Dutch World Cup woes deepen after Van Gaal hurts hip

Dutch World Cup woes deepen after Van Gaal hurts hip
Dutch National coach Louis van Gaal gestures during a training session on Monday in Zeist, as part of the team’s preparation for the World Cup qualifying match against Norway. (AFP)
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Updated 15 November 2021

Dutch World Cup woes deepen after Van Gaal hurts hip

Dutch World Cup woes deepen after Van Gaal hurts hip
  • "Van Gaal was parking his bicycle at the hotel when he slipped and landed on his hip," De Telegraaf daily tabloid said
  • A visit to the hospital confirmed he did not need surgery

THE HAGUE: The Dutch campaign to qualify for next year’s World Cup suffered another blow after coach Louis van Gaal fell and injured his hip, Dutch media reported on Monday.
Van Gaal, 70, cycled to his hotel after a training session ahead of the team’s crucial qualifier against Norway on Tuesday when the accident happened.
“Van Gaal was parking his bicycle at the hotel when he slipped and landed on his hip,” De Telegraaf daily tabloid said.
“A visit to the hospital confirmed he did not need surgery,” the paper said, but a Royal Dutch Football Federation (KNVB) official told the paper “Louis can’t walk and is in a wheelchair.”
“He will do everything he can to make Tuesday’s game,” the official said.
Van Gaal, sometimes nicknamed the “Iron Tulip” for his no-nonsense approach to coaching, arrived at Monday’s training session in a golf cart.
The KNVB could not immediately be reached for comment.
Van Gaal’s injury is the latest blow in the Netherlands’ quest to get to Qatar.
The team captained by Liverpool central defender Virgil van Dijk squandered a 2-0 lead on Saturday against Montenegro after the hosts equalized with two goals in the last 10 minutes of the game, robbing the Dutch of a guaranteed ticket to Qatar.
The Dutch still head Group G but are just two points ahead of Turkey, who thrashed Gibraltar 6-0 on Sunday.
The Orange face Norway in Rotterdam on Tuesday in the final round of matches while Turkey travel to Montenegro.
If the Dutch beat Norway, they will be assured of a place in Qatar and even a draw could see them through, but they could be eliminated if they lose, missing out on a second successive World Cup finals.


Three steal thunder from star players to share lead at LIV Golf Invitational Bangkok

Three steal thunder from star players to  share lead at LIV Golf Invitational Bangkok
Updated 20 sec ago

Three steal thunder from star players to share lead at LIV Golf Invitational Bangkok

Three steal thunder from star players to  share lead at LIV Golf Invitational Bangkok

BANGKOK: Richard Bland, Branden Grace and Eugenio Lopez-Chacarra upstaged their more illustrious opponents on Friday to shoot 7-under 65s and share the lead after the first round of the LIV Golf Invitational Bangkok.

Marc Leishman and Ian Poulter were a stroke behind while Kim Sihwan, Brooks Koepka and Morgan Jediah were among those two behind in the 54-hole event.

The tournament is being played on the new Stonehill Golf Club north of downtown Bangkok. The course was created by American designer Kyle Phillips and opened this year.

Dustin Johnson, who leads the money list with just over $12.5 million in five events, shot 70. British Open champion Cameron Smith, who won the last LIV event in Chicago in mid-September, shot 72. It is the first time LIV Golf is being played outside the US since its inaugural event in early June near London.

Before the start of play, players learned that they still won’t accrue ranking points on the LIV series. The Official World Golf Ranking said in a statement Thursday that it had denied the MENA Tour’s request to immediately add the Saudi-backed series to its schedule.

The OWGR said the MENA Tour did not give it sufficient notice and there would not be time to finish the review ahead of the Bangkok tournament and next week’s event in Saudi Arabia.

FASTFACT

The Thailand invitational is the first time LIV Golf is being played outside the US since the tour’s inaugural event in early June near London.

LIV Golf created an alliance with the MENA Tour, which hasn’t run a tournament of its own since March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The MENA Tour stands for Middle East and North Africa and is a developmental tour that has been getting the bare minimum of world ranking points since 2016. It has 54-hole events with a 36-hole cut, offering a $75,000 purse.

“I don’t think it really was much of a response. I just hate when you sit on the fence. Just pick a side,” Koepka said Friday. “If it’s yes or no, just pick one. So I’m not a big fan of that.”

Bryson DeChambeau, who shot 69 Friday, said the decision by the rankings group was only “delaying the inevitable.

“We’ve hit every mark in their criteria, so for us not to get points is kind of crazy with having the top — at least I believe we have the top players in the world,” DeChambeau said. “We certainly believe that there’s enough that are in the top 50, and we deserve to be getting world ranking points. When they keep holding it back, they’re going to just keep playing a waiting game.”


MENA Tour says golf rankings ‘inaccurate’ without LIV events

Failure to award world-ranking points at the LIV Golf event in Thailand starting on Friday renders the rankings “inaccurate,” the MENA Tour said on Friday.

