PUL Resolves National Chronicle – Senate Press Stand Off

first_imgThe Press Union of Liberia (PUL) has resolved a standoff between the National Chronicle Newspaper and the Press Bureau of the Liberian Senate.The mediation followed a complaint filed by the Director of the Senate Press Bureau Jarlawah A. Tonpo, in which he accused the National Chronicle of maligning his character following a report in the paper that Tonpo had led a group of ex-combatants to attack the paper and its reporter.The National Chronicle, in successive editions, alleged that Tonpo led the group that threatened to attack Reporter Monica Samuel and burn down their offices, when he called at the paper’s office to verify facts about a murder story it published, to which Bomi Senator Lahai Lassanah and one Victor Jah were linked. The Senate Press Bureau, while seeking the PUL’s intervention in what it called an erroneous publication by the paper, also suspended the National Chronicle from covering the Senate, pending the union’s intervention.During its investigation into the saga Thursday, both parties realized that they at some point “overly acted” and agreed to bury their differences and proceed with their respective duties.Tonpo denied taking with him ex-combatants at the National Chronicle’s office, but admitted that they might have followed the driver of Senator Lansannah who drove him at the Paper’s office.In resolving the stand-off, the Press Union of Liberia blamed the Senate Press Director for the action of the unauthorized men at the offices of the National Chronicle from the fact that they were accomplices of the Senator’s driver, who had himself followed Tonpo.The PUL also denounced any action aimed at denying journalists access to public facilities, on account of disagreements.“This action is a violation of the media entity’s right to public information, and it undermines free speech and press freedom in any democratic society,” PUL President Abdullai Kamara said. Meanwhile, the Press Union of Liberia has taken offence with The Reporter Newspaper for failing to retract an article in its April 14 edition, in which it made difficult and unconfirmed allegations against the Guinean Ambassador to Liberia, El Hadj Abdoulaye Dore.At the hearing held on April 15, the PUL ruled that the issues reported in article written by Reporter Mike Jabateh in the April 14 edition did not present verified facts, cited faceless sources, did not get the side of Ambassador Dore and effectively brought his reputation into disrepute – all in violation of various sections of the PUL code of ethics and conduct.The PUL is also offended by the fact that inspite of the decision, The Reporter is yet to come out with the clarification, as was agreed during the meeting.The PUL notes that media institutions would be putting themselves and their journalists at greater risks of frivolous lawsuits not only by reporting unverified stories, but refusing to abide by the result of peer reviews.The PUL will not in any way restrain any media house from pursuing any matter, but if you are reporting a particular matter, you must go to the length of gathering the facts, crosschecking these facts with relevant sources, and engaging those who are accused or involved.In this way, you will be freeing yourself from undue criticism and making your journalism one of credit.The PUL’s strength in standing up to those bent on restricting freedom of the press is guaranteed by journalists and media houses who accept the PUL as the source of professional development and peer regulation.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Slain Martyrs of 1872 Devonshire Castle Uprising remembered

first_imgThe five sugar workers  who were viciously killed during the Devonshire Castle uprising in 1872 were on Wednesday remembered during an impressive wreath-laying ceremony held at the monument site, at Cabbage Day, Devonshire Castle, Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam). The activity was organised by the Region Two Regional Democratic Council (RDC).Acting Chairwoman Nandranie Coonjah lays a wreathAttendees at the remembrance serviceWreaths were laid at the monument which was erected in honour of the indentured immigrants. Acting Chairwoman, Nandranie Coonjah, representatives from the Anna Regina Town Council, Department of Education, school children and the Devonshire Castle community all participated in the ceremony.Delivering the feature address was retired Headmaster and Justice of the Peace (JP) Madhya Persaud. He reminded that the indentured labourers were killed due to their protest against harsh and inhumane conditions under which they were forced to work.On May, 5, 1838, he related, Indians came to Guyana as Indentured labourers operating under the indentured system with specific obligations. The labourers were at the time given poor wages with incredibly long working hours, and administrative abuse. They were equally alarmed by mysterious deductions from their wages which upon investigation could not be justified.Persaud said they were not allowed the freedom to fight for their rights in the Magistrate Courts.“They were just found in three places: hospitals, jails and (on) estates, due to the harsh conditions, and uprising started throughout Guyana and in 1872 it took feet in Essequibo. There was uneasiness, a strike took place, the police came, opened fire and cold bloodedly murdered the innocent labourers; they were gunned down,” Persaud informed.He explained that during the uprising seven were injured and 5 were killed. Among the dead were Kaulica, Beccaroo, Maxidally, Baldeo and Acukloo. These men lost confidence in the estate management and as such retaliated.Persaud said that the uprising brought freedom for other indentureds on the plantations and showed how courageous and determined they were.According to Chairwoman, Coonjah, the observance marked the 144th Anniversary of the Devonshire Castle Uprising. She called on the Region Two Administration, through the RDC, to give more prominence to the event and recommended that it be held annually.Coonjah acknowledged the efforts made of recent by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport to highlight the event and said it is important for children to be taught about the sacrifices and trials the Indentured labourers endured.In recognition of the five martyrs who were killed on September 29, 1872, the Devonshire Castle Moument serves as a tangible reminder of the struggles of the Indian foreparents. Attending the event also was Ishack Basir, CCH.last_img read more

