AFCON: Guinea-Bissau aim to extend Leicester-like run

first_imgToday: Guinea-Bissau vs Gabon; Cameroon vs Burkina FasoLibreville, Gabon | AFP | Shock qualifiers Guinea-Bissau face hosts Gabon Saturday in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations opener, hoping to continue a Leicester City-like run in the competition.Traditional underachievers Leicester were the sensational winners of the 2015-2016 English Premier League, giving football minnows across the world belief that nothing is impossible.The west Africans were dismissed as ‘cannon fodder’ two years ago in an elimination group including former champions Zambia and Congo Brazzaville.But they finished first with a game to spare after back-to-back victories over Kenya and a thrilling triumph against Zambia in a packed Bissau stadium. Now, a rusty squad known as the ‘wild dogs’ whose last competitive match was four months ago, must raise their game to an even higher level in their Cup of Nations tournament debut.“We eliminated former champions Congo and Zambia and can perform even better. The squad will work ceaselessly to achieve good results,” promised coach Baciro Cande.“My squad comprises 23 proud professional footballers who are thinking only of bringing joy to the people of Guinea-Bissau.“The best way to achieve that is by winning matches and qualifying for the quarter-finals in our Africa Cup debut. While virtually all the Guinea-Bissau squad are unknown beyond the borders of the former Portuguese colony, Gabon boast a superstar in striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.The 27-year-old Borussia Dortmund goal machine, born in France to a Gabonese father and Spanish mother, has a particular desire to succeed in front of his home crowd.When Gabon co-hosted the 2012 Cup of Nations with Equatorial Guinea, they were eliminated by Mali in the quarter-finals on penalties.Only one spot-kick in the shootout was missed and the culprit was Aubameyang, whose father Pierre Aubame once captained the national team known as the Panthers.The striker wept as he left the Libreville pitch, saying “my people expected more from me. I am so disappointed to have let them down.”Gabon played competitively only twice last year — failing to score in World Cup draws with Morocco and Mali — leaving Spanish coach Jose-Antonio Camacho a tad apprehensive.The former Real Madrid and Spain handler took charge only last month after underperforming Portuguese Jorge Costa was axed.Depleted Cameroon face unpredictable Burkina Faso in the second match of an opening-day Group A double-header at the 40,000-seat Stade de l’Amitie in the Gabon capital.Eight of the Cameroon preliminary squad withdrew, including Liverpool defender Joel Matip and Schalke striker Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting, saying their club careers took priority.“We are victims of blackmail,” lamented official Simon Lyonga, accusing European club managers of encouraging players to snub the 23-day African football festival.When the dust settled, Belgium-born coach Hugo Broos named regular Lorient scorer Benjamin Moukandjo as the new skipper of the Indomitable Lions.Predicting how the Burkinabe will perform under Portuguese coach Paulo Duarte is a hazardous task.No-hopers in 2013, they reached the final before losing narrowly to Nigeria. A couple of years later, they performed woefully, bowing out after the first round without a win.What the Stallions do possess is abundant Cup of Nations experience with the likes of defender Bakary Kone, midfielder and captain Charles Kabore and attacker Jonathan Pitroipa.Share on: WhatsApp Pages: 1 2last_img read more

