Fifa explores Kuwait, Oman as 2022 WCup co-hosts

first_imgCarpio 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 LATEST STORIES Infantino first announced in April that he wanted to fast-track the expansion to 2022 , even though Qatar couldn’t cope with 16 more games.Saudi Arabia has been leading the economic and travel boycott of Qatar with the United Arab Emirates, so holding games in those countries would be problematic. Infantino discussed that during a meeting with Saudi sports leaders at a meeting in Zurich last Thursday, the person with knowledge of the situation said. The top sports government official in the UAE on Wednesday acknowledged the fraught political climate currently impedes his country becoming part of Qatar’s tournament plans.“As far as the co-hosting, currently with the crisis on, I think Kuwait can play a very important role,” Maj. Gen. Mohammed Khalfan Al Romaithi, chairman of the UAE General Authority for Sports, told the AP. “They have one big international stadium, and they are building two extra stadiums. That could solve the problem and it would easier for the Qataris if the crisis is resolved because you (could) have Saudi Arabia and the UAE.”The World Cup is already operating in a curtailed 28-day period from Nov. 21-Dec. 18, 2022 after it was shifted from the usual June-July slot to avoid Qatar’s fierce summer heat. Qatar is building just eight stadiums for a 64-game tournament. Twelve would be necessary for 48 teams playing 80 games.Stressing that “Qataris are my brothers,” Al Romaithi embraces Qatar’s right to remain the main host for the Middle East’s first World Cup. His view contrasts with the more hostile tone from the rest of the UAE’s governmen.ADVERTISEMENT Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra “The World Cup is a Qatari World Cup, not any other country,” said Al Romaithi, who is running to be elected president of the Asian Football Confederation in April. “This is their hard work. They won the bid in 2010 and they worked hard to build the stadiums and they are almost ready to host 32 teams.“But if a decision is taken by Fifa to increase to 48 then I hope that we all support which means the tension or problems in the Gulf is resolved.”Kuwait has the 65,000-capacity Jaber Al-Ahmad International Stadium to host World Cup games, but there is a complete ban on alcohol in the nation. Qatar has exemption that allows foreigners to drink alcohol, but it has yet to confirm how available it will be in stadiums. Budweiser is a major Fifa sponsor.Oman’s biggest stadium has 34,000-capacity stadium, which is short of Fifa ‘s minimum requirement of 40,000 seats.The decision to award the tournament to Qatar in a 2010 vote forced FIFA to deal with concerns about labor conditions for migrant workers, many building the stadiums. The bidding process for the 2026 World Cup was the first where Fifa assessed the human rights records of countries. Infantino told the AP last year that he would have to weigh up the human rights records of any countries added to the 2022 World Cup hosting.Fifa Vice President Victor Montagliani wants the governing body’s ruling council to decide whether to expand to 48 teams at a meeting in Florida next week.“I support it,” Montagliani, who leads the CONCACAF confederation, told the AP. “I start in a positive way — unless there is something that makes me change my mind — i.e. Qatar doesn’t want it — or the analysis is negative then I would have to rethink my positive stance.“I would think we have to have some sort of resolution in Miami because World Cup qualifying starts in some parts of the world this year.”Fifa ‘s committee for organizing competitions confirmed on Monday that Asia will kick off qualifying in June, even though the number of slots of the finals is yet to be decided.“The same reason we expanded to 48 teams for 2026,” Montagliani said, “it inspires hope, giving more countries inspiration.” Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen, right, hands over a football referring to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar to Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, left, prior to their meeting in Vienna, Austria, Tuesday, Mar. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Gruber)Fifa continues the push to expand the 2022 World Cup to 48 teams, considering Kuwait and Oman becoming co-hosts with Qatar, which remains in the middle of a complicated diplomatic standoff with several Arab neighbors.Qatar’s infrastructure is already stretched for the Middle East’s first World Cup , and Fifa President Gianni Infantino wants to add 16 more countries to the planned 32-team tournament. That’s too many games for the eight stadiums spread over just a 30-mile radius in Qatar, a tiny nation with just 2.7 million people, most of them foreign workers.ADVERTISEMENT Rogue cops marked as Gamboa’s targets in his appointment as PNP chief View commentscenter_img Infantino has been lobbying for an expanded 2022 tournament for months, even suggesting some games in Saudi Arabia, which is leading the bitter isolation campaign with several Arab neighbors against Qatar. Kuwait has been trying to mediate the crisis.Fifa is now looking at Kuwait and Oman, a person with knowledge of the situation told the AP on condition of anonymity because the talks are confidential. Infantino visited Kuwait last month and Oman on Sunday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsKuwait and Oman have have remained neutral in the diplomatic battle, which began in June 2017. Other Gulf countries launched a boycott of Qatar over accusations it supports extremist groups, which Doha denies.The principle of expanding the World Cup has already been agreed by Fifa members, with 48 teams planned for the 2026 World Cup being jointly hosted by the United States, Canada and Mexico. Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history MOST READ Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Andy Murray upbeat after hip surgery, hopes to play again Eugenie Bouchard’s bid for Australian Open spot ends in qualifyinglast_img read more

