New Delhi: Viswanathan Anand, the five-time world champion, had finished seventh in the Tata Steel Rapid Chess championships in Kolkata. Heading into the blitz leg of the tournament, the expectations were low from Anand, who is ranked No.11 in the format.However, the 48-year-old put up a flawless display as he clinched the Tata Steel Chess Blitz Championship with a stunning display on the final day. After securing 7.5 out of nine points on the final day, he was tied for the lead with Hikaru Nakamura, considered to be the best blitz player in the world currently. In the ensuing two-round play-off, which was faster than blitz in a reduced time format of a three-minute game, Anand secured a win with white pieces and drew the last game to clinch the title with a score of 1.5-0.5.Read More | Vishy Anand loses on final day of Tata Steel Rapid Chess tournamentSpeaking after the end of the tournament, Anand said the feeling to do well in Kolkata, where he was playing for the first time since the Goodricke Open in 1992, was magical. “I wanted to show the audience what is that I do in some other parts of the world all the time and it was nice to be able to do it here. I did not have any problem with motivation. It genuinely meant a lot to me to do well here,” Anand said.Final day dramaHeading into the last day of the tournament, Anand put up a flawless display. Placed fourth after the end of the first leg, the Chennai Grandmaster secured six wins and three draws in the nine rounds. On the other hand, Nakamura had a forgettable outing on the final leg where he managed to win four and drew four and suffered a defeat to Pentala Harikrishna in the 11th round.Read More | Athlete Palender Chaudhary commits suicide at hostel room in DelhiIn the last round, 13-year-old Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa did a huge favour to Anand in the last round when he held Nakamura. Playing with whites against the 13-year-old, Nakamura was on the verge of winning but Praggnanandhaa probably displayed the best defensive game of his life to manage a miraculous draw that forced a playoff.Read More | It won’t be easy for Mary Kom, says High Performance Director NievaSilencing the criticsWith this win, Anand has once again silenced his detractors who were saying that age was catching up with the five-time world champion and that he should quit. In 2017, following a barren run in the last couple of seasons where he failed to make an impact in the World Championship cycle or in the Chess World Cup, Anand bounced back in sensational style to clinch the World Rapid Chess Championship in Riyadh in December 2017.In 2018, Anand had some mixed results but the Blitz Championship win in Kolkata has once again silenced critics. After the play-off, Nakamura paid Anand the ultimate compliment. “To me, what Vishy has done… I am almost certain I won’t be playing chess at that age. So it’s really remarkable and I think especially if you compare (him) against Gary (Kasparov) for example. Gary kind of came out of retirement to play in St Lucia. And I think Vishy did better than he did. It just shows what a truly amazing chess player he is,” Nakamura said.-With PTI inputs- For all the Latest Sports News News, Other Sports News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.
NHL mandatory training camps can open July 10, pending an agreement to returning to play later this summer.VIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTSTV money gives NFL leg up if fans can’t fill team’s coffersUNDATED (AP) — Timing favors the NFL over other major pro sports leagues in trying to figure out how to keep the coronavirus pandemic from wrecking the 2020 season. America’s most popular sport has another big advantage if the games are played: TV money.While NFL owners could lose billions collectively with limited capacities in stadiums or no fans at all, the league is well positioned financially because of lucrative media contracts approaching $10 billion in a full 2020 season. Players and MLB agreed to a deal March 26 calling for prorated salaries. That deal gave baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred the right to start the season provided there were no travel restrictions and games could be played before fans in regular-season ballparks. It called for “good faith” negotiations to play in empty ballparks or neutral sites.MLB made three economic offers, the last on Friday, and the union proposed two. The sides remain far apart on how much players should get of the $4 billion in salaries they originally were set to earn: MLB has offered to guarantee $1.27 billion and increase the total to $1.45 billion if the postseason is completed. Players want $2.25 billion.Players insist they should not have to accept additional cuts. A unilateral decision to start play could mean the playoffs would remain at 10 teams and not expand to 16, as both sides have proposed.NFL-BROWN-MAYFIELDMayfield “absolutely” will kneel during national anthem CLEVELAND (AP) — Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield plans to kneel during the national anthem this season to support protests of social injustice, police brutality and racism. In answering a post from a fan on his Instagram account Saturday that pleaded with him not to kneel, Mayfield responded: “Pull your head out. I absolutely am.