Sanders takes Luck, Newton early in Pro Bowl draft

first_imgPro Football Hall of Famers, Jerry Rice, right, and Deion Sanders, left, square off before the start of the NFL Pro Bowl Draft, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, Kapolei, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)KAPOLEI, Hawaii (AP) — NFL great Deion Sanders took quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Cam Newton with his first skill position picks in the Pro Bowl draft Wednesday, going for passers early before focusing on defense in building a team for one win.Jerry Rice chose New Orleans tight end Jimmy Graham and then Philadelphia running back LeSean McCoy with his first two picks, giving active player captain Drew Brees his top target early to go along with two Saints offensive linemen picked Tuesday.“I wouldn’t rather be with anybody else, obviously,” Graham told reporters after being picked. All five Saints in the Pro Bowl ended up on Rice’s team.Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84), left, and Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson chat during the NFL football Pro Bowl draft, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, in Kapolei, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)The picks kicked off the three-hour process of divvying up 60 players for Sunday’s all-star game. The draft played out on a beachside estate used for weddings and luaus on Oahu’s west side, adjacent to the plush Ko Olina resort where the players are staying for the week with their families.About 1,000 fans attended the draft, which had cheerleaders, mascots, lei for each player and colored surfboards used as draft boards.The game is being played in an “unconferenced” format for the first time, straying from its usual AFC vs. NFC teams. Sanders and Rice picked captains and their first 11 players each on Tuesday.The new format is meant to liven up the Pro Bowl, which has been criticized by fans and even Commissioner Roger Goodell for the quality of play.The draft embraces the popular hobby of fantasy football and put many players in the interesting situation of having to watch two of the NFL’s biggest personalities pass them up.“It looks like I’m waiting,” Chicago wide receiver Brandon Marshall said after watching four receivers come off the board — including his teammate, Alshon Jeffery. “This is sad — real sad.”Sanders retorted: “Somebody get him some aspirin.”Eric Weddle, a San Diego safety who was the third safety picked, said he didn’t mind having to wait in a lounge area with the other players while Sanders and Rice took 2 minutes each to make picks, with breaks for commercials in the live telecast.“It doesn’t really matter — just chilling 17 hours in here right now,” Weddle said. “When it comes to Sunday, I’ll be on the field in the fourth quarter and ready to wreck shop.”Defensive end Mario Williams became the first player to be assigned when he was the last player at his position off the board.“Just be careful where you throw the ball,” Williams told Brees afterward.Williams said things played out largely how he anticipated, with teammates picking one another and Sanders playing mind games.Other players assigned included Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, New York Giants safety Antrel Rolle and New England kicker Stephen Gostkowski to Rice. Sanders was assigned tight ends Jordan Cameron of Cleveland and Jason Witten of Dallas, along with Jacksonville linebacker Paul Posluszny.“There’s been some questionable picks,” Posluszny said.Quarterbacks Nick Foles and Alex Smith were the last players taken. Sanders selected Foles, and Smith was then assigned to Rice as the final pick — nine years after being the top choice overall in the NFL draft.Rice then forced a trade on Sanders as allowed under the rules, taking Sanders’ sixth-round pick of Indianapolis linebacker Robert Mathis, sending back Brian Orakpo.Rice had said since being named captain that he wanted Mathis on his team, while Mathis and Sanders have traded jabs on Twitter after Sanders asserted he only wanted young players on his team.Sanders picked wideouts Dez Bryant and A.J. Green, while Rice chose Josh Gordon along with Jeffery.Luck playing for Team Sanders puts him on the same team led by his head coach in Indianapolis, Chuck Pagano. Luck said that will help him as players get accustomed to Pagano’s style.Beyond McCoy going second to Rice on Wednesday and Kansas City’s Jamaal Charles being a captain for Sanders, neither manager took a running back early, preferring to pick defenders and receivers. Rice later took DeMarco Murray and Matt Forte, while Sanders took Eddie Lacy and was assigned Washington’s Alfred Morris.___AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org___Oskar Garcia can be reached on Twitter at http://twitter.com/oskargarcialast_img read more

