Zurich: FIFA President Sepp Blatter has been provisionally suspended for 90 days following the Swiss Attorney General’s opening of criminal proceedings against the FIFA strongman, according to reports in the BBC.
The ethics committee tribunal is also deciding whether to take action against UEFA leader Michael Platini and former FIFA vice president Chung Mong-Joon, both candidates to take over from Blatter.
Chung hit out at Blatter on Wednesday, calling him “a hypocrite and a liar” and threatening a legal case for embezzlement of FIFA funds.
The 79-year-old Swiss official Blatter, who has ruled FIFA for 17 years, insisted in a German magazine interview however that he would not be forced out of office before an election to be held in February.
FIFA has kept the activities of its independent ethics committee cloaked in secrecy in recent months as accusations of corruption have mounted.
But a Senegalese member of the committee’s adjudicatory chamber, FIFA’s highest court, said it started a five-day meeting on Monday with Blatter and the other two officials on the agenda.
Abdoulaeye Makhtar Diop, a former Senegal sports minister, said in a statement: “the members will focus on the topics of the Swiss Sepp Blatter, FIFA president, the Frenchman Michel Platini, president of UEFA, and the South Korean Chung Mong-Joon.” FIFA officials refused to comment on the disclosure. (AFP)
New Delhi: Delhi Dynamos and Chennaiyin FC will begin their second matches of the India Super League (ISL) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Thursday on an even keel after suffering demoralising defeats in their opening games of the competition.
Both teams have garnered considerable attention in the transfer market, managing big-money signings and are expected to fight for the semi-final spots at the league phase.
But their opening match performances have hardly matched their ambitions. While Dynamos were beaten by hosts FC Goa 0-2, Chennaiyin were on the receiving end of a 2-3 scoreline against defending champions Atletico de Kolkata at home.
Dynamos made the biggest noise in the transfer market after landing Brazilian legend Roberto Carlos in a marquee player-manager role, French great Florent Malouda and Norwegian star John Arne Riise, hoping to over come their last season misadventure, when they failed to qualify for the last four.
Carlos had claimed his team will adopt a bold offensive approach in search of goals but his team hardly did justice to his promise in their opening match against Goa. Carlos said his team has to galvanise quickly and start producing results, identifying their opponents as one of the toughest teams of the tournament he expects a keen contest.
Chennai were badly let down by individual errors, that contributed to two of the three goals conceded against ATK. (IANS)
Mumbai: Sportswear brand Puma announced its association with the Indian Super League (ISL) as the official ball and boot partner.
The association with ISL is for three years. Puma’s evoPOWER 1 ball will be seen on the pitch throughout the tournament.
The brand is also the kit partner for ISL teams Mumbai City FC, Delhi Dynamos FC and Kerala Blasters FC.
“The ISL has already captured the minds of the Indian football fans and we are extremely pleased that the Puma evoPOWER 1 ball will be used in the tournament,” Abhishek Ganguly, managing director, Puma said in a statement on Wednesday. (IANS)
Ashgabat: Languishing at the bottom of the group, an under-prepared India take on Turkmenistan in a must-win match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup football qualifying round here on Thursday. India, who are yet to open account after losing all their earlier three matches, are short on preparations as they reached here without any camp after losing to Iran 0-3 on September 8 in Bangalore.
All India Football Federation did not call for a camp and players in Indian Super League sides were released only on Sunday evening. They landed here on Monday evening after spending 16 hours in flight and transit and take on the central Asian nation in the Group D match in a do-or-die battle at the Kopetdag Stadium.
Stephen Constantine’s boys, who are currently ranked 167th at FIFA charts, will have to win or at least draw Thursday’s match against the home side ranked higher at 155th. But that will not be an easy task against a Turkmenistan side who have played out a 1-1 draw against formidable Iran at home in June.
India are already in a difficult position to make the cut for the final round but a loss on Thursday will erase any faint hope of advancing further in the qualifying round.
