By Brian HomewoodAC Milan’s first competitive match of the season could also be one of their most important when they visit PSV Eindhoven for the first leg of their Champions League playoff on Tuesday.The seven-times European champions have missed out on the group stage only once in the last 11 seasons and failure to qualify this term could quickly turn the heat back on coach Massimiliano Allegri, who clung on to his job during the summer.Arsenal, aiming to reach the group stage for the 16th season in a row, visit Fenerbahce in another of the 10 ties while Huub Stevens returns to his old club as he leads PAOK Salonica against Schalke 04 and Olympique Lyonnais host Real Sociedad in a France-Spain contest.PAOK are one of five clubs, alongside Ludgorets Razgrad, Shakhter Karagandy, Pacos de Ferreira and Austria Vienna, who are attempting to reach the group stage for the first time.If Shakhter overcome former European champions Celtic, they would also become the first team from Kazakhstan to reach the group stage since the Central Asian nation joined UEFA from the Asian Football Confederation in 2002.Dutch clubs are no longer the force they were in European competition but even so, Milan, third in Serie A last season, will not be relishing their trip to 1988 champions PSV, who have already played five games this season and won them all.“It will be tough for Milan because PSV are a young team, who run a lot and want to play on the attack,” former Netherlands midfielder Mark van Bommel, who played for both clubs during his bruising career, told Milan’s website (www.acmilan.com).“PSV are very good at going forward but they have a very young defence. It will be a very interesting match because who knows what can happen.”PSV have sold several key players from last season but have been boosted by the emergence of 17-year-old Belgian Zakaria Bakkali, who became the youngest player to score a hat-trick in the Eredivisie in this month’s 5-0 win over NEC Nijmegen.MATCH-FIXING CASEArsenal travel to Istanbul for Wednesday’s match with their confidence dented and questions over manager Arsene Wenger’s transfer policy after a 3-1 home defeat by Aston Villa in the Premier League on Saturday.Fenerbahce are surrounded by uncertainty after they were handed a two-year European ban in June over a domestic match-fixing scandal in 2011 but were reinstated pending an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).CAS are due to announce the result before Aug. 28, the day after the second leg.Ukraine’s Metalist Kharkiv, meanwhile, were expelled last week by UEFA in connection with a domestic match-fixing case dating back to 2008 and replaced by Greek runners-up PAOK, who visit Schalke on Wednesday.Unlike with Fenerbahce, CAS refused to grant Metalist a temporary reprieve after they also appealed.PAOK coach Stevens had two stints in charge of the Gelsenkirchen-based club, the most recent ending only eight months ago when he was fired.Celtic, champions in 1967, set off immediately after Saturday’s Scottish league match at Aberdeen for a 5,500-km (3417 miles) journey which took them across five time zones for Tuesday’s game against Shakhter.Tuesday’s match will be played in Astana, around 400 km from Shakter’s own stadium which did not meet UEFA requirements for European competition.Real Sociedad’s match at Olympique on Tuesday will be their first in Europe since the 2003/04 season and coincidentally will be against the same opponents.Olympique, meanwhile, are looking to return to the Champions League group stage after their run of 12 successive participations ended last season.In other ties, Pacos de Ferreira, who had never finished higher than sixth in the Portuguese league before last season’s impressive third place, host Zenit St Petersburg on Tuesday, hoping the Russians fail to notch a first-ever win in Portugal.Former European Cup semi-finalists Austria Vienna, aiming to become the first team from their country to qualify for seven years, visit Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb on Wednesday.Steaua Bucharest, champions in 1986, host Legia Warsaw the same evening when Bulgarian champions Ludgorets Razgrad entertain Switzerland’s FC Basel.
