F1 to bring back refuelling in rules revamp

first_imgBy Alan BaldwinFormula One is set to bring back refuelling in 2017 as part of a rules revamp to make cars faster, louder and more aggressive-looking.The governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) said in a statement on Friday, a day after a meeting of the sport’s Strategy Group, that the aim was to make cars five to six seconds a lap quicker and improve “the show”.This will be achieved through aerodynamic rule changes, wider tyres and making cars lighter. The V6 turbo hybrid power units, introduced last year in place of the V8s, will be higher revving and noisier.Such measures will address some of the concerns raised about the new engines and the racing, with drivers chafing at having to save fuel and tyres and Ferrari calling for revolution rather than evolution.Refuelling, which was banned in 2010, will return with a maximum race fuel allowance in keeping with moves to improve economy and present the sport in a greener light.For 2016, teams will be given a free choice of dry tyre compounds to use during the race weekend, a more controversial move that sole supplier Pirelli has questioned on safety grounds.The meeting between the six top teams, Ecclestone and FIA also included representatives of the sport’s engine manufacturers.The FIA said the meeting at Biggin Hill, south of London, had been “constructive” and paved the way for the future of the championship.“All parties agreed to work together with an intention to firm up these proposals and submit them to the approval of the F1 Commission and the World Motor Sport Council of the FIA as soon as possible for implementation,” it added.A proposal to increase the engine allocation from four to five per driver for the current season was rejected.While dominant Mercedes had expressed no objection to allowing a fifth engine to ensure more cars took part in Friday practice, giving the fans more action for their money, customer teams were opposed.Renault-powered Red Bull and Honda partners McLaren had wanted the extra engine after suffering multiple failures in the first five races of the season that have left them facing grid penalties for exceeding the allocation.The FIA said other areas, such as the race weekend format, required further investigation before changes could be made.It said a “comprehensive proposal to ensure the sustainability of the sport” had emerged and the Strategy Group teams would refine it in coming weeks in consultation with the others.“On the engine side, it has been decided that stability of the rules should prevail in consideration of the investments of the manufacturers involved in the sport and to give visibility to potential new entrants,” the FIA added.last_img read more

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Peru beat 10-man Venezuela, Group C all square

first_imgPeru beat 10-man Venezuela 1-0 at the Copa America on Thursday to leave all four Group C teams level on points with one more first-round match left to play.Peru captain Claudio Pizarro scored the winner after 72 minutes, slamming a powerful shot into the net off the underside of the crossbar.Venezuela played most of the match with 10 men after defender Fernando Amorebieta was sent off in the 29th minute for stamping on Paolo Guerrero, leaving the Peruvian striker with bleeding stud marks on his left thigh.From then on the Peruvians dominated possession but, until Pizarro’s late strike, struggled to break down an orderly Venezuelan defence.Peru face Colombia in their final group match on Sunday while Venezuela face Brazil, with all four in the hunt for a place in the last eight of the competition.Venezuela made the brighter start and Salomon Rondon, the goalscorer against Colombia in their first match, almost put them ahead after six minutes but fired his close range volley into the arms of goalkeeper Pedro Gallese.The match changed with Amorebieta’s dismissal.The defender tugged Guerrero to the ground and then stood on his thigh in an ugly and unneccesary challenge on the touchline.Despite the numerical advantage, it took Peru a further 40 minutes to make the breakthrough.Guerrero and Christian Cueva combined well on the edge of the box to put Pizarro through on goal to score, sealing Peru’s fifth victory over Venezuela in seven meetings at the Copa America.Both sides defied expectations by reaching the semi-finals at the last Copa America in 2011 and both still have hopes of making at least the quarter-finals this time.last_img read more

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APOEL take step towards Champions League playoffs with Denmark win