″ Mayfield has been outspoken recently about the need for more understanding and justice in the nation following the killing of George Floyd, a black man, while in police custody in Minneapolis.On Friday, Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien said he would kneel with his players if they chose to do so during the anthem.Earlier this week, while not going as far as O’Brien, new Browns coach Kevin Stefanski made it clear he would back his players in any peaceful demonstrations.US SOCCER-NATIONAL ANTHEMU.S. Soccer president addresses repeal of anthem policy Update on the latest sports Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditWhatsappMLB-OUTBREAKBaseball players say talks futile, tell MLB to order returnNEW YORK (AP) — Baseball players have told Major League Baseball that additional talks to start the season during the coronavirus pandemic are futile. They said owners should order a return to work, which likely would spark lengthy litigation and the sport’s return to labor wars. The union’s action could lead to a season of about 50 games rather than the 82 initially proposed by MLB. The Major League Baseball Players Association could respond by filing a grievance that would be heard by arbitrator Mark Irvings. Koerner was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. His passenger was taken to a hospital by aircraft.COLLEGE BASKETBALL-MURPHY-SHOOTING LAWSUITLawsuit: Coach told Drake player to lie after shootingDES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Drake University student who was accidentally shot in the head by a basketball player alleges in a lawsuit that a coach instructed the player to lie to police.The Des Moines Register reports that Nathaniel Miller Jr. filed the lawsuit this week against the university, Bulldogs forward Tremell Murphy and the managers of the off-campus property near the university where the shooting happened during a party last August. It alleges that an unidentified coach showed up before officers arrived and told Murphy to deny any involvement. The lawsuit also alleges that proper medical care for the victim was delayed because of the misdirection from witnesses — An Arizona Coyotes staff member has tested positive for COVID-19 and is isolated at home in the Phoenix area. The teams say the staffer is asymptomatic and feeling well. The team says all other staff members or players involved in phase 2 of the NHL’s testing protocol have tested negative as teams prepare to start voluntary small-group workouts on Monday. NHL mandatory training camps can open July 10, pending an agreement to returning to play later this summer.— There will be a small crowd in the stands for NASCAR’s Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday. Some 1,000 fans, mostly members of the military, have been invited to watch the third Cup race in eight days. It will be the 22nd time that NASCAR will run at Homestead, but the first time in any month other than November. The weather is expected to be hot and humid.— Major League Baseball and the affiliated minor leagues are shut down but an independent circuit is set to open on July 3 with some fans in the seats. The American Association says six teams will play in three hubs, at least at the start of the season. Minnesota’s St. Paul Saints will play home games at Sioux Falls Stadium along with South Dakota’s Sioux Falls Canaries. Manitoba’s Winnipeg Goldeyes will be based at Newman Outdoor Field with North Dakota’s Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks. The Chicago Dogs will play home games at the Ballpark Commons with the Milwaukee Milkmen.— New Zealand has become one of the first nations in the world to welcome hordes of fans back into a packed sports stadium. More than 20,000 fans poured into a stadium in Dunedin to watch a rugby match Saturday, with no masks or social distancing required. New Zealand removed almost every remaining virus restriction this week after no new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the country for more than three weeks, and all those who contracted the disease were determined to have recovered. The only major restriction that wasn’t lifted was the shutdown of the country’s border.— A Norwich player has tested positive for the coronavirus ahead of the English Premier League resuming next week. The unidentified player featured in a practice game at Tottenham on Friday. He was one of two new COVID-19 cases detected after 1,200 people were tested at the 20 clubs on Thursday and Friday. Players and club staff are being tested twice a week across the league, which ends its pandemic-enforced 100-day shutdown on Wednesday with matches played in empty stadiums. Fitch Ratings recently affirmed its “A-plus” credit mark for the NFL and its properties in part because of the league’s media deals. Fitch says the NFL estimates each team’s media revenue at $250 million per season. The number gets bigger later in the contract, and each deal is set to expire in the next two years.So, it’s safe to say more than half of the league’s $15 billion in annual revenue comes from the TV deals shared equally among all 32 teams — unlike Major League Baseball, the NBA and NHL.MLB’s attempts to get the baseball season started are being held up in part by a disagreement over how to compensate players in the likelihood that owners will have no fan-related revenue.In other developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic:— Ash Barty has joined the ranks of high-profile players expressing concern over the staging of the U.S. Open while there’s still so much uncertainty around the coronavirus pandemic. The women’s No. 1 hasn’t had the chance yet to defend her French Open title because all elite tennis competition is shuttered. She’s still awaiting clarity on the U.S. Open, which is scheduled to start Aug. 31. Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have aired reservations about the potential restrictions on players and other changes being considered. Barty says “I understand the tournaments are eager to run but keeping everyone safe has to be the priority.” The university disputed the lawsuit’s claims in a statement Friday.According to police reports, Murphy initially told officers that Miller, a Texas resident who was 19 at the time of the shooting, had fallen on a wet floor and hit his head.Murphy pleaded guilty to misdemeanor counts of making false reports to law enforcement and discharging a firearm within city limits. He was fined, given a suspended 30-day jail sentence and placed on probation. The senior forward was also suspended from the basketball team for five games following the charges.FIFA INVESTIGATION-BLATTERFresh Swiss investigation targets ex-FIFA president Blatter Associated Press The cheers from there could be heard at the far end of the course.NHL-VIRUS OUTBREAKCayotes staff member tests positivePHOENIX, Ariz. (AP) — An Arizona Coyotes staff member has tested positive for COVID-19 and is isolated at home in the Phoenix area. The teams say the staffer is asymptomatic and feeling well.The team says all other staff members or players involved in phase 2 of the NHL’s testing protocol have tested negative as teams prepare to start voluntary small-group workouts on Monday. MIAMI (AP) — Kyle Busch’s slump wasn’t much of a slump. And it’s over now anyway. Busch won the NASCAR Trucks Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday night, his 58th career win on the circuit and his eighth victory in his last 10 series starts.Busch had to start at the back of the field, then serve a pass-through penalty on top of that, after failing pre-race inspection. But he managed to stay on the lead lap, then worked his way to the front and made it all seem easy.The race was red flagged for 16 minutes with 26 laps to go after Sheldon Creed crashed into the yellow protective barrels at the entrance to pit road and caused a huge mess. Once things resumed, it didn’t take long for Busch to reclaim the top spot.And then a late caution sent the field into a high-pressure restart with seven laps left, but Busch just pulled away — this time, for good.NASCAR-HOMESTEAD-XFINITY Colonial spectators in bushes and temporary tents off courseFORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — The PGA Tour has returned after three months because of the pandemic, and it has not taken long for fans to see what they were missing. Xander Schauffele (ZAN’-dur SHAWF’-lee) made a 12-foot birdie putt on the last hole for a 66 and a one-shot lead over an All-Star cast at the Charles Schwab Challenge. Among those one shot behind were Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland. Among the 14 players separated by three shots were Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose.That sets up what should by a dynamic Sunday with no spectators allowed on the course.But there were unofficial spectators watching at Colonial even though none are allowed on the course. There weren’t even tickets for Colonial members.But some of them had obstructed views from one of three temporary party tents and grandstands set up in the yards of nearby homes. UNDATED (AP) — U.S. Soccer President City Parlow Cone has apologized for the federation’s lack of leadership in the fight against racism. Parlow Cone on Saturday discussed the federation’s decision to repeal a policy that required players to stand during the national anthem.The rule had been adopted by U.S. Soccer in 2017 when national team player Megan Rapinoe kneeled during the anthem in support of Colin Kaepernick’s protests of police brutality and racial injustice.It was repealed this week during a special meeting called by Parlow Cone. On Saturday, she apologized to African Americans and other minorities “for us not being leaders in this fight.”NASCAR-BUSCHKyle Busch wins trucks race at Homestead — At a Spanish league match in which spectators were banned, a man ran on to the pitch and briefly delayed Mallorca (mah-YOHR’-kah) vs. Barcelona. Televised images showed the man walk on to the field and take a photo of himself with his mobile phone a few meters in front of Barcelona defender Jordi Alba. It is unclear if the young man, who was wearing an Argentina soccer shirt approached other players before he was escorted off by security. Play quickly resumed.COLLEGE FOOTBALL-IOWA-KOERNER HURTIowa defensive back Jack Koerner hurt in jet ski accidentIOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner (KOHR’-ner) sustained serious injuries when he and a passenger on a jet ski collided with a boat on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.Police say Koerner and the passenger were hurt Friday when their watercraft crashed into the side of a boat. June 15, 2020 Earnhardt returns; Burton wins Xfinity race at HomesteadMIAMI (AP) — A late caution flag gave Harrison Burton new life, and he took advantage.Burton took the inside line on the way to the lead in the final lap and held on to win the Xfinity Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway — denying, among others, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Noah Gragson, who seemed to be in full command with seven laps remaining.Burton, Gragson and Austin Cindric were three-wide going into that last lap, and it was Burton — the 19-year-old son of former Cup star Jeff Burton, who wound up in front in a wild finish.GOLF-COLONIAL GENEVA (AP) — Former FIFA (FEE’-fuh) president Sepp Blatter is the target of a criminal investigation in Switzerland for suspected mismanagement of a $1 million payment from soccer funds.Blatter has been notified by Swiss federal prosecutors he is an “accused person” over a loan FIFA gave in 2010 to the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association, according to a document seen by The Associated Press. The payment came from a FIFA account on April 13, 2010, and was interest-free, unsecured and later waived as a kind of gift, according to the document.The 84-year-old Blatter has denied any wrongdoing during decades of financial scandals linked to soccer’s world governing body, though he was banned from the presidency and risks being brought to trial in his home country.It is the latest allegation in Swiss and American federal investigations tying FIFA to irregular payments benefiting Jack Warner, its former vice president from Trinidad who is fighting extradition to the United States.