GCCI calls for Guyanese to reject “disturbances” call by politicians

first_imgRecognising that the Government and Opposition have not yet been able to see eye to eye on a nominee to serve as Chairman for the Guyana Elections Commissions (GECOM)—although the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) is set to hand down consequential orders on Friday— the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), through its President, Nicholas Boyer, has called on citizens to not allow politicians to control their actions.Boyer made this appeal at the launch of the Business Guyana Magazine 2019, hosted at Pegasus Hotel.“What we, as Guyanese, can see clearly is that the brinkmanship here is at play and we are being used as pawns. I implore all seated here…and the population, do not let puppeteers pull strings and talk about war, or disturbances,” Boyer said to the gathering at Pegasus Hotel.The GCCI President made it clear that while he believes in freedom of speech, he firmly believes that it is not the place of politicians to divide the people.“We are not at war with each other, nor do we need to be loyal to anyone based on our ethnicity. Going to the polls in Guyana needs to become a routine exercise of our democratic rights without fear, and all political parties need to be held accountable to delivering that type of atmosphere for us,” he added.The Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) is conducting a probe into calls for war and protests made by the Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo, and Finance Minister Winston Jordan.During an outreach in Bartica last month, Finance Minister Winston Jordan called on supporters to go out and protest for House-to-House registration, noting that if that does not happen, then there would be “war break”.“Comrades, be on the ready! Because we will be able to call you out to picket for House-to-House registration. No registration, no elections”!Jordan added, “From today Comrades, war break. Because we got to go to elections before the end of this year, hopefully. I say hopefully because we can only go to elections when GECOM says it’s ready. So don’t let anyone tell you anything”.“And I’m putting the Police on notice. Mischief will be afoot between now and when the elections are called. You have to be on your guard and your lookout. Your intelligence has to be upgraded. Because already there is talk about bringing people on the street,” he said.Similar sentiments were also expressed by Prime Minister Nagamootoo, who declared that there would be “trouble” without House-to-House registration and urged street protests.last_img read more