Induction for Senators-Elect Today

first_imgThe Liberian Senate will hold a special session today, Wednesday, for the induction ceremony of Senators elected in the first special senatorial elections since the coming into being of the 1986 Constitution.The ceremony, which should have been held yesterday in accordance with the Senate Rules, was postponed for today following a motion by Nimba County Senator Thomas Grupee and approved by plenary. The Secretary was requested to inform the Senators-elect about the change of time.While the current 15 Senators were deliberating in chambers, the newly elected Senators were reclining in the air conditioned Cletus Wotorson Cafeteria awaiting news about their induction.Some Senators argued that instead of today, the Senators be given sufficient time to prepare and be inducted on Thursday, which is one of the regular session days.  Earlier, the Senate Committee on Rules, Order &Administration as requested Monday after the Senators-elect presented their certificates to the Secretary of the Senate, informed the plenary that the certificates and credentials were well screened and reviewed, and found to be authentic. The Senate Committee, therefore, requested that the Senators be inducted in keeping with the Senate Rule.In the absence of a Pro Tempore proper, the Secretary of the Senate, J. Nanborlor F. Singbeh, will perform the induction ceremony which takes place at 11 a.m. in the Chamber of the Senate. Those to be inducted include: George Manneh Weah, (Montserrado); Jonathan L. Kaipay, (Grand Bassa), J. Milton Teahjay, (Sinoe), Gbleh-bo J. Brown, (Maryland), Jewel Howard C. Taylor (Ranking Senator, Bong) and Prince Yormie Johnson (Ranking Senator, Nimba).Also taking office today are: Marshall A. Dennis, (Grand Gedeh), Stephen J.H. Zargo, (Lofa), Francis S. Paye, (River Cess), Albert T. Chie, (Grand Kru), Conmany B. Wesseh, (River Gee) and Daniel Flomo Naatehn, Sr., (Gbarpolu).Senators-elect Varney Nabie G. Sherman (Grand Cape Mount), Morris Saytumah (Bomi) and James Tornollah, (Margibi) County will not be part of the ceremony due to separate injunctions filed against them with the Supreme Court.Today’s ceremony is not only the first of its kind since the 1986 Constitution came into existence, but also the first time in Africa in recent memory that a former world football icon is elected to one of the highest national leadership posts such as the Senate.As they did during the official opening ceremonies of the Legislature Monday, Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) die-hards are expected to turn out in their thousands on the grounds of the Capitol Building in solidarity with their political leader, George Manneh Weah, as he becomes Senator proper.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

8th Annual Fire Truck Pull in Fort St. John back at the Pomeroy this Saturday

first_imgLast year’s Fire Truck Pull raised over $35,000.Teams that did not register online can bring their registration fee of $250 payable by cash or cheque to the United Way of Northern BC with their signed team waiver form to registration by 10:30. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The United Way of Northern BC’s Fire Truck Pull in Fort St. John is happening this weekend.From 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Pomeroy Sport Centre, teams of up to ten contestants will be competing for a number of trophies while pulling a fire truck that weighs over 22,000 lbs., while also raising money for the United Way of Northern BC.After several years in Centennial Park, the festivities will once again be back at the Pomeroy Sport Centre starting at 10:00 a.m. with registration and a pancake breakfast.- Advertisement -Trophies will be awarded to teams for: Fastest Time in both the Heavy and Not-So-Heavy weights, Best Spirited, Most Funds Raised.In addition to the truck pull itself, the event will also be featuring a bouncy castle, other kids’activities & balloons, and a BBQ lunch to cap things off at 2:00.Campaign Officer Phallon Stoutenburg said that currently there are 10 teams registered, and registrations are still being accepted at the United Way’s office on 100th St.Advertisementlast_img read more