first_imgBy Andreas VouAPOEL earned an important 1-2 win away to FC Midtjylland in the first leg of the Champions League third-round on Tuesday, though a late strike from the Danes keeps the tie alive after it looked to be over.After their unconvincing performances in the previous round against FK Vardar, it was evident from their first-half display that APOEL were keen to silence some of their critics as well as a set a positive marker ahead of next week’s second leg.Nektarios Alexandrou stood in for the injured Marios Antoniades and it was the long-serving Cypriot who caused the game’s first major talking point as, on 17 minutes, a clumsy challenge provoked strong appeals for a penalty from the hosts.It took almost half an hour to see the game’s first shot on target as Midtjylland’s Jakob Poulsen’s left-footed drive warmed the gloves of Boy Waterman. Then, less than a minute later, APOEL quickly countered; Mario Sergio’s pass down the line found Luis Leal who played the ball across the face of the goal for Tomas De Vincenti to tap it in for the opener and a crucial away goal.The ball may have gone in via the help of a Midtjylland defender but if there was any doubt as to whose goal the first was, there would be no doubt about the second which came just two minutes later. A careless cross-field pass was intercepted by De Vincenti who then fired home from outside the box to give APOEL a big lead.That lead was only preserved going into the break thanks to Waterman who denied the Danes a route back into the game with an excellent double save.The two-goal cushion had seemingly given the Cypriot champions the impression that the game was over, as a relaxed second-half display invited a prolonged spell of pressure from Midtjylland who forced a series of chances.A half chance for Martin Pusic with a close range header which sailed over the bar was an early warning sign for APOEL. Then came another good opportunity for the Danish side moments later when a corner to the far post caused all sorts of confusion and panic in the APOEL defence before De Vincenti eventually cleared.Try as they might, Midtjylland simply could not break down a stubborn, and at times fortunate, APOEL back line. First, Kristoffer Olsson blazed over from less than ten yards before Pione Sisto had an effort blocked on the line by Mario Sergio.APOEL had the chance to put the nail in Midtjylland’s coffin late on but Leal, rather than square the ball to the unmarked Pieros Sotiriou, decided to take the shot on himself and fired wide.Leal’s poor decision would prove costly as Midtjylland at last got the goal that their efforts deserved with two minutes to go, as Poulsen cleverly curled the ball past Waterman from the edge of the box.Still, the Cypriots bring an important lead back to the island ahead of next Tuesday’s return fixture where a pulsating crowd will be awaiting to push their side through to the Champions League playoffs.In other third qualifying round first leg matches on Tuesday night the scores were:Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia) – Molde (Norway) 1-1 (halftime: 1-1)Videoton FC (Hungary) – BATE Borisov (Belarus) 1-1 (halftime: 0-0)Young Boys (Switzerland) – Monaco (France) 1-3 (halftime: 0-0)Fenerbahce (Turkey) – Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine) 0-0 (halftime: 0-0)Panathinaikos (Greece) – Club Bruges (Belgium) 2-1 (halftime: 1-1)Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel) – Viktoria Plzen (Czech Republic) 1-2 (halftime: 0-2)Midtjylland (Denmark) – APOEL Nicosia (Cyprus) 1-2 (halftime: 0-2)Milsami Orhei (Moldova) – Skenderbeu (Albania) 0-2 (halftime: 0-0)CSKA Moscow (Russia) – Sparta Prague (Czech Republic) 2-2 (halftime: 1-1)last_img read more

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Prince Ali back in the race to be FIFA president

