Manchester United tops in Forbes football rich list

Manchester United [Photo: The Sun]

Europa League champions Manchester United have overtaken record UEFA Champions League winners, Real Madrid, as the world’s most valuable football club, going by statistics provided by business magazine Forbes.

Manchester United were valued at $3.69 billion (about £2.86 billion, about N1.476 trillion) and returned to the top of the annual list for the first time in five years.

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Sergio Garcia holds off Justin Rose to win Masters

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In a dazzling turn of events Sunday as the Georgia pines began to cast lengthy shadows on Augusta National Golf Club, Garcia recovered from a two-shot deficit with six holes to play and an errant drive on the par-5 13th that was destined for disaster to win the 81st edition of the Masters in a playoff against Justin Rose.

After missing a birdie putt from 5 feet on the final hole of regulation play that would have won the tournament, Garcia’s gloomy futility in majors and tormented relationship with Augusta National came to an end when he won his first major with a 12-foot birdie on the first playoff hole.

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Russell Westbrook has 50 points, buzzer-beater in record 42nd triple-double

2017-04-09 Russell Westbrook2

Westbrook hit a long 3 at the buzzer Sunday to give him 50 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder a 106-105 win while also setting a new single-season NBA record with his 42nd triple-double. Westbrook passed Oscar Robertson’s longstanding mark of 41 that was once thought to be untouchable.

“Pure adrenaline, emotions running high, game-winning shot, it is something you dream about as a little kid to be able to do that on the road especially from that distance,” Westbrook said. “It is something you definitely will never forget.”

Two days Continue reading “Russell Westbrook has 50 points, buzzer-beater in record 42nd triple-double”

Brazil back on top of FIFA rankings

Brazil's midfielder Marcelo (L) celebrates with teammates after scoring against Paraguay during their 2018
[Photo Credit: The Nation - Thailand's]

Brazil dethroned arch-rivals Argentina and returned to the summit of football’s world rankings for the first time in almost seven years, the ruling body FIFA published on Thursday.

World Cup qualifying wins over Uruguay and Paraguay put the resurgent Selecao top for the first time since the 2010 World Cup with 1,661 points in the latest list of FIFA.

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Roger Goodell says changes coming to quicken NFL games in 2017

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Every NFL fan has seen an exciting game disrupted in a familiar way: a commercial break, then a kickoff, then … another commercial break.

Commissioner Roger Goodell doesn’t like it, either.

“It drives me crazy,” Goodell told news Agency on Wednesday. “We call those ‘double-ups.’ They actually occurred 27% of the time (on kickoffs last season). And that’s still too high for us.”

In the coming days, the league will roll out its plans for not only revamping the commercial structure within TV broadcasts, but also tweaking in-game timing, replay reviews and more — the product of experimentation and research the NFL took directly to fans before last season to find out what they liked and disliked, both in the stadium and on the couch.

Goodell said the changes aren’t tied to a pre-election TV ratings dip last season. But he acknowledged the expiration of the NFL’s current TV deals in 2022 amidst a changing media landscape is “top of mind for us on the broader picture” as the league continues to seek the best way to deliver a valuable commodity: three hours of content many viewers still consume live.

Beginning with the upcoming season, there will be subtle changes to the timing of the game itself, including standardizing the start of the clock after a player goes out of bounds and the duration of halftime. A play clock will be instituted after extra points (and perhaps after touchdowns, though that’s still under discussion). A vote is expected at the league meetings next week on a centralized replay system in which referees review plays on tablets, rather than sideline monitors, and provide input to officiating headquarters in New York, where the final call would be made.

There will be changes to TV broadcasts, including less frequent, but slightly longer commercial breaks — a standard pattern of four per quarter (rather than five, six, five and five), each extended from 1:50 to 2:20. (The NFL’s research shows fans notice fewer breaks, not how long they are, Goodell said.) Networks will be allowed to break during replay reviews. At times, a double box allowing viewers to see inside the stadium while an ad plays, or a sponsored break featuring one brand, could replace standard commercials. Some in-game promotion for NFL and partner initiatives will be replaced by more analysis, highlights and other content.

