Italian FA chief looking at May return for Serie A

first_imgItalian football federation (FIGC) president Gabriele Gravina expressed his hope on Wednesday Serie A would resume on May 2 with a possible finish in July at the latest. Italian Football Federation (FIGC) president Gabriele Gravina hopes for a return to Serie A on May 2. All Italian sport has been suspended until April 3 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic which has killed 2,978 people in the country and forced the postponement of Euro 2020. “I don’t even want to think that we won’t start again, it would be a hiatus, it would worry me for our country,” Gravina told Italian radio. “We’re working on the hypothesis of starting again on May 2 and completing the championships possibly going into July if we don’t achieve it by June 30. “In the event that it’s impossible to use all the windows as planned, we will resort to a change in the format of the competitions.” The FIGC president welcomed the postponement of the European Championship until 2021, stating as far as they were concerned “national championships have priority”. “We don’t want to penalise anyone, but just as we evaluate format changes in the event of a reduction of the windows to play, so UEFA must do so by remodelling the Champions and Europa League,” added Gravina. The Champions League final is scheduled to take place on June 27 and the Europa League final on June 24. Italy’s sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora backed Gravina’s estimation “that Serie A can resume on May 3”. Promoted ContentCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable WayTop 10 Historical Mysteries That Still Haven’t Been SolvedWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend Better7 Mysterious Discoveries From All Around The World15 Celebs You Probably Didn’t Expect To Be CheerleadersThe Models Of Paintings Whom The Artists Were Madly In Love WithThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read MoreBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever MadeIf Zodiac Signs Were Women: Amazing Artwork By Vivien Szaniszlo9 Facts You Should Know Before Getting A Tattoo “At least that’s what we hope for,” said Spadafora. “We will then assess whether it will be behind closed or open doors.” Eight teams have 13 Serie A games left to play with the remainder having 12, with four Italian sides still in European competition, and a Coppa Italia semi-final, second round match and final still to be played. – No Olympic ‘deadline’ – Meanwhile, Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) chief Giovanni Malago confirmed an extraordinary council of their body would take place on March 26 with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics up for discussion. Loading… Read Also: Ronaldo sunbathes shirtless at home as partner goes shopping “There is no deadline for the Olympics, but in the minds of those who know our world, we know that to understand if Tokyo 2020 can take place as scheduled, we cannot go beyond the last week of May or the first week of June,” Malago told Sky Sports Italia. “Health comes first and foremost, common sense must prevail. We don’t know how long this health crisis will last.” FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 last_img read more

Roy Wade, 86, Holton

first_imgRoy J. Wade, 86, of Holton passed away at 5:10am, Tuesday, January 23, 2018 at St. Andrews Health Campus in Batesville. He was born at Sullivan, Illinois on July 16, 1931 the son of Harvey and Josephine West Wade. Survivors include one son Tim (Karla) Wade of Burlington, Oklahoma; two daughters Gail Snyder of West Harrison, and Lisa (Roger) McQueen of Laurel; 7 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren; one sister Betty Friend of Anderson. He was preceded in death by his parents and his son Danny. Mr. Wade was an Army veteran of the Korean War and in civilian life was a tool & die maker. He was a former employee of Arvins in North Vernon and retired in 2009 after 36 years with Delta Faucet in Greensburg. His hobbies included building muzzle loading rifles and he enjoyed horseback riding on his farm west of Dabney. Roy attended the Shelby Christian Church. Funeral services will be held on Monday, January 29th at 11am at the Shelby Christian Church with Bro. Earl Thomas officiating. Burial will be in the Cliff Hill Cemetery in Versailles. Visitation will begin at 9am Monday and will also at the Shelby Christian Church. Memorials may be given to the Shelby Christian Church or the Cliff Hill Cemetery in care of the Stratton-Karsteter Funeral Home in Versailles.last_img read more

