CRICKET | Page 3 Royals ride Gopal and Buttler show to beat Bangalore

Wednesday, April 3, 2019 FOOTBALL Rajab 27, 1440 AH Pogba wants to GULF TIMES stay at Man United, says Solskjaer SPORT Page 7

FOOTBALL Victorious Duhail return with Asian club handball title Amir Cup fi nal set for May 16

By Sports Reporter Stars League (QSL) and semi-fi nals will be held on the Second Division. May 11 and 12 at Al Sadd The tournament will be Stadium. held over fi ve stages with Qatar Football Asso- he fi nal of the 47th the fi rst two rounds re- ciation’s Chairman of the edition of HH the served for Second Division Competitions Commit- Amir Cup will be teams. In the second phase tee Hamad al-Mannai said, held on May 16, of the tournament — set “The stages of the 2019 withT the venue for the title to commence on April 21 HH the Amir Cup have clash to be decided later. — will see top three teams been carefully studied and The draw ceremony for the from the Second Division planned by the offi cials of tournament is scheduled for competing against the 10th, QFA. The scheduling of the April 14. 11th and 12th placed sides 2019 HH the Amir Cup will The prestigious champi- in QNB Stars League. The allow our clubs — featuring onship will kick off with a matches will be held at Al in the 2019 AFC Champi- preliminary match between Gharafa Stadium and Al ons League — ample time second division teams Me- Arabi Stadium. to rest and prepare for their saimeer and Al Shamal on In the third stage, QNB matches.” April 11 at the Al Duhail stadi- Stars League teams (5th, Al-Mannai said that the um, the winner of which will 6th, 7th and 8th) will com- dates of matches have been qualify for the competition. pete against each other at approved for all the stages Following the qualifi ca- Grand Hamad Stadium and with only match-ups re- tion match, the draw cer- Al Gharafa Stadium. The maining to be decided. He emony will be conducted at fourth round, which is the expressed his confi dence the Kempinski Hotel, where quarter-fi nals stage, will that the current edition of Al Duhail handball players and off icials returned to a warm welcome at Doha’s Hamad International Airport from Kuwait after winning the 21st Asian the kick-off times and the see the top four of the QNB HH the Amir Cup will wit- Men’s Club League Championship. Duhail beat Al Wakrah 22-21 in the final game, which was held on Monday at Kuwait SC hall. Earlier in the day, match-ups will be revealed. Stars League competing ness the same success like Kuwait SC handball team, who had lost to Al Wakrah in the semi-final, played UAE’s Al Sharjah, who lost their semi-final against Duhail, for the third Qatar’s most popular foot- against each other on May the previous editions, and place. Kuwait SC missed out narrowly with a 27-28 loss. PICTURE: Anas Khalid ball tournament will bring 2 and 3 at Al Duhail Stadium wished good luck to all par- together teams from the QNB and Al Arabi Stadium. The ticipating clubs.

ASIAN ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIP Doha ready to host Asia’s best athletes this month ‘There is no better way to test our preparations for such major events than hosting the Asian Athletics Championships’

QNA elite athletes to Doha, the glo- such major events than hosting dominance over the champion- amazing atmosphere for fans of Doha bal hub for athletics, where our the Asian Athletics Champion- ship, China has taken over as the game in Qatar and the re- outstanding facilities promise to ships,” al-Hamad added. undisputed champion for 17 con- gion,” said Qatar Athletics Fed- deliver a fl awless experience for The four-day tournament will secutive editions until it was un- eration president Dr Thani bin he organising commit- everyone involved in the event,” take place at Khalifa International seated by last editions hosts and Abdulrahman al-Kuwari. tee of the Asian Athletics said al-Hamad. Stadium where innovative and eventual winners, India. Along with the Diamond Championships is in- Al-Hamad said this edition of environment-friendly cooling With top Asian athletes de- League round in May, Asian tensifying preparations the continental athletics show- technology has been successfully scending on Doha from the dif- Athletics Championships will Tto host the 23rd edition of the piece brings together nearly operating, ensuring optimal con- ferent regions of the continent, be the official test event of the Championships from April 21-24 1,000 athletes and up to 450 of- ditions for athletes and fans alike. the Championships will surely IAAF Worlds, with all major op- at Khalifa International Stadium, fi cials from 45 countries, who Over morning and evening produce promising athletes who erations, including the venue, with the participation of top ath- will compete for top honours in sessions will have athletes will can then return to Doha in Sep- transport and accommodation, letes from the continent. the world’s most populous con- compete for 186 medals in 21 tember and shine on the global set to be examined to ensure a Asian Athletics Association tinent. men’s events, 21 women’s events stage when the city hosts the smooth and spotless experience president and IAAF vice-president “Qatar is about to embark on in addition to a mixed relay event World Championships. during the global showpiece. Dahlan al-Hamad said Doha 2019 an enthralling summer of fi rst- that makes its debut in the Asian “It’s a great honour to welcome Doha has a proven track record will be one of the most important class athletics with the IAAF Athletics Championships. some of the fi nest athletes in the of bringing international athlet- tournaments in the history of Asia Diamond League and IAAF The tournament will see the world to Doha for yet another ics to the region by staging the In this July 9, 2017 picture, the then QOC secretary-general and current as Doha, the world-renowned World Athletics Championships usual continental powerhouses major athletics event. As always, annual Doha Diamond League, Qatar Athletics Federation president Dr Thani Abdulrahman al-Kuwari athletics destination, is set to wel- to follow as top athletics events go head-to-head for the number our facilities and infrastructure World Indoor Athletics Champi- (left) receives the flag from Asian Athletics Association president and come Asia’s top athletes. staged in Doha. There is no better one spot in Asia’s athletics. Af- are ready to help athletes com- onships in 2010 and Asian Games IAAF vice-president Dahlan al-Hamad for the 2019 edition of the Asian “I’m thrilled to welcome Asia’s way to test our preparations for ter an initial period of Japanese pete at their best and deliver an in 2006. Athletics Championships, which Doha will host.

State-of-the-art Khalifa International Stadium will host the Asian Athletics Championship from April 21-24. Gulf Times 2 Wednesday, April 3, 2019 SPORT

FORMULA 1 A Schumacher is back in a Ferrari cockpit Reuters “The way he has developed in Manama the last years, he deserves where he is now. Now we should give him the time and the peace to do ick Schumacher, son his job.” of seven times world Michael Schumacher, who still champion Michael, holds the record of 91 grand prix made his Formula wins, won fi ve of his titles with MOne test debut with Ferrari yes- Ferrari in a golden period from terday at the Bahrain circuit, 2000 to 2004. He left the team where 15 years ago his father won in 2006 before a comeback with the fi rst grand prix in the Middle Mercedes from 2010-12. East. Schumacher senior has not The 20-year-old European F3 been seen in public since he suf- champion made his Formula Two fered severe head injuries in a ski- debut at the Sakhir circuit over ing accident in the French Alps in the weekend, fi nishing eighth December 2013. He turned 50 in and sixth in the two races. January. The German, whose father Mick, who joined the Ferrari won the Bahrain Grand Prix from academy in January, was the only pole position in a Ferrari one-two debutant on track in a rain-hit on April 4, 2004, will also test opening session that followed with the Ferrari-powered Alfa Sunday’s second grand prix of Romeo team (formerly Sauber) Mick Schumacher (also right) prepares to drive his first laps for Ferrari the season. today. at the in-season test at the Sakhir circuit yesterday. (AFP) They were joined by double Yesterday’s test in the SF90 world champion Fernando Alon- was Mick’s fi rst experience of Francorchamps circuit before the certainly some links and expec- so, who left Formula One at the a modern F1 car, although he 2017 Belgian Grand Prix. tations,” four times champion end of last season but was back did drive his father’s 1994 title- “Obviously, with the name and and current Ferrari driver Sebas- in a McLaren testing tyres for winning Benetton at the Spa- being the son of Michael, there’s tian Vettel said last week. Pirelli.

GOLF TENNIS Bencic, Ostapenko Valenzuela: the ease into second round in Charleston