By Martyn HermanPARIS, France (Reuters) – Defending champion Rafael Nadal continued to chomp his way through the French Open draw yesterday and Roger Federer also maintained his smooth progress into the third round.It felt like a case of deja vu for Spaniard Nadal, the second seed, as for the second match running he dispatched a German qualifier named Yannick in brutal fashion.After beating Yannick Hanfmann for the loss off six games in round one, he conceded seven against Yannick Maden in a 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 win on Court Suzanne Lenglen, crunching 43 winners in the process. Things might get more tricky next, when he faces Belgium’s David Goffin but the 11-time champion is already on a roll.“We know that he’s at home at the French Open. He’s the king,” 27th seed Goffin said.Third seed Federer also played an obscure German, 25-year-old lucky loser Oscar Otte, ranked 144th in the world.Federer, wearing pale brown shorts, turned the screw just enough, breaking serve at a juncture of each set for a clinical, yet eye-catching 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 victory. After missing the last three French Opens he has found the groove straightaway with six near-perfect sets.“I must say I feel really good, you know, considering I haven’t played here in that long,” the 37-year-old said.The women’s draw lost another big name as Kiki Bertens, the Dutch fourth seed, was forced to retire early on against Viktoria Kuzmova, saying she had been up all night vomiting. She joined fifth seed Angelique Kerber and 13th seed Caroline Wozniacki and 2017 champion Jelena Ostapenko through the exit door.There were no alarms for 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza who beat Johanna Larsson to set up a clash with ninth seed Elina Svitolina, who enjoyed a walkover against Kateryna Kozlova. Last year’s runner-up Sloane Stephens also reached the third round, beating Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-1, 7-6(3).Marin Cilic’s hopes of completing his set of Grand Slam finals came to an abrupt end as the 11th seed lost a four-hour 23-minute five-setter against Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov. That was one of two matches that in previous years would have graced the latter stages of a Grand Slam, the other one seeing Japan’s Kei Nishikori beat home favourite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga after losing the opening set.Former world number three Dimitrov, unseeded this year, will have to be at his best again in the third round when he faces 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka. The Swiss 24th seed was in scintillating form to beat Chile’s Cristian Garin, second on the list for claycourt wins this year, 6-1, 6-4, 6-0.Greek sixth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, tipped as the man most likely to provide a breakthrough for the next generation this fortnight, battled past Bolivian Hugo Dellien.French hopes were boosted with youngster Corentin Moutet posting an impressive win over 19th seed Guido Pella, while Benoit Paire beat compatriot Pierre-Hugues Herbert 11-9 in the fifth set of a thriller.
* STL hits Silver Cup semisLagos Leighton Kings gallop off to a brilliant start in the Open Cup with a 10 – 6 ½ win over Lagos A-Plus as the GTBank-sponsored 2017 NPA Lagos International Polo Tournament gathers momentum.Argentine pro, Santiago Cernadas (+6) was the architect of Kings’ triumph scoring six of his team’s goals in the five-chukka match. Hassan Fayad (+1), who scored a goal, Bowale Jolaosho (0) and Martin Juaregi, another four-goaler from Argentina featured for the winning side.Ahmadu Umar (+3) opened scoring for A-Plus but it proved to be that he and his teammates namely Lukman Adebayo (+1), Isa Kwame (+3) and Abdulrahman Mohammed (+3), had bitten more that they can chew as Leighton Kings ran riot from the second to the fourth chukkas scoring eight goals in succession to lead 10 – 2 1/2 heading to the last chukka.The spirited performance of A-Plus got them reduced the deficit with Adebayo (twice) Kwame and Abdulrahman getting on the score sheets for a final 10 – 6 1/2 score-line. In the Silver Cup, Lagos STL defeated Kano Manarat 7-3 to progress to the semifinal whileIbadan Challenge and Kano Agad both bounced back with wins following defeats in their previous matches in the Silver Cup.Ibrahim Musa Dantala was the star man netting five goals for STL, who had a convincing 11-3 win over Ibadan Challenge in their first match in League 1.Dantala, a +2 handicap, who won the MVP at the Kaduna International Polo Tournament last May, opened the score in the tough match via a breakaway move.Fellow two-goaler, Tata Alikura missed back-to-back chances – the latter which saw him missed a tap-in shot having been set up by Dantala.Manarat, formed by Najib Galandachi (0), Khalil Halilu (0), Jamilu Umar (+2) and Sarki Waziri (0), drew level through their hit-man Umar but Dantala restored the home side’s lead to end the second chukka 2-1.Both sides scored a combined 19 goals in their previous matches and the three goals scored with half part of the match reflected the tightness of the match. However, Dantala took matters upon himself scoring two goals early in the third chukka but Halilu pecked back scores to 4-2 heading to the last chukka.Alikura redeemed himself scoring the game’s next two goals one of which was an open back-hander, greeted with a resounding applause.Umar scored again for Manarat to make scores 6-3 but Dantala signed off a great performance with another goal for STL who also have Seyi Tinubu (-1) and Lolu Agoro (-1)In the preceding match, Ibadan Challenge put themselves back into contention for qualification with a 6 – 2 1/2 win over Lagos Redefini. Babao Lawal (+1) and Sodiq Rabiu made significant contribution to help Challenge to a triumphant outing.Redefini were in the spotlight by parading Natalie Allan, the only female player featuring in the 11-day tournament.