Zidane feels ‘lucky’ to be back in Champions League final

first_imgMADRID (AP):Zinedine Zidane couldn’t have asked for much more after only five months as Real Madrid’s head coach. The former France great has a chance to end the season celebrating the Champions League title, just like he did 14 years ago as a player for the Spanish powerhouse.Victory tomorrow against Atletico Madrid would cap a superb start to Zidane’s head-coaching career, joining Miguel Munoz, Giovanni Trapattoni, Johan Cruyff, Carlo Ancelotti, Frank Rijkaard and Pep Guardiola as the only men to have won the European tournament both as a coach and a player.Zidane would also become one of the few coaches to win European football’s most important club competition in his first job as a head coach, along with seven other men, including Guus Hiddink, Vicente del Bosque and Guardiola.Zidane scored with a remarkable left-foot volley on the edge of the area to give Madrid their ninth title in the 2002 final against Bayer Leverkusen. He also won the tournament as an assistant coach to Ancelotti two years ago against Atletico.”I’m lucky to be here and share these moments with the players and fans. I’m very happy,” the 43-year-old Zidane said. “I’m thinking about how lucky I am to be in a final with this great club.”Zidane led Madrid to the final in Milan after taking over a club in crisis under coach Rafa Benitez. After an up-and-down start, he put the team back on track and it finished the season by winning 15 of its last 17 matches. The setbacks were a 2-0 loss to Wolfsburg in the first leg of the Champions League quarter finals and a 0-0 draw against Manchester City in the first leg of the tournament’s semi-finals.Madrid won their last 12 Spanish league matches to finish only one point behind champions Barcelona.”After he arrived, everybody could see that the team improved,” Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos said. “We didn’t have a good first half of the season but we improved a lot with him.”A loss tomorrow would leave Madrid without a title this season, although Zidane’s first spell as head coach would not likely be defined by that.”Failure would be if we didn’t give everything,” said Zidane, who was coaching Madrid’s “B” team in the third division before replacing Benitez in January. “We know that in a final the most important thing is to prepare well and anything can happen. We must prepare as always and see what happens on Saturday.”As a player, Zidane was used to the big stage after leading France to the World Cup title in 1998 and the European Championship title in 2000. He was named the world’s best player of the year three times.”There’s always pressure at Real Madrid,” he said. “It’s part of the job and I like it. I was a player and I also had pressure. I like it. I’ve got a lot to learn but the desire I’ve got to learn is tremendous. I’m going to improve, obviously, but there’s still a long way to go until I’m an important coach.”last_img read more

Rowley says clique has ‘hijacked’ WI cricket

first_imgPORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has accused a small leadership clique of “hijacking” West Indies cricket and argues that unless fundamental changes are made in the area of governance, the region will continue to languish behind the rest of the cricketing world. The outspoken regional leader, who in the past has been critical of the West Indies Cricket Board’s management of the sport, said the issue of ownership also remained a critical issue in the resolution of the crisis facing the game in the Caribbean. “Caribbean cricket has been hijacked by a small clique of people who are hell bent on destroying Caribbean cricket and my position [is], unless the question is answered as to who owns that asset, we’re spinning top in mud,” Rowley told morning television show in his home country. “In Pakistan and in Australia that question has been answered and new arrangements were put in place and they rebuilt their team under new arrangements. “We’re being told in the West Indies – and I was told to my face along with my colleague the Prime Minister of Grenada [Dr Keith Mitchell] that you (CARICOM) have no say in this. This is West Indies Cricket Inc. and it is their shareholders they have to please.” He added: “I don’t know who the shareholders are but what I do know, is that unless there are drastic changes to the current arrangements, West Indies cricket will never get back where we expect it to be.” West Indies cricket has been in the doldrums for nearly two decades now, plagued by poor results on the field and player tensions with the WICB, and occasionally player strikes. The Test team currently sits in the nether regions of the international rankings at number eight while the one-day team is ninth, behind sides like Bangladesh and Pakistan. That lowly rank caused them to miss out on qualification for this year’s Champions Trophy and unless they can creep into the top seven in the world by September 30, they will also miss out on automatic qualification for the 2019 World Cup. With the game immersed in conflict, a Governance Review Panel chaired by UWI Cave Hill principal, Professor Eudine Barriteau and commissioned by regional nation grouping, CARICOM, recommended the “immediate dissolution” of the WICB in a 2015 report, arguing the body’s governance structure was “obsolete” and “anachronistic”. The report called for the “appointment of an interim board whose structure and composition will be radically different from the now proven, obsolete governance framework.” However, the WICB was quick to reject the report, labelling the proposal as an “unnecessary and intrusive demand. Since then, CARICOM and the WICB have remained at odds over the way forward. Rowley pointed out that the decline of Caribbean cricket was underscored by the state of first class cricket, which has ceased to be attractive to the public.last_img read more

