Monthly Archives: May 2019

Vultures circling as crisis clubs Milan and Parma meet

Bottom-of-the-table Parma, mired in both financial problems and surrounded by a continuing mystery over their new owners, visit AC Milan on Sunday in a meeting of crisis clubs.


Milan, who like Parma were knocked out of the Coppa Italia in midweek, have dropped to joint 10th after failing to win a match since the Christmas break, although the club have dismissed suggestions that coach Filippo Inzaghi’s job is in danger.

Their problems pale into insignificance compared to Parma, however, who have nine points after losing 16 out of 20 games and lost a key relegation match at home to Cesena last week.

Parma’s troubles were exposed on Monday when they parted company with volatile striker Antonio Cassano who said he was owed several month’s wages.

“Every time they told us we would be paid tomorrow and the next day it was tomorrow again. Enough is enough. I couldn’t take it anymore, this agony was dragging on,” he told Italian media.

In December, Parma, who missed out on the Europa League this season for failing to meet UEFA licensing criteria, were deducted one point for breaching financial regulations.

Shortly afterwards, the club was sold to Dastraso Holding although little is known about the new owners other than that they are based in Cyprus.

Ermir Kodra, a 29-year-old Albanian, was named club president last week. The club said he had previously worked at BKT Bank di Tirana and ARMO refinery, although there was no mention of any previous experience in football.

Cassano said, however, that little had changed under the new ownership.

“I don’t know who the new owners are,” he said. “In 20 days we have seen four different presidents walk past. The new owners arrived 15 days ago, but nothing changed.

Donadoni said he would stay and dismissed suggestions that defender Gabriel Palletta was on his way to Sampdoria.

“I do not understand these questions, it gives me the impression there are vultures circling,” he told Rai Sport after Wednesday’s 1-0 cup defeat at home to Juventus.

“He has a contract and I don’t see any reason why Parma should think about sending him away.”

“It takes more dignity to stay in the saddle than to leave,” added the former Italy coach and player.

“It is easy to say that I’m leaving because I have not been paid or that I had other offers from teams abroad. The only thing that makes sense is to do my duty until the end. We must not just think of ourselves.”

(Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne, editing by Alan Baldwin)

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Amir vows to return a reformed player after reprieve

“This is the best day of my life as the last five years have been a big lesson for me,” Amir told Reuters.


“I don’t just want to get back as a top cricketer but also as a better human being who has reformed himself.”

Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Amir were all banned for spot-fixing during Pakistan’s tour of England in 2010, particularly for bowling deliberate no-balls by pre-arrangement during the fourth test at Lord’s.

The trio, who also served jail sentences in Britain, were given minimum five-year bans by an ICC tribunal while Butt was also given a two-year suspended sentence.

“I need just a month or so to get back to match fitness but it is yet to be decided when and with which team I will resume playing cricket,” Amir said.

With the first class matches in Pakistan over this season, Amir only has the possibility of either playing the non-first class Grade two tournament or in the super eight T20 event after the World Cup.

The 22-yar-old sought everyone’s support in his comeback bid.

“I promise I will not disappoint them and I will try to allay their concerns with my behaviour and performance on the field.

“I am also ready to play my role in helping players understand why it is important to play cricket according to its spirit.”

Amir’s five-year ban was scheduled to expire on Sept. 2 but ICC’s anti-corruption unit (ACSU) chairman Ronnie Flanagan exercised his discretion to allow him to return to domestic cricket with immediate effect.

“The ACSU Chairman… was satisfied that Amir had cooperated with the ACSU by fully disclosing his part in the matters that led to his disqualification, admitting his guilt, showing remorse and cooperating with the Unit’s ongoing investigations and by recording messages for the ACSU education sessions,” the governing body said in a statement.

Left-arm paceman Amir was marked as a great prospect for Pakistan in his early days and at the age of 18 he became the youngest bowler to capture 50 test wickets during the controversial test match at Lord’s in 2010.

According to a revised anti-corruption code, a banned player can appeal to ICC’s ACSU to allow him to resume playing domestic cricket before the end of his ban.

The PCB decided to help Amir with his appeal but ruled out helping Butt and Asif with any relaxation.

Former Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria is also serving a life ban since 2012 for spot-fixing.

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in New Delhi; Editing by John O’Brien/Amlan Chakraborty)

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Clock ticks to save Bali Nine pair

Lawyers for death row inmates Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan say they won’t stop fighting to get their sentences commuted, but they are aware the clock is ticking.


Indonesia’s Attorney-General HM Prasetyo on Wednesday said the government was still finding the right time for the executions of citizens of France, Ghana, Cordova, Brazil, The Philippines, Australia and one Indonesian.

His spokesman confirmed this, but clarified the prisoner from “Cordova” was a citizen of Nigeria.

Tony Spontana said Indonesia was ready to execute 11 death row convicts.

Of those, eight were drug offenders – one Indonesian and seven foreigners.

The Bali Nine pair’s Indonesian lawyer says an application for a second judicial review of their case, known as a PK, will be lodged as soon as possible.