Constantine’s boys, no doubt, lack in experience as many of them have played just a few international matches but they have not done anything great by their own standard either, losing to Guam 1-2 in their second match of the second round qualifying campaign. They put up a gritty fight but were outplayed in the end by Oman (1-2) in the first match.
India could not have beaten Iran, Asia’s highest ranked side, and they lost 0-3, expectedly, but they can take some solace from the fight they gave to their formidable opponents in the first half.
The experienced and widely travelled Iran coach Carlos Queiroz admitted that his side were surprised and confused with the way India started, causing problems for his players. These kind words from a renowned coach would boost the confidence of the Indians against Turkmenistan on Thursday.
For the records, the two countries have played five times against each other with both sides having won two each while the other ended in a draw.The Indian team is also carrying some injuries as Constantine said at the pre-match press conference on Wednesday.
“We have some injuries in our squad but we know our strengths and we are ready,” he said.
With a couple of players undergoing last minute fitness tests, Constantine has not been able to zero down on his playing XI.
“We are also missing Dhanpal Ganesh who was injured in the last match against Iran,” Sunil Chhetri, who captained against Iran, said at the press conference
Constantine conceded that it would be a difficult match on Thursday against Turkmenistan. (PTI)
Guwahati: Unhappy over inadequate flow of development fund from the Centre, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Wednesday said the Ministry for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) must come out with a White Paper on release of funds to the North Eastern States and the non-submission of utilisation certificates (UCs) by the N-E States.
Gogoi said Union Minister of State for DoNER Dr Jitendra Singh must avoid double speak by asking the NE States to expedite fund utilisation and submit the UCs on time on the one hand and blaming the Union Ministry of Finance for non-release of Rs 900 crore to DoNER on the other.
“DoNER was created exclusively for the development of the North East region. But the very purpose has been defeated as fund flow from DoNER has slowed down during the last two fiscals,” he said.
Gogoi pointed out that the percentage of utilisation of Non Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR) has been at 83.37 per cent (1998-99 to 2015-16).
Of the Rs 2629.50 crore released under NLCPR, Assam government has submitted utilisation certificates amounting to Rs 2192.40 crore.
Of the 619 sanctioned projects, 373 have been completed while working is going on in rest 246 projects.
Under NEC funded 66 numbers of schemes, Rs 41196.90 lakh has been released and UCs amounting to Rs 30814.72 lakh submitted as on September 2015.
Gogoi said the slowing down of fund flow from DoNER coupled with the change in funding pattern and the withdrawal of Special Category Status to Assam by the NDA government at the Centre had adversely affected the pace of development in the region as a whole.
“The indifferent approach of the Centre is tantamount to grave injustice to the people of the North East,” he added.
Guwahati: Access to Right to Information must be ensured to the deprived and marginalised segments of the society, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Wednesday said.
“Right to Information can be made an effective tool by ensuring that the voices of the deprived and marginalised segments of the society are heard loud and clear,” Gogoi said while inaugurating the one-day Regional Workshop on Right to Information Act, 2005.
Assam was one of the pioneer states, which introduced the Right to Information by a separate State Act in 2002, he said.
“Public servants who serve the people with good faith and intention must be protected unlike those who have malafide intention and are in nexus with vested circles. Those who take risks and take hard decisions without fear or favour for the common good, must be given protection,” Gogoi said.
Favouritism, nepotism and corruption must be weeded out by ensuring transparency and accountability in governance, vital for strengthening the roots of democracy, he said.
The Chief Minister pointed out the need for involvement of civil societies and NGOs in removing the lacunae in implementation of the RTI Act.
“More and more people are coming forward to assert their rights and dues and this is definitely a healthy sign of democracy. The RTI Act can play a pivotal role in making people aware of their rights by creating awareness,” he said.
State Chief Information Commissioner, H S Das said the RTI Act enacted in 2005 has completed ten years of its implementation.
The good practices adopted by various states together with the problems confronting the states in implementing the RTI Act would be deliberated upon and the vital inputs would be placed before the National Convention to be held on October 16 and 17 in New Delhi.
