Fabregas flattered by United interest

David Moyes wanted to make Fabregas his first marquee signing as United boss, but the Red Devils failed with two bids and the former Arsenal captain remained at the Nou Camp. Fabregas has since found a new lease of life under Barca boss Gerardo Martino and it appears the 26-year-old does not have any regrets about deciding to stay in Spain. “He’s produced some amazing performances as they won the Champions League, Europa League and FA Cup and he scored in the final of the European Championship with Spain.” After eight years at Arsenal, Fabregas moved back to Barcelona – where he began his career – in 2011. The Spain international still watches the Barclays Premier League on a regular basis, though, and he has been impressed by the English players on display. England are regarded as big outsiders for the World Cup, but Fabregas sees plenty of reasons for optimism. “I have seen youngsters like Jack Wilshere, Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck play and they have got talent,” he said. “That’s the thing England have been missing over the years – talent. “They have got a great group of boys with amazing talent and they have to take advantage of that.” “It’s always flattering when a club like Manchester United talks very well about you and you can see they want you,” the Spaniard told the BBC’s Football Focus. “But I’m going through an amazing moment [at Barcelona] now. “I’m playing every week and I feel very important to the team. I’m very happy right now. “This season I have felt more like myself, with more freedom and more secure with the way I like to play. It’s not easy when you know you have to convince many fans how good you are and how good you can be for the team. “The manager has trusted me and given me what I needed. I’m probably going through my best spell here.” Moyes was looking to sign a central midfielder again in January, but he instead landed playmaker Juan Mata for a club record £37.1million. Fabregas did not expect Chelsea to let Mata go to a team who are historically regarded as title rivals. “I was surprised to see Juan move there because I think he has been Chelsea’s best player over the last two years,” added Fabregas. Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas admits he was “flattered” by Manchester United’s interest in him last summer. Press Association read more

Pascoe and Marsh leave Anfield

first_img Pascoe still had 12 months left on his contract but former Reds midfielder Marsh’s deal had expired and it was not renewed. Chairman Tom Werner, Fenway Sports Group president Mike Gordon and manager Brendan Rodgers held their end-of-season debrief on Tuesday and Press Association Sport understands it was at that meeting it was mutually agreed to dispense with Pascoe, a close friend of Rodgers who arrived with him from Swansea in 2012. Liverpool assistant manager Colin Pascoe and coach Mike Marsh became the first victims of the club’s desire to rectify the mistakes of last season after both lost their jobs yesterday. Brad Jones’s contract has expired and the only other goalkeeper in the first-team squad is Wales Under-21 international Danny Ward. Bodgan is set to leave Bolton after reportedly not responding to the club’s offer of an improved contract. At 27-years-old and with 19 caps for Hungary, with whom he is currently on international duty, he is a player Liverpool are interested in. “I am confident that soon will decide my fate,” he told Nemzeti Sport back in his homeland. “My goal is to play at a higher level but it also depends on where you get a chance. “We’ll see, everything is decided in the next week or two.” The Reds have already agreed a deal to sign Manchester City midfielder James Milner, who becomes a free agent at the end of the month, and are also at an advanced stage in talks with England Under-21 striker Danny Ings, whose contract with Burnley expires on June 30. Ings will command a fee in compensation because of his age but Liverpool are hoping to agree a suitable deal with the Clarets for between £5million and £6million – otherwise the valuation will be made by a tribunal. It was at that get-together that all parties agreed to a “comprehensive plan for improvement” – the first part of which was to reshape the backroom staff. In the wake of the news of Marsh’s departure earlier on Friday speculation had begun over who would replace him. Former players Sami Hyypia, the ex-Bayer Leverkusen and Brighton manager, and Bolo Zenden, who served as interim assistant manager to Rafael Benitez at Chelsea in the 2012-13 season, were two early names suggested, and after Pascoe’s exit the list will grow. Recently-retired defender Jamie Carragher had been tipped to move into coaching when he quit two years before deciding to become a television pundit while departing captain Steven Gerrard – who has been offered a role at the club when he returns from the United States – is taking his coaching badges but has an 18-month playing contract with Los Angeles Galaxy to fulfil first. Another name already mentioned is that of Pako Ayesteran, who worked as Benitez’s assistant for the first three years of his reign at Anfield – which took in their 2005 Champions League victory – who has just left Maccabi Tel Aviv after guiding them to an unprecedented treble in the Israeli League. The club could, of course, recruit from within but one of the criticisms aimed at Rodgers during his difficult run of results last season was that there was a lack of experienced personnel in his backroom staff. Planning for next season continues on the pitch with the club continuing to scour the market for summer bargains with Bolton’s out-of-contract goalkeeper Adam Bogdan under consideration. Rodgers wants to bring in someone to challenge Simon Mignolet, who regained the number one spot in December after briefly being dropped following a number of unconvincing performances. Press Associationlast_img read more

