Football in 2015 saw an administration further entrenching itself, successfully withstanding a weak challenge to its holding on to the reins of power. When will those who struggle come to the realisation that strength is all about money and the ability to manipulate and steer others, utilising the mighty dollar as the main tool? Is not that what is being seen, as the world’s top administrator in the game, is being exposed – his own power base threatened and having great difficulty evading the searchlights of scrutiny? An often belittled and disrespected press (most definitely so, in this corner of the woods) can take pride in that it all started with the insistence of a British journalist. He was not giving up on his substantial claims that there was something rotten in the state of Switzerland (the FIFA headquarters). The country has begun its quest to be in the final 32 who will adorn Qatar for the FIFA World Cup 2018. There is an overabundance of reliance on players who know little, if anything, about Jamaica to get us there. The decision makers face a dilemma. Do they stick with the current mantra and still not make it or try to build from among ‘our own’ and delay the process? Foster’s Fairplay shares their pain in trying to respond. The Sunshine Girls netball boss, workaholic Marva Bernard, has stepped away from the steering wheel, after generations of sheer passion and commitment. It was consistent contribution to a cause that had criticisms as constant components. Her unswerving faith in Australian coach supreme, Jill Patterson, was severely tested. Ability to enter the marketplace and win deep-pocketed friends in support was put on the line. There was talk of the Age Animo graduate and one-time national airline executive being too intimately involved with her role. Despite the team seemingly stuck in the 3-4 ranking in world reckoning, the fact that ‘my girls’ held on to it was something about which the supporters must be thankful. This, as some African countries are catching up. Only time will tell whether the new regime under leader, Dr Paula Daley-Morris, and her support group can mount a long-awaited return to the No. 1 status once enjoyed. It feels like so long. Given space afforded this column, very little is left to address cricket. Thank God, as the least said, the better. As this is being written, the West Indies team is once again embarrassing itself in the Boxing Day Test in Australia with another gutless display of inept batting and lack of the penetration that can net wickets on a regular basis. Did someone just say, “He who cares not cannot be embarrassed”? Foster’s Fairplay suggests withholding salaries, pending some investigation. – For feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org The mighty dollar In a matter of days, it will be time to put a wrap on the sporting experience that was 2015. As is usually the case elsewhere, there was a mix of good days and some not so good. To further qualify the sentiment, one could say brilliance and the atrocious, respectively. In reviewing, Foster’s Fairplay assesses the four disciplines which enjoy the widest international reach. Track and field continues to massage our taste buds, with the quality of performances at the global level being as delectable as it can get. The brightest spark, the icing on the cake, came in the August Beijing World Championships. Some will view the reaction to the Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce sprint victories at the event as unappreciative and undervalued, even disrespectful. This is not a guilty plea, but the monotony (was searching for a kinder word) tends to decrease the impact. With that thought, which could return to haunt, this columnist is considering as the performer and performance of the elite spectacle, the precocious 23-year-old miss, out of coach Lennox Graham’s US Collegiate programme at the Johnson C. Smith University in North Carolina, Danielle Williams. The new 100m hurdles World champion had her event shorn of its most illustrious practitioner, Australia’s Sally Pearson, due an early-season mishap. Then, with the well-lettered Americans, including defending champion Brianna Rollins, bowing out at different stages, the way was clear for a shock winner. It need not have been the former Queen’s School, Lloyd Clarke-conditioned younger sister of fellow finalist, Shermaine. The inescapable fact is that it was another Danielle, unscathed and unfazed, after being in a den of lions (or lionesses, if preferred). That she seized the platform of her golden moment to recall, in her post-race interview, her upbringing during her sojourn at the Kingsgate Prep School is, for this columnist, the final ingredient that befits the tag of 2015’s best. The black, green and gold boasts a healthy tradition to be maintained in the sport. With that in mind, it brought great pleasure to record the result of the early exposure to the big times, coming from Janeive Russell (6th in the 400mh) and Shericka Jackson’s surprise (is it really?) bronze medal in the 400m.
