs relegated from the third division, and Radkte believes the carrot of a 15,000-euro ($16.8,000) payment to Regionalliga Südwest clubs from the Chinese FA has convinced them to support the idea.

"I know all about the situations of teams in our league," he explained. "I can well imagine that 15,000 euros are a nice little bonus for the clubs. Plus more spectators and income from catering – it's worth it for the clubs."

Right from the very top

"But nevertheless, it's just not on. The Regionalliga is still the fourth-highest football league in Germany on the brink of professional football. Such decisions have absolutely no place in our sport. It's all about money. And it unfortunately it comes right from the top."

Indeed, following discussions with experts familiar with the deal, DW learned that the plan is very much in keeping with the vision of Chinese President Xi Jinping's government.

"President XI wants the Chinese domestic sporting economy to be worth 830 billion dollars by 2025," said Simon Chadwick, Professor of Sports Enterprise at the University of Salford, an expert on Chinese football business. "And football is to be the focal point."

DW has also learned that the Chinese are highly interested in football-based analytics, making Germany's south-west particularly attractive.

Criticism mounts

And contrary to league chairman Wiedemann's claim that the plan has the support of all 19 Regionalliga Südwest clubs, critcism has emerged from those still in the league. Markus Kompp, CEO of SV Waldhof Mannheim, who finished second, told DPA on Friday: "SV Waldhof Mannheim has not given its approval. As it stands, the necessary details have not been comprehensively laid out."

Criticism was also forthcoming from clubs in other regional leagues which make up the fourth tier, including former Bundesliga sides Rot-Weiss Essen and Rot-Weiss Oberhausen, who compete in the Regionalliga West.

On their Facebook page, Essen addressed an open letter to the DFB, sarcastically requesting admittance to the Bundesliga for for 2018-19 season, suggesting they too would only play friendly matches.

Ruhr neighbors Oberhausen announced some new tongue-in-cheek changes for their home matches, including replacing their traditional sausages and beer with various Chinese dishes, replacing all club mascots with dragons and requesting visitors to leave their car engines running to increase air pollution.

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Pittsburgh Penguins sign Germany’s Frederick Tiffels https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/23/pittsburgh-penguins-sign-germanys-frederick-tiffels/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/23/pittsburgh-penguins-sign-germanys-frederick-tiffels/#respond Fri, 23 Jun 2017 09:57:00 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=630027 The post Pittsburgh Penguins sign Germany’s Frederick Tiffels appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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The Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins have given German forward Frederick Tiffels his first professional contract. The move follows a strong showing at the world ice hockey championship in Germany last month.The Pittsburgh Penguins executive vice president and general manager, Jim Rutherford announced on Thursday that the reigning Stanley Cup champions have signed Frederick Tiffels,22, on a two-year, entry level contract.

The 6-foot, 192-pound (183 cm., 87 kg.) Tiffels, who the Penguins selected 167th overall in the 2015 NHL entry draft, spent his past three seasons with the Western Michigan Broncos, scoring a total of 27 goals and 32 assists in 105 career games.

Tiffels, who had been virtually unknown in Germany prior to last month’s Ice Hockey World Championship in Cologneand Paris, played his way into coach Marco Sturm’s squad through his performances in the training camp and pre-tournament friendlies. During the world championship, Tiffels took a regular shift for Germany, scoring two goals.

Tiffels is expected to start the coming season with Pittsburgh’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. He is the second German player to join the Penguins organization, after Tom Kühnhackl, who was part of the NHL team that won the Stanley Cup the last two seasons running.

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Germany’s Isaiah Hartenstein taken 43rd in NBA draft https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/23/germanys-isaiah-hartenstein-taken-43rd-in-nba-draft/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/23/germanys-isaiah-hartenstein-taken-43rd-in-nba-draft/#respond Fri, 23 Jun 2017 08:31:00 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=630029 The post Germany’s Isaiah Hartenstein taken 43rd in NBA draft appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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The Houston Rockets have drafted Isaiah Hartenstein in the second round of the NBA draft. However, the German center will not be part of the Western Conference semifinalists’ plans for the coming season.Houston used their only pick of this year’s National Basketball League (NBA) draft – the 43rd overall – to select the 19-year-old German national team player Isaiah Hartenstein on Thursday night. Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said Hartenstein would be on his way to North America shortly, but at first would only stay a few weeks.

“He’s going to play with us this summer and then develop overseas next year,” Morey said of Hartenstein, who spent last season with the Lithuanian champions, Zalgiris Kaunas.

In 27 games in the Lithuanian league, he averaged 4.9 points and 3.7 rebounds a game. He also helped the German national team to a fourth place finish at the FIBA under-18 Euro championship in December.

“I can do a lot of things on the court,” Hartenstein said. “Just being very versatile and just whatever the team needs me to do I can do and just being very mobile for my height. I’m 7-foot (2.12 cm.), I can put the ball on the floor and defend a lot of different positions and I think just me being very versatile helps me a lot.”

Houston GM ‘surprised’ that Hartenstein didn’t go earlier

Morey said the Rockets had been scouting Hartenstein for some time and were surprised that he was still available when their pick rolled around, more than five hours into the draft.

“He’s already playing at a good level professionally and guys that play overseas, 7-footers like that, they’re very skilled and fit well with coach (Mike) D’Antoni’s system,” Morey said.

In Houston, Hartenstein is joining a team that finished third in the regular season in 2016-17 and in the playoffs reached the Western Conference semifinals before eliminated by the San Antonio Spurs in six games.

There are currently three Germans in the NBA: Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas Mavericks),Paul Zipser (Chicago Bulls) and Dennis Schröder (Atlanta Hawks).

The Philadelphia 76ers had the first overall pick in Thursday’s draft which they used to take 19-year-old Markelle Fultz, an American guard who spent last season at the University of Washington in Seattle.

pfd/mf (AP, SID, dpa)

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Reports: Chinese U20 team set to play in Germany’s fourth tier https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/22/reports-chinese-u20-team-set-to-play-in-germanys-fourth-tier/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/22/reports-chinese-u20-team-set-to-play-in-germanys-fourth-tier/#respond Thu, 22 Jun 2017 10:21:00 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=629986 The post Reports: Chinese U20 team set to play in Germany’s fourth tier appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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According to media reports, a Chinese U20 could play in one of Germany’s regional fourth-tier leagues next season. The plans follow a deal aimed at enhancing cooperation between Germany and China in football.China’s under-20 national team could play in Germany’s fourth tier next season, according to plans set to be announced by the German football association (DFB).

The fourth tier of the German football pyramid is split into five regional divisions and, with the south-western division, the Regionalliga Südwest, having only 19 teams, there a proposal has emerged to round the league off with an extra side – from China.

“[The clubs] have reacted very positively to the idea,” Ronny Zimmermann, vice-president of the DFB and chairman of the Regionalliga Südwest board of partners, told German football magazine “Kicker.”

The plan follows an agreement signed in 2016 between the German FA and the Chinese government to help boost the sport in the Asian country, where the Bundesliga enjoys growing popularity. Chinese football expects to benefit from German expertise in coaching and development in return for Chinese investment in German football.

“An outstanding idea”

“The planned cooperation with China is well known but that needs to be translated into actions as well,” continued Zimmermann. “We’ll have to see if anything comes of the idea. A decision will have to have been made by the time the league managers meet, since that’s when the fixture list will be confirmed.”

As with every regular opponent, each German club in the south-western division would face the Chinese selection twice during the season, although the results of these games would not count in the league standings. Since the Chinese team would have no “home” ground, the German clubs would host them twice and receive a total fee of around 15,000 euros ($16,700) from the Chinese FA. For the young Chinese team, the matches would serve as preparation for the 2020 Olympics which are due to be held in Tokyo.

“It’s an outstanding idea. We look forward to the two home games and we’ll be sure to roll out the carpet for China’s Olympic XI,” Stuttgarter Kickers commercial director Marc-Nicolai Pfeifer told the mass-circulation daily “Bild.”

Kickers Offenbach CEO Christopher Fiori said he envisaged “great marketing opportunities from a match against a Chinese team.”

Criticism from fans

While the plans have been welcomed by commercial directors, some fans are less enthused, taking to social media to express their displeasure at what they consider yet another step in the perceived over-commercialization of the sport.

Links between China and German football are already on the rise. Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund already organize off-season tours of the Far East to capitalize on the booming football market, while, according to media reports, Cologne striker scorer Anthony Modeste is set to follow in the footsteps of a number of big European names by completing an estimated 35-million-euro transfer to Chinese Super League side Tianjin Quanjian. Earlier this month, former Bayern Leverkusen coach Roger Schmidt took over at Beijing Guoan.

A recent investigation by German magazine “Spiegel” uncovered evidence suggesting Chinese betting circles could be involved in match-fixing in European football.

According to “Bild,” the involvement of the Chinese XI in the south-western regional league could be officially announced during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Berlin on July 5.

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German U21s put three peaches past Denmark https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/21/german-u21s-put-three-peaches-past-denmark/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/21/german-u21s-put-three-peaches-past-denmark/#respond Wed, 21 Jun 2017 21:25:00 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=630004 The post German U21s put three peaches past Denmark appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Germany’s youngsters scored three spectacular goals to earn three valuable points in their European Championships group. Davie Selke, Marc-Oliver Kempf and Nadiem Amiri all netted with panache.Germany 3 – 0 Denmark
(Selke 53′, Kempf 73′, Amiri 79′)
Marshal Jozef Pilsudski Stadium, Krakow

Germany sealed all three points against Denmark on Wednesday while group rivals Italy could only draw against the Czech Republic. The results guarantee the German team nothing, however. It’s still possible that a defeat against Italy in the third and final group game results in the team’s elimination from the competition.

