Inzaghi unsure over Lazio pair

first_imgLazio boss Simone Inzaghi admits he has doubts over whether Joaquin Correa and Felipe Caicedo will be fit to face Celtic in the Europa League tomorrow. Caicedo came off injured against Milan last weekend, whilst Correa picked up a knock in training, and Inzaghi states the pair will have to be evaluated. “I have to evaluate their condition very carefully, but I’ll ask them to make sacrifices. I believe in them,” he said at a Press conference. The coach then revealed he had toyed with the idea of using Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Luis Alberto or even youngster Bobby Adekanye in attack. “I’ll play my strongest team. [Ciro] Immobile and [Senad] Lulic were a little tired yesterday, but I’m confident that these two will play. “I don’t have a clear idea yet [of my starting XI], but I know [Stefan] Radu and [Adam] Marusic definitely won’t make it. [Danilo] Cataldi is suspended.” The Aquile’s task has been made a tad more difficult by parts of their curva being closed for racist behaviour. “We’re obliged to win, we want to move up the group but it won’t be easy against a Celtic side who have a lot of quality and players who can put us in trouble at any time. “I think it’ll be a beautiful day of sport and a beautiful game. May the best team win. Hopefully it’s Lazio. “I know many Celtic fans will arrive and that part of the [Curva] Nord will be closed, but we expect lots of Biancocelesti to support us anyway.” Lazio lost 2-1 to Celtic in the first game between the sides last month. Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: read more

Sassuolo: Squinzi’s wife dies

first_imgGiorgio Squinzi’s wife Adriana Spazzoli has died, less than two months after the Sassuolo President passed away. The 71-year-old’s condition had reportedly worsened following the loss of her husband and the Mapei supremo, who died at the age of 76 on October 3. Mapei wrote through its social channels: “Dr. Adriana Spazzoli is back at the side of Dr. Giorgio Squinzi. “We will never stop ‘pedalling’ for her too, who together with her husband drove on Mapei SpA, as well as each of us, with charisma, competence, rigour, passion and humanity. “May they rest in peace together.” Squinzi will always be remembered in Italian football for bringing Sassuolo up through the lower Leagues and establishing them in Serie A. Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit:

CWG guilty won’t be spared, says Sonia Gandhi

first_imgBreaking her silence on the Commonwealth Games (CWG) scam Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday gave out a stern message. Addressing a Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) meeting the party chief said nobody found guilty of corruption would be spared.”I trust that as soon as Games are over government will look into the corruption charges and spare no one found to be involved in malpractices,” she said. Sonia said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has already taken a decisive action on the issue and was looking into the corruption charges against the CWG organising committee (OC). The Congress chief said the Delhi Games is a national event and every possible effort should be made to make it successful and that it is the responsibility of the entire nation to make it successful. She urged everyone to rise above politics to ensure that nation’s image is not tarnished. “Games are few days away. It is time for all of us to come together and ensure success of the Games as the prestige of the nation is involved. Let’s not forget it, as we take steps to ensure accountability,” Sonia said.last_img read more