KINGSTON:Netball Jamaica is working to expand the Sunshine Open League to become an islandwide competition, which will unearth new talent from every parish across the country for the 2017 season.The league, which is sponsored by the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS), currently comprises 72 teams that are primarily based in the Corporate Area.Dr Paula Daley-Morris, president of Netball Jamaica, who was speaking at the closing ceremony of the 2016 NJ/JNBS Sunshine Open League held at the National Indoor Sports Centre last Saturday, said: “Preparatory work undertaken by the organisation over the past three years will help to inform the new league structure to be implemented in 2017.”She explained that the organisation has been establishing parish associations and has been sensitising its members about the need to go this route. This is part of Netball Jamaica’s plan to really become a national body; to manage the sport across the country, and not only operate in Kingston and St Andrew.The new cross-country league structure is expected to facilitate a minimum of 20 teams from each parish in the three leagues organised by Netball Jamaica.”I am sure we’ll be able to find more teams. We will be running three leagues – major, minor and intermediate. Therefore, we will have enough leagues to be able to filter the talent across those leagues according to their ability levels,” Dr Daley-Morris emphasised.The University of the West Indies (UWI) Pelicans emerged the overall champions of the 2016 season of the Sunshine Open League after defeating the Molynes United ‘A’ team 30-19, while the University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) Knights defeated SPEG ‘A’ 40-28 for the Group ‘B’ Consolation Open League title.Paulette Sterling, JN senior manager, strategy and special projects, said the 25-year-long support of the league by Jamaica National is one of its longest such partnerships with a sports entity.”Our management and employees continue to be passionate about netball and see positive opportunities for the players to hone their skills and perform with excellence in the game, as well as in their respective lives,” she said.
MADRID (AP): An early goal by youngster Saul Niguez gave AtlÈtico Madrid a gritty 1-0 victory over Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final yesterday. The 21-year-old Niguez cleared three defenders before entering the area and hitting a low, well-placed shot into the far corner in the 11th minute. Diego Simeone’s tough defence then took over and AtlÈtico held on for an important victory at the Vicente CalderÛn Stadium. A draw next week in Germany will be enough for Simeone’s side to reach the final for the second time in the last three seasons. “It’s still wide open,” Simeone said. “The return game should be just as exciting for everyone watching it. It will be a difficult challenge against a very strong team.” Pep Guardiola’s Bayern, trying to reach the final for the first time since winning the title in 2013, came close to equalising with a long-range shot by David Alaba in the 54th, but the ball struck the crossbar, with AtlÈtico goalkeeper Jan Oblak already beaten. Striker Fernando Torres could have increased AtlÈtico’s advantage in the 75th, but he also struck the woodwork after a breakaway. “It was a fantastic night, and I’m happy for all AtlÈtico supporters,” Torres said. “We’ve got what we wanted, which was to get the scoreline in our favour ahead of the second leg.” Real Madrid and Manchester City drew 0-0 in their first-leg match in England on Tuesday.
