Atletico boot Barca out European Champions League

first_imgMADRID (AP):Antoine Griezmann scored a goal in each half to give AtlÈtico Madrid an emphatic 2-0 win over defending champion Barcelona and a spot in the semi-finals of the Champions League yesterday.Griezmann opened the scoring in the 36th minute and then sealed the victory with a late penalty kick to allow Atletico to reverse the 2-1 first-leg loss at Camp Nou with a 3-2 victory on aggregate.The result sent Diego Simeone’s team, which had played most of the first-leg match with 10 men, to the semi-finals for the second time in the last three seasons. And it shattered the hopes of favourites Barcelona, who have reached the semi-finals seven times in the last eight seasons.AtlÈtico Madrid left Camp Nou infuriated with the refereeing last week after their striker, Fernando Torres, was sent off in the 35th minute. Yesterday, it was Barcelona who had reason to complain after a hand ball by Gabi Fern·ndez that appeared to be inside the area but was judged by the referee outside the box in second-half injury time.Lionel Messi’s ensuing free kick sailed over the crossbar in his team’s last chance.In yesterday’s other game, Bayern Munich advanced 3-2 on aggregate after a 2-2 draw at Benfica. The draw in the return leg of their quarter-final meant Bayern went through 3-2 on aggregate after their 1-0 win at home. Unfancied Benfica made the German club fight till the end, though, as substitute Talisca’s curling free kick beat Manuel Neuer in the 76th to make it level on the night.Ra?l JimÈnez’s 27th-minute goal, when he met a lobbed pass from Eliseu and beat two defenders to head past Neuer, put Benfica level over the two legs and fired up the Portuguese team.Arturo Vidal replied for Bayern in the 38th with his second goal over the two legs. Benfica goalkeeper Ederson pushed out Philipp Lahm’s cross as far as the Chile midfielder, who was alone on the edge of the area and fired a shot into the empty goal.Thomas Mueller, who hadn’t scored in his past three games, made it 2-1 for the Bundesliga club on the night with a header in the 52nd.Real Madrid and Manchester City had reached the last four on Tuesday.last_img read more

JUST IN: ‘We remain committed to anti-doping’ … JAAA explains IAAF ‘no vote’

first_imgThe Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) has moved to assure that its decision not to vote on constitutional changes at the recent IAAF Special Congress in Monaco does not suggest any discord in it’s solidarity with the fight against doping in the sport. In a release issued late Friday night, the JAAA pointed to what it described as an unprecedented requisite for member federations to vote en masse on 15 proposals, which were to be implemented across two constitutions and executed at the beginning of the years 2017 and 2019. The release, which was signed by General Secretary Garth Gayle, outlines that there was no opportunity to examine individual points and that the JAAA would have preferred further discussions on five particular proposals included in the 15–point plan put forward by the IAAF at the Congress. Among the Jamaican authority’s grouses is the decision to alter the composition of the Council to reflect gender balance. The JAAA contends that this decision was taken by a small group of individuals and needed further discussion at the Congress level. The JAAA also argues that the current age limit of 70 years old, which was agreed in the 2015 constitution, was removed without any discussion at Congress, and also noted their discontent that committees would no longer be elected by Congress but would instead be appointed under the new plan. Other issues raised by the JAAA include term limits. “Term limits were already agreed to and included in the 2015 constitution. In this new document, the three-term maximum period is still included, but would no longer apply to the existing council members who could serve until 2027 if re-elected. Some of these members have already served four terms,” read the JAAA’s response. The organisation also argues that the Council’s Executive Board would be drastically changed without full discussion among member federations. It is against these issues and the fact that they could not vote on individual points that the JAAA says it decided to not cast a vote at all. “First and foremost, the member countries were not asked to vote on any one issue. There was a list of 15 different proposals contained in two constitutions which Congress was asked to ‘Rubber Stamp’ (vote for without amendment). This in itself was unprecedented. We know of no other time in the 104-year history of the IAAF that federations had to vote for a series of proposals as a unit. We would have preferred for items to be separated, discussed and voted on individually,” read the JAAA statement. “The JAAA is also keen to point out that at no point were we against any changes that would see tighter restrictions against drug cheats. Our president Dr Warren Blake’s introduction to the JAAA executive was as a drug tester and the Federation has always opposed doping in sports and have consistently fought to eliminate doping in sport,” the release added. The IAAF was forced into change on the back of the uncovering of a massive doping and corruption scandal that rocked the international body. New IAAF president Sebastian Coe, who replaced Lamine Diack, who is at the centre of the scandal, has  led a charge to clean up the sport and return its credibility. At the base of that effort is a 15-point plan that included anti-doping, regulation and administrative changes that is hoped will lift the sport. Coe’s proposals were overwhelmingly welcomed with 95 per cent of the member federations voting in favour of a constitutional reform at the Congress, which took place on December 3.last_img read more