The idea of the Right To Information (RTI) is to make citizens aware about their rights and also to eradicate corruption.
To make a government transparent RTI is of utmost importance.But this is not being utilized by the marginalised and they are the worst sufferers of corruption. (PTI)
Agartala: Two men have been arrested in connection with the murder of a woman in broad daylight in a high security zone of the city after both her sons confessed of their involvement.
Based on the confession of two sons — Deepjoy Saha (32) and Bitonjoy Saha (22) — involved in the murder of their mother Shanta Saha, police arrested two others identified as Ranbir Lodh (43) and Krishna Dey (41), who were hired to kill her. A local court of Agartala sent four of them to six days police custody.
They will be produced again on October 11 next.
CID officials had earlier indicated that the plan to murder Shanta was hatched by Deepjoy and Bitonjoy, her husband Pradip Saha, an engineer working in the state police, and her niece with whom Deepjoy is having an affair.
Fifty-three years old Shanta was murdered in the government quarter, where the residences of home secretary, chief secretary, DGP and other top police officials and Chief Justice are located.
Police has also traced a whatsapp message sent by Shanta’s niece to her elder son questioning how long it will take to execute the plan. The message was sent just before Shanta was murdered.
Police claimed that the behavior of both the sons after murder of their mother was casual. (UNI)
Itanagar: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki on Wednesday called for the creation of a separate union ministry for India’s mountain states, and lamented the Centre’s move to do away with the special category status states.
“Due to geographical and historical reasons, the resources of the mountains, both natural and human, are either under-utilised or ill-utilised,” Tuki said while inaugurating the fourth edition of the Sustainable Mountain Development Summit (SMDS) here.
“Therefore, policy decisions to protect and sustainably harness these resources must be put in place. The role of the union government is paramount in providing an umbrella for all the mountain states, preferably in the form of a separate ministry,” he said.
“Issues and challenges emerging from two very important policy changes — replacement of Planning Commission with NITI Aayog and recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission — need to be discussed and over-viewed specifically with regard to the mountain states,” Tuki said.
Sponsored by the Integrated Mountain Initiative (IMI) and GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) India, this edition of the SMDS, the fourth since 2011, is being hosted by the Sustainable Mountain Development Forum Arunachal Pradesh (SMDFA).
Tuki also emphasised on the crucial role played by the Himalayas in cooling down of Earth.
He, however, regretted the fact that the mountains and its people faced a fragile relation with the majority of the people.
“The mountain people, comprising about 50 million, who are the custodians of the mountains, live a marginalised life in the remote and inaccessible world devoid of all the luxuries of modern development and progress,” the chief minister said.
Mountain people are portrayed in bad light even in the parliament complained Tuki. Lok Sabha member from Sikkim and IMI councillor P.D. Rai lamented that the country’s mountain states were falling behind on every human development indicator. (IANS)
TURA, Oct 07: A week after being kidnapped by a group of deserters from the Achik Matgrik Elite Force (AMEF), NH-44 engineer, Waseem Ahmed, was on Wednesday rescued by a joint group of policemen from near the village of Gabil, bordering West, East and North Garo Hills.
The village, which is about 45 kms from the town of Tura, is a purported hotbed for militants given its remoteness and dense vegetation, coupled with pathetic roads.
Ahmed was kidnapped by members of United Achik Security Force (UASF) between 5:30 – 6 pm on September 20, 2015 from the village of Rongap-Megaggre under Samanda block in East Garo Hills. Ahmed was employed in BSC & CC and was overlooking the construction of the upcoming NH-44. He was returning to the camp of the company in Samanda when he was waylaid and taken at gunpoint.
SHILLONG, Oct 07: KHADC Deputy Chief Executive Member, PT Sawkmie, on Wednesday slammed social activist Michael Syiem for filing the anti-ADC Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that seeks dissolution of District Councils in Meghalaya.