Ferguson: City’s title a motivation

first_img If United overcome relegation-threatened Aston Villa at Old Trafford tonight, it will clinch a record 20th championship. As they will still have four games remaining, it completes an admirable recovery from that gut-wrenching end to the previous campaign. “We had a big job to do,” said Ferguson. “The way we lost it, and the fact it was City, gave us an incentive. You have to admire the focus we have shown this season. We are resilient and the consistency has been good.” Press Association He added: “Like all the previous teams, they never give in. That is a fact. It is the history of the club more than anything. Once they have been here two or three years, the players buy into it. These are the qualities that have helped them to be where they are just now.” Not that Ferguson will be declaring the season over even if the champagne corks are popping in the home dressing room. The Scot intends to keep his men driving on, eager to eclipse the Premier League points record of Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea, who amassed 95 points in 2005. “There won’t be any slacking off,” said Ferguson. “(The record) is not beyond us at all. Can Manchester United win five games in a row? How many times have we done that?” Ferguson’s longevity allows him to plan ahead in a manner most of his counterparts cannot. For instance, in January he secured the services of Wilfried Zaha, knowing he could afford to leave the England Under-21 winger on loan at Crystal Palace, furthering his education in the Eagles’ Championship play-off push. And Ferguson is also keen to offer praise to striker Javier Hernandez, perhaps the most vulnerable member of his strikeforce given how highly the Mexican is regarded across Europe and his relatively low number of key starts. “We hope he feels as though he has made a contribution because we do,” said Ferguson. “It is not easy picking players when you have a squad of 26 and every one is an international. “But Javier has scored 16 goals and when he came on at West Ham the other night his movement was terrific. He has got that in his locker all the time. His enthusiasm to play is always there.” center_img Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted the fact Manchester United lost their Premier League title to Manchester City last season provided added incentive to get it back.last_img read more

Thunder Bay Arts Council Celebrates 45 Years With Public Sculpture: ‘Departure’

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisThe Alpena Aplex was full of music and dinner as the Thunder Bay Arts Council celebrated it’s 45th anniversary. The anniversary dinner was held to unveil the Alpena sculptured bikeway, walkway bicentennial project.This year the sculpture was themed “Departure.” Created by Ann Gildner, President of the Thunder Bay Arts Council, Tim Kuehnlein said the council wanted to leave a legacy with the new public sculpture to remind everyone that the arts is still important in the community.“Arts and culture grounded in the tourist industry are a must for any community that is multifaceted and diversified in the economic base. I think Alpena and Northeast Michigan get that. We will be there; we’ve been there from the beginning of this. Not just us, but art in the loft, the theaters, museum, NOAA. It’s really amazing what this community and this little part of northeast Michigan or I should say this corner of Michigan has to offer,” Kuehnlein said.A board member for over 7 years, Karen McConnell said the art in Alpena is truly unique.“I think it’s very unique that we have two theaters that we can go to. Our high school gives wonderful plays, and we have great shows. There’s always something going on in Alpena musically. The Besser Museum has so much wonderful things to offer and there’s so much going on that if you can’t find something to do, I think you’re not looking,” McConnell said.If you’re looking for the public sculpture the piece will be completed by September and located at the downtown bi path. The Thunder Bay Arts Council was founded in 1972 and is the longest art council in the state of Michigan.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThis Tags: Arts, Bi Path, Happy Birthday, Thunder Bay Arts CouncilContinue ReadingPrevious Rogers City Student, Dy’Shauna Rutherford Wins 2nd Annual Student Film Competition: ‘BioDiversityIs-Unity’Next Avenue of Flags Coming Soonlast_img read more