Denmark struggled to assert themselves in the game but defended stoutly, holding on for more than 50 minutes before the opening goal.

Davie Selke, who’d been all-but invisible until his goal, uncorked the game with a precision first-time shot to the top corner from the edge of the area.

Germany’s second stylish strike hailed from a corner, with Marc-Oliver Kempf unleashing a thunderous volley to double the lead. Kempf, stood dead in the center of the penalty area, must have been astonished at the space he was left.

Hoffenheim’s Nadiem Amiri sealed the win with a snaky dribble and a left-footed finish with a little over 10 minutes remaining.

Altough nothing’s certain yet, coach Stefan Kuntz’s side would be guaranteed a spot in the semifinals with just a draw against Italy.

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Ronaldo goal puts Portugal past hosts Russia https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/21/ronaldo-goal-puts-portugal-past-hosts-russia/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/21/ronaldo-goal-puts-portugal-past-hosts-russia/#respond Wed, 21 Jun 2017 17:41:00 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=630008 The post Ronaldo goal puts Portugal past hosts Russia appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Tax allegations or no, Cristiano Ronaldo delivered the goods early as Portugal bested Russia in their Confederations Cup game. With their first win, Portugal leapfrog Russia in Group A.Russia 0 – 1 Portugal
(Ronaldo 8′)
Spartak Stadium, Moscow

Portugal took the lead in Group A on Wednesday evening in Moscow thanks to a goal from 32-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo. The match may have proved a welcome distraction for the four-time world player of the year, who’s being investigated in Spain for possible tax fraud.

Ronaldo rose to meet a cross from the left from Borussia Dortmund’s Raphael Guerreiro, heading the ball back across veteran Russian keeper Igor Akinfeev. For Akinfeev, his 100th international appearance would not end in a win.

Akinfeev did come to Russia’s rescue soon after the break, denying Adrien Silva’s short-range header. Ronaldo had other chances in the second period, including a header stopped by Akinfeev and a shot he blasted over the Russian bar.

Portugal move in front of Russia in the group, with 4 points from their pair of group games.

In a potential blow for Dortmund, Guerreiro was stretchered off in the second period.

“Raphael was just taken to the hospital,” Portugal coach Fernando Santos said after the game. “We suspect a possible ankle fracture.”

Mexico 2 – 1 New Zealand
(Jimenez 54′, Peralta 72′ – Wood 42′)
Fisht Stadium, Sochi

Mexico launched a second-half comeback to survive a serious scare against New Zealand. Tensions frayed in the game, which ended in an on-pitch brawl requiring a 5-minute review by the video assistant referee, but resulting only in yellow cards for three of the ringleaders.

The root of the animosity lay in the first half. Chris Wood took a shot at goal while Mexican defender Carlos Salcedo was on the ground injured, following a tangle with Wood. Mexico’s coach Juan Carlos Osorio took particular exception to this, berating Wood himself from the dugout.

The New Zealand and Leeds United striker proceeded to put his side in front shortly before the break, and could have doubled his tally before half time.

With Javier Hernandez on the bench, Raul Jimenez, Oribe Peralta and Juergen Damm led the line for El Tri.

Jimenez and Peralta both found the net as Mexico turned the tie and held their narrow lead.

Wednesday’s games put Mexico and Portugal in the driver’s seat in the Group A battle to reach the semifinals. Both sides have 4 points after two games, and both would be guaranteed to progress with just a draw in their final group stage match. Mexico will face hosts Russia (on 3 points), while Portugal are yet to take on New Zealand,who are mathematically eliminated after the defeat to Mexico.

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Tedesco unveiled at Schalke: ‘It won’t be a one-man show’ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/21/tedesco-unveiled-at-schalke-it-wont-be-a-one-man-show/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/21/tedesco-unveiled-at-schalke-it-wont-be-a-one-man-show/#respond Wed, 21 Jun 2017 12:02:00 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=629944 The post Tedesco unveiled at Schalke: ‘It won’t be a one-man show’ appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Another summer, another new head coach for Schalke to unveil. Domenico Tedesco has spoken to the media for the first time since having been appointed as the Gelesenkirchen club’s new bench boss.Exactly a year to the day after Schalke unveiled Markus Weinzierl, a newer, even younger head coach was on the stage in the Veltins Arena’s press conference room. Domenico Tedesco, 31, is the latest man that the Gelsenkirchen club have turned to in the hope that he can provide them with the answers that Schalke have long been searching for.

The Italian-born German (picture above, left) was hired after just 11 games in charge of second-division side Erzgebirge Aue and made all the right noises in his first public outing as Schalke boss.

“It won’t be a one-man-show. We need to work together to achieve great things,” Tedesco said. “Schalke is an exceptional club, something huge, emotional. What’s clear is that I will take on this job with humility. An incredible number of people love this club. I want to give back.”

Before Schalke’s German Cup first-round trip to Berlin to play BFC Dynamo, Tedesco will take Schalke to China for a preseason tour that includes a game against Inter Milan in Changzhou.

Christian Heidel, Schalke’s sporting director, believes Tedesco “embodies what Schalke needs”, citing his ability to tactically develop a team as key. Reading between the lines, these also appear to among the reasons that Markus Weinzierl, who Heidel was quick to thank, is no longer head coach at the club.

“We didn’t manage to find a playing style and that is one of the reasons why we made a change,” Heidel said.

The decision to appoint a young head coach is all the rage in the Bundesliga at the moment, and the other young coach making the most headlines is Julian Nagelsmann, a man Tedesco knows well from their time together at Hoffenheim.

“The comparison [with Nagelsmann] doesn’t bother me. We got our coaching badges together. I tip my hat to his work.”

Heidel was keen to draw on this comparison, stating: “I’ve always kept my eye on young coaches and alongside the name Julian Nagelsmann, the name Tedesco often cropped up.”

Perhaps Heidel (above, right) was keen to praise his new head coach because he is aware of how great an impact this decision promises to have on his own future at Schalke.

“I could have made life easier for myself,” Heidel said. “Changing head coaches has increased pressure on myself, but it’s about the club, not me.”

By the time Schalke’s preseason training starts on July 3, Heidel wants any transfer targets secured so that Tedesco can fully concentrate on the task at hand. And, if there was any doubt about Schalke’s ambitions for the upcoming season, Heidel reiterrated this at Wednesday’s press conference.

“There’s no doubt our focus is on securing a European spot,” he said.

With his appointment, Tedesco has become the latest in a long string of coaches to try his hand at returning Schalke to their former glory. If he is successful, he’ll make Heidel look like a genius. If not…

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Douglas Costa pays the price for inconsistency as Juventus prepare to swoop https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/20/douglas-costa-pays-the-price-for-inconsistency-as-juventus-prepare-to-swoop/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/20/douglas-costa-pays-the-price-for-inconsistency-as-juventus-prepare-to-swoop/#respond Tue, 20 Jun 2017 17:14:00 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=629848 The post Douglas Costa pays the price for inconsistency as Juventus prepare to swoop appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Douglas Costa appears to be on the verge of swapping Bayern Munich for Juventus. However, things could have been much different for Costa in the Bavarian capital, writes DW’s Michael Da Silva.When Douglas Costa signed for Bayern Munich in the summer of 2015, the German champions thought they were acquiring one of the world’s best attackers, and someone who would eventually fill the huge shoes of trusted wingers Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben.

Yet when Bayern reached the business end of last season, coach Carlo Ancelotti reverted to the default pairing of Ribery and Robben – a blow for the 26-year-old who was considered the future of the club in Pep Guardiola’s final season. However, the decision to drop him was not undeserving given how Costa’s form has tailed off over the past year.

Costa is a brilliantly talented footballer. With one explosive swing of his left foot, he can unleash untold damage on opponents. Just ask Rostov, Darmstadt or Arsenal. But Costa’s moments of brilliance became ever fewer and farther between as his Bayern career got closer and closer to its inevitable conclusion. Consistency is the very least expected at Bayern and Costa has failed to produce on a regular basis under Ancelotti.

His attitude has also been questioned, with some fans and the club’s hierarchy doubting whether he identifies with the club and all it represents. Costa’s reluctance to buy into the Bayern way of life has left him on the brink of a move to Juventus, who have offered a reported 40 million euros ($44.5 million) after seeing an initial offer rejected. The Bianconeri’s sporting director, Giuseppe Moratta, has confirmed that the deal is close to being completed and that the player will be wearing black and white – not red – next season.

“We received permission from Bayern Munich to meet with the player and his advisors. Costa is willing to join us next season,” he said.

‘What could have been’

The only stumbling block appears to be Costa’s salary in Italy, with the player reportedly believed to be demanding over nine million euros a year, more than World Cup winner Sami Khedira or long-serving goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon earn. With deals having been thrashed out between the clubs recently for Arturo Vidal and Kingsley Coman, there is hope agreement will be reached in the coming days. Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge general has good relationships with Italian clubs given his grasp of the language, having played for Inter Milan in the 1980s. This is another reason why Bayern have so successfully done business in Italy in recent years.

While Champions League finalists Juventus are hardly a step down in quality from Bayern, Costa’s apparent lack of willingness to fight for his place at the Allianz Arena and become a key part of Bayern for years to come should be at least a little concerning to the Serie A club, who with Paulo Dybala, Mario Mandzukic and Juan Cuadrado among their attacking options, will not guarantee Costa a starting berth.

