Romelu Lukaku says split from Manchester United was ‘right decision’

first_imgLONDON: Romelu Lukaku believes he made the right decision to leave Manchester United for a new challenge at Inter Milan, saying he had to “re-find” himself after a difficult time at Old Trafford.The Belgium striker joined United from Everton for £75 million ($98 million) in July 2017, scoring 42 goals in his two seasons at the club before moving to Inter in August last year.He has been in superb form for Antonio Conte’s side, scoring 18 goals to help the club sustain a challenge for the Serie A title.Those performances, and United’s reported interest in signing a striker this month after Marcus Rashford’s back injury, have raised questions as to the wisdom of allowing Lukaku to leave Old Trafford.But, in an interview with Sky Sports News, the 26-year-old said the decision was his and it had worked out well for United as well.”I think I had to re-find myself,” he said. “Last year was difficult for me on the professional side because stuff was not going how I wanted and I was not performing as well… and I just came to the conclusion that it was time for me to change environment.”I made my decision around March, and I went to the manager’s office (Ole Gunnar Solskjaer) and I told him it was time for me to find something else.””I think I made the right decision and I think Manchester United now has made space for the younger players to come through so I think it was a bit of a win-win situation for both of us,” he added.The Belgian was signed for United by Jose Mourinho and had an excellent first season, scoring 27 goals as United finished second in the Premier League.But Mourinho was sacked in December 2018 after a disappointing start to the season, with Lukaku also unable to discover his best form.Former Chelsea manager Conte has managed to bring the best out of Lukaku this season, pairing him with Argentine forward Lautaro Martinez to lethal effect.Lukaku said the Italian knew how to extract the most from his whole squad but revealed he was not afraid to get tough with the players.”The manager, he tells it straight to your face if you’re doing well or wrong,” he said. AgenciesAlso Read: Inter Milan sign Romelu Lukaku on transfer deadline dayAlso Watch: AASU among other indigenous organizations staged ‘Khilongiar Ranna Hunkarr’ program in Tinsukialast_img read more

WESA expands once more with Splyce and North joining the ranks

first_imgWESA has added North and Splyce to its ranks as full members as it continues its expansion. The news brings WESA membership up to 13 teams in total.Credit: WESAAlthough WESA faced staunch criticism after initial launch, the continued welcoming of new teams clearly signals that many are becoming more accepting and the organisation is making progress in its aim to “professionalise esports, and solidify its place as the leading global esports association”. North are the esports arm of Nordisk Film and renowned Danish football club F.C. Copenhagen and field a complete roster that hasn’t quite lived up to expectations since launch — having acquired a talented Team Dignitas roster initially. The team is in the midst of roster changes as the next Counter-Strike: Global Offensive shuffle period continues but is still regarded as one of the strongest out there. At the PGL Major Krakow, North lost in the quarter finals to but still retained legend status that thus provides them with automatic qualification for the next Major. Splyce, on the other hand, is more of an odd move. The team currently only has three players signed to its Counter-Strike roster and has only played in a Major once, finishing 13th-16th back in March 2016 at MLG Colombus. Whether or not the move to join WESA by Splyce indicates that the organisation is looking at getting back into Counter-Strike or WESA’s intention to move out of CS:GO remains to be seen.Whilst players unbanned by ESL and ESIC following last months survey results and amendments to Code of Conduct are now allowed to play in ESL tournaments — they are still limited elsewhere. Within WESA, ESL are members and the WESA rules and regulations govern tournaments such as the ESL Pro League amongst others. Could this suggest that Splyce are considering going in for the former iBuyPower squad that are sure to emerge with a fairly solid roster in North America at some point in the near future? It’s all mere speculation at this point — but there seems little reason for Splyce to join unless one of the aforementioned criteria are satisfied. “We’re delighted that both North and Splyce have elected to join WESA,” said Ken Hershman, Executive Chairman and Commissioner, WESA. “Bringing in two more teams that affiliate with a leading traditional sports franchise increases our ability to both develop and build out our esports offerings, as well as move the industry forward in new and exciting ways. These organisations know the importance of structure and order in an industry, and will aid WESA’s mission to solidify these facets within our own.”“Since the debut of North earlier this year, we have taken steps to grow our organisation’s awareness within the esports industry. We are excited for the opportunity to join WESA and continue leaving our footprint in the esports world,” commented Jacob Toft-Andersen, Chief Gaming Officer, North. “We look forward to working with WESA and its Members to further professionalise the industry as a whole.”“This is an exciting time for team owners, as we are able to work together to continue advancing the infrastructure and sustainability of this industry for our staff, players and shareholders,” asserted Marty Strenczewilk, CEO & Co-Founder, Splyce. “Working with the storied teams that make up WESA was an obvious choice for us at Splyce, as it gives us the opportunity to work on projects that can have a huge impact on the entirety of esports alongside owners who are as passionate and dedicated as we are.”Esports Insider says: Continued expansion from WESA is definitely positive for the organisation. Many eyes will turn and wonder why Splyce are involved but only time will tell. For now, congratulations to all parties.last_img read more

