“The competition must end, even if it has to be in July or August in Catalonia.” This is how decisive Joan Soteras, president of the Catalan Football Federation (FCF), has shown himself after the meeting he has had today in Terrassa with the presidents of the clubs, as stated by Diari de Terrassa himself. “If we can compete in mid-May, the competition will be over. We can alter the foundations of a competition that has started,” he said. Regarding the contracts that end on June 30, the president added that “there are legal formulas to resolve it.”In line with what the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) decided on Tuesday, the Catalan Federation has also made it clear that the leagues that depend on it must be ended as long as they have the approval of the Ministry of Health to resume the activity and the calendar can be squared. That affects grassroots football too. “The stated will of the FCF is to end the competition this season as long as there are sufficient dates, and considering the health of all the members of the federation as the main priority. For this reason, the resumption of the championships will be authorized at the moment in which the health and sports authorities allow it.”, Communicated. To do this, he has sent another statement to the football clubs to ask them to cancel all the friendly matches and tournaments that were scheduled for the months of June and July, a time when the base football championships have already ended and the to prepare the next season. Thus, the priority is to finish all the leagues of all the categories.While waiting for normality, the FCF may run into the inconvenience that the dates coincide with the end of the schools and with the family holidays: the competitions usually end the last week of May or the first week of June. “The FCF Executive Commission has decided to suspend all authorizations for approved friendly matches during June and July, which may be revoked for reasons of public interest and to guarantee the order of the official competition”, reads the internal statement sent to sports entities.
Have all the contracts already been adapted to the agreement?Yes. We did it before this agreement was officially established. We comply with all the parameters established in all contracts. Other clubs will have more difficulties. Fortunately we were forward-looking and since we knew what the salary base was going to be more or less, we planned the season like this.Does your situation as an independent club change with respect to that of entities backed by a male entity?There is no doubt that the situation is different and we are clearly at a disadvantage. We can boast of having good economic management, based on austerity. We try to spend less than we presume to enter and thus not have economic setbacks. I think that this season and the one that comes we can face them without any problem.How can this affect women’s soccer?The break does not benefit any. We were in a good moment, growing a lot with a very strong League. It should be noted that everything has grown very fast and I think you have to be cautious. You have to know that there is still a long way to go, but the steps must be taken firm and sure so that women’s football goes far. For this you have to have a lot of head. We play a lot.It is being an atypical season …Years as troubled as this, we hope they do not repeat themselves ever again. In our case, in addition to the strike, the agreement and this health crisis, we have had three changes of coach and many injuries. The competition has not been very real. There is a day, that of the strike, it is not known if it will be played and we have a tight schedule. Hopefully everything ends in the best way. Any decision made now can be rushed.What about contracts ending on June 30?I think it is a minor problem. The same that is being legislated in other measures, I believe an agreement will be reached to sign an extension of the contracts. That anyone put obstacles would go against what everyone enacts in terms of developing women’s football. Sergio Batista (Granadilla de Abona, 1954) attend by phone to AS in the midst of the health crisis that has paralyzed the country. This lawyer, closely linked during his life to the world of football, after also heading to Tenerife, exposes the main effects what leaves this situation for his club, Granadilla, and for women’s football usually.How do you arrive at the decision to join ERTE?We were practically the first club in Spain to present it. We did it retroactively dated March 14 after discussing it with the players and studying it. We then reached an agreement with all the workers whereby we promised to cover 100% in the next two months, which is what we estimate could last all of this. We do it because we value the work of our people. We are a modest and very family club. I think we got this decision right.How is this 100% payment made?At first it was said that the State covered 70% and we the rest, but I do not know if it will be like this. That figure appears to be confirmed, but we remain committed.Have they lost publicity?Yes. Many collaborating companies have called us to tell us that the invoices that we have issued well, but that we do not send more and that we will speak for next year. We have dropped some and we understand it perfectly because the situation is not easy.And subsidies?We still have to receive some help, also at the national level. What I do think is going to be suspended is the money we receive from Mediapro. We do not know if we are going to charge it for the circumstances and if it does not arrive it would be a financial failure.Do you think that this crisis may affect the public aid received by women’s football?That possibility may exist because we are in a state of exception. What we have is to be consistent. If you have just approved an agreement that establishes a series of financial requirements, they cannot take away the resources with which you had budgeted everything to assume the agreement. If that happens, everything will explode. Hopefully not.
