WEST HAM (4-2-3-1)ADRIAN,JENKINSON, TOMKINS, COLLINS, CRESSWELL,KOUYATE, NOBLE,MOSES, LANZINI, PAYET,SAKHOCHELSEA (4-2-3-1)COSTA,PEDRO, LOFTUS-CHEEK, WILLIAN,FABREGAS, RAMIRES,BABA, TERRY, ZOUMA, AZPILICUATA,BEGOVICWest Ham United boast the best away record in the Barclays Premier League, winning four and drawing one of five games on the road, but at home, the Hammers have won only once, against Newcastle.On the road, however, they have won at Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City and Crystal Palace and currently sit in fourth place – eight places higher than 12th-placed Chelsea.Chelsea have won just once away from home, at West Bromwich Albion, and on Tuesday, they drew 0-0 with Dynamo Kiev in Ukraine in the Champions League.Last weekend’s 2-0 win over Aston Villa was their first victory in three games. The Blues have a good recent record against West Ham; they are unbeaten in their last five clashes with the Hammers, winning the last four including both games last season.Chelsea’s record at the Boleyn Ground in recent seasons has also been impressive with only one defeat (in December 2012) in their last nine visits, while also winning seven.
The well-researched editorial in this newspaper on November 14 this year titled ‘Horace Burrell needs to shape up’ has elicited the expected response/defence from the general secretary of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF). The general secretary uses a lot of space to: – (a) remind us of our qualification to the 1998 World Cup finals; – (b) to gloss over the inability of the JFF to finalise ‘draft’ contracts with the players after months and months of ‘discussion’; – (c) refuses to acknowledge the disrespect shown to a reporter (and indeed the nation) in the flippant response of the president to queries regarding a shouting match during a meeting of the squad and the president before a practice at the National Stadium prior to the home game against Panama; – (d) blames FIFA for the lack of published financials of the JFF; – and (e) ignores the fact that the present international rating of Jamaica done by FIFA negates the possibility of native Jamaicans of acceptable standard being able to obtain contracts to play in the prestigious English Premier League. It should be obvious to the hierarchy of the JFF that the constant use of the formula that enabled us to qualify for the finals of the World Cup many, many years ago (use locals to qualify for the preliminary stages of the qualification competition, then travel around the world to any country where a footballer whose ancestors have a Jamaican connection and try to persuade them to represent our country a few weeks before match time) is not working and will not work. What is needed is for the JFF to develop and BUILD local football and footballers by recognising talent, contracting them, and then giving them the opportunity to develop by playing games against superior teams. These local footballers are more likely to have Jamaica’s interest at heart when their skills are required for important games and the ‘money short’. Captain Horace Burrell has done well as the leader of Jamaica’s football in the past. We now need a new way of thinking and vision, as football in Jamaica desperately needs to identify and harness the skills paraded by our teenagers in local competitions.
There were also some good results in the field with Vere’s Class Three athlete Brittany Anderson leading the way in the long jump. Despite competing in a strong headwind, she produced 5.75m to win the event ahead of the Edwin Allen duo of Lotiva Brown, 5.59m, and Danae Bailey, 5.39m. It was one-two for Hydel in the girls’ triple jump open as Britney Kerr won with 12.25m ahead of teammate Samara Spencer (12.08m), with third going to Cathilee Mullings (Holmwood), 11.92m. St Jago’s Romario Douglas captured the Class One high jump with 2.05m ahead of Old Harbour’s Ryan Brown, with 1.95m, with third going to Tony Haughton, also of St Jago, with 1.85m. At press time last night, defending girls’ champion Edwin Allen were in front with 101 points, followed by Hydel (57), Vere Technical (45), Holmwood (35.5) and St Jago (26). On the male side, former champions St Jago (90 points) had a commanding lead. Edwin Allen (33), Clarendon College (25), Old Harbour (14) and Glenmuir (14) completed the top five. The championships will come to an end today. EDWIN Allen’s Shannon Kallawan and St Jago’s Timor Barrett stole the show on yesterday’s opening day of the Digicel-sponsored Central Championships at GC Foster College of Physical Education and Sports, as both recorded lifetime bests in winning the Open 400m hurdles event. After producing two sub-60-second clockings in her two races so far this season, Kallawan was in devastating form in the second section of the girls’ Open 400m