FIFA to choose North America or Morocco for 2026 World Cup

first_img0Shares0000Delegates attend the 68th FIFA Congress at the Expocentre in Moscow © AFP / Mladen ANTONOVMOSCOW, Russian Federation, Jun 13 – FIFA members vote Wednesday on whether to award the 2026 World Cup to a slick North American bid or to Morocco, which has African support to bring football’s showpiece event back to the continent.On the eve of the 2018 World Cup, delegates from 207 nations gathered in Moscow are faced with a clear choice. The United States, Mexico and Canada are the frontrunners, boasting modern, established stadiums and well-developed transport links.Morocco’s bid exists largely on paper — many stadiums will need to be built and critics question how it will cope with a tournament that will be expanded to 48 teams in 2026.FIFA inspectors have classified the north African nation’s stadiums, accommodation and transport as “high risk”, awarding it just 2.7 out of five, with red flags raised over several critical aspects of the bid.A FIFA taskforce warned last month “the amount of new infrastructure required for the Morocco 2026 bid to become reality cannot be overstated”.The report left the US-Canada-Mexico bid as the clear front-runner after giving it a rating of four out of five.But the North American bid fears it could lose out if the vote essentially becomes a referendum on the popularity of US President Donald Trump.Bid leader Carlos Cordeiro has urged FIFA members to vote on the “merits” of the bid, not Trump’s divisive policies.“We believe strongly that this decision will be made on its merits,” Cordeiro said in a conference call. “This is not geopolitics, we’re talking about football and what is fundamentally, at the end of the day, the best interest of football and our footballing community.”The US lost out to Qatar in 2022 in a vote now tarnished by corruption allegations that spelled the beginning of the end of the once all-powerful FIFA president Sepp Blatter.It prompted a change in the rules. Whereas previously the 24 members of the FIFA executive committee used to determine World Cup races, the host will now be decided by a vote of individual FIFA member nations.FIFA President Gianni Infantino is believed to strongly support the North American bid because the three countries involved backed him for the presidency in 2016 when he took over after the reign of Blatter.Critics of the Morocco bid also point to the fact that the 2026 World Cup will be the first to be expanded to 48 teams, posing a severe test for the hosts.Bid leader Hicham El Amrani argues its 12 host cities are “very close to each other, with for example Casablanca a maximum 500 kilometres from another venue” compared to the vast distances involved in North America.France, in particular, has lobbied behind the scenes for French-speaking Morocco and the bid has the support of most of Africa in line with a call from the head of the Confederation of African Football, Ahmad Ahmad.It will likely need heavy support from European nations to pull off a shock win — and its proximity to Europe is a plus for many supporters.Aleksander Ceferin, the president of Europe’s governing body UEFA, says he has not directed his members which way to vote.“UEFA delegates are smart enough to choose what is best for football,” he told the BBC.Morocco has tried, and failed, four times before, in votes for the 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010 tournaments — it lost out in the latter to South Africa, the only African nation ever to have hosted football’s global showpiece.North American bid leaders countered by promising to deliver a record $11 billion profit.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Bonus may scale down costs

first_imgHEALTH: Cash for employees who lose weight has backers, but some are skeptical. By Elizabeth Dunbar THE ASSOCIATED PRESS RALEIGH, N.C. – People will lose weight for money, even a little money, suggests a study that offers another option for employers looking for ways to cut health-care costs. The research published in the September issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that cash incentives can be a success even when the payout is as little as $7 for dropping just a few pounds in three months. Unlike providing onsite fitness centers or improving offerings in the company cafeteria, cash rewards provide a company with a guaranteed return, the researchers said. “They really can’t be a bad investment because you don’t pay people unless they lose weight,” said Eric A. Finkelstein, the study’s lead author and a health economist at RTI International, a research institute based in nearby Research Triangle Park. The study involved about 200 overweight employees at several colleges in North Carolina, divided into three groups. One group received no incentives while the other two groups received $7 or $14 for each percentage point of weight lost. For example, someone in the middle group weighing 200 pounds who lost 10 pounds, or 5 percent, would get $35. Participants didn’t get any help on how to lose weight. In the end, employees who received the most incentives lost the most weight, an average of nearly 5 pounds after three months. Those offered no incentives lost 2 pounds; those in the $7 group lost about 3 pounds. Those in the $14 group were more than five times as likely to lose 5 percent of their weight – the amount research has shown to be clinically significant, according to the study. Finkelstein and co-authors Laura Linnan and Deborah Tate, professors at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Public Health, are analyzing data from a follow-up study that observed about 1,000 participants for a year. In that study, financial incentives were tested against a Web-based weight-loss program and changes in the office environment, such as healthier cafeteria food. Linnan said more research is needed to determine the ideal dollar amount and whether incentives work in the long term. “It’s clear that one of the biggest challenges is to help people who lose weight keep the weight off,” she said. Plant worker Vonderahe Rivera said the financial incentives offered by her employer have helped her lose 50 pounds and keep it off. Since 2002, the O’Fallon, Mo.-based VSM Abrasives, which makes sandpaper, has been rewarding its 125 employees with cash for trimming their weight and an extra day off each year if they don’t gain it back. “The money is great and the day off is great,” said the 51-year-old Rivera. This year, she lost 25 pounds and got $125 when her employee team reached its weight-loss goal. She used the money for some new outdoor furniture. Being part of a group also keeps her motivated, Rivera said. While there are some federal guidelines on offering cash incentives, the idea is relatively new and will likely require further study before many employers are willing to try such a program, said Dr. Jeffrey Dobro, a consultant with the human resources consulting firm Towers Perrin. “To actually pay people for results is a little bit problematic ? if you don’t give people an equal opportunity,” he said. To compensate, employers could offer similar incentives to staff who maintain a healthy weight, he said. So far, the trend among larger companies has been to provide incentives for employees who do things like complete a health risk assessment or attend coaching sessions for weight management, said LuAnn Heinen, director of an institute that studies the costs and effects of obesity for the National Business Group on Health, which represents mainly Fortune 500 companies. But Heinen said the study will be welcomed by employers who realize participation in other health programs remains low, or that they’re paying for people to lose the same 10 pounds over and over again. “I think over time companies will start looking for something with a little more teeth,” she said.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more