Opposing the PIL, Sawkmie said the move is extremely unfortunate at this particular juncture as the indigenous community is facing numerous problems and the PIL seeks to dissolve the very institution that looks after the welfare and interest of traditional institutions and heads besides preserving the age old customary laws of the indigenous community.
KOLKATA, Oct 07 (IANS): The CBI on Wednesday arrested Manoranjana Sinh, estranged wife of former union minister and Congress leader Matang Sinh, and grilled cinestar-turned Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Paul in connection with the multi-crore-rupee Saradha and Rose Valley ponzi scams.
Along with Manoranjana, CBI sleuths arrested city-based entrepreneur Santanu Ghosh in connection with the scam.
Manoranjana and Ghosh were grilled by the CBI’s Special Crime Branch in the satellite township of Salt Lake for hours before they were eventually arrested.
SHILLONG, Oct 07: Employees of Dr Hugh Gordon Robert Hospital on Wednesday demanded the authority concerned to immediately clarify on the alleged financial irregularities by the hospital management.
A delegation of the employees of the hospital met the Senior Administrative Secretary of the Khasi Jaintia Presbyterian (KJP) Assembly Rev NS Phawa on the matter here on Wednesday.
Earlier this year, youths who claimed to be from the Church had accused the Hospital’s Medical Superintendent, Dr David D Tariang and Administrative Officer KT Rynjah of inflating their own salaries without the consent and approval of KJPA, thereby violating the Memorandum of Association (MoA).
SHILLONG, Oct 07: Lower primary school teachers in the state are all set to get a chance to improve their marks by re-appearing in the upcoming Higher Secondary School Leaving Certificate (HSSLC) Examination, 2016.
The state government has decided to allow the teachers to re-appear in the examination in view of the need to meet the minimum qualification as specified by National Council for Teacher’s Education (NCTE).
One of the NCTE norms states that the teachers teaching at the elementary level have to secure minimum 45 percent aggregate to be eligible for the job.
AGARTALA, Oct 07 (IANS): Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) officials registered 200,470 cases for travelling without a ticket or with an irregular ticket and realised Rs.13.65 crore in fines from April to August, an official said here on Wednesday.
“NFR officials registered 200,470 cases of travel without tickets or irregular ticket passengers. A fine of Rs.13.65 crore was realised from these passengers,” NFR’s chief public relations officer Pranav Jyoti Sharma said.
“To discourage ticketless travel, the NFR has put systems in place whereby surprise checks are conducted by flying squads,” he said.
Fortress checks are also conducted in stations. The NFR officials during surprise checking are accompanied by security personnel from the Railway Protection Force and the Government Railway Police.
Another NFR official said that unlike in other parts of India, cases of ticketless travel or passengers with irregular tickets were very negligible earlier in the north-eastern region, particularly Assam.
“As cases of ticketless travel or travel on irregular tickets in north-eastern region increased, the NFR stepped up surprise checks by flying squads and other railway officials,” he said.
Kochi: Their super star co-owner Sachin Tendulkar cheering them from the stands, Kerala Blasters FC got their campaign off to a rollicking start, recording a convincing 3-1 win over NorthEast United FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) football here on Tuesday.
After a goal-less first half, Kerala Blasters opened the scoring in the 49th minute through Josu at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
The lead was doubled when former India striker Mohammad Rafi headed one in the 68 minute. Sanchez Watt soon consolidated the hosts’ position with another goal in the 72nd minute, leaving the visitors clueless.
The NorthEast, who finished last in the inaugural edition, finally found themselves on the scoresheet when Argentine Nicolas Velez brought the margin down with a strike in the 82nd minute. The effort was a mere consolation as last season’s finalist Blasters garnered full points from the game in front of their home crowd.
The Blasters went ahead when Josu, a Barcelona youth product, unleashed a powerful left-footer to send the ball to the top corner of the net after C K Vineeth’s attempted overhead kick fell on his way.
Following a long throw-in into the box by Rahul Bheke, Carvalho’s flick was headed in by Rafi at the far post to leave the home fans jubilant.