hurdles final. In a very competitive race, which included four athletes who have gone sub 60 seconds so far this season, Kallawan, despite pressure most of the way from Vere’s 15-year-old Sanique Walker found extra gear over the final hurdle to record an impressive 57.20-second win. It was also a career best for Walker, as she clocked 58.93 for second, with Shian Salmon (Hydel), who won Section One, third overall in 1:01.30. Barrett clocked his second sub-53-second time this season as he made a late surge in the final 100m to get by early leader Ryan Holmes (Edwin Allen) to clock 52.26 seconds. Holmes ran a personal best of 52.70 seconds for the runner-up spot, with third going to Manchester High’s Nicholas Alexander, who won heat two in 55.19 seconds. “I am very pleased with my time today as I was following the instructions of my coach to execute well,” said Barrett, who stated that he is looking forward to the remainder of the season. GOODRESULTS
Last year’s winners Calabar High School and Edwin Allen High School will retain their team titles at this week’s ISSA-GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Championships. That’s the conclusion contained in the 2016 Champs Preview magazine. Published on Friday, the Preview gives Calabar a 34-point margin over Kingston College in the boys’ contest.The boys’ prediction contrasts the 15.5 point difference between the two schools last year and indicates that Calabar, captained by sprinter Fabian Hewitt, will hoist the Mortimer Geddes Trophy for the fifth time in a row.Edwin Allen are expected to have a huge edge over evenly matched teams from St Jago High, Hydel High, and Holmwood Technical. Last year, the Edwin Allen team beat the rising Hydel unit by 100 points. A similar winning spread is predicted by the Preview this year. Success would give Class Two sprinter Shellece Clarke the chance to lead her team to accept the accolades when the meet ends on Saturday, March 19.outstandingThe magazine’s Champs predictions include a win in the Class Three girls 100m for St Lucian Julien Alfred of St Catherine High, and double gold for Calabar’s outstanding Christopher Taylor in the Class Two 200m and 400m. Taylor, reigning Class Two 100m and 110m hurdles champion Dejour Russell, and Michael Stephens are expected to carry the day for Calabar with dominance in Class Two with Warren Barrett throwing his way to glory in Class One.After his recent shot put mark of 19.89 metres, Barrett has a chance to not only break the one year old record of 19.52m by Demar Gayle but also to approach the 20-metre barrier.The Preview says that Edwin Allen are strong on the track and in the field and credits the Frankfield-based school with 13 predicted wins. Accordingly, those successes are distributed across the sprints, middle and long distances, throws, jumps and relays.• Hubert Lawrence has attended Champs since 1980.
ARSENAL (4-2-3-1)OSPINA, BELLERIN, MERTESACKER, KOSCIELNY, MONREAL,ELNENY, COQUELIN,SANCHEZ, OZIL, IWOBI, WELBECKMBOKANI, NAISMITH,BRADY, O’NEIL, HOWSON, JARVIS, OLSSON, MARTIN, BENNETT, WISDOM, RUDDYNORWICH (4-4-1-1)Arsenal return to the Emirates Stadium in fourth place in the Barclays Premier League after being held to a goalless draw by one of the relegation-threatened sides, Sunderland.That point enabled Sunderland to move out of the bottom three, leap-frogging Norwich City, who arrive in North London desperate for points to retain their top-flight status.Sunderland and Norwich are level on 31 points, but they have a game in hand on Newcastle United, who are on 30 points and currently 19th in the table.Having beaten West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle, Norwich were on a roll. But they have lost their last two, at Crystal Palace and at home to Sunderland and face the Gunners, having lost 11 of their last 13 away games.However, when they met Arsenal at Carrow Road last November, they earned a valuable draw with Lewis Grabban – now at Bournemouth – ruling out Mesut Ozil’s early goal.This fixture tends to produce goals. Six of the seven Premier League meetings at Arsenal have produced at least four goals and a total of 32. Norwich’s only Premier League win there was in August 1992 when they won 4-2 in the inaugural weekend of the competition. Since then, they have drawn two and lost four.Arsenal are unbeaten in seven league games but can no longer win the title and need to win to boost their chances of qualifying for the Champions League. Jack Wilshere made his first appearance of the season as a late substitute following a season out with a leg injury. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Tomas Rosicky are out while they test Santi Cazorla, Kieran Gibbs and Mathieu Flamini.Norwich, meanwhile, check on Russell Martin and Andre Wisdom while Timm Klose and Alexander Tettey are out.