Leaner Ronjan Sodhi is hungry for more medals

first_imgSuccess and Ronjan Sodhi are no strangers to each other. After all, in the last year or so, there has hardly been an international competition where the double trap ace has not won a medal, except the International Shooting Sports Federation’s (ISSF) Shotgun World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, earlier this month.Now, having lost a lot of weight a slimmer and fitter Sodhi is heading to defend his ISSF World Cup Finals gold medal at Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates.”I’ve not been keeping track of how much weight I’ve lost, but I’ve been working a bit on my fitness while training in Italy. I hope to carry on till January, then stabilise it before the Olympics.”One has to be careful about it because the equipment, the gun fitting, they all change, so one needs to do it in the right manner,” Sodhi told Mail Today before leaving to train in Italy again.Asked if it wasn’t risky to be bringing about a change in his body less than 11 months before the London Games, Sodhi sidestepped the question with a quip: “If it works out, it is fine; otherwise it is very easy to get the weight back.” His scores certainly haven’t dropped off by much, as even in his disappointing 17th- place finish at the world championship, he shot a score of 143 out of 150 in the qualification round.”The world championship placing didn’t rankle me because of the way I fought till the end. I knew as early as the training sessions that a 145 or 146 was needed to get into the final, and when I shot a 46 in the first round, I knew it was all over,” the Asian Games gold medallist said.advertisement”You can’t really come back from missing four targets at this level at an easy range like Belgrade. But I was determined to shoot well after that too, and I was happy to have given my 100 per cent.” The range for this year’s World Cup Finals is also known to be a high- scoring one, and Sodhi believes the competition – where the medallists and top performers from the year’s four World Cups are invited – will enable him to learn.”The key thing over there will be that the competition will be held in the same format as the Olympics, where flash targets that emit a green smoke upon being hit will be used in the qualification rounds. They behave a little differently and we don’t get to train with them a lot, so I will be taking notes and it will be interesting,” he said.The sports ministry recently announced that Sodhi would be getting more than Rs 97 lakh for Olympic training – a substantial share of the total amount of Rs 6.85 crore sanctioned for 22 athletes – and the world No. 2 said this gave him a sense of responsibility.”The government has gone public this time, but they’ve been supporting me financially since 2007.”Today, there are companies like Sahara and bodies like the Mittal Champions Trust and Olympic Gold Quest who are supporting athletes, but that alone is not good enough,” the 31-year-old said.”Whatever the Olympic sports in this country are achieving today is because of government funding, and I believe it is now time for us to win more medals for India because the country is doing enough for us. I feel a sense of responsibility, but not pressure.” Asked if India’s medal count in shooting at the Olympics would increase from Abhinav Bindra’s gold in Beijing, Sodhi said: “I would say yes, because apart from one or two shooters, whoever has got a quota has done so by winning a medal at a worldlevel competition.”Shooting is just a mental sport, and if someone believes in his or her abilities, the sky is the limit. They will have to think that if you can do it once at that level, you can do it again.” Meanwhile, at the Sardar Sajjan Singh Memorial Masters Meet in the Capital on Sunday, Manavjit Singh Sandhu (138) bagged the men’s trap gold medal.Veterans Anwer Sultan and Mansher Singh finished second and third respectively after a shoot-off.last_img read more

Virender Sehwag applauds Rohit and tail-enders for resilience

first_imgCaptain Virender Sehwag on Tuesday applauded Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja for batting sensibly and adding 83 priceless runs for the sixth wicket that were instrumental in India edging past the West Indies by one wicket in a thrilling finish to the first One-Day International in Cuttack.Sehwag was also relieved that tail-enders Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron scored 12 crucial runs in an unbeaten partnership for the last wicket to ensure the win that came with seven balls to spare.”I was sitting in the same place and not moving. Good to win another nail-biter. Whatever you tell No. 10 or No. 11, they always do what they want to. I just told them to play till the end and whatever happens is fine,” Sehwag said.”Rohit and Jadeja batted really well in that partnership [for the sixth wicket] and we should have won it easily from there. But, still, good to end up winning [the game],” said a relieved captain. “We hope to learn from our batting mistakes in the coming games.”Rohit, who was adjudged the Man of the Match, said that the plan was to bat through. “The idea was to play through the innings. But, unfortunately, I wasn’t able to finish it. But it doesn’t matter now; we’ve won the game. I needed support from Jadeja at that stage. We played to a plan and he batted brilliantly. Even Vinay Kumar batted really well,” he said.”I didn’t have much cricket after my injury, but luckily did well in the Ranji games. I am glad I got an opportunity under pressure and managed to pull it through.”advertisementWest Indies captain Darren Sammy had to endure disappointment twice in four days as his team failed to win despite being on the verge of it. On Saturday, the visitors failed to win the third Test in Mumbai as it ended in a draw with India nine down and one run short of a win.”Every time you lose, it is quite disappointing. We just didn’t have the last spark to take us past the finish line,” he admitted. “The opening bowlers did well to give us a start and we fought all the way to the end, but it wasn’t enough. We could have done things differently. We bowled 23 extras, but I would like to commend the boys.”The next One-Day International will be played in Visakhapatnam on Friday.last_img read more