More agony was in store for the visiting side as Sanchez Watt, who is a product of the Arsenal youth school, took the ball beautifully after being fed by Bywater and Rafi. Watt was onside and with no defender marking him, it was easy for him to shoot the ball between goalkeeper Rehenesh’s feet and into the back of the net.
As all looked lost for the north-easterners, Velez reduced the margin after he cut inside following a pass by Silas.
Earlier, in the first half, both teams failed to find the back of the net. When they managed to spilt the defence, their strikers were caught offside. (PTI)
Margao: Defending champions Atletico de Kolkata may have crossed the Chennayin FC hurdle with ease but face another tough rival in Zico’s FC Goa without their star striker Helder Postiga in an Indian Super League (ISL) encounter here on Wednesday.
The Portuguese international strained his hamstring muscle in the opener against Chennaiyin while scoring his second goal, in a 3-2 win, and had to be stretchered off the field.
Postiga will initially go to Portugal and then travel to Atletico Madrid’s academy in Madrid for treatment.
“Our marquee player Helder Postiga who unfortunately suffered a strain during the first match against Chennaiyin FC while scoring his second goal of the match is going back to Portugal for further treatment. On behalf of Atletico de Kolkata we have sent his MRI reports for further consultation with specialists at Atletico de Madrid,” Alberto Marrero, ATK sports director, said in a statement on Tuesday.
The defending champions, thus will take confidence from the fact that they have never been beaten by a side known for their aggressive football.
ATK will hope to ride on that confidence to win again on Wednesday after a morale-boosting victory in the opening match. The task for Zico’s side is, thus, cut out.
However, the Brazilian legend will surely have a trick or two up his sleeve to surprise his counterpart Antonio Lopez Habas.
It will be a contest where not only the skills of players but the decision making of both coaches will be put to the test.
In the absence of the 33-year-old Postiga, Cape Verdean striker Valmiro Lopes Rocha (Valdo) may start the game.But filling in the shoes of Postiga could be a difficult ask.
Goa, on the other hand, were impressive in their opener against Delhi Dynamos which they pocketed 2-0.
An own goal from Dynamos defender Souvik Chakraborty and a Reinaldo strike from close range sealed Dynamos’ victory.
Atletico’s biggest threat at the Fatorda Stadium will be posed by the pacy winger Romeo Fernandez and the crafty midfielder Jofre Mateu, who had played a crucial role for ATK in their success last year. Medio Mandar Rao Desai, the Man-of-the-Match in FC Goa’s win against Delhi Dynamos, will also be a formidable opposition.
A crucial man for the title holders would be Canadian playmaker Iain Hume, who has to be at his best, and will be expected to supply a steady stream of passes for the strikers. (IANS)
New Delhi: Former cricket and BJP leader Navjot Singh Sidhu was on Tuesday admitted to a hospital here after suffering from acute deep vein thrombosis, a deep clot in the blood vessel.
“Navjot Singh Sidhu was admitted to Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals Delhi today (Tuesday) evening with acute deep vein thrombosis (DVT). This is a life threatening condition if not treated on time,” said a statement from the hospital, adding he was now stable.
During DVT, clots create obstruction in the blood vessel, hindering the normal blood flow.
Doctors treating Sidhu said that Sidhu was stable after necessary treatment.
“Sidhu has been put on blood thinners and has been recovering well. His condition is said to be stable as of now,” the statement said. (IANS)
New Delhi: Sachin Tendulkar says he wants to promote cricket in the United States by engaging the huge South Asian diaspora there through the T20 series for former stars in his endeavour to globalise the sport.
Come November, and ‘Sachin’s Blasters’ will take on ‘Warne’s Warriors’ in a three-match T20 series ‘Cricket All-Stars Series 2015′. The other two matches will be held in Houston and Los Angeles on November 9 and 11.
“During last year’s MCC bicentenary match at Lord’s, I realised that all of us, I mean the former cricketers still have a lot of passion left. We realised that crowds still come and fill up the stadiums when we play. Then I felt that we could continue with our passion and also promote cricket in different parts of the world,” Tendulkar told PTI during an exclusive interaction today.