By Mitch PhillipsSouth Africa held off a fierce England fightback to triumph 31-28 in a thunderous test at Twickenham on Saturday to make it five defeats in a row for Stuart Lancaster’s side 10 months before they host the World Cup.Two tries put South Africa 20-6 ahead a minute into the second half and though England scored two quickfire rolling maul tries to get level, Schalk Burger got the key third Springbok score and the boot of flyhalf Pat Lambie brought them home.The victory made it 11 wins and a draw for the Boks against England, dating back to 2006, and was a hugely satisfying one following their defeat by Ireland last weekend.The frustration for England was that, just as a week ago against the All Blacks, they dominated the early stages but this time failed to turn possession into points and found themselves 10-0 down after 15 minutes after Jan Serfontein intercepted a Danny Care pass.When England did fashion an opening, poor handling or bad decision-making let them down, encapsulated when massive lock Dave Attwood ignored a two-man overlap and backed himself to get to the line, only to blow the chance.England had the best of possession and territory in the first half but were generally too lateral in their attacks and only two Owen Farrell penalties kept them in touch at 13-6 down.That gap became 14 points 38 seconds after the restart when Lambie chipped a perfectly weighted kick into the arms of Willie le Roux which the fullback gathered without breaking stride before slipping a lovely offload for Cobus Reinach to complete a wonderful score.England needed to hit back immediately and did so emphatically in the way they know best.A monster maul that South Africa, deprived of sin-binned lock Victor Matfield, were powerless to stop, sent prop David Wilson over and minutes later virtually the entire England team combined for another irresistible 40-metre charge that ended with Ben Morgan making it 20-20.South Africa showed, however, that they too could score through the forwards when, still with 14 men, they rolled over the corner for Burger to score and Lambie took his side 10 points clear with a penalty and a drop goal.Centre Brad Barritt scored England’s third try in the last minute but, just as last week, it came too late and merely made the margin of defeat look more respectable.
This Surfing Association PNG-World Surf League (WSL) surf tour championship will be held at Tupira in Madang Province.About 60 athletes are expected to take part in this world event plus 20 WSL staff and the local and international media.SAPNG president Andrew Abel says that this planned event will have very strong international promotion.The event will be a live broadcast to the world plus being an international program to distribute globally with focus on SAPNG policies.It will also include initiatives on empowering women with equal rights and opportunities.Abel added that the event will also address violence against women with participation from world champion female surfers who strongly advocate support of SAPNG initiatives.“This event will deliver massive global promotion and will be great for the tourism marketing perspective for SAPNG as we move towards greater focus on product development in growing our tourism sector,” said Abel.SAPNG will work in partnership with the PNG Tourism Promotion Authority, Office Tourism Arts and Culture (OTAC) and the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture.
Finance currently leads the points table in the premiere division followed by works and NHC.Most games were forfeited last Saturday and slow starts after the festive season break but the public servants match committee are adamant to get matches into full swing tomorrow at the Rita Flynn netball courts.In the premiere division at 1pm, NFA is drawn against NBC after last week’s double forfeit between NBC and NHC.NHC have a big task ahead of them as they face leaders of the competition, Finance. Finance has been in good form since the beginning of the 2017/2018 season.PNG Sports Foundation will face second-placed Works, who will be out to record another win in their quest to take out the top spot this season.In the meantime, division six will see Transport and Community Development team 2 play an extra game at 1.30pm on court three.The public servants netball competition has four more weekends before the competition reaches the business end of things.(File pic)
Representing the Tupapa Maraerenga Football side from his father’s side in the Cook Islands, Strickland is geared up and cannot wait to help his team achieve their target in the tournament.“I am very proud to be back here where we last visited for a holiday back in 2001. But now it’s different and I am very happy to represent my team in a sport I love playing.”“I know the support will also be there, which I am always grateful off,” he said.The 31 year old will be lining up against Solomon Warriors in Group D of the 2019 OFC Champions League in Honiara, Solomon Islands.