Sushma Swaraj, Pramod Mahajan, Rajnath Singh make final bid in UP to restore BJP

first_imgTwo hundred feet from the ground at a deafening 200kmph in any of the five helicopters the BJP has hired, Uttar Pradesh’s vast heartland looks the same. An army of waving hands, a group of white khadi-clad politicians with garlands, a swirl of dust and at least one Toyota Qualis.,Two hundred feet from the ground at a deafening 200kmph in any of the five helicopters the BJP has hired, Uttar Pradesh’s vast heartland looks the same.An army of waving hands, a group of white khadi-clad politicians with garlands, a swirl of dust and at least one Toyota Qualis. But for BJP’s star campaigners, party General Secretary Pramod Mahajan, Union Health Minister Sushma Swaraj and former chief minister Rajnath Singh, each helicopter ride brings with it its own expectations.If one is carrying the burden of success in Rajasthan, another is a crowd-puller who is on top of the cadre wish list while the third is a regional strongman in search of national validation.The battleground is the same for all, as is the collective aim-save Uttar Pradesh for the BJP, where the carpet bombing by national leaders is such that candidates are having to turn away B-list campaigners like Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.SUSHMA SWARAJThe Loan WarriorPasu Bazar ka Maidan, Ghazipur, Fatehpur: 3 p.m.ON HIGH GROUND: Sushma Swaraj has added value to the poll campaign in the stateThe last time Swaraj came to Ghazipur, a mere dot in Fatehpur district in 1979, she met Indira Gandhi at the railway station. “It was a meeting I will always remember,” says Swaraj to the crowd gazing at her open-mouthed.She has just finished a rousing 20-minute speech, variations of which she has been delivering across the country-starting from Satna in Madhya Pradesh on April 6. “We will never accept someone who calls tulsi basil, Ganga Ganges and gobar cowdung,” she says.The men applaud. “Gaon aur garib ka dard kehne ke liye gaon ki kacchi galiyon mein chalna padta hai. Kya Sonia Gandhi ne kabhi panghat pe paniharan dekhi hai? Kya phool bechti maliharan dekhi hai? Kya ghas katti ghasiyaran dekhi hai? Kya kapde dhoti dhoban dekhi hai? (Does Sonia Gandhi know anything about India’s villages? Anything at all)?” Sonia is her magnificent obsession, but the hamari behen vs vidheshi bahu rhetoric works.The women become emotional, children roar. The 52-year-old puts her hand on two-time MP Ashok Patel. As if on cue, his eyes fill up with tears. By the time the campaigning ends, Swaraj will have addressed about 90 rallies, sometimes angry, sometimes evocative, always energetic.For someone who has been in the public eye since she was 10, performing on demand is not new. “Kuch khone ke liye kuch pana hota hai,” she says, adding that she has been addressing rallies for the past 27 years.She remembers the day she began: February 1, 1977, in Muzaffarpur. “Tab to kranti thi (it was a revolution),” she says. “No one was sitting at home.”On loan to the Save Uttar Pradesh Campaign from the central leadership, she is most in demand among the cadres. And there is every reason why. Sit with a group of women sporting Swaraj badges near a makes hift stage in Shuklaganj in Unnao constituency, and they will tell you.”She is what we want to be,” says former zila panchayat head Kamal Kumari. Say it to Swaraj and she glows. “When they see me, they feel I amone of them, not someone from a raj gharana.” Swaraj addresses at least five meetings a day, travelling from car to helicopter, helicopter to car to rally ground, back to helicopter.Sometimes dodging clouds, sometimes circling several times before landing on a tiny brick strip in the middle of a field, subsisting on two rotis, some vegetables cooked by a party worker (in the case of Lucknow it is former state minister Sheema Rizvi), some jaggery, grams, almonds and, occasionally, the company of her friends.Her faithful Man Friday, Anil Dubey, travels with her, pulling out of a bag whatever she needs-whether it is a wet tissue, a quick glass of nimbu pani (made 6,000 ft in the air) or a comb.There is no privacy. Even when she goes to the bathroom in a college in Fatehpur, the entire village follows.”We saw you delivering the speech in Parliament when Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee’s 13-day government fell,” says a young woman. “We cried.”Later in her five-star hotel suite, freshly bathed, changed into a salwar kameez, digging into dahi bhalla from a local chaat house, she turns and says, “Now do you see what I mean by the real India? And how far removed people in the cities are?”PRAMOD MAHAJANMaster of the