“It’s fun and exciting to play my first match at the Lagos International Polo Tournament. This is a prestigious event and to play with Mamuda Shehu is an honour,” the -2 handicap said.Kano Agad had a field day as they steamrolled Lagos Adcom 9 – 2 1/2 with Nabil and Abba Dantata running the show. The high margin win enhanced their chances of qualifying to the knock-out stage.Three Silver Cup matches and an Open Cup match are scheduled for Friday. Kano Nakudu face Lagos Insight Redefini and Ibadan Jericho confront Lagos Ardant while Lagos Aragon tussle with Lagos Adcom. A juicy final match of the day will see Lagos Riverlake Caverton go head-to-head with Lagos Lintex.The tournament splits to two weekends also has Bell Oil & Gas, Veuve Clicquot, Old Mutual, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production, Southern Sun, Balmoral, Majekodunmi Family as co-sponsors while Wapic Insurance, Chapel Hill Denham, Metro Capital, Arbico, Elektrint Nigeria Limited and Elper Oilfield Engineering Nigeria Limited as Cups sponsors.The first week will be rounded off on Sunday.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Senior guard Teah Gant and the Wisconsin women\’s basketball team will look to continue its hot streak as the Penn State Nittany Lions come to the Kohl Center. The winner will move to 2nd place in the standings.[/media-credit]On the verge of cracking the Associated Press Top 25 for the first time since 2001-02, the Wisconsin women’s basketball team (15-4, 5-3) will try to extend its win streak to five when the Badgers play host to Penn State (13-4, 5-2) Thursday night at the Kohl Center.The game presents a battle for second-place in the Big Ten, with the winner trailing only Ohio State (19-1, 7-0), the No. 5 team in the country, for conference supremacy.Tara Steinbauer, who led the Badgers to their fourth straight win with a career-high 23 points against Illinois on Sunday, said the second-place carrot provides a relatively strong incentive.“This is a huge game for us,” the junior forward said. “We have this slogan that every game is the biggest game of the year — I think that this game isn’t bigger than any other game, but we definitely are hungry for it. … It’s the battle for second-place in the conference and we want it.”In addition to the implications for the conference standings, the game also will present a stark contrast in playing styles. Heading into the contest, the Nittany Lions rank second in the Big Ten in scoring with an average of 69.4 points per game, while the Badgers are dead last, averaging just over 60.However, the cardinal and white lead the league in scoring defense, allowing just 52.2 points per game, compared to more than 62 for the visiting team (though PSU is No. 1 in defensive field goal percentage).In fact, UW’s stifling defense ranks seventh nationally and is continuing to improve. Over the course of its current four-game winning streak, Lisa Stone’s squad has surrendered an average of just 48.8 points.Equally pleasing for Stone has been the team’s improvement in taking care of the basketball — referencing Sunday’s contest in particular, when Wisconsin turned the ball over only 10 times, their second-lowest total of the season.According to Stone, those two areas are imperative for continued success.“We want to stay focused, keep building our defense, keep sharing the ball on offense, take care of the ball,” Stone said. “[Against Illinois] we only had those 10 turnovers. That’s a significant stat for us. If you keep playing defense and take care of the ball, good things usually happen.”Tonight, though, both will be put to the test against a talented Penn State team that is off to its best start since 2003-04.The Nittany Lions’ attack is led by senior guard Tyra Grant — not to be confused with Wisconsin’s Teah Gant — a reigning All-Big Ten first team selection who is currently second in the conference in scoring with an average of 19.7 a game. Last season, in a heart-breaking 58-56 overtime loss to Penn State, Grant dropped a game-high 32 on UW, on 12-of-24 shooting.“You don’t stop Tyra Grant, you do everything you can to disrupt her,” Stone said of the opponent’s star. “She’s a special player. She can score from a lot of different areas in a lot of different ways. … Teah Gant will have the matchup with her, but she’ll have a lot of help. Our team needs to guard Tyra Grant.”But the Nittany Lions are far from a one-trick show — their roster features exceptional height, with six players over 6-foot-1, as well as freshman point guard Alex Bentley, who ranks second among conference freshman in assists and fourth in both points and steals.This week Bentley shared the Big Ten Freshman of the Week award with Wisconsin’s first year star Taylor Wurtz.Yet despite the challenges of Penn State, the magnitude of the battle for second-place and expectations growing commensurate with the team’s winning percentage, Stone said she isn’t worried about her team maintaining its focus and composure.“This team is not one that celebrates in the locker room after victories, they don’t cry in defeat,” Stone said. “They understand that there’s areas that we need to continue to improve on. … But I’m proud of the fact that this group of young women, they compete every day and they’re together. And they want to get better, and they want to accomplish some things. But the next thing they’re going to accomplish is getting ready for Penn State.”