first_imgBy Suleiman Al-Khalidi Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan is back in the race to be elected FIFA president having declared his candidacy on Wednesday four months after losing May’s vote to Sepp Blatter.Prince Ali, 39, announced in a speech in the Jordanian capital that he would run again for the top job at world soccer’s governing body.“Friends I stand here in this ancient place in the timeless heart of Amman to once again launch my candidacy for the Presidency of Fifa,” Prince Ali said.“Let me be clear, I want to finish what we started,” he added.“We have come too far to walk away now. I have thought long and hard on this, I believe in the road we started, I believe in the moments I shared with people all over the world, who told me their hopes and dreams.”Prince Ali is the third heavyweight to declare following UEFA chief Michel Platini of France, and former Asia vice-president Chung Mong-joon of South Korea.He also said in his declaration speech that his campaign will depend on reforming the organisation.“It is only through new leadership that FIFA can change I do not believe that FIFA can give this sport back to the people of the world without new leadership, untainted by the practices of the past.“Since the last election, I have thought long and hard about how to reform FIFA. It will be a difficult task. We must overcome deep-seated corruption and political deal making.“I will not be a pawn for others. I cannot leave the field that I have cleared, only to allow a flawed system to continue.“To Member Associations of FIFA I say, you are the backbone of football and FIFA should serve you. FIFA will not be run as the personal fiefdom of an all-powerful clique.”Ali lost by 133-73 votes to incumbent Blatter in the election on May 27 before the Swiss announced he was standing down from the position four days later after FIFA was plunged into the worst crisis in its 111-year history following arrests of its officials and others two days before the election.A fresh election to find a successor to Blatter will be held in Zurich on Feb. 26 and Ali will again campaign on an anti-corruption, reform programme.Backed by Platini in May’s election, Ali now faces him as an opponent in the race, describing the Frenchman as a “Blatter protege” who is not the man to lead FIFA into a new era of transparency and democracy.Ali has already defeated Chung in an election when he took his Asian vice-presidency seat on the FIFA executive committee in 2011 which ended the Korean’s 17-year stint at FIFA’s top table.Ali subsequently lost his place on the FIFA executive earlier this year.Speaking at the Soccerex global convention in Manchester this week, Ali said: “I have tremendous respect for Mr Platini both as the UEFA president and a former footballer but at the same time there is a difference between UEFA and FIFA.“FIFA is in a crisis and we need a new beginning and, whether anyone likes it or not, Michel Platini’s introduction into football governance was as a protege of Sepp Blatter. That’s the reality.“I have sat down and talked with him, I have listened to his ideas and I think it’s my responsibility to at least guarantee the future is different from the past and therefore I was not very encouraged by Michel Platini.”He was equally dismissive of Chung, saying: “The important thing is to have a new beginning and to have new ideas and therefore any candidate who has been in the organisation for a long time is not what is needed at this time.”Ali confounded many observers by forcing a second round of voting in May’s election after denying Blatter an outright two-thirds winning margin in the first round.However, it is hard to see him collecting so many votes again, especially if UEFA members back their president Platini and the Asian confederation also throws its weight behind the Frenchman.Candidates with nominations from five national associations must officially register their declarations with FIFA by Oct. 26.Liberian FA president Musa Bility, former Brazilian footballer Zico and David Nakhid, a former Trinidad & Tobago international, and all lightweights in FIFA political circles, have also said they are standing for the positionlast_img read more

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Juve score late as City lose for first time this season

first_imgJuventus came from behind to hand Manchester City their first defeat this season as Mario Mandzukic and Alvaro Morata gave the Italian champions an opening 2-1 win in Group D of the Champions League on Tuesday.Premier League leaders City were fortunate to go ahead after 57 minutes when Vincent Kompany, climbing all over Giorgio Chiellini, saw the defender head an own goal as the home skipper wheeled away to celebrate instead of being punished for a foul.But Juve pulled level in the 70th minute when Mandzukic touched the ball in off the post after Paul Pogba sent in a high cross from the left.It was the first goal City had conceded after five domestic league wins so far this term but worse followed when Morata scored with a 20-metre left-foot curler in the 81st minute.City, who had failed to win their first home match in all their previous four Champions League campaigns, had a great chance to take a grip in the opening minutes when Yaya Toure set up Raheem Sterling but the winger wasted the chance when his weak shot was saved by goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon’s feet.Wilfried Bony should have done better for City midway through the first half when he showed great skill to get clear of the Juve defence before slicing wide.Fernandinho then went close for the hosts with a fierce shot that flew over the bar but Juve otherwise looked comfortable although they did not seriously test City keeper Joe Hart until Stefano Sturaro forced him into a smart save after an hour.However last season’s beaten Champions League finalists, without a win in their three opening Serie A matches, found the net twice in the closing stages to snatch all three points.last_img read more

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Rosberg fastest as Mercedes dominate in Abu Dhabi

first_imgBy Alan BaldwinNICO Rosberg knocked triple world champion team-mate Lewis Hamilton off the top of the Abu Dhabi timesheets as Mercedes dominated the final Friday practice session of the Formula One season.The German, runner-up in a championship already won by Hamilton, lapped with a best time of one minute 41.983 seconds under the Yas Marina floodlights.Hamilton, winner in Abu Dhabi last year after Rosberg secured pole position, had been quickest in the afternoon session by 0.141 with a time of 1:43.754 but ended the day 0.138 slower.Organisers are also making much of the connection between the number 44 on Hamilton’s car and the 44th National Day anniversary next week of the founding of the United Arab Emirates.Another victory would also be the 44th of the Briton’s career and he is determined to end the year on a high. So too is Rosberg, who is chasing his third successive win and sixth pole position in a row.The Mercedes duo, who will also be chasing a record 12th one-two of the season in Sunday’s race, were comfortably ahead of the rest.Mexican Sergio Perez was an impressive third in the evening practice for Force India but still 0.627 off the pace and complaining at the end of the session that his car’s glowing brakes had gone.Kimi Raikkonen was third fastest in the first session with Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat fourth and sandwiched between the two Ferraris with Sebastian Vettel fifth in both sessions.Lotus passed scrutineering, after being granted a waiver on Thursday due to the late arrival of their cars in the paddock due to ongoing financial troubles, but still had a difficult session.British reserve driver Jolyon Palmer, who is due to replace departing Frenchman Romain Grosjean next season, had to sit out all but the final 12 minutes as the team worked to fix a water leak on his car.Grosjean did 27 laps in the later session.Spanish rookie Carlos Sainz parked his Toro Rosso by the side of the track with half an hour to go after being told to turn the engine off.last_img read more