What is a slur? Redskins case forces us to decide

first_imgIn this Oct. 13, 2014 file photo, Juan Mancias, of Floresville, Texas, a member of the American Indian Movement of Central Texas, holds a sign as he joins others in protest before an NFL football game between the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Sharon Ellman, File)Something is happening just beneath the fight over the name of a certain Washington, D.C., pro football team: America is working through the process of determining what is — or is not — racially offensive.What is a slur, and who gets to decide? How many people must be offended to tip the scales? Why should some be forced to sacrifice their traditions out of respect for others?We are a long way from consensus on these questions, judging by the response to a federal ruling that the “Redskins” team name is disparaging and its trademarks should be canceled.The team is appealing the decision, and even if it loses its trademark, it can still use the name. But this latest development highlights the limitations of how America wrestles with certain racial statements, and our struggle to balance free speech and social good.A rapidly diversifying nation has more need than ever to figure out what is racially offensive.Some offenses are undeniable: NBA owner Donald Sterling earned universal condemnation for asking his mistress not to bring Black people to his games.Yet in an era of blunt and sometimes coarse online discussion and political debate, Americans continue to disagree about the nature of calling Hispanics who cross the border without documents “illegals,” or the propriety of images that depict President Barack Obama as a “witch doctor.”And it took years of discussion to win makeovers for Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben, the stereotypical Black faces used to sell syrup and rice.Jim McCarthy, a lawyer who followed the Redskins trademark case, said he is not offended by the name, but “there’s no denying the fact that a certain percentage of Native Americans are offended. We don’t know if it’s a minority, a majority, but it’s a fact.”“If we want to be the best version of ourselves in our society, do we want to promote that, or do we want to minimize that?” he asked.“I’d love it to be different where people just cooperate to effect change,” he said. “But we’re a very adversarial society.”Michael Lindsay, who was lead attorney for Indians in a prior trademark case, said there are two ways to determine if something is offensive.“The first is the legal path. The other is out in the real world. The legal test, it seems to me, actually does have something to teach the real world,” said Lindsay, of the Dorsey and Whitney firm in Minneapolis.Here is what the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, ruling Wednesday in a case first filed more than 20 years ago, tried to show the real world:— What matters is if “Redskins” is disparaging to Native Americans — whether other ethnic groups are offended doesn’t matter.— A “substantial” percentage of Native Americans must be offended — not a majority. The judges defined that threshold at 30 percent.— A disparaging term does not require intent: “Redskins” can still be disparaging even if the team says it is intended to show honor and respect.Based on testimony from linguistics and lexicography experts, and a review of how the term was used in dictionaries, books, newspapers, magazines and movies, the board ruled 2-1 that the term was disparaging to Native Americans.The dissenting opinion was not a ringing endorsement of the term: “I am not suggesting that the term “redskins” was not disparaging … Rather, my conclusion is that the evidence petitioners put forth fails to show that it was,” the judge wrote.All of which left Paul Calobrisi, co-founder of www.savethewashingtonredskins.com, quite unsatisfied. In his opinion, there’s a simple way to determine whether something is a slur: The majority rules.“I think an overwhelming majority of Native Americans should be against the name before we change it,” said Calobrisi, who grew up in Virginia rooting for the team.He resisted the idea that a few people could decide something is offensive when he did not intend to offend them.“If they think we’re demeaning them, if they think we think they are mascots, if we were doing it in any negative way, they are wrong … As Redskins fans, we love them. Cowboys and Indians, we were the Indians. We cherish these people.”But intent is irrelevant to Lindsay, the attorney: “When a substantial percentage tell you this is offensive, you should stop. It’s really that simple.”“Even if you meant no offense, if you keep using it, what does that say about you?”It says that some people care more about their traditions than determining what is offensive, said Gillian McGoldrick, editor-in-chief of the school newspaper at Neshaminy High School in Langhorne, Pennsylvania.Neshaminy’s mascot is the “Redskins.” Her newspaper recently chose to no longer print the name, but school administrators ordered them to do so. When McGoldrick and her staff resisted, administrators briefly confiscated the newspapers.At first, McGoldrick thought the name honored Native Americans. But when an Indian school parent objected, she researched the history and usage of the word and changed her mind. She doesn’t think those who support the team name have fully investigated the issue.“I don’t think they want to,” she said. “I think they want to decide the word for themselves. But that’s not how this works. We have dictionaries for that.”The Merriam-Webster Dictionary says the term is “very offensive and should be avoided.” But again, given today’s confrontational discourse on the Internet and in politics, do we really care about giving offense? Or has that value gone the way of curtsies and tipping hats?“As a general culture, I think we care about offending certain people,” said Karmit Bulman, executive director of the Conflict Resolution Center in Minneapolis. “We are still very much a power-based society. We care if we offend those in power. We don’t care if we offend those who we see as irrelevant and invisible.”“You can look at this (Redskins case) as a trivial dispute, it’s just a name,” she said. “Or you can look at it as demonstrating how we still have huge clashes between people who we see as different than we are. And that our systems that we use to try to address those issues are really unsatisfactory.”___Jesse Washington covers race and ethnicity for The Associated Press. He is reachable at http:www.twitter.com/jessewashington or [email protected]last_img read more

Chak De part 2: India to host men’s Hockey WC in 2023 just five…

first_imgAdvertisement c6uNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vsb4oxf7Wingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Ebpuo( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) ympnWould you ever consider trying this?😱8ord9cCan your students do this? 🌚5vn8jRoller skating! Powered by Firework After a task force committee’s deliberations , it is finally announced by International Hockey Federation that the 2023 Hockey World Cup will be hosted by India. Further news clarifies that it would be held from January 13-29, 2023.Advertisement “The FIH has received excellent bids to host these prestigious events. Since the primary mission of FIH is to grow the sport worldwide, which of course requires to make investments, the income-generation potential of each bid has played an important role in the decision,” Weil said.Advertisement The hosts would qualify directly, along with continental winners. The other 10 teams — nine for women — would be decided through playoffs in the same format as the Tokyo Olympics qualifiers with the 20 teams involved determined by continental quotas, based on World Rankings at the end of the Olympics and the finishing positions of teams in the continental championships.Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more