“My attention, my focus at the moment, is probably to file my second PK,” Todung Mulya Lubis told reporters outside Kerobokan jail on Thursday.

“We are doing our best to save them.”

One of the Australian lawyers on the team, Peter Morrissey, says their work won’t stop, even if the men are given their 72 hours notice for execution.

“We won’t stop our efforts even if we get that notification,” he told the Nine Network.

The families of Chan, 31, and Sukumaran, 33, continued their sombre visits to the prison on Thursday.

One friend of Chan’s carried a stack of pizza boxes.

But the biggest show of support for the Australians on Thursday was to come from Sydney, and the candlelight vigil organised by artist Ben Quilty.

The attorney-general says the location for the next executions will likely be Nusakambangan, a prison island off Central Java.

But authorities are still evaluating the location and other issues after the executions of six prisoners last week.

The Netherlands and Brazil have both recalled their ambassadors in protest of their citizens’ deaths, and Australia won’t rule out the same action.

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Simeone proud of Atletico’s rebellious streak

Simeone’s side ended with nine players and could have had others sent off as they adopted an overly physical approach in their quarter-final clash at the Calderon which the Catalan side won 3-2 to advance 4-2 on aggregate.


“It was an extraordinary first half and we showed a real rebellious attitude that was great,” Simeone told reporters.

“In the second half I told them not to take risks and concentrate on not conceding goals. I thought it was the best decision for the team and the club after the way the first half went.”

Fullback Juanfran Torres, who had a running battle with Barca Neymar during the game, defiantly said they would continue to play the same way.

“It doesn’t bother us what people say. What I see is a lot of envy,” he said.

“Our way of playing is to be intense and strong and we are not going to change. People should stop saying what is not true but we are just concentrating on ourselves.”

A bad-tempered match boiled over after the referee blew forhalftime with Juanfran and Fernando Torres confronting Neymar before other players got involved.

Atletico captain Gabi Fernandez did not come out for the second half after being given a red card following an altercation in the tunnel.

The fouls and the arguments between players continued after the break and Arda Turan was very lucky to stay on the pitch after he launched his boot in the direction of the assistant referee after not being awarded a free kick.

Miranda was dismissed six minutes from the end after receiving his second yellow card.

Atletico knocked Barcelona out of the Champions League last season on the way to the final and drew with them in the last match of the campaign to win La Liga but Luis Enrique’s side have had the edge recently.

Simeone’s team are still well placed in third position in La Liga, four points off the pace, and in the Champions League last 16.

Their tactics on Wednesday showed they will do whatever is necessary to keep challenging the traditional dominance of Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid.

([email protected]广西桑拿,)

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Murray into fourth Australian Open final

Andy Murray has the chance to avenge three Australian Open final losses after defeating Tomas Berdych in a tense and dramatic semi-final.


The sixth-seeded Scot came back from a set down to beat Berdych 6-7 (6-8) 6-0 6-3 7-5 in three hours and 26 minutes on Thursday night.

The angst-filled match was fuelled by death stares from Berdych and the Scot’s often-angry remonstrations.

They had shared history in that Berdych hired Murray’s former coach and confidant Dani Vallverdu in December after a falling-out with the Scot.

Berdych didn’t miss when he struck a volley directly at Murray in the fourth set, but by then his efforts were in vain.

Murray’s game proved too dynamic and his mentality too resilient for the Czech, who equalled his best result at Melbourne Park by exiting in the last four.

Murray will take on world No.1 Novak Djokovic or reigning champion Stan Wawrinka in Sunday night’s final.

After losses to Djokovic in 2011 and 2013, and Federer in 2010, Murray would be the first man in Australian Open history to win the title after three final defeats.

The Scot admitted the night began with extra spice.

“I changed tactics a little bit and I felt more comfortable with Tomas’s ball,” he said.

“In the second set I got a lot more aggressive.

“When I was dictating the points and getting the first strike I was winning the majority of those points.

“I was able to do that more and more.”

Murray will take great strength into the final from his dismantling of the seventh seed.

Berdych was unassailable on his serve and on track for the first set after breaking Murray to lead 5-3 but dropped his focus in the subsequent game.

The Czech unusually moved to request a change of balls at deuce and 5-5 amidst Murray’s protestations.

In the 77-minute set’s tiebreak, Berdych saved a set point before winning and giving Murray an earful as he passed the net.

Murray did his talking on the court.

The sixth seed routed Berdych to love in an almost faultless display to completely flip the momentum.

Berdych lost his cool and his first set of the tournament, winning just 10 points before a steadying trip to the locker room.

At 2-3, Berdych’s re-discovered resilience was shattered once more, dropping his serve after leading 40-love.

Murray’s strong rallying had the Czech on the ropes and he had just two games across more than an hour’s work.

The Scot was even out-serving Berdych, finishing with 14 aces to five – his eighth to close out the third set.

Murray continued on the front foot in the fourth set, though Berdych came closest to a break of serve.

Berdych won his first break points in over two hours but couldn’t crack his opponent.

Instead Murray took the decisive break at 5-5, serving truly to close out the match.

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