Rising insurance cost puts coverage out of reach for many small companies

first_imgThe increasing cost of health insurance is putting coverage out of reach for many small to midsize companies and their workers, even though the rise in premiums this year was the lowest increase in eight years. Since 2001, the cost of premiums has gone up 78 percent, far outpacing a 19 percent increase in wages and 17 percent jump in inflation, according to a survey released Tuesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a health care research group that annually tracks the cost of health insurance. This year, the cost of premiums paid by workers and their employers was up 6.1 percent, while wages rose an average of 3.7 percent and inflation went up 2.6 percent, the survey said. Kaiser estimates that between 1 million and 2 million people join the ranks of the uninsured every year. “There’s no scientific tipping point that you can point to at which health insurance becomes unaffordable,” said Drew Altman, the foundation’s president and CEO. “But it does seem like we’ve crossed a threshold where health insurance is increasingly unaffordable for medium-sized employers, particularly smaller employers and average people this year.” Insurance costs probably will rise again next year, according to the survey. Many of the more than 3,000 companies surveyed said they planned to make significant changes to their health plans and benefits, and nearly half said they were very or somewhat likely to raise premiums. This year, premiums averaged $12,106 for a family of four, with workers paying, on average, $3,281 of that. Premiums to cover a single person cost $4,479, with employees paying $694. Families typically pay 28 percent of their premiums, while single people pay 16 percent, the survey said, and those proportions have been stable. But the amount workers have been paying has nearly doubled since 2001. This year, monthly contributions averaged $273 for families and $58 for single workers. The companies surveyed reported that premiums for families increased 6.1 percent, on average. That’s the lowest growth rate since 1999, when premiums rose 5.3 percent and cost an average of $2,196 for individuals and $5,791 for families. Health care premiums rose 7.7 percent last year, when individuals paid an average of $4,242 and families paid $11,480. This year also marks the fourth year that the increase has slowed. But Altman said it doesn’t mean much when it outpaces wages and inflation, and now companies and employees are dropping insurance. He said that’s why the number of uninsured Americans continues to rise. The Census Bureau estimates 15.8 percent of Americans were uninsured last year, up from 15.3 percent the year before. As costs rise for workers and companies, revenues for health care insurers continue to soar. But health insurance companies are still paying out roughly the same as they have for years, said Charles Boorady, an equity research analyst with Citigroup. So when insurers charge more for premiums, they’re trying to cover what they pay out in claims, he said, and that means profits are fairly level. “The price increase doesn’t looked aimed at expanding margins, it looks aimed at preserving margins,” Boorady said. WellPoint, the nation’s largest health insurer, reported profits were up 11 percent in the most recent quarter, to $835.2 million and revenue rose nearly 8 percent to $15.3 billion.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Fatal crash devastates community