PlaneLalbag Park, Bainiganj, Sitapur: 3.30 p.m.REMOTE CONTROL: Pramod Mahajan has successfully clubbed war room work with mass contactWhen Pramod Mahajan descends from the helicopter at Bainiganj, Sitapur, flashing his pens (Waterman in breast pocket and Mont Blanc in the waist pocket), his Ray-Ban and black Reeboks, followed by chief aide Vivek Maitra, it is easy to be blinded by the hard-won gloss.He is coming from one rally and going to another near Lucknow. The 54-year-old will spend the evening at a Lucknow five-star hotel, where he has booked an entire floor (coincidentally a floor below independent candidate Ram Jethmalani’s campaign office), reviewing the work of his election team.It is an all-consuming job, and since April 1 it has taken him even to Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Aware of the reputation that precedes him now, Mahajan says: “In Rajasthan we had six months to prepare and a clear leader. Here we were brought in while elections were on, and though Atalji is our neta, party discipline is really not up to the mark here.”Clearly, though, his team’s work has paid off. If former state minister Kusum Rai turns up, dripping diamonds for Swaraj’s Lucknow meeting, she does the same for Rajnath Singh-grabbing the mike and declaiming about her sacrifice in giving up power for the party.Singh wades through muck to address a predominantly Thakur area in Allahabad constituency though candidate Murli Manohar Joshi has not turned up.Mahajan’s one addiction, apart from a tongue that has a mind of its own, is tea. Maitra carries his flask, refilling it at various stops.Time is something he cannot indulge in-when he begins speaking for candidate Janardhan Mishra, he keeps his Titan watch on the podium, occasionally glancing at it even when delivering punchlines: “Laloo ne kaha, Sonia nahin to main hoon na.”Or this: “I haven’t married into the Gandhi-Nehru family, yet you have come to listen to me. Thank you.” While awaiting his turn to speak, Mishra briefs him about Sitapur’s request: a rally by either Vajpayee or Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani. Mahajan, the first non-Hindi heartland star, says he will consider it.As the man in charge of the campaign, he is responsible for the strategic deployment of campaigners. Not only has he ensured this is done on the basis of caste but he has also visited 70 Uttar Pradesh constituencies himself- which means by May 8, when the last bell is rung on E-2004, he will have been to 96 constituencies nationwide.Kalyan Singh’s return has breathed some life into the campaign: “Otherwise, with Ajit Singh, Mulayam Singh and Kalyan getting together, we would have been wiped out from west to east.” Yet ask him for a seat projection in Uttar Pradesh, and he shakes his head: “I will be very happy with 35.”RAJNATH SINGHMan in the MiddleBharua Samerpur, Hamirpur, Bundelkhand: 2.40 p.m.ULTIMATE NATIVE: Rajnath Singh accepts his limitations, but wants to go beyond themAs he sits cross-legged in his helicopter, chewing paan and writing an equation in a notebook, it is easy to mistake the 53-year-old for the teacher that he used to be.But Singh is just resting before yet another whistlestop tour on a journey that formally began on April 6 and has by now included 120 meetings.As he introduces “kisan ka beta” Surendra Singh Rajput, the candidate in Hamirpur, he plunges headlong into a speech-it is the seventh time he is doing so today and there is another rally to go.The day begins early for the man who has to prove he is more than a Thakur leader-an internal survey shows he has 54 per cent acceptability among Jats and 34 per cent among Gujjars, he says.Rallies of various stars of BJPThe architect of the BJP’s victory in the December polls in Chhattisgarh holds a meeting at his Lucknow home that neighbours Mulayam’s and then sets off for the day. An orange here, a peda there, a few grapes and some cashew nuts, that is food on the run.Food, in fact, often figures in his speech: as Union agriculture minister, he says he announced a farm insurance scheme, started a farmer call centre, and most of all, ensured “beggar” India not only became self-sufficient but provided grain to 25 nations.But what brings the house down is this: “Sonia left her country for marriage. Atalji left marriage for his nation. Soniaji ko PM kaise bana sakte hain?”Close up, he is more cautious. He dwells carefully on Kalyan’s return. “I have never spoken against him.”It has much to with how big his heart is and how that is proportional to the extent of his happiness, he says. It is an equation in search only of power.advertisementadvertisementadvertisementlast_img read more

