New Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri says Eden Hazard is going nowhere with Real Madrid set to swoop

Eden Hazard is still a Chelsea player, but for how much longer? (AFP)
Updated 10 August 2018
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New Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri says Eden Hazard is going nowhere with Real Madrid set to swoop

  • New Blues boss Sarri wants star man to stay at Stamford Bridge.
  • Belgium playmaker has intimated he would like a move to Real Madrid.

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri believes his squad is “complete” following the arrivals of Kepa Arrizabalaga and Mateo Kovacic, and said he does not expect Eden Hazard to leave the club before the European transfer deadline on Aug. 31.
Chelsea broke the world record fee for a goalkeeper when they signed Arrizabalaga from Athletic Bilbao for €80 million ($91 million), before securing a season-long loan deal for midfielder Kovacic from Real Madrid.
Spanish media have reported Hazard as a transfer target for Real Madrid throughout the close season.
When asked about the prospect of a foreign team making a move for Chelsea players, Sarri said: “It’s impossible because, here, the market is closed. We cannot change important players now.
“Hazard is with us. I think, definitely. Not a problem. I have spoken with him three or four times for everything. He never said something about the market, so I think he’s very happy to stay here.”
Arrizabalaga has the daunting task of replacing World Cup Golden Glove winner Thibaut Courtois, who established himself as one of the finest goalkeepers in the Premier League after arriving at Stamford Bridge in 2011.
Sarri conceded Arrizabalaga will need time to adapt to the English game but praised Chelsea for acquiring “one of the most important” young goalkeepers in Europe.
“I’m very happy for both because Courtois’ situation was clear,” Sarri said.
“He wanted to go to Madrid so we lost maybe one of the most important goalkeepers in the world. But we bought a young goalkeeper, one of the most important among the young goalkeepers in Europe, so I’m really happy.
“(Also) for Kovacic, because he has the right characteristics for us. He is a very technical player who can play between the lines of the opponent. I’m very happy and now I think the squad is complete.”
Chelsea will kick off their league campaign against Huddersfield Town at the John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday.


Women’s Bowling Championship 2018 wraps up in Jeddah

Dr. Razan Baker, 3rd left standing, with participants at the Third Women’s Bowling Championship 2018, in Jeddah on Saturday. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 21 October 2018
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Women’s Bowling Championship 2018 wraps up in Jeddah

  • Sixty-three competitors, many of them amateurs, participated in the competition which consisted of four rounds

JEDDAH: The first Women Bowling Championship in Saudi Arabia took place in October in three cities, Riyadh, Alkhobar, and Jeddah, where it finished at Ice Land Bowling Center on Saturday. Gada Nemer, 42, from Riyadh, who came first in the competition, told Arab News: “I participated in all three tournaments, in Riyadh, Alkhobar, and today in Jeddah. I won first place in Alkhobar too. “I am not a professional bowler, but I used to bowl with my kids. Two of them bowl on the national team. I am very glad to have the chance to participate in these tournaments, and look forward to future ones.”
It was the first tournament of its kind in the Kingdom, as the country is rapidly developing sporting facilities for women and increasing women’s involvement in sports by making reforms that have included allowing physical education for schoolgirls and opening female-only gyms. Sixty-three competitors, many of them amateurs, participated in the competition which consisted of four rounds. All competitors took part in the first round, 33 made it into the second round and 16 qualified for the third.
Participants were between 11 and 56 years of age. Nemer received a cash prize of SR5,000 ($1,335) and those in second and third place received SR3,000 and SR2,000 respectively.
The last round had the best three competitors competing for first place with Nemer winning first prize, followed by Meshael Alabdulwahed (second) and Wissam Al-Harbi (third).

Growing interest
Bowling is still a growing sport for women in Saudi Arabia. The first female bowling team officially registered in the Saudi Bowling Federation, and the Eastern Province bowling team is only seven months old, according to Dr. Razan Baker, member of the board of directors and head of media and women’s participation at the federation.
Baker told Arab News: “We were surprised by the excitement of the participants. The numbers were beyond our expectations.
“Many participants would like to become professional bowlers. With this high turnout I expect bowling centers to start supporting new female bowling teams.”
Abeer Abdulmalik, from Al-Qassim, participated in the tournament. Although she is new to bowling, she made it to the third round.
“I never bowled before in my life, and I did not prepare myself for the game. I am surprised and happy with what I scored, although I was hoping to be in the final round,” she told Arab News. “I would like to take part in future championships.”
Aminah Khan, who participated in the tournament with her two sisters, told Arab News: “I came here for fun, and to try my luck before I go to my midterm exam.”
Khan did not make it to the second round, but said she would start working to improve her skills and take bowling more seriously as a sport.
The championship was organized by the Saudi Bowling Federation, the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee, and General Sports Authority, and in partnership with Arab News as the exclusive English media partner for the event.