first_img“It was the happiest marriage I’ve ever seen,” he said. “I hope events like this bring more consciousness to teens so that stuff like this stops happening.” Andy Gorman, a friend of Steve Groce, told how a man rode up to him and Groce on a bicycle as they stood at the scene of the crash. “He was no more than 18 or 19 years old,” Gorman said. “He apologized, said he was sorry, and he teared up and started crying. Then he rode away. I admired him.” Gorman said he believed the man was the brother of Robert Canizalez, 19, believed to be one of two street racers involved in the collision. Canizalez, of El Monte, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of three counts of murder. His bail was set at $3 million. A second suspect, Martin Morones, 21, of El Monte remains at large. Police said he fled the scene of the accident. His Honda Accord was recovered near the scene of the accident. El Monte police said Canizalez’s Mustang collided with Groce’s Nissan Altima. The force of the crash rammed the Nissan into a stopped Ford F-150. During her remarks, Angelina Gutierrez of El Monte said she went before the City Council two weeks before the crash to ask for speed bumps and more traffic enforcement to stop the street races. Ernie Gutierrez, El Monte’s mayor, also addressed Groce’s family and friends. “Never in the history of the city has an incident like this occurred,” he said. “People have rallied and come together to deal with a serious problem.” Gutierrez said residents often call police if they see someone with a gun or rifle. “But that doesn’t happen when they see a car racing past,” he said. “But both can be deadly. The community needs to deal with some safety issues: loaded weapons, speeding vehicles and reckless driving.” The City Council will look at proposals to deal with those problems at Tuesday’s meeting, he said. “We will do everything we can to begin to resolve those problems so that we will not have an incident like this again,” he said, and the mourners applauded.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Photo Gallery: Street racing victims’ memorial service SAN GABRIEL – Mourners expressed hope Saturday that the deaths of a woman and her two children would inspire change in a community torn apart by the accident that claimed their lives. Dora Groce, 41, her son Robert, 8, and daughter Catherine, 4, were killed in a fiery auto crash Monday, after her car was broadsided by a street racer at 5:40 p.m. on Parkway Drive at Elliott Avenue in El Monte near a four-way stop. Residents of the neighborhood said street racing had been a problem in their community for months. They expressed sorrow for husband and father Stephen Groce, 44, who lost his family in the accident. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.“You saw the cars speeding through like it was a freeway,” said Angelina Gutierrez, among those who spoke Saturday. “Steve’s wife and children will be an inspiration for change so that this will never happen again.” Speaker after speaker told the gathering that Dora Groce, a housewife, was an excellent mother. Nora Torres, a family friend, worried Stephen, a Food and Drug Administration inspector, might become embittered after losing his family. “We don’t need any more anger,” she said. “Let’s keep this good – no more negativism. I don’t want Steve to become a bad person. I know he’s got anger in his heart, but he’s a good person. We don’t need any more bad people in this world.” Dora Groce’s cousin Tony Dubon said the couple married after a seven-week courtship and were together nine years. last_img read more