Reuters the opening game of her match Toronto but quickly righted the ship and dominated the rest of the way in a 6-1, 6-4 win over Swede Jo- amateur who turned wiss ninth seed Belinda hanna Larsson. Bencic made a strong Latvian Ostapenko had seven 21-year-old will instead start to her claycourt sea- double faults in the match but son with a 6-3, 6-0 win rounded into form as the match be at the first women’s overS qualifi er Destanee Aiava to wore on before clinching the win reach the second round of the by fi ring down an ace. major of the season Charleston Open in South Caro- She will next face American down Augusta lina on Monday. Shelby Rogers, who was a 6-4, Bencic broke Aiava at love to 6-2 winner over Russia’s Evgeni- By Ewan Murray place was off ered again for 2018, open the match, one of the six ya Rodina in her fi rst match back The Guardian when she fi nished 59th, and re- break points she converted, and after being sidelined for more tained this time around. was never really tested as the than a year by a knee injury. “I don’t think many amateurs 18-year-old Australian made 24 Such was her relief at being fi t he green marketing ma- have had this number of op- unforced errors. and back on court again, Rogers chine has whirred into portunities from the ANA,” she Aiava did well to fi ght off one succumbed to tears after winning action early this year. adds. “I couldn’t say no, they match point but then double- the opening set. The Masters can wait; have always been so supportive. faulted the next time the match “It’s kind of embarrassing TSaturday will see the closing It’s the fi rst major of the year was on the line to hand Bencic to be honest,” the 26-year-old round of the inaugural Augusta and I love the course. It’s a very victory in 56 minutes. Charleston native told reporters. National Women’s Amateur take signifi cant thing that’s hap- Up next for the world number “It was a great moment, I en- to the hallowed turf in Georgia. pening at Augusta so I’m sad to 21 at the green-clay event will be joyed every second of it — even This is, according to those who miss that but I’m very excited American Allie Kiick, who beat when I got broken. That’s part of will preside over it, “a historic to be going back to the ANA. I Frenchwoman Pauline Parmen- it. It’s all those feelings I missed event that promises to shine a don’t think there was a ‘wrong’ tier 6-3, 6-0. so much. The adrenaline, the spotlight on women’s golf and choice, that’s just my perspec- Former French Open cham- nerves, the excitement, every- help inspire a new generation of tive. I couldn’t say no to ANA.” pion Jelena Ostapenko, a run- thing. You can’t recreate that players”. Valenzuela’s Plan A is to ner-up here in 2017, dropped outside of the arena.” Depending on your outlook, turn professional immediately there is a case of unfortunate upon completion of her degree timing or Augusta National in 2020. “Now that I have this SPOTLIGHT demonstrating – not for the backup of a Stanford degree, fi rst time – that the greater good I think I’ll go out there a little isn’t really their concern. As an more freely,” she says. epic fuss is made over an inter- World number five Albane Valenzuela A bigger picture relates to an Murray returns to court national fi eld of 72 – cut to 30 will play at ANA Inspiration. Olympic return, having repre- by the time the event switches sented Switzerland in Rio. The from the Champions Retreat to men’s section of golf’s return to aft er surgery, eyes the Masters venue – a women’s – to put it mildly – about the She is now in the penultimate to play in 2016 for the fi rst time the Games was off set by a raft of major will be taking place from whole business. This has also year of a political science and and made the cut. When I did withdrawals; the women’s ele- Thursday until Sunday. placed some competitors in a communication degree at Stan- that, my dad pointed out I might ment, though, seemed wholly doubles at Wimbledon The ANA Inspiration, the fi rst diffi cult position. ford, the California university have a shot at the Olympics be- positive. major of the golfi ng year, has un- The ANA landed a coup by which counts Tiger Woods and cause of the points situation. “I think the guys made one questionably been overshadowed sealing amateur involvement Michelle Wie among golfi ng “I got invites to tournaments, of the biggest mistakes of their by Augusta’s latest attempted from Paphangkorn Tavatana- alumni. made a top fi ve, had other good lives,” Valenzuela says. “I’ve demonstration of diversity. kit, the world No 2, Freda Kin- The 21-year-old Valenzuela performances, played in a US never had so much fun. You are The ANA had already been hult, who is fourth, and Albane harbours no ill whatsoever to- Open and was able to compete surrounded by the best athletes aff ected by the rising frenzy at- Valenzuela, currently No 5. Jen- wards Augusta, which she be- in the Olympics so I have always in the world, it is not just about tached to the Drive, Chip and nifer Kupcho, the top-ranked lieves is off ering an “unbeliev- been so grateful for that original golf. It’s the highest reference Putt Championship, where ex- amateur in the world, will play in able” opportunity to fellow opportunity. It was a turning for sport. It meant the world to cited kids and giddy parents take Augusta. Valenzuela’s story may amateurs this week. It was, the point in my career.” me to be walking in that stadi- to Augusta National, live on tel- be the most interesting, and she golfer admits, a “tricky” deci- Two years ago, Valenzuela um, right behind the fl ag bearer.” evision, on the Sunday preced- articulates it impressively. Born sion to spurn the advances of the received the call from the ANA Further Olympic recognition ing Masters week. in the US, she spent toddler time Green Jackets when accepting only for a bike accident the day looks inevitable. For now, a ma- Needless to say, the LPGA in Mexico before the Valenzuela an invite for an ANA return. before she was due to leave for jor championship is all the bet- Tour, which runs the ANA In- family relocated to Geneva for 15 “It’s a special major to me,” the tournament meaning she ter for Valenzuela’s reciprocal spiration, is privately lukewarm years. she says. “I got the opportunity had to withdraw. Her major appreciation.

Aft er near-fatal accident, German golfer Leonie Harm targets Augusta

DPA day of the women’s event on and after about seven weeks, I want to get involved in cancer Berlin the world’s most famous golf was able to play golf again.” research,” she said. course, where until 2012 the Hard to imagine, but the only Last summer, she celebrated privilege of hitting the white permanent damage she has is one of her greatest sporting ix years ago, Leonie ball over the fairways was “limited hearing on my right triumphs when in Southport, Harm’s golfing career reserved exclusively for men. ear and thus a poor sense of England she became the first Sseemed to be over before The 54-hole tournament balance”. German to win the British Ladies it had barely begun. begins today and tomorrow Today, nearly six years later, the Amateur Golf Championship — In a serious traff ic accident, she with rounds at the Champions young, self-confident woman giving her the ticket to the tour- narrowly escaped death. Now Retreat Golf Club, some 20 kilo- is in the midst of life. She has nament premiere in Augusta. the 21-year-old from Germany metres away. The international been studying biochemistry Women have long been on the Reuters seen hitting the ball in an outdoor will be part of a new era: On field of 72 will be cut to 30 for at the University of Houston, outside at the Augusta National Bengaluru court while rallying with a wall Saturday, the final round of a the final round at the Augusta Leonie Harm. (Twitter/leoharm) Texas, since 2016, thanks to a Golf Club. The club, one of the with a caption, “It’s a start.” women’s tournament will be National. sports scholarship, and plays most elite in the world, was Murray had said he was not played for the first time at the Harm has only fragmented Harm was placed in an induced golf with the Houston Cougars founded in 1932 and for 80 years ndy Murray has re- sure he could play in the singles elite Augusta National Golf memories of the accident on coma. Her chances of survival University team. was a purely male bastion. turned to a tennis court draw at Wimbledon, a tourna- Club in Georgia, the morning of May 3, 2013, were “low,” she says. She had In the summer months she Hosting a women’s tournament two months after un- ment he has won twice, but tar- Harm is one of 72 players start- when before school she started suff ered fractures to the base of always travels to Germany to represents a quantum leap. dergoing hip resurfac- geted a possible return in doubles ingA surgery. at this year’s tournament as it ing in the Augusta National to cross the road while jogging. the skull, hip, ankle and rib. The start in team events for Golf “It’s a great pity that golf has Women’s Amateur champion- She was hit head-on by car petrous bone that surrounds the Club St Leon-Rot. lasted until the second decade Murray, who has not played put less stress on his hip. ship, as a prelude to the first travelling at around 70 kilome- inner ear was also broken, the She is weighing up her future: of the 21st century, to find that competitively since his fi rst The three-times Grand Slam major of the year when the tres per hour. lungs bruised and haematomas a career in research or a move these places should be playable round exit at the Australian Open champion compared his situa- world’s male golfing elite play “Why I crossed the street, I do had formed in the brain. into professional golf. for women,” Harm said. in January, said last month he tion to that of American doubles a few days later for the Masters not know,” she told DPA in an But Harm fought back. “After “I’m currently tempted to give “This tournament is an im- could possibly play at Wimble- player Bob Bryan who returned title and the green jacket. email interview. “Apparently I five days, I was reasonably the professional career a try. portant statement and I am don as he was now pain free after to the court 5-1/2 months after a Only the top 30 amateur golf- looked around before I jogged awake again,” she said. “After If that does not work out or if pleased to have the chance to the surgery. similar procedure. ers will qualify for the final onto the street.” two weeks, I left the hospital, I would not enjoy it so much, I be a part of it.” The 31-year-old posted a short This year’s Wimbledon begins video on Instagram, where he was on July 1. Gulf Times Wednesday, April 3, 2019 3 CRICKET

IPL SPOTLIGHT Coach Cooley’s Ashes job to be a Royals ride Gopal hit-and-run aff air

Reuters long-term appointment. As Melbourne one of the principal architects of England’s droughtbreaking 2-1 series win in 2005, Cooley’s ustralia bowling involvement is a boost for an and Buttler show coach Troy Cooley Australian team hoping to has no plans to carry claim the urn on English soil on the role full-time for the fi rst time since 2001. afterA this year’s Ashes series He said reverse swing might and expects to head back to his not have as much of an impact usual job at the national cricket on the series as it had in 2005 academy after plotting Eng- because of stadium upgrades. land’s downfall. “It really depends on Mother to beat Bangalore Cooley, who helped England Nature,” Cooley said. win back the urn in the memo- “We’ll exploit that if we get ‘Today, we were more competitive, but we were 15-20 short with the bat’ rable 2005 series, left his post an opportunity to, depending as head bowling coach at the on the conditions. National Cricket Centre in Bris- “But a lot of English grounds bane to join the Australian camp now have got irrigation and for the recent one-day series been redone, so you don’t have against Pakistan and India. those real dry outfi elds like in Although announced as ‘05.” bowling coach for the Ashes Even with fi rst choice quicks last week, Cooley confi rmed he Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazle- would be in the role for a good wood currently injured, Aus- time, not a long time. tralia are unlikely to be short of “Ashes, it gets me out of bed quality pacemen. in the morning,” the 53-year- Cooley said Australia’s old said in Dubai, where Aus- whole attack would need to tralia completed a 5-0 white- be versatile to have success in wash of Pakistan on Sunday. England when the series gets “It’s one of the best jobs go- underway in August. ing around. “The fast bowlers and the “You could not pass up an spinners have got to work as opportunity like this. a team and I know ‘JL’ (head “But I would probably be coach Justin Langer) is really more inclined to continue the keen to make sure that pack (NCC) head coaching role.” mentality is tight and they’re Cooley replaced David Sak- covering all bases,” he said. er, Australia’s last full-time “So if we rock up and get bowling coach, for the India a green seamer or a dry one and Pakistan ODI series, but we’ve got enough skillset and governing body Cricket Aus- enough coverage to be able to tralia have yet to decide on a take 20 wickets.”