BEIJING, China:He didn’t need to be at his best to be the best after all.Usain Bolt’s reign as the ‘King of Sprints’ continued where it started, at the Birds Nest, as the sprinting superstar retained his 200 metres title, putting the stamp on a night when Jamaica added two medals to its tally at the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China.There’s more on offer today with fast-rising sprinter Elaine Thompson leading Jamaica’s trio in the women’s 200m final with a head-on clash with Dutch power-block Dafne Schippers worth going miles to see.All six hurdlers are also still in contention for spots in the sprint hurdles finals, with the semi-finals and finals of the women’s 100m hurdles and the final of the men’s 110m hurdles set to face the starter today.The Jamaicans will enter today’s seventh day of competition in the number-three spot on the table with five medals to their credit – three gold and two bronze after quarter-miler Shericka Jackson added a 400m bronze medal to the tally as well.Freshly confirmed, Emperor Bolt, who claimed an unmatched fourth 200m world title, wasted little time in laying down the law, scolding American Justin Gatlin, who followed him to the line in second place after making statements with which Bolt took issue.opened daylightBolt came off the curve just ahead of Gatlin but opened daylight between himself and the American, easing down, smiling, and even celebrating some 10 metres from the line, stopping the clock at a world-leading 9.55 seconds, with Gatlin next best at 19.75, and Anaso Jobodwana (South Africa), 19.87.”Why I really celebrated is because Justin Gatlin said earlier in the week that he was going to bring out something special in the 200m, so I was like, ‘You don’t talk about my 200m like that,’ so I had to prove to him that I was still number one,” said Bolt.”There were never any doubts to me. Maybe there was doubt for a lot of people, but there were never any doubts for me that I would win my 200m. I was feeling better throughout the rounds, running myself into shape,” said Bolt. “I told you guys at the start of the championship that the only worry I have is that I wasn’t race sharp. So the more I got through the rounds, the better I felt, so I got better, the more I ran.Bolt is now one more 200m medal away from being the athlete with the most medals in the event at the World Championships level.Nickel Ashmeade’s struggles continued as he finished eighth in the final in a time of 20.88 seconds.Twenty-one-year-old Shericka Jackson – the youngest in the women’s 400m field by a few months over The Bahamas’ Shaunae Miller – was one of four Jamaican participants in the final. This was the first time that any country was able to field four athletes at a World Championships.personal best timesJackson, a member of the University of Technology/MVP set-up, kept as close as she could to American Allyson Felix in the first 200m, coming off the curve in second place before Miller stormed back, Felix winning in a world-leading 49.26 seconds ahead of Miller, 49.67, and Jackson, 49.99, with the two Caribbean ladies posting personal best times.”I’ve worked really hard for the last few months, but it’s honestly a shocker,” exclaimed Jackson. “My coach (Stephen Francis) always believed I could do it.”The other Jamaicans, Christine Day, 50.14 (PB), Stephenie-Ann McPherson, 50.42, and Novlene Williams-Mills, 50.47, finished fourth to sixth in what was a hugely entertaining contest.National champion Elaine Thompson is the second-fastest qualifier heading into today’s 200m final after a comfortable 22.13 win in her semi-final yesterday. Thompson, who said she is eager to push for a medal, will be joined in the final by the experienced pair of Veronica Campbell-Brown, who clocked 22.47 for third in her semi-final, and Sherone Simpson.In the men’s 110m hurdles, neither Omar McLeod, 13.14, or Hansle Parchment, 13.2, have been particularly smooth, but they both have lanes in today’s final while the trio of Danielle Williams, her sister, Shermaine Williams, and Kimberly Laing will be hunting spots in the final in today’s semis on the schedule.Earlier, Fedrick Dacres impressed in producing the best throw – 65.77m, after only his first attempt in discus qualifying to book his spot in the final, while Chad Wright 61.53m, and Jason Morgan, 60.85m, failed to progress.
JAMAICA’s combined martial arts team departs the island tomorrow, headed for the Siberian town of Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, on the invitation of the All Russian Taekwon-Do ITF Federation. A three-man Jamaica team is down to face hosts Russia, Greece and Germany in the Four Nations Cup set for Sunday. Captain Nicholas Dusard and Olympian Kenneth Edwards lead the charge for Jamaica, which will field a new invitee, Calabar High School’s Trevor Webb Jr, who has been kicking up a storm in the McKay Security High School Tae Kwon Do league. Jason McKay travels as Webb’s coach, whereas the experienced pair of Dusard and Edwards will be under the guidance of Master Claude Chin. “It’s the first time fighting in Russia for me, but Kenneth was there earlier this year for the World Taekwondo Federation’s World Championships,” Dusard told The Gleaner. “I am very familiar with the Russian fighters, not the Greek fighters,” said Dusard. “Though I am not sure which of the Russians are coming, I am familiar with their better fighters,” he added. “I am also familiar with Germany. They have a very strong team. I know it will be a very good competition, but I am clueless to the Greek fighters. I don’t know them at all,” the team captain added. Meanwhile, former captain McKay said it was undecided whether Jamaica would fight in the team event or individuals. “Though it’s a team championship, we are unsure whether we are entering a team. The combined team only fights in tournaments which guarantee equal umpiring representation – host and visitor, or neutral,” he explained. “That’s the only uncertainty, but we will definitely fight individuals,” McKay added, pointing out that Webb will be under scrutiny, fighting in the -68 kilograms division. “He is considered one of our more promising teens since the transition of Akino Lindsay to the adult ranks,” he said. first time fighting