Homer king strikes out

first_imgLate in the season, the San Francisco Giants told the seven-time National League MVP they didn’t want him back next year. Bonds could not immediately be reached for comment. One of his attorneys, John Burris, didn’t know of the indictment before being alerted by The Associated Press and said he would call Bonds to notify him. “I’m surprised,” Burris said, “but there’s been an effort to get Barry for a long time. I’m curious what evidence they have now they didn’t have before.” `Unsupported charges’ Bonds’ defense attorney, Mike Rains, declined comment because he hadn’t seen a copy of the indictment. “However, it goes without saying that we look forward to rebutting these unsupported charges in court,” Rains said. “We will no doubt have more specific comments in the very near future once we have had the opportunity to actually see this indictment that took so long to generate.” Bonds is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in San Francisco on Dec. 7. The government’s indictment says for the first time that Bonds tested positive for anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing substances, undercutting his many public denials on the subject. The Giants, the players union and even the White House called it a sad day for baseball. “This is a very sad day. For many years, Barry Bonds was an important member of our team and is one of the most talented baseball players of his era. These are serious charges. Now that the judicial process has begun, we look forward to this matter being resolved in a court of law,” the Giants said. Union head Donald Fehr said he was “saddened” to learn of the indictment, but cautioned that “every defendant, including Barry Bonds, is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless and until such time as he is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.” In Washington, White House spokesman Tony Fratto said: “The president is very disappointed to hear this. As this case is now in the criminal justice system, we will refrain from any further specific comments about it. But clearly this is a sad day for baseball.” Commissioner Bud Selig withheld judgment, saying, “I take this indictment very seriously and will follow its progress closely.” Bush, who once owned the Texas Rangers, called Bonds to congratulate him in August when the Giants’ outfielder broke the home run mark. “You’ve always been a great hitter and you broke a great record,” Bush said at the time. Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, who is investigating drug use in baseball, declined comment. So did Hall of Fame Vice President Jeff Idelson. Bonds was charged in the indictment with lying when he said he didn’t knowingly take steroids given to him by Anderson. Bonds is also charged with lying that Anderson never injected him with steroids. “Greg wouldn’t do that,” Bonds testified when asked whether Anderson ever gave him any drugs that needed to be injected. “He knows I’m against that stuff.” Anderson’s attorney, Mark Geragos, said the trainer didn’t cooperate with the grand jury that indicted Bonds. “This indictment came out of left field,” Geragos said. “Frankly I’m aghast. It looks like the government misled me and Greg as well, saying this case couldn’t go forward without him.” `Doping calendar’ Prosecutors promised Bonds they wouldn’t charge him with any drug-related counts if he testified truthfully. But according to the indictment, Bonds repeatedly denied taking any steroids or performance-enhancing drugs despite evidence to the contrary. For instance, investigators seized a so-called “doping calendar” labeled “BB” during a raid of Anderson’s house. “He could know other BBs,” Bonds replied when shown the calendar during his testimony. Asked directly if Anderson supplied him with steroids, Bonds answered: “Not that I know of.” According to the indictment, Bonds even denied taking steroids when prosecutors showed him the results of a test from November 2000 that showed a “Barry B” testing positive for two types of steroids. “I’ve never seen these documents,” Bonds said. “I’ve never seen these papers.” The indictment does not explain where prosecutors obtained those results, but they likely were conducted at the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, or BALCO. Bonds first visited BALCO in November 2000 and submitted to the series of urine and drug tests conducted by BALCO founder Victor Conte on every athlete who went through the lab. The test results may have been seized when federal agents raided BALCO in September 2003. Conte said Thursday the tests were administered to protect athletes from taking legal supplements contaminated with illegal steroids. But he said he had no way of knowing Bonds’ test results because the samples were assigned numbers rather than names. “The reason for the testing wasn’t to circumvent the system,” Conte said. “It was to protect the athletes.” Bonds said that at the end of the 2003 season Anderson rubbed some cream on his arm that the trainer said would help him recover. Anderson also gave him something he called “flax seed oil,” Bonds said. Bonds then testified that prior to the 2003 season, he never took anything supplied by Anderson – which the indictment alleges was a lie because the doping calendars seized from Anderson’s house were dated 2001. Bonds has long been shadowed by allegations that he used performance-enhancing drugs. The son of former big league star Bobby Bonds, Barry broke into the majors with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1986 as a lithe, base-stealing outfielder. Power surge By the late 1990s, he had bulked up to more than 240 pounds – his head, in particular, becoming noticeably bigger. His physical growth was accompanied by a remarkable power surge. Speculation of his impending indictment had mounted for more than a year, but the specter of steroid allegations have shadowed him for much longer. Bonds joins a parade of defendants tied to the BALCO investigation, including Anderson, who served three months in prison and three months of home detention after pleading guilty to steroid distribution and money laundering. Conte also served three months in prison after he pleaded guilty to steroids distribution. But Conte has long insisted that Bonds didn’t get steroids from his lab.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre In August, when the 43-year-old Bonds passed Hank Aaron to become the career home run leader, he flatly rejected any suggestion that the milestone was stained by steroids. “This record is not tainted at all. At all. Period,” Bonds said. But while San Franciscans cheered his every swing and fans elsewhere scorned every homer, a grand jury quietly worked behind closed doors to put the finishing touches on the long-rumored indictment. Bonds is by far the highest-profile figure caught up in the steroids probe, which also ensnared track star Marion Jones. She pleaded guilty in October to lying to federal investigators about using steroids and faces up to six months in prison. Bonds finished the year with 762 homers, seven more than Aaron, and is currently a free agent. In 2001, he set the season record with 73 home runs. SAN FRANCISCO – Barry Bonds, baseball’s home run king, was indicted on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice Thursday and could go to prison instead of the Hall of Fame for telling a federal grand jury he did not knowingly use performance-enhancing drugs. The indictment, culminating a four-year investigation into steroid use by elite athletes, charged Bonds with four counts of perjury and one of obstruction of justice. If convicted, he could be sentenced to a maximum of 30 years in prison. Shortly after the indictment was handed up, Bonds’ personal trainer, Greg Anderson, was released from prison, after spending most of the past year in prison for refusing to testify against his longtime friend. Anderson refused comment as he walked out. The 10-page indictment mainly consists of excerpts from Bonds’ December 2003 testimony before a federal grand jury investigating the Bay Area supplements lab at the center of a steroid distribution ring. It cites 19 occasions in which Bonds allegedly lied under oath. last_img

