Coming off another impressive campaign at the 2019 Carifta Games in the Cayman Islands last weekend, Briana Williams will arrive at Jamaica’s National Championships in June ready up the ante.

 

The Bahamas will send only a men’s 4x400m relay team to the IAAF World Relays set for Yokohama, Japan from May 11-12.

That team will be comprised of Steven Gardiner, Alonzo Russell, O’Jay Ferguson, Andre Colebrook and Teray Smith.

The BAAA made the announcement via a statement released on Wednesday in which it cited a failure of to meet qualification standards as the reasons behind the decision not to enter a 4x100m or 4x200m squad or even a mixed relays team.

The Bahamas won the mixed relays when the championships they hosted the relays 2017. However, according to the BAAA things have changed dramatically since then.

“Within this track and field cycle, we are mindful of using every opportunity to qualify for the World Championships,” said Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mabeline Miller.

“This is why it was important to contest the traditional 4×100 and 4×100 events in Tokyo. Entry standards were only imposed in the 4×100 and 4×400 and are determined through the IAAF World Ranking list. The final entry deadline was on April 22, 2019.

“After submitting our entries, we received news today that the men’s and women’s 4×100 relay teams did not make the top 24, meaning that The Bahamas does not have a lane in those events. As a result, we have decided to withdraw our men’s 4×200 team as this is not an event on the World Championship schedule.”

Regional cricket commentator and analyst, Fazeer Mohammed, has rubbished claims that players who showed up to play for the ICC World Cup qualifiers should have been given preferential consideration when the final squad was selected by Cricket West Indies (CWI) on Tuesday.

Of the sixteen players who took part in the qualifier in Zimbabwe last year, which secured the team a place at next month’s World Cup, nine have been included in the final squad. 

Two-time T20 World Cup winner Marlon Samuels is the most notable absentee in a list that also includes Jason Mohammed, Devendra Bishoo, Nikita Miller, Keemo Paul, Rovman Powell and Kesrick Williams. 

 In this instance, scribbled on the final list submitted to the ICC on Tuesday, the most notable inclusion would perhaps be that of Andre Russell who turned down the chance to represent the region at the qualifiers, after stating that he had not sufficiently recovered from injury. 

The situation has sparked debate in some areas, particularly the exclusion of Samuels who had not played cricket for some time due to an injury but expected to be fit for the World Cup.  In an interview with the SportsMax Zone, however, Mohammed insisted cricketing reasons should be the only consideration in selecting the squad.

“This is a competitive sport. This is not about giving favours or doing people favours for long service or that sort of thing, or turning up when others didn’t turn up,” Mohammed told the SportsMax Zone.

“You remember in the days of the Kerry Packer era when the West Indies lost their Packer players for a period and the likes of Alvin Kallicharan and even Malcolm Marshal and so on came into the West Indies squad. From the moment that was sorted out and the World Cup came up in 1979 all the top players were back,” Mohammed added.

“There is no room for sentiment in competitive sport.  I understand the recognizing the roles played but are we selecting a squad as a favour for turning up or are we selecting a squad to be competitive or even get to the winning stage of the World Cup.

Wayne Rooney helped DC United move clear atop the Eastern Conference in MLS, while LA Galaxy were held to a draw on Wednesday.

Rooney's fifth goal of the season saw DC United overcome the Columbus Crew 1-0 at MAPFRE Stadium.

The former Manchester United captain struck approaching the half-hour mark for the game's only goal.

Rooney stepped up to take a free-kick from the edge of the area, curling his strike into the bottom corner.

The win was DC's fifth in nine games this season, moving them three points clear at the top.

LA Galaxy were unable to find a way through against Minnesota United, drawing 0-0 at Allianz Field.

The result left the Galaxy in second in the Western Conference, three points behind rivals Los Angeles FC.

Montreal Impact are second to DC United and recorded a 3-0 win over the New England Revolution thanks to a late double from Anthony Jackson-Hamel.