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Unhappy anniversary for Baghdatis as Tsonga sends him packing

first_imgBy Andreas VouMarcos Baghdatis made an unhappy return to his favourite Grand Slam tournament as he was knocked out of the Australian Open in the first round by ninth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in four sets (6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2) on Monday.This edition of the tournament marked ten years since the Cypriot’s memorable run to the final which captured the nation.The then-unknown 20-year-old defied the odds as he defeated heavyweights such as Ivan Ljubicic and David Nalbandian en route to a showdown with Roger Federer which, despite leveling the match in the second set, he ultimately lost.Baghdatis, now ranked 46 in the world, will be forever associated with that fairytale run to the final, which was the highlight of his career. Since then however, he has failed to go beyond the third round of the year’s opening major. This time around, he was faced with a tough task from the very start, against the powerful Tsonga. The Frenchman’s break at 3-1 turned the first set into his favour and while the Cypriot is sometimes known for letting his head drop, he matched his opponent toe-to-toe until the very last point, and even had a chance to break back at 5-4, but Tsonga ultimately pulled through.The Greek and Cypriot community of Melbourne were in full voice as ever to support their beloved Baghdatis, and played a big part in him levelling the match in the second set. The 30-year-old was the pace-setter, holding his serve throughout and, with Tsonga serving to stay in the set, the Frenchman vented his frustration at the crowd, protesting to the umpire before being broken.The pair were inseparable again in the third set, only this time it was Tsonga who had the last laugh as he broke Baghdatis in the penultimate game to take the set 6-4.While Baghdatis proved a more than worthy opponent in the first three sets, the fourth was where the 2006 runner-up eventually came undone.Tsonga grabbed the first break of the set to make it 3-2, then followed it up with another one to make it 5-2 before putting the icing on the cake on his own service game to wrap up the match.Chants of “Marcos Baghdatis” rang around the Margaret Court Arena at the end , but it was another early exit for the man who set the tournament alight ten years ago.last_img read more

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Liverpool hit Everton for four, wins for United and West Ham

first_imgLiverpool maintained their stranglehold over Everton in the Merseyside derby with a one-sided stroll against their local rivals who had Ramiro Funes Mori sent off for a horror tackle in the second half.Liverpool were never under any serious or sustained pressure and scored twice late in the first half through Divock Origi and Mamadou Sakho, both from James Milner crosses, before Daniel Sturridge came off the bench to make it 3-0 and Philippe Coutinho finished off the rout.Sturridge was introduced in place of Origi, who was taken off on a stretcher after Funes Mori planted his studs into the Belgian striker’s ankle, which earned the Argentine a straight red card despite his protestations of innocence to the referee.Liverpool, who are now unbeaten in the last 11 top-flight Merseyside derbies, stay seventh in the table, while Everton, who face Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final on Saturday, are 11th. Elsewhere, an inspired Matteo Darmian scored his first goal for Manchester United and set up another as Louis van Gaal’s side kept alive their hopes of a top-four finish with a 2-0 home win over Crystal Palace.Darmian unleashed a screaming volley with his weaker left foot early in the second half, after Palace defender Damien Delaney turned the Italy full-back’s sharp low cross into his own net in the fifth minute.Playing in an adventurous formation with Wayne Rooney in a deeper role behind the front four, United were denied more goals by a string of superb saves by visiting goalkeeper Julian Speroni.The 36-year-old Argentine kept out a barrage of stinging shots from Anthony Martial, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard and Rooney, but was powerless to stop Delaney’s own goal and Darmian’s thunderbolt which went in off the post.A penalty double from Mark Noble meanwhile helped West Ham United complete a comfortable win over Watford that kept their pursuit of European football firmly on track.Andy Carroll, who has hit a purple patch at the perfect time as he bids to win a spot in Roy Hodgson’s England squad for Euro 2016, hit his sixth goal in the last five league games with an awkward looking volley to open the scoring after 11 minutes.Noble scored twice from the penalty spot either side of half-time before Sebastian Proedl swept home after 64 minutes to reduce the deficit. Any hope of a late fightback, however, was effectively snuffed out when Troy Deeney’s late penalty for the visitors was saved.Watford’s Nordin Amrabat was sent off for a second booking at the death as West Ham extended their unbeaten league run to nine games to stay sixth in the table and on course for a Europa League qualifying spot.last_img read more

