When British billionaire Steve Lansdown got fed up with his home town of Bristol being treated as a sporting joke he set out to put that right - modelling his vision on mighty Barcelona. Owner Steve Lansdown's hopes of local talent being allowed to flourish at Bristol Bears lies in the hands of head coach Pat Lam (centre), pictured while coach of Connacht AFP/REMY GABALDA The 66-year-old, who made his fortune in financial services, said his main motivation for buying football club Bristol City, rugby side Bristol Bears and basketball outfit Bristol Flyers was that he was fed up with the teams being ridiculed even by the locals. But Lansdown has an even more ambitious long-term plan - hoping that sporting success can enable the city in southwest England to compete with major provincial hubs further north. Bristol slipped down the pecking order as a trading and business centre during the Industrial Revolution and the sporting achievements of cities such as Liverpool and … [Read more...] about Barcelona model inspires British billionaire’s sports dream
Rugby world cup final
Viet Nam News by Paul Kennedy The last eight have been chosen and they will play for a place in the semi-final of the World Cup. And what a World Cup it has been so far. Some amazing shocks, football of the highest quality, lots of big teams knocked out and, unbelievably, England actually won a penalty shoot-out. But there has been a dark side. A force so evil, it would make Darth Vader shudder. What am I talking about? Play-acting. And in particular, Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior. He is, undoubtedly, one of the greatest players in Russia right now. An amazing footballer who possesses skills gifted directly from the Gods. But Neymar has another talent: acting. His Oscar-winning performance against Mexico received worldwide condemnation. Sure, he was fouled, but he was not shot by a sniper armed with a long range rifle perched atop the Samara Stadium. Asked afterwards about his overreaction to having his toe stepped on, Neymar said it was something he couldn’t … [Read more...] about And the Oscar for best actor goes to…
FIFA referees committee chairman Pierluigi Collina said on Friday (Jun 29) he was "pleased" with the impact of the video assistant referee (VAR) system during the group stage of the World Cup. Cristiano Ronaldo escaped with a yellow card for an elbow offence that was reviewed by VAR. (Photo: AFP/Mladen Antonov) After experiments in different FIFA tournaments, Serie A in Italy and the German Bundesliga this season, VAR has made its World Cup debut in Russia. "We are pleased. We are not surprised things went pretty well so far generally speaking," said Collina, who refereed the 2002 World Cup final between Brazil and Germany. The Italian revealed that VAR crews conducted checks on 335 incidents across the 48 group-stage matches, an average of almost seven per game. VAR can be used in four scenarios - after a goal has been scored, for penalty decisions, red card decisions or for a case of mistaken identity of a player who has been booked or sent off. Collina said with the help … [Read more...] about VAR checked 335 incidents in World Cup group stage: FIFA
Will Smith in I, Robot. — File Photo Viet Nam News By Paul Kennedy So the World Cup is already one week old and we’ve seen shocks, surprises and plenty of skills. Paul Kennedy. — VNS Photo Việt Thanh Brazil were held to a draw by Switzerland. Germany (yes, Germany) lost their opening game versus Mexico and Lionel Messi proved that he is human after all, missing a penalty against Iceland. And England also got off to a flyer thanks to an injury time winner from Harry Kane. But the thing that has really got people talking after week one is VAR - the dreaded Video Assistant Referee. For those of you who have been living in a cave for the past few years, this is the new system that allows match officials to replay constroversial moments to make sure they have made the right decision. Some say the system is the future and it will weed out inaccuracies and ensure decision making perfect. I don’t agree. Did we learn nothing from I, Robot? … [Read more...] about Did we learn nothing from I, Robot?
Ronaldo earns Portugal 1-0 win as Morocco's hopes endThe Saigon Times Daily Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their first goal at Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia June 20, 2018 – PHOTO: REUTERS MOSCOW (REUTERS) - Cristiano Ronaldo powered-home a fourth-minute header to give Portugal a 1-0 World Cup victory over Morocco that took them top of Group B on Wednesday and meant the unlucky North African side become the first to be eliminated from the tournament. Ronaldo's fourth goal of Russia 2018, following his hat-trick in the 3-3 draw with Spain, took the European champions to four points. Iran have three points and Spain one ahead of their meeting later on Wednesday. Morocco, who had a real go at the Luzhniki Stadium but failed to convert their chances, are pointless having also lost 1-0 to Iran and cannot progress to the second round. Despite their battling display, Morocco will rue the unforgivable defending that made all their subsequent good work … [Read more...] about Ronaldo earns Portugal 1-0 win as Morocco’s hopes end
Football fans will cheer on their teams at the World Cup finals in Russia later this month but researchers suggest the passions involved can be put to good use even off the pitch. A photograph taken on May 30, 2018 shows the FIFA World Cup 2018 flag in front of the Kremlin in Moscow. The FIFA World Cup 2018 tournament kicks off on June 14, 2018. (Photo: Mladen ANTONOV / AFP) The emotional effects of victory and even qualification for a major tournament may help strengthen national identity in countries where it is lacking, they argued. The study, published last month by the National Bureau of Economic Research, suggested a feel-good factor from big-match wins can improve trust between ethnic groups and cut unrest. "The effect is sizeable and robust and is not explained by generic euphoria or optimism. Crucially, national victories do not only affect attitudes but also reduce violence," it added. Ruben Durante, a political economist at the Paris Institute of Political Studies … [Read more...] about World Cup can bring fractured nations together: Study
Tokyo's subway system is famed for its cleanliness and efficiency but also its carriage-busting crowds, and a crush of visitors for the 2020 Olympics could paralyse it, a new study has warned. A new study says Tokyo's subway system could suffer "fatal congestion" during the 2020 Olympics, with key lines paralysed by overcrowding. (Photo: AFP/Toru Yamanaka) Professor Azuma Taguchi of Tokyo's Chuo University used a mathematical model to predict the flow of passengers on a hypothetical day during the Summer Olympics, when some 1.3 million spectators might join eight million regular commuters in the greater Tokyo area. "Fatal congestion" could occur in stations nearest to the Games venues while major transfer stations and key lines could be paralysed by overcrowding. "We will see a 10-20 per cent increase in the number of passengers at major transfer stations as spectators join commuters," he told AFP. "Once traffic congestion occurs, that will create long queues that would then … [Read more...] about 2020 Olympics could paralyse Tokyo’s famed subway, study warns