UNIVERSITY of Mississippi player Jonathan Newnham yesterday conquered the par threes, which had stumped him on Saturday, to grab a three-shot lead over homeboy Delroy Johnson on the second day of the Jamaica National Amateur Golf Championship at Sandals Golf and Country Club. Newnham, last year’s runner-up to Ian Facey, scored 67, four under par, moving his tally to 141 after 36 holes – one under, with 18 holes left to decide the championship today at the Upton, St Ann, course. His turnaround on the five par threes, after bogeying each on Saturday, propelled Newnham past joint first-day leaders Johnson and Sean Morris. It was a rough day for Morris, who double-bogeyed the second and third holes to end the round on 78, seven over, after he and Johnson had parred the course on Saturday. Newnham, meanwhile, plans to “go out there and execute” today to stave off Johnson, who said he would be depending on home-course advantage to reel in the leader. “I improved by six shots on the par threes. That was key,” Newnham said after parring four of the holes and scoring a birdie on the other yesterday. Newnham is hoping today’s final 18 holes won’t be deja vu. Last year at Caymanas, he led for the first two days, lost the lead on the third, and went down by two shots to Facey on the fourth day – the third time he was finishing second at the national amateurs. Johnson, lurking three shots behind Newnham on 144 after scoring 73 yesterday, said his short game let him down. “I only had two birdies – 12 and 17. Maybe I was playing a little too relaxed, knowing there’s a third day tomorrow. I didn’t want to take it all on today. There’s still tomorrow to come,” he said. Another Sandals player, Zandre Roye, sits third on the leaderboard on 147, one ahead of Jonathan’s father, Mark, on 148. Morris is locked with Oshae Haye in fourth place on 149. HOME-COURSE ADVANTAGE
Inter fans have blamed the club’s complicated global management structure for the team’s troubles. The club president is Erick Thohir, an Indonesian entrepreneur, who purchased Inter from the Moratti family three years ago and who now has 30 per cent of the ownership after the recent restructuring. And there are five Chinese representatives on the club’s nine-member board of directors – Ren Jun, Mi Xin, Liu Jun, Yang Yang and Zhang Kangyang. During Inter’s win over Crotone, supporters displayed banners that read, ‘Shame on the management’, and, ‘Thanks Frank, you’re paying for errors that were not yours’. Pioli becomes Inter’s ninth coach since Jose Mourinho led the club to a treble in 2010. The others were Rafa Benitez, Leonardo, Gian Piero Gasperini, Claudio Ranieri, Andrea Stramaccioni, Walter Mazzarri, Mancini and De Boer. MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE ROME, Italy (AP): Former Lazio coach Stefano Pioli was hired by struggling Inter Milan yesterday, replacing the fired Frank de Boer and tasked with restoring the 18-time Serie A champions to respectability. Inter announced that they signed Pioli to coach through next season and that he will be introduced tomorrow. Besides Lazio, the 51-year-old Pioli previously coached his hometown club Parma plus Chievo Verona, Palermo and Bologna in Serie A. In 218 matches as a Serie A coach, his teams have a record of 73 wins, 62 draws and 83 losses. “He seems to me to be a logical choice,” former Inter president Massimo Moratti said. “He’s a coach who knows Italian football and who has always made his clubs play well.” De Boer was fired last week after Inter lost seven of 14 matches in all competitions. Inter’s youth squad coach, Stefano Vecchi, had been given temporary control of the senior team for a 2-1 loss at Southampton in the Europa League on Thursday – leaving the Nerazzurri last in their group – and a 3-0 win over last-place Crotone on Sunday in Serie A. Inter are in ninth place in the Italian league, 13 points behind leaders Juventus. PIOLI’S DEBUT Pioli’s debut will come in the derby against AC Milan on November 20. Considered the next in a long-line of Italian tacticians, Pioli was considered the safest choice after a long weekend of meetings and interviews conducted by Inter’s management even though he has never coached a major club. Other coaches reported to have interviewed for the job included Marcelino, Italian great Gianfranco Zola and the well-travelled Guus Hiddink. Big Italian clubs rarely hold interviews for coaches in the public manner that Inter did, which sparked perplexity among the club’s supporters. “I never held any casting interviews but I observed (coaches) on my own,” Moratti said. “They’re different systems, but it’s not like one way is right and the other is wrong. It’s a transparent method to make a well-informed choice.” In Pioli’s first season at Lazio, he led the Rome club to a third-place finish. He was fired by Lazio in April after a 4-1 derby loss to Roma. As a player, Pioli was a centre back for Juventus, Hellas Verona and Fiorentina. While financial details were not announced, the La Gazzetta dello Sport reported that Pioli will earn €1.4 million (US$200 million Jamaican) for the remainder of this season and nearly €2 million (US$285 million) for next season. De Boer was hired less than two weeks before the season began following the unexpected resignation of Roberto Mancini, who reportedly wanted more control over the transfer market and clashed with Suning, the Chinese retail giant that took control of 70 per cent of Inter in June.