Share After securing a near majority approval of its shareholders to proceed with the proposed acquisition of Ladbrokes Coral Plc, GVC Holdings has further receivgo-aheado ahead of its investor counterparts at the FTSE100 betting group.The transaction is now set to be forwarded on to the United Kingdom’s High Court for final judgement (target date 23 March)It has, however, been a long road to get to this point, with potential takeover speculation arising in the City of London as far back as December 2016.By mid 2017 it was reported that FTSE-listed GVC had failed with a bid, which valued Ladbrokes Coral group assets at £2.7 billion, with a proposed incentive of 50p per share, pricing its bid at £3.6 billion.In early December of last year the online gaming group informed that “detailed discussions” were ongoing between the parties, with a view to forming “the outright UK gambling market leader.”Ladbrokes Coral detailed the acceptance of the terms of a GVC bid a few days before Christmas, containing a contingency entitlement based on the results of a government review into the maximum stakes of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs).The initial bid, equating to £3.2bn (160.9p per share), is based on a FOBT maximum stake outcome of £2, and would rise in increments towards £4bn, which would represent a £50 judgement, depending on the final outcome of the review.Under the terms of the deal GVC, who also operate the bwin, Sportingbet and Party Gaming brands, would own a 53.5% majority of the proposed merged group.Labelled as a “bold and ambitious” bid by analysts, current GVC CEO Kenneth Alexander is in line to occupy a similar role in the enlarged organisation, which it was confidently stated would create “a fast-growing, diversified, international online and retail sports betting led gaming group.” Whilst it was also added that in accordance with London’s City code on acquisitions and takeovers, upon completing the merger with GVC Holdings, Ladbrokes Coral will suspend its premium listing as a FTSE enterprise.Following the commencement of a Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) review into the takeover, in particular whether “a substantial lessening of competition” could ensue, a £1.4bn debt syndication deal was revealed by GVC for its intended debt-financed takeover.Announcing a ‘Lien Term B’ debt-bond, comprising Sterling, Euro and US Dollar, GVC also stated that through the restructured debt syndication it will gain access to a £550m multi-currency revolving credit facility.The debt proceeds will be used to “satisfy the cash consideration payable to Ladbrokes Coral Shareholders,” should all final hurdles be cleared.GVC will also further use refinanced proceeds to clear certain Ladbrokes Coral debt obligations, deal costs and expenses.In its Ladbrokes Coral prospectus, published earlier this year, GVC stated it will seek to implement a number of key strategic enlargement initiatives, with fast growth and profits for investors key: Diversified strategy focusing on scale within regulated marketsEstablish leading UK operations with a complementary international revenue baseCreation of a true global gaming & betting enterpriseDeveloping market leading scalable technology systemsClear group focus on sports bettingStrong emphasis on combined synergy creations Further advantages highlighted are the strengths of leadership combination, and the importance of technology ownership to help achieve effective multi-channel distribution combined with high flexibility and scalability across all verticals.After being given the go ahead from both parties, the High Court is scheduled to give its final verdict on Monday 26 of this month.Speaking as GVC published its FY2017 results, Alexander commented: “The importance of geographic diversification is also a key dynamic given the evolving regulatory backdrop. “Thus the acquisition of Ladbrokes Coral Group represents an exciting opportunity, bringing together industry-leading online and retail brands. There will be plenty of hard work ahead, but we are confident that GVC will deliver once again.” Share Jason Ader – No Boogeyman… Activism will play a vital part in reshaping gambling August 20, 2020 Related Articles GVC hires ‘comms pro’ Tessa Curtis to re-energise media profile August 25, 2020 Submit GVC absorbs retail shocks as business recalibrates for critical H2 trading August 13, 2020 StumbleUpon