Tiger Woods withdraws from Northern Trust with oblique strain

first_imgWoods, 43, was scheduled to tee off at 12:33 p.m. ET Friday at Liberty National in Jersey City, New Jersey, but has a history of back problems that he has described as his new normal.Looking out of sorts during most of Thursday’s round played under ideal scoring conditions, Woods dug himself an early and deep hole, ballooning to 4 over par after only nine holes. At one point late in his round, Woods found himself at T-58 among 58 golfers on the course. Related News Tiger Woods, who opened the Northern Trust with a 4-over 75 on Thursday, withdrew Friday from the first tournament of the FedExCup playoffs with what has been described as a “mild oblique strain that led to pain and stiffness.””I went for treatment early Friday morning, but unfortunately I’m still unable to compete,” Woods said in a statement distributed by the PGA Tour. “I’d like to thank the New Jersey and New York fans for their support and remain hopeful I can compete next week at the BMW Championship.” Tiger Woods digs deep early hole at Northern Trust “I knew today we had the perfect greens and I needed to shoot something under, but I went the wrong way,” he said after his round.In contrast, Troy Merritt posted a course record-tying 9-under 62 to lead after Round 1.The tournament was Woods’ first start since he missed the cut last month at the British Open at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland, where he said he was hampered by the cold and damp conditions.Many attributed Thursday’s bad opening round to rust, which may have been a contributing factor, though clearly Woods’ physical well-being will be an ongoing concern moving forward in the 15-time major winner’s career.His withdrawal Friday adds extra pressure on him in next week’s BMW Championship in Chicago if, as he noted, he is able to compete there.He entered the Northern Trust just inside the top 30 at No. 28 on the FedExCup points list. He is assured of a spot in the BMW, which is for the top 70 players in the points standings.However, he likely now needs a decent finish at Medinah Country Club to assure himself a shot at defending his 2018 victory in the season-ending Tour Championship, limited to the top 30 in FedExCup points.And a decent finish appears to be anything but a sure thing for Woods. Since winning the Masters in April, Woods has missed the cut at the PGA Championship and British Open and finished T-21 at the U.S. Open.On Thursday, spectators weren’t allowed on the course until 10 a.m. ET as Liberty National worked to clean up damage from fierce storms late Wednesday afternoon.By the time the gates opened, Woods — who teed off early at No. 10 with Scott Piercy and J.T. Poston — had for all intents and purposes shot himself out of the tournament.His front nine was marred by a three bogeys and a double bogey offset by a single birdie as he made his turn at 4-over 39 as he battled waywardness off the tee and a shaky putter when he gave himself scoring opportunities.center_img Tiger Woods plays it safe in Northern Trust pro-am because of stiff back He offered some hope by opening his second nine with a birdie at No. 1, but then missed a clean-up par putt inside 3 feet on No. 3 to roll back to 4 over.His 75 left him sitting in a tie for 114th in the Northern Trust, all but assuring that he wouldn’t make it to the weekend, healthy or not.Now the question becomes: Can Woods play the BMW and, if so, can he recapture the magic he displayed at Augusta National in April, which looks so long ago now?last_img read more