If Dodgers keep winning, season could get historic in a hurry

first_imgLess believable, he said, “is more of the way everything worked out.”Wednesday’s 5-4 win over the Chicago White Sox was the 10th game the Dodgers have won in their final at-bat this season. The 10 game-winning RBIs have come from nine different players. (Trivia answer: Yasiel Puig, Kyle Farmer, Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger, Chris Taylor, Corey Seager, Logan Forsythe, Austin Barnes and Adrian Gonzalez.)The Dodgers have yet to lose a game they led after eight innings this season, but they have won eight times when trailing after eight.“It’s been a wild couple months, that’s for sure,” Bellinger said.What lies ahead could get historic in a hurry. The implications of an 85-34 record with six weeks left on the schedule are staggering. The websites FanGraphs.com and BaseballProspectus.com both project the Dodgers to finish the season 111-51. The franchise record for wins is 105, set in 1953 in Brooklyn. The Dodgers can go 21-22 to end the regular season and still break that record.This is the franchise’s 134th year of existence. Consider that the Dodgers have played more than 20,000 games since Year 1 – 1884 – and raised their winning percentage from .526 to .527 in less than five months.But how do the 2017 Dodgers compare to all major league teams, ever?The 1906 Chicago Cubs and 2001 Seattle Mariners share the all-time record of 116 regular-season wins. To equal that mark, the Dodgers must finish the season 31-12, a .721 clip that would require they slow down a bit. The Dodgers are 30-5 (.857) since July 4. The post-World War I record for highest winning percentage in a season (.721 by the 1954 Cleveland Indians) is also within reach.A team’s “magic number” is the minimum number of games that must be played in order to clinch a berth. The Dodgers’ magic number to clinch a playoff berth is 19. The Dodgers could seal their fate as early as Aug. 27, a home game against the Milwaukee Brewers.The Dodgers’ magic number to clinch the National League West is 24. The earliest they could clinch a division title is Aug. 30, a road game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.The New York Yankees established a modern record by clinching a playoff berth on Aug. 30, 1998. The Cincinnati Reds became the NL West champions on Sept. 7, 1975, the earliest a team has ever clinched a division title.For all the attention the Chicago Cubs garnered while ending their World Series drought last year, they did not clinch a playoff berth until Sept. 14. They won the NL Central the following day.Already, the Dodgers have a target on their backs, Manager Dave Roberts said.“When you’re an elite team and you look at what we’ve done, certainly every time they see us on the schedule they’re going to bring their best,” he said after Wednesday’s win. “Absolutely. I think our guys have set the bar for the league, and rightfully so.” LOS ANGELES >> Imagine going to spring training to watch the Dodgers, coming home, then going into a slumber for four months. You open your eyes in the middle of August and the Dodgers lead the National League West by 18 1/2 games. They can clinch their fifth straight division title before September and, by winning 32 of their final 43 games, break the all-time record for most wins in a season.Rob Segedin is not Rip Van Winkle, but his circumstances are illustrative. When injuries to his foot and wrist sent Segedin to the disabled list on April 19, the Dodgers were 8-8. They were 9-11 by April 24, the day before Cody Bellinger was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City. Since then they’ve gone 76-23; the Houston Astros have baseball’s second-best record during that time at 61-40.Segedin said he spent many a late night awake in Arizona, on rehab, watching the drama play out on TV.“I would’ve believed it,” Segedin said of the Dodgers’ record.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Joint Animal Services: Collie Mix Dog and Silver Tabby Cat Are…

first_imgDogHello, I am so excited to tell you about me! I am a 1-2 year old male Collie mix! I love to play! I love to run! I love to jump! I especially love to play fetch! I am very playful and full of energy! I am smart and I even know sit! I might need some time and patients to get past my excitement, but it’s worth it to see my loving side! I came into Joint Animal Services as a stray and I can’t wait to find my forever home! My # is 80011! You should totally come down and meet me! I would love to meet you! You could call 360-352-2510 to get info also! Thanks for reading about me! Facebook6Tweet0Pin1Submitted By: Joint Animal ServicesCatHello, I am a male grey and silver tabby cat. I am a fun cat to have around. I enjoy people and am always ready to be petted or to play. I am very handsome with grey and silver strips and bright yellow eyes. I am very friendly and look forward to sharing my love and fun with my family. I came into Joint Animal Services as a stray and am looking for a forever home. Come down and meet me or call 360-352-2510 to get more info about me. My # is 79984.last_img read more