New York City claimed a much-needed win by beating Chicago Fire 1-0, while the Seattle Sounders came from behind to draw 2-2 at home to the San Jose Earthquakes.

Newly appointed president of Cricket West Indies (CWI) Ricky Skerritt has insisted the association is not looking to burn bridges with discarded officials, despite making several quick changes since taking office.

Interim coach Richard Pybus, West Indies assistant coach Vasbert Drakes and the entire Courtney Browne-led selection panel were among the casualties when the new board began to enforce its mandate last month.

Some of the parties have, however, taken exception to their dismissals and threatened legal action against CWI.  While he insisted he was not yet briefed on the legal situations, Skerritt was quick to point out that the organization was not interested in alienating the recently dismissed officials and that other positions could be open to them in the future.

“What I would say is that each situation has been handled on its own merit and there is no intention to make things more difficult for any past players than it has it to be,” Skerritt told the SportsMax Zone.

“Whatever the beliefs, we are about cricket.  We are about helping players, we are about helping past players.  We are about inclusiveness and we want past players involved in developing cricket and providing services of different kinds,” he added. 

“If somebody is not used now as a selector it doesn’t mean they can’t be used later as something else. If somebody is not used as a coach it doesn’t mean they can’t be used later as some other kind of professional in cricket.  We are not trying to burn any bridges with anybody.”

 

Trinidadian nationals and former footballers Keyeno Thomas and Karlon Murray have been handed life bans from FIFA after being found guilty of match manipulation.

Thomas a 41-year-old defender made 72 appearances for the country’s national team, in addition to competing in the local premier league for Joe Public.  Murray, another defender, plied his trade for San Juan Jabloteh and Police FC.

The duo was among a total of 9 players, former players and one agent banned from taking part in any football-related activity.  According to a release posted on the FIFA website the players were found guilty by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee of having been involved in match manipulation in violation of article 69 par. 1 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code (Unlawfully influencing match results).

In addition to Thomas and Murray, the list includes  Hellings Mwakasungula, Malawi, Ibrahim Kargbo, Sierra Leone, Kudzanai Shaba, Zimbabwe, Séïdath Tchomogo, Benin, Leonel Duarte, Cuba and Mohammad Salim Israfeel Kohistani, Afghanistan.  According to the statement issued by FIFA the judgements were reached following a lengthy investigation.

“The formal disciplinary proceedings into the aforementioned individuals stemmed from an extensive investigation into various international matches that Mr Wilson Raj Perumal attempted to manipulate for betting purposes,

“The large scale investigation was conducted by FIFA over several years through its integrity department and in cooperation with stakeholders and authorities.”

 

 

 

Jamaica’s sporting bodies will have to show greater accountability if they are to gain access to the funding they need. This as the country’s sports minister Olivia Grange announced the new criteria during a meeting with the island’s sports federations on Wednesday.

"Public funding of sports is an investment for which good returns are expected,” Minister Grange explained.

“Therefore, we must review and update our processes to ensure that public money that is invested with sports-governing bodies is well managed.  At the end of the day, we must all be able to say we received value for money from our expenditure on sport.”

Under the new conditions, the Sports Development Foundation (SDF) will no longer consider requests for funding from sports federations or associations without a full accounting for money requested.  Federations/associations are also now required to submit outstanding financial reports to be eligible for further financial support.

The minister made clear that the new requirement will also apply in the case of requests to use national sports facilities.  The new approach also has implications not only for sports governing bodies but for other entities that organise and promote competitions and which seek sponsorship from the SDF and from the ministry. 

“I believe this new requirement will help us to bring about greater accountability — which is something that we all desire,” said Minister Grange.

“Greater accountability will also make local federations more attractive to private sector sponsors.  There is no downside to having greater accountability.”

Minister Grange pointed out that some national federations/associations do not routinely submit financial reports, and urged them to move swiftly to become compliant with the reporting requirements.

“If you receive over five million (JMD) dollars from the Sports Development Foundation as subvention, you must provide audited financial statements annually. If you receive below five million dollars, you need to submit a financial statement.