“We have seen commercialization maybe creep into the game in areas that we don’t think is appropriate,” Goodell said, “and we’re going to work with our network partners to try to pull that back, to make sure that we can create that compelling experience for our fans.”

Other changes — including a potential vote to eliminate coaches challenges after or late into a commercial break (another issue Goodell said frustrates him) and an actual reduction of ads and promotions — remain under consideration as well.

he goal isn’t to shorten games, though Goodell estimated the changes might shave five minutes off contests that lasted an average of 3:07:08 last season (down from 3:08:18 in 2015).

“What we’re looking to do is take that down time out, which is not entertaining,” Goodell said. “And in our research, we had biofeedback, so we could see what they were watching and you could tell when they’re not as interested in what’s happening in the broadcast.

“In today’s day and age, we have to give our fans every reason to watch what’s happening, find what they see on television and in the stadium as compelling. Don’t give them a reason to turn away.”

Other frequent targets of fans angle are also being addressed. Goodell confirmed the NFL intends to begin hiring some of the 17 full-time officials permitted under its labor deal. He also expects the league “will be loosening up the celebration rules to allow the players a little more expression of their enthusiasm,” though the competition committee continues to study that issue, as  reported last month, and discussions likely will extend beyond the next meeting.

Further changes to commercials, timing and other areas are likely in the coming seasons, Goodell said. As it does with everything, the NFL will roll out changes incrementally, gauge the impact and then determine what it should do next.

As for those obnoxious “double-ups” — Goodell said the goal is to eliminate them, though significantly reducing them by reducing the number of breaks would be a positive first step.

“You’re always going to be re-evaluating these areas and trying to say, what do we do better here?” Goodell said. “Whether it’s in our officiating mechanics, whether it’s in our commercial mechanics and how work with our TV partners, what we do in our stadiums — all those things are going to continue to be high priorities for us.

Champions League: Blame me for Manchester City exit – Guardiola

Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola says his failure to convince his players to attack and be aggressive in Monaco was the reason for their Champions League elimination.

Our sources reports that leading 5-3 from the first leg of their last-16 tie, City fielded an attacking XI in the second leg on Wednesday but lost 3-1 to go out on away goals.

“I tried to convince them in all the meetings we had to come here, try to attack and score,” said Guardiola.

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There are no limits, Bolt says after winning historic 4th Laureus Award

Usain Bolt

Even though one of his nine gold medals has been withdrawn, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt won an historic fourth Laureus Sportsman of the Year Award on Tuesday night. He has been nominated for the award seven times.

Bolt won three gold medals in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at last year’s Rio Olympic Games. He had also won the prestigious award in 2013, 2010 and 2009.

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Former England and Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard announces retirement

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Frank Lampard has announced the end of his 21-year playing career.

The former England and Chelsea midfielder last played for New York City FC and left the Major League Soccer franchise at the end of last year.

After coming through the youth ranks at boyhood club West Ham United, Lampard moved to Chelsea in 2001 for £11 million. During his 13 years at Stamford Bridge, he won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and the 2011-12 Champions League.

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Trump: ‘Forces of evil won’t defeat power of good again’

U.S. President, Donald Trump 
Photo Credit: slate.com

U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed that the forces of evil would never defeat the power of good, particularly throughout his presidency.

Mr. Trump stated this in his message on the 2017 International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust.

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Serena wins her 23rd Grand Slam title

Serena wins her 23rd Grand Slam title [Photo credit: mirror.co.uk]

Finally, Serena Williams is the winner of a 23rd Grand Slam title – one more than Steffi Graf in the open era.

It took about 90 minutes but Serena finally beat Venus 6-4 6-4.

Serena thus became the oldest woman to win a major, the oldest woman to Continue reading “Serena wins her 23rd Grand Slam title”