Six bodies recovered from helicopter crash in Hawaii

first_imgHawaii authorities found six of seven passengers onboard a tour helicopter one day after they went missing.  The passengers went missing on Thursday evening off Na PaliCoast on Kauai Island. The search began after the helicopter did not return from an excursion off the Na Pali Coast.According to Solomon Kanoho, battalion chief of the Kauai Fire Department, the search was suspended Friday due to the fog and low visibility.The last contact that anyone had with the helicopter was approximately 4:40 p.m. Thursday when the pilot announced the tour was leaving the Waimea Canyon area. There are no indications of survivors and the names have not yet been released for the bodies that were found.last_img read more

Windies isolation period under discussion for England tour

first_imgDISCUSSIONS around rescheduling West Indies’ tour of England have included the possibility of the visitors going into isolation for as long as 14 days.The three-Test series was due to begin in June, but the shutdown of cricket in England and Wales has been extended until at least 1 July.The earliest date the first Test could begin is thought to be 8 July.If the Windies are in isolation, they are likely to have access to practice facilities at a locked-down venue.BBC Sport understands the visitors’ planning involves leaving the Caribbean in mid-June, allowing enough time for any period of isolation, followed by practice matches.The length of the isolation is another part of the discussions, with 14 days one of the options.As it stands, there are no restrictions placed on overseas travellers arriving in the UK.However, on Sunday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told the BBC plans for screening and quarantining people coming from abroad were “a serious point under consideration”.On Saturday, the England and Wales Cricket Board said “positive” discussions had been held with Cricket West Indies over a revised schedule for the tour.Any cricket that does take place this summer is likely to be behind closed doors, perhaps in a “bio-secure” environment.Even then, the staging of matches and the ability of overseas teams to play in the UK will be determined by government guidelines.Australia, Pakistan and Ireland are also due to tour England this summer.The ECB has previously stated it is looking at rescheduling the international calendar for the period between July and the end of September.(BBC Sport).last_img read more

FIBA publishes ‘Return to Basketball – Restart Guidelines for National Federations’

first_imgFIBA, basketball’s global governing body, has published recommendations on returning to basketball, with the ‘Return to Basketball – Restart Guidelines for National Federations’, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.A basketball-specific Risk Assessment Tool has also been produced in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO), FIBA said in a recent release.The guidelines have been developed by FIBA Medical Commission Chairman, Dr Peter Harcourt of Australia, following his consultation with the FIBA COVID-19 Medical Advisory Group (MAG), and also both FIBA Medical and Players Commissions.Along with being Chair of FIBA’s Medical Commission, Dr Harcourt holds numerous positions within other sports organisations as well as with WADA and the Commonwealth Games Federation Medical Commission.FIBA’s guidelines, published in English, French and Spanish, are primarily for National Federations that are seeking direction and advice on the restart of basketball activities and competitions, with the vast majority around the world having been halted in mid-March due to the pandemic.The guidelines and risk assessment tool, according to FIBA, will serve as a checklist to ensure any decisions on basketball events are based on an assessment of risks and the best chance of a successful restart.The international federation made it clear, however, that their guidelines are not intended to replace the restrictions of governments and public health authorities, pointing out that the risk assessment tool is a live document and will be updated regularly.Andreas Zagklis, FIBA Secretary General, thanked the FIBA COVID-19 Medical Advisory Group, FIBA’s Commissions involved and the World Health Organisation (WHO) “for their Invaluable work, expertise and continued contribution towards protecting our national federations, players, officials and basketball event organisers.The FIBA COVID-19 Medical Advisory Group was set up in April, with the purpose to review the latest scientific knowledge regarding the virus and to advise on the return of international basketball competitions.–last_img read more