FIFTH FINAL A win today for STETHS would land them in a fifth successive daCosta Cup final, but it would mean much more if they stop Lennon of all the other teams from advancing. “We have the players to do the job. We lost the knockout title to them, but we will not surrender the daCosta Cup. We gave ourselves a target, a mission, which is to defend our crown. We are just two games away from doing so,” added Wedderburn. Without top scorer Jovoney Brown (foot injury), it will be up to the likes of Glendo Gopaul, Alex Thompson, Demar James and Chris-Andrew Dixon to deliver. Meanwhile, for Lennon, it’s a simple equation. Keep James, Thompson and Dixon quiet, play hard and compact in defence, and take their chances. Last year, Lennon fell at this stage, but buoyed by their recent success, it is expected they will be up for this semi-final. “We are hoping to defeat STETHS again and take our place in the final. I believe we can do it for our school and the community,” said captain Fitzroy Cummings. Lennon’s head coach Merron Gordon is confident his team can deliver another stinging loss on STETHS, but warned his players about being complacent. “We have STETHS to deal with for a place in the final. I can tell you, we are prepared for it. Lifting the KO trophy was a great taste of victory. Now we want the big one,” Gordon reasoned. The reliable Cummings, Kwesi Watts, Tavis Grant and the brilliant goalkeeping of Tyrone Mullings make this Lennon team formidable opponents. WESTERN BUREAU: Losing the Ben Francis Knockout (KO) title stung hard, but the sting may just be what defending champions St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) needed to keep their minds firmly focused on holding on to the prized ISSA-FLOW daCosta Cup. However, Lennon, still high after stopping the STETHS knockout juggernaut reaching a record seven-straight, will, no doubt, have something to say about it when the two meet in what is expected to be another tense affair in this afternoon’s 2016 daCosta Cup schoolboy football semi-final. Kickoff is 2:30 p.m. at Manchester High School. This is a competition that the STETHS players and, indeed, their coach Omar Wedderburn will admit, is the big one, and they will be ready and waiting to deny Lennon any chance of denying them a return to championship game. “All my players are up and ready. This is why we play the game of football. I made no bones about how significantly important this daCosta Cup title is to us. We are going out there to win and move into the final,” said Wedderburn in his characteristically confident tone.
After missing the third test, Russell was charged, tried and sanctioned. It is now obvious that JADCO views a 12-month ban as inadequate, and, apparently feels that since another Jamaican cricketer, Odean Brown, received a 15-month ban in May of 2016, a more lenient sanction has the distinct possibility of cricketers and athletes in the JADCO testing pool believing that missing three tests in any 12-month period, can be “explained” and leniency applied. Missing three drug tests in a 12-month period, when the athlete has an opportunity to change the predetermined venue and time of the test if he/she finds physical reasons why the date and time submitted three months previously no longer applies, suggests either blatant disrespect for anti-doping rules or a deliberate missing of the tests because of nefarious reasons. The appeal, therefore, seems to be justified, and JADCO should be commended for its efforts to ensure that the use of drugs by Jamaican athletes will never be tolerated or excused and that the internationally agreed anti-doping rules are scrupulously maintained by Jamaicans and Jamaican authorities. It should never matter who the athlete is. If the rules are broken, and a hearing before an independent panel finds the athlete guilty, then the sanction must never ever be determined by the popularity of the athlete. Two sporting organisations have come in for recent criticism that may have been unfortunate, in my estimation. The Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) has been receiving flak in some sections of the media because of its decision to appeal the one-year ban imposed on cricketer Andre Russell, after an independent tribunal found him guilty of missing three drug tests in a 12-month period. First of all, JADCO can appeal any doping, related sanction that it finds too lenient or incorrect. Also, this is not the first time that JADCO has appealed a doping-related sanction. Having noted all of the above statements, it is therefore mandatory that a careful review of the transcript(s) of the hearing brought by JADCO to the disciplinary panel be done. Then and only then could the researcher(s) decide if the appeal by JADCO bears any merit. The facts, as determined by the panel, were that Russell was not present at a prearranged address when the anti-doping team from JADCO arrived to conduct a test. The date and time of the test were selected by Russell, as per a form submitted by the athlete online every three months, outlining a one-hour window where he would be available for testing. If, prior to the date of the test, Russell