Balotelli not surprised by Mancini exit

first_img Press Association Balotelli, who was signed by Mancini for City before being sold to AC Milan in January, insisted his fellow Italian is a “great manager”. Asked about Mancini being sacked, Balotelli told CNN: “I am not really surprised but when I was with him he was a great manager and we had one of the best teams I have played with, the best players. I don’t know why they didn’t win. But obviously there were some problems inside. I am here [Milan] so I don’t know.” Mario Balotelli is not surprised that Roberto Mancini was sacked by Manchester City because of internal problems between his former manager and the club.center_img City said on Monday that Mancini had been sacked after failing to meet all “stated targets” apart from qualifying for next season’s Champions League. The club added: “This, combined with an identified need to develop a holistic approach to all aspects of football at the club, has meant that the decision has been taken to find a new manager for the 2013-14 season and beyond.” Reports in Spain said Malaga have opened the way for Manuel Pellegrini, whose representatives have already held talks with City, to move on at the end of the season and he is favourite to replace Mancini. The Malaga Hoy newspaper said the Qatari-owned Spanish club has waived the release fee in the Chilean’s contract which would allow him to leave when it expires on July 1, and that he has already agreed a two-year deal with City. However the club are unlikely to announce any appointment before next week’s short end-of-season tour to the USA where Brian Kidd will remain in charge of the team. last_img read more

Naismith: I’m learning all the time

first_img Press Association For Everton forward Steven Naismith, every day is a school day under manager Roberto Martinez. “He has opened my eyes to a totally new way of playing football,” Naismith told Press Association Sport. “I am really interested in it, so when he does talk to you about things which may have happened in a game the night before it will be something you have learned off him in terms of watching to see how teams work. “He will say ‘did you notice this?’ and it is not something you just say ‘oh aye’ just for the sake of it, you have a conversation with him. “It is kind of being like at school, you are learning all the time. “Sometimes you find yourself watching games and you think ‘the manager might come and talk to me about this’ so you end up taking note of what’s happening.” Naismith came off the bench at Fulham at half-time last weekend to turn the game, creating one goal and scoring another, and he admitted afterwards he had watched the first half carefully to see where he could make an impact. That is something else which he has learned to do over time. “It’s funny because there are so many different aspects to being on the bench – from being peed off you’re not playing to just thinking so many different things that your mind could not be on working out how you can improve the team,” he added. “Nowadays it is a squad game and the few games I have come on and had a good impact you understand that it is about the squad and the manager has made that clear here. “As I’ve got older I have learned to watch where I’m likely to come on and you do pick up things and see things that happen. “I definitely pick up things like how I can get a chance on goal or cause problems to the other team’s defence: styles of play, the formations – so much goes on in games that you can capitalise on these things.” Naismith has made just seven league starts (compared to 17 substitute appearances this season) but has scored three goals and every one of those has been in an Everton victory. Everton host Arsenal on Sunday in what is being billed a Champions League qualification decider, with the Toffees just four points behind their fourth-placed opponents with a match in hand. Midfielder Mikel Arteta says Arsenal have the required mentality to come through a first test of their renewed character. Arsenal travel to Merseyside on the back of a morale-boosting 1-1 draw with Manchester City, which went some way to exorcising the ghost of the nightmare 6-0 trashing at Chelsea which ruined manager Arsene Wenger’s 1,000th match in charge. The Gunners also suffered the disappointment of conceding a last-minute own-goal in their 2-2 draw with Swansea. Arsenal are, however, only four points ahead of fifth-placed Everton, who have a game in hand – and with the small matter of an FA Cup semi-final against Wigan on the horizon, Arteta knows how important building momentum will be. “Mentally, it will be a big boost if we win, and hard to take if you don’t so it will be important,” Arteta said. “Some of the performances we have put in away from home in the big games have touched in a bad way the season we have had so far. “We made mistakes and did not perform when we should have done, but we have to take it. “Overall we have been really consistent and considering the injuries we have had, things have gone well and we have stepped up a long way from last season.” Arteta, 32, left Everton for Arsenal in August 2011, the former Rangers man having become an integral part of the David Moyes’ squad following his move from Real Sociedad. The 27-year-old may have played more than 250 senior matches and 28 internationals for Scotland, but he admits he is learning more than ever thanks to the guidance of the Spaniard. It has even got to the stage where Naismith is doing “homework” when watching matches on television, just in case his manager should ask him a question about it the next day. last_img read more