Noted athletics coach, David Riley, says Jamaica could develop top-class male horizontal jumpers in three to four years. Riley, who is head coach at Excelsior High School, says Jamaica has the talent. He believes this goal could be achieved by better management of Jamaica’s jumpers, the introduction of specialist jump meets, and a broader Jamaican view of the sport. He noted that the jumps, and especially the triple jump, exert huge forces on the body. “If you’re not physically prepared for that, you’re just not going to endure.” He believes that coaches have a key role in developing a crew of top jumpers. “Injuries are a mitigating factor and the whole concept of managing the athlete and jump management – how many times you jump even in training, just modifying your training techniques so you can last,” he expounded. Injuries forced 2009 national long jump champion, Alain Bailey, to retire prematurely after he and fellow Jamaican, Nicholas Gordon, swapped US collegiate titles and represented Jamaica at the 2009 World Championships. Injuries also affected the progress of Tarik Batchelor, who was also a prospect. Bailey, Gordon and Batchelor were dominant at Boys and Girls’ Championships in both the long and triple jump. Riley thinks Jamaica has seen good prospects emerge in the last three years, but said “we have to take a more active involvement whether they remain local or overseas”. Sharing information He routinely calls coaches who have his former athletes to get updates and share information. “I have an interest as a Jamaican, and I know that as a coach, I would love to get some information from the previous coach as to what works for the athlete so that his training or her training is a continuation,” he continued, “and that sometimes is where there is a missing piece.” According to Riley, the time is right for specialist jumping meets similar to the throwing series pioneered by his Excelsior coaching colleague, Michael Vassell. Noting that Jamaica College had hosted such a meet a few years ago, he said: “The thing died unfortunately, but we have to take a mature approach and maybe if we can’t get sponsors for it, maybe that would be the kind of thing the JAAA would sponsor, for development.” With improved facilities, he sees possible success just over the horizon. “We can certainly be successful within three to four years,” he asserted. “The interest is there. The talent is there.” Riley is certain that the allure of the sprints is an obstacle to progress in the jumps. “That’s a big issue and part of it is because we are immature with respect to an outlook on track and field,” he suggested. “We see track and field as track and it’s not even just track. “It’s just sprints, short sprints,” he specified. He gave the men’s 400m as an example. “We’ve only now seemed to turn around in having an interest in the 400,” Riley offered, “because we see some glimmer of success at the junior level and we hope that will translate into the seniors.”
MAN UNITED (4-2-3-1)DE GEA,DARMIAN, JONES, SMALLING, BLIND,SCHWEINSTEIGER, SCHNEIDERLIN,MATA, ROONEY, YOUNG,MARTIALSWANSEA (4-2-3-1)GOMIS,SIGURDSSON, EMNES, BRITTON,CORK, SHELVEY,TAYLOR, WILLIAMS, AMAT, NAUGHTON,FABIANSKIThe pressure is on Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal after six Barclays Premier League games without a win – and eight in all competitions. That is their worse run since January 1990.After losing 2-0 at Stoke on Boxing Day United drew 0-0 against Chelsea on Monday; van Gaal has overseen 11 goalless draws as United boss, six of those coming since 27 October. However, United have kept seven clean sheets and conceded just three goals in their nine Premier League home games in the 2015-16 campaign.And their 30 points from the first half of the season is their poorest return since the 1990-91 season, when they had 22.Swansea arrive still under caretaker Alan Curtis and are unbeaten in three games, drawing two and going 270 minutes without conceding. However, they have scored in two of their last six games and just three in their last nine.But when these teams met at the Liberty Stadium in late August, Swansea extended their unbeaten start to the season to four games with a 2-1 win with Andre Ayew cancelling out Juan Mata’s opener for United before Bafetembi Gomis struck the winner.That was the Welshmen’s third straight win over United; last season they beat them home and away including the 2-1 win at Old Trafford where Gylfi Sigurdsson claimed the winner.For the Chelsea game Van Gaal recalled Wayne Rooney, but they are still missing Marcos Rojo, Anders Lindegaard, Luke Shaw, Jesse Lingard and Antonio Valencia. Swansea test Eder, Federico Fernandez and Wayne Routledge.