Test cricket is pretty tough for India: Chappell

first_imgFormer India coach Greg Chappell mocked the Indian team saying they are not fit for Test cricket . The former Australian captain went a step ahead and blamed the Indian culture for the team’s debacle in the tour of Australia.”Test cricket is pretty tough for them (India). It was obvious from the start of the tour that the Indians weren’t really interested in Test cricket,” said Chappell, on the sidelines of a promotional event for his book, Fierce Focus, at Adelaide Writers Week.Chappell said Indians are not cut out for Test cricket and are only fit for Twenty20.”After the Australians showed that they were going to be a formidable foe, I was very disappointed with the Indians. And having worked with many of them and having been in the dressing room with them, Test cricket was too hard for most of them. They can only make a lot of money playing 20-over cricket. Fifty-over cricket they can sort of put up with.”Test cricket for a lot of, not only India, a lot of subcontinent teams, I think it’s pretty tough. And the challenge for Test cricket is, without the sort of grounding that we (Australians) had as kids, Test cricket is too hard. It’s very demanding mentally, physically and emotionally,” he said.Chappell blamed culture for the team’s debacle.”The culture is very different, it’s not a team culture. They lack leaders in the team because they are not trained to be leaders. From an early age, their parents make all the decisions, their school teachers make their decisions, their cricket coaches make the decisions.”The culture of India is such that if you put your head above the parapet someone will shoot it. Knock your head off. So they learn to keep their head down and not take responsibility. The Poms (British) taught them really well to keep their head down. For if someone was deemed to be responsible, they’d get punished. So the Indians have learned to avoid responsibility. So before taking responsibility for any decisions, they prefer not to,” he said.Chappell also said that Virender Sehwag’s ambition to become the Indian captain has hurt the team.”Sehwag thought he should be captain after (Anil) Kumble, so there is a bit of a collision there. I think Dhoni is getting to a point where Test cricket is getting too hard for him, and the undercurrent around the dressing room cannot help,” he said.advertisementlast_img read more

