A year to go, rearranged Tokyo Games still shrouded in uncertainty

first_imgIn response, Tokyo 2020 Chief Executive Toshiro Muto said over 200 simplification measures were under consideration.Final billWhat has yet to be decided is how much rearranging the Games is going to cost the Japanese taxpayer.The IOC have said their share of the costs will be some $800 million but organizers have repeatedly refused to put a number on the final bill for Japanese stakeholders.The Games were already set to cost over 1.35 trillion yen before the postponement and increased expenditure might further alienate a public already turning their backs on an Olympics they once embraced enthusiastically.A recent poll conducted by Kyodo News found that fewer than one in four favored holding the Games as scheduled next year.A third believed the Olympics should be postponed again — which Bach has warned is not an option — with another third wanting the Games cancelled outright.In addition to costs, three major issues dominate any conversation on the rearranged Games — athlete safety, spectators and sponsorship.Organizers have said all efforts will be made to ensure the 11,000 athletes will be able to travel safely to Tokyo and compete in world class surroundings.As expert after expert has pointed out, however, it is difficult to see how this can be accomplished without the development and global distribution of an effective COVID-19 vaccine.The same is true of the desire to have thousands of spectators in the stadiums to cheer on those athletes.Loss of ticket revenue would be a major blow to the organizing committee and that would be compounded if they cannot keep on board the record-breaking number of Games sponsors.A poll conducted by Japanese public broadcaster NHK last month found two-thirds of Tokyo 2020’s corporate sponsors were undecided on whether to continue their support.The challenges facing Olympics organizers are unprecedented but under questioning from athletes, fans and sponsors, they know they need to find some answers soon.Topics : Tokyo 2020 organizers will host celebrations marking the one-year countdown to the Olympics on Thursday but with the postponed Games still shrouded in uncertainty they are sure to be more muted than the first attempt 12 months ago.On July 24 last year, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach presided over a glitzy ceremony in the Japanese capital and declared Tokyo the best prepared host city he had ever seen.Even six months ago, when fireworks exploded over a giant, luminous set of Olympic rings in Tokyo Bay, organizers were still bullish that their huge financial investment would deliver an unforgettable Games. Just two months later, however, plans that had been almost a decade in the making were shredded as the COVID-19 pandemic forced the IOC and Japanese government to take the unprecedented decision to postpone the Olympics for a year.Since the postponement in late March, all 42 venues for the Games have been secured and the competition schedule announced, with the opening ceremony set to take place at the 156.9 billion yen ($1.44 billion) National Stadium on July 23.Beyond that, though, questions remain about almost every aspect of hosting what Bach calls the “most complex event on this planet”.The head of the IOC’s Coordination Commission John Coates has said rearranging the Games meant focusing on the “must haves” in a simplified event.last_img read more

South Korea accuses religious sect leader as COVID-19 cases surge

first_imgSouth Korea accused the leader of a religious sect on Sunday of violating self-isolation rules and obstructing investigations into the country’s biggest outbreak of new coronavirus in five months.South Korea on Sunday reported 279 new cases on Sunday, more than double the 103 reported on Friday, with most of the new infections found in and around Seoul.The capital posted a record 146 new cases, out of which 107 were linked to Sarang Jeil Church led by Rev. Jun Kwang-hoon, a controversial pastor and an outspoken government critic. The health ministry said it will file a complaint against Jun later on Sunday, accusing him of violating self-isolation rules by participating in a rally on Saturday and “obstructing” epidemiological investigation by failing to submit a full list of church members for testing and tracing.Thousands of demonstrators took to the street on the Aug. 15 liberation day on Tuesday, protesting against President Moon Jae-in’s policies and defying a ban on rallies in the capital.The surge in COVID-19 cases prompted authorities on Sunday to reimpose tighter social distancing curbs, and President Moon warned of “stern and strong measures” against “some churches”, calling their behavior an “unforgivable act that threatens public lives.”Jun’s church did not respond to telephone calls from Reuters seeking comment.Another Christian sect, Shincheonji Church of Jesus, was at the center of the country’s largest outbreak of COVID-19 infections in February. The secretive group was linked to 36 percent of South Korea’s total cases, and on Aug.1, South Korean authorities arrested its founder, Lee Man-hee, for allegedly hiding crucial information from contact-tracers.Topics :last_img read more