Cape Town gets new nature reserves

first_imgThe Western Cape’s precious flora andfauna is be even better conserved in future,once Cape Town has established its 16new reserves.(Image: Formore free photos, visit the image library)MEDIA CONTACTS • Cliff DorseBiodiversity coordinator: EnvironmentalResource Management Department,City of Cape Town+27 21 514 4189Mark ReidThe City of Cape Town will soon submit an application to the Western Cape provincial government for the proclamation of two new nature reserves in the city, and the expansion of an existing reserve.The news follows a positive reception to the announcement made in early 2011 that Cape Town plans to proclaim 15 new reserves under the Protected Areas Act of 2003. A public participation process followed, which was supplemented with radio interviews and newspaper articles and received a mostly enthusiastic response.According to the new proposal, the Diep River reserve, the Zoarvlei and Rietvlei wetlands and the Milnerton Race Course nature reserve – all located in the city’s northern suburbs – will be merged into one and called the Table Bay Nature Reserve.The existing False Bay Ecology Park on the southern coast has been extended to include portions of the coastline and will become the new False Bay Nature Reserve, while the small 3.6ha Botterblom Park in Durbanville, on the northern boundary of the Cape Town metropolitan area, has already been declared a new nature reserve.Wealth of biodiversityIn a recent press release, Belinda Walker of the mayoral planning committee stated, “In addition to the intrinsic value of Cape Town’s unique biodiversity and open spaces, the city’s nature reserves are economic and social assets for the local community.”Cape Town is world-renowned for its wealth of biodiversity, a major tourist drawcard. The region boasts over 3 250 native plant species and 19 different vegetation types.Urbanisation and other factors have put much of this natural treasure at risk, and 319 species are threatened with extinction, according to the Red List of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Already 13 plant species are extinct in the wild, so the time to act is now.Biodiversity provides the region with vital benefits like food, shelter and protection against wind, sand and flood erosion. If biodiversity is allowed to deteriorate, the effects of climate change may be severely felt. Cape Town will become a more sustainable city if natural systems in its urban environment are conserved and enhanced.One of the city’s greatest attractions as a tourist destination is its vast open spaces. Currently there are more than 30 nature reserves and natural areas scattered across Cape Town. This network of open spaces provides protection for vulnerable fauna and flora, and also contributes to education, recreation and conservation of natural heritage, as well as job creation.Protecting our natural heritageOn the Cape Town website, a report states that many of the city’s nature reserves do not have adequate conservation protection. Those which do have conservation protection have expanded, but official reserve boundaries have not been adjusted accordingly. Once the boundaries have been officially established, these newly acquired areas will also be protected.Once the proclamations are finalised, city management plans to establish advisory committees to help oversee the reserves. These committees will be made up of representatives of the community parties as well as various specialists. They will facilitate communication between all parties concerned, and will ensure sound management of the reserves in the future.last_img read more

IEC targets 2-million new voters for 2014

first_img7 November 2013 South Africa’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has set a target of securing two-million new registrations by the time the voters’ roll closes before next year’s general elections. “Through its registration drive, the IEC hopes to increase registrations to 80% of the voting-age population, in line with levels of previous elections, which would require an additional two million voters to register,” IEC chairperson Advocate Pansy Tlakula told SAnews on Wednesday.Voter registration readiness Tlakula said everything is ready for eligible voters at the IEC’s 22 263 registration stations, which will operate between 8am and 5pm on Saturday and Sunday. All registration materials have been delivered to eight metropolitan councils and 226 local municipal councils, and will be delivered over the next two days to the registration stations for the opening on Saturday morning, she added. The voting districts represent an almost 7% increase over the 20 859 districts in place for the 2011 local government election. The growth reflects an expansion of voting districts in predominantly rural areas, to reduce the distance required for voters to travel to voting stations. The increases are 15% in the Free State, 10% in Limpopo and 9% each in the North West and KwaZulu-Natal.Registering to vote The Department of Home Affairs has agreed to open its branches on Saturday and Sunday, to coincide with the registration station hours for the collection of ID books, smartcard IDs or temporary identity certificates. Tlakula said a total of 45 795 election officials will be standing by to register new voters, and to verify the registration details of existing voters. To register, eligible voters need to be in possession of a green bar-coded ID book, or a temporary ID certificate, or the new smart card ID. Encouraging students to take time out to vote, Tlakula said: “Our voter registration process is very quick, and I’m sure that even those young people who are preparing for their exams can take a few minutes to visit our registration stations in their respective areas, in order to register for next year’s general elections”. “Almost 30 000 zip-zap [automatic scanner] machines have undergone testing and battery checks to ensure they are ready for the weekend,” she said. “The machines will be in an optimal functional condition as a result of these testing procedures they have undergone.”Registration stations Registration stations are located at a wide variety of premises which are leased by the Electoral Commission for registration weekends and voting days. These include schools (65%), community and civic halls (10%), places of worship (7%) and other community venues. Approximately 7% will use temporary facilities including tents and other temporary structures. There will also be 30 mobile registration stations, which will be used in rural areas. Currently the Free State has the higher percentage of voter registration at 80%, followed by the Eastern Cape (79.6%), Northern Cape (77.6%), Limpopo (77.0%), KwaZulu-Natal (75.0%) and North West (73.5%). The provinces with the lowest registration percentages are Mpumalanga (70.3%), Western Cape (70.3%) and Gauteng (69.2%). Source: read more