IBEX, Obasanjo Farms Partner to Revamp Poultry Industry

first_imgThe poultry industry was among many flourishing enterprises in pre-war Liberia, but the sector became dormant as the result of Liberia’s successive devastating civil wars. With the commissioning of Obasanjo Farms Liberia (OFL)’s 95,050 egg-capacity hatcheries last May in Grand Cape Mount County,  there are prospects to revamp the poultry industry of Liberia. OFL and USAID-funded Liberia Investing for Business Expansion Program (IBEX) are collaborating to support poultry farmers by providing them financial services, technical assistance and capacity building. The General Manager of Obasanjo Farm, Adeyemo G. Jamiyu, who spoke at the commissioning ceremony of the two entities, said the mandate of the farm is to promote and support the revival of the poultry industry in Liberia. “The essence of this Farm is not limited to direct employment for Liberians, but also to stimulate self-employment, particularly in the poultry sector,” Mr. Jamiyu alluded.Mr. Jamiyu further disclosed to that the OFL will provide necessary support to farmers who are engaged into poultry farming and give them capacity building that would enable farmers to produce and manage their farms.According to him, facilities have been put in place; training and extension services will shortly be provided for them.“Considering the need for financing poultry farmers,” he said, we are here to create good understanding with IBEX to have training for poultry farmers on ways of accessing loans and understanding the requirements of financial institutions.”Also speaking, USAID-IBEX Chief of Party, Mrs. Watchen Harris Bruce, said IBEX staffs are ‘financial doctors’ who diagnose SMEs’ problems and challenges and help them find solutions in order to expand, make profit and grow.“We train, coach, mentor, handhold and advise SMEs on business planning and management, cash-flows, financial statements and projections, basic record keeping and creation of awareness of  financing opportunities”,  Mrs. Bruce added.IBEX is currently working with SMEs in seven operating sectors.  are: Agribusiness, Clean Energy, Construction, These are Infrastructure, Transportation/Logistics, General Merchandize Trade and Hospitality.She noted that IBEX-OFL collaboration is critical for the revitalization process of poultry industry, which will make a positive impact on the crop sector of agriculture.In addition, Madam Bruce said partnership will have a multiplier effect on the country’s economy and boost Gross Domestic Product (GDP).   At the event 15 pre-screening in-take questionnaire forms were completed and returned by interested individuals who want to benefit from the IBEX program, including farmers of the Deaf Agricultural Development Farm Project.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

West Point Shooting Investigation Report Now Before the President

first_imgThe Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Lewis G. Brown,  has disclosed that the Board of Inquiry set up to investigate the death of little Shaki Kamara has finally submitted the report to the President through the Minister of National Defense, Brownie Samukai.Speaking at the Ministry’s weekly press briefing yesterday on Capitol Hill in Monrovia, Minister Brown said the report contained appropriate recommendations and facts relating to the death of Shaki Kamara during the West Point’s riot with state security.According to the government spokesman, the President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will consider all the recommendations and facts of the report and have it published.“We are convinced that all the recommendations and facts are available in the report of Shaki Kamara’s death, submitted by the Board of Inquiry, who have properly handled the process with care and concerned.”The President, Minister Brown said, has promised keenly to review the report, especially the recommendations and facts provided by the Board of Inquiry.“We want to assure the public that in the shortest  possible time the report of late Shaki Kamara will be released, including the cause of his death and the recommendations made by the Board,” Minister Brown said.He explained that, the report was made available to the President through the office of the Defense Minister, who is also member of the Board of Inquiry on the death of young Kamara, which occurred on August 20, 2014.According to Mr. Browne,  the report contained the facts, which led to the shooting incident in West Point on August 20 by state security, and established all the possible recommendations.Meanwhile, Minister Brown has disclosed that at the end of September,  the Liberia National Police (LNP) and the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN)  will replace the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) at all borders and checkpoints.He explained that, “The Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) will complete its  withdrawal by the 30th of September from all the checkpoints.  They will be replaced at the border points by BIN officers and other places by our LNP officers.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Champions League ‘dream’ awaits Monaco coach Henry