Rajasthan Royals batsman Jos Buttler raises his bat after completing his half-century during the IPL match against Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur yesterday. (Right) Rajasthan Royals bowler Shreyas Gopal celebrates after dismissing Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli. (AFP)

IANS a 31-ball 38 before fi nally holing Patel’s 49-run partnership for ies in the early stages, Kohli was Patel and Stoinis tried to Jaipur out to Umesh Yadav at long on off the opening wicket, then cut looking good when Patel joined steady the ship from there on Mohamed Siraj. short AB de Villiers and Shimron him to welcome Archer by hit- with the Australian struggling to Yuzvendra Chahal (2/17) was Hetymer’s stay at the crease in his ting him for three fours in the get going. Patel tried his best to Royal backdrop for Cricket World os Buttler and Steve the pick of the bowlers for RCB next two overs as the visitors were fi fth over. drag the team to a fi ghting total Cup launch party Smith made sure Shreyas as he got the wickets of Royals’ reduced to 73/3 in 10.1 overs. At the end of six overs, RCB but holed out to Rahane at long Gopal’s valiant eff ort with captain Ajinkya Rahane (22) and Patel top-scored for RCB were 48/0, but just after the on off Archer in the 18th over, The launch for this year’s lucky enough to attend,” said the ball did not go in vain, Buttler but it was too little too with a patient 41-ball 67 - his Powerplay, Gopal removed Kohli looking to up the ante. cricket World Cup in England World Cup managing director asJ Rajasthan Royals beat Royal late as Rahul Tripathi (34 off 23 knock laced with nine fours and with a superb googly that beat From then on, Stoinis and will take place on The Mall in Steve Elworthy. Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by not out) hit a six off the penul- a six - while Marcus Stoinis was the right-hander all ends up to Moeen hit a few boundaries to central London, organisers “The Mall, with Buckingham seven wickets in their IPL game timate ball of the innings to take unbeaten on 31 off 28 balls and crash into the stumps through end on a high. hoping for a 4,000 sell-out Palace in the background, is at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium his team home. Moeen Ali played a nine-ball 18 the gate. “Today, we were more com- crowd said yesterday. synonymous with some of the yesterday. Royals needed fi ve in the fi nal run cameo to help the struggling Gopal did not stop, sending petitive, but we were 15-20 short The Mall - which links Buck- biggest events held in the UK Leg-spinner Gopal (3/12) over and as much as it looked like outfi t post a competitive total. the other ‘big fi sh’ de Villiers with the bat. I thought 160 was ingham Palace to Trafalgar and is instantly recognisable snared three wickets in his three they would make heavy weather Patel and Stoinis joined hands back in the hut in the ninth over competitive, but with the dew Square - will host the party on to everyone around the globe. overs to reduce RCB to 73/3 from of a simple chase, Tripathi for a 53-run stand for the fourth for just 13 with another wrong’ factor, 15 runs more would’ve May 29, the eve of the open- “It will be a fitting celebration a steady 49/0 and they could pulled Umesh for a maximum wicket. In the fi nal over, Jofra un that stopped on the batsman been more challenging,” the los- ing game between England of a World Cup, cricket and only manage 158/4 in 20 overs to complete the formalities with Archer (1/47) leaked 17 runs with forcing him to punch the ball ing captain Virat Kohli said. and South Africa, featuring sport with diversity at after being asked to bat fi rst. one run needed in two balls. Ali smashing him for a six and a back to the bowler. “music, dance and some of its core,” added the 54-year- Chasing a modest 159 for vic- RCB, thus, succumbed to their four as RCB managed to score 51 Gopal then accounted for BRIEF SCORES the biggest names in sport”, old former South Africa tory, Buttler (59; 43b; 8x4 1x6) fourth straight loss to stay rock- runs in the last fi ve overs. Hetmyer (1) as well two overs Royal Challengers Bangalore according to the organisers. bowler. made the most of a reprieve when bottom in the points table while RCB were off to a good start later, the big-hitting West Indi- 158/4 (Parthv Patel 67; Shreyas “The opening party will Tickets for the launch party he was dropped on 7 by RCB Royals registered their fi rst win. as Kohli looked in positive frame an failing to read another googly Gopal 3/12); Rajasthan Royals capture the very essence of for the tournament - which skipper Virat Kohli in the second Earlier, Gopal was given the of mind from ball one, working that turned away from him to 164/3 in 19.5 overs (Jos But- what makes this tournament runs from May 30 to July 14 over to bring up his seventh fi fty ball in the seventh over and the K Gowtham through midwicket take the outside edge for Buttler tler 59, Steve Smith 38, Rahul so special and will be hugely - will be allocated in a free bal- in the last ten IPL games while leg-spinner fi rst broke skipper for a couple of runs. to complete a sharp catch behind Tripathi 34 not out; Yuzvendra exciting for the fans that are lot which opens tomorrow. Smith - dropped thrice - scored Kohli (23; 25b; 3x4) and Parthiv Facing most of the deliver- the stumps. Chahal 2/17).

FOCUS Pakistan’s Umar fi ned for night out in Dubai AFP The Pakistan Cricket Board Umar managed just 150 runs ty20 in India in 2016. He has also Karachi (PCB) said in a statement late in the fi ve matches – a disap- clashed repeatedly with current Monday that Umar had apolo- pointing show that could have head coach Mickey Arthur. gised after team manager Talat a negative impact on his poten- In 2017 Arthur sent him akistani cricketer Umar Ali charged him with breaching tial selection for the 2019 World home days before the start of Akmal’s dancing skills the team’s curfew and going to a Cup, to be held in England and the Champions Trophy after he off the pitch have land- club, a violation of the rules for Wales from May 30 to July 14. failed a fi tness test. ed him in trouble as the tours. The player has had a history Later that year he received a maverickP middle-order batsman “I am glad that Umar has real- of disciplinary problems since three-month ban after a spat was fi ned 20 percent of his match ised his mistake, and has accept- making his international debut with Arthur in the national fee for a night out in Dubai. ed and apologised for his actions, in 2009. cricket academy in Lahore. The 28-year-old talented yet which were clearly unprofession- He was infamously arrested Umar is also under investiga- indisciplined player was in the al and in no way can be ignored for a day in 2014 after attacking tion by the International Cricket United Arab Emirates for a fi ve- or overlooked,” PCB managing a traffi c warden. In 2015, he was Council (ICC) for claiming in match series against Australia, director Wasim Khan said. dropped from the Pakistan team a television interview that he which Pakistan lost 5-0 in Dubai “The PCB expects a high level after local media reported an- was off ered money to under- on Sunday. It was his fi rst inter- of professionalism and commit- other raucous night of dancing. perform during the 2015 World national fi xture since January ment from its players, and this Waqar Younis, Pakistan’s pre- Cup held in Australia and New 2017. But a video clip circulating action is a reiteration and timely vious head coach, also suggested Zealand. on social media showed Umar at- reminder that any indiscipline the PCB keep Umar away from The ICC said Umar has not tending a concert and dancing on shall not be tolerated or accept- the team over disciplinary prob- been charged, so he was free to In this file photo taken on March 24, 2019, Pakistan batsman Umar Akmal leaves the field after being Friday night in Dubai. ed.” lems following the World Twen- play in international competition. dismissed during the second ODI against Australia in Sharjah. (AFP) Gulf Times 4 Wednesday, April 3, 2019 SPORT

CRICKET BASKETBALL LeBron out for I’ve played my last World Cup, says 2020 Olympics game for England, ‘possibility’

For the next three seasons, the AFP will include a basketball court Los Angeles so he can get in some workouts former England captain wants to while making the movie. “I’ve had basically the same give something back to Essex our-time NBA Most off season training regimen the says Cook Valuable Player LeBron last eight years,” James told the James is a “possibility” website. “I knew how long I for the defending cham- wanted to rest for the season on pionF US team at the 2020 Tokyo a short timeline. I’m fi guring out Olympic Games but says he will now how to get as much as I can skip this year’s World Cup in out of two months of extra time China. for training. The 34-year-old forward for “It requires a totally diff erent the Los Angeles Lakers told The strategy. We’re looking at it in an Athletic website in a story posted entirely new way.” Monday that he will begin pro- duction on the movie Space Jam I’ve had basically the 2 during this off -season and how same off season training he feels after next season will de- regimen the last eight termine his chances of playing years. I’m fi guring out for gold in Japan next year. ‘ now how to get as much as “That’s a possibility,” James I can out of two months of said. “It depends on how I feel. I extra time for training. It love the Olympics.” requires a totally diff erent James spent most of the 2004 strategy. We’re looking at it Athens Olympics on the bench as in an entirely new way a US team of NBA stars settled for — LeBron James, bronze, then served as the back- on entering his earliest NBA bone of a revamped programme off -season courtesy an injury that won Olympic gold in 2008 at Beijing and 2012 in London. He did not play for the Ameri- The Space Jam sequel being can squad that captured a third made by the SpringHill Entertain- consecutive title in 2016 at Rio. ment production company owned James is entering the earliest by James is set for a July 2021 re- NBA off -season he has known, lease, 25 years after the original the Lakers having benched him fi lm with NBA legend Michael Jor- for the fi nish of the campaign dan and animated allies like Bugs due to a left groin injury that has Bunny was released. nagged him since late December. That meant James wasn’t go- This season snaps an eight- ing to be a candidate for the US year run of NBA Finals appear- team of NBA players competing ances for James, who captured under coach Gregg Popovich in two titles with the Miami Heat this year’s FIBA World Cup, set and another with the Cleveland to open August 31 in China. Cavaliers, whom he left as a “I love everything about Pop, free agent to join the Lakers last obviously, but this is not a good July. summer for me,” James said. James will miss the playoff s James averaged 27.4 points, 8.5 for the fi rst time since 2005 and rebounds and 8.3 assists for the plans for extra training time dur- Lakers this season and passed ing his long summer break as well Jordan for fourth place on the as his movie work on a set that all-time NBA scoring list.