The top 50 players in the rankings qualify automatically for all four major tournaments. LIV Golf is not currently recognized by OWGR, meaning LIV players tumble down the rankings.

The MENA Tour hit back at the OWGR’s decision.

“Not including our event in this week’s OWGR render the results and subsequent player movements inaccurate,” David Spencer, commissioner of the MENA Tour, said in a statement.

Spencer added that “we will continue to work tirelessly to resolve this situation with the OWGR.”

LIV, which offers record $25 million purses, has already staged five events in its inaugural year.

But no ranking points have been awarded to its players, including Smith, former world No. 1 Johnson and six-time major winner Phil Mickelson.

LIV golfers have been banned from the PGA Tour, ruling out American players from qualifying for the 2023 Ryder Cup.

European stars who have left for LIV, including stalwarts Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia, have all plummeted down the world rankings and seem unlikely to make Luke Donald’s team for the biennial contest, which takes place near Rome.


Nagelsmann looking for ‘control’ against unpredictable Dortmund

Nagelsmann looking for ‘control’ against unpredictable Dortmund
Updated 07 October 2022

Nagelsmann looking for ‘control’ against unpredictable Dortmund

Nagelsmann looking for ‘control’ against unpredictable Dortmund
  • Munich travel to Dortmund having won the last nine clashes between the two clubs
  • Nagelsmann said Dortmund under manager Edin Terzic have shed the unpredictability of recent years

BERLIN: Bayern Munich manager Julian Nagelsmann said on Friday his team needs to show “a more controlled game” to beat opponents Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.
Munich travel to Dortmund having won the last nine clashes between the two clubs, but Nagelsmann said Dortmund under manager Edin Terzic have shed the unpredictability of recent years.
“There’s a lot of reporting about Dortmund showing ‘fluctuating performances’ within recent games. I don’t think it’s that dramatic,” Nagelsmann said.
“I think they’re having a good season and will be a top opponent tomorrow.”
Bayern and Dortmund go into the clash level on 15 points in third and fourth respectively. It is the first time in 13 years that one of the teams is not in top spot when they met the other.
In addition to Munich’s recent dominance in the fixture, ‘Der Klassiker’ has also been a rich source of goals.
Only once in the past 12 matches between the sides has fewer than four goals been scored, which is perhaps a testament to the quality of the sides’ strikers in recent years — Robert Lewandowski and Erling Haaland — both of which have now departed.
While Bayern Munich have a league-high 23 goals, Dortmund’s total of 11 goals is among the lowest in the league, showing they are struggling more than their Bavarian rivals with the departure of their top goalscorer.
Nagelsmann however said the hole left by the big Norwegian makes Dortmund less predictable.
“I’m not sure yet who will play up front,” Nagelsmann said.
“They create a lot of ‘give and go’ situations with a lot of good footballers who sprint behind the lines and receive good passes.
“They are a very good team... especially when they defend deeply — it always creates a strong danger when they counter.”
Bayern’s Leon Goretzka, who formerly played for Dortmund’s arch rivals Schalke, said the result meant nationwide bragging rights in German football for the winner.
“This is the game that Germany looks forward too all year” Goretzka, who played 116 games for Schalke, said on Friday.
“Now, we (Bayern) are the chasers for once. But like with this derby in the past, the standings don’t really matter.
“It’s about prestige and it’s about supremacy in German football.”
Nagelsmann agreed, saying “when it comes to the table, it’s an important game — but as a symbol, it’s also an important game.”
Two fixtures of recent clashes — Bayern’s Thomas Mueller and Dortmund captain Marco Reus — have been ruled out of the clash, with illness and injury respectively.
Bayern will however be boosted by the return of French winger Kingsley Coman, while Dortmund welcomes back Mats Hummels, Gregor Kobel, Marius Wolf and Gio Reyna.


Indonesia’s president says FIFA will not impose sanctions over deadly soccer stampede

Indonesia’s president says FIFA will not impose sanctions over deadly soccer stampede
Updated 07 October 2022

Indonesia’s president says FIFA will not impose sanctions over deadly soccer stampede

Indonesia’s president says FIFA will not impose sanctions over deadly soccer stampede
  • Indonesia would work with FIFA to improve its management of soccer matches

JAKARTA: Indonesia President Joko Widodo on Friday said soccer’s world governing body FIFA will not impose sanctions on the country over a stadium stampede last week that killed 131 people.
In a video message, the president said Indonesia would work with FIFA to improve its management of soccer matches and that FIFA president Gianni Infantino will visit Indonesia in October or November.