“The organisations that receive monthly subventions must submit quarterly reports. “And, so I’m putting everybody on notice.  If [your quarterly reports are] not submitted, your monthly subvention will be held.

“In other words, I’m saying to you, we have to get our house in order, we have to respond to you when you call on us, so you need to get your house in order so that we, as a team, can proudly say to the people of Jamaica ‘your money is being wisely spent’”.

 

 

 

Some of Jamaica’s top athletes will get valuable relay practice for the upcoming IAAF World Relays when they suit up for the annual Penn Relays at the Franklin Field in Philadelphia from April 24-27.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson are down the run the 4x200m relays at the IAAF World Relays set for Yokohama, Japan on May 12 and 13. Meanwhile, veteran Yohan Blake will Jamaica’s 4x100m campaign.

The 42-member team named by the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association (JAAA) on Wednesday, sees reigning CAC 100m champion Jonielle Smith, Jura Levy, Natasha Morrison, Sashalee Forbes and Sherone Simpson down to contest the 4x100m women.

Blake, Julian Forte, Tyquendo Tracey, Jevaughn Minzie and Kenroy Anderson have been named in the men’s 4x100 squad.

The 4x200m female squad is comprised of Shericka Jackson, Sashalee Forbes, Elaine Thompson, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Stephanie Ann McPherson. Forte, Nigel Ellis, Rasheed Dwyer and Oshane Bailey were assembled for the men’s squad.

Jamaica’s 4x400m squads include Demish Gaye, Fitzroy Dunkley, Rusheen McDonald, Ackeem Bloomfield and Nathon Allen. The women’s team also looks a strong squad with Christine Day, Chrisann Gordon, Anastasia Le-Roy, Janieve Russell and Roneisha McGregor.

For the mixed relays, the JAAA selection committee went with Rhonda Whyte, Tiffany James, Shian Salmon, Javon Francis, Anthony Carpenter and Jamari Rose while Yanique Thompson, Megan Tapper, Amoi Brown, Andrew Riley, Norman Pittersgill and Ronald Levy will contest the newly introduced shuttle mixed relays.

The team to be managed by Ludlow Watts will have Maurice Wilson as its head coach.

Former Windies women’s captain and Trinidad and Tobago player, Merissa Aguilleira, has called time on her international cricket career. 

Veteran West Indies opener Chris Gayle is set to play at a fifth Cricket World Cup after being named in his side's 15-man squad.

Gayle, 39, is 253 runs short of surpassing Brian Lara as the Windies' leading batsman in ODI cricket ahead of the tournament in England and Wales.

He is by far the oldest member of the Windies group that will be led by captain Jason Holder and includes Andre Russell, despite the IPL star playing only a sole one-day international since 2015.

Meanwhile, Evin Lewis, Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel are all involved, but there is no room for either Sunil Narine or Alzarri Joseph in the squad due to their respective finger and shoulder injuries.

Kieron Pollard and Marlon Samuels have also missed out.

Chairman of the selection panel Robert Haynes explained that, in Roach and Gabriel, the Windies feel they have bowlers suited to the conditions they might face.

"We are excited about the pace attack led by Kemar and Shannon," he said. "We are confident that any bowling combination we put on the park is capable of providing a serious challenge to the opposition in any conditions.

"It will be a long tournament and it will be important for the bowling attack to stay fit and healthy for us to remain competitive and make a strong push to win the World Cup."

 

West Indies squad in full: Jason Holder, Andre Russell, Ashley Nurse, Carlos Brathwaite, Chris Gayle, Darren Bravo, Evin Lewis, Fabian Allen, Kemar Roach, Nicholas Pooran, Oshane Thomas, Shai Hope, Shannon Gabriel, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer.

 

The Spanish National Court has acquitted former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell of money laundering after he spent 20 months in prison.

Rosell was Barcelona president between 2010 and 2014 but resigned after an investigation was launched into the club's signing of Neymar from Santos.