At Emirates Stadium, Laurent Koscielny scored the decisive goal for Arsenal, but goalkeeper Petr Cech was the one celebrated after the victory over Newcastle strengthened their position at the summit of the standings. Koscielny scored from close range in mid second half after Cech made two outstanding saves to deny Georginio Wijnaldum. “He is calm and never panics. We needed that,” manager Arsene Wenger said of Cech. Second-place Leicester failed to keep pace with Arsenal after being held to 0-0 at home by 10-man Bournemouth. Riyad Mahrez missed a penalty to frustrate Leicester, who are only a point above City after their comeback at Vicarage Road. Watford went ahead when Aleksandar Kolarov diverted Ben Watson’s corner into his own net in the second half. But City overturned the deficit with two late goals in as many minutes. Yaya Toure scored with superb control from Kolarov’s corner, then Sergio Aguero’s header followed swiftly after to secure City’s first away win since September. “We have to build on this. We hadn’t won in six on the road,” City goalkeeper Joe Hart said. “It’s not championship-winning form, but we’re somehow still in it.” Michail Antonio and Andy Carroll scored to take their tally to two goals each in as many games as West Ham achieved a first-league double over Liverpool in 52 years. Klopp was not impressed by the performance of his side, which dropped to eighth. “Today is not a day to be disappointed. It is a day to be angry,” Klopp said. Meanwhile Norwich beat Southampton 1-0, West Bromwich Albion overcame Stoke 2-1, and Sunderland beat Aston Villa 3-1. Outstanding saves LONDON (AP): Manchester United rediscovered what winning felt like as Arsenal edged Newcastle 1-0 to move two points clear atop the English Premier League yesterday. Manchester City came from a goal down to beat Watford 2-1 to stay a point behind Leicester, and West Ham rose to sixth in beating Liverpool 2-0, leaving the latter’s coach, Juergen Klopp, furious. At Old Trafford, there were only smiles for United’s first win since November 21, ending a win-less run of eight games, their longest in 26 years. Anthony Martial put United ahead after half-time, and set up Wayne Rooney to flick in the winner with his heel. The goal made Rooney second on the club’s all-time scoring list on 238 11 behind Bobby Charlton and second all-time in the Premier League on 188, behind Alan Shearer’s total of 260. “It was his left foot behind his right foot. You cannot imagine what a goal that is,” manager Louis van Gaal said of his captain’s strike. United stayed in fifth place, provisionally two points behind Tottenham, who will be at Everton today.
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP):Novak Djokovic called it the best he has ever played against old foe Roger Federer. Serena Williams was just being her dominant self.The defending champions both made their way back to the Australian Open final, with Djokovic beating Federer 6-1, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 and Williams defeating Agnieszka Radwanska 6-0, 6-4 yesterday.”I’ve had matches where I’ve played similar tennis,” said Djokovic, the top-ranked player in the world. “But I think against Roger, these first two sets have been probably the best two sets I’ve played against him overall throughout my career.”Hours earlier at Rod Laver Arena, Williams advanced to within one win of another Grand Slam milestone. If the six-time Australian Open champion wins tomorrow’s final against seventh-seeded Angelique Kerber, she will equal Steffi Graf’s 22 major singles titles, a record in the Open era and the second-most in history behind Margaret Court’s 24.”I was able to do everything that I needed to do,” Williams said of yesterday’s match. “I was really hitting just all the right shots, making little to no errors, which is kind of hard to play like that.”Djokovic, a five-time champion at the Australian Open, advanced to his sixth final at Melbourne Park.For Federer, the signs were ominous from the beginning. Djokovic held his first service game at love and broke the 17-time Grand Slam champion in the second. After seven minutes, Federer was trailing 3-0.In the first semi-final match, Kerber ended Sydney-born British player Johanna Konta’s surprising run with a 7-5, 6-2 win to reach her first Grand Slam final. Konta was the first British woman since 1983 to reach the semi-finals at a major tournament.