Wasilewski announces new Foxes deal

first_img Wasilewski, who has won 60 caps for Poland and played at both Euro 2008 and 2012, joined Leicester in September 2013 after six seasons at Belgian club Anderlecht. The veteran played an important role in Leicester’s battle to avoid relegation in the closing months of the Premier League season and has now made over 60 appearances for the Foxes. Leicester manager Nigel Pearson has spoken highly of the rugged Wasilewski in the past, saying: “I love him, he’s great. “Centre-backs who enjoy defending are a dying breed. “He is an exceptionally honest professional who knows the game. “He is a good player as well. I am not saying he is just an honest player and tough, he is a very knowledgeable defender.” Leicester confirmed Wasilewski’s contract had been extended until the end of the 2015-16 season on their club website on Thursday afternoon. The Foxes said the new deal also includes the option of a one-year extension. “He (Wasilewski) played a vital role in his side’s surge to Barclays Premier League survival, helping them secure five clean sheets in their final seven fixtures,” said the statement. . Poland defender Marcin Wasilewski has announced that he has signed a new contract with Leicester. The Barclays Premier League club have yet to confirm the news but Wasilewski has posted a picture on his Instagram account saying: “Today, I signed a new contract at #LCFC”. It is understood that the Krakow-born centre-back, who turns 35 next week, has penned a one-year extension at the King Power Stadium. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

FIFA dragging its feet in Afghan sex abuse scandal, says coach

first_imgBERLIN, Germany (Reuters) – World soccer’s governing body FIFA has been dragging its feet and needs to urgently widen the investigation into a sexual abuse scandal involving Afghan women players, national coach Kelly Lindsey said in a letter to FIFA boss Gianni Infantino.In June the former president of the Afghanistan Football Federation (AFF), Keramuddin Keram, was banned from football for life after FIFA’s ethics committee found him guilty of abusing his position and sexually abusing female players.Keram, also a former FIFA Standing Committee member, was accused by at least five Afghan female football players of repeated sexual abuse between 2013 and 18. He was also fined one million Swiss francs (£847,806.40 or $1.03M).But Lindsey and Khalida Popal, the team’s programme director, said in their letter that several other individuals had been named by the players as being directly or indirectly linked to the case and no action had been taken against them.Victims and whistleblowers were in fear of repercussions, they said. “… the accounts and evidence provided to you named other individuals as well, and referred to a widespread culture of abuse, with complicity at all levels of the AFF,” they wrote in their letter to Infantino dated August 6.“The accounts mention numerous other individuals, including senior individuals in ongoing positions of power, who committed sexual and physical abuse and/or failed to report abuse even though they knew or ought to have known of the abuse and/or sought to cover up abuse.“This, and the apparent inaction from FIFA since these concerns were raised, has allowed that culture of abuse to continue to thrive in the AFF.” FIFA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani ordered an investigation after Britain’s Guardian newspaper reported in November 2018 that senior figures linked to the Afghan women’s team had alleged that some players had been molested by officials from the federation. According to the Guardian, the alleged abuse took place inside the federation’s headquarters in Afghanistan as well as at a training camp in Jordan in February 2018.FIFA, which began its investigation in December when it suspended Keram, said he had breached ethics code rules on protection of physical and mental integrity and abuse of position.The national women’s team was formed in 2010. Some conservative-minded Afghans oppose women playing sports.Afghanistan is ranked as one of the most dangerous countries for women and allegations of sexual contact outside marriage can have deadly consequences.last_img read more

NOC Trains NAPHER-SD Officials in Lagos

first_imgPresident, Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), Habu Gumel has revealed that the NOC is committed to uplifting sports administration in the country to global standards through the continuous education of sports administrators.Gumel, made this known at the opening of the Nigeria Association for Physical Health Education, Recreation, Sports and Dance (NAPHER-SD) sports administration course currently going on at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.The refresher course is organised under the auspices of the Olympic Solidarity and it aims to improve interpersonal relationships and communications by providing sports opportunities for both the young and old. Gumel, an IOC member explained further, the need to ensure the success of the programme by providing support and monitoring of the participants.In similar vein, NOC Secretary General, Olabanji Oladapo, in his remark stated that there is a need for active collaboration on the efforts of all to ensure the programme succeeds in their various states or organization so that Nigeria will not be left out of emerging global trends in sports administration and promise to continue to sustain the Olympic movement in Nigeria.“The NOC will continue to work hard within the limits of its ability and resources to uplift and support the ideals of the Olympic movement, especially as it relates to Olympic education,” Oladapo concluded.Meanwhile, , the Lagos State Chairman of NAPHER-SD, Dr Abiodun Morounfolu, charged participants to implement all the knowledge shared in the course for the upliftment of sports administration and Olympic Solidarity in their various capacities.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