Adam Hanlon set to leave Finn Harps

first_imgADAM Hanlon has taken to social media to confirm that he will not be part of the Finn Harps squad in 2017.Hanlon previously played for Shelbourne and Bray Wanderers before being signed by Harps manager Ollie Horgan at the start of last season.Hanlon first appeared for Harps in a pre-season friendly against the Inishowen League at Maginn Park. Hanlon lives in Arklow and, so keen was Horgan to get his man he drove late one night to the player’s home to get his signature.Horgan capped Hanlon with the Republic of Ireland Schools Hanlon traveled once a week for training with Dubliner Dave Scully.Just want to take a chance to thank everyone at @FinnHarpsFC for last season. Team and fans were excellent wish them the best this season.— Adam Hanlon (@_hano_92) January 9, 2017Adam Hanlon set to leave Finn Harps was last modified: January 9th, 2017 by Chris McNultyShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Iran World Cup team guide – fixtures, kits, key player, probable line-up

first_img 4 4 ONE TO WATCHSaeid Ezatolahi will miss the first game of the finals against Morocco as he was sent off in the penultimate qualifier against South Korea for raking his studs down Min-Jae Kim’s head. The 21-year-old holding midfielder plays a vital role for Queiroz, shielding Iran’s defence and breaking up play, and he will be missed in a match Iran would have hoped to win to pick up points before the heavyweight clashes against Spain and Portugal.Ezatolahi made his professional debut all the way back in 2012, just 25 days after his 16th birthday, for Malavan, and two years later he signed for Atletico Madrid and joined their reserve team. He never made a first-team appearance for Atleti and left the following year for Rostov of Russia, with whom he is currently signed; he spent the 2017/18 campaign on loan at Amkar Perm, starting 12 games and scoring one goal.With an imposing physique and an aggressive style of play, opponents will find it hard to battle with Ezatolahi in the middle of the park. If he manages to successfully restrict the attacking play of both Spain and Portugal, Ezatolahi’s reputation as one of the finest young midfielders in world football will be established.FIXTURESFriday, June 15: MOROCCO v Iran (Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg) – kick-off 16:00Wednesday, June 20: Iran v SPAIN (Kazan Arena, Kazan) – kick-off 19:00Monday, June 25: Iran v PORTUGAL (Mordovia Arena, Saransk) – kick-off 19:00KITS Iran will take part in their fifth World Cup when the 2018 tournament begins this summer. talkSPORT.com takes an in-depth look at the Group B nation.MANAGERFormer Manchester United assistant manager Carlos Queiroz has been in charge of Iran since 2011. He is the longest serving manager in the history of the Iran national team, and is the only coach to guide Team Melli to more than one World Cup finals.A varied managerial career has seen the 65-year-old spend time in charge of Real Madrid, Portugal and South Africa among others, as well as being Sir Alex Ferguson’s no.2 at Old Trafford in two separate spells.Queiroz guided Iran to the 2014 World Cup as group winners in AFC qualifying, but they were eliminated at the group stage in Brazil without a win to their name; he also led Team Melli to the quarter-finals of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup. Since Queiroz’s appointment as manager, Iran have won 44 of 73 matches – losing just nine.CAPTAINMasoud Shojaei, an AEK Athens midfielder since January 2018, is set to lead Iran in Russia. The 33-year-old has won 72 caps for his nation and scored eight goals, first representing Team Melli in 2004. He has played at two World Cups to date (2006 and 2014), and is set to wear the armband at his third appearance on the biggest stage.However, until only recently it appeared Shojaei would not be allowed to play in Russia, as Iran’s deputy sports minister, Mohammad Reza Davarzani, said in August 2017 that neither he nor Ehsan Hajsafi would ever be invited to play for the national team again as they represented their club Panionios against Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv.The pair did return to international duty, with Shojaei appearing in a friendly against Tunisia in March, but members of the Iranian parliament still want him banned for life.KEY PLAYERSardar Azmoun is perhaps the best-known member of Iran’s squad, but AZ Alkmaar’s winger Alireza Jahanbakhsh is likely to be the difference maker in Russia. Azmoun has had a disappointing domestic season with Rubin Kazan, but Jahanbakhsh has been the star of the Dutch Eredivisie in 2017/18.The 24-year-old top scored in the division with 21 goals in 33 games, while only two players also finished with more than his 12 assists. Though he can play anywhere along the front line, Jahanbakhsh’s strongest position is on the right wing and he is a devilishly tricky opponent with excellent playmaking and shooting abilities.He will likely start for Iran in his natural role on the right of the three attacking midfielders behind centre-forward Azmoun, and expect the majority of their attacking play to go through him. RECORD IN QUALIFYINGOnly Brazil booked their place in Russia earlier than Iran, who secured qualification for the finals on June 12, 2017 with two matches to spare. Queiroz’s men were the dominant nation in Asia, winning both their second round and third round groups with ease, and going the entire qualifying campaign without losing a single game.Team Melli allowed just five goals across all their 18 fixtures, and at one stage they went 12 matches without conceding; nine of those games were in round three, in which they only conceded on the final matchday having already qualified for the finals.TOURNAMENT PREPARATIONSQueiroz had three matches planned for Iran ahead of the World Cup. The first one was at home against Uzbekistan, which they won 1-0, before they visited Istanbul to take on Turkey, losing 2-1. Their last friendly was in Russia, against Lithuania, exactly a week before they get their finals campaign underway against Morocco, and they secured a 1-0 victory.BASE CAMPLokomotiv Bakovka Training Centre, Moscow regionPROBABLE LINE-UPtalkSPORT will be with listeners all day and all night at this year’s 2018 FIFA World Cup™ with over 800 hours of World Cup content and all 64 games live across the talkSPORT network.last_img read more

