Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/ Antonio Conte has insisted that this Inter side are nothing like his first Juventus team. “We weren’t in Europe that year…” Speaking at a Press conference ahead of the game against Bologna tomorrow, the former Italy CT was asked about similarities between his current squad and the Juventus team of 2011-12. “No, we weren’t in Europe that year,” he asserted. “You can’t make comparisons, the only similarity is that we always play at 1,000mph. If we take our foot off the pedal, we don’t win. We are not built to wait.” Pressed on a potential bid for Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic, Conte refused to be drawn into any speculation. “I’m not talking about players from other clubs, out of respect for my players. I have great affection for those who helped me win important things, but it ends there.” Conte worked with Matic at Chelsea during the 16-17 campaign, winning the Premier League together.
Worried about how its money will be used by the Commonwealth Games (GWG) organising committee (OC), the Indian Railways – a key sponsor for the gala event – has voiced concern about giving Rs 100 crore.The railways has sought clarifications from the CWG OC, which is under a cloud on huge financial irregularities, before signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) pledging money to the 2010 Games.Sources told Headlines Today that the railways wants an assurance from the OC that no commission will be paid to the company, hired to secure sponsorships for the major sporting event scheduled in October, from its donation.The CWG OC has hired a foreign marketing and management firm – SMAM – which has been promised a cut from all funding made for the conduct of Games.The railways’ objection could lead to a string of similar rigid approaches from other public sector sponsors, including Central Bank of India, Air India and National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), who have promised to pay Rs 50 crore each for the Games.
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Malaysia’s Afiq Ikhwan Yazid set a record of 10 victories in a season, including all four races on Sunday, but that wasn’t enough as Austrian Lucas Auer was crowned JK Racing Asia Series champion. Auer finished with 292 points in the 18-round series, just seven ahead of Afiq.”It feels great, I cannot believe it right now. After the qualifying we thought we will lose the championship,” Auer said after the race.Auer started the first two races in fourth and finished both in second place, leaving him to start from the second spot for the last two races at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia.His Eurointernational car had good pace, but was not fast enough to catch Meritus. GP’s Afiq. Yet, Auer’s dominance at the start of the season and his consistency throughout the season got him the title.”It’s a really nice feeling, it’s really important for my future. I had to win this season and now I can see what I will do in the future,” Auer said.It took some time for him to process the fact that he was the champion and he was calm as he got out of his car after finishing third in the 18th and final race of the year behind Afiq and Nabil Jeffri.Afiq was filled with mixed emotions during the post-race press conference, obviously elated with the wins, though disappointed at not winning the championship.”First of all, thank you to my team; they have done a fantastic job. Thank you to Petronas for sponsoring me. I am happy with 10 wins, and even though we didn’t win the championship, we have proved to people that we are a strong team, we are very competitive and we can win,” he said. “I am disappointed with myself, we should have won the championship.”advertisementMalaysian Jeffri of Petronas Mofaz Racing was happy with finishing third in the championship with 186 points. “I did pretty much what I am expected to do, which is to collect as many points for the championship,” he said.
Former India captain Anil Kumble on Tuesday said he resigned as National Cricket Academy’s chairman as he didn’t want to be just a “figurehead” when none of his plans found support from other committee members.Almost two months after a controversy broke out over an apparent conflict of interest, Kumble stepped down and his resignation was accepted by the BCCI’s Working Committee, which met here on Monday.”I had a plan which didn’t have much alignment with other committee members. I didn’t want to be just a figurehead,” Kumble told reporters here.Asked why his plans didn’t find support with others, Kumble said, “I don’t know but I was very keen to contribute and even put together a proposal.”Punjab Cricket Association’s general secretary M P Pandove will be the caretaker chairman of the NCA till a full-time appointment is made.Initially, “lack of time” was said to be the reason why Kumble stepped down as NCA chairman but on Monday, the retired leg spinner said that he was left with no other option.”I had a three-year vision to make NCA a better academy.I had made 10 presentations during my tenure as chairman with the hope that my vision could be accepted. Even on Sunday I had discussed this at the NCA meeting in Chennai. But it was not in alignment with the rest of the committee,” Kumble said.”I felt that it made no sense to be a chairman when I was not being heard. I had no other option but to move on in life,” he added.advertisement