European authorities allow leeway on new derivatives rules

first_img*The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA), European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), and European Banking Authority (EBA) “This approach does not entail a general forbearance,” they said.To meet the new rules pension funds and other institutions have to update legal documentation such as credit support annexes (CSAs), contracts covering derivatives arrangements between counterparties. There are thousands of such documents in existence covering derivatives trades in funds and liability-driven investment strategies.PensionsEurope welcomed the announcement by the ESAs, saying that getting the documentation in place by the March deadline was “a significant challenge” and that pension funds and their service providers in many countries were struggling to do so.Úrsula Bordas, policy advisor at the trade association, said: “A strict interpretation of the compliance rule would mean that many pension funds would have a limited access to liquidity as they would have a limited number of banks with whom to trade and this could significantly impact their ability to hedge risks.”PensionsEurope “hopes national authorities will further explain their approach to compliance for the next months to pension funds and their service providers”, she added.A head of clearing at a European bank told IPE that, if a pension fund or any other financial institution was not able to get new CSAs in place in time, “it looks as though [it] will be left up to individual counterparties to decide if they want to cease trading, and how forgiving their supervisor will be if they don’t”.The picture was mixed as to how supervisors would proceed, and some sort of materiality would be considered, the banker added.The ESAs said national regulators should “take into account the size of the exposure to the counterparty plus its default risk” when making enforcement decisions. The UK regulator set out its approach to enforcement, or “supervision of firms’ progress”, in a statement yesterday.The banker cited an expectation that, at best, 50% of agreements will be re-negotiated and in place by the March deadline, leaving “a significant gap still to be re-negotiated”.The ESAs did not hide their displeasure at having to make yesterday’s announcement, noting that “[t]he timeline for implementation has been known in EU since 2015, and it is unfortunate that the financial industry has not managed to prepare for the implementation”.“Furthermore, a delay of 9 months was already granted by BSBC-IOSCO in 2015 on the basis of similar arguments from the industry,” they added. “That delay was agreed with the clear expectation that the financial industry would be ready to prepare the implementation within two years.”The ESAs’ announcement comes after the US derivatives regulator earlier this month issued a “no action” letter, providing a grace period on the collateral rule. In their statement, the ESAs noted that they have no mandate to disapply directly applicable EU law.US regulators and IOSCO, the international umbrella organisation for securities regulators, also made announcements yesterday acknowledging that industry may not be able to complete the necessary documentation to be able to fully comply with the variation margin requirements by the scheduled deadline of 1 March. Both agreed that there should be some leeway.Pension funds recently obtained an extension of their exemption from a requirement to centrally clear OTC derivatives, with this now lasting until August 2018.  Pension funds and other financial institutions look set for potential reprieve from strict enforcement of new derivatives rules following an announcement by the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) yesterday.The statement concerns a 1 March deadline for rules requiring variation margin to be posted as collateral to cover counterparty risk in non-cleared, over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives.In a joint statement, the ESAs* said they “have been made aware of operational challenges” in meeting the deadline. Although they did not explicitly refer to small pension funds, they noted that smaller counterparties in particular were having difficulties.They effectively granted national regulators discretion not to strictly enforce compliance with the new rules, saying that they can assess “the degree of compliance and progress” on a case-by-case basis.last_img read more