Costa’s time at Bayern is a classic case of “what could have been” as the player departs having failed to enhance his reputation during his time in Germany. He joins the likes of Landon Donovan, Lukas Podolski and Xherdan Shaqiri, who have failed to fulfil their potential at Bayern. While the deal demonstrates good business by Bayern, Juventus are acquiring a player whose inconsistency overshadows his undeniable ability.

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UEFA gives Leipzig green light to enter Champions League https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/20/uefa-gives-leipzig-green-light-to-enter-champions-league/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/20/uefa-gives-leipzig-green-light-to-enter-champions-league/#respond Tue, 20 Jun 2017 16:56:00 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=629851 The post UEFA gives Leipzig green light to enter Champions League appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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UEFA has cleared RB Leipzig to take part in next season’s Champions League. This had been in doubt due to rules preventing two clubs under the same ownership or management from playing in the same competition.UEFA, European football’s governing body, announced on Tuesday that it had given the Bundesliga runners-up the green light to enter the Champions League, despite the presence of Red Bull Salzburg, who won the Austrian Bundesliga.

RB Leipzig had been in danger of losing their place in next season’s group stage due to Article 5 of UEFA’s integrity rules, which bars two clubs under the same ownership from playing in the same tournament.

However, a statement posted on UEFA’s website on Tuesday said the adjudicatory chamber of its Financial Control Body (CFCB) had been convinced by officials representing both clubs that they had sufficiently disentangled their operations to comply with Article 5.

‘Governance and structural changes’

“Following a thorough investigation, and further to several important governance and structural changes made by the clubs (regarding corporate matters, financing, personnel, sponsorship arrangements, etc.), the CFCB deemed that no individual or legal entity had anymore a decisive influence over more than one club participating in a UEFA club competition,” the statement said.

It also noted that this decision could be appealed to the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport within the next 10 days. It said the CFCB would “continue to monitor both clubs to ensure that integrity rules are respected going forward.”

”Open and transparent exchange’

RB Leipzig’s managing director, Oliver Mintzlaff, expressed delight at the decision, saying it was the “result of an at all times open and transparent exchange with UEFA.”

Had UEFA determined that the ties between the two clubs were still close enough to prevent one from entering the Champions League, Salzburg would have been given priority over Leipzig as it finished higher in its domestic league last season.

Red Bull Salzburg are to begin their Champions League campaign in the second qualifying round next month, when they are to face either Hibernians of Malta or FCI Tallinn of Estonia.

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Germany make history by using VR to aid development https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/20/germany-make-history-by-using-vr-to-aid-development/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/20/germany-make-history-by-using-vr-to-aid-development/#respond Tue, 20 Jun 2017 14:33:00 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=629855 The post Germany make history by using VR to aid development appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Technology continues to change how sport is consumed, but it is also being used to improve athletes’ development. German football has always been at the forefront of development and is now working with something new.Germany have always seemed to be one step ahead in football. The redevelopment of youth academies brought World Cup success, the concept of the team behind the team and the development of new-age analytical tools. Now though, the German football association (DFB) has made history by forming the first partnership to advance into virtual reality (VR) and how effective it can be in football.

In an article on the Sport Techie website, CEO of STRIVR Derek Belch admitted Germany have long had VR on their radar.

“This is something that was on their roadmap… and they know the limitations of VR for soccer relative to American football,” Belch, a former American footballer player at Stanford, was quoted as saying.

“They’re willing to get it in now, experiment now, make mistakes now, find the great use cases now,” Belch added.

STRIVR’s virtual reality training system is to be introduced to Germany’s academy, likely in the newly planned academy center in Frankfurt. The focus will be on using VR as a real training and assessment tool that can improve the recall of information, speed up reactions and enhance decision-making ability. As STRIVR said in their statement announcing the agreement with the DFB, the “big component of STRIVR is the ability to practice real-life situations over and over again in preparation for the biggest moments.”

Markus Weise, head of the DFB academy’s conceptual development unit, is also quoted in the same statement, stating: “VR is an exciting technology… It is something we want to be part of, not just as observers but as drivers.”

Based on the work they have already done in American sports working with the likes of the San Francisco 49ers, New England Revolution and the Detroit Pistons, STRIVR claim teams have improved recollection of key concepts by more than 30 percent. NFL quarterbacks have been full of praise for the technology, but there is real intrigue as to how VR will work in a sport with fewer stoppages, such as football.

The German national team have already enjoyed a virtual reality demo, and Nicolas Jungkind, head of the DFB Academy Technology Lab, believes that both players and coaches alike are open to the use of the technology.

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FIFA’s Infantino ‘extremely happy’ with maligned VAR https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/19/fifas-infantino-extremely-happy-with-maligned-var/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/19/fifas-infantino-extremely-happy-with-maligned-var/#respond Mon, 19 Jun 2017 21:08:00 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=629723 The post FIFA’s Infantino ‘extremely happy’ with maligned VAR appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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FIFA President Gianni Infantino has called video assistant refereeing “the future of modern football,” lauding its role in the Confederations Cup to date. The system has had its detractors too.Infantino called the Confederations Cup a “milestone tournament” on Monday – but not in reference to Germany’s abnormally young squad or even to an international FIFA tournament taking place on Russian soil.

Infantino was in fact praising the landmark of the video assistant referee (VAR) being used at all Confederations Cup games as a prelude to the technology’s World Cup debut next summer.

“I am extremely happy with VAR so far. We have seen how video assistance has helped referees make the correct decisions,” Infantino said in a statement after Germany’s opening game against Australia. “This is what VAR is all about … What fans have been waiting for over so many years is finally happening. This is a milestone tournament. Video Assistant Refereeing is the future of modern football.”

The video assistant was called into action for a fifth time as Germany beat Australia 3-2 – sparing Bernd Leno’s blushes somewhat by taking the attention off his second blunder of the game. Instead, uncertainty over whether the Socceroos’ goal would stand dominated the moment.

‘Are we okay to celebrate yet?’

It had already been used in four instances, including disallowing a goal from Portugal’s Pepe against Mexico and another for Chile’s Eduardo Vargas against Cameroon. Both were disallowed for offside, with the Vargas call a particularly close one.

Goretzka gets Germany over the line against Australia
Confederations Cup: Late Moreno header salvages Mexico point, Chile start with win

Some have complained, however, that the process can take too long and even spoil key moments of the game. Much has been made, for instance, of the uncertainty now plaguing players’ goal celebrations: checking for the offside flag and glancing at the ref is no longer sufficient before players know they can bolt to the stands and their fans.

German commentator Tom Bartels, from the public broadcaster ARD, was among the critics despite saying he was in favor of the new tech.

“Definitely unsatisfactory, at least so far. In principle I was a big supporter of the idea, but I think it hasn’t really worked and isn’t very transparent for spectators,” Bartels said. “In general it’s taking too long until decisions are reached, and very often the viewer can’t work out what’s the reason for the delay.”

Some suggestions in this regard have included giving referees microphones, a common practice in several sports including rugby. This allows them to communicate why the decision is going for review, and explain the decision once it’s in.

Human error still a possible factor

FIFA first adopted the technology at this past season’s Club World Cup in Japan, and many major European competitions including the Bundesliga plan to introduce it next season.

Infantino did at least obliquely acknowledge some of the criticisms in his statement.

“The VAR tests during this Confederations Cup are also helping us to improve the processes and fine-tune communication,” he said.

The technology should not be confused with goal-line technology – where the equipment is able to categorically answer a question of fact: did the entire ball cross the goal line or not? There is no human input in the process. VAR, on the other hand, relies on the person watching the tape using the extra evidence at their disposal to reach the right decision.

Although this situation is yet to be encountered in an on-air football game, video footage will prove inconclusive at times – a problem already well known to officials trying to pick through the bodies and see the ball on a crowded rugby try-line.

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Germany vs. Australia: Five things we learned https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/19/germany-vs-australia-five-things-we-learned/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/19/germany-vs-australia-five-things-we-learned/#respond Mon, 19 Jun 2017 19:15:00 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=629725 The post Germany vs. Australia: Five things we learned appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Germany beat Australia in a five-goal game giving the coach plenty to digest. Four players stood out, one not necessarily for the best of reasons, while Löw’s inexperienced group gave him more food for thought.1. Brandt burning up the right wing

Brandt enjoyed his afternoon on the right wing because he was given space to run at Australia’s defense and hardly spent any time defending. Australia failed to stay tight to the Leverkusen winger and were it not for a few slips on the turf, the 21-year-old might have done even more damage. After a slightly disappointing club season, Brandt is clear to make sure that he spends his summer reminding Europe of his talents.

2. Go Goretzka!

The Confederations Cup might be a debatable tournament on many levels, but LeonGoretzka is using it to stake his claim for a spot in Germany’s final 23 when they return for the real thing next year. The Schalke man has fought off injury time and again in his youth (Goretzka is still just 22) and recently admitted in an interview with German football magazine that a change in diet has helped him feel better. That is evident on the field too. Against Australia, he attempted the most tackles (winning 69 percent when Germany, as a team, won fewer) and took a game-high seven shots, scoring what proved to be the winner just after the break. He has everything football expects from a modern German midfielder and if he can stay fit, Russia will be just the start.

3. Good goalkeepers

Germany have plenty of them, but can’t seem to settle on who should be the long-term replacement for Manuel Neuer when the Bayern Munich keeper calls time on his career. Granted, it is not an easy job being Germany’s number two or three. Comparisons to Neuer are unavoidable, but don’t help. Nevertheless, most other keepers have failed to impress when given the chance. Bernd Leno was poor against Australia, at fault for one and perhaps disappointed with Australia’s other goal. Kevin Trapp deserves a chance, but Marc-Andre ter Stegen, after a famously poor start to his international career, suddenly looks re-established as Germany’s number two.