BJP, Congress turn party backrooms into digital election war rooms

first_img7 Safdarjung Road In this privileged part of the Capital, you can actually hear the birds chirping. The daisies are out in riotous colours and a man in the garden is sweeping the dead leaves with rhythmic artistry. Inside BJP General Secretary Pramod Mahajan’s white picket-fenced home are two sheds,,7 Safdarjung RoadIn this privileged part of the Capital, you can actually hear the birds chirping. The daisies are out in riotous colours and a man in the garden is sweeping the dead leaves with rhythmic artistry. Inside BJP General Secretary Pramod Mahajan’s white picket-fenced home are two sheds, where the smell of wood is still fresh, the marble floor still unstained and posters urging people not to smoke and not to litter are still politely attached to the softboards.Officer on Special Duty (OSD) in the PMO Sudheendra Kulkarni sits in one room, Ajay Singh, former adviser in Mahajan’s IT ministry, sits in another. Mukul Agarwal is the floor manager. He mans the room from where emails and SMSes are sent out-the party has a database of 25 lakh and 15,000 respectively for this. Having designed the “look” for L.K. Advani’s Bharat Uday Yatra, Anil Rawat and Sandeep Babbar are finalising the slogan for ads in papers in Uttar Pradesh: “Desh sambhala, pradesh savarenge(We have handled the country, now we’ll do the same for the state).”BACKROOM BUOYS: Pramod Mahajan with his think tankIn an adjoining shed, five people sit, monitoring news channels for 14 hours every day, painstakingly filling out forms, mentioning the date and time of every “negative” story. It is clear that the BJP, once a party that symbolised the bucolic, has leapfrogged into the digital age, with its backroom boys, in their kurtis and Italian shoes, as far removed from Rajiv Gandhi’s old-chums gang as bhailog are from babalog.But they can use the accoutrements of power equally well. The Samsung monitor by Singh’s new leather armchair beams a remix of A.B. Vajpayee’s poem set to Bharat Bala’s stirring Vande Mataram. Another touch of the keyboard reveals the Mission 2004 website, a product of the BJP media centre, run by Rawat and Babbar-both professionals who have worked with ad agencies. Mahajan is in Lucknow, conducting a meeting with the Uttar Pradesh BJP unit, but the giant martial machine works well into the night. Most of the “boys” have been camping here for almost two days, taking a break only to tuck into the meals, served in plastic trays, and to sip coffee at the dispenser outside. Representatives from various ad agencies are lounging about: there are two people from Percept, one from Crayons, an agency which handles much of BJP advertising, and others are expected from Grey Worldwide, Euro RSCG, Ascent and TBWA Anthem.Singh, an IITian and Cornell University graduate, strides into the conference room where the competing artworks are on display. “Make sure it’s ready when Pramodji comes,” is his terse instruction. Which one will win: Waqt hamara hai or Congress ko saaf karo, mauka hai insaaf karo? When Mahajan breezes in, it is clear who the decision-maker is. Mahajan is the ultimate spinmeister: he had planned an ad with all the party’s women politicians for International Women’s Day. He dropped the idea when he realised most newspapers would be closed on Holi. He had booked spots even on Ten Sports during the cricket series before the Election Commission code was enforced. Nothing unsettles him-perhaps it is the old Hindi film songs he watches every morning on TV while on his treadmill. Or perhaps it is the baby’s laughter which announces a call on his cell phone.Team Mahajan, many of them veterans of the much smaller Campaign 1999, may well have the last laugh. But much needs to be done. Singh is in a meeting with Arun Jain, who commandeered 10,000 phone lines for the Kaun Banega Crorepati phone-ins. They are discussing how to make the prime minister’s one-minute phone call interactive. They have worked out an SMS which will download the BJP logo, ringtone, and even a Vajpayee wallpaper onto the mobile phone screen. Singh beams proudly: “See, this is a new, technology-savvy voter. We have to reach out to him but Atalji is there,” he says, gesturing with both hands in the air. “His job is not to ask for votes. His role is to lead the nation to a better tomorrow.” And Singh’s job is to make sure he gets there.99 South AvenueThere is nothing to announce the frenetic activity inside this nondescript flat, which till the election hurly burly began, was better known as party spokesman Salman Khurshid’s office. Now it is War Room I. Here work is on at a hectic pace. Jairam Ramesh, who many Congressmen grumble has staged a one-man coup, has opened his Fujitsu Lifebook, plugged in his travel speaker which is playing a Simon and Garfunkel song. Three other volunteers, all of them professionals who are on leave from their organisations and want to remain anonymous, are working on computers-one of them is building the, which will connect party workers in 600 districts, while another is working on the website to “expose” the India Shining fraud.In another room, longtime Congress worker M. Shamim Akhtar is playing a video which has married footage of Rajiv Gandhi with the tearful song from Shaheed, “Ab tumhare hawale watan saathiyon”. Another video urges voters not to cast “ek galat vote jo desh ko apahij bana dega (a wrong vote which will disable the nation)”. “We have a history. The BJP has only hype. We have a heart, they don’t,” says Akhtar. Jairam Ramesh inside one of the Congress war roomsRamesh, in between attending a call on the cell which is connected only to the closed user group (the election management group) and directing Akhtar to handle a crisis at the AICC office, is even more vocal. In an ironic role reversal, having been the first to discover gizmos in 1986, the Congress is keen to show its common touch and its swadeshi moorings.Khurshid, Ramesh’s whirlwind comrade-in-arms, completes the nerve centre. It’s where ideas are generated, strategies mapped out, slogans discussed with the ad agency Leo Burnett, and posters stored. Right now, Khurshid is away at a debate in a studio of the 24X7 news channel which the Congress treats as its own. Every evening, War Room I goes to meet War Room II, where the election management group meets. That’s 80 Lodi Estate, the unoccupied home of Maharashtra Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde. It also serves as an office for the Perfect Relations staff. They too monitor TV channels-the only difference is, there is one notebook for five people-and prepare press clippings.At 99 South Avenue, there is no super slickness-the tea is milky sweet and comes in chipped cups. Biscuits are bought on the spot with loose change. Cigarettes are smoked freely. Whether it is the London School of Economics-educated Yusuf Ansari or Aijaz Ilmi, owner of the Urdu paper Siyasat Jadeed, young politicians keep dropping in, with reports from the field. Ansari is just back from Aurangabad where 400 Shiv Sena workers joined the Congress, while Ilmi has moved with his son from Bangalore for the next three months. For them, the battle is just beginning.advertisementadvertisementlast_img read more