first_img0Shares0000Monaco coach Thierry Henry hopes a trip to Belgium can spark a resurgence in the club’s fortunes © BELGA/AFP / BRUNO FAHYBRUGES, Belgium, Oct 24 – Newly-appointed Monaco coach Thierry Henry has no intention of sulking over the Ligue 1 side’s poor domestic form as he seeks a “dream” Champions League date with Club Brugge Wednesday.Former Arsenal and France star Henry kicked off his fledgling coaching career with a 2-1 away defeat to Strasbourg at the weekend, a result that left the struggling Principality side second from bottom of the French league table. Monaco fans will be hoping it won’t be more of the same on Wednesday, when they face the Belgians away looking to claim their first points of the group stages.Henry, a Champions League winner with Barcelona in 2009, believes it could be just the tonic to get Monaco, beaten finalists in 2004, back on track.“People might ask if this match is coming at the right time for me, given our position in the table,” Henry said in Bruges on Tuesday.“But they say the same about the teams leading the table, they say the Champions League can’t be won by teams fighting for the (domestic) title.“I don’t see it like that. The Champions League is a dream. You want to play in it, you want to be part of it and it might just be what we need to give us back some confidence.”After succeeding Leonardo Jardim at the Monaco helm, in just one week Henry has “introduced a degree of tactical flexibility” into Monaco’s game, said midfielder Youri Tielemans, who knows Henry well from his previous role as an assistant to Roberto Martinez in the Belgium set-up.Henry expects a tough game at the Jan Breydelstadion against a team with “quality” players who “know how to fight till the end”.But the 41-year-old Frenchman has insisted on instilling a degree of optimism and is adopting a philosophical approach as he looks for the performance that will help Monaco believe again.“We’re not in a situation where we can laugh about things, but we have to combine respect, humility, hard work and joy,” said Henry.“It’s always easier to work when there’s joy.”Henry’s first game in charge as coach was marked by a 17th-minute opener for Strasbourg and a sending-off which left Monaco, now 24 points adrift of leaders Paris Saint-Germain, fighting for the scraps.But the World Cup winner insists his Champions League debut as coach cannot come quick enough.“It’s good for us to have this match right after Strasbourg, so we can try and regain some confidence and not think too much about certain things.“We’re looking for a win or a really good performance as quickly as possible.”0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more


first_imgSINGER Brian McFadden has admitted he has fallen in love with Fade Street star Vogue Williams.The couple arrived in Australia together at the weekend, sparking chat that they are now officially an item.And it’s all thanks to the night they spent last month at the Station House Hotel in Letterkenny! At least that’s what Brian has been telling his friends.One close pal in Donegal told us today: “They’re definitely an item.“Brian met Vogue at a nightclub in the town where she was working as a DJ, but it was only in a quiet corner of the hotel afterwards that they started chatting properly.“Brian’s telling everyone he’s in love – and if it wasn’t for those romantic moments at the Station House, it wouldn’t have happened!” Rumours have surrounded McFadden and Williams since they met in April in a club where Williams was performing a DJ set.The DJ, turned model, turned reality TV star, recently changed her status to single on Facebook following her split with graffiti artist Maser.McFadden also split from his long term fiancee Delta Goodrem. She was photographed last week in LA with rumoured new boyfriend Nick Jonas.IT’S OFFICIAL: ‘WE FELL IN LOVE AT LETTERKENNY HOTEL’ – SAYS McFADDEN was last modified: May 31st, 2011 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Brian McFaddenstation house hotel letterkennyVogue Williamslast_img read more