In this September 9, 2018, picture, England’s Alastair Cook plays a shot on the third day of the fifth Test against India in London. (AFP)

By Kevin Mitchell ford, where he announced his of someone who has heard the the end, I wasn’t the player I was. to be at home for a long period The Guardian arrival so spectacularly 14 years same suggestion many times. Things had to move on.” of time. I’ve enjoyed spending ago with a double-hundred “I was asked a very interest- Nevertheless, the mer- time with the kids and I’m look- against a weakened Australian ing question on a panel show, est twinges of nostalgia have ing forward to the summer.” t might be a stretch to see touring side on a pitch as much with, like, 18 diff erent circum- invaded Cook’s thoughts over Normally that would have Alastair Cook as the Billy like marble as turf. He rode his stances, and I said: ‘You can the winter. meant preparing for the rigours Bonds of cricket, although luck, alongside his old friend never say never,’ but, look, I’ve “Over the last few months of fending off bowlers such as the England and now Ravi Bopara. Both are still here, played my last game for Eng- there have been times … like Pat Cummins, Josh Hazelwood Iexclusively Essex hero shares seeing out the autumn days of land. Of course there’s always when England won in Sri Lanka, and Mitchell Starc, when the with the long-ago West Ham their careers, awaiting the start that one thing – an absolute you know the experience the Ashes begin in August. Instead, favourite the old-fashioned of the county season on Friday. emergency – but I’m nowhere guys would have had out there. Cook will be moving around the virtues of loyalty and commit- At the same venue under a near that mindset. When you win, it’s the reward counties with reduced expecta- ment. Cook, a classic one-club gloomy sky yesterday, Cook, “I’ve had 12 amazing years you get for a lot of hard work tions, and no pressure. loyalist, has never played his a youthful 34, was as buoyant playing for England. It’s time in tough conditions. I certainly Only four people in the history serious cricket anywhere but for as he was on that sunny day in for the next generation of top- miss that day, and there have of cricket – Sachin Tendulkar, Essex and England – and, no, he 2005. But he has done all his order players to try to make been a few other periods. It’s Ricky Ponting, Jacques Kallis does not envisage an interna- looking back. For the next three their mark. I look forward to natural when it’s been such a big and Rahul Dravid – have scored tional comeback. seasons, he wants to give some- watching it, hopefully being part of your life for a long time. more Test runs than Cook, none “I’ve played my last game for thing back to Essex. involved in whatever capacity But life moves on, doesn’t it? of them an Englishman. Reggie England,” he said yesterday. He Last week against the Cam- at certain stages down the line, “I went to the Caribbean with Duff , Bill Ponsford, Greg Chap- looked as if he meant it. bridge MCC University side, whether it’s commentating, the BBC, starting the transition pell and Mohamed Azharuddin When Cook stepped away he knocked out 150 – his fi rst being involved in coaching, period out of the England team, were the only other players to from England duty after 161 Test century as a knight of the realm wherever my life might lead me. the fi rst time I’ve seen England start and end their international matches with a century at the – to set speculation rolling that “In one way, it’s sad that it’s play a Test match without being careers with centuries; none Oval last summer – fi nishing as he might be on the bench for never going to happen again, but involved. It’s been remarkably was born on Christmas Day and had begun, a dozen years earlier England this Ashes summer. He I’ve had my time. I’ve had an smooth. none played for Essex. He’s been – he turned again to Chelms- allows himself the half-laugh amazing journey. But, towards “It’s been good experience blessed in many ways.

BOTTOMLINE Collapse of Canadian women’s league creates air of uncertainty

Reuters “This is a very limited, not just It will cease operations eff ec- hockey option for women in hockey in North America would Toronto pool of talent but pool of fans. tive May 1. North America. be if the National Hockey League, So to split them up two ways like In the wake of Sunday’s an- The news also rekindled the home to the top men’s players, that made no sense at all.” nouncement, several Canadian oft-talked about discussion about provided its infrastructure, mar- he sudden demise of The CWHL has four teams players, including two-times a merger between the CWHL and keting and branding to unite the the Canadian Women’s based in Canada, one in the Unit- Olympic gold medallist Poulin, NWHL, with the latter off ering two leagues. Hockey League (CWHL) ed States and another in China, posted the same statement on perhaps some reassuring words to But the NHL, which has pre- has left the future of where it was hoping to grow the their social media accounts. players aff ected by the shutdown viously said it was hesitant on Twomen’s professional hockey in women’s game ahead of the 2022 of the Canadian league. assuming control over either North America in disarray with Beijing Olympics. SHOCK NEWS “We will pursue all opportu- league because it does not believe many of the world’s best players According to the league, a “The only thing stronger than the nities to ensure the best players in their models, said it still has no without a club team to play for. record 175,000 tuned in to watch initial shock of the news, was the in Canada have a place to play,” plans to get involved. The CWHL, which was found- its championship game last force felt by every single one of NWHL Founder and Commis- “As long as there is a women’s ed in 2007, is one of two women’s week in Toronto where a crowd the players immediately coming sioner Dani Rylan said. “Those professional league existing and professional leagues in North of nearly 5,000 were on hand as together,” the statement read. conversations have started al- providing professional oppor- America and consensus was they Calgary beat Montreal for the “We know what we have is not ready and have quickly become a tunities to elite women hockey could not thrive as separate en- Clarkson Cup. enough. We want to build a better priority.” players, we have no intention of tities even as popularity of the The CWHL, which boasts future for ourselves and for gen- Players, and even the commis- weighing into this space,” NHL women’s game has been rising in some of the game’s biggest names erations of women to come. That sioners, from both leagues have Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly recent years. in Canada’s Marie-Philip Pou- begins now.” previously said a single women’s told Reuters in an e-mail. “It was overkill,” Ken Wong, a lin and American Hilary Knight, The decision leaves the fi ve- professional league in North “That doesn’t mean we won’t marketing professor at the Smith operates as a centrally funded, team National Women’s Hockey America would be best for the be supportive, but there is no need In this January 25, 2019, picture, Rebecca Johnston of the Canadian School of Business at Queen’s nonprofi t enterprise but said its League, founded in 2015 and sport. to take a leading role. Professional women’s hockey team competes in the NHL Puck Control during the University in Kingston, Ontario, business model has proven to be based exclusively in the United Many pundits have suggested opportunities still exist for the best 2019 SAP NHL All-Star Skills at SAP Center in San Jose, California. (AFP) told Reuters. economically unsustainable. States, as the only professional the ideal outcome for women’s women hockey players.” Gulf Times Wednesday, April 3, 2019 5 SPORT