Towolawi Tells Masevex He’s Out for Vengeance

first_imgGOTV BOXING NIGHT 20Light heavyweight boxing star, Kabiru “KB Godson” Towolawi, has vowed to avenge his defeat in the hands of Adewale “Masevex” Masebinu when they clash at GOtv Boxing Night 20 on 12 October at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Lagos.Masebinu and Towolawi clash again after the latter’s fifth-round knockout defeat in the national title bout at GOtv Boxing Night 16 earlier in the year. According to Towolawi, also known as the “Bariga Terror”, his defeat by Masevex in the title bout was accidental. This time, he said, the national champion will face a totally different opponent.“He was lucky to have won. His victory was purely an accident. This time, it will be a different KB in the ring. I’m going to avenge the defeat. I’m happy to have the opportunity to right the wrong and I’m sure I will win,” said TowolawiGOtv Boxing Night 20 will host eight bouts, the biggest of which is the African Boxing Union (ABU) lightweight title bout between incumbent champion, Oto “Joe Boy” Joseph, and West African Boxing Union (WABU) champion, Rilwan “Real One” Oladosu. Other big names scheduled to be in action are Rilwan “Baby Face” Babatunde, WABU welterweight champion; Ridwan “Scorpion” Oyekola, national super featherweight champion, Tope “TP Rock” Musa and Opeyemi “Sense” Adeyemi.The event will also host an all-female bout.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

AUDIO: We Won’t Underrate Benin In CHAN Qualifiers – Salisu Yusuf

first_imgChief Coach of the Super Eagles Salisu Yusuf has said he won’t underrate Benin ahead of their August qualifying showdown for next year’s African Nations Championship (CHAN).The Squirrels needed penalties to eliminate Togo after an aggregate tie; to set up a meeting with Nigeria in the final qualifying round of the competition meant for only players plying their trade in their domestic leagues.Nigeria will travel to Cotonou on 11 August to face Benin in the first leg before returning to Kano for the second leg a week after.First training session for #CHAN2018 Qualifiers vs Benin Republic in progress in Kano.25 players in training. pic.twitter.com/Q2Iv5AyRnT— Nigeria Super Eagles (@NGSuperEagles) July 25, 2017Ahead of both meetings, Salisu, who was an assistant to Sunday Oliseh at the last edition of the tournament in Rwanda, says the team will work hard to ensure qualification for the 2018 CHAN.“We are going to give it all our best,” the former Enyimba coach said. “We (the coaches) and the players are going to work hard in solidarity and we believe at the end of the day, we will deliver the ticket to Nigeria, Insha Allah (God willing).“I cannot underrate them (Benin) because, in modern football, you cannot underrate any team whether they are a big or small country.“Most times, the small countries are more organised now and they prove more difficult on the field of play. But we know they (Benin) are a good team; as far as they knocked out Togo to reach this stage.“We have to give them that respect, and that respect is our motivation to beat them well,” Salisu stated.Nigeria finished third in her debut appearance at the CHAN in 2014 in South Africa under the tutelage of late Stephen Keshi but failed to get beyond the group stage at the last edition in Rwanda.The 2018 edition of CHAN will be hosted by Kenya from 11 January to 2 February.Audio Playerhttps://www.busybuddiesng.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/SALISU-JULY-25.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.[tps_title][/tps_title]Relatedlast_img read more