4. Winning ways

Germany, albeit a much-changed Germany, were good in just enough passages of play to beat Australia. Perhaps against a stronger opposition the game would have ended in a draw. Yet despite Sandro Wagner missing two good chances in the first half, both central defenders too often looking passive rather than applying pressure, and Leno’s errors, Germany won. Clearly, looking at Joachim Löw’s selection, this is a chance for some of Germany’s other players to enjoy more regular time in the shirt. If they too exhibit a winning habit (and that’s without looking at the U21 outfit), then picking a 23-man squad for 2018 just got even harder for Löw.

5. Super Stindl

Lars Stindl spent a long time leading and saving Hannover 96, and not much changed when he joined Borussia Mönchengladbach either. At 28 and an attacking midfielder, Stindl was always going to struggle to be a part of the Germany team, but, perhaps unsurprisingly, here he is. He scored his first ever goal against Australia, looked the part and led by example. Even if for a moment, and even if it was just in the Confederations Cup, Lars Stindl smiling like a child at Christmas as he wheeled away in delight after scoring made him a bit of a tangible hero for long-term Bundesliga fans.

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America’s Cup: New Zealand extend lead over United States in first-to-seven series https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/18/americas-cup-new-zealand-extend-lead-over-united-states-in-first-to-seven-series/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/18/americas-cup-new-zealand-extend-lead-over-united-states-in-first-to-seven-series/#respond Sun, 18 Jun 2017 20:25:00 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=629591 The post America’s Cup: New Zealand extend lead over United States in first-to-seven series appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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The Kiwis made it four consecutive wins at the 35th America’s Cup against Oracle Team USA on Sunday. Underdogs New Zealand will hold a three-point lead when the race resumes next Saturday.Team New Zealand need to win four more races to pick up their first America’s Cup title since 2003 after two victories opened up a 3-0 lead over Oracle Team USA.

With Olympic 49er gold medalists Peter Burling and Blair Tuke to lead the team, New Zealand have started powerfully and taken advantage of early mistakes approaching the first mark from the US team.

The Kiwis started the 35th edition of the America’s Cup with a negative point after Team USA won the previous qualifiers. That doesn’t appear to have been a disadvantage for New Zealand who accelerated clear after the first mark in the second game.

“That was certainly another good day for us,” said Tuke. “The boat’s going really fast and the guys are doing well to get it around the course nice and smooth.”

But the Americans aren’t to be ruled out of proceedings given their tag as favorites to secure a third straight title. Team USA bounced back from an 8-1 deficit in 2013 against the Kiwis to win 9-8 in the sport’s most captivating episode yet.

“We’ve been here before,” said Oracle captain Jimmy Spithill. “It’s not over. We’ve got five days now, very important days. We really need to use those days wisely. We’ve got to get faster, it’s pretty obvious.”

rd/ (AFP, RTRE)

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Bayern Munich newcomer Serge Gnabry inspires Germany to U21 Euro opening win https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/18/bayern-munich-newcomer-serge-gnabry-inspires-germany-to-u21-euro-opening-win/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/18/bayern-munich-newcomer-serge-gnabry-inspires-germany-to-u21-euro-opening-win/#respond Sun, 18 Jun 2017 19:18:00 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=629592 The post Bayern Munich newcomer Serge Gnabry inspires Germany to U21 Euro opening win appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Goals either side of the half-time break from Max Meyer and Serge Gnabry helped Horst Hrubesch’s side to the first three points of the tournament. Germany will take on Denmark in their second group game on Wednesday.Germany 2-0 Czech Republic

(Meyer 44′, Gnabry 50′)

Germany kicked off their U21 European Championship campaign with a routine 2-0 win over the Czech Republic.

A second-half strike from Serge Gnabry rounded off the encounter as a contest after Max Meyer had given the German team a 44th-minute lead in Poland.

The 21-year-old Gnabry, who completed a 10 million euro ($11 million) move to Bayern Munich last week, shone from the start, firing the first warning shot as early as the fifth minute.

The former Arsenal winger had a shot tipped on to the post after 28 minutes before Germany finally went ahead with Meyer’s strike from the left a minute before half time.

Five minutes after the restart, Gnabry punished a defensive mistake from Czech right-back Michal Sacek, running through on goal and finishing confidently to put Stefan Kuntz’s side in pole position for the points.

While it’s vindication of Germany’s youth development programme, Kuntz saw a handful of his key players drafted into Joachim Löw’s fresh-looking Confederations Cup squad. Just five players started in Poland from Germany’s final U21 qualifier against Austria in October and there remained signs of uncertainty at the back.

Sampdoria’s Patrick Schick, the star player in the Czech side, squandered two simple chances in the vicinity of Jannik Pollersbeck’s six-yard-box. These were chances that the 21-year-old, linked with big-money transfers to Juventus and Borussia Dortmund, snapped up with ease in his 11-goal campaign in Italy’s Serie A.

Germany missed the chance to add a third in the closing stages with Davie Selkie’s pass to Meyer trailing just behind the Schalke attacking-midfielder, who lost his balance at the crucial moment. “This was the first step, but we couldn’t add the third. We can be satisfied,” said skipper Maxi Arnold.

Kuntz’s side continue in their push for a second U21 title win against Denmark in Krakow.

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Confederations Cup: Late Moreno header salvages Mexico point, Chile start with win https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/18/confederations-cup-late-moreno-header-salvages-mexico-point-chile-start-with-win-2/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/18/confederations-cup-late-moreno-header-salvages-mexico-point-chile-start-with-win-2/#respond Sun, 18 Jun 2017 17:16:00 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=629610 The post Confederations Cup: Late Moreno header salvages Mexico point, Chile start with win appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Hector Moreno’s stoppage time header earned Mexico a draw in their tournament opener against Portugal. Meanwhile, Chile beat Cameroon to kick off their Confederations Cup campaign with three points.Portugal 2-2 Mexico
(Quaresma 34′, Cedric 86′ – Hernandez 42′, Moreno 90’+1)

Hector Moreno’s stoppage time header for Mexico ensured the points were shared with Portugal.

The UEFA and CONCACAF winners went head-to-head at Kazan Arena, and Portugal were the brighter of the two sides in a first half that was open and attacking.

Pepe thought he’d opened the scoring for Portugal on the rebound after Cristiano Ronaldo had crashed a shot against the bar with a sensational dipping volley – but the goal was chalked off for offside after the referee consulted a video replay, a system being trialed at the tournament.

Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa had to be alert to tip over when a cross deflected off defender Carlos Salcedo – but Portugal took the lead moments later through Ricardo Quaresma.

Ronaldo raced through and, although unable to get a shot away himself, picked out Quaresma at the far post, and the Besiktas winger wrong-footed Ochoa and slotted in from close range.

Quaresma could have doubled his tally just before halftime after a Ronaldo backheel gave him an opening, but the ball got stuck under his feet and could only drag his shot just wide, when the opportunity had promised so much more – and Portugal were made to pay.

Carlos Vela and Hernandez again combined after a mistake by Borussia Dortmund defender Raphael Guerriero. Vela simply lifted the ball into the box and Hernandez threw himself at the ball, and this time his header flew past Rui Patricio and into the bottom corner.

The second half became more defensive as both sides wanted to protect what they had, and Ochoa produced a huge save from substitute Andre Silva, whose header was heading for the bottom corner, only to be brilliantly scooped away one-handed by the Malaga stopper.

Mexico’s second half resistance was broken four minutes from time when Hector Herrera let the ball bounce off his foot and Cedric pounced, with the Southampton player’s shot taking a deflection off Herrera on the way in.

That appeared to be the winning goal for Portugal, but Mexico weren’t done. Hector Moreno headed in off the post from a corner to give Mexico an injury time equalizer, ensuring a share of the points.

Cameroon 0-2 Chile

(Vidal 81′, Vargas 91′)

Arturo Vidal and Eduardo Vargas fired Chile to a 2-0 win over Cameroon, but the game was once again dominated by the video assistant system which is being trialed at the Confederations Cup.

After seeing a goal ruled out in the first half after a referral to the video assistants, which caused confusion on the pitch, Vargas’ 91st-minute strike was again handled by video technology, although it was to overturn a wrong call from the assistant match official.

But aside from the glitches in the video tool, the South American side created the lion’s share of the chances even with Alexis Sanchez starting from the bench.

Cameroon goalie Fabrice Ondoa had little time to settle into Sunday’s second Confederations Cup game with South American champions Chile on the front foot from kick off.

Vargas forced a fine save in the first minute before wing-back Jose Pedro Fuenzalida was impressively denied by the 21-year-old stopper.

Cameroon threatened at the other end with Ngadjui’s well-angled header ruled out for offside. But the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations winners struggled to stem the tide from Chile’s all-out attacking style.

With the half entering the stoppage time, former Hoffenheim striker Vargas thought he had given Chile a deserved lead after he finished off Arturo Vidal’s through ball with a chipped finish over Ondoa.

But the celebrations were cut short when Skomina ruled Vargas to be offside after referral to the video assistants. The Chileans were incensed by the length of time to make the decision and the offside call itself which was marginal and required consideration on the referee’s part.

Alexis was introduced to a rapturous applause from the crowd in the Russian capital as coach Juan Antonio Pizzi looked to add an extra threat to his side’s attack.