Fit-again Folau to start on wing for Wallabies

first_img0Shares0000Israel Folau has been declared fit ahead of the Wallabies clash with Argentina © AFP/File / Patrick HAMILTONGOLD COAST, Australia, Sep 13 – Israel Folau will start on the wing for the first time in five years against Argentina this weekend in a surprise tactical shift after the Wallabies’ star fullback was declared fit Thursday along with influential flanker David Pocock.Both players were late scratchings from Australia’s team against South Africa in Brisbane on Saturday, but were named in the starting XV for their Rugby Championship showdown against the Pumas on the Gold Coast. Folau injured his ankle in the opening Bledisloe Cup match against New Zealand on August 18, while Pocock has been struggling with a neck problem after being targeted by the All Blacks in Auckland three weeks ago.While Folau is back, with Jack Maddocks dropping to the bench, it will not be in his favoured fullback position with coach Michael Cheika opting to keep Dane Haylett-Petty in the number 15 jersey after two standout displays in his team-mate’s absence.It is another big gamble by Cheika after he dumped veteran Bernard Foley for the Springboks clash in favour of Kurtley Beale at fly-half and Matt Toomua at inside centre.While the two players didn’t always gel, the fresh approach paid off with the Wallabies snapping a four-match losing streak to win 23-11.Folau has started 61 Tests at fullback dating back to the 2013 Bledisloe Cup, and Cheika has repeatedly stated he regards the NSW Waratahs star as too valuable there to shift him to centre or wing.But that has all gone out of the window as he mixes it up with an eye on next year’s World Cup in Japan.“Dane’s played well at fullback and I’d like to give him an opportunity to have a another go. And with Israel back in, it’s just a slightly different look and we’ll see how we go,” said Cheika.“I think everyone knows how highly I regard him (Folau) at number 15 and I’m sure he’ll want to get that jersey back.“They’ll be working together in a lot of situations, Israel is very keen and very much up for it.”– ‘Ready to go’ –The return of breakdown specialist Pocock is another huge boost for the Wallabies, who have beaten Argentina in 15 of their last 16 meetings.His treatment at the hands of the All Blacks sparked calls for rugby chiefs to start taking illegal neck roll tackles, employed to shift him from the ruck, more seriously.Cheika said Pocock had told him he felt ready to return and had taken part in contact training on Thursday morning.“He got into some contact work today and he got knocked about a bit,” he said. “No one knows himself better than David and he has declared himself ready to go.”Adam Coleman returns to the Wallabies camp after the birth of his first child and will be a replacement, with Izack Rodda starting alongside Rory Arnold in the second row.Sekope Kepu, who was axed from the Springboks squad, is set to earn his 97th cap after also being named among the reserves.Australia (15-1): Dane Haylett-Petty; Israel Folau, Reece Hodge, Matt Toomua; Marika Koroibete, Kurtley Beale; Will Genia, David Pocock, Michael Hooper; Lukhan Tui, Izack Rodda; Rory Arnold, Allan Alaalatoa, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Scott Sio.Replacements: Folau Faingaa, Sekope Kepu, Taniela Tupou, Adam Coleman, Pete Samu, Nick Phipps, Bernard Foley, Jack Maddocks.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more