POS LP CLUB P W D L GF GA GD PTS1 (1) Leicester City 29 17 9 3 52 31 21 602 (2) Tottenham Hotspur 29 15 10 4 51 24 27 553 (3) Arsenal 29 15 7 7 46 30 16 524 (4) Manchester City 28 15 5 8 52 31 21 505 (5) West Ham United 29 13 10 6 45 33 12 496 (6) Manchester United 29 13 8 8 37 27 10 477 (9) Liverpool 28 12 8 8 43 37 6 448 (7) Stoke City 29 12 7 10 31 34 -3 439 (8) Southampton 29 11 8 10 36 29 7 4110 (10) Chelsea 29 10 10 9 43 39 4 4011 (13) West Brom Albion 29 10 9 10 30 36 -6 3912 (11) Everton 28 9 11 8 51 39 12 3813 (12) Watford 29 10 7 12 29 30 -1 3714 (14) Bournemouth 29 9 8 12 35 45 -10 3515 (15) Crystal Palace 29 9 6 14 32 39 -7 3316 (16) Swansea City 29 8 9 12 28 37 -9 3317 (17) Sunderland 29 6 7 16 35 54 -19 2518 (18) Norwich City 29 6 6 17 31 54 -23 2419 (19) Newcastle United 28 6 6 16 28 53 -25 2420 (20) Aston Villa 29 3 7 19 22 55 -33 16
LONDON (AP): Leicester winger Riyad Mahrez became the first African to be named English football’s player of the year yesterday, straight after the Algerian helped his team close in on the Premier League title. Mahrez was flown by helicopter to the Professional Footballers’ Association ceremony in London after scoring his 17th goal of Leicester’s astonishing title charge as the leaders beat Swansea 4-0 at the King Power Stadium in central England. Mahrez was on a six-man shortlist including Leicester teammates Jamie Vardy and N’Golo Kante for the vote of their fellow professionals in English football. “I’m very grateful to receive this award,” Mahrez said. “It’s extra special because if the players vote for me, it’s because they’ve seen I’ve been great this year, so I’m happy. But it’s more team things. Without my teammates, I wouldn’t get this award.” The 25-year-old Mahrez is only the second winner of the PFA award from outside England. Uruguay striker Luis Suarez won it in 2014 while playing for Liverpool. Unlike Suarez, Mahrez was an unknown when he moved to England two years ago, joining Leicester from second tier French side Le Havre for less than 500,000 pounds. The transfer now seems one of the best bargains ever in English football, where the record fee is the 59.7 million pounds that Manchester United paid for Angel Di Maria in 2014 before selling the winger the following year. Mahrez has provided inventiveness and flair to Leicester’s attacking play, contributing not only goals but also 11 assists to help transform a team that fought for Premier League survival last season. Now a guaranteed starter, Mahrez was an unused substitute this weekend a year ago when Leicester beat Burnley to finally escape the relegation zone. Leicester started the season as a 5,000-1 title outsider but is now set to become English football’s first maiden championship winner since Nottingham Forest in 1978. “The secret has been team spirit,” Mahrez said. “We work so hard for each other. We are like brothers, it’s everywhere on the pitch. That’s our strength.”
ARSENAL (4-2-3-1)CECH, BELLERIN, KOSCIELNY, MERTESACKER, MONREAL, COQUELIN, CAZORLA, RAMSEY, OZIL, WALCOTT, GIROUDWEST HAM (4-2-3-1)SAKHO, JARVIS, PAYET, ZARATE, NOBLE, KOUYATE, CRESSWELL, REID, TOMKINS, BURKE, ADRIANArsenal approach the 2015-16 Barclays Premier League season with confidence, after a hugely impressive pre-season that earned them three trophies. The Gunners, who retained the FA Cup last May, won the Asia Cup in Singapore, the Emirates Cup at home and then the Community Shield, when manager Arsene Wenger beat Chelsea rival Jose Mourinho for the first time in 14 encounters with his rival.The Gunners are at home on the opening day for the fourth year in a row. But they do not boast an impressive recent opening-day record; last season’s 2-1 win at home to Crystal Palace was their first victory in the first game of the season since 2009, when they won 6-1 at Everton.West Ham, meanwhile, have already been busy under new boss Slaven Bilic, who replaced Sam Allardyce during the summer. On Thursday, the Hammers were in Europa League action, their sixth game of the competition.Bilic, who spent three years at West Ham as a player, is a popular choice amongst Hammers fans but he is without the injured Andy Carroll and Enner Valencia while Carl Jenkinson, signed on a second season’s loan from Arsenal, is ineligible to face his parent club.Arsenal will continue with Petr Cech, signed from Champions Chelsea at the age of 33. The keeper will wear the number 33 and has already impressed as the Gunners’ custodian.The Gunners hold the upper hand over their London rivals; they have won their last nine games in the league against West Ham and are unbeaten in their last 14 (winning 14 and drawing two). Indeed, West Ham last beat Arsenal in April 2007 at the Emirates Stadium.