Chile’s successor to Marcelo Bielsa and Jorge Sampaoli was justified in his decision to keep Alexis wrapped in cotton wool as the Arsenal star perfectly assisted the opener with nine minutes left. Sanchez crossed for Vidal who timed his run well and headed past Ondoa from close range.

Sanchez was involved in the second in stoppage time, beating the offside trap with the help of the video assistants before Vargas finished off into an empty net.

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Confederations Cup: Late Moreno header salvages Mexico point, Chile start with win https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/18/confederations-cup-late-moreno-header-salvages-mexico-point-chile-start-with-win/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/18/confederations-cup-late-moreno-header-salvages-mexico-point-chile-start-with-win/#respond Sun, 18 Jun 2017 17:16:00 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=629611 The post Confederations Cup: Late Moreno header salvages Mexico point, Chile start with win appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Hector Moreno’s stoppage time header earned Mexico a draw in their tournament opener against Portugal. Meanwhile, Chile beat Cameroon to kick off their Confederations Cup campaign with three points.Portugal 2-2 Mexico
(Quaresma 34′, Cedric 86′ – Hernandez 42′, Moreno 90’+1)

Hector Moreno’s stoppage time header for Mexico ensured the points were shared with Portugal.

The UEFA and CONCACAF winners went head-to-head at Kazan Arena, and Portugal were the brighter of the two sides in a first half that was open and attacking.

Pepe thought he’d opened the scoring for Portugal on the rebound after Cristiano Ronaldo had crashed a shot against the bar with a sensational dipping volley – but the goal was chalked off for offside after the referee consulted a video replay, a system being trialed at the tournament.

Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa had to be alert to tip over when a cross deflected off defender Carlos Salcedo – but Portugal took the lead moments later through Ricardo Quaresma.

Ronaldo raced through and, although unable to get a shot away himself, picked out Quaresma at the far post, and the Besiktas winger wrong-footed Ochoa and slotted in from close range.

Quaresma could have doubled his tally just before halftime after a Ronaldo backheel gave him an opening, but the ball got stuck under his feet and could only drag his shot just wide, when the opportunity had promised so much more – and Portugal were made to pay.

Carlos Vela and Hernandez again combined after a mistake by Borussia Dortmund defender Raphael Guerriero. Vela simply lifted the ball into the box and Hernandez threw himself at the ball, and this time his header flew past Rui Patricio and into the bottom corner.

The second half became more defensive as both sides wanted to protect what they had, and Ochoa produced a huge save from substitute Andre Silva, whose header was heading for the bottom corner, only to be brilliantly scooped away one-handed by the Malaga stopper.

Mexico’s second half resistance was broken four minutes from time when Hector Herrera let the ball bounce off his foot and Cedric pounced, with the Southampton player’s shot taking a deflection off Herrera on the way in.

That appeared to be the winning goal for Portugal, but Mexico weren’t done. Hector Moreno headed in off the post from a corner to give Mexico an injury time equalizer, ensuring a share of the points.

Cameroon 0-2 Chile

(Vidal 81′, Vargas 91′)

Arturo Vidal and Eduardo Vargas fired Chile to a 2-0 win over Cameroon, but the game was once again dominated by the video assistant system which is being trialed at the Confederations Cup.

After seeing a goal ruled out in the first half after a referral to the video assistants, which caused confusion on the pitch, Vargas’ 91st-minute strike was again handled by video technology, although it was to overturn a wrong call from the assistant match official.

But aside from the glitches in the video tool, the South American side created the lion’s share of the chances even with Alexis Sanchez starting from the bench.

Cameroon goalie Fabrice Ondoa had little time to settle into Sunday’s second Confederations Cup game with South American champions Chile on the front foot from kick off.

Vargas forced a fine save in the first minute before wing-back Jose Pedro Fuenzalida was impressively denied by the 21-year-old stopper.

Cameroon threatened at the other end with Ngadjui’s well-angled header ruled out for offside. But the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations winners struggled to stem the tide from Chile’s all-out attacking style.

With the half entering the stoppage time, former Hoffenheim striker Vargas thought he had given Chile a deserved lead after he finished off Arturo Vidal’s through ball with a chipped finish over Ondoa.

But the celebrations were cut short when Skomina ruled Vargas to be offside after referral to the video assistants. The Chileans were incensed by the length of time to make the decision and the offside call itself which was marginal and required consideration on the referee’s part.

Alexis was introduced to a rapturous applause from the crowd in the Russian capital as coach Juan Antonio Pizzi looked to add an extra threat to his side’s attack.

Chile’s successor to Marcelo Bielsa and Jorge Sampaoli was justified in his decision to keep Alexis wrapped in cotton wool as the Arsenal star perfectly assisted the opener with nine minutes left. Sanchez crossed for Vidal who timed his run well and headed past Ondoa from close range.

Sanchez was involved in the second in stoppage time, beating the offside trap with the help of the video assistants before Vargas finished off into an empty net.

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America’s Cup: Team New Zealand hold the edge over Team USA https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/17/americas-cup-team-new-zealand-hold-the-edge-over-team-usa/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/17/americas-cup-team-new-zealand-hold-the-edge-over-team-usa/#respond Sat, 17 Jun 2017 18:45:00 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=629452 The post America’s Cup: Team New Zealand hold the edge over Team USA appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Emirates Team New Zealand has the edge over Oracle Team USA after winning the first two races in the America’s Cup. The Kiwis lead 1-0 in the first-to-seven series, which continues with races three and four on Sunday.Emirates Team New Zealand threw down the gauntlet on the opening day of the 35th America’s Cup on Saturday with two surprise victories over defending champions Oracle Team New Zealand.

The Kiwi boat showed superior speed in both races in the first direct comparison of the high-tech 50-foot (15 meter) catamarans’ performance.

The first race in the contest to win the world’s oldest sporting trophy was fought out on Bermuda’s Great Sound by Oracle Team USA, skippered by Jimmy Spithill and Emirates Team New Zealand, helmed by Peter Burling.

But Spithill, trying to pilot the USA to a third straight America’s Cup title, was seconds early across the startline of race one and the Americans never recovered from the penalty, as Team New Zealand erased the US boat’s one-point advantage to level overall at 0-0.

Burling had New Zealand in front at the start in the second race and went on to claim a victory that puts the Kiwis ahead in the series, even though they began a point down thanks to the bonus point to Team USA for topping the earlier qualifying regatta.

mds (AFP, Reuters)

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Confederations Cup: Russia waltz to victory in tournament curtain-raiser https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/17/confederations-cup-russia-waltz-to-victory-in-tournament-curtain-raiser/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/17/confederations-cup-russia-waltz-to-victory-in-tournament-curtain-raiser/#respond Sat, 17 Jun 2017 17:08:00 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=629454 The post Confederations Cup: Russia waltz to victory in tournament curtain-raiser appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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A goal in each half ensured Russia won the opening game of the Confederations Cup against New Zealand in St Petersburg. But FIFA will face questions about the vast number of empty seats at the Krestovsky stadium.Russia 2-0 New Zealand
(Boxall og, 32′, Smolov 69′)

Hosts Russia got their Confederations Cup campaign off to the perfect start, easing to victory against a toothless New Zealand in St Petersburg.

Russian president Vladimir Putin officially got the tournament underway by addressing the crowd at the Krestovsky stadium, but it was far from a full house with a spattering of blue seats visible which will continue to raise questions about whether Russia is a suitable host for the tournament, and indeed the World Cup in a year’s time.

The game itself was an open contest with plenty of chances, most of which fell to Russia – clearly the better side throughout. The first warning sign for New Zealand came in the seventh minute when Michael McGlinchley was forced to hack off the line after Viktor Vasin’s header came back off the inside of the post.

It wasn’t long before Russia had the lead, and it came courtesy of an own goal by Michael Boxall. The New Zealand defender threw himself at the ball in a desperate attempt to to deny Denis Glushakov’s effort, but the All Whites player ended up in the goal with the ball, with Glushakov reeling off to celebrate with his teammates.

Russia always looked the more likely to add to their lead and New Zealand had their goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic to thank for a crucial double save before the break – first denying Dmitry Poloz’s header and then Aleksandr Erokhin on the follow-up.

New Zealand survived until halftime without suffering further damage but Marinovic was called into action again soon after the break, keeping out another good effort by Poloz.

But New Zealand’s resistence was eventually broken 20 minutes from the end, when Fedor Smolov tapped in Alexander Samedov’s low cross from the right to put the result beyond doubt and give Russia an ideal start to the tournament.

New Zealand’s best chance felt to Tommy Smith, whose header was cleared off the line by Yury Zhirkov but by then the damage was already done, and the All Whites will need to dramatically improve when they face Mexico in their next game, on Wednesday.

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Ones to watch: Top 5 future stars to watch out for at the U21 Euros https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/16/ones-to-watch-top-5-future-stars-to-watch-out-for-at-the-u21-euros/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/16/ones-to-watch-top-5-future-stars-to-watch-out-for-at-the-u21-euros/#respond Fri, 16 Jun 2017 19:05:00 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=629340 The post Ones to watch: Top 5 future stars to watch out for at the U21 Euros appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Andrea Pirlo, Mesut Özil, Luis Figo – some of the game’s great talents made their first steps at the U21 Euros. This summer, the scouts will be in Poland keeping an eye on the next generation, including…1. Serge Gnabry (21, Germany & Werder Bremen)

“Serge Gnabry can be one of the top players at the Euros – in fact that’s precisely what I expect,” said former German Olympic football coach Horst Hrubesch after Gnabry’s astonishing rise. Only a year ago, his move back to the Bundesliga was considered by some to have been a step backwards having failed to establish himself at Arsenal, but his performances and goals for Werder Bremen have now led to a transfer to Bayern Munich. In a landmark season, the 21-year-old scored 11 goals in 27 Bundesliga appearances for Werder at a vital time when more experienced strikers were out injured. He also made his senior international debut, announcing his arrival with a hat-trick against San Marino. “Serge can enrich any team,” continues Hrubesch. “With his pace and technique combined with his personal qualities, he could play for Barcelona.”