…or opaque in oil?Call your Eyewitness jaded, but he’s not impressed by this application of a “Multi Stakeholder Group (MSG) for Guyana to obtain membership in the “Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative” (EITI). The latter body, “overseeing” the “transparency” and good governance of extractive operations in some 52 countries engaged in oil, gas and mineral resources, is supposed to be a stamp of approval over our Government’s handling of our incipient oil industry.But no matter how vigilant the EITI is — and that’s a matter for debate — aren’t we locking the stable door after the (oil) horse has bolted? After all, according to our trusty Wiki source, “The EITI Standard requires information along the extractive industry value chain FROM the point of extraction to how the revenue makes its way through the Government, to how it contributes to the economy.”But in our case, all of Guyana – including key supporters of the Government – have been demanding the details of the contract, since that would determine exactly what we’re supposed to get “FROM the point of extraction”. How exactly did Trotman get to DOUBLE the rate of royalties from 1% to the underwhelmingly 2%?? He can’t have it both ways: saying on one hand that the PPP contract negotiated back in 1999 is cast in stone, yet, on the other hand, a key clause could be changed!Point of the matter is: the original 1999 Contract was time-bound, and was due for renewal by 2015 — just when the new Government COINCIDENTALLY acceded to office.The contract could’ve been renegotiated at that time – and WAS! All that talk of Guyana getting “bad name” for not accepting the sanctity of contracts is nonsense. Just as with the GTT contract — signed in 1990 and expired in 2010 — which can be renegotiated, as the Government’s doing right now. No bad name!!Your Eyewitness has a problem with the MSG, which will represent Guyana at the EITI, accepting the contract shouldn’t be shown to the Guyanese people. Whose interests are they really representing? The legislation says the MSG “shall be comprised of 4 Government Representatives; 4 Business Group Representatives; and 4 Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) Representatives.”We can understand the Government and business reps going along (businesses, after all, have to be “pragmatic”!) but the CSOs?? Shouldn’t they have dug their heels in and demanded the contract be made public as a precondition to their giving their stamp of approval to the application to the EITI?But all is not lost. Right now Guyana is merely an “EITI Candidate”; it’ll take two-and-a-half years for Validation.The people can speak in 2020!!…on new BridgeIf the Government hasn’t begun its campaign for 2020, the AFC certainly have! After a prolonged period of somnolence, they’ve suddenly found their voice, and are pronouncing on all manner of things. Even the Cummingsburg Accord – but don’t get excited – nothing substantive!! Anyhow, their Minister of Infrastructure, Patterson, announced they’ll get going next year on the fixed-span new Demerara Harbour Bridge, which the PPP had proposed.But again, don’t get too excited. What they REALLY announced was next year they’ll launch the PROCESS of starting the bridge project. And we know how long THAT can take to get it to the end, don’t we? However, there was an interesting revelation to the effect they’ll be having prospective bidders for the project be PREQUALIFIED. Makes, sense, doesn’t it? You wouldn’t want any fella with a backhoe sending in bids, would you? This is an important and LARGE undertaking.But if PREQUALIFICATION is necessary for the bridge, why did the Government throw out prequalification for PHARMA SUPPLIES?Aren’t lives even more important than a bridge?…wishYour Eyewitness is bemused by the irony of that Marxist holdout in the PPP – Hydar Ali – fervently and ostentatiously agreeing with the British High Commissioner on the need for a change in the voting system.Aaah, how quickly we forget!!
He declined to confirm where the 20-year-old was going or how much for, but British media say Sterling will go to Manchester City in a deal worth over £49 million ($76 million, 68 million euro).“The club has agreed with another club a deal for him to be transferred. Subject to a medical that will go through,” Rodgers said.“Contrary to probably the last week or so in terms of what was written, Raheem and I have always remained very strong in our relationship and have been right up until we left. So there’s no issue there,” he added.His comments confirm the closing stages of what has become this summer’s most acrimonious transfer.Sterling’s refusal to commit to Liverpool has angered the club’s supporters, who jeered him at an end-of-season awards dinner.Rodgers’s relationship with Sterling cooled considerably when the player turned down a lucrative new contract worth £100,000 per week in January this year.Two months later, Sterling’s relationship with the Liverpool hierarchy became even more strained when, in an interview with the BBC given without the club’s approval, he confirmed he had rejected the Reds’ latest contract offer.Sterling’s agent, Aidy Ward, then added to the growing rift by saying his client would not sign a new deal with Liverpool even for “£900,000 a week”.– Fans flock to hotel –English football commands a huge following in Thailand and it is not uncommon to see entire skyscrapers in Bangkok decked in advertising featuring stars from the premier league.Despite being named in the 30-man squad for the pre-season tour, Sterling was left behind by Liverpool when the club flew out to Thailand, where his teammates will play the Thai All Stars on Tuesday night before moving on to Malaysia and Australia.Players were greeted with traditional flower garlands on arrival at a luxury hotel in downtown Bangkok as fans in the football obsessed country jostled for a glimpse of their favourite players.New signings James Milner, Danny Ings and Nathaniel Clyne are all on the trip.Rodgers said his focus was on players who have joined his squad rather than dwell on those who have chosen to leave.“At this moment in time the interest is with the players that are here. The key for us is that it is the overall team that is important,” he said.Sterling joined Liverpool from QPR’s academy in 2010 and has since scored 23 goals in 129 senior appearances for the club.He made his senior England debut in 2012, scoring one goal in 16 appearances.Liverpool finished sixth in the Premier League last season and so missed out on the Champions League, whereas runners-up City have qualified for European football’s elite club competition.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Raheem Sterling. PHOTO/FileBANGKOK, July 13- Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers confirmed Monday his team plans to sell Raheem Sterling to a rival club as he played down reports of an acrimonious rift over the restless England forward.Speaking in Bangkok where Liverpool have begun a pre-season overseas tour, the Northern Irish manager confirmed Sterling would leave, subject to passing medical tests.