One dead in unrest at Argentina soccer match

One dead in unrest at Argentina soccer match
Updated 07 October 2022

One dead in unrest at Argentina soccer match

One dead in unrest at Argentina soccer match
  • Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas as they attempted to stop fans attending the match
  • A cameraman for sports channel TyC was injured by rubber bullets while dozens of spectators were suffering from the effects of tear gas

BUENOS AIRES: One person died Thursday following violent clashes that started outside a soccer match on the outskirts of Buenos Aires before spilling into the stadium and onto the pitch, authorities said.
Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas as they attempted to stop fans attending the match between top-flight teams Boca Juniors and Gimnasia y Esgrima from pushing into the already crowded venue.
The unrest outside the Carmelo Zerillo stadium in La Plata, about 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of Argentina's capital, continued inside, where shocked spectators were seen squeezing through fencing to escape the violence and get onto the field.
"There were about 10,000 people around the stadium trying to get in, some with tickets, some without. Everyone could see that the stadium was very full," said Eduardo Aparicio, head of a government agency tasked with preventing violence in sports.
"All this is being investigated," including "the actions of the police," he added.
Authorities at San Martin hospital in La Plata confirmed the death of 57-year-old Cesar Regueiro from cardiac arrest as he was being transferred from the stadium to a hospital.
A cameraman for sports channel TyC was injured by rubber bullets while dozens of spectators were suffering from the effects of tear gas and had been taken to hospitals, according to local media.
The game was suspended after nine minutes due to a lack of security, referee Hernan Mastrangelo said.
"It affected all of us on the field," he added. "The air became unbreathable. The situation got out of control and there were no security guarantees."
Explosions were heard inside the stadium and smoke from the fumes quickly reached the pitch.
The players, the referee and technical staff members were forced to evacuate the field.
At the same time, fans, including children being led or carried by adults, rushed from the stands and onto the pitch, where people were seen sitting or lying down apparently recovering from tear gas exposure.
"The first thing I saw was that people had started to flee the stalls and I began to feel the effects of the gas. I thought about my family and I started to worry," Nicolas Contin, a Gimnasia player, said from the locker room where he had carried his young son.
"I'm angry about everything that happened."
The match came at a critical point in Argentina's Primera Division, with Gimnasia trying to stay in the title race and Boca looking to move into first place.
"What was going to be a party ends in this. It hurts us all what happened, it is tremendous and we regret it," Boca Juniors manager Hugo Ibarra told reporters.
Clashes inside and outside Argentina's stadiums have resulted in more than 300 deaths since soccer became professional in the 1930s, with two-thirds of the deaths occurring after the 1990s, according to a local NGO.
The violence in La Plata comes just five days after one of the deadliest disasters in soccer history in which 131 people were killed in a stadium crush in Indonesia.
The incident in the city of Malang also descended into tragedy after police fired tear gas into packed stands.


Philippine court dismisses tax case against boxing legend Manny Pacquiao

Philippine court dismisses tax case against boxing legend Manny Pacquiao
Updated 07 October 2022

Philippine court dismisses tax case against boxing legend Manny Pacquiao

Philippine court dismisses tax case against boxing legend Manny Pacquiao
  • Pacquiao and his wife Jinkee were accused in 2012 of owing more than $37 million in unpaid taxes for 2008 and 2009

MANILA: Philippine boxing legend Manny Pacquiao on Friday won a years-long court battle to avoid paying tens of millions of dollars in extra taxes after an appeals court dismissed the case against him.
Pacquiao and his wife Jinkee had been accused by the Bureau of Internal Revenue in 2012 of owing more than $37 million (2.2 billion pesos) in unpaid taxes for 2008 and 2009.
The 43-year-old previously insisted he had paid the taxes in the United States, so did not need to do so in the Philippines because the two countries have an agreement allowing their citizens to avoid double taxation.
Then president Benigno Aquino was waging a bruising campaign against tax evasion as part of a general crackdown on corruption.
Pacquiao, a former world champion and politician, became one of the highest-profile targets of the tax office’s sweep.
But the Court of Tax Appeals found the tax office had relied on “unverified news articles” to make its assessment.
In a 49-page judgment, the court said the “assessment for deficiency income tax is void for violation of petitioners’ right to due process and for lack of sufficient factual basis.”
The ruling was handed down on September 29 but apparently only released on Friday.
Pacquiao, who reportedly ranked among the country’s top individual taxpayers in 2008 and 2009, welcomed the decision.
“Since the start of my career, I have made sure to pay all my taxes because this helps our government,” he said in a statement.
“I thank the Lord that the truth has come out.”
AFP could not reach the tax office for comment. It is not known if it plans to appeal the decision.
Pacquiao, who retired from boxing last year for a tilt at the Philippines presidency, is deeply admired for hauling himself out of poverty to become one of the world’s greatest and wealthiest fighters.
But he has also earned plenty of detractors with his support for former president Rodrigo Duterte’s deadly drug war, homophobic comments and lack of education.
Pacquiao has been preparing for a charity match against martial arts YouTuber DK Yoo scheduled for December 10 in Seoul.
He ended his 26-year boxing career with a points defeat to Cuban Yordenis Ugas in August 2021 and, as well as being a former senator, made a failed bid earlier this year to be president of his country.
Pacquiao’s net worth was almost $54 million in 2020, according to Senate data.