UFC president calls Jon Jones ‘biggest waste of talent ever’

first_imgJon Jones reacts after knocking out Daniel Cormier during UFC 214 in Anaheim, California, Saturday July, 29, 2017.  (Hans Gutknecht /Los Angeles Daily News via AP)Disgraced mixed martial artist Jon Jones has been given plenty of chances by the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), but his latest conundrum seems to be the final straw.After a string of run-ins with the law, the two-time UFC light heavyweight champion returned to glory last July, knocking out Daniel Cormier in UFC 214.ADVERTISEMENT Argentine bishop appears at court hearing on abuse charges Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH LATEST STORIES Cone apologizes to Black for handshake snub No more menthol cigarettes: New ban on tobacco, vape flavors Trump to designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist groups ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims “Whatever happens [with his suspension], happens. Believe me, I’m not mentally or emotionally invested in that anymore.” Khristian Ibarrola /raSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextcenter_img “The guy is so talented and gifted, God knows what he’d be doing right now if he had never got in trouble. He could possibly be the heavyweight champion and have the defense record that couldn’t be broken. The list goes on and on of what could’ve been with Jon Jones.”Aside from being practically undefeated—with his lone loss coming from a disqualification—Jones holds the prestige as the youngest fighter to hold UFC gold.His reign included eight-title defenses, but he’s also been stripped of the title on three separate occasions—another UFC record.Jones is currently awaiting a hearing at the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) regarding his latest drug failure, which could earn him a possible four-year suspension.Regardless of Jones’ verdict, White made it clear that he won’t be losing sleep over it anytime soon.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Winter storm threatens to scramble Thanksgiving travel plans Less than a month later, his win was overturned and he got stripped of the title after testing positive for Turinabol, a banned anabolic steroid.READ: UFC champ Jon Jones flagged for another failed doping testFEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingSpeaking during an interview on The TSN MMA Show, UFC President Dana White couldn’t help but express his disappointment with the promotion’s former poster boy.[It would be the biggest waste of talent] ever. Ever, in all of sports,” the UFC boss described Jones, as relayed by MMA Fighting. View commentslast_img read more