Women’s Basketball Opens MVC Play Friday Against Valparaiso

first_imgDrake (5-7), the preseason league favorite, begins MVC action against Valparaiso (7-4) after playing one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the nation as ranked by the NCAA at No. 27. Friday night, the Bulldogs will try to snap a three-game losing streak and avoid a four-game losing skid, which hasn’t happened for the program since the 2013-14 campaign. The Valley on ESPN3 Buy Tickets Valpo Game Notes Drake will look to bring the momentum it had against No. 25/25 Iowa in its non-conference finale when the Bulldogs outscored the Hawkeyes, 39-33, in the final two quarters of a 79-66 defeat. Sophomore guard Becca Hittner (Urbandale, Iowa) helped lead the rally attempt versus Iowa with 21 of her career-high 27 points coming in the final two periods. Friday night will feature the two top scoring teams in the MVC in Drake (82.9) and Valparaiso (71.8), which joined the Valley in July, 2017 from the Horizon League after the departure of Wichita State to the American Athletic Conference. The Crusaders are led in scoring by Cedar Rapids native and senior Dani Franklin, who averages a league-best 18.0 points per game. The Bulldogs counter with redshirt sophomore Sara Rhine (Eldon, Mo.), who ranks third at 16.6 and Hittner, who is fifth at 15.3. Live Audio Story Links DES MOINES, Iowa – The Drake University women’s basketball team opens the Missouri Valley Conference season Friday night at the Knapp Center against league newcomer Valparaiso. Tipoff with the Crusaders is set for 7 p.m. and the MVC opener for both teams will be broadcast on The Valley on ESPN3. Live Stats Following Friday’s game, the Bulldogs will host a New Years Eve contest against Loyola on Sunday. Tipoff with the Ramblers is scheduled for 2 p.m. Print Friendly Version Drake Game Notes The two teams have played just twice before with Drake owning a 2-0 advantage. The last meeting played in Nov., 1995 resulted in a forfeit victory rewarded to Drake after Valparaiso was later found to have used an ineligible player.last_img read more

Prep Football: St. Bernard’s, Del Norte go for league perfection

first_imgThe final week of the 2016 regular season may not offer any league titles at stake as was the case seven days earlier, but perfection for one, as well as the final chance to make its case for the highest possible seed in the North Coast Section playoffs, which will see its brackets released on Sunday.For league champions Del Norte and St. Bernard’s both of those are true.The Crusaders and Warriors can not only finish the regular season on lengthy winning streaks today, but also wrap up …last_img read more

Congress workers sell tomatoes for subsidised rate outside UP Assembly

first_imgPricey tomatoes spurred a fresh round of protests by Congress workers on Friday, who parked a cart full of tomatoes in front of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly and sold the kitchen staple at Rs 10 per kg.The party had earlier come up with a “State Bank of Tomato” that is being operated from the Youth Congress office here.Tomato prices have hovered around Rs 100 per kg in major cities with supplies being disrupted due to heavy rains.Congress workers led by state secretary Shailendra Tiwari stood in front of the Assembly with a cart full of tomatoes with a banner “Tamatar ke aaye acche din” (good days have come for tomatoes) and sold it at Rs 10 per kg per person.“This is our way to protest the soaring tomato price.We are selling it to common man to show our concern for them.It’s ironical that the government has not taken any initiative to open subsidised counters for selling tomatoes or to check its price,” Mr. Tiwari said.The ‘tomato bank’ has some interesting schemes to offer like providing the commodity on easy loan as also a locker facility, 80 per cent loans on tomatoes and attractive interest rates for depositing tomatoes, especially for the poor.The idea behind the bank is to lodge protest and to create awareness among the people about the commodity being sold at such high rates.Prices of tomato have shot up about four times since the beginning of June when tomatoes were being sold at about Rs 25 per kg in the Delhi-National Capital Region market.Industry body Assocham had said recently that “Tomato prices may not immediately ease as flooding in some of the growing states has led to damage to the crop.” Unlike onion and potato, the shelf life of tomato is very short and it needs cold chains and modern warehouses for storage and transportation, it said.Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Odisha are the major tomato growing States.The country produces around 18 million tonnes of tomatoes.last_img read more

Aussie TV reporter claims bringing explosives into CWG venue

first_imgAn Australian TV channel has claimed that its crew got past security personnel and entered the Commonwealth Games village with crude explosives bought in New Delhi a few days ago, raising questions over safety at the event venues.Channel 7 journalist Mike Duffy claimed that he walked into one of the Games venues with a case of explosive which could have triggered explosions if fitted with a detonator.The video footage put up in a website called 3news.co.nz showed Duffy secretly filming the purchase of the case from the boot of a car in New Delhi.The video also showed how Duffy was even given a demonstration by the vendors.”If I need to blow up this car, all I need further is a detonator and explosive,” the vendor told Duffy in the video.Duffy claimed that he was easily able to buy the items, including ammonium nitrate and explosives used for mining, in New Delhi, which is scheduled to host the Commonwealth Games from October 3 to 14.”We found that without too much trouble one can purchase these explosives and equipment on the streets of New Delhi. At the mining areas, they sell it almost alongside groceries,” he said in the news footage in the website.On Sunday, two Taiwanese nationals were injured when two motor-cycle borne attackers fired at a bus carrying foreign tourists outside Jama Masjid, raising fresh concerns about security in the wake of the Delhi Games.last_img read more