first_imgStaff of Donegal Creameries put the milk runs on hold on May 28th last – for a very special delivery.The staff of the plant at Crossroads, Killygordon, along with members of the public, turned out in huge numbers to take part in a fun run/walk in aid of the Special Olympics. And the event was certainly worthwhile with more than €7,280 being raised for the wonderful cause.This week Mr Aaron Forde,CEO of Aurivo (Donegal Creameries) accepted the cheque for the proceeds.He congratulated the staff at the creamery for the highly successful event and recognised the fantastic support shown by the wider community’  CREAMERIES HAPPY TO MILK IT FOR SPECIAL OLYMPICS FUNDRAISER! was last modified: December 13th, 2013 by StephenShare 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:Donegal CreameriesfundraiserSpecial Olympicslast_img read more

Vista del Lago center to be fixed, opened

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2“There’s a lot of work that has to be done,” he said. “The desire is to open it by the end of this year, but we don’t know if that’s possible.” The visitors center features rooms filled with displays and graphics showing the path Southern California’s water takes from the north and just how much of the resource it takes for various tasks. It boasts 160,000 visitors a year who pull off Interstate 5 in the Grapevine area for a look – and often a bathroom break, Strickland said. (661) 257-5251 ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST – The shuttered Vista del Lago Visitors Center overlooking Pyramid Lake will be saved, a state Department of Water Resources official said this week. Sensors implanted around the popular center after severe slides during the 2004 winter storms show no ground movement over the past six months, said Don Strickland, a water resources spokesman in Sacramento. “It was a really wet winter down there,” Strickland said. “We know that the whole area was saturated and there were other slides in the area. It doesn’t appear to be an ongoing problem.” Officials hope to go to bid this summer in search of a company to repair water lines and other utilities serving Vista del Lago, work that was delayed until it was determined the ground was not shifting. The ground eroded right up to the walls of the 13-year-old, $13 million hilltop center. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more