While there has been an official ODI game between New Zealand and West Indies, played at Florida, the United States remains an unchartered territory for cricket even as the likes of Tendulkar, Warne, Curtly Ambrose, Ricky Ponting get ready to enthrall their fans in this part of the world.
Asked if Tendulkar’s presence will open the American market for Indian cricket, his response was a cautious one.
“I don’t know whether it will open the market for India but the basic idea is to get the locals excited and get them involved with the game of cricket. This is an ideal opportunity to globalise the game. It gives us opportunity to take cricket in the United States,” Tendulkar said.
Asked about the famous Sachin Tendulkar-Sourav Ganguly combination opening the batting against Glenn McGrath and Curtly Ambrose, Tendulkar laughed and said, “That is precisely the idea of these matches. I have so many friends in the United States and there are so many people who are cricket fans. However, many of them have never got a chance to watch us live in action.
“Many of friends would travel to India to watch me play, but this will give an opportunity to all of them to watch all these superstars live in action,” said Tendulkar.
Not someone to take even exhibition games lightly, Tendulkar has started light training and he intends to build it up as time progresses.
“Well, I haven’t started practising with that intensity but it is a slow start. I gradually plan to build it up,” he sounded as focussed as ever as he gets ready for some intensive net session at the Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai.
When asked if he would train with the Mumbai Ranji team, he explained, “No, it would be wrong to disturb Mumbai Ranji team’s training schedule. Also I need to do T20 specific training and they are playing Ranji Trophy. But yes, I would love to be around the Mumbai Ranji team,” said the maestro.
For the 42-year-old iconic batsman, it will also be a “challenge” to play in stadiums which are originally meant for baseball.
“It’s not the first time that I will be playing matches in baseball stadiums. Way back in 1990 and 1994, I had played a couple of matches at Skyzone stadium in Canada. Since these are not proper international cricket Stadiums (NY’s Citi Field, Minute Maid Park in Houston and LA Dodgers’ Stadium), one needs to adjust to the angles.
“But then since the spectators sit very near to the boundary line, you get a feeling that you can engage with the crowd which is also important,” Tendulkar signed off. (PTI)
Kolkata: The South African and Indian cricket teams landed in the city on Tuesday for the third Twenty20 International outing at the Eden Gardens here on October 8.
Ringed by a heavy cordon of security personnel, the two sides flew into the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport at around 1.50 pm and were driven straight to a posh five star hotel.
South Africa have already taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. The visitors would seek to keep up the winning momentum and make it a clean sweep ahead of the five-game ODI and four-match Test series. On the other hand, the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Indian outfit will try to salvage some pride in the dead rubber and raise their confidence level for the coming engagements. (IANS)
London: English football champions Chelsea’s manager Jose Mourinho has revealed he had discussions with Alex Ferguson for succeeding him as Manchester United’s manager after the latter’s retirement in 2013, but always had eyes for his current job.
Mourinho joined Chelsea in 2013 for his second spell at the club after earlier taking charge from 2004 to 2007. Mourinho left Real Madrid and started his second stint at Chelsea when he signed a four-year deal, a month after Ferguson had announced David Moyes would be replacing him at United.
The Portuguese was believed to be a contender for the position, but claims Ferguson knew he wanted to return to Chelsea.
“Every manager in the world looks at Manchester United as a huge club but I wanted to come to Chelsea. And we didn’t bring that to the table because we were so open and he knows so much about myself that he knew that for almost a season, I want to leave Real Madrid and I want to come to Chelsea,” Mourinho was quoted as saying by BBC on Monday.
“He (Ferguson) told me a huge secret, not many people knew, like, one month or two months before the decision. I know that he trusts me, because if he doesn’t, he doesn’t tell me but I was scared. I was scared so when finally he informed the media about this decision it was a sense of relief,” he said.
Manchester United finished seventh in their first English Premier League season without Ferguson in 2013-14 whereas Mourinho guided Chelsea to the second spot.(IANS)