NBA MLB Hernandez ends personal skid as Giannis returns to M’s dump Angels Reuters He then tested Smith’s arm in New York center on Jonathan Lucroy’s single and beat the throw to make it 4-2. Two throwing er- elix Hernandez ended rors by Narvaez helped bring power Bucks’ win an eight-game losing Lucroy home and cut the defi - streak, and the Seattle cit to 4-3. Mariners continued theirF best start since 1995 with CARDINALS PUSH a 6-3 win against the visiting ACROSS RUN IN 11TH TO Los Angeles Angels on Mon- BEAT PIRATES day night. Paul DeJong scored on a two- The game was the opener of out, bases-loaded passed ball while Raptors romp a two-game series. in the top of the 11th inning Hernandez (1-0), the 2010 Monday as the St. Louis Car- ‘We know how important that is but we are just trying to get better’ AL Cy Young Award winner dinals spoiled the Pittsburgh who will turn 33 on April 8, Pirates’ home opener, 6-5. went 5 1/3 innings, allowing The Cardinals loaded the three runs (one earned) and bases against Steven Brault seven hits. He struck out four (0-1) before a Nick Kingham and didn’t walk a batter. pitch got away from catcher In his previous 11 appear- Francisco Cervelli with Yairo ances (10 starts) since his last Munoz at bat. St. Louis erased victory, Hernandez had gone a four-run defi cit before Co- 0-8 with a 6.34 ERA. Seat- lin Moran’s solo homer in the tle committed four errors eighth gave Pittsburgh a 5-4 through the fi rst four innings lead. In the top of the ninth, but still maintained a 4-3 lead Cardinals pinch-hitter Jose when Hernandez departed. Martinez hit a one-out RBI Jay Bruce hit a two-run double for a 5-5 tie. homer in the seventh inning Kolten Wong hit a two-run to give Seattle some insurance homer and Tyler O’Neill hit an en route to its sixth win in the RBI single for the Cardinals. fi rst seven games. Jordan Hicks (1-1) pitched Chris Stratton, whom the two innings, and John Gant Angels acquired in a trade pitched a scoreless 11th for with the San Francisco Giants his fi rst save. St. Louis starter last week, started and got off Adam Wainwright gave up to a rocky start, allowing four four hits, four runs and four runs in the fi rst inning. The walks in four innings, with right-hander settled in and three strikeouts. didn’t allow another run be- Moran also had a two-run fore exiting after 4 1/3 innings, double, and Josh Bell had two having yielded seven hits with RBIs for Pittsburgh. Pirates one strikeout and two walks. right-hander Chris Archer Mallex Smith started the struck out eight over fi ve score- fi rst-inning rally by reaching less innings. He allowed two on an infi eld single and then hits and three walks. In the fi rst, taking second on a wild pitch. Wainwright walked the fi rst Mitch Haniger walked, and two batters. Bell hit a one-out Domingo Santana followed grounder to drive in a run. Mo- with a single to left, scoring ran’s double to right made it 3-0. Smith for a 1-0 lead. After Pittsburgh made it 4-0 in retiring the next two batters, the third. Starling Marte led Stratton gave up an RBI sin- off with a single, went to third gle to Omar Narvaez, followed on Corey Dickerson’s double by a two-run double by Tim and scored on Bell’s sacrifi ce Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (right) shoots the ball over Brooklyn Nets centre Jarrett Allen during the second-half of their NBA game at Barclays Center. Beckham for the 4-0 lead. fl y. Wong cut the defi cit in half, PICTURE: USA TODAY Sports The Angels got a run back in 4-2, in the seventh with a shot the second. Albert Pujols led to right off Richard Rodriguez. AFP and later rebounding his own 3-point sition. Donovan Mitchell led Utah with 25 off with a single and took third Following Harrison Bader’s RESULTS Los Angeles miss and driving in for a slam dunk to help points while Spanish guard Ricky Rubio on an error. Brian Goodwin infi eld hit, O’Neill reached on seal the Nets’ fate. had 20 points and 13 assists and French knocked in Pujols with an in- Moran’s error at third, chasing Indiana 111-102 Detroit “When a team plays zone the whole center Rudy Gobert added 18 points and fi eld single to make it 4-1. Rodriguez. Francisco Liriano iannis Antetokounmpo returned game it’s hard,” he said. “But we started Boston 110-105 Miami 18 rebounds for the Jazz. Pujols led off the fourth walked Matt Carpenter to load from a right ankle sprain to score moving the ball well and knocking down Toronto 121-109 Orlando Boston’s Kyrie Irving scored 25 points with a double to deep center. the bases. 28 points and grab 11 rebounds some shots.” New York 113-105 Chicago and Al Horford produced his second ca- Monday, powering the Milwau- Sitting out a loss against Atlanta forced reer triple double with 19 points, 11 re- Gkee Bucks to a 131-121 NBA victory at him to take some time early to regain a Milwaukee 131-121 Brooklyn bounds and 10 assists in the Celtics’ 110- Brooklyn. smooth fl ow with teammates. Portland 132-122 Minnesota 105 home victory over Miami, which had The Greek star, who sat out a game due “Just trying to get back into the Dallas 122-102 Philadelphia 30 points from Goran Dragic in a losing to the setback, lifted an injury-hit Mil- rhythm,” he said. “I was trying to wait for cause. waukee squad within one game of clinch- the game to come to me. My teammates Utah 111-102 Charlotte Thaddeus Young and Bojan Bogdanovic ing the best regular-season record in the did a good job fi nding me. Phoenix 122-113 Cleveland each scored 19 points to lead seven players league and a home-court edge throughout “I want to play every game – rest is not in double fi gures for Indiana in a 111-102 the NBA playoff s. in my dictionary. But I have to do what’s The Sixers, playing without Joel Em- home victory over Detroit. “I thought it would be a really good best for the team to win and if that’s rest biid, got 26 points from J.J. Redick, 25 Domantas Sabonis had 18 points and team but to be honest with you I didn’t then I will take a break.” from Tobias Harris and 17 from Australian 12 rebounds off the bench for the Pacers think we would be the best team in the Danny Green powered Toronto with 29 guard Ben Simmons in the loss. while Andre Drummond had 18 points and NBA,” Antetokounmpo said. points and the Raptors stayed in the hunt 17 rebounds for the Pistons. Eric Bledsoe added 29 points and re- for the overall top spot with a 121-109 WALKER HITS 47 IN LOSS Portland matched Houston for third in serve George Hill had 22 off the bench for home victory over Orlando, improving to All fi ve teams battling for the fi nal three the Western Conference at 49-28 with a the Bucks, who lead the Eastern Confer- 55-23 with four games remaining. playoff spots in the Eastern Conference 132-122 triumph at Minnesota. Rodney ence at 58-20 and can clinch the best NBA And the Raptors clinched no worse than lost Monday, moving Detroit (39-38), Hood scored 21 points and Enes Kanter mark with a win Thursday at Philadelphia. second in the East when Philadelphia lost Brooklyn (39-39) and Miami (38-39) near- added 20 points and 11 rebounds for the “We know how important that is but we 122-102 at Dallas, the 76ers falling to 49- er the post-season with Orlando (39-40) Trail Blazers. are just trying to get better,” said Antetok- 28. and Charlotte still chasing and hoping. Karl-Anthony Towns had 17 points and ounmpo. “We could have played better Justin Jackson led the Mavericks with Despite Kemba Walker’s 47-point ef- 12 rebounds for the Timberwolves. Luke tonight.” 24 points while Tunisian reserve center fort, Charlotte lost 111-102 at Utah and Kornet’s 24 points led fi ve starters in dou- Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Felix Hernandez throws out a Antetokounmpo sparked the Bucks as Salah Mejri added 16 points and 14 re- slid to 35-42, staying three games behind ble fi gures for New York in a 113-105 home pitch against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning at they pulled away late, hitting a 3-pointer bounds for Dallas. Miami for the eighth and fi nal playoff po- victory over Chicago. T-Mobile Park. PICTURE: USA TODAY Sports

NHL Blues win in shootout aft er Avs rally for critical point Reuters RESULTS New York TOP-SEEDED FLAMES REST PLAYERS, Florida 5-3 Washington STILL HAMMER KINGS Derek Ryan scored twice while Mark New Jersey 4-2 Rangers ordan Binnington had 24 saves through Jankowski netted one goal and two assists overtime and three more in a shootout, Toronto 2-1 Islanders as the visiting Calgary Flames leaned on and Ryan O’Reilly scored the shootout Tampa Bay 5-2 Ottawa their lesser lights one night after secur- winner against his former team as the ing top spot in the Western Conference and St. Louis 3-2 Colorado St.J Louis Blues beat the visiting Colorado still throttled the Los Angeles Kings 7-2 on Avalanche 3-2 on Monday night. Winnipeg 4-3 Chicago Monday night. Vladimir Tarasenko and Jaden Schwartz Las Vegas 3-1 Edmonton The Flames (50-23-7, 107 points) sat out scored regulation goals to help the Blues Calgary 7-2 Los Angeles their top four defensemen – Mark Giordano, sweep the four-game season series from the TJ Brodie, Travis Hamonic and Noah Hani- Avalanche. The win moved St. Louis (43- made a save on O’Reilly’s initial shot, but fi n – as well as second-line forwards Mikael 28-8, 94 points) into a tie with Nashville for O’Reilly tipped the rebound to Tarasenko, Backlund and Matthew Tkachuk, yet goalie second place in the Central Division, with the who beat Grubauer for his 31st of the season. David Rittich needed to make just 23 saves Blues holding the fi rst tiebreaker with three Landeskog, who missed three weeks with for Calgary, which has won three straight and games remaining for both teams. an upper-body injury, got his fi rst goal in his nine of its last 12. Gabriel Landeskog had a goal and an assist, second game back when he tipped in a shot The score was tied 2-2 after the fi rst pe- Alexander Kerfoot also had a goal and Philipp from Patrik Nemeth at the point at 6:30 of riod, but the Flames scored fi ve unanswered Grubauer had 25 saves for the Avalanche, who the third period to make it 2-1. goals to reach the 50-win mark for the second earned a valuable point to increase their lead It was his 34th of the season. Grubauer time in franchise history. The only other time over Arizona to two points for the fi nal wild- came off for an extra skater with 2:05 re- they reached that feat was the Stanley Cup- card spot in the West. Colorado (36-29-14) has maining, and it paid off in the final minute. winning 1988-89 campaign. 86 points, and both teams have three games MacKinnon got the puck to Landeskog at Johnny Gaudreau netted the winner at remaining. O’Reilly, who played his fi rst six the blue line, and he sent it to the front of the 6:46 of the second period with his team-high NHL seasons with Colorado, beat Grubauer on net. Kerfoot got a stick on it, and it bounced 36th goal and 97th point of the season, bury- the Blues’ second shootout attempt. Binning- by Binnington to tie it at 2-2 at 19:13. It was ing a sharp-angled shot inside the far post. ton made saves on Nathan MacKinnon and Kerfoot’s 13th of the season. St. Louis got the Then the visitors broke the game open Landeskog, while Sven Andrighetto missed fi rst goal of the game 7:07 into the fi rst pe- with four goals in the fi nal frame. James Neal the Avalanche’s third attempt. riod when Schwartz tipped in a centring pass scored 13 seconds into the third period and Tarasenko gave the Blues a 2-0 lead just from Oskar Sundqvist. It was his 11th of the then set up Ryan’s redirect goal at 2:33 of the St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington defends the net against Colorado Avalanche defenseman 14 seconds into the third period. Grubauer season. period to make it 5-2. Tyson Barrie (No 4) during the second period at Enterprise Center. PICTURE: USA TODAY Sports Gulf Times 6 Wednesday, April 3, 2019 FOOTBALL