Setting Sail: YachtKabir Kurian, 28, was elated. For most visitors at the fifth India International Boat Show (IIBS) at Kochi, which was on from October 20 to 22, were green with envy at his buy: a FastTrac 1900, the latest luxury sports yacht from the famed Regal Marines of the,Setting Sail: YachtKabir Kurian, 28, was elated. For most visitors at the fifth India International Boat Show (IIBS) at Kochi, which was on from October 20 to 22, were green with envy at his buy: a FastTrac 1900, the latest luxury sports yacht from the famed Regal Marines of the USA. The 20-m speed yacht won the highest customer satisfaction award at the Miami Boat Show this year. George Pottamkulam of Indmerc, which in India represents global luxury boat brands like Regal and Walkerbay, says he won at least 10 orders for the Rs 15-lakh FastTrac at the boat show.The fifth IIBS, South Asia’s only boat show, which has seen a 30 per cent increase in participation, is all set to be Asia’s third biggest, after Singapore and Phuket. Attended this year by 63 sellers including 10 from abroad and 500 registered buyers, it showcased an array of state-of-the-art leisure boats, speed yachts, power boats, marine equipment, navigational and telecommunication hardware and software, fish-finder radars, marine sports equipment, diving gear, jet skis and docking systems. Present at the threeday show were global majors like Bayliner, Lalizas, Plastimo, Vetus, Volva Penta and Ferretti. There were also 20 Indian boat builders at the show, including some from Kerala, who specialise in traditional houseboats.Speed Boat at IIBSThe area of display went up from a mere 5,500 sq ft last year to 1,20,000 sq ft this time. Visitors at the show-there were over 1,000-included celebrities like noted racer Farhan Bathena. According to Kerala Tourism, which organised the Rs 60 lakh event, business enquiries worth Rs 80 crore have been made. India’s boat and marine equipment market is estimated to be worth Rs 5,000 crore.A highlight of the IIBS this year was the arrival of two of the 17 yachts participating in the 4,000-mile Vasco da Gama Yacht Rally which began its sail from Fineka, Turkey, on October 31 last year. The rally, passing through Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Sudan, Eritrea and Yemen before arriving in India, commemorates the 15th-century Portuguese traveller’s sail to the East. “The IIBS has given impetus to India’s emerging leisure boating industry. Like golf, it will soon become a major lifestyle sector,” says Shakeel Kudrolli, ace yachter and memberin-charge of the recently formed Indian Marine Federation. The federation has 12 boat and marine equipment companies as members and expects 12 more to join soon.advertisementBarry A. Wilson, chairman and managing director of Hunter-M India, a subsidiary of the Australian boat building major, says, “The fact that most global boat builders have Indian subsidiaries or exclusive representatives in the country is a sign of the industry’s growth. However, India does not have a single marina for parking boats yet.” Hunter-M displayed a luxury fishing sports boat with a bedroom, fishing rods, barbeque and a freezer at the IIBS.Vasco Da Gama Rally ParticipantsThe IIBS has helped Kerala’s traditional boating industry explore new markets. “We have international exposure now,” says S. Jeevan, CEO, Samudra Shipyard, which specialises in building traditional houseboats plying the backwaters-the state’s unique tourist attraction. Samudra’s luxury houseboat has two fully furnished, airconditioned bed rooms complete with all mod cons. The new Samudra composite boat-the first ever traditional fibreglass boat-was designed by three IITs and funded by the Department of Science and Technology.However, it was the “Ecosol”-an eco-friendly solar boat designed by the students of the Department of Ship Technology, Cochin University of Science and Technology-which stole the show. “We have been overwhelmed by the response and have won orders from the state Government and some backwater resorts. This is the answer to our fuelguzzling boats which are ravaging Kerala’s backwaters,” says Pradeep George, who led the six-member student team which built the four-seater speed boat at a cost of Rs 1.70 lakh.India’s leisure boat and marine equipment industry is estimated to be worth around Rs 5,000 crore.Encouraged by the response, the state Government is planning to set up a Rs 70-crore marina at Kochi. “We propose to set up an oceanic aquarium attached to it, like the one at Sentosa Cave, where the Singapore boat show takes place,” says E.K. Bharat Bhushan, special secretary, Kerala Tourism.According to World Travel and Tourism Council projections, the annual growth rate of tourism in Kerala stands at 10.5 per cent, the world’s highest. “We had an all-time high of 34 per cent growth in the first half of this year,” says Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, state tourism minister.The Government has initiated efforts to have Kochi as a point for the famed International Volvo Ocean Race next year. India will have its second international boat show in February next year at Mumbai, to be organised by the marine federation. “Unlike the Kochi show with its thrust on tourism, the Mumbai show will focus on leisure yachting as an industry,” says Kudrolli. One can expect luxury yachts like Ferretti costing up to Rs 25 crore being bought by Indians who are starting to plunge head first into leisure sailing.advertisement