He was arrested in May 2017 and accused, along with five others, of laundering fees for the audiovisual rights of 24 Brazil matches and also a sponsorship contract with Nike.

The court found that the accusations could not be accredited to the accused and Rosell was acquitted of the charges.

The prosecutor had modified his provisional findings and requested a sentence of six years in prison for money laundering and criminal group crimes for Rosell, having previously sought a sentence of 11 years.

Rosell was given a conditional release in February.

Kylian Mbappe's hat-trick in Paris Saint-Germain's title-clinching win over Monaco on Sunday took his tally of league goals for the season to 30. 

It has been a stellar campaign for the 20-year-old on the back of World Cup glory with France and no player under 21 has managed such a single-season scoring haul in European football since Brazil great Ronaldo 24 years ago. 

But, how do Mbappe's numbers compare to those of other prestigious talents during their formative years, such as Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. 

Using Opta data, we take a look at the players with the highest-scoring seasons before they turned 21. 

PREMIER LEAGUE: LIVERPOOL DUO LEAD THE WAY

The Premier League has seen some incredible talents emerge from its various clubs over the years, as well as bringing in some of the finest talent from abroad. 

Cristiano Ronaldo scored 14 goals in the competition before his 21st birthday, while Manchester United team-mate Wayne Rooney netted 44 times. 

Other standout performers at a young age include Romelu Lukaku, Nicolas Anelka and Chris Sutton. 

But it is two former Liverpool stars who amassed the most goals before hitting 21. Michael Owen scored 55 times before December 14, 2000, with Robbie Fowler netting 64 from 1993 to 1996. 

Fowler's highest tally came in 1995-96, when he struck 28 times as Liverpool finished third, although the last of those goals came after his 21st birthday. 

LIGUE 1: MBAPPE IN ESTEEMED COMPANY

Kylian Mbappe is going from strength to strength and already has 58 top-flight goals to his name. 

PSG's striking sensation has been instrumental for Thomas Tuchel's side this term and leads the way in Ligue 1 when it comes to goals scored in a single season while aged under 21.  

France great Michel Platini scored 22 goals for Nancy in the 1975-76 campaign, while Djibril Cisse netted the same amount in 2001-02 for Auxerre. 

Karim Benzema, meanwhile, enjoyed a 20-goal season at Lyon in 2007-08. 

LALIGA: RAUL COMES OUT ON TOP

It is not often that Lionel Messi finds himself down a pecking order, but in this case his record of 31 league goals before the age of 21 sees him down the list of LaLiga's most prolific young scorers. 

Messi, of course, did not play as an outright striker during his breakthrough seasons at Camp Nou, with his highest goalscoring season coming in 2006-07, when he registered 14.

Atletico Madrid duo Fernando Torres and Sergio Aguero were both reliable goalscorers, with both players scoring 19 times in their best seasons. 

But Atleti also had to watch a one-time youth player flourish with city rivals Real Madrid. Raul scored 59 times before turning 21, including a haul of 21 goals from 42 appearances in 1996-97. 

BUNDESLIGA & SERIE A: WERNER, ICARDI MODERN-DAY SUCCESSES

Klaus Fischer, Horst Koppel and Dieter Muller all impressed at a young age in the Bundesliga, though their goals came during the 1960s and 1970s. 

Since then, youngsters have struggled to score on a consistent basis in Germany's top flight, with RB Leipzig's Timo Werner managing 14 goals prior to turning 21 during the 2016-17 season. 

In Serie A, Mauro Icardi scored 10 goals for Sampdoria in 2012-13 before moving to Inter, where he netted nine times in his maiden season at the club. 

EREDIVISIE: RONALDO JOINED BY AJAX LEGENDS

The last player under 21 to score 30 league goals in a season before Mbappe was Ronaldo in 1994-95, with O Fenomeno hitting the milestone aged just 18. 

While Ronaldo excelled at PSV, it was Ajax that produced the Eredivisie's finest young scorer - Johan Cruyff scoring 33 times for Ajax during the 1966-67 campaign. 