Spurs confirm forward Son will begin mandatory military service in South Korea

first_imgSon earned his exemption after helping his country win gold at the Asian Games in 2018.The speedy winger is currently recovering from a broken arm he suffered after falling hard during the opening minute of 3-2 win over Aston Villa – a game he scored a last-gasp winner in.Providing an update last month, he said: “It’s already more than four weeks after surgery now and I’m doing very, very well and working hard to be ready to come back.”Laura Woods doesn’t think it’s right for Premier League clubs like Tottenham and Liverpool to use the government’s furlough scheme 3TOTTENHAM have confirmed that Son Heung-min will commence his mandatory military service in South Korea this month during the coronavirus season delay.The 27-year-old will begin his four-week national service immediately, with the ex-Bayer Leverkusen forward not expected back in England until May.⚠️ Read our coronavirus in sport live blog for the latest news & updates3 Son Heung-min will now undertake his four-week national service in South KoreaCredit: Getty Images – GettyIn a statement, Spurs said: “The club can confirm that Heung-Min Son will commence his mandatory military service in South Korea this month.”The forward arrived back in his home country at the end of March where he is currently in quarantine.”Our medical staff are in regular contact as he concludes his recovery after fracturing his arm in our 3-2 win against Aston Villa on 16 February and continues to train.”Sonny had surgery on his arm in South Korea before returning to the UK at the end of February to continue his rehabilitation, prior to the initial announcement of the professional game in England being suspended as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.”The Premier League has since announced that the 2019/20 season will only return when it is ‘safe and appropriate to do so’ and is under constant review.”Son will return to London following the conclusion of his military service in May.”Under South Korean law, before the age of 28 you must complete 21 months of national service, unless you earn an exemption.3MOST READ IN FOOTBALLTHROUGH ITRobbie Keane reveals Claudine’s father was ’50-50′ in coronavirus battleTOP SELLERGavin Whelan has gone from League of Ireland to David Beckham’s InstagramPicturedAN EYEFULMeet Playboy model and football agent Anamaria Prodan bidding to buy her own clubI SAW ROORodallega saw Rooney ‘drinking like madman’ & Gerrard ‘on bar dancing shirtless’ExclusiveRIYAD RAIDMan City’s Riyad Mahrez has three luxury watches stolen in £500,000 raidNEXT STEPJonny Hayes set to move to English Championship having been let go by CelticCORONAVIRUS CRISIS – BE IN THE KNOWGet the latest coronavirus news, facts and figures from around the world – plus essential advice for you and your family.To receive our Covid-19 newsletter in your inbox every tea time, sign up here.To follow us on Facebook, simply ‘Like’ our Coronavirus page.last_img read more

WADA may call for total Russian ban at Rio 2016 if Sochi 2014 allegations proven

first_imgThis ban will come in place if accusations of an orchestrated and state-supported doping scheme at Sochi 2014 are proven, the body’s President Sir Craig Reedie claimed here today.Sir Craig described Richard McLaren’s pending report into the allegations concerning the Winter Olympics in 2014 as a “precedent-setting opportunity to demonstrate collective commitment to clean sport”.McLaren was part of the Independent Commission that published damning reports into Russian doping, leading to the athletes from the country being banned from participating at Rio 2016, and the investigation is currently in progress.The results of the report are due to be revealed no later than July 15.It was launched after Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory, claimed that up to 15 Russian medal winners  at Sochi 2014 were implicated in a clandestine operation in which doping samples were switched for clean ones.Rodchenkov, the subject of a criminal case from Russian Federal investigators, alleged that the state-sponsored scheme involved athletes ingesting a “three-drug cocktail” of banned steroids which were mixed with alcohol.It also featured as a covert system to replace the urine of affected medal winners with clean samples using soda containers and baby bottles, he claimed.Richard Pound, the founding President of WADA who chaired the Independent Commission tasked with investigating Russia in November of last year, told The Sunday Times that suspending the entire Russian team from Rio 2016 was “not impossible”.Sir Craig, who will remain as an International Olympic Committee (IOC) vice-president until Rio 2016, intimated that WADA would push for strong action should McLaren’s Independent Commission produce clear evidence of state-supported doping in Russia.WADA does not have the power to directly ban countries but can make recommendations which are difficult to ignore.“The Independent Commission reports said it would be naïve that there would not be further complications,” the Briton said at the WADA Media Symposium here.“If the fuller investigation on his report clearly indicate [state-sponsored doping], I would regard that as a high-profile moment that we will have to deal with.“There are responsibilities under the code for International Federations.”WADA does not have the power to determine which sports do what.”If McLaren produces detailed corroborative evidence that goes beyond athletics, we will respond firmly and effectively.”WADA themselves released a report detailing the state of progress in Russia last week, which made a mockery of Russia’s repeated claims to have made significant improvements.Severe problems were raised with in and out-of-competition testing, with testers facing athletes running away rather than provide samples as well as the presence of intimidating FSB officials and – in one case – an athlete who tried to pay a bribe after a failed attempt at switching urine samples.In the most extreme example of cheating recorded, an athletics athlete “used a container inserted inside her body – presumably containing clean urine – which leaked onto the floor and not into the collection vessel.”The unnamed athlete threw the container into a bin before this was retrieved by the tester, who she then attempted to bribe before providing a sample which subsequently returned a positive result. Sir Craig also said WADA “applauds” the decision of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to maintain the ban on the All-Russia Athletic Federation, which ruled the majority Russian track and field athletes out of Rio 2016.Only Russian athletes who can prove they have operated in an effective testing system will be able to compete internationally at events including the Olympics, a requirement which, in practice, is limited to those based outside the country.The IOC has also come out in support of the IAAF ruling ahead of a crucial Olympic Summit on doping, due to be held in Lausanne tomorrow.last_img read more