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Champions League changes ‘damaging for clubs’

first_imgEurope’s football clubs and supporters are not fully aware of the extent of the damage which will be caused by upcoming changes to the Champions League, according to a leading regional league official.Lars-Christer Olsson, the head of the EPFL umbrella organisation representing Europe’s domestic leagues, said he had still not given up on trying to persuade European football’s governing body UEFA to change its mind.He added that, if implemented, the new system could turn many leagues into one-horse races with the same team winning year after year.“Those who already have a lot will get much more… and that is the biggest threat,” he told Reuters in a telephone interview.Last year, UEFA approved additional slots for clubs from England, Spain, Germany and Italy in the lucrative Champions League group stage, while reducing those allocated to teams from smaller leagues.It added that participating clubs would get significantly more revenue under the new format which runs from 2018-21.“What we will do in the discussions with UEFA is to highlight the consequences of that decision,” Olsson said.“Our task is show that there are some very negative consequences and we have to discuss that,” he added, admitting that whether UEFA could be persuaded to reconsider was “still to be seen”.“It has not been clearly shown what kind of difficulties will be created for the competitive balance of the domestic leagues and also in the long run for international club competitions.”Clubs which take part in the Champions and Europa Leagues are already given generous payments by UEFA. Critics say this gives them a huge advantage over domestic rivals who do not qualify for Europe and also creates a snowball effect.SITUATION WORSENINGFor the present season, UEFA has predicted that it will hand out a total of 1.31 billion euros to Champions League participants.Teams receive a basic 12.7 million euros each just for taking part in the group stage, which is greater than the annual revenue of many European clubs.Even now, many leagues are dominated by a single club. FC Basel have won the Swiss title seven times in a row, Olympiacos have taken 18 of the last 20 Greek titles, Dinamo Zagreb have won the last 11 in Croatia and Celtic the last six in Scotland.Olsson said that paradoxically, the problem would be made worse if UEFA’s revenue increased.“They are doing a good job in the sales, which means there will be more money on the table and if that money goes to those who already have a lot, it will have a detrimental effect on the domestic competitions,” he said.“We are talking a lot of money and we are talking big differences.”The EPFL has already ended an agreement with UEFA after its members agreed not to stage domestic matches on the same days that European matches were being played.UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said in a speech to his federation’s annual Congress on Wednesday that he would not give in to “blackmail” by the leagues. Olsson, however, said he did not take the remark personally.“It was a good speech to his own constituents, who are the national associations,” he said.last_img read more

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Marcus Ng wins POM Snooker Open title

first_imgNg beat Nathan Fong five frames to nil in the best of nine frames in the final of the Port Moresby Snooker Open at the Lamana Q Club in Port Moresby last Sunday.Fong kept Ng in check in the first frame going down 48 to 62 but from the second frame onwards, Ng was on fire scoring 62 – 2 which included the highest break of 48 for the weekend, 64-23, 76 – 13 and 70 – 22 to win.This is Ng’s second Moresby Open title.Top seed was Lae’s Arua Simoi who went down 3-1 to Peter Fong in the Quarter Finals.Vare Toua won the Plate over Alex Keimelo and PNG Women’s champion Geua John was the best of the women after going down three frames to two to Nathan Fong in the top 16.Forty eight players took part in the event.Port Moresby Billiards and Snooker President, John Chan thanked all the players and Tournament Director Joey Chan for making it another successful event.“Despite not having a sponsor, I am grateful for the participation of all players including the juniors, women and those players including Peter Fong from Alotau and Arua Simoi and Poliap Pokanau from Lae,“Congratulations to Marcus Ng for winning the Moresby Open and commiserations to Nathan,” said Chan.last_img read more

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