Points standingTeam P W D L GF GA GD PtsArnett 23 13 4 6 35 20 15 43Portmore 23 13 4 6 28 20 8 43MoBay United 23 11 9 3 34 13 21 42Humble Lion FC 23 9 8 6 21 18 3 35H View 23 8 9 6 28 22 6 33UWI FC 23 8 6 9 24 34 -10 30Cavalier SC 23 7 6 10 18 23 -5 27Boys’ Town 23 7 6 10 25 33 -8 27Reno 23 6 9 8 22 30 -8 27Tivoli 23 6 5 12 26 32 -8 22Rivoli 23 5 7 11 24 32 -8 22Waterhouse 23 4 9 10 20 28 -8 21 Tomorrow’s game: 8:40 p.m: Cavalier vs Arnett Gardens – Stadium East In a week which sees things just as tight at the bottom as they are at the top, the focus today will be on the UWI FC-Waterhouse clash at the UWI Bowl.In this encounter the promoted UWI FC, who are sitting in sixth position on 30 points, host former champions Waterhouse, who are sitting in 12th position in the 12-team league on 21 points. While the table may show that UWI FC should be the more fancied of the two, recent events may cause some amount of worry for the University boys, while Waterhouse could be convinced that they have a good chance of taking all three points.Prior to Monday night, UWI FC were looking quite stable with goalkeeper Amal Knight putting in commanding performances, their defenders kept it tight, while Girvon Brown and company kept the goals coming as they recorded two wins and two draws in their previous four matches. Against Harbour View on Monday, though, they looked very porous in the back, Knight looked unsure of himself, while their forwards were unable to breach the ‘Stars of the East’ who spanked them 5-0.Waterhouse, despite sitting at the foot of the table, are looking up positively with coach Paul Young being convinced that things are coming together and that they are primed for a lift. In their last four games, they have had three draws and one win – away over fourth-placed Humble Lion. Two of their three draws in that time were against current third-placed team Montego Bay United.”I am very much optimistic about our chances from here. Today, one of our central players, Dale Reid, was out because of asthma attack yesterday, so we had to make an adjustment in the defence line. In the midfield, we had Dominic James out and there are some other key players out who we are trying to get back healthy just to get the system going but it is a work in progress and we are going; to be fine,” Young said last week at the end of their second 0-0 draw with Montego Bay United.Young also said that while his team did not play, their best football that day, they showed great character to stand up to the opponents who ended the game with a one-man advantage following the expulsion of Theo Brown. The team, he said, had a good balance with the experienced Hughan Gray, the returning Weston Forrest, Kevin Lamey and Devon Hodges providing leadership for the youngsters such as Reid, goalkeeper Akeem Chambers and Nicholas Nelson among others.”We were brought back down to earth as we were having a good run for the previous six games … but it is better now than later,” Marcel Gayle, UWI FC’s coach about their big loss to Harbour View.He added: “Consistency is not the order of this league. All teams have had their ups and downs and it was our time to have a down. The good thing, though, is that we will be at home and we are looking to make amends.”Today’s games:3 p.m: Reno vs Rivoli United – Frome Complex3 p.m: Montego Bay United vs Humble Lion – Wespow Park3 p.m: Portmore United vs Boys’ Town – Juici Park, Clarendon3 p.m: Tivoli Gardens vs Harbour View – Edward Seaga Sports Complex3 p.m: UWI FC vs Waterhouse – UWI Bowl, Mona
Jamaica-born top-order batsman, Nkrumah Bonner, has been appointed captain of the Leeward Islands Hurricanes for their sixth-round WICB First-Class Champion-ship encounter against Jamaica Scorpions at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, starting next Friday. Bonner, who joined the Leewards at the start of the season as one of the franchise’s two overseas players, has been the team’s most consistent batsman to date. He is now the leading scorer for the Hurricanes and at the WICB Super50 one-day tournament in Trinidad and Tobago last month, he topped the batting for the eastern Caribbean team. It is the first time that a Jamaican is set to assume the post, with Bonner replacing Anguillan wicketkeeper, Jahmar Hamilton. The latter was the captain