EPL: Reds, Spurs renew rivalry at Anfield

first_imgRelatedPosts Lampard: I still have confidence in Tomori Mane double eases Liverpool to win over 10-man Chelsea EPL: Chelsea, Liverpool in cagey duel Liverpool vs. TottenhamVenue: Anfield StadiumKick off: 5:30PMLiverpool and Tottenham Hotspur meet in a repeat of the 2019 Champions League final this afternoon as the Premier League leaders welcome Mauricio Pochettino’s languishing Londoners to Anfield.The hosts dropped their first points of the season at the ninth time of asking last time out, but they returned to winning ways in midweek and take on a Spurs side struggling for form so far in 2019-20.The outcome of a Champions League final is always as polarising as it gets in club football, but the way teams respond to their respective fortunes can vary greatly.So far this season, Liverpool seem to have picked up exactly where they left off in Madrid, whereas Tottenham have suffered a vicious hangover which is still very much being felt five months later.The feeling that last season may have been the peak of this Spurs team could well have engendered a desire to leave the club for many of their star players whose contracts are nearing an end, which is one of a growing list of reasons given for such a poor start to the season.Compare that to Liverpool, who have swept almost all before them so far this term, and within less than half a year the two-goal margin which ultimately separated them in Madrid has stretched to a 13-point lead after only nine games of the Premier League season.Such a disparity between the two sides should be kept in context; Liverpool have enjoyed a historically good start to the season – victory today would see them equal the Premier League record of 28 points from the first 30 available – whereas Spurs have amassed their lowest points tally at this stage of a season since Pochettino took charge in 2014-15.Both can be regarded as anomalies to a certain extent, then, but Liverpool will still go into the match as overwhelming favourites given what had been, up to last weekend, a faultless start to the season.The Reds fell short of the top-flight record of 18 successive wins at Old Trafford and came within five minutes of losing just their second league game in 48 before Adam Lallana at least rescued a point at the end of an uncharacteristically turgid display at the home of their greatest rivals.The draw may have ended their perfect start to the campaign, but they are still unbeaten in 26 league games and returned to winning ways with an overdue away Champions League group-stage triumph over Genk in midweek.Liverpool’s travel sickness has been nowhere near as bad in the league as it has been in Europe recently, but there is no doubt that they are still most formidable in front of their own fans.Indeed, Jurgen Klopp’s side go into this match having gone 44 league games without defeat at Anfield, the last 11 of which have all ended in victory – the club’s longest home winning streak since a run of 13 in 1985.Anfield is a daunting place to visit for any team in world football right now, then, but Spurs in particular will be dreading the trip having failed to win an away game of any kind all season – the last three of which have all ended in defeat.Remarkably, you have to go all the way back to January for Tottenham’s last league win on the road, during which time they have picked up two points from a possible 30. The last time Spurs went more than 10 away league games without a win was in 2000-01.Some encouragement can be drawn from the fact that those two points came away to Manchester City and Arsenal, but Spurs have also lost 20 and failed to win any of their last 23 Premier League games against the team starting the day top of the table.Recent history seems to be against the visitors, then, and on current form it would take a major upset for Spurs to get something out of the game – Liverpool have more than double the number of points this season and seem to be a squad in sync compared to the disharmony around Spurs.There was at least a rare cause for joy in midweek as Tottenham thrashed Red Star Belgrade 5-0 in a performance which saw the likes of Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Erik Lamela all on top form.It was a welcome relief for a side that had only won twice in 12 games since the opening day of the season, and the return to form of such key players will have also been a significant milestone on Pochettino’s road back to glory.Liverpool at Anfield is an entirely different proposition, though, and certainly not the ground Spurs would have chosen to finally end their away duck. Liverpool possible XI: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Salah, Firmino, Mane.Tottenham possible XI: Gazzaniga, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Aurier, Ndombele, Winks, Rose, Alli, Kane, Son.Tags: AnfieldLiverpoolRedslast_img read more

Fulham fight on

first_imgHugo Rodallega gave Fulham a lifeline in their fight against relegation from the Barclays Premier League with a late winner against Aston Villa. But the teenager took too long to make up his mind and Kasami was offside when he finally picked his pass. Villa pressed and probed without really threatening, but they came close in the 27th minute when Albrighton’s cross was headed just off target by Weimann. Leandro Bacuna then forced the first save of the match from David Stockdale when he cut in from the right. Villa were their own worst enemy, though, and Brad Guzan had to produce a smart stop from Woodrow after Joe Bennett underplayed a pass to Baker. The hosts were fortunate that the Fulham player’s touch took him wide, narrowing the angle in Guzan’s favour. Woodrow was certainly heavily involved in the game and Guzan had to be alert again when his shot was deflected, while Lewis Holtby and Steve Sidwell also tried their luck as the visitors ended the half strongly. Magath was clearly not happy with what he had seen, though, and he made a double substitution for the second half, with Rodallega replacing Woodrow and Ashkan Dejagah coming on for Kasami. Rodallega almost made an immediate impact, with his low cross just evading Sidwell as he slid in 12 yards out. Moments later Villa were inches away from taking the lead as Holt chested the ball into the path of Bacuna, who slammed a shot against the near post via the fingers of Stockdale. But it was the visitors who made the breakthrough, and in style, as the lively Dejagah cut in from the right and teed up Richardson for a thunderous strike. However, Fulham’s lead lasted only nine minutes, with Holt’s header from Albrighton’s corner finding its way through a crowd of players and into the bottom corner. Albrighton then tested Stockdale with a curling shot, and from the keeper’s parry Fulham broke away. A clever dummy from Dejagah looked to have set up Holtby for a certain goal as he took the ball around Guzan but, from four yards out, his shot was somehow cleared off the line by Matthew Lowton. It was an astonishing piece of defending and, not surprisingly, left Holtby with head in hands. The game was remarkably open, and twice Villa came close to taking the lead, as first substitute Aleksandar Tonev saw his shot tipped over the bar by Stockdale before Weimann headed just over. But the final twist came at the other end with less then five minutes of normal time remaining as Holtby’s cross was flicked into the bottom corner by Rodallega for the winner. Press Association Both teams could have won it, but it was Rodallega who headed in the crucial goal in the 86th minute to earn manager Felix Magath his first away victory. Although Fulham remain five points from safety, the result will give them renewed hope that a great escape is possible. Christian Benteke’s Achilles tear in training this week was a huge blow for Villa and, with Gabriel Agbonlahor failing to recover from a sickness bug, left manager Paul Lambert short of options up front. He handed Holt only a second start for the club, with the former Norwich striker supported by Andreas Weimann and Marc Albrighton. Magath gave a second debut to Mahamadou Diarra following his return to the club, while he also recalled 19-year-old forward Cauley Woodrow. Magath was forced to play down speculation this week that his job was in danger after only one win in his first six games. His side had the first effort on goal, though, as Woodrow headed over Pajtim Kasami’s cross with two minutes gone. Woodrow was seeing plenty of the ball and he had a great chance to set up a decisive opening for Fulham when Nathan Baker gave the ball away. The Cottagers began the day bottom of the table, but pulled off a 2-1 victory at Villa Park with goals from Kieran Richardson and half-time substitute Rodallega. After a goalless first half, Richardson drilled a superb shot into the top corner in the 61st minute only for Grant Holt to head in his first goal for Villa nine minutes later. last_img read more