LA LIGA SPOTLIGHT UEFA chief Ceferin No debate between slams outbreaks of racist abuse AFP Clearly more needs to be done. London We must do more in England, and more across Europe, and we Courtois and Navas must do this together... we must EFA president put some concrete actions in Aleksander Ceferin place.” admitted yesterday Clarke believes it is time to that he is ashamed of re-examine UEFA’s three-step Uthe recent outbreaks of racism process for halting matches as that have blighted football this a result of racist abuse. Current next season: Zidane season. England stars Raheem guidelines allow referees to stop, Sterling, Danny Rose and Cal- suspend or abandon matches lum Hudson-Odoi endured rac- due to racist abuse, but Clarke ist abuse from Montenegro fans believes it is time to lower the ‘There are three good keepers and we are going to finish the season with them’ during last month’s Euro 2020 threshold that allows referees to qualifi er, while in the club game take that action. AFP Inter Milan, Dinamo Zagreb and “The protocol asks the referee Madrid Dynamo Kiev have all been pun- to stop the match if ‘racist behav- ished with full or partial venue iour is of a strong magnitude and closures due to racist behaviour intensity’,” Clarke said. “I don’t eal Madrid could sell Thibaut by supporters. now think that is good enough Courtois or Keylor Navas this “I am ashamed, ashamed that and we should take this oppor- summer after head coach Zin- in 2019 we have to hold a confer- tunity to revisit these thresholds. edine Zidane said yesterday the ence to promote diversity,” said The young men and women who clubR will have a clear fi rst-choice goal- Ceferin, at Wembley yesterday take to the fi eld representing our keeper next season. Zidane also defended for the fi rst Equal Game con- clubs and countries not only de- his choice to play neither keeper against ference held to help tackle dis- serve, but should be entitled, to Huesca on Saturday, instead handing his crimination. “It is worrying to play their football in a safe envi- 20-year-old son Luca only his second see world leaders and politicians ronment entirely free from racial competitive start for the Spanish giants. playing down racist and discrim- abuse.” Courtois was signed from Chelsea last inatory incidents.” Meanwhile, four-time African summer, despite Navas winning UEFA’s English football bosses are also footballer of the year yaya Toure best goalkeeper award after helping Ma- ready to strengthen punishments says football authorities should drid win the Champions League. Santia- against racism. Football Asso- be more proactive when it comes go Solari then put faith in Courtois during ciation chairman Greg Clarke to racism. The 35-year-old his four months in charge but Navas, a revealed the English game’s gov- former Ivory Coast great – who favourite of Zidane’s, came back in for the erning body is reviewing dis- also starred for Barcelona and Frenchman’s opening game against Celta ciplinary processes, to ensure Manchester City – said football’s Vigo last month. claims of abuse are investigated governing bodies only reacted “At the moment there are three good more meticulously. once incidents had already oc- keepers and we are going to fi nish the Clarke also revealed a review curred. “They (the football au- season with them,” Zidane said at a press of training for match stewards on thorities) sit and they have their conference yesterday. “But I assure you how to handle discrimination is- coff ee, their wine,” Toure said. that next season there will be no debate sues, with the FA keen to act after “Then they hear a case like Ra- about the goalkeeper, I’ll tell you that the abuse England players suf- heem happening and they jump now. It’s going to be very clear.” fered in Podgorica. “When Ra- on the phone saying: ‘We have Luca Zidane’s surprise promotion heem Sterling, Danny Rose and to have a meeting! We have to came after Courtois picked up a knock Callum Hudson-Odoi speak with do something! It shouldn’t work on international duty with Belgium while such maturity and eloquence, we that way. We have to be proac- Navas had trained only once after return- must listen, we must respond — tive. Something that is seen. We ing from Costa Rica. But it suggests Zi- and we must not let them down,” have to be working before that dane feels his son, who joined Madrid’s Clarke said. kind of situation with Raheem is academy aged six when his father was “Let me be clear, I’m using this happening.” playing for the club, is ready to compete match (Montenegro-England) as Toure, who was speaking on for a place. “Luca is here on his own mer- an example of something that’s Sunday after receiving an award it,” Zidane said. “He’s been here for 16 happening across all our socie- from Football Against Racism years. If people who want to go on about ties, and across all of Europe. in Europe (FARE), praised his the personal thing, I don’t care.” None of us can be naive enough former Manchester City team- Madrid face Valencia today in La Liga, to think racism doesn’t happen at mate Sterling for his behaviour after needing an 89th-minute winner all of our countries and matches. during the match. from Karim Benzema to beat Huesca 3-2 on Saturday and make it two wins from two since Zidane’s return. But Barcelona remain 12 points clear of them at the top of the table, with focus continuing on Real Madrid’s French coach Zinedine Zidane reacts during his team’s La Liga match against Huesca on Sunday. (AFP) potential changes to Zidane’s squad in the summer. “I have spoken to the club good, I’ve been whistled at, you have to future of his World Cup winning defend- agine a future without Varane and I don’t and I have told them what we want to do,” accept it. You have to have the character er, Raphael Varane. French newspaper want to. He’s a young player, he has been said Zidane. “This is an institution, a club for it,” Zidane said. “About Gareth’s fu- L’Equipe reported last month that World here for eight years and he is doing very with important people. We do things to- ture, we’ll talk about that at the end of the Cup winner Varane was looking to leave well,” Zidane said. “I’m not going to com- gether, as always,” he added. season. We have to fi nish the season then Madrid after eight seasons in the Spanish ment on what is being said outside. The Gareth Bale is among those whose we’ll see. I can confi rm that we will have capital, in which he has won four Champi- important thing is what the player tells future is in doubt. The Welshman was to make changes next season but now is ons League crowns and two La Liga titles. me and for now he’s at the best club in the again whistled by some of the home fans not the time to talk about it.” Zidane dismissed reports about Var- world, he’s won a lot of things and I think on Saturday. “I know whistles are never Zidane was more emphatic about the ane’s supposed departure. “I cannot im- he is in a good place.”

FOCUS CONTROVERSIAL TENURE Real Madrid to begin German FA president resigns over watch gift stadium revamp at AFP the end of the season Berlin he president of the German Foot- AFP As well as the eye-catching ball Association (DFB) Reinhard Madrid new roof, there will be improve- Grindel confi rmed yesterday that ments to security, access, shop- he had stepped down with imme- ping and eating facilities, the Tdiate eff ect, ending three controversial German Football Association eal Madrid president club museum and areas sur- years in charge. The 57-year-old has been president Reinhard Grindel Florentino Perez said rounding the stadium. “We want under growing pressure following con- addresses a press conference yesterday the club hope it to be an iconic stadium for the troversies culminating in a newspaper re- in Frankfurt yesterday. (AFP) to begin the revamp of future,” Perez said. “We will fund port on Monday that he had accepted the theR Santiago Bernabeu as soon as it from the money we will make gift of a 6,000 euro ($6,700) watch from the current season fi nishes. The from the new stadium. We want Hryhoriy Surkis, a UEFA vice-president new design of Madrid’s stadium Real Madrid to be competitive in and honorary president of the Ukrainian will cost around 500mn euros what is now a new landscape of football federation. ($560mn) and includes a retract- world football,” he added. “I am stepping down from the position able roof and pitch, as well as a The plan is for the project to of DFB president, and I apologise for my metal envelope around the out- be completed within three and less than exemplary behaviour regarding side, which will be able to project a half years and without dis- my acceptance of a watch,” said Grindel. images and videos. rupting the team’s calendar. Pe- Surkis sat alongside Grindel on the ex- Madrid’s fi nal home match rez said in September the club ecutive committee of European football’s of the campaign is against Real would take out a loan of up to governing body UEFA until last February. Betis and scheduled for May 19. 575mn euros ($644mn) without Yet Grindel denied that he had been The Santiago Bernabeu’s capac- “any impact on sporting activ- given the watch for political reasons. “For ity of just over 81,000 seats is not ity”. He said the new stadium me this was an entirely private gift which I due to increase but a number of was expected to generate an extra was bound to accept out of politeness,” he technological advancements will 150mn ($168mn) euros in rev- said. “I did not have any idea how expen- be made. enue per year. sive the watch was and it was a grave over- sight on my part not to fi nd out. In doing so, I could have avoided the impression that I was acting inappropriately.” Grindel said that Surkis had “no eco- nomic interest in the DFB”. “I am deeply meanwhile, said the presidency, which ny’s successful bid to host Euro 2024, but he had received from a DFB subsidiary in shaken to have to give up my role as DFB is a nominally voluntary role, must be also came under fi erce criticism for his 2016 and 2017. The DFB responded with a president over such an issue,” Grindel reformed. “The DFB is unbelievably im- handling of various scandals. statement saying Grindel had declared all said. “I ask myself: why has this hap- portant and it needs its leadership to be He was singled out by Mesut Ozil, who his income correctly. pened? I can only say that I was complete- unassailable,” Zwanziger said. “With the accused Grindel of overseeing a culture Yesterday, the association confi rmed ly convinced that I was doing nothing amount of work it involves, the presi- of institutional racism, when the Arse- that vice-presidents Rainer Koch and wrong and that, in the stress of my posi- dency should be a full-time position with nal midfi elder retired from international Reinhard Rauball would take over as joint tion, I did not question myself enough.” an appropriate salary,” Zwanziger said. duty last July. “In the eyes of Grindel interim presidents until Grindel’s suc- Grindel’s resignation was welcomed by “Everything else is hypocritical and leads and his supporters, I am German when cessor is elected. Bild has already named former Germany midfi elder Lothar Mat- to a lack of transparency.” we win, but I am an immigrant when we ex-Germany and Real Madrid defender thaeus. “The DFB have made some bad A former journalist and member of the lose,” wrote Ozil in his explosive resigna- Christoph Metzelder, 38, as a possible judgements under Grindel’s leadership German parliament for the centre-right tion statement. replacement. Former Bayern Munich de- in the last few months. A new face is ur- CDU party, Grindel had been president of On Friday, magazine Der Spiegel al- fender Philipp Lahm has ruled himself Real Madrid’s president Florentino Perez speaks during the unveiling gently needed,” Matthaeus said.. the DFB since 2015. leged that Grindel had kept quiet about out of the running, saying that he had “no of the Santiago Bernabeu stadium redevelopment plans. (AFP) Former DFB president Theo Zwanziger, In recent months, he oversaw Germa- 78,000 Euros ($87,380) of income which interest” in the presidency. Gulf Times Wednesday, April 3, 2019 7 FOOTBALL