Dominik Samuels: playing cricket with passion and success – Campion College all-rounder sets sights on West Indies team
SOME might say that cricket is a dying sport in Jamaica. But 16-year-old Dominik Samuels does not appear to be one who believes that. The Campion College Grace Shield team member has been playing cricket since he was four years old and in 12 years of playing at the prep and high school levels, his passion for the sport has never waned. While his father Raymond played Headley Cup cricket as a student of York Castle High, it was while still a young boy living in Barbados that Dominik’s love for the game really developed. “I influenced him, but I think the turning point for him was when I was on vacation and we were in St Ann and his cousin who was a couple of years older played cricket and he saw his cousin playing. We lived in the Bahamas, he started playing, but they don’t really play cricket in the Bahamas so there was no opportunity. I relocated to Barbados and at age five he really got to play cricket because they have a really strong prep school competition there,” the elder Samuels explained. While there, he also played for Wanderers Cricket Club and got the opportunity to play in camps with older and more experienced boys. “I’m certainly looking to play for the West Indies in the future, to play at the highest level of cricket. But I still want to balance my cricket and academics as well,” he said. “It’s a matter of time management really. I have to make timetables and understand that if I want to be successful I know how much work I have to put out so I can train in the evening,” he added. Having the strong support of both his parents who attend his games also helps, he said. As for the future, he wants to attend a school in the United Kingdom, where he can continue to pursue his cricketing goals. “Cricket is a game where you have to be disciplined and patient and you have to understand that things take time and you have to be diligent in what you do and cricket also taught me that when you fight out of tough situations you always come out with good results,” he said. “They have a pretty strong youth programme in Barbados and I must say it’s better than in Jamaica,” Samuels added. Dominik was captain of his prep school team in Barbados and when he moved to Jamaica at age 11, also captain Sts Peter and Paul Prep School team for one year, before moving on to Campion College. “It was a good experience because their structure is a bit different. They play hard ball and being a part of the training squad – because the boys were two or three years older – helped me. I’ve played not only local players there, but also from England and visiting teams,” Samuels said. Samuels has been outstanding in the Grace Shield, scoring 782 runs this season. The batting all rounder also scored four centuries, with a top score of 136 not out against St George’s College and three half centuries. He helped Campion reach the semi-finals of the Grace Shield and led them to the title last season. For Samuels, it isn’t only about playing sport. The Jamaica and West Indies youth representative believes in balancing academics as well. Having earned a government scholarship to Campion, he has been on the school’s honour roll every year since. Now in the fifth form, he will do nine subjects at the Caribbean Examinations Council level later this year. Strong youth programme The highest level
ST GEORGE’S, Grenada (CMC): Sports psychologist Dr Rudi Webster has welcomed the appointment of former West Indies cricketer Jimmy Adams as the region’s new director of cricket. Adams, who represented West Indies as player and captain during his career, replaces Englishman Richard Pybus, who did not seek to renew his contract. The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has yet to officially announce the appointment, but media reports in the region also say former Australian cricketer Stuart Law has been appointed to fill the position left vacant by Phil Simmons, who was fired in September. Speaking on the regional television programme Big Bang Sports, Webster, who has worked with the West Indies cricket team, blasted Pybus as a “total disaster” and applauded the appointment of Adams as one that would “make a difference”. “Well, I am extremely pleased that Pybus is no longer with us. He was a total disaster and he has done more harm to West Indies cricket; there is only one other person who has done more harm to the game, and that is (Dave) Cameron, the current president,” Webster told Big Bang Sports. “I am really happy that Jimmy Adams will take over the post of director of cricket. I think he should make a difference. Stuart Law has been around for a while. I do not know too much about him, but what I hear from the grape vine is that he is not a bad coach, so I think that is the first step in the right direction.” QUARTERLY MEETING The decision to fill the two positions were reportedly taken over the weekend at the WICB’s final quarterly meeting, which took place in St Maarten. Webster, in the meantime, has repeated calls for Cameron to step down as WICB president. The embattled Jamaican sports administrator has come in for widespread criticism for his role in ongoing conflicts between the WICB and regional cricketers. Webster has blasted Cameron as the “worst president” and says the effect of Adams and law on regional cricket will be limited if Cameron refuses to step down. “But it is not enough. I think that the president of the West Indies Cricket board must go and there must be structural reform of the board if we are to progress. Dave Cameron is by far the worst president that I have ever seen in those 50 years. It is not even a close call,” said Webster, whose 50-year involvement in sports also includes basketball, football, motor racing, golf and Australian football.
MUMBAI, India (CMC):West Indies batting stars Kieron Pollard and Lendl Simmons both failed when they could least afford to as Mumbai Indian suffered a stunning 20-run loss to underdogs Rising Pune Supergiant in the first playoff match of the Indian Premier League here yesterday.Bidding to qualify directly for the final after topping the preliminary standings, Mumbai failed to chase down a moderate total of 163, and will now take the difficult route by playing the winners of today’s second playoff between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders.Opting to bowl first at home at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai limited RPS to 162 for four off their 20 overs, with Manoj Tiwary (58) and opener Ajinkya Rahane (56) getting half-centuries.RPS slumped to nine for two in the second over but Tiwary added 80 for the third wicket with Rahane and another 73 for the fourth wicket with MS Dhoni who made an unbeaten 26-ball 40, to revive the innings.MASSIVE BATTING FAILUREIn reply, Mumbai suffered a massive batting failure and could only muster 142 for nine off their 20 overs, with opener Parthiv Patel getting 52.Opener Simmons was run out for five at the non-striker’s end with the score on 35 in the fifth over, after a drive from Parthiv touched the bowler’s hand and on to the stumps with the Trinidadian backing up too far.Pollard, batting at number five, fell for seven in the eighth over at 51 for four, caught at midwicket by Steve Smith off off-spinner Washington Sundar who claimed three for 16 from four overs to earn Man-of-the-Match honours.