TTOC’s Lewis elected CANOC boss

first_imgTRINIDAD and Tobago’s Brian Lewis has been nominated unopposed to the post of Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC) chairman.Lewis, who also serves as head of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) will complete the term of Barbados’ Steve Stoute who resigned from the position in October of last year.Lewis had served as interim chairman pending ratification of the position at Saturday’s CANOC Extraordinary General Meeting in Barranquilla, Columbia on Saturday.The twin-island republic official was voted in unopposed following the withdrawal of the Dominican Republic’s José Joaquín Puello, who claimed he had submitted an application for the role by mistake. In accepting the nomination Lewis said the organization was ready to serve the region through sport.“I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to create a sustainable future for the Caribbean Olympic Movement,” Lewis told insidethegames.“It is an honour to be entrusted with the role.As Olympic leaders, we in the Caribbean can make a positive difference.We are determined to better serve Caribbean Olympic athletes and the youth and young people of the region through sport and Olympism.For all the challenges we face, it is an exciting time of great opportunity. In unity is our strength. Our strength is our unity.” Lewis said.last_img read more

Malteenoes to host Novices table tennis tourney

first_imgTHE Malteenoes Table Tennis Club (MTTC) will be hosting a Novices Table Tennis Tournament from March 17 to 26, as the club looks to scout for new talent to restructure the club, which recently came under new management. The tournament, which kick-starts the club’s 2017 programme, will be catering to players in four categories: Boys and Girls Under-15 and Male and Female Open categories. The tournament is open to all table tennis enthusiasts.The first round of the tournament will be played in a round-robin format, where the top two players will advance to the main draws while the 3rd and 4th players will advance to the consolation event draw.A total of 64 customised trophies and medals will be awarded to the winning players in the various categories. Interested participants can register online at http://www.r2sports.com/tourney.asp?TID=21396 and download and deliver their registration forms and entrance fees to MTTC at Thomas Road, Thomas Lands; the Business School on Brickdam, Today Styles on Robb and King Streets. Entrants can also contact the tournament organisers on 697-8325 or 630-3602.The club is currently headed by coach and tournament director, Idi Lewis, along with table tennis coordinator Kevin Prass, and has formed a new team of table tennis players called the Malteenoes Dragons.“Malteenoes has long been the home of the essence of table tennis in Guyana. Over the last 40 years it has seen the development and maturity of virtually all the top table tennis players in Guyana” said a press release from the club.Lewis, a former national player who has played all over the world, is a product of the club.This new management envisions an independently organised club which will promote the game of table tennis by running table tennis fitness programmes for adults of all ages and abilities, with aggressive training programmes for enthusiastic persons of all ages who wish to increase their level of play quickly and compete to further themselves in and through the game of table tennis.The club also aspires to promote an environment for retired professionals to socialise and maintain their fitness through table tennis and host an all year round club league for which there will be semi-annual presentations and an annual Presentation Ceremony.last_img read more