2. Renato Sanches (19, Portugal & Bayern Munich)

European champion, Golden Boy award, Portuguese player of the year – Renato Sanches had a rollercoaster year in 2016 which culminated in Bayern Munich paying Benfica 35 million euros for him. But in the Bundesliga, the youngster with the dreadlocks has only once played a full 90 minutes and his future is already uncertain. “I want to win even more,” says Sanches, starting with the “mini-Euros” in Poland – a mini-victory which could create even more big headlines.

3. Gianluigi Donnarumma (18, Italy & AC Milan)

Believe it or not, Gianluigi Donnarumma is still only 18 years old, yet even by the age of 16 he had replaced Diego Lopez in goal and quickly became one of the hottest properties in Europe. “He’s worth 170 million – like an Amedeo Modigliani canvass!” raved his agent, Mino Raiola, whose clients also include Paul Pogba, Mario Balotelli and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Ahead of the U21 European Championship, Donnarumma shocked Italy by announcing he would be leaving AC Milan and Spanish media report that Real Madrid have offered him a five-year contract. At international level, he is considered the heir to Gianluigi Buffon, although he will still be eligible for the U21s in 2019. And in 2021!

4. Saul Niguez (22, Spain & Atlético Madrid):

At an eye-watering 40 million euros, Saul Niquez is the most valuable player at the U21 European Championship – at least on paper. The Atlético Madrid midfielder shot to prominence with a wonderful solo goal against Bayern Munich in the Champions League in 2016, sending Los Colchoneros to the Milan final where they lost to rivals Real, and has since become a key component of Diego Simeone’s side. His story is even more astonishing given that he was forced to play with a catheter for two years after a serious kidney infection left him urinating blood after matches. “I had to play through the pain in every match and every training session,” he told Spanish broadcaster Mega recently. Spain are sure to benefit from his fighting spirit in Poland.

5. Dawid Kownacki (20, Poland & Lech Poznan):

In Poland, fans are already comparing Dawid Kownacki to Robert Lewandowski, who also came through the youth ranks at Lech Poznan. “I’ve seen many talented players in my time and can say quite honestly that Kownacki is unique,” says former Poland striker Piotr Reiss, who also played for Hertha Berlin and MSV Duisburg in the Bundesliga. Kownacki has been playing for Lech since 2005 when he was just eight years old, and scored his first senior goal for the club aged 16. Can the U21 Euros in his home country be the platform he needs to kick-start his career?

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Mischa Zverev knocks out veteran Tommy Haas in Stuttgart https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/16/mischa-zverev-knocks-out-veteran-tommy-haas-in-stuttgart/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/16/mischa-zverev-knocks-out-veteran-tommy-haas-in-stuttgart/#respond Fri, 16 Jun 2017 18:21:00 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=629341 The post Mischa Zverev knocks out veteran Tommy Haas in Stuttgart appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Two days after pulling off a surprise win over Roger Federer in Stuttgart, Tommy Haas has lost to fellow German Mischa Zverev. Zverev will face Feliciano Lopez in the semifinals as the countdown to Wimbledon continues.Mischa Zverev ended the Mercedes Cup run of German compatriot Tommy Haas as the sixth seed prevailed 6-4 6-4 against the popular veteran in the quarter-finals on Friday.

Haas was making what was likely his final appearance at the Weissenhof club, where he reached the final in 1999.

The 39-year-old was fresh from an upset 48 hours earlier of top seed Roger Federer on the grass.

“By and large, it has been a nice week here,” number 302 Haas said.

Haas, the oldest player to reach an ATP quarterfinal since Jimmy Connors in 1995, added: “Actually, I’m on a good path. It’s going in the right direction. But no sportsman likes to lose.”

Zverev, who will move to a career-best 29th in the rankings, will face off in the semi-finals against Feliciano Lopez after the Spaniard hammered 19 aces and saved all nine break points he faced to upset third seed Tomas Berdych 7-6 (4-7), 6-3, 6-4.

“He’s a great grass player with a totally different game as a lefty,” Zverev said after reaching his first Stuttgart semi. “The match will be different, but we will see.”

French fourth seed Lucas Pouille held off a fightback attempt from German Philipp Kohlschreiber to earn a 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 trip to the final four. Kohlschreiber finished runner-up in 2013 and a year ago against Dominic Thiem.

mds (Reuters/AFP)

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McDonald’s pulls out of Olympics sponsorship https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/16/mcdonalds-pulls-out-of-olympics-sponsorship/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/16/mcdonalds-pulls-out-of-olympics-sponsorship/#respond Fri, 16 Jun 2017 15:28:00 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=629347 The post McDonald’s pulls out of Olympics sponsorship appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Fast-food giant McDonald’s has ended its 41-year Olympic Games sponsorship deal three years early. McDonald’s contributes more than $1 billion every four-year cycle but is now looking to “focus on different priorities”.A sponsor since 1976 and part of the IOC’s top sponsors programme, McDonald’s had a contract running to the 2020 Tokyo summer Olympics.

The IOC has faced criticism from public health campaigners for allowing sponsors such as Coca-Cola and McDonald’s to use the Games as an opportunity to market their products, which contrast with the image of healthy living that the event seeks to promote.

“As part of our global growth plan, we are reconsidering all aspects of our business and have made this decision in cooperation with the IOC to focus on different priorities,” McDonald’s Global Chief Marketing Officer Silvia Lagnado said.

McDonald’s has been tightening costs as it invests in improving its food quality, restaurant service and online ordering to woo back diners in the United States, where intense competition has gnawed away at sales.

The company, first involved with the Games in 1968, was its food retail sponsor. Despite pulling out with immediate effect, McDonald’s will continue at next year’s Pyeongchang winter Olympics as sponsors with domestic marketing rights.

Financial terms of the separation have not been disclosed, and the IOC said it was not planning a direct replacement for McDonald’s.

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Former banker convicted in football-corruption case https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/16/former-banker-convicted-in-football-corruption-case/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/16/former-banker-convicted-in-football-corruption-case/#respond Fri, 16 Jun 2017 11:14:00 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=629303 The post Former banker convicted in football-corruption case appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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A former employee of a Swiss bank has been convicted on charges related to the corruption allegations surrounding world football’s governing body, FIFA. This comes a day after the suspect pled guilty in a US court.A statement released by Switzerland’s Office of the Attorney General (OAG) on Friday did not name the individual convicted. However, in a New York federal court on Thursday, Argentine national Jorge Luis Arzuaga, 56, pled guilty to charges of having helped facilitate bribes to various officials, including Julio Grondona, the former president of Argentina’s football association and a former vice president of FIFA.

The OAG statement said that the former employee of the Credit Suisse and Julius Baier banks would forfeit to the Swiss general treasury $650,000 (582,000 euros) in illegally obtained payments. It also praised the “efficient cooperation with the US authorities.” Credit Suisse and Julius Baer had both previously acknowledged that they have been cooperating with prosecutors on the investigations.

“The summary penalty order in Switzerland is part of a process coordinated between the responsible American prosecution authority and the OAG in order to conclude proceedings at the same time. There will be no further proceedings in Switzerland concerning the offences for which the accused has already pled guilty in the USA,” the statement concluded.

‘Critical service’

“By facilitating the flow of bribe money through the Swiss and American banking systems, the defendant provided a critical service to those involved in corruption in international soccer,” acting US Attorney Bridget Rohde said in a statement issued after Arzuaga had entered his plea on Thursday.

US prosecutors following a vast money trail have brought charges against more than 40 football officials, marketing executives and other associates from across the globe. Following a raid in Switzerland that resulted in the first round of arrests in May 2015, they said they believed the plot involved more than $150 million tied to the awarding of broadcasting and hosting rights for the World Cup and other tournaments over a period of more than two decades.

Arzuaga has been freed on a $1.5 million bond and is to be sentenced in early January. There was no immediate reaction from FIFA to the news of his conviction.

Twenty-five ongoing investigations

According to the Swiss prosecutors, this was the first conviction in around 25 investigations that it, along with US authorities, has been conducting in relation to alleged corruption at FIFA.

The scandal has sent major shockwaves through international football, with, among other things, former longtime FIFA President Sepp Blatter and former UEFA President Michel Platini receiving lengthy bans from all football related activities.

pfd/mf (AP, dpa, Reuters)

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Media report: Cristiano Ronaldo wants to leave Spain following tax accusations https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/16/media-report-cristiano-ronaldo-wants-to-leave-spain-following-tax-accusations/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/16/media-report-cristiano-ronaldo-wants-to-leave-spain-following-tax-accusations/#respond Fri, 16 Jun 2017 09:59:00 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=629305 The post Media report: Cristiano Ronaldo wants to leave Spain following tax accusations appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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According to a report in a Portuguese paper, Cristiano Ronaldo has informed Real Madrid of his desire to leave Spain. The Portuguese star has been accused of defrauding the Spanish tax office of over 14 million euros.Cristiano Ronaldo has made an “incontrovertible” decision to leave Real Madrid, according to a report published in his native Portugal.