Environmental group SkeenaWild and two First Nations groups had filed a lawsuit last October, claiming the Canadian government’s environmental assessment was invalid and that the project would have significant and adverse environmental effects.SkeenaWild’s executive director Greg Knox told Reuters in a phone interview, “The reason we are doing that is that we are concerned they could come back at a later date and build there, or that they could try to sell their permit to another company that wants the facility.”Story courtesy Reuters: https://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKBN1AO0HW-OCATP KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA — Several environmental and aboriginal groups still want to go ahead with a lawsuit that aims to annul an environmental permit granted for the proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG terminal, despite main backer Petronas announcing last month that it was scrapping the project.A representative for the groups filing suit against the Canadian government told Reuters that they want the permit granted by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency overturned so that the C$36 billion plan for an LNG export facility on Lelu Island can’t be resurrected by Petronas or any other operator in the future.Petronas, which has a 62 percent stake in Pacific NorthWest LNG, declined to comment on the lawsuit.- Advertisement -The company said last month that it was pulling out of the project because of persistently low natural gas prices. It had received the environmental permit after a three-year wait but with 190 conditions that aimed to limit the environmental impact of the project.Still, minority stakeholder Indian Oil Corp Ltd, which owns a 10 percent stake in the project, said last week that the consortium was scouting for a new, cheaper location for the export terminal.Petronas declined to comment on whether it was involved in a search for a new location, but said it continues to look at opportunities to monetize its Montney Basin gas resources in the Peace Region.Advertisement
Future Chelsea games might have to come with a health warning for their supporters!Blues fans were put through the wringer on Saturday afternoon as their side claimed a nerve-shattering victory over Watford to record their first win in four games.The hosts took the lead at Stamford Bridge through a spectacular curling goal from Pedro, but Marco Silva’s invigorated Hornets came buzzing back to level before the break and then go 2-1 early in the second-half.Watford were the more impressive team throughout the game but they were left to rue a number of missed chances, including a miss-of-the-season contender from Brazilian ace Richarlison, as Chelsea came back.Michy Batshuayi was the super sub again as the striker came off the bench to head the Blues level on 71 minutes, before Cesar Azpilicueta make it 3-2 in the 82nd minute, with Batshuayi wrapping up the nervy win by scoring again in the fourth minute of added time.It was a flattering result for Antonio Conte’s men, and many fans know that the result merely papers over the cracks that are still evident from their performance against the Hornets.See how supporters reacted to the game below… 1 Cesar Azpilicueta celebrates what was practically the winning goal for Chelsea against Watford [View the story “‘How have we won that?! We literally stole three points!’ – Chelsea fans react to roller-coaster win over Watford” on Storify]
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is widely understood to be United’s top target, but it won’t be easy to prise the Argentinian away.And, according to The Sun, United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has drawn up a shortlist of potential targets should he not be able to tempt Pochettino away.Rose, the Red Bull Salzburg, manager, is said to be on that list, along with Zinedine Zidane, Laurent Blanc and Solskjaer.Rose has only been in senior management since 2017 but has made an impressive start to life in the dugout.He led Red Bull Salzburg to the Austrian title in his first season and into the semi-finals of the Europa League after beating Real Sociedad, Borussia Dortmund and Lazio in the knockout rounds. Red Bull Salzburg celebrate their title win in 2017/18 Marco Rose is the shock name reportedly in contention for the Manchester United job 2 2 Marco Rose has emerged as a shock name in the frame for the Manchester United manager’s job.The Premier League giants are on the hunt for a permanent successor to Jose Mourinho, who was sacked on December 18, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer placed in interim charge for the remainder of the season. Salzburg have carried their impressive form into 2018/19 and are currently enjoying a stunning campaign.They are 14 points clear at the top of the league table, unbeaten in all competitions and into the last 32 of the Europa League again.Rose spent part of his playing career with Mainz playing under Jurgen Klopp, and is close friends with the Liverpool boss.