Halliman looks to instill discipline at KTHS

first_imgLebert Halliman will be the Manning Cup football head coach at Kingston Technical High School (KTHS) next season. “Yes, this is definitely so,” Halliman confirmed to The Gleaner. “I will be taking over the reins as football coach at Kingston Technical High School as next year is their big anniversary celebration and I am hoping I can give them a gift for that,” he added. Halliman was asked why he never coached his alma mater this season. “At Excelsior (High), if you are working and you resign your job, your boss would want to know why, but this was not the case. I tendered my resignation because of certain things and they have not asked any questions. “I was going through some internal difficulties there and I think they really wanted me to go, so not hearing from them, I had to make my own decision,” explained Halliman, who is ‘ready’ to start working at KTHS. “It is a challenge,” he said. “They (KTHS) have a rich tradition in sports, but in the last 20 years they have not been doing so well, and I think it will be a challenge for me as there is a lot of inner-city youth, male and female, who need help and I think I can contribute in that area and also ensure that Kingston Technical can assist me in that area,” he continued. Halliman was asked about his immediate goals. “I have seen the team play and there is talent there, but at the same time, there is a lot of indiscipline among the players and I think they need to get organised and have that sense of wanting to represent the school. I do not think they know about the history of the school, and this is why they behave like that,” said Halliman. The coach said he had been in discussions about the job for some time. “It has been a long journey, as we have been in discussions for the past few months, and the alumni and the Kingston Technical family really wanted me to return. So I think you should take the opportunity where people want you to come and support them,” he reasoned. “If you plan to work hard and you are getting the support, your job will become easy. It was the same thing at Excelsior, they were nowhere around, as they were at the foot of the table. And in the 12 years I have served them they have done well, as we won our zone, won Manning and Walker Cup along with Colts Under-16 more than once, and it is just to take on a new challenge and work,” he said. Asked if he had any regrets leaving Excelsior, Halliman said: “Every past student wants to contribute to their old school and I think I have done enough there, but the way I left it was not the fitting way. But that is now water under the bridge.”last_img read more