THE HOOPS REPORT: LENNON LOOKS FORWARD TO OLD FIRM CLASH AFTER CLOSING THE GAP ON GERS

first_imgFROM NEIL DOHERTY IN GLASGOW: Hoops manager Neil Lennon was handed a perfect Christmas present when Great Greek Georgios Samaras’ double in the 2-1 win against Kilmarnock took Celtic to within a point of Rangers ahead of Wednesday’s Old Firm clash at Celtic Park.Rangers lost at St Mirren earlier on Saturday after being reduced to ten men with Lee McCullough’s sending off after a shocking elbow attack.Samaras – who some fans wanted axed a few weeks ago – headed the home side into the lead in first-half added time and hit his second with a fine drive seven minutes after the break as the Hoops extended their winning run in the SPL to eight games. Killie substitute Danny Racchi hit a consolation at the end.Now Celtic can go into 2012 as leaders if they win on Wednesday against their greatest rivals. It’s a 7.30pm kick-off and police in Glasgow will be out in force throughout the city.Fans travelling from Donegal are being warned to be careful in the city.But for now Neil Lennon is happy. “The day couldn’t have gone better for us,” he said.“A good performance, a good three points and we have closed the gap right up.“But there is a lot of football to go and regardless of who were playing on Wednesday that would be the most important game.“Samaras didn’t start the game great but got better as the game went on.“The first goal pleased me the most, I have been looking for him to score more headers because he has that good physical attribute in the air and the second goal was good finishing. “And we should have won the game comfortably.“I thought we were in complete control in the second-half without being brilliant, although Ki Sung-yueng missed a couple of chances that would have put the game out of sight.”James Forrest and Samaras came off in the second-half but Lennon allayed any fears before the Old Firm clash.He said: “Georgios wasn’t feeling well before the game, he is struggling with a heavy cold but he wanted to play and we are delighted that he did. “James was feeling a little bit of fatigue in the hamstring and he was obviously wary and he didn’t want to take too many chances with Wednesday looming.”CELTIC (4-4-2): Forster; Cha, Mulgrew, Wanyama; Ledley; Forrest (K. Wilson 49), Brown, Kayal, Ki (Rogne 90); Hooper, Samaras (Bangura 66)Subs not used: Zaluska, Izaguirre, McCourt, McGeouchKILMARNOCK (4-4-2): Bell; Fowler, Sissoko, Pascali, McKeown; Kelly, Buijs (Dayton 62), Shiels (Racchi 72), Hay (Kennedy 78); Harkins, Heffernan.© 2011 donegaldaily.com, all Rights ReservedThe copying, republication or redistribution of donegaldaily.com Content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited by law.Follow us on www.twitter.com/donegaldailyFollow us on www.facebook.com/donegaldailyTHE HOOPS REPORT: LENNON LOOKS FORWARD TO OLD FIRM CLASH AFTER CLOSING THE GAP ON GERS was last modified: December 25th, 2011 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:CelticGeorgios SamaraskilmarnockNeil Lennonold firmlast_img read more