Related Articles UKGC launches fourth National Lottery licence competition August 28, 2020 Submit Share StumbleUpon Share ASA monitoring sweep marks gambling as the worst underage advertising offender August 26, 2020 UK gambling adopts toughest online advertising code to protect underage audiences August 27, 2020 The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has launched a new era for responsible gambling as the UK’s four leading operators have pledged to spend £100 million on improving treatment support services.The £100 million funding, which is backed by bet365, Flutter Entertainment, GVC Holdings and William Hill, will be issued to GambleAware who will be the main commissioning agent for ensuring funds reach those that require counselling and treatment.It will form part of the operators’ ‘2019 pledge’ to increase research, education and treatment (RET) funding by expanding their levy contributions from 0.1% to 1% over the next five years.Peter Jackson, CEO of Flutter Entertainment, said: “GambleAware has a long track record in commissioning treatment services and working with providers for the benefit of problem gamblers.“Through the provision of this unprecedented level of financial support, we aim to achieve a step-change in the treatment and counselling available to those experiencing gambling-related harm.“As an industry, we are taking significant strides to build in further protections for customers. From increasing safer gambling messages in response to Covid-19, to a £10 million nationwide education initiative targeting all 11-19 years olds across the country, we are creating a safer environment for our customers while devoting resources to protecting the vulnerable and under-age.”In addition, the BGC confirmed that £2.5 million will be made available to YGAM and GamCare’s new educational programmes during this financial year. BGC Chief Executive Michael Dugher emphasised that the new funding highlights the industry’s determination to improve problem gambling treatment. He said: “As the new body representing the regulated betting and gaming industry, we are committed to driving up standards.“This latest funding commitment is yet more evidence of the industry’s determination to improve the quality and provision of treatment for problem gamblers – and of our members’ eagerness to get on with it as quickly as possible.”Supporting new RET initiatives, the BGC also confirmed that an additional £3.8 million of funding will be directed to the ‘BetRegret 2020’ advertising campaign to encourage safer gambling and warn the public of at-risk gambling behaviours. The industry’s enhanced funding and collaborative efforts have been welcomed by Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who added: “I’ve seen first hand how problem gambling can damage people’s mental health and affect the lives of those around them – and I’ve been determined to help protect vulnerable people from the impacts.“So I’m delighted the Betting and Gaming Council is taking these steps to support treatment and provision for problem gamblers. The Government will continue to tackle the consequences of problem gambling by rolling out specialist services on the NHS, which will offer expert care and treatment for those who need it.”Meanwhile, DCMS Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston urged wider betting incumbents to follow suit on RET responsibilities by stating: “We have been clear that the gambling industry has a responsibility to protect people from gambling-related harm and support those who have been affected.“DCMS will monitor closely the progress of these new measures and continue to encourage the wider industry to step up.” Brigid Simmonds, chairman of the BGC, said: “It is a credit to our large members that they remain committed to increased funding for RET and to the promises made to the Secretary of State for £100 million to go to funding treatment over the next four years.“Ensuring that GambleAware are the main beneficiaries of this announcement recognises their independence, their links with the Department of Health and Social Care and health professionals and their acknowledged expertise as a commissioning body.”
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisAlpena, Mich.-Meet Alex, Kennedy, and Paige these are the Chmura sisters taking over Alpena Community College.Their unique story started all the back in a small town of Omer, Michigan traveling to the North Pole in Alaska, then landing them in Alpena all for a chance to study nursing; and yes I did say the North Pole.24-Year- Old Alex is a 2015 Registered Nurse graduate, and now works in Carson City, Nevada, 21–year–old Paige earned her nursing pin this week, and baby Kennedy is the youngest at 20- years old following behind her sister’s footsteps.As a nurse, it’s tradition to pin a fellow nurse during their graduation ceremony. Wednesday night the crowd witness that honor by the Chmura sisters. The girl’s mother said she would trust her daughters with any medical emergency. As for as working in the same hospital this trio already has that figured out. But one thing will remain the same, their nurse nickname.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisContinue ReadingPrevious Greenbush man charged for stealing unlocked car at Alpena gas stationNext Insurance agents fill up struggling food bank before the holidays