of the Hurricanes during the Super50. They did not advance from the first round. Young Antiguan batsman Orlando Peters, who was Hamilton’s deputy during the Super50, will serve as the 27-year-old Bonner’s vice captain. The Leewards are having a difficult season and are firmly entrenched at the bottom of the standings of the first-class championship on 13 points. This is 16 points off fifth place held by the Windward Islands Volcanoes. Trinidad and Tobago Red Force are fourth on 37 points with Jamaica third on 53, Barbados Pride second on 63, and leaders Guyana Jaguars on 85. Meanwhile, there is no place in the Hurricanes latest 13-man squad for their other Jamaican-born representative Odean Brown. The leg-spinner represented the franchise in the Super50 tournament, but did not play in all of the six first-round encounters. Leeward Hurricanes squad: Nkrumah Bonner (captain), Orlando Peters (vice-captain), Quinton Boatswain, Nelson Boland, Rahkeem Cornwall, Daron Cruickshank, Colin Hamer, Jahmar Hamilton, Monticin Hodge, Jeremiah Louis, Sherwin Peters, Jacques Taylor, Gavin Tonge.
Sunday April 10, 2016 is a day that will be etched in the memory of seven-time capped midfielder Ricardo Cousins. The player, who impressed with his quality as a schoolboy at Glenmuir High School was having one of his better days in recent memory. He had just scored the opening goal in his team’s 2-1 win over ‘League’ champions and his former club Portmore United in their first leg semi-final of the Red Stripe Premier League. It was wonderful time for him and the ‘poorer’ of the two ‘Clarendon’ clubs in the Red Stripe Premier League, Humble Lion(s). They had one foot in the final of the knock out stage of the competition, a first for them and their dream of going all the way was alive. Cousins was doubly happy, not just because of the major role he had played in the victory but also because his biggest fan and the one person who had been present at all his local games from schoolboy level upwards, was there to witness it. Things could not be better. So he thought. After all, he had left him, his father Conrad Cousins, at home taking a shower in preparation to attend the match and had no reason to believe that he was not present. He always was. “Normally at the matches I would glimpse him in the crowd but it was a big, big crowd so I didn’t see him and did not think anything of it,” explained the 28 year-old. When he got home cousins expected to see his father at home and he did. “When I reached home I figured that he had got back home. I switched on the television and called out to him but did not hear him. I checked the bathroom and saw him lying in the bath looking like he was relaxing and had probably dozed off. I called out to him but did not get a response,” the all action midfielder said. He Continued, “I touched him in the head twice and said to him, ‘how yuh tired so like is you play the match?’ but I did not get a response. I then realised that something was wrong.” Naturally, the realisation shocked him but Cousins, the only member of his immediate family still residing in Jamaica and who shared house with his 52 year-old father, said he had to gather himself and handle the situation. “I still can’t describe the feeling that went through me when I realised what had happened but I had to gather myself and be strong,” said the man who won two Premier League titles with Portmore United in 2008 and 2012. So strong was he that three days later he was back at training and witnessing his father’s autopsy. “I took two days off but went back to training on Wednesday and then went to witness the autopsy,” the Clarendon resident said. “Everyone is asking me if I can play the next leg tomorrow (today) and my thing is of course. When you have a job, any job you have to do what you have to do and with football for the time that you are out on the field it takes your mind away from everything so I will be there,” he said of the very important second leg semi-final set for the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex at 8:40pm. The added incentive of playing for his father is also a reason. “I can’t stop now. I have to finish what I started. It is not a choice. “I did pledge to win it (the title) for my people and he is a big part of that,” he said defiantly.