Sports daily “A Bola” reported that the 32-year-old was “deeply troubled” by allegations he has defrauded the Spanish tax authorities of 14.7 million euros ($16.5 million) in unpaid taxes between 2011 and 2014 and has informed club president Florentino Perez of his desire to leave the current Spanish and European champions.

The Madrid tax authorities have accused the four-time Ballon d’Or winner of falsely declaring income as being earned through real estate rather than the sale of image rights – taking it into a lower tax bracket. If found guilty, the winger could face a fine of several million euros and a prison sentence of up to seven years.

Ronaldo, who is currently in Russia with the Portuguese national team ahead of the Confederations Cup, is said to have “a clear conscience” but posted a message on his Instagram account on Thursday saying: “Sometimes the best answer it’s (sic) to be quiet.”

Responding to the allegations, the player’s lawyer has said that his client was “completely surprised” and feels “unfairly treated,” while the agency that represents Ronaldo added that there had been “no systematic tax evasion.”

‘Full confidence’

In a statement, Real Madrid have declared their support for their top scorer, who had 42 goals in 46 appearances last season as Los Blancos became the first team to win back-to-back Champions League titles.

“Real Madrid have full confidence in Cristiano Ronaldo, who we understand has acted in accordance with the legality regarding the fulfilment of his fiscal obligations,” read the statement from the Spanish champions.

“Since his arrival at Real Madrid in July 2009, Cristiano Ronaldo has always shown a clear will to fulfill all his tax obligations. Real Madrid is absolutely convinced that Cristiano Ronaldo will prove his total innocence in this process. Real Madrid hopes that the Justice will act as quickly as possible so that its innocence can be demonstrated as soon as possible.”

Not the first

Ronaldo is not the first high-profile La Liga star to come to the attention of the Spanish tax authorities. In July 2016, Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and his father, Jorge, were sentenced to 21 months in jail after a court found the pair owed more than four million euros in unpaid image rights tax. Since neither had a criminal record, the Messis did not actually go to prison.

Should Ronaldo leave Madrid, potential suitors could include Paris Saint-Germain, who allegedly held secret talks with the player in 2015-16. Manchester United, whose chief executive, Ed Woodward, appears obsessed with big-name signings, would likely jump at the chance to bring the club’s prodigal son back to Old Trafford.

“A Bola” recently speculated before the emergence of the tax allegations that Ronaldo could be the subject of a 180-million bid this summer.

mf/pfd (sid,dpa)

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Confederations Cup: Who will win the mini World Cup? https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/16/confederations-cup-who-will-win-the-mini-world-cup/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/16/confederations-cup-who-will-win-the-mini-world-cup/#respond Fri, 16 Jun 2017 09:29:00 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=629311 The post Confederations Cup: Who will win the mini World Cup? appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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A year before the World Cup in Russia comes the dress rehearsal, the Confederations Cup. Could Germany’s young squad lift the trophy in the end? Or will it be one of the other seven teams?Can Germany win the Confederations Cup?

Head coach Joachim Löw has left many of the stars of the 2014 World Cup-winning squad off of this one. Manuel Neuer, Mats Hummels, Toni Kroos, and Thomas Müller are among those who have not traveled to Russia. Also not making the trip are up-and-coming stars Diego Demme and Leroy Sané. Demme is out with a back injury, while Sané is taking off the summer to have a nose operation. This relatively inexperienced team, which is to be captained by Julian Draxler, is not among the favorites to win the Confederations Cup. Germany would be happy to win the trophy, but Löw’s focus is on what he and his staff can learn in Russia this summer – that could help them achieve their goal of defending their World Cup title in one year’s time.

Read More: Germany with different goals at the Confed Cup

How have Germany fared in the Confederations Cup?

The first time Germany participated in the Confederations Cup was in 1999 in Mexico, the second year the tournament was an official FIFA event. They didn’t make it out of the group stage, losing to Brazil and the United States. Germany hosted the tournament in 2005, winning their group put losing to Brazil in the semifinals. They finished third after a penalty shootout with Mexico. They declined to participate in the 1997 tournament in Saudi Arabia and the 2003 tournament in France.

Who are the favorites?

Since Germany’s priorities lie elsewhere, the tournament is wide open. Chile have looked good recently, after having beaten Argentina in the 2015 and 2016 Copa America finals. It is also hard to bet against Cristiano Ronaldo, who has helped Real Madrid to three titles in four seasons and Portugal to their first European Championship title. The dark horse of the competition might be Mexico, who have reasserted their dominance in North and Central America.

Opinion: The Confederations Cup is logical, not obsolete

How many Bundesliga stars are involved?

Eight Bundesliga players will be in Russia, along with two others from Germany’s lower divisions. Bayern Munich’s Arturo Vidal and Leverkusen’s Charles Aranguiz are to be involved in a tournament for Chile for a fourth-consecutive summer. Mexico’s squad is to feature Leverkusen’s Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, along with Eintracht Frankfurt’s Marco Fabian and Carlos Salcedo. Matthew Leckie, who recently moved to Hertha Berlin from Ingolstadt, and Mitchell Langerak, who won the second division this past season with Stuttgart, are to suit up for Australia. Borussia Dortmund’s Raphael Guerreiro will be playing alongside Ronaldo with Portugal, while Jacques Zoua of second-division side Kaiserslautern and Stefan Marinovic of Unterhaching, who have earned promotion to the third division, will be playing for Cameroon and New Zealand respectively. Russia are the only team without a Bundesliga player in their squad.

Where are the games taking place?

Germany’s first and third group-stage games – against Australia and Cameroon – are to be held at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi, where the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games were held. Their game against Chile will be at the Kazan Arena. Those two stadiums are also where the semifinals are to take place. Should Germany lose in the semifinals, they would play the match for third place in the Otkrytiye Arena in Moscow. The final is to be held at the Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg.

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Blimp crashes at US Open, pilot hospitalized https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/15/blimp-crashes-at-us-open-pilot-hospitalized/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/15/blimp-crashes-at-us-open-pilot-hospitalized/#respond Thu, 15 Jun 2017 20:15:00 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=629276 The post Blimp crashes at US Open, pilot hospitalized appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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A blimp crash overshadowed the first day at the US Open golf tournament on the Erin Hills Golf Course. Officials at the event say the pilot of the blimp, which was showing advertisements, has been taken to the hospital.A blimp shooting aerial images at the US Open golf tournament caught fire and crashed a half mile away from Erin Hills Golf Course.

The pilot parachuted out of the blimp before it crashed. AirSign, the company operating the blimp, said later on Thursday that the pilot was “OK” and was being taken to the hospital to be treated for injuries. The advertising company also confirmed that the pilot was the only person on board.

Several players and spectators witnessed the scenes as they progressed through the opening round of the tournament.

“I was teeing off and I looked up and saw it on fire, and I felt sick to my stomach,” American golfer Jamie Lovemark said. “I had the shakes. I felt terrible for the people inside. I didn’t know what was going on. It was a horrible sight.

“I hope the guys got out okay. It was a horrific scene. I’ve never seen a plane crash, blimp crash, anything like that. It was pretty awful.”

“I was sitting on the seventh tee and my caddie goes, ‘Look at that thing, just blew up.’ And it was going down through the air,” said Charley Hoffman. “I didn’t see it explode, but it definitely just happened when he tapped me on the shoulder. So I saw it fluttering down through the sky.”

A statement from the United States Golf Association confirmed details of the crash and said the blimp was not affiliated with the tournament or the US Open broadcast.

“First responders were quick to arrive at the scene and the pilot is currently being treated for unknown injuries,” a statement said. “No other people were involved in the incident and local law enforcement is currently investigation.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the pilot at this time.”

dv/msh (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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Germany’s under-21 team visits Auschwitz https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/15/germanys-under-21-team-visits-auschwitz/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/15/germanys-under-21-team-visits-auschwitz/#respond Thu, 15 Jun 2017 17:41:00 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=629278 The post Germany’s under-21 team visits Auschwitz appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Germany’s under-21 team will play their first game in the European Championship in Poland in three days. On their way to the tournament, they paid their respects at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial Museum.Many of the Germany players hung their heads low as they walked through the former Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz. They were on their way to Warsaw, where they play their first game of the Under-21 European Championship in Poland.

“Many emotions came out during the visit. Misunderstanding, compassion, rage – almost everything the human body can summon up,” said Germany U21 coach Stefan Kuntz. “The tour was exceedingly informative. What’s important is that people should absolutely never forget what happened here.”

It is estimated that 1.3 million people were sent to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp during the holocaust, an estimated 1.1 million of whom died. The site was turned into a memorial museum in 1947, one that more than a million people visit annually. Nazi Germany set up the site on occupied Polish territory.

The German national team visited five years ago before the 2012 European Championship, which took place in Poland and Ukraine. With the U-21 Euros set to take place in Poland this year, Germany’s U-21 team decided to visit the museum. In the guest book that each of the 23 players signed, they wrote: “Suddenly everything is silent. Suddenly you go within yourself, you are by yourself alone. And the question posed by everyone who comes to this place arises. Why?”

“We felt dejected in some situations because of how unbelievable it was, how people treated other people,” said Wolfsburg midfielder and Germany U-21 captain Maximilian Arnold.

“I believe that it will do everybody good to have seen this in person – not only to understand the background and the history via books or the media, but rather to have been there for yourself,” said defender Thilo Kehrer, who plays his club football with Schalke.