SPOTLIGHT Pickford set for talks with coach Silva over scuffl e

London: Jordan Pickford is set for talks with Everton’s Pogba wants to stay at manager, Marco Silva, and director of football, Marcel Brands, today over his alleged involvement in a scuff le in Sunderland on Sunday. Northumbria police are investigating an incident filmed outside a bar in the Man United: Solskjaer city that allegedly shows the England goalkeeper in the midst of a fracas. It is believed the 25-year-old reacted after ‘He’s going to do his utmost here because he knows I’m very fond of him as a player' his fiancee, Megan Davison, had been insulted and he was By Jamie Jackson led away by friends. Pickford The Guardian had laughed off taunts about his own form earlier in the evening in a diff erent bar le Gunnar Solskjaer has re- where he posed for photo- vealed he had a meeting with graphs while flicking a V-sign Paul Pogba regarding the at the man goading him. Frenchman’s future and is Everton are also investi- confiO dent the 26-year-old will stay at gating the incident and club the club beyond the summer. The con- off icials have reviewed the versation between the two came after various footage. The club will Pogba had praised Real Madrid and Zin- await instruction from Silva edine Zidane, the Spanish club’s man- and Brands following their ager, during the international week. At talks with the player before the weekend Zidane admitted he liked deciding what internal action, Pogba “a lot”. if any, to take. Yet Solskjaer is confi dent Pogba The Everton squad are not wishes to stay at United for the fore- due back at their Finch Farm seeable future. “No, (those comments training base until today don’t) really concern me because my having been granted three thought of action then is to sit down days off after Saturday’s 2-0 and speak to Paul and I’ve had my chat win at West Ham. England’s with Paul and we’re fi ne,” the Norwe- No 1 keeper changed plans gian said. to watch Sunderland, his “He’s going to do his utmost here be- boyhood team, in the Checkat- cause he knows I’m very fond of him as rade Trophy final at Wembley a player and a person and he is impor- on Sunday to spend Mother’s tant for us. There is no issue. I don’t Day with Davison and his fam- like to talk about other teams’ players, ily instead. of course, but this is another challenge Pickford will be asked for with international breaks. Players are his version of events by Silva available all the time to the media as and Brands before discovering well and it’s a diff erent environment, a whether the club’s inquiry is general talk. over. At the very least he will “Paul is a very nice and polite man who be reminded of his responsi- answered a general question about Zi- bilities as an Everton player dane, who is an icon in France and a fan- in public and of being caught tastic manager. He used to be a fantastic up in such situations given player and he’s just politely answered his higher-profile following that question. But Paul’s happy here, last summer’s World Cup. The he’s going to be a big part here. I’ve said Everton manager is likely to before you like to build your team round take a dim view of any inci- him and that hasn’t changed at all.” dent that does not reflect well United plan to appoint a technical on his player regardless of the director (a director of football in all but circumstances involved. name) before the end of the summer Police inquiries are also and Solskjaer said he will embrace this. continuing, though no arrests “Football has changed and the struc- have been made. ture at football clubs has changed,” the 46-year-old said. “Me and Ed [Woodward, executive ball with knowledgeable people in the is an overarching one with responsibil- spective candidate. Last summer the from the last available 21, then a Cham- vice-chairman] and Joel [Glazer, co- right positions anyway. That’s the way ity for the fi rst team and the long-term recruitment department vetoed Mour- pions League berth can be attained. chairman], for that matter, are looking football goes – a manager can’t do as direction of the academy. Part of the inho when he identifi ed centre-backs After Wolves United’s last matches are to how can this club be run as smoothly much as he used to do when my gaff er remit is the ability to identify a teen- he wanted. This may have caused the West Ham United (at home), Everton and as well as possible. I’ve got an input [Sir Alex Ferguson] started [in 1986]. I age talent who could be loaned to a club Portuguese’s subsequent public dis- (away), Manchester City and Chelsea in most of the things now [he is the per- think the demands of football nowadays United have a development relation- quiet regarding the failure to buy one. (h), Huddersfi eld Town (a) and Cardiff manent coach] and, I’ve got to say, the mean you’ve got to split responsibili- ship with and such strategic links are Leicester City’s Harry Maguire and City (h). communication between me, Ed and the ties,” he added. being explored. While the removal of Bayern Munich’s Jerome Boateng were Solskjaer said: “Everyone knows now, owners is very good. We discuss diff er- It is understood United have met sev- Jose Mourinho, who was opposed to the two players Mourinho suggested. if we do our jobs, say 15 points then ent names, though of course I am not eral potential candidates for the post position, has made securing a techni- United were playing Wolves for last in the last seven games, we’ll be in the the one who decides. though, given the appointment requires cal director smoother, both Solskjaer night in their 32nd Premier League game Champions League next year. I don’t “So we’ll see what the club will end a fundamental grasp of the club’s cul- and the recruitment department have of the season and the Norwegian be- think I have to remind them [the play- up with and I’m happy discussing foot- ture, the search is continuing. The role a veto: both have to agree on any pro- lieves that, if his side can claim 15 points ers] of that [what’s at stake].”

PREMIER LEAGUE FOCUS Pochettino backs under-fi re Lloris Neymar to resume training today AFP AFP on January 23, missing PSG’s potential Champions League London Paris Champions League last-16 de- quarter-fi nal later this month, feat by Manchester United. “@ but the French side suff ered a exit Neymarjr’s recovery from injury as United sensationally over- auricio Pochettino said yester- aris Saint-Germain star is progressing well and he will turned a 2-0 fi rst-leg defi cit. day that Hugo Lloris will remain Neymar will return- return to training on Wednesday The 27-year-old may be tar- in goal for Tottenham despite a ing to training today for as scheduled for on-pitch tests,” geting a return for a potential series of costly errors this sea- “on-pitch tests” after PSG said on Twitter. “Club spe- French Cup fi nal on April 27, Mson. Lloris has endured fresh criticism after two-and-a-halfP months out cialists will carry out a full medi- should PSG get past Nantes in his fumble led to Toby Alderweireld’s deci- with a foot injury, the club said cal and radiological assessment the last four today. Coach Tho- sive own goal in the fi nal minutes of Totten- yesterday. The world’s most ex- in two weeks’ time.” mas Tuchel said yesterday that ham’s 2-1 defeat at Liverpool on Sunday. pensive player has been side- PSG were hoping Neymar PSG will also be without Edinson It is not the fi rst time this term the Tot- lined since hobbling off during a would be healed enough to get Cavani, Angel Di Maria and Tho- tenham captain has made a mistake that French Cup win over Strasbourg back on the pitch in time for a mas Meunier against Nantes. ended up haunting his team. But Spurs boss Pochettino has always backed the France World Cup winner, even in the wake of a SERIE A drink-driving charge earlier in the cam- paign. Pochettino confi rmed Lloris would be in goal for Tottenham’s fi rst game in their new stadium against Crystal Palace today. Contract rebel Icardi set for “He is my captain. He’s one of the best keepers in the world. There’s no doubt,” Po- chettino said. long-awaited Inter return “There’s no doubt that Hugo is one of the best and he’s going to be in the goal. It’s a AFP Inter’s chances of Champi- situation that is so painful because I think Milan ons League football have taken a we deserved more (at Liverpool), but in that dent after returning to the elite kind of situation, which happens in football, European competition this sea- it’s only to be strong and back our player. I nter Milan forward Mauro son after seven years away. The think Hugo is going to be, like always, great Icardi will return to ac- three-time European champions for us. He was great for us. He was so impor- tion today after nearly two are third in Serie A — 25 points tant in all that process in fi ve years, and for months out amid off -pitch behind leaders Juventus and 10 sure he’s going to be one of the most impor- Idrama over contract talks as the adrift of second-placed Napoli, tant players for the future of the club too.” Serie A club battle for Champi- but just two points ahead of Tottenham’s return home to their ons League football next season, fourth-placed AC Milan. 62,062-seater stadium could not have come coach Luciano Spalletti con- Lazio, Atalanta and Roma lurk at a better time as they look for a morale Tottenham Hotspur’s French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris (right) punches the ball during the fi rmed yesterday. behind them. Spalletti justifi ed boost after a wretched run. They have taken Premier League match against Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday. (AFP) The Argentina striker was spite rumours he would play. leaving Icardi out of the defeat just one point from their past fi ve Premier stripped of the captain’s arm- “The conditions are now right for to Lazio by saying that “(Lionel) League games, which has seen them not with the last result but of course it’s not the painstaking wait following frustrating de- band on February 13 amid nego- Mauro to help the team again,” Messi and (Cristiano) Ronaldo only drop out of the title race but also put same. Against Liverpool we deserved more, lays to the stadium’s opening this season, tiations played out on social me- Spalletti told a press conference make the diff erence, not Icardi” their top-four place in serious peril. played really well second half, the feel- which have postponed their moving-in date dia and TV via Icardi’s wife and ahead of today’s game against to a team. There were signs of promise in the cruel ing was so good. Playing like this I have no from August 2018. agent Wanda Nara, and hasn’t Genoa. “I had to say something to loss to Liverpool and Pochettino is sure that doubts we are going to be in the top four and But Pochettino is ready for a special day played since Inter beat Parma a “He’ll play from the start be- defend the team,” he explained. their new home will be graced by Champi- playing in the Champions League next sea- in the club’s history. “It’s going to be very few days before. cause he’s displayed the right “Mauro’s able to drag the team ons League football next term. “Of course, son. It’s in our hands. It’s a mini-league and special, at last the new stadium is a real- He was also left out of the reaction. He’s trained well in the forward when he’s in it. From the best stadium in the world must have the playing fi ve games in our new stadium will ity,” he said. “Now it’s so close, just over 24 weekend’s 1-0 home defeat to past few days, and if a player is in the outside, no. In these last few Champions League,” he said. be a big boost for our players and fans. It’s up hours until we play in our new home. It’s an fellow Champions league chas- the squad they’re able to lend the training sessions and without “It would be a shame to not be in the next to us to achieve that.” exciting moment in the history of the club. ers Lazio as punishment for the team a hand. Blood, sweat and sending messages on social me- Champions League. But we are going to Tottenham, who have been playing at Everyone will realise the magnitude of the row, which on Sunday Spalletti tears are needed when you play dia, he’s regained his place in the fi ght. We are in the top four, disappointed Wembley for the past two years, have had a project.” described as “humiliating”, de- for our colours.” squad.”