first_imgBallyliffin Golf Club: Cassidy Bros Confined Sunday 8th May 2016 1st Gary McGeoghegan (6) 41pts2nd Philip McClean (25) 40pts3rd Brendan Conneely (14) 38pts4th Jim Monagle (11) 38pts Gross: Paul Doherty( C) (4) 34ptsCSS: 71Saturday Open 7th May 20161st Peter Gallagher (8) 39pts2nd Darragh McLaughlin (5) 37pts3rd Ciaran McConologue (10) 36pts Gross: Paul O’Donoghue (6) 31ptsCSS: 73SRU Minibus Appeal Classic Friday 6th May 20161st Darryl Butler, Dermot Doherty, JJ Lafferty, Pat Porter 94pts 2nd Brian Bradley, Gearoid Doherty, Patrick Fletcher, Shaun Dillon 92pts3rd Des Kemmy, Neil Kemmy, John McCarron, Michael McLaughlin 91pts4th Ken Devlin, Phelim Doherty, John McGeoghegan, Tony Doherty 91pts5th Nigel Craig, Patrick McConologue, Ciaran McConologue, Derek McFeeley 90pts6th Kathleen McKeague, Jackie Doherty, Ingrid Anderson, Kathy Monagle 89pts7th Paul Farren, Philip McClean, Tom Anderson, Neil M Doherty 89pts8th Andy McGonagle, Patsy Toland, Louis Walsh, Paddy McLaughlin 89pts9th Mattie Lehane, Sean Gordon, Frankie Gordon, John Carden 89ptsLadies Prize:Marion Theseira, Nancy Doherty, Debbie McConologue, Geraldine Quigley 82ptsFront Nine:Robert McCool, Eamonn O’Donnell, Jackie McGeoghegan, Michael Doherty 48ptsBack Nine:Eoghan Sweeney, Eamonn Sweeney, Paul Tyrrell, Martin McGrath 46ptsNON GUI:Dean Doherty, Adrian Daly, Carl Harvey, Mark McNulty 88ptsNearest The Pin: John GrantLongest Drive Men: Shane CollinsLongest Drive Ladies: Molly McCloskeyWednesday Society 4th May 20161st Phelim Doherty 32pts2nd Philip Doherty 28pts3rd Norman Bates 26ptsLadies:Sunday confined 8th May 20160-181st Mary McGeoghegan 17pts2nd Geraldine Mullan 16pts19-281st Brege Boyle 20pts2nd Teresa Devlin 18pts29-361st Kathleen McKeague 20pts BOT2nd Geraldine McLaughlin 20ptsThursday Confined 5th May 20161st Margaret Doherty 17pts BOT2nd Vivenne Bannon 17ptsTuesday 3rd May 2016 19th Spade1st Molly McCloskey 36pts2nd Joan Doherty 35ptsGross: Lucia Mullen 26Gross3rd Lisa Glover 33ptsB9: Maire Mullan 17ptsSS 74Forthcoming Events & Fixtures:Saturday 14th May 2016 Confined on Glashedy LinksSunday 15th May 2016 Confined on The Old LinksScramble every Friday at 5pmDonegal Links Classic Mon 30th May-Wed 1st June 2016. Play Ballyliffin, Rosapenna, Portsalon. Visitors €125, Members €9012th, 13th & 14th October 2016 -Great North Links Challenge – Entries are now being taken.Ballyliffin Golf Club Results by Phelim DavenportWeather wise Saturday was a day of two halves for the Sat. Open, forenoon quite good, afternoon a bit of a washout. The lower handicappers came to the fore. In first place was Peter Gallagher[8] with 39pts. In 2nd place was all round sportsman Darragh Mc Laughlin[5] with 37pts.In 3rd place was one of the Mc Connellogue dynasty Ciaran Mc Connellogue[10] with36pts. The Gross went to Paul O Donoghue[6] with 31 gross pts. I can’t say anything about him in case he pokes me in the eye.Sunday started off dull but brightened up as the day went on. Cassidy Bros were sponsors as they have done for many years. In 1st place was Gary Mc Geoghegan[6] with a 1 over par round giving him 41 pts. 15 pars 2 bogeys and a birdie was a pretty steady round of golf. Scratch golf beckoning Gary. In 2nd place was a new name Philip Mc Clean[25] with 40pts. In 3rd spot was Brendan Coneely[14] with 38pts. 4th place was filled afternoon man Jim Monagle[11] with 38pts also. The Gross went to talented low man Paul Doherty[C] {4} with 34 Gross pts.All you could say about the weather for the latest Wed. Soc. outing is there were definitely no midges. In 1st place was one of the hardy souls who finished the course Phelim Doherty with 32pts. 2nd was Philip Doherty with 28pts. In third place was that man Norman Bates with 26pts. That says it all.The Classic in aid of the S.R.U.unit Old Convent Carndonagh Patients Fund was held on Friday.The winners were a new team to win a classic in Ballyliffin. Darryl Butler, Pat Porter, JJ Lafferty and Dermot Doherty got out of bed early in the morning and it paid off with a winning score of 94ptsThe organisers would like to thank all the sponsors and helpers and all who played and made it a success. The money will be used to brighten up a few lives in the coming months.GOLF NEWS: GARY MCGEOGHAN IN FINE FORM AT BALLYLIFFIN was last modified: May 9th, 2016 by Mark ForkerShare 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:BallyliffingolfSportlast_img read more