Germany will take on the Czech Republic in their first group stage game on Sunday at the Municipal Stadium in Warsaw.

dv/msh (dpa, SID)

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Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather agree to August ‘super fight’ in Las Vegas https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/15/conor-mcgregor-and-floyd-mayweather-agree-to-august-super-fight-in-las-vegas/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/15/conor-mcgregor-and-floyd-mayweather-agree-to-august-super-fight-in-las-vegas/#respond Thu, 15 Jun 2017 10:11:00 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=629245 The post Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather agree to August ‘super fight’ in Las Vegas appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Two giants of the ring in different sports will go head-to-head in a long-waited showdown this August. The light middleweight fight in Las Vegas is expected to rake in millions and be the richest in history.Undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather will come out of a two-year retirement to take on UFC kingpin Conor McGregor on August 26.

Dubbed “the impossible deal” by UFC president Dana White, the fight will take place at light middleweight level with both competitors to come in under 69 kg.

Mayweather is the clear favorite, but McGregor specializes in aggressive knockouts. His supporters believe his youthfulness and flexbility will get the better of the 40-year-old from Michigan. The Irish mixed martial arts champion wrote on social media: “The fight is on.”

His competitor, Floyd Mayweather, is undefeated in the ring and is aiming to reach a milestone of 50 victories without defeat. The American has been involved in some of the biggest grossing bouts in boxing history with his matchup against Manny Pacquiaoearning more than $250 million. Some experts have predicted this cross-fight could net more than double that at the final counting.

However, the mega fight has prompted criticism in-and-out of the ring with boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya described the event as a ‘circus’ in an open letter to fans of the sport.

“I write in the hopes that together we can protect the sport of boxing,” he begins. “With each passing day, it looks more and more likely that the circus known as Floyd Mayweather Vs. Conor McGregor will be coming to town in the near future.

“Floyd’s and Conor’s motivation is clear. It’s money. In fact, they don’t even pretend it’s not. But it’s also a lack of consequences for when the fight ends up being the disaster that is predicted. After this fight, neither of them will need us anymore.

“It’s a win-win for them. It’s a lose-lose for us.”

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Opinion: The Confederations Cup is logical, not obsolete https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/15/opinion-the-confederations-cup-is-logical-not-obsolete/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/15/opinion-the-confederations-cup-is-logical-not-obsolete/#respond Thu, 15 Jun 2017 08:57:00 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=629247 The post Opinion: The Confederations Cup is logical, not obsolete appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Germany are not sending their best team to the Confed Cup, a tournament which German FA President Reinhard Grindel has described as “obsolete.” However, there is still value in playing it, writes DW’s Davis Van Opdorp.Germany have played 46 international games since the beginning of 2014. They have reached at least the semifinals in every World Cup and European Championship since 2006.

So it is understandable that the German football association (DFB) is not as enthusiastic about the Confederations Cup as their competitors. The Germans have done little to hide that fact, with DFB President Reinhard Grindel calling the competition “obsolete” and head coach Joachim Löw naming largely a reserve squad for this summer’s tournament.

As calls for the Confederations Cup to be done away with increase, there is one thing the competition’s European detractors should bear in mind: The tournament is not just for them.

FIFA, world football’s governing body, gets a lot of things wrong. However, the Confederations Cup at least makes logical sense. It honors the champions of each confederation – throwing in the last World Cup champion and the next World Cup host to round out the field.

Isn’t it rational to pit these tournament winners against one another to see who is best? Conceptually, it is certainly not “obsolete”.

Opportunity for the rest

The Confederations Cup has given nations like Australia, Japan, Cameroon, Mexico and the United States a chance to win an international trophy.

None of these countries have ever made it past the quarterfinals at a World Cup. Yet they have each appeared in – and in Mexico’s case, won – a final in this competition. European and South American competitors, ones that have dominated World Cup tournaments, may not find it worth their while to play them, but it is certainly not the case the other way around.

Take New Zealand for instance, who will represent the Oceanic Football Confederation (OFC). In the current World Cup format, the only chance they have to play in the World Cup is if they are the best team in the OFC and they win an intercontinental playoff.

The Confederations Cup is one of the only opportunities New Zealand’s players have to face world class players in their careers – in their country’s colors no less. That is certainly an opportunity worth flying halfway around the world to take advantage of.

Participating in their own way

Germany may have sent a “B squad” to Russia, but at least they are sending one. Since the Confederations Cup became an official FIFA tournament in 1997, Germany has twice declined to participate – in 1997 and in 2003. France (in 1999) and Italy (in 2003) are the only others to ever pass on participation in the tournament.

As FIFA and UEFA, European football’s governing body, continue to expand the tournament field for their top competitions, it is perfectly understandable for a team like Germany to give their top stars a rest. Löw said he knew well in advance that he was going to “polish his young players” at the Confederations Cup. It is certainly a clever way to find out which players should be in his World Cup squad next year.

But it seems every other country is taking the tournament seriously. Cristiano Ronaldo, who played in his third Champions League final in four years, will be representing his native Portugal. Chile, who has twice topped Argentina in Copa America tournaments in 2015 and 2016, are also bringing their best players.

If Germany doesn’t want to take the tournament seriously, that’s fine. Much of the rest of the world does.

Have something to say? You can leave your comment below. The thread will remain open for 24 hours after publication.

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South Korea sack Uli Stielike after shock defeat to Qatar https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/15/south-korea-sack-uli-stielike-after-shock-defeat-to-qatar/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/15/south-korea-sack-uli-stielike-after-shock-defeat-to-qatar/#respond Thu, 15 Jun 2017 08:55:00 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=629249 The post South Korea sack Uli Stielike after shock defeat to Qatar appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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The 62-year-old former Germany midfielder has been sacked after 33 games in charge of South Korea. A run of poor results has put World Cup 2018 qualification under threat.Stielike, who took charge in September 2014, oversaw the country’s first defeat to Qatar in 32 years last week, and was widely expected to be sacked after a run of poor performances.

South Korea have qualified for eight successive tournaments, co-hosting the 2002 World Cup and making impressive strides on the international front. But three defeats from their last five games leaves qualification hanging in the balance.

The Red Devils, second with a one-point advantage, finish up with a home match against section leaders Iran on August 31 before a trip to Uzbekistan on September 5.

In World Cup qualifying, only two places are reserved for direct qualification. If South Korea finished in third place, they would need to win two play-offs to book a place in Russia next year.

“Since Stielike became the head coach in 2014, he worked hard to develop South Korea’s football environment, educate football instructors, while posting a good result at the Asian Cup,” Lee Yong Soo, KFA technical committee chief, was quoted as saying by the Yonhap news agency.

“But we thought he failed to deliver the results that we wanted in the final qualifying stage.”

rd/tj (AFP, RTRE)

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Germany’s footballers to send socio-political message at Confed Cup – Grindel https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/14/germanys-footballers-to-send-socio-political-message-at-confed-cup-grindel/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/06/14/germanys-footballers-to-send-socio-political-message-at-confed-cup-grindel/#respond Wed, 14 Jun 2017 21:10:00 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=629207 The post Germany’s footballers to send socio-political message at Confed Cup – Grindel appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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Doping, human rights and freedom of the press are among social issues in Russia highlighted by Reinhard Grindel. The president of the German football association also cast doubts on the future of the Confederations Cup.The president of the German football association (DFB), Reinhard Grindel, has said that his organization will embark upon a sporting-political mission at the Confederations Cup in Russia, which gets underway this Saturday.

The German national team players themselves are to be involved in “socio-political activities” placing issues such as doping, human rights, hooliganism and freedom of expression under the microscope.

“We want to use the power of football to develop partnerships among the civilian population,” said DFB chief Grindel, who will meet the German ambassador in Russia and make a key note speech on the social responsibility of football. “It’s not about the powerful elite having a good time; it’s about normal people getting to know each other.”

Significant social issues

Included in a range of planned activities are a match between German and Russian amateur teams, a match forming part of the World Blind Football Championship and a junior international.

Ahead of the World Cup in Russia next summer, Grindel also wants to clamp down on doping, saying he wants the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to carry out drugs tests. Russian athletes have come under intense scrutiny in recent years and Moscow’s own anti-doping authorities are still banned following accusations of state-sponsored doping in the country.

Journalists and members of the media are also restricted in Russia, where most outlets are owned by state organizations such as Gazprom Media or by people with close ties to the Kremlin, and Grindel has repeated calls for foreign journalists to be granted unrestricted access during the World Cup.

“We want to make it quite clear that freedom of expression, freedom of the press and the right to assembly are things which even Russia has committed itself to,” he said, requesting that journalists receive “accreditation comparable to that of a foreign affairs correspondent allowing them to report on anything from anywhere.”

After hooliganism marred the 2016 European Championships in France, Grindel said the DFB will also be looking for the host country to send a clear message to the gangs of trained, organized thugs who terrorized English supporters in Marseille. “The atmosphere at the Confed Cup will determine whether or not our fans will travel to Russia,” he said. “The images we saw in France give us good reason to worry.”

The future of the tournament

As for the actual football, Grindel said he could “feel great excitement” among the German delegation ahead of Thursday’s flight to Sochi, where head coach Joachim Löw’s young squad will prepare for their opening game against Australia on Monday.

“You can tell that the squad are going about their work with a lot of enthusiasm and joy,” he stated. “We’re all looking forward to the tournament. We can see the sporting importance [of it].”

But Grindel nevertheless added that the future of the Confederations Cup could be in doubt due to the strain it puts on the players.

“The 2026 World Cup [which will feature 48 teams] will not be any longer as a tournament … but it still will have 16 more teams,” Grindel told reporters. “Those (teams) also include players from the Bundesliga who will return back to their clubs late and not be fully fit.”

mf/ (SID/Reuters)

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