Wednesday, April 3, 2019 GULF TIMES SPORT

QNB STARS LEAGUE Leaders Al Sadd prepare for key clash against Al Ahli By Sports Reporter Doha

NB Stars League leaders Al Sadd hit the ground running yesterday as they prepared for tomorrow’s match against AlQ Ahli. Jesualdo Ferreira’s men will become champions for a record 14th time if they beat Al Ahli at the , with a game to spare in the league. Al Sadd were back to training on Sunday itself, a day after they were held to a 2-2 draw by defend- ing champions and second-placed Al Duhail. A victory at the Duhail stadium on Saturday would have sealed them the title, and they now will eager to fi n- ish the job against fi fth-placed Al Ahli. Sadd currently has 51 points and sit on top of the table, four ahead of Al- Duhail, who face bottom-placed Al Kharaitiyat tomorrow. Sadd head coach Jesualdo Ferreira had stressed on the importance of his team’s draw against Duhail, and was confi dent his team can get the job done tomorrow. “Al Ahli are a strong side and defeated us in the fi rst phase. They have the objective of reaching the top four and we are look- ing to be crowned as champions. Our goal will only be to win so that we can lift the title,” the Portuguese said. “There will be huge pressure on us against Al-Ahli but I’m confi dent in my players and their abilities to success- Al Sadd players in action during a training session yesterday. A victory tomorrow against Al Ahli will give Al Sadd a record 14th QNB Stars League title. fully navigate this game,” he added. Meanwhile, Al Ahli are tied with on one day in order to give all 12 teams hail to play in early kick-off . Khor and four fewer than 11th placed season. On the other hand, Al Khor are Al Arabi are sixth with 27 points. Al fourth-placed Al Rayyan on 33 points, equal advantage. The fi nal round of Duhail, who will be hoping for Al Qatar SC. still not completely out of danger zone Rayyan and Al Sailiya will take the fi eld so they will be keen to collect points matches will be played either on 12th Sadd to slip up against Ahli, should In other match, Seventh-placed Al and will look to sustain the winning with top-four fi nish at stake as the lat- in their bid to fi nish in the top-four or 13th April. The kick-off timings and have little problem in beating Kharaiti- Gharafa (25 points) take on Al Khor momentum, having defeated Kharaiti- ter have only one point more than the bracket. venues will be decided later. Tomorrow, yat, who will be relegated if they lose (10th with 18 points) with an eye to im- yat in the last round by a big margin. former (33 points). Al Shahania will The decided to four matches will be played at 6:10pm tomorrow. Al Kharaitiyat has only 12 prove their position even though they Qatar SC, 11th with 16 points, face Al surely have a point to prove when they hold all matches of the penultimate and two at 8:20pm, with Sadd and Du- points, six less than 10thh placed Al cannot fi nish among the top four this Arabi with relegation threat in mind. play Umm Salal.

PREMIER LEAGUE SPOTLIGHT Arsenal up to third as Ramsey, Pep places faith Lacazette sink Newcastle AFP We are improving and making London progress, but we know it is dif- fi cult. Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester United are going to nai Emery challenged win a lot of games.” in Gabriel with revitalised Arsenal to Newcastle remain seven points write their own history above the relegation zone after a after they climbed to 12th defeat in their last 13 meet- Uthird place in the Premier League ings with Arsenal. with a 2-0 win against Newcastle “If you don’t take the chances on Monday night. Aaron Ram- and aren’t precise against a good sey’s fi rst half strike was followed team, you know it is a matter of Aguero injured by Alexandre Lacazette’s killer time until you make a mistake,” second in the closing stages at Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez the Emirates Stadium, maintain- said, before taking a shot at own- ing Arsenal’s impressive progress er Mike Ashley’s lack of invest- ‘Gabriel is going to help us and fight and score goals’ under Emery. ment in new players. “We have Emery’s side climbed two been speaking all season about points above fourth placed Tot- the fi nal third, you have to spend tenham and fi fth placed Man- £50mn, £75mn (to have players Manchester City’s Spanish chester United to bolster their to make a diff erence).” manager Pep Guardiola. (AFP) chance of qualifying for the Ramsey thought he’d given Champions League via a top- Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey Arsenal the lead when he swept four fi nish with seven games to celebrates after scoring against home at the far post from Sead go. It is the fi rst time Arsenal Newcastle United. (Reuters) Kolasinac’s fl ick. But his celebra- have been as high as third place tions were curtailed as the goal since April 2017, highlighting fi rst time since December 1997 was controversially ruled out by their improvement since former to May 1998. Arsenal fi nished referee Anthony Taylor for Sok- Paris Saint Germain boss Emery with 63 points in Wenger’s fi nal ratis’s shirt tug on Florian Leje- replaced Arsene Wenger at the season, but Emery has matched une. If Arsenal felt aggrieved by end of last season. that tally with seven games to that debatable decision, they Ramsey’s fi fth goal of the sea- spare. No wonder Arsenal fans poured their frustration into son was only the Wales mid- celebrated an important win by breaking down Newcastle’s fi ve- fi elder’s second since he signed taunting their spluttering north man defence. a lucrative pre-contract agree- London rivals with chants of “are Emery had surprisingly left ment to join Juventus at the end you watching Tottenham”. Gabon forward Pierre-Emerick of the current campaign. But, “It’s a new history. We are cre- Aubameyang on the bench as while Ramsey won’t be part of ating our own way. Our target Mesut Ozil started behind Laca- Emery’s long-term plans, the fu- is very clear,” Emery said. “We zette. Aubameyang has 22 goals ture still looks bright for Arsenal, have created a big atmosphere in all competitions this season, who recorded a 10th consecu- here. We are in a good moment, a but his absence wasn’t a problem tive home league victory for the good mentality with the players. for Arsenal.

QATAR ROUND-UP Qatar’s Yousuf al-Khulaifi wins gold in Sarajevo Championship AFP League to add to their League Cup success Meanwhile, Guardiola said he understood Manchester, United Kingdom already this term, has faith in Jesus being how Cardiff City boss Neil Warnock felt atar’s swimmer bassies Futsal tournament as it able to fi ll in for Aguero. after his criticism of the referees and their Yousuf al-Khulaifi gears up to host the tournament “Gabriel is ready,” said Guardiola. “He head Mike Riley following Chelsea’s con- won gold medal in starting from tomorrow at the anchester City will be without is having a good season and it is not always troversial 2-1 win over the Welsh club on the 100m freestyle Ladies sports hall. injured leading scorer Sergio easy to play in this club as a striker in the Sunday. Warnock, whose side are fi ghting forQ 13-14 years at the Sarajevo The tournament will consist Aguero as they try to regain the same position as Sergio. to avoid relegation, had said the standard of International Swimming Cham- of groups of nine players com- advantage in the Premier League “He is fi ghting against one legend and an offi ciating in the Premier League had gone pionship, which ended in Bosnia prising of heads of diplomatic Mtitle race against struggling Cardiff today. incredible top player in his best season since backwards because former referee Riley and Herzegovina on Monday. Al- missions from each embassy. A thigh injury means the Premier League’s we have been at the club. When Gabriel was at the helm of the body responsible for Khulaifi clocked 59.20 seconds The participating embassies leading marksman with 19 goals to his name played, he played well. Tomorrow he is go- match offi cials in English football. to top the fi eld. were divided into four groups, will sit it out with Brazil star Gabriel Jesus ing to help us and fi ght and score goals and Cardiff had been heading for a win until This was the third Qatari where group A included: Jordan, taking his place. create space for others.” Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta headed medal in the championship. India, Mali, and Syria; Group B: Victory over a side they thrashed 5-0 in City might still have been top but for a late in a late goal despite appearing to be off - Earlier, Yaqoub al-Khulaifi had Iraq, South Africa, Eretria and the away fi xture earlier this season would error by France’s World Cup-winning cap- side. Chelsea then scored one more to take won a gold and bronze. Bosnia; Group C: Spain, Japan, see City leapfrog Liverpool to lead the title tain Hugo Lloris gifting Liverpool all three all three points. “Is there someone who can- Azerbaijan and Oman; Group D: race by a point, with both having played the points on Sunday in a 2-1 win over Totten- not understand his reaction (to Sunday’s QATAR TO PARTICIPATE IN Portugal, Djibouti, France and same number of games. City manager Pep ham Hotspur. “When you see that, you say decisions)? It is tough for managers, clubs, GCC OPEN WATER SWIMMING mittee assigned Kuwait to host a team representing Ministry of Guardiola admitted Aguero faces a race to be ‘Ah s**t’,” he said. and players who want to stay in the Premier CHAMPIONSHIP IN KUWAIT competition. The 27th edition of Foreign Aff airs of Qatar. fi t for the FA Cup semi-fi nal with Brighton “But after fi ve or ten minutes, you think League,” Guardiola said. “It’s a big issue. We Qatar swimming team will par- the GCC Water Sports Champi- The opening match of the on Saturday and the fi rst leg of the Champi- it’s a nice but terrible challenge. Nobody have empathy with his position, we can un- ticipate in the 17th GCC Open onship in swimming, diving and tournament will be between Jor- ons League quarter-fi nal away to Tottenham said it would be easy. Nobody. We knew it derstand completely.” Water Swimming competition to water polo will also be held In dan and India at 5pm tomorrow, next Tuesday. “Tomorrow (Wednesday) and I knew it. Everybody is excited for what Guardiola said his side would still be mo- be held in Kuwait from April 19 Kuwait from September 5 to 8. followed by a match between Sergio is not able to play,” said Guardiola. we are going to live in the next weeks. Let’s tivated to play against a team that has lost to 21. The team will be repre- Syria and Male. Iraq will face “He didn’t train the last two days. Hopefully beat Cardiff for the main target to go back four of its last fi ve games and nearly beat sented by eight swimmers and ASPIRE EMBASSIES South Africa, while Bosnia take he can on Saturday or next Tuesday. We will top of the league with six games left. After Chelsea. “Cardiff are alive, based on what I headed by Assistant Secretary FUTSAL TOURNAMENT on Eritrea in tomorrow’s other see his evolution in the next few days.” that we live again, Wembley, to achieve the saw against Chelsea,” Guardiola added. “It’s of Qatar Swimming Association FROM TOMORROW matches. Guardiola, whose side is bidding for a one fi nal (FA Cup) I never experienced in my not a team that is already done. We know Ahmad Mohamed al-Nama. Aspire Zone Foundation (AZF) The tournament grew out of historic quadruple in winning the Premier life in the oldest trophy, and after that the how we are going to play and it is a fi nal every In its last meeting, the GCC held a technical meeting for the the popular mini Aspire Ram- League, the FA Cup and the Champions Champions League.” game. It (motivation) will not be a problem.” Swimming organising com- third edition of the Aspire Em- adan Festival edition in 2015.