The US sets “new benchmark” for extracting value from sports betting

first_img Betgenius expands virtual sports range with Kiron August 20, 2020 StumbleUpon Submit Sportradar combats social media abuse with player protection solution August 17, 2020 As the post-PASPA revolution rolls on, the US will “set a new benchmark” for how sports leagues and rights holders try to extract value from its nascent sports betting market. That was a prediction made by David Lampitt, Managing Director of Group Operations at Sportradar, as part of last month’s Betting on Football conference.Speaking on the ‘Data – do you get what you pay for?’ panel, he said that while attempts by rights holders around the world to implement the mandatory use of official data have “generally been unsuccessful”, the US has seen innovation on a commercial level – particularly between operators and data providers.“Sports are, inevitably, trying to find new and innovative ways to get involved in the value chain of data, and to somehow monetise this to get paid as much as they possibly can for usage of that data,” he explained. “The challenge is achieving this without any established legal rights. There is no IP right for sports data, so sports must find different means to achieve it.“There have been a number of attempts by right holders around the world to make it a legal requirement, to make it mandatory to use official data. Generally speaking, these attempts haven’t been successful so far.“What we’re now seeing is some innovation in terms of how sports can get value through commercial means, i.e. offering official data but making access to certain things – sponsorship or other commercial usage – contingent upon signing up for the official data and I think we will see that continue.“The US market could well set a new benchmark or model for how sports, and rights holders in particular, try to create value from the market.”Out of what was a fractious debate around a call by the sports leagues for fees to fund sports integrity and exclusive use of official data for ‘their’ product, there has emerged an appetite for common sense and a collaborative commercial approach. The debate surrounding official and unofficial data was, inevitably, a central component of the Betting on Football panel, where Lampitt was joined by Matt Stephenson (Betgenius), John Harlow (Perform) and Roy Clements (STATS).The panel highlighted the risks associated with unofficial data, which include delays through extracting data from TV or internet streams, the untimely loss of connectivity or even scouts being ejected from the stadium, which could force the operator to pull markets on a match.Lampitt added that while there is still space for the unofficial provision of such match data, the systematic scraping or direct copying of data must be stamped out.“There has to be a degree of honesty about the discussion,” he continued. “The reality is, we talk about official and unofficial, but nobody sitting on this panel is only providing official data. There isn’t one of our companies that has all of the rights to all of the official data for every sport around the world.“It’s also a bit of a nonsense to suggest that there is always a big disparity between official and unofficial data quality because we’re all providing high quality data, just some of it is official and some isn’t. For example, we have the official rights to the NBA, we just secured the official rights internationally for the MLB as well. Yet, our competitors here are providing unofficial data for these leagues.“In my view, providing unofficial data is perfectly legitimate, there is a space in the market for it to happen at a particular price point. Until there’s a recognition of that and a shifting of the official market to incorporate it, that will continue to be the case.“However, that is different to someone who is scraping data systematically or copying data direct from a database, which very clearly is an infringement of the EU Database Right. “Regardless of whether the data scraped or copied is official or unofficial, there are very significant risks for operators who use that data because they also leave themselves open to the legal risks associated with using IP infringed content.”Finally, Lampitt echoed the panel’s view that we are “not quite there yet” in terms of automated data collection, but said that it will develop faster for certain sports, for example tennis – “a sport that has already embraced it as part of the infrastructure of the game”.Lampitt is speaking at the inaugural Betting on Sports America conference, which kicks off today at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in New Jersey. He will be discussing how basketball – and specifically the NBA as the first of the major sports leagues in the US to soften its stance on betting – can work with bookmakers to develop a mutually beneficial approach to marketing, product and partnerships. Share Share Related Articles Björn Nilsson: How Triggy is delivering digestible data through pre-set triggers August 28, 2020last_img read more