Citi works to defend wealthy clients from rival bank poachers

first_imgHit by the massive fraud in its Gurgaon branch perpetrated by its rogue relationship manager Shivraj Puri, Citibank is planning to compensate the victims, even as it moved ‘damage control’ interactions with its High Networth Individual (HNIs) customers into high gear.Puri allegedly diverted over Rs 300 crore of funds from customers and non- customers of Citibank, into personal accounts and had been investing in equities market for over a year.In a statement issued issued on Saturday, Citi said it had been in contact with “impacted customers” and was in the process of reconciling the amounts involved with the customers. It is in the “process of working towards a fair compensation for them,” the bank said.Other banks, meanwhile, have been moving to try and snatch some of Citibank’s HNI customers citing that lack of sufficient risk management systems had led to the fraud.”A couple of days back, I have got a call from Citibank guys asking me to participate in their HNI meet, perhaps to explain their side of the (fraud) story. I am not even a Citibank customer. I see it as an exercise to retain or boost customer base in the wake of the fraud,” said one of the top three executives of a listed broking house, who wished not to be named.Sources said Citi had been responding to a flood of calls on the issue after the scam broke, though the number has been tailing off in recent days.Citibank, however, declined to comment on the issue of rising interactions with HNI customers.advertisementPolice investigation into the issue, revealed that Puri had attracted these funds from some people, including those of Hero Honda promoters, by offering a high returns of two per cent per month. Puri is in police custody for further investigations. About 40 persons or representatives of institutions or companies had walked into the trap laid by Puri.Most of those affected were wealth management customers of Citibank, with high net investible resources. While Citi’s wealth management entry threshold is Rs 36 lakh, it has a far more lucrative private banking business.The entry norms are reported to be much higher – Citi does not divulge details of its private banking business, but banking sources said only clients with minimum investible resources over Rs 5 crore qualified.It offers a range of services to such clients, including Trust Services, Philanthropic Advisory, Art Advisory, Aircraft Advisory and Sports Advisory.Sometimes wealth management involves investment of surplus funds of customer in their bank accounts for maximum returns and releasing funds for specific occasions of the customers like education, marriage and the likes in the customer’s family.Thus, wealth management is driven by returns and trust, which is what other banks want to emphasise and grab Citibank customers away. “This is an opportunity for us to enlist Citibank customers, citing that our bank has better risk management systems and practices compared to that bank,” a relationship executive of another bank, who is not authorised to speak to press, lamented.However, the institutional advisors feel that the Gurgaon fraud of the bank, that raised questions about the customer handling practices followed by banks in general, is unlikely to hit HNI business for them, though ‘sentiment’ has been affected to an extent.An institutional equities head of a listed broking firm said, “It is not a big issue for our business. But sentiment- wise, yes, it has some impact.”SALVAGING GOODWILLCitibank is planning to compensate the victims as it moved ‘damage control’ interactions with its High Networth Individual (HNIs) customers into high gearCiti has been in contact with ” impacted customers” and was in the process of reconciling the amounts involved with the customersOther banks, meanwhile, have been moving to try and snatch some of Citibank’s HNI customers citing that lack of sufficient risk management systems had led to the fraudSources said Citi had been responding to a flood of calls on the issue after the scam broke, though the number has been tailing off in recent daysInstitutional advisors feel that the Gurgaon fraud is unlikely to hit HNI business for them, though ‘ sentiment’ has been affected to an extentlast_img read more

10 months agoBurnley goalkeeper Nick Pope: Great to be back

first_imgBurnley goalkeeper Nick Pope: Great to be backby Chris Beattie10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveBurnley goalkeeper Nick Pope is back in action after recovering from shoulder surgery.Pope played in his first match since dislocating his shoulder in July after turning out for the club’s under-23s on Monday.The 26-year-old played the full 90 minutes of an away clash against Sheffield United, which the Clarets won 3-1.Pope made his England debut in early June and was part of the Three Lions squad for the World Cup in Russia.He said: “It was great to be back, it’s been a long injury spell for myself but to get back and play a real game and 90 minutes was great.“I try to help out where I can, I remember playing those sorts of games when I was their age.“So, it was good to be one of the experienced ones there today, I think that’s part of the experience and part of my job to step down and help the younger lads out.” About the authorChris BeattieShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

a month agoMelchiot tells Chelsea striker Abraham: Get nasty like Drogba!

first_imgMelchiot tells Chelsea striker Abraham: Get nasty like Drogba!by Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveTammy Abraham needs to develop a nasty streak like former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba. That is according to ex-Blues defender Mario Melchiot.Abraham has already proven his goalscoring chops, having blasted in seven this season. But Melchiot thinks his game can reach another level.”Tammy Abraham is a real finisher but, as much as I like him as a player, he’s sometimes got to be more of a bad boy,” Melchiot told talkSPORT.”You know why? When you play against players like Virgil van Dijk, the striker has to have a bit of badness in him. A bit of nastiness.”OK, look at the guys I played against, like Ryan Giggs. He was so elegant, he dribbled beautifully, but trust me, if I kicked him he would have got up and either kicked me back or found a way to do it – he was one of the best players I played against.”Tammy needs that too. As cute as he looks, he’s young, fresh and exciting to watch, he needs to have that.”If you look at Drogba, [Jimmy Floyd] Hasselbaink, these guys weren’t cute when you played against them.”Be a little bit of a bad boy! Bring that badness out of you!” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more