Buss also sounded irritated that the story depended on anonymous sources both from NBA agents and rival executives as well as so-called “Lakers insiders.”“I read the story. I don’t agree with any of it,” Buss said. “If there is somebody that’s on our payroll who is saying things like that, I’ll soon get to the bottom of it and they won’t be working with us any more. That is an unacceptable comment, especially when it’s anonymous.”The story has sparked wide-ranging criticism both from the Lakers and from various media outlets, ranging from the article’s accuracy and heavy use on anonymous sources. The story also did not mention other factors that led the Lakers’ recent struggles, including swift coaching changes, significant injuries, the vetoed Chris Paul trade and the passing of late Lakers owner Jerry Buss.Jeanie Buss also appeared on Colin Cowherd’s radio show and ESPN’s First Take to make similar points. But she also expounded on topics outside of Bryant’s recent portrayal on the so-called World Wide Leader of Sports. Buss said Dwight Howard’s defection from the Lakers to the Houston Rockets stemmed more from frustration regarding his role in Mike D’Antoni’s offense than his poor relationship with Bryant. Buss believed Pau Gasol left this offseason for Chicago in part because of the constant trade rumors that swirled around him since the NBA nixed the Paul deal in 2011 that would have sent Gasol to Houston. Buss gushed about the Lakers talking this offseason with Carmelo Anthony, but believed he stayed with the New York Knicks because he wanted to stake a legacy there. Buss also expressed a vote of confidence for Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and executive/sibling Jim Buss. She also confirmed that her brother, Jim, has said he will bring the Lakers back to championship contention within three years. As the team president, Buss said in general terms she has the authority to fire or hire anybody in the organization. “I’m behind our front office 100 percent.” Buss said on ESPN’s First Take. “I feel that my job is to give them all the tools they need to be successful so we have the best fans, the best arena, the best broadcast partners and the best sponsors. I’ve done all that I need to do. Now it’s up to them to do their job.” Lakers president Jeanie Buss made the rounds on various ESPN shows on Thursday, defending Kobe Bryant with the same prolific and intense nature in which the Lakers’ star scores.Buss strongly dismissed a recent ESPN the Magazine article that portrayed Bryant as the primary reason for the Lakers’ recent demise, including their ability both to attract and retain marquee free agents.“Any free agent that would be afraid to play with Kobe Bryant is probably a loser,” Buss said on SportsCenter. “I’m glad they wouldn’t come to the team.”That did not mark the only reason why Buss was upset with Bryant’s portrayal, which included criticism of the Lakers’ extending him to two-year, $48.5-million extension shortly before Bryant would only last six games because of separate injuries to his left Achilles tendon and left knee. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
By the end of Sunday night, the NFL playoff picture will be in place.There’s still plenty to be settled in Week 17, with the final spot in the AFC up for grabs and plenty of seeding in flux for the NFC. There are eight 1 p.m. games, which will go a long way to deciding NFC seedings. The 12-3 Packers face the Lions, and the 12-3 Saints visit Carolina. Minnesota (10-5) hosts the Bears.The 4:25 slot features all sorts of action. All three AFC wild card contenders kickoff: Tennessee against Houston, Pittsburgh in Baltimore and Oakland at Denver.The Sunday night is the battle for the NFC West. Seattle hosts the 49ers.NFL scores Week 17Sunday, Dec. 29GameBills vs. JetsBengals vs. BrownsLions vs. PackersChiefs vs. ChargersVikings vs. BearsPatriots vs. DolphinsBuccaneers vs. FalconsPanthers vs. SaintsCowboys vs. RedskinsBroncos vs. RaidersRams vs. CardinalsGiants vs. EaglesJaguars vs. ColtsRavens vs. SteelersTexans vs. TitansSeahawks vs. 49ers MORE: Watch NFL Week 17 games live with fuboTV (7-day free trial)The Steelers (8-7), Titans (8-7) and Raiders (7-8) are all still in contention for the second AFC wild card spot, making their three games huge. In the NFC, the 49ers and Seahawks will play for the NFC West, and the Eagles look to secure the East.Here’s everything you need to know about the NFL Week 17 games, including a full schedule with TV channels, start times and scores.MORE: NFL playoff clinching scenarios for Week 17NFL schedule Week 17: What games are on today?Here’s the full schedule for Week 17 of the NFL season, plus final scores and how to watch every game live.You can keep up with live scores and stats with SN’s live scoreboard.Note: National broadcasts are listed in bold.Sunday, Dec. 29GameTimeChannelBills vs. Jets1 p.m.CBS, fuboTVBengals vs. Browns1 p.m.Fox, fuboTVLions vs. Packers1 p.m.Fox, fuboTVChiefs vs. Chargers1 p.m.CBS, fuboTVVikings vs. Bears1 p.m.Fox, fuboTVPatriots vs. Dolphins1 p.m.CBS, fuboTVBuccaneers vs. Falcons1 p.m.Fox, fuboTVPanthers vs. Saints1 p.m.Fox, fuboTVCowboys vs. Redskins4:25 p.m.Fox, fuboTVBroncos vs. Raiders4:25 p.m.CBS, fuboTVRams vs. Cardinals4:25 p.m.Fox, fuboTVGiants vs. Eagles4:25 p.m.Fox, fuboTVJaguars vs. Colts4:25 p.m.CBS, fuboTVRavens vs. Steelers4:25 p.m.CBS, fuboTVTexans vs. Titans4:25 p.m.CBS, fuboTVSeahawks vs. 49ers8:20 p.m.NBC, fuboTVMORE: NFL TV coverage map for Week 17How to watch, live stream NFL gamesAs always, Week 17 has no Thursday or Monday games, making Sunday jam-packed, especially in the late-afternoon slot.