Will Smith and Keibert Ruiz are friendly competitors on road to the big leagues

first_img“We both know (the situation) and realize that we want to play. But that’s going to be God’s decision.”It’s a decision the Dodgers won’t have to make quite yet. Ruiz is only 20 years old and got off to a slow start at Double-A last year. Smith progressed to Triple-A late in the year — but hit only .138 in 25 games there.“The confidence is there,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of the young catchers. “The ability to take in what’s going on around them as young players, to learn is there. They’re different players but they look the part. It looks right. Whether they’re talking to major-league pitchers in a ‘pen, whether they’re talking to coaches, the way they receive, in the batter’s box, the way they talk to hitting coaches — it looks right.“Will, with age, is a little ahead of Keibert. But these guys, they’re both on their way to having fun, long careers.”A first-round pick out of Louisville in 2016, the 23-year-old Smith is ready for the major leagues defensively now, according to Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman.“I think he could contend for a Gold Glove defensively,” Friedman said. “It’s just about getting him to that point offensively where there’s more of the consistency that we think is in there.”A switch-hitter since he was 12 years old, Ruiz has the greater offensive upside. His focus this year, he said, is to improve his game-calling but Roberts sees the potential.“Last year, in Double-A he started off slow, finished off strong, had a great postseason,” Roberts said. “Self-admitted he was a little overwhelmed early, slowed the game down late.“He can really handle the bat from the left side. Right side needs to continue to improve. Rapport with the pitchers, he’s a good listener. I just think that every day he’s learning and getting better.”YIMI TIMEBack in 2015, Yimi Garcia was a key part of the Dodgers’ bullpen. He was second on the team with 59 appearances and only Kenley Jansen had more strikeouts among relievers than Garcia’s 68 in 56 2/3 innings.Injuries sidetracked Garcia after that and he eventually underwent Tommy John surgery in fall 2016 that wiped out his entire 2017 season. He returned in 2018 and made 25 uneven appearances with the Dodgers.This spring, Garcia has announced his presence with authority. In three spring innings (including one Saturday against the Arizona Diamondbacks), Garcia has faced nine batters and retired them all, six on strikeouts.“Last year being abbreviated, he’s on a mission,” Roberts said. “You see it every time he takes the ball. The ball’s coming out really well. His command is really good and he’s sequencing the right way. He’s using his slider when he needs to. He’s pitching down then he goes up when he needs to.”A healthy Garcia is just one of the Dodgers’ bullpen options. There are eight pitchers in camp who made at least 25 relief appearances for the Dodgers last season (including Garcia). That group doesn’t include Joe Kelly, who signed a three-year, $25 million contract with the Dodgers as a free agent. And it doesn’t include other contenders like Kevin Quackenbush, Adam McCreery and Jaime Schultz — or starters Ross Stripling, Caleb Ferguson and Julio Urias who could land in the bullpen to start the year.“Obviously our entire roster has so much depth,” Roberts said. “There’s a competition. And that’s a good thing for all of us. How it plays out that’s anyone’s guess right now. But the depth we have in our ‘pen — there’s a lot of good arms.”ALSOCatcher Russell Martin has been sidelined the past two days by a sore back. Roberts called the issue “nothing big” and said he plans to start Martin (most likely at DH) on Monday. …Closer Kenley Jansen is scheduled to get his first game action of the spring on Sunday against the Texas Rangers. A year ago, Jansen didn’t make his spring debut until March 15. …Infield prospect Edwin Rios has been out of camp since Wednesday with an illness the Dodgers suspected might be contagious. Roberts said he has Rios “penciled” in to return to camp Sunday and play against the Rangers. In a real way, though, the two are fighting for one spot, trying to gain the inside position in their race to the big leagues. But Smith says there is no animosity, no trash talk at all.Related Articles How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire “I guess it comes down to more that we’re both team guys,” said Smith who started 30 games at third base last year when he and Ruiz were sharing the catching duties at Tulsa. “We know we’re going to be together and we just made it work.“We both want to win, wanted to help the team win. We’re not playing against each other. We’re on the same team. We helped each other out. We were always talking about the pitchers, helping each other out. ‘This is what he needs, blah, blah blah. This is what he’s doing, blah, blah, blah.’”Ruiz laughs off the idea that he might have been rooting for Smith to get traded in one of the deals rumored this offseason, clearing out some of the competition in the organization.“No, no, no,” he said through an interpreter. “It was actually really fun during the season, sharing the responsibilities. There were some times when I’d fall behind and he’d help me out. Sometimes he’d be at third and he’d let me know that I was showing my signs or had to do something different. Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco GLENDALE, Ariz. — Keibert Ruiz and Will Smith. Will Smith and Keibert Ruiz.The Dodgers’ two young catchers spend a lot of time in close proximity — in prospect rankings, at Double-A Tulsa most of last summer, in trade rumors this winter and now at big-league spring training.“My bro. That’s my bro,” Ruiz said of Smith in his quickly-improving English.“Yeah, we get along pretty well,” Smith said. “We’re always in the same group, same hitting group with the catchers. So we’re always making sure we’re in the right spot.”center_img Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Sailing on New Ice

first_imgPhotos by Patrick Olivero RED BANK – While the deep freeze that engulfed the region made life difficult for many, one positive was the return of a great Two River-area tradition: Ice Boating. Monmouth Boating Club’s Ice Boaters took to the Navesink River – after ensuring the ice was at least 4-inches thick – to race across its frozen surface. Ice grips, safety picks and helmets were some of the devices racers used to keep themselves safe while sailing on the ice at high speeds. Many spectators braved the biting wind and freezing temperatures to watch the return of this Two River winter spectacle.last_img read more