And Ajax also produced three more players on this list; Wim Kieft (33), Marco van Basten (27) and Patrick Kluivert, who scored 18 league goals in 1994-95, as well as helping the Amsterdam club claim Champions League glory. 

Zlatan Ibrahimovic made the move from Malmo to Ajax aged 19, but netted just six goals in his debut season in the Netherlands. 

Up until March, Savo Milosevic had never worked as a head coach.

A Serbian great, Milosevic's CV only showed a brief assistant role with Branko Brnovic's Montenegro from 2011 to 2012.

Milosevic – who scored 37 goals in 102 international appearances – did spend some time as part of UEFA's technical observers group for Euro 2016, a team led by former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson that included the likes of Gareth Southgate and David Moyes.

The 45-year-old also served as vice-president of the Football Association of Serbia. But, thanks to some words of encouragement from Ferguson, Milosevic finds himself at the helm of Serbian giants and boyhood club Partizan Belgrade.

"Ferguson and all of them then talked to me, convincing me that I should start as a coach, that I have this thing to become a coach," Milosevic told Omnisport.

"I started to think it. I started my pro license two years ago and that's how everything went.

"I was analysing the Euros. I analysed 12 games. Then I realised I could do that really good."

Joint-top goalscorer at Euro 2000 alongside Patrick Kluivert as the former republic of Yugoslavia reached the quarter-finals, it is Milosevic's first foray into management, however the ex-Aston Villa and Parma striker feels ready.

"It's not new for me," he added. "I was partially doing that job in the past six, seven years working in the FA of Serbia. Then I started to work with UEFA's technical observer group, analysing the European high-level football. I was preparing myself for this.

"I completed my UEFA license recently, which is one important part of education. When you put my experience as a player, it's not too complicated for me.

"Of course, there's things I have to learn and learn quick. That's what I'm trying to do now. But it was important that I started and I started at a big club. I'm going to be able to learn quickly."

Milosevic joined Partizan as a 14-year-old before making his senior debut in 1992. He scored 74 goals for the Belgrade powerhouse, winning two league titles and a cup, before joining Premier League side Villa for a then-club record fee of £3.5million in 1995, and he claimed a League Cup winners' medal in his first season.

However, Partizan – who won six successive league titles from 2008 to 2013 – have fallen on tough times as bitter rivals Red Star Belgrade dominate Serbia's SuperLiga.

Without a league title since 2016-17, Partizan ended the regular season 30 points adrift of Red Star in third position and 21 points behind second-placed Radnicki Nis.

In the championship round, Partizan are 15 points off the pace as Red Star – four points above Radnicki – close in on back-to-back SuperLiga crowns.

"Basically, Partizan have had a very tough season," Milosevic said. "So many things went wrong. It's a complicated situation. I chose to start now instead of June because that's how I'm going to be able to see from the inside what's the biggest problem with the players and the club, so I can be prepared for June.

"There's going to be a lot of changes definitely in the team. We have to do it, but also around the team and the position of the club. In the organisation, there are many things in which we have to improve if we want to be better.

"I'm expecting a big job. Hard work. We have to put a lot of things together if we want to lift up such a great club. It's very difficult when a great club is struggling like this."

Teenage centre-back Strahinja Pavlovic has been linked with Juventus, with reports claiming a deal for the 17-year-old star to join the Italian champions is virtually agreed.

Milosevic is not sure what the future holds for the in-demand defender, however, the former Real Zaragoza, Celta Vigo and Osasuna forward is reluctant to part with Partizan's prized asset so soon.

Asked about Pavlovic, Milosevic replied: "I don't know, but we started to talk immediately about reorganising the Partizan youth system, which was very successful in the past and it's very important for us in the future. There will be changes there.

"We will always have good young players. It's not good for us if we sell them when they're 19,20 - they're still young. We cannot reach the highest possible price and they're not finished. In that department, we can improve a lot."

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