J-D boys, girls soccer carve path to sectional Class A finals

first_imgHaving already vanquished no. 3 seed East Syracuse Minoa 1-0 in the quarterfinals on Oct. 24, the Rams now met a Whitesboro side that, for most of the game, would keep J-D quiet.And for a long while, it looked like the goal that the Warriors’ Jacob Tardugno converted late in the first half would hold up, Whitesboro deftly protecting a 1-0 advantage while the Rams probed for an equalizer.Just in time, J-D saved its season when, with 1:36 left in the second half, Zach McBennett, author of so many important goals for the Rams, put one in the net, sending the game to overtime. What has turned into an annual occurrence for one varsity soccer team at Jamesville-DeWitt – namely, appearing in the Section III Class A championship game – is not quite the case for the other.Yet this weekend, both the girls and boys Red Rams will go after sectional titles after they both emerged victorious from tense sectional semifinal games on Tuesday night.And it was the J-D boys that made the most dramatic splash, rallying late in regulation and prevailing 2-1 in overtime over no. 2 seed Whitesboro in its semifinal at Liverpool High School Stadium. Tags: Bishop GrimesJ-Dsoccer What happened in OT may have further marked J-D’s place as a team of destiny. Defender Will Quackenbush, who had not scored a goal in his entire varsity career, sprinted in from the right side and, from an odd angle, put one into the net for the game-winner.And now J-D, whose last sectional title took place in 2014, will return to Liverpool on Saturday at 2 p.m. to face top seed PSLA- Fowler in the sectional final after the Falcons handled Watertown 5-0 in the other semifinal. The Rams lost both of its regular-season meetings with the Falcons.Later on Tuesday night, it was the no. 2 seed J-D girls in its Class A sectional semifinal against no. 3 seed New Hartford at Chittenango High School, a game that had its own tension before the Red Rams were able to oust the Spartans 1-0.This, more than any other game this season, proved a tribute to J-D’s defense, which had a lead to protect when Megan Baker scored in the 25th minute to put the Rams out in front.The back line of Ava Brazie, Grace Bridge and Denise Yaeger had to withstand a series of New Hartford pushes as the Spartans controlled possession for most of the night, especially in the second half.New Hartford continually put pressure on J-D goalkeeper Katie Cappelletti, but the senior stepped up in a big way, stopping all 13 Spartans shots she faced.So on Friday night at 5 p.m at SUNY-Cortland., J-D will face top seed Central Square (who beat Cortland 3-0 in the other semifinal)  to try to earn its 11th consecutive sectional title – and to try and avenge a 3-2 overtime defeat to the Redhawks late in September.A night later, the only other local boys soccer team still in the sectional playoffs moved one step closer to a championship when Bishop Grimes defeated Bishop Ludden 3-0 in the sectional Class C semifinals at Vernon-Verona-Sherrill’s Sheveron Field.Plenty of emotions were stirring as this game got underway. Part of it was the long-time rivalry between Grimes and Ludden, who had each won two early-round sectional games – the Cobras over Otselic Valley and Thousand Islands, the Gaelic Knights over LaFayette and Waterville.A lot of it, though, stemmed from the fact that Ludden’s long-time head coach, Oscar Vergara, was retiring at season’s end, having coached more than 40 years in Central New York and earning all kinds of respect and accolades for his leadership and character.Having split two regular-season meetings, Grimes, the no. 2 seed, and Ludden, the no. 3 seed, battled through a scoreless first half, each side probing and waiting for the other to crack.Then, after intermission, the Cobras’ star trio of Byam Mugushu, Deng Mawien and Jack Gutchess took over, each of them putting shots in the net as Mawien also earned an assist. Earning the shutout, goalie Matt Tarby recorded six saves.On Tuesday night, Grimes will face top seed and defending champion South Lewis in the sectional Class C final, also at VVS, after the Falcons survived penalty kicks to beat Westoremland/Oriskany in the other semifinal. Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditComment on this Story last_img read more