Victory restores confidence

first_imgJEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald photoOn the heels of an inspired performance in all aspects of the game, Wisconsin will work to keep momentum in its favor when Indiana comes to town Saturday.The Badgers (7-2, 2-2 Big Ten) are set to face the Hoosiers (5-3, 2-3 Big Ten) on Homecoming and Halloween weekend. In last year’s game against Illinois on “Freakfest,” the relevant boos and scares were on hand as Wisconsin stumbled out to a 21-3 defeat. Rest assured, according to linebacker Jonathan Casillas, it shouldn’t happen again.“If we play our technique and play the ball we’re supposed to play, I think we’re going to come out with a win,” Casillas said. Gone are the days of uncertainty and hesitant play, and here to stay is newfound swagger, freshman cornerback Aaron Henry said. “We’re not worried about mistakes anymore,” Henry said.Like a tiring boxer against a faster opponent, the Badgers were down and out after the two consecutive losses. “The team was down morally,” senior receiver Paul Hubbard said. “The guys weren’t expecting to lose a game this season, let alone two, so a lot of guys were down. … Last week was the first step that we took to get back on the horse — taking accountability and responsibility and changing what was going on.”Entering last year’s matchup against Indiana, Wisconsin was coming off a tough loss to Michigan. Following the game, several players, including Hubbard, were called out for their lackluster play. The players responded. The result: a 52-0 lead after three quarters against the Hoosiers and nine straight wins to end the season.“Coach Paul Chryst called us out after the game. … He said, ‘you know what Hubs, I’m going to call you out, the first play is going to you. If you make it you keep getting them.’ I made it and kept going,” Hubbard said. Execution and consistency on both offense and defense will be vital if Wisconsin is going to come away with its 13th consecutive home victory. The defense will try and build on its two forced turnovers last weekend against Northern Illinois. “Turnovers — coaches say all the time — are basically based on the passion we bring on the defensive side of the ball and we saw that last week,” Casillas said. “If we can play like that against Indiana I think we can definitely force some turnovers.”The combination of IU’s sophomore gunslinger Kellen Lewis and junior freak-of-nature James Hardy who, at 6-foot-7-inches, can run, catch and jump will prove to be a grave task for the Badger secondary. “He’s a four-inch-taller version of Travis Beckum, and he’s a former basketball player,” UW defensive coordinator Mike Hankwitz said. “He utilizes his size and body well.“So we know we have a challenge, but we have to make plays.”Hardy, whose 14-catch, 142-yard performance last weekend versus Penn State was a personal best, has a Big Ten-leading 11 touchdown receptions to go with 748 yards. “If you’re a competitor you’re thinking, ‘I’m going to beat him.’ It doesn’t matter how tall he is,” Henry said. Badgers senior receiver Paul Hubbard, who listed himself at “90 percent” Tuesday following practice, admits that even though he and Hardy aren’t on the field at the same time, there will be some competition.“There is pride involved,” Hubbard said. “James Hardy is an excellent receiver; he’s a beast as I call it — that guy’s a monster. The ball goes up, he’s going to come down with it somehow, some way.“Just seeing that, you don’t want to have a receiver out on the field on the other end outplaying you, so that’s the competition that always comes with every game with two good receivers out there.”As good as Hardy is, he’s only as good as Lewis’ arm. The sophomore quarterback has improved significantly from a year ago, passing for 1,952 yards and 19 touchdowns, and his ability to run the ball will give the Badger defense some challenges. “He’s been able to throw the ball with a great amount of success,” UW head coach Bret Bielema said. “He has also been very effective when he’s on the move, and I think that creates some issues [there] as well.”No matter how good Hardy or Lewis have been for the Hoosiers, or how bad the Badger defense was for the first seven weeks of the season, the team is finally playing with energy and showing glimpses of life. Above all, Wisconsin is finally learning how to have fun again.last_img read more

Reddish questionable against Clemson, Welsh returns to practice from injury ‘scare’

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on September 25, 2013 at 11:32 am Contact Stephen: sebail01@syr.edu | @Stephen_Bailey1 Syracuse might be without cornerback Brandon Reddish when it hosts No. 3 Clemson in its Atlantic Coast Conference debut on Oct. 5, SU head coach Scott Shafer announced Wednesday.“Brandon Reddish will probably be questionable for Clemson with a lower-leg injury,” Shafer said during the ACC coaches’ teleconference.Reddish — who mixes in with Ri’Shard Anderson at cornerback opposite Keon Lyn — and starting defensive end Robert Welsh both missed the second half of SU’s 52-17 win against Tulane last week. Welsh, who had to be helped off the field and was unable to put any weight on his left leg, is returning to practice this week, Shafer said.“Robbie Welsh is doing well,” Shafer said. “We had a scare with him, but he’s back.”Also returning to practice this week is offensive lineman Kyle Knapp, who suffered a head injury during training camp and has yet to play for the Orange this season.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textShafer said practices this week will focus primarily on lifting and running.He was not asked about senior kicker Ross Krautman, who will have season-ending surgery on a hip-related injury and is eligible to apply for a medical hardship waiver. Commentslast_img read more