Softball Set For Full Slate Of Games Over Spring Break

first_imgBLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Drake University softball team is set for a busy week with a nine-game spring break road trip starting Saturday morning at 11:15 a.m. against Ohio. Drake plays the Bobcats again on Sunday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. followed by a doubleheader against Indiana on March 14 with game one’s first pitch against the Hoosiers scheduled for noon. Visit Indiana’s tournament page for live stats links for all four games and live video links for the matchups with the Hoosiers.  The Bulldogs then play at Saint Louis on March 15 and at SIUE on March 16 before opening Missouri Valley Conference play at Evansville on March 19 & 20. Drake (7-7) will try to bounce back from their trip to Las Vegas last weekend for the UNLV Classic, where the Bulldogs earned just one win against a tough tournament field. Drake’s lone win was over Saint Mary’s in a back-and-forth contest that the Bulldogs held on to win 11-10 as junior Megan Sowa (Gurnee, Ill.) had a walk-off double in the team’s final at-bat. The 11 runs scored against the Gaels is a season-high for the Bulldogs, but they managed just six combined runs in the other four games in Vegas. Drake’s defense struggled with 13 errors in the five games. Sowa recorded two multi-hit games at the classic with all four hits being doubles. Junior Kaitlyn Finneran (Morrison, Ill.) continues to hit the ball well this season closing the tournament on a three-game hitting streak as she is hitting .381 on the season. Ohio is 8-6 on the season while Indiana is 11-8 and will play two games against Evansville and one against Ohio before facing Drake. Saint Louis is 7-7 with four games scheduled for this weekend while SIUE is 5-11 after dropping a pair to Western Carolina on Thursday. Drake will have its home opener on March 22 welcoming the South Dakota State Jackrabbits to Ron Buel Field for a doubleheader. Game one will start at 2 p.m.Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

Benitez ready to attack shaky Saints

first_imgRafael Benitez believes Chelsea can return to winning ways at home by seeing off Southampton tonight.The Blues have enjoyed some excellent away results under Benitez but the interim manager was barracked by fans during back-to-back home defeats against Swansea and QPR.But Chelsea scored eight against Aston Villa and put six past Nordsjaelland at Stamford Bridge, proving that they can be lethal on their own patch.That does not bode well for a Saints side that have looked shaky at the back at times this season and were recently thrashed 5-1 by Chelsea at St Mary’s in the FA Cup.Benitez said: “We have confidence that we can do well. We scored many goals against Aston Villa and Nordsjaelland.“The last two [home] games were difficult because they had 11 players behind the ball and we have to find a way to overcome that.“If we take our chances it will be totally different because the game will be more open and we will have the space we are looking for.”Click here for our Chelsea v Southampton quiz 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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Mandela stands tall at Union Buildings