finds himself unable (for whatever reason) to be present at the designated address in the one-hour time slot he previously indicated, he can change the time and place where he will be available. Having missed the first test, Russell was informed and the seriousness of the ‘error’ explained. When another test is missed in the 12-month period, another warning was issued to Russell. Broken rules 12-month ban The group of headmasters of our secondary educational institutions in charge of sports, ISSA, have decided that an Ugandan athlete, who, through a concerned Kingston College alumnus, gets a scholarship to continue his education in Jamaica, has been given permission to represent his school in the upcoming Boys and Girls’ Athletic Championships later on this month. This has resulted in an uproar from coaches, who believe that ‘rules’ were broken by the school/athlete and that ISSA’s approval records a grave inconsistency in the attitude of that body when ‘rules’ are broken. As I understand it, the athlete in question was registered as a student at the school prior to his arrival in Jamaica from Uganda. He left Uganda two days before the deadline for arrival in Jamaica having understood that his trip to Jamaica requires him to be in transit in Germany in order to connect with another carrier on his trip here. Information from German authorities indicated that he did not need a visa, if he was in transit. However, on his arrival at an African airport, the airline carrying him to Germany insisted on him having a visa and refused to carry the young man to Germany. He therefore had to return to Uganda and begin either to get a visa (apply) or find another route to Jamaica that would not include landing in Germany. This took some days, therefore he arrived in Jamaica after the deadline imposed by ISSA for students, transferring from other schools to be eligible to represent their ‘new’ school in ISSA-controlled sports. ISSA listened to the reasons for his late arrival and apparently concluded that his late entry to school was plausible, and his participation in Champs approved. The fact that this Ugandan child is not only a straight-A student, but also an exceptionally gifted middle-distance runner and can potentially win 18 points for his school at Champs, seems to be the real reason for the objection, mainly from rival schools. Once again, ISSA has ruled in the interest of the child, and not in the interest of the competing schools. Bully for them!
The 39th staging of the INSPORTS All-Age and Junior High Athletics Championships was launched at the National Stadium’s hospitality room on April 20, 2017 with several noted highlights.Sixteen schools are registered to compete in the three-day event, which starts April 26 at the National Stadium East. This is a reduction from the 24 schools that took part last year, won by Windward Road Primary and Junior High.The event this year will be free to the public, with action beginning 9 a.m. each day. However, spectators are being urged to abide by the strict guidelines of the organisers and Independence Park Limited (IPL) – operators of the National Stadium complex.Over the years, the number of participating schools has been dwindling due to the fact that all-age and junior high schools are being phased out by the Government under a policy initiative.Still, there are over 80 such institutions across the island, noted Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports Minister Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, who announced a $500,000 allocation to be shared among the competing teams.In her presentation as the guest speaker, the minister urged the Institute of Sports to do more to attract more schools to the championships.SCHOOL PARTICIPATION”My understanding is there are some 84 all-age/junior high institutions across the island, and INSPORTS must do everything in its powers, getting as many of these schools participating. So, next year, we must see the majority of these schools competing,” said the minister.Meantime, administrative director (ad interim), Mr Renardo Smith, says the agency is undergoing a transformation and will improve its outlook going forward.Speaking publicly for the first time as the administrative director, Smith said: “Though the challenge may be difficult, it is not insurmountable, but will require the full cooperation from all stakeholders involve in the transformation process, which has started.”Fourth vice-president of the Jamaica Administrative Athletics Association (JAAA), Vilma Charlton, cautioned coaches against overworking athletes.”We applaud the schools that now employ qualified coaches and physical education teachers, as only they understand the level of training that children at this age ought to be undergoing. Therefore, teachers and coaches, please be reminded that the children are still growing and that you can inflict unnecessary damage or injury, which, most times, they never get over,” said Charlton, who is an Olympian.Education officer for physical education, Elton Johnson, highlighted the importance of physical education and human development in creating well-rounded student athletes.