Sporting spectacle: The beach volleyball stadium at AthensWhen in Greece manufacture the myths. The Olympic Games are particularly prone to myth-making which through the passing of time tend to turn into truths.Athens has produced some that are old, some that are new and some that only seem to get stronger.,Sporting spectacle: The beach volleyball stadium at AthensWhen in Greece manufacture the myths. The Olympic Games are particularly prone to myth-making which through the passing of time tend to turn into truths.Athens has produced some that are old, some that are new and some that only seem to get stronger. Here is a reality check on the Olympics 2004.Myth: The Olympics enrich a city and give it sporting infrastructure for the ages. Reality: The Olympics plunge a city into debt and sporting facilities fall into disuse. Athens will need between nine and 11 years to pay its Euro 36 billion bill. As for the shining stadia built all around the city, the examples of Atlanta and Sydney are instructive. In Atlanta, they have pulled down the Olympic stadium where Muhammad Ali lit the Olympic flame and put up a new one for the Atlanta Braves baseball team.Four years after Sydney, the state-of the-art facilities in Home bush Bay are under-used. The claim that the Games give a city a boost in tourism is also a hollow one. “When did anyone go to a city because the Olympics were held there?” asks Craig Neff, assistant managing editor of the prestigious Sports Illustrated magazine.The upset: Puerto Rico beat the NBA Dream TeamMyth: The Olympics are about peace, love and putting your best foot forward. Reality: The Olympics are a giant squabbling ground for personal vendettas and national antagonism. Note how Swedish athletes threatened to boycott Athens if the truant Greek sprinters Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou were allowed to compete. When the International Olympic Committee’s dope-testers came looking for Kenteris and Thanou, the two went missing from the Games village. The delays in their formal hearings have angered the Swedes who have demanded that the pair be banned. There is little love between the Greeks and the rest of the world’s athletes. An Iranian judoka refused to contest against an Israeli in protest against Israel’s treatment of the Arabs and was later accused of deliberately turning up overweight for the bout.Myth: The Games have been welcomed home. Reality: The Greeks are putting up their best show but are waiting for the Games to get over so that they can see what the new Athens with its improved roads and metro system looks like. Ticket sales have been sluggish, most stadia half full and even on the big night of the men’s 200m freestyle swimming final, there were empty seats in the stands. Less than three million of the total of 5.3 million tickets have been sold, with only eight events being totally sold out.Match over: Roger Federer lost to the unseeded BerdychMyth: The power structure in world sport is inflexible. Reality: The Olympics are the quake zone of world sport. Which is how the Iraqis can beat Portugal in soccer, Puerto Rico with one NBA star can trump an all-star outfit from the US, and South Africa’s unheralded relay team can dump much water over the hopes of pool powers USA and Australia in the 4x100m freestyle relay. Michael Phelps called the Olympics “emotionally draining”-the key to how and why the favourites stumble and the stage becomes set for the underdogs to give them a bloody nose. Even multimillionaire tennis players find themselves cut to regulation size.World No. 1 Roger Federer was dumped in the second round by Tomas Berdych, unseeded Czech wild card.Scoring a goal: Indian hockey team routed South AfricaMyth: The hockey team is a poor discard of Indian sport. Reality: The Indian hockey team has the rock stars of world hockey. You have to see it to believe it. Gifted, unpredictable, temperamental, they draw crowds wherever they go. They are India’s identity card in world sport-respected, irrespective of how they perform. There were only two total ticket sell-outs in the hockey competition; both on days when the Indians played. It is a global constituency waiting to be tapped and like cricket, the sport’s global health could take off should India find its feet and its glory days again.Genetics: Mohini Bharadwaj shows it does not countMyth: Genetics is everything which is what Indians lack. Reality: Training and resources are everything. Nothing wrong with Indian genes as the US has produced not one but two world-class gymnasts of Indian origin, medal-winning Mohini Bharadwaj and Raj Bhavsar. The name of South African’s fetching beach volleyball star Leigh Ann Naidoo gives her ancestry away but there is more. The tallest man in the NBA is China’s Yao Ming. Thailand’s Udomporn Polsak may be petite but she is also a 53-kg weightlifting champion.Tradition is fine, but at the Olympics training and preparation make the difference.advertisementadvertisement
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England scraped through to the Euro 2012 quarterfinals with a 1-0 win over co-hosts Ukraine courtesy of a Wayne Rooney header and a questionable decision to disallow a goal for Ukraine.Italy await Roy Hodgson’s men in the quarterfinals because Sweden’s 2-0 win over France means that England win the group.Despite preserving an unbeaten record in the group stage of a European Championships for the first time since 1996, England spent much of the match on the back foot, just as in their 1-1 draw with France and 3-2 win over Sweden.Rooney, returning from a two-game ban, put England ahead just after the break when Steven Gerrard’s deflected cross deceived Ukraine goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov, allowing Rooney to nod in from point-blank range for his 30th England goal.Ukraine’s Marko Devic saw his shot cross the line on 62 minutes but it was not counted as the referee decided it had not crossed the line, despite clear evidence to the contrary.Ukraine were unbowed, however, and pushed for the win they needed to see them through as coach Oleg Blokhin threw on three attacking substitutes.It was not to be for Ukraine, and they exited their home tournament from third place in the group.