Jurgen Klopp ‘not frustrated’ after United stalemate sends Liverpool top

Manchester United's Alexis Sanchez in action with Liverpool's Mohamed Salah. (Reuters)
Updated 24 February 2019

Jurgen Klopp ‘not frustrated’ after United stalemate sends Liverpool top

LONDON: Liverpool moved one point clear at the top of the Premier League after being forced to settle for a 0-0 draw at injury-ravaged Manchester United on Sunday.
Jurgen Klopp’s side climbed above Manchester City into pole position, but left Old Trafford having to settle for the fact they failed to go three points clear after struggling to break down a United team hit by three key injuries.
Liverpool, chasing a first English title since 1990, had few chances to beat their bitter rivals despite United losing Juan Mata, Ander Herrera and Jesse Lingard before the interval.
Despite the stalemate, Reds boss Klopp insisted there was no feeling of frustration in the Liverpool dressing room.
“It was a strange game. We started really well, and then the injury crisis started as well. That obviously cost us rhythm. In the end we have to admit that United played with a completely new midfield, a pretty much new three up front, but we lost the rhythm and we couldn’t get it back,” he said.
“I’m not frustrated. I’ll always take what I get from the boys. It doesn’t feel world class at the moment but it’s okay, we have a point more.”
United boss Ole Gunnar Solksjaer could not hide his delight at the fighting spirit of his players after containing the league-leaders.
“You’ve always got to be ready for everything, but losing three players in the first half with hamstring injuries, and probably we should have taken Marcus off as well. Henderson went through him in the first minute and that was just one of many fouls on him today.
“I was very concerned, but he’s a warrior and he’s a Manc, and he knows what this means. We had to keep him on, because we’d already used three subs.
“You come out with so many positives today. The fans, they were the 11th man because we had half a Marcus.
“I can’t remember David having to make a save. We kept them out of it and we created a couple of chances where we could have scored,” he added.


Mayor of town in north Japan bemoans lack of Olympic funds

Updated 15 September 2019

Mayor of town in north Japan bemoans lack of Olympic funds

  • Tokyo is reportedly spending about $20 billion to prepare the city to host the games
  • Tokyo organizers have faced a series of hurdles as they prepare to host the games

TOKYO: The mayor of a town in northeastern Japan that will host Olympic soccer games says his city has received no funding from the central government that has promised to use the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to help in the reconstruction of the region.

The Japanese government and Tokyo 2020 organizers are hoping to use the Olympics to showcase Japan’s recovery from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Several Olympic events, including soccer and baseball, will be held in northeastern Japan.

But with less than a year to go before the opening ceremony, Yutaka Kumagai, the mayor of Rifu in Miyagi Prefecture, says his city has seen no funding from the central government.

“There is no help from the government, we don’t have any budget from them, none,” Kumagai said on Saturday. “Tokyo 2020 is said to be a symbol of the reconstruction but when it comes to the budget, we don’t have any budget from the Olympic games here in Rifu.”

Kumagai made the comments during a media tour of Miyagi Stadium, a 49,000-seat facility in Rifu that will host men’s and women’s football at the 2020 Olympics.

About 50,000 people are still displaced in the Tohoku region as of August, according to the Reconstruction Agency. Yoshiaki Suda, the mayor of Onagawa in Miyagi Prefecture, concurred with Kumagai. Like Rifu, Onagawa is a coastal city that sustained heavy destruction.

“We haven’t received any subsidy, even one yen, from the central government,” Suda said. “Whatever we do for the venues, for the hospitality for the Olympics, we have to do ourselves.”

Some media reports have made the claim that the Olympics have hampered the reconstruction efforts, taking workers away from the region to help with construction in Tokyo.

Japan is one of the most earthquake- and tsunami-prone areas in the world. On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.0 quake offshore caused a tsunami that triggered meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. The quake and tsunami heavily damaged coastal neighborhoods in northeastern Japan and took more than 18,000 lives.

Tokyo, which projected total costs of about $7.5 billion in its winning bid for the games in 2013, is reportedly spending about $20 billion to prepare the city to host the games.

A group of anti-Olympic activists, many from outside Japan, have held small protests and other events this summer under the Japanese title “Han-gorin no Kai” — which translates roughly to No Olympics. They oppose Olympic spending, which they say cuts into budgets for housing and environmental issues.

They also call for more money to rebuild Fukushima prefecture located northeast of Tokyo. Organizers say Fukushima is a main focus of the Olympics, staging baseball, softball and soccer games there to persuade the world the area is safe.

Tokyo organizers have faced a series of hurdles as they prepare to host the games. In August, Tokyo’s summer heat forced an Olympic women’s triathlon qualifying event to be shortened because of high temperatures that are likely to impact next year’s games.

Tsunekazu Takeda, the head of the Japanese Olympic Committee, was forced to quit earlier this year when he was implicated in a vote-buying scheme to land the games. He has denied wrongdoing, but acknowledged he signed off on about $2 million that French investigators allege went to buy votes.