first_imgMadiba’s statue stands tall at the Union Buildings. (Image: ) MEDIA CONTACTS • Josias Pila   Department of Arts and Culture: Communications Officer  + 27 12 441 3713 / +27 78 733 9709 RELATED ARTICLES • SA’s queue to say goodbye to Mandela • Nelson Mandela: son of Qunu returns to the soil • In their own words: leaders and friends remember Mandela • Full text: Jacob Zuma’s tribute to Nelson MandelaThe massive statue by sculptors Andre Prinsloo and Ruhan Jansen Van Vuuren, which captures the spirit of Mandela with its outstretched arms, was unveiled by President Jacob Zuma at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Monday 16 December, and was the culmination of the 10-day mourning period for the late former president.Madiba passed away on 5 December at his Houghton home in Johannesburg after a lengthy illness.This giant of a man referred to by his Xhosa clan name, Madiba or “Tata” (Father), and also described as the “the father of the nation”, united the country’s citizens in death as he did in life, as thousands flocked to the Union Buildings to witness first-hand the unveiling of the newest addition to the memorial statues found in the capital city.In an address by President Zuma at the unveiling, he welcomed dignitaries and special guests at the seat of government, a day after laying to rest “one of the greatest leaders ever produced by our country and the African continent, our former President Nelson Mandela”.He acknowledged: “It has been a difficult period for our country, for Africa and for our friends all over the world.“The official mourning period came to an end last night at midnight and the national flag has been raised at all posts.”Our greatest sorrowZuma referred to Mandela’s death as “the moment of our greatest sorrow as the rainbow nation”. But he urged: “There should now be no more tears. We must celebrate Madiba and take forward his legacy. He should live in our hearts and inspire us to do something good every single day, to honour his memory. In that way, the pain of his passing will be eased every single day.”It was befitting that on the day the country marked national reconciliation, it recommitted itself to peace, forgiveness, tolerance and reconciliation – all the values of the presidency of Madiba – with the unveiling of the statue.“Under his leadership, the national Day of Reconciliation became a symbol of our collective victory over our divided past as a nation. We made a conscious decision to work for national unity and reconciliation.“It is therefore, of great historical significance that we are marking National Reconciliation Day 2013 by officially unveiling the nine metre statue of Madiba, the man who encouraged us to look beyond our differences and become one nation, united in our diversity,” said Zuma.South Africans commemorate the Day of Reconciliation on 16 December annually. During these celebrations, citizens are encouraged to remember the sacrifices that thousands made so that the country could be free and people can live in peace and prosperity.“In his humility, Madiba left it to the South African people to celebrate his life and legacy and to decide how he should be remembered,” said Zuma, quoting Mandela:“It would be very egotistical of me to say how I would like to be remembered. I’d leave that entirely to South Africans. I would just like a simple stone on which is written, ‘Mandela’.”Fitting tributeThis new statue at the Union Buildings is a fitting tribute to the contribution Madiba made to South Africa and the world.“The Madiba monument will not merely enhance the attraction and gravitas of the Union Buildings as a national heritage site,” said Zuma. “It will also remind the nation daily about the values of unity, reconciliation, compassion and Ubuntu.“The statue will forever remind us of Madiba’s towering vision and stature. It will remind us of his commitment, his leadership and his dedication to the struggle against apartheid. It will forever remind us of his commitment to an improved quality of life for all. It will also remind us of how far we have come as a nation in just a few years. The glaring reality is that before 1994, there would have been no statue of Madiba at the Union Buildings.”The site of the statue had previously housed the statue of former Prime Minister James Barry Hertzog, who led a white nationalist government from 1924-1939, noted Zuma.“Following an exhaustive consultation process, and in the spirit of reconciliation that our country has become renowned for, the representatives of former Prime Minister Hertzog agreed that his statue be relocated to another spot in the Union Buildings in order to make way for Madiba’s statue.”Union Buildings turns 100This year, the seat of government, the Union Buildings, which was completed in 1913, turns 100.Zuma noted, “The two identical West and East Wings of the Union Buildings were intended to each represent the English and the Afrikaner groups.“The union was thus the union of the two groups. The black majority was excluded from this union and from governance in general. The Union Buildings was therefore built on a shaky foundation of racial discrimination and oppression. It rapidly mutated into a source of anger in the country and in the world at large.”The Union Buildings is also more well-known for the historic 1956 march which saw more than 20 000 women, protesting against pass laws, end their march at the buildings. The first democratic national general elections on April 27, 1994, marked the end of a Union Buildings that existed to serve only one section of society.It was at the very buildings, at the recently renamed “Nelson Mandela Amphitheatre” specifically, that Madiba was inaugurated as head of state of a new South Africa, in 1994. The Union Buildings became Madiba’s office and a symbol of legitimate authority.It was also at the Union Buildings that Madiba lay in state for three days, from 11 to 13 December. Tens of thousands of people from all walks of life filed past to pay homage to the “father of the nation”.Zuma said, “As we celebrate 100 years of the Union Buildings today, we do so satisfied and happy that this seat of government is now not only rich in terms of its aesthetic beauty only. It is also rich in moral value and symbolism as well.“By declaring the Union Buildings as a national heritage site, we are acknowledging its historic significance and affirming its value as one of the sites that houses our nation’s heritage.“While we acknowledge the past, we are also emphasise that we are now one nation and that our national symbols need to reflect that unity in diversity.”last_img read more