Palestine and UAE to play at Asian Games after mix up

Will the UAE's Omar Abdulrahman take part in this year's Asian Games?
Updated 25 July 2018
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Palestine and UAE to play at Asian Games after mix up

  • Both countries were accidentally omitted from the original draw.
  • The sporting event in world after the Olympics set to take place in Indonesia next month.

The United Arab Emirates and Palestine were officially added to the football tournament at the Asian Games after they were accidentally omitted from the original draw.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) conducted a limited re-draw at their headquarters in Kuala Lumpur to include the two sides alongside 24 others taking part in football at the Games, which begin next month.
AFC secretary-general Windsor John said Games organizers failed to pass the names of UAE and Palestine to his body for the initial draw, even though both teams had attempted to register.
John said he was not sure what caused the problem, adding “it could be some computer glitch, it could be some communication breakdown.”
He stressed the AFC was not running the competition, and was conducting the draw on behalf of the Olympic Council of Asia and the Indonesian organizing committee.
Eris Herryanto, secretary-general of the Indonesian committee, told AFP the two sides had not properly followed the registration procedures.
“They did something wrong. For example, if they registered one person more than they should have had, that won’t go into the system,” he said.
Palestine was placed in Group A with Indonesia, Hong Kong, Laos and Taiwan. The UAE was placed in Group E with South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia and Bahrain.
It was the latest problem to hit the run-up to the Games, which are being held in Palembang and the capital Jakarta from August 18-September 2.
At the weekend irate Indonesian football fans ripped plastic seats from the stands and hurled them onto a pitch at a stadium in Palembang scheduled to host matches at the Games.
Indonesia has been scrambling to prepare venues, finish building work, widen roads and ease traffic congestion.
About 11,000 athletes and 5,000 officials from 45 Asian countries will take part in the world’s biggest multi-sports event after the Olympics.


Fognini tops Lajovic to claim Monte Carlo Masters

Updated 21 April 2019
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Fognini tops Lajovic to claim Monte Carlo Masters

  • Fabio Fognini defeated Dusan Lajovic 6-3, 6-4 in the Monte Carlo Masters final on Sunday
  • Fognini is only the fourth man to win the clay-court event since Nadal’s first of a record 11 wins in 2005

MONACO: Fabio Fognini won the biggest title of his career after beating Dusan Lajovic 6-3, 6-4 Sunday in the Monte Carlo Masters final.
The 13th-seeded Italian’s first title of the year was his ninth overall but first at Masters level.
It came the day after he stunned defending champion Rafael Nadal in straight sets, becoming the first player to beat Nadal here since Novak Djokovic in the 2015 semifinals.
“It has been an incredible week, I will keep working,” Fognini said. “I started the season badly so this is unbelievable.”
After going out in the third round of the Australian Open, Fognini had won only one match and lost six times before this tournament.
Playing here may have given him a boost, however, since he grew up in nearby San Remo — just over the Italian border and a short drive or train ride away along the glittering Mediterranean coast.
The 48th-ranked Lajovic’s run to his first career final was unexpected. But the unseeded Serb rarely threatened in humid, overcast and slightly windy conditions.
Fognini needed a medical timeout to receive treatment to his right foot and right thigh after the fifth game of the second set.
But it did not impede him as he served out the match, clinching victory on his second match point when Lajovic hit a forehand wide.
The players hugged warmly at the net.
The 31-year-old Fognini is only the fourth man to win the clay-court event since Nadal’s first of a record 11 wins in 2005. Djokovic, twice, and Stan Wawrinka also won.
The last Italian before Fognini was Nicola Pietrangeli in 1968.
The 85-year-old Pietrangeli, a two-time French Open winner, stood and applauded as Fognini dropped to his knees to kiss the surface.
Pietrangeli walked gingerly onto the court and the pair hugged. Pietrangeli posed alongside Fognini as he held the trophy
The match started evenly enough, but Fognini broke for a 4-2 lead when Lajovic made an unforced error on forehand. Fognini then held his serve with a typically flamboyant one-handed, cross-court backhand to take control.
Serving for the set, Fognini saved a break point with a forehand winner down the line, and then clinched it with an equally good backhand.
Fognini broke for a 3-2 lead in the second set when Lajovic hit a forehand wide.
After Fognini’s medical timeout, Lajovic missed an easy smash at 30-30 in the next game.
With that miss, his slim hopes faded.