Badgers’ new depth yields offensive dividends

first_imgLaura Hill / The Badger HeraldLast year, the Wisconsin women’s soccer team displayed an offensive attack that was stagnant at best. UW ended up in the bottom half of the Big Ten in most offensive categories, including ninth in goals scored and shots per game. The Badgers’ offensive woes were due mostly to a lack of personnel with the ability to contribute offensively.This year, with newfound depth at the offensive positions, the Badgers are taking an aggressive approach to their offensive attack.Through the first three games of their non-conference schedule, the Badgers are dominating their opponents on the offensive side of the ball, averaging more than three goals a game after averaging just over a goal in each game a season ago.Head coach Paula Wilkins couldn’t be happier with the way the offense has been playing so far this season, attributing the success to a strong chemistry between the forwards and midfielders.“I think [the offensive success] is from the work rate of the midfield and the forwards,” Wilkins said. “It’s their willingness to attack and their willingness to get forward and their willingness to be unselfish for each other. It’s fantastic.”Redshirt sophomore Kodee Williams has been an integral piece in UW’s offensive success so far, scoring two goals and pitching in with two assists through three games. Williams, who missed all of last season due to injury and began the season coming off the bench, is delighted with the way she and her teammates have played thus far.“[The way I have started the season] feels great,” Williams said. “I think our team mindset this year has been really good and that’s made it really easy for me to come back. I had a bit of a rough spring, but I’ve been feeling great this season and the whole team has been playing well, and that makes it easy on the forwards to score goals.”The return of Williams and the addition of seven freshmen who play either midfield or forward have given the Badgers offensive depth that hasn’t been seen in years past. This gives Badgers several scoring threats to rely on, as seven players have scored at least one goal already this season.Sophomore forward Cara Walls, who was the team’s leading scorer last year and earned a spot on the All Big-Ten freshman team, welcomes the extra help putting up points this year.“There are more people who can get forward and contribute this year,” Walls said. “Last year it was kind of just me and another senior, Laurie (Nosbusch), who were kind of just always stranded forward. This year we have a lot of good girls who can get forward and score goals.”Along with depth, Wisconsin has been taking an aggressive approach on the offensive side of the field. UW is averaging 17.3 shots a game through its three games – considerably higher than the 13.3 shots a game it averaged last season – and has already amassed 17 corners compared to its opponents’ eight.“[The offense] has been aggressive,” Wilkins said. “We’ve gotten more numbers in the box then we’ve ever had; we’re committing people forward. We really want to space people out so we are willing to give up some stuff on transition just because we want to spread people out and be dynamic.”“We really combine well with one another. I don’t know if we have an out-and-out “take-on player” but it’s more of a group effort, and I think the scoring has been spread out and I think that’s a great thing for the team.”Wisconsin’s new assertiveness on the offensive approach has so far produced two wins in which the team has scored more than three goals. In contrast, the Badgers had only one game in which they scored more than three goals all of last season.The offense has been getting some help from the defensive players as well. Senior defenseman Lindsey Johnson has aided the Badgers’ offense by stacking up three assists in three games after garnering four assists all of last year.Johnson fit right in with the aggressive mindset of the offense, saying that she will do whatever she can to aid Wisconsin’s attack – one that looks intimidating through their first five games.“I have an offensive mindset for sure,” Johnson said. “I’d rather be up front than in the back, so I try to get it to forwards and I try to get up the field as much as possible to have as many people as possible on the attack.”last_img read more