Best-ever World Cup? It is shaping up nicely

first_imgStill, Russian President Vladimir Putin has lucked out. Russia’s team that seemed unlikely to progress earned itself a marquee match-up with 2010 champions Spain and the football spectacle is competing for global attention, instead of novichok, Syria, flight MH17, Crimea, east Ukraine, election interference and other issues that have chilled relations between Russia and western capitals.In a tournament as famous as the World Cup, picking the best will always be a subjective choice. But with this one: So far, so good.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Christopher Tolkien, son of Lord of the Rings author, dies aged 95 South Korea’s players celebrate a goal during the group F match between South Korea and Germany, at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia, Wednesday, June 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)KAZAN, Russia — Wow. What a start.If you’re among those who suspect this World Cup has the makings of one of the best ever, the numbers from the just-completed group stage of the football showcase suggest you may be right. Aside from a few snoozers, the essential ingredient for engrossing sporting spectacle — uncertainty — triumphed.ADVERTISEMENT Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award View comments LATEST STORIES Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Cloudy skies over Luzon due to amihan Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Bicol riders extend help to Taal evacuees Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Harvey Weinstein rape trial Gilas routs Taiwan 5 Games were tighter than ever. Traditionally strong teams still dominate, with the obvious exception of now dethroned ex-world champion Germany , already licking its wounds back at home. But increasingly better drilled, prepared and ambitious so-called “smaller” nations are continuing to narrow the gap. World Cup debutant Panama was the only team to look seriously out of its depth.The most common result in the 48 games was 1-0, which is how the score finished a record-equaling 13 times. That illustrates not only how close games were, but that teams, once ahead, are increasingly able to protect their leads. An example of that was Mexico 1, Germany 0. In the second half at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium, Die Mannschaft took 17 shots, had six corner kicks and six shots blocked and still couldn’t cancel out Hirving Lozano’s first-half winner.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSince the World Cup expanded to 32 teams in 1998, only once before has it seen so many 1-0 games in the group stage. That was in South Africa in 2010, when teams struggled to score with the Jabulani ball. The 16 teams that advanced that year to the knockout round did so by scoring just 67 times, a record low. They did much better this year, scoring 83. That was down from 90 at the last edition in Brazil and the record-high 91 goals scored by group-stage qualifiers in 2002 but still illustrated the attacking intent shown by teams in Russia.Some other numbers: MOST READ Taal victims get help from Kalayaan town —Again illustrating the narrowing gap between winners and losers, 24 games were decided by just one goal. That is a record high. And 11 of those games saw both teams score. That reinforces the impression that this group stage offered good entertainment, with teams going at each other, aiming for goals, and often succeeding.—Further proof that teams didn’t hold back: Just nine games ended in a draw. That equaled the record low set in Brazil four years ago. At the first 32-team World Cup in 1998, exactly one third of group-stage games finished in a draw, a record-high of 16 draws not seen since. And some of the draws this time were spectacular, none more so than Portugal 3, Spain 3, with Cristiano Ronaldo’s late free-kick curling past the Spanish wall to complete his hat-trick and level the score.—Just once, at Denmark vs. France, did fans come away without seeing a goal from either team . Again, that record low of scoreless draws illustrates the ambitious mindset of teams and was a vast improvement over previous editions. There were five scoreless draws in Brazil and six — the record high in the 32-team format — in South Africa.—The group stage again saw very lopsided wins (Russia 5, Saudi Arabia 0; England 6, Panama 1) but not as domineering as at previous tournaments (Portugal 7, North Korea 0 in 2010; Germany 8, Saudi Arabia 0 in 2002). Just eight of the games saw four or more goals scored. That equals the record low from South Africa and is sharply down from 2014, when there 16 four-goals-or-more matches in the group stage. Again, that reflects how smaller football nations frustrated star teams and players this time, notably the defensive master-class from Iceland that prevented Argentina’s Lionel Messi from scoring in a 1-1 draw at Moscow’s Spartak Stadium. But Messi redeemed himself with his strike against Nigeria, the tournament’s 100th goal and a contender for goal of the tournament, exquisitely controlling the ball with his left thigh and left foot in one fluid movement before scoring with his right.The group stage wasn’t without blemishes, but was without major scandal. Uruguay’s Luis Suarez managed not to bite anyone, an improvement from 2014, and the French haven’t gone on strike as they did on their way to an early exit in 2010. The record 24 penalties awarded, of which 18 were scored, are an unfortunate, game-distorting side effect of video refereeing’s debut at the World Cup, which has caught officiating mistakes but is also messing with the rhythm of matches and seen some very debatable decisions. And using yellow cards as a tie-breaker to separate Senegal, sent home, and Japan, which stays, seems unfair, given that some referees are more trigger-happy with cards than others.ADVERTISEMENT In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’last_img read more