Syracuse opponent preview: What to know about Pittsburgh

first_img Published on October 3, 2018 at 10:21 pm Contact Andrew: | @A_E_Graham Defensively, the Panthers don’t fare much better, allowing 32 points per contest. That’s 97th in the country. Pitt, on average, gives up 430.6 yards a game — 200.8 on the ground. Syracuse averages 480.8 on offense. The Panthers also struggle to turn opponents over, generating just 1.4 a game.How Syracuse beats Pitt: Contain the run. Syracuse struggled mightily to tackle Clemson running back Travis Etienne a week ago, and the sophomore had a career day — 27 carries for 203 yards and three touchdowns. Pitt looks primarily to run the ball, and if Syracuse’s linebackers struggle as much as they did a week ago, the Panthers will make the Orange pay.Conversely, SU needs to get back to running the football itself. Against the best defensive front it will play all season, a Syracuse rushing attack that averaged 200-plus yards a game got bottled up for 61. Dungey, Moe Neal and the rest of the offense need to move the ball consistently against a poor Pitt run defense.Player to watch: Kenny Pickett, quarterback, No. 8Pickett was sluggish in the Panthers 51-6 beatdown at the hand of Penn State, going 9-for-18 for 55 yards and an interception. But when the Panthers scored 35 on the road in a loss to North Carolina, Pickett went 19-for-33 for 174 yards and two touchdowns. If Pickett has a good day, Pitt’s offense suddenly gets another dimension. Comments Syracuse (4-1, 1-1 Atlantic Coast) travels to Pittsburgh (2-3, 1-1) to play the Panthers on Saturday at 12:20 p.m. at Heinz Field. The Orange is coming off its first loss of the season, a 27-23 heartbreaker at No. 3 Clemson. Pitt most recently took a 45-14 beatdown on the road at the hands of No. 13 Central Florida.The game will air on ACC Network Extra. Here’s what to know about the Panthers.All-time series: Pitt leads, 38-32-3.Last time they played: Syracuse slipped past Pitt, 27-24, in the Carrier Dome last season. In a game in which Steve Ishmael and Ervin Philips were quiet, Eric Dungey and Ravian Pierce teamed up to the tune of nine catches for 99 for the latter, while the former totaled 365 passing yards and two touchdowns. The Panthers punched it in on the ground twice, but the Orange ran for 135 yards and a score of its own.The Pittsburgh report: The Panthers keep the ball on the ground, favoring handoffs to running backs Qadree Ollison and Darrin Hall over Kenny Pickett passes. Pickett, the Pitt signal caller, beat out USC transfer Ricky Town for the starting job but has yet to eclipse 200 yards passing and has thrown an interception in all but one game. Entering the weekend, Pitt, as a team, is 114th in the country in passing attempts with 24.6 a game — Syracuse averages 33.4.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIn lieu of an aerial attack, the Panthers rely on the experienced duo of Ollison and Hall. Ollison, a 6-foot-2, 225-pound bruiser, takes the bulk of the handoffs, receiving 68 to Hall’s 31. Ollison averages 5.9 yards a carry. Hall is a little more explosive, taking his carries for 6.7 yards. The two have combined for six touchdowns.And therein lies Pitt’s biggest issue: scoring. The Panthers already struggled to move the ball — 113th in yards per game — and then struggle to find the endzone even when they do. The Panthers have nine total touchdowns in five games. Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Two first round qualifiers in the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Championship

first_imgAt the same time at Dunleer, it’s Armagh against Leinster finalists Westmeath – with Munster champions Kerry awaiting the winners in the quarter-finals.If Armagh were to lose, they’d be in danger of relegation to Intermediate for 2018. Photo © Ladies Football Facebook There’s two first round qualifiers in the T-G-4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Championship this afternoon.Beaten Munster finalists Waterford take on a Cavan side that easily accounted for Laois last weekend.Throw-in at Clane is at 2pm.last_img

186 employees of Columbus Junction pork plant test positive for COVID-19 — one new case reported in Cerro Gordo County

first_imgJOHNSTON — Governor Kim Reynolds says the full extent of the COVID-19 outbreak among employees at the Tyson meatpacking plant in Columbus Junction isn’t yet known, but she’s releasing the latest tally.“We have tested a total of 186 positives at the plant,” she said over the noon hour today.Test results processed between Sunday and Monday alone indicated 86 workers have the virus. Reynolds said another 100 positive test results are from last week in Louisa and surrounding counties.“We’ll be able to tell the numbers that tested positive that’s tied to the plant and they’re working on doing that through the contact tracing,” Reynolds said, “so we’ll have those numbers going forward.” The plant processes pork and was closed April 6th after the first batches of test results show more than two dozen employees had COVID-19.“Public Health has been working with management at the plant to test their staff,” Reynolds said.The governor yesterday indicated state officials have secured extra testing supplies for the plant, which employs about 1,4oo people.=== Today’s report from the Iowa Department of Public Health says there were 189 new cases of COVID-19 for a total of 1899 statewide. Six new deaths were reported for a total of 49. One new case of COVID-19 in our